PFD Queer Fiction Prize 2022 Shortlists announced

May 31, 2022

We’re thrilled to announce the shortlists for the PFD Queer Fiction Prize 2022, picked from hundreds of entries of a remarkably high quality. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the shortlisted authors! The winners for each category will be announced in June, so keep an eye out for more news…

We’d also like to extend our thanks to the brilliant Okechukwu Nzelu and E. Latimer for their time and effort reading the Adult and YA/Children’s entries respectively; their discerning eyes were invaluable.



Shayla Emory – Daphne Blue is Not A Damsel In Distress

Shayla Emory lives in the desert with her many cats and even more books. When not working on her next project or dying her hair a new colour, she can be found baking while watching too many bad TV shows to mention. Her novel, Daphne Blue is Not a Damsel In Distress, is a Queer MG mystery about a 12 y/o aspiring reporter who leads her Scooby gang of best friends on a mission to expose the truth about the supposed Super “hero” who killed her mom.

Marcel Bruneau – Detective Curator Jax

The son of a Mauritian sailor, Marcel grew up in south London, watching old musicals and hiding from the school football team. He got a taste for detective stories while acting in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap and now works for the world’s oldest art gallery. Detective Curator Jax brings together Marcel’s love of mystery and art, with the story of a shy kid who discovers he can talk to paintings, then falls into the art crime of the century.

Lucy Onions – What On Earth Is Happening

My name is Lucy, I’m 26 years old and I identify as non-binary. I have always loved space; I wrote this story when I was 10, which I re-discovered during lockdown! Working in a school for autistic learners inspires me to write stories that represent and connect with all children. What on Earth is Happening follows an eleven year old in her mission to get the world on board with her space adventure: the only way to survive.

Jennifer Ren – Occult, Not A Cult

Jennifer is a queer Vietnamese-Chinese woman who grew up in the forests of Texas and daydreamed constantly to distract herself from the humid heat. Those daydreams manifested in drawings first, then handwritten stories, and finally, typed-up novels. Her work-in-progress is a witchy tale about best friends trying to hold their messy friendship together as occult secrets and watery ghosts threaten to tear them apart.

A.S. Kannel – The Memory Wars

A.S. Kannel draws from her life experiences when crafting fiction for children and teens. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in the literary journal, Marooned. Currently, she is a high school English teacher in Philadelphia, where she lives with her wife and son. In The Memory Wars, twelve-year-old El Evans and her GSA friends fall through a portal into their favorite game, only to learn the game world is forgetting magic, and it’s up to El to save it and her missing father; but her real-life homophobic bully is in the game, determined to destroy her first.

Aoife Doyle – The Music Weaver’s Call

Aoife is an accomplished daydreamer and award-winning go karter. When not minding kids or walking dogs she enjoys painting, hiking, playing her bodhrán (Irish drum), and telling myths at gigs and on courses. She has a deep love of Irish Mythology and folklore, which along with her fluency in the Irish language, greatly inspires her writing. The Music Weaver’s Call is a love letter to the West of Ireland and follows the courageous journey of learning to trust in love by trusting yourself.



Anna Quirke – Imogen and Ollie

Anna is a queer and neurodivergent writer and script editor from Lancashire. Her favourite thing to do is to write stories about people doing their gosh darn best and finding the people who love them because of who they are and not in spite of it. Imogen & Ollie is a platonic love story that celebrates the wonderful chaos of intersecting identities as two queer teens become begrudgingly united in starting an activist society and fundraising to put on an accessible pride festival in their town.

Yue Chen – Haunted Girls Festival

Yue Chen is an undergraduate student studying literature, politics, and economics, and she will be pursuing a master’s degree in literature at Oxford this fall. She edits Sine Theta Magazine, an international print-based creative arts magazine platforming the Sino diaspora. Haunted Girls Festival is her manuscript-in-progress about a Chinese American psychic striving to bring the ghost of her high school’s mysteriously dead resident ‘it girl’ back to life and stave off the gentrifying forces threatening her small town.

Sui Annukka – The Reading House of Mount Yaa

Of Sri Lankan heritage, Sui Annukka grew up in London and Colombo. Sui read Drama at the University of Bristol, and later studied Production Design at the National Film and Television School. She left her career in film art direction to spend more time on her writing. She currently lives in London and works as a Teaching Assistant in a High School. The Reading House of Mount Yaa is fantasy adventure trilogy that follows the fortunes of 13-year-old Aku, the indomitable cook and cleaner at The Reading House, who unwittingly finds herself at the centre of an evil conspiracy to destroy the legendary Reading House, home to the only surviving enchanted books in the world.

Nate Frost – Witch Hunt!

Nate Frost works for a public library, where he gets to enjoy a book-filled sanctuary every day. He lives in London with his boyfriend, a jungle of houseplants and his boyfriend’s extensive collection of vintage Star Wars novels. You can find him on Instagram @Queer.Librarian. Witch Hunt! is an uplifting, enemies-to-lovers mystery story that explores forgotten queer history, fandom and online fame.

Zdena Sewell Sattler – Foxes and Fallacies

I am Zdena Sewell Sattler, a queer Mi’gmaw person currently residing in Vancouver, Canada.  I write mainly fantasy and sci-fi; my favourite reptiles are dragons, geckos, and hummingbirds; and I firmly believe pineapple belongs on pizza. Foxes and Fallacies is my W.I.P. fantasy novel about an unlikely pair of meat people chasing after their delusions while developing a healthy fear of plants.

Leanne Egan – Lover Birds

Leanne Egan grew up in Liverpool before moving to London to pursue their MA in Publishing Studies. Shortly after graduating, the world fell apart, so mostly they’ve just been getting a lot of writing done. This includes anything from a copious amount of fanfiction to their fiction podcast Tell No Tales (which they can usually be found stressing about). Leanne’s current novel Lover Birds is a loose adaptation of Pride and Prejudice…if Pride and Prejudice was about Scousers and teenage girls falling in love with other girls.



Rowan Wilson – Can These Bones

Rowan Wilson is a 23-year-old writer and medieval literature researcher. Their debut novel, Can These Bones, is about a body uncovered in a bog and the young woman sucked into its orbit. They love thinking about earth, rot, queer obsessions, and the ways history re-emerges in strange, slippery places. They live in Bonn, Germany, three hours from the nearest peat bog.

Kabubu Mutua – When We Believed in Paradise

Kabubu Mutua was longlisted for the 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in A Long House, the Commonwealth Writers’ adda magazine, and The Hope, The Prayer, The Anthem anthology by Afritondo. He is a 2022 Short Story Day Africa Inkubator fellow. When We Believed in Paradise tells the story of two young men falling in love in a conservative and post-colonial Kenya during a time of political turmoil.

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin – The Next Life

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is an Irish writer living and working in Edinburgh. Her stories, essays and articles have appeared in Gutter, the New Statesman, The Millions, Sexualities and other publications. Her novel is an exploration of family, grief, queer identity, and the legacy of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Ananya Kumar-Banerjee – The Penmaker’s Daughter
Ananya Kumar-Banerjee is a Yale graduate and an MSt Candidate for World Literatures in English at Oxford whose writing has been published in PANK Magazine, Bon Appetit, Hyphen Mag and Autostraddle, among other places. They were a finalist for the 2021 BOMB Magazine Biannual Fiction Prize and an attendee of the Tin House Summer Workshop in 2021. Their debut novel, The Penmaker’s Daughter, follows the lifetime friendship between two people of color (one nonbinary, one woman) growing up in early 2010s New York City. When they’re not cooking or talking about one day being the loving owner of a big dog, you can find them on twitter @anannavia.

Phoebe Stuckes – One Day Your Sadness Will End

Phoebe Stuckes is a writer and bookseller. She has been awarded an Eric Gregory Award and The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. Her collection of poetry, Platinum Blonde was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2020 and was highly commended by The Forward Prizes. Her work in progress; One Day Your Sadness Will End is a ghost story.

Alan Murrin – The Coast Road

Alan Murrin is an Irish writer based in Berlin. In 2021 he won the Bournemouth Writing Prize for his story, The Wake, which went on to be shortlisted for short story of the year at the Irish Book Awards. He is a graduate of the Prose Fiction Masters at UEA. His novel, The Coast Road, takes place in 1995 in a small coastal community in County Donegal and tells the story of two unconventional women who pay a high price for refusing to play by the rules.