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.