PFD Queer Fiction Prize 2024 – Shortlists

May 31, 2024

We’re so pleased to announce the shortlists for the PFD Queer Fiction Prize 2024 – we received hundreds of brilliant entries, and the standard was as high as ever this year, making it very difficult to narrow down. Thank you so much to everyone who entered, publicised the prize, and supported us, and to our wonderful judges Hanna Bervoets and Samuel J. Halpin for their invaluable expert readings of the Adult and YA & Children’s entries respectively.

Lastly, huge congratulations to the shortlisted authors! The winners in each of the two categories will be announced in June.

 

ADULT

SONYA VATOMSKY – Under A Fur Coat

Sonya Vatomsky is the author of poetry collection Salt Is For Curing, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a former journalist with bylines in Smithsonian Magazine, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. Born in the USSR, they immigrated to the US in 1991 then to the UK in 2020. Under a Fur Coat is an art novel with obsession at its heart and folklore around the edges. It takes place in a Finnish forest.

ADRIANO NOBLE – Body Comes Home

Adriano is a London-based writer from the Midlands. His poetry has been published in fourteen poems, Rust & MothBi+ Lines and The Braag, among others. He was shortlisted for the 2022 Creative Future Writers’ Award. Set on the rural coast, Body Comes Home is a trans horror tale which explores envy, desire, displacement and hauntings through the eyes of a prodigal son.

HARRY MOULD – Saturn Devours His Daughter

Harry (they/she) is a mixed-heritage writer and wellbeing facilitator from Wales. Their first play, The Brenda Line, was commissioned by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s 2024/25 season, and their first script for television, The Houdini Detectives, was a finalist in the Studio 21 Drama Series prize in 2023. Their debut novel, Saturn Devours his Daughter, is a darkly comic story about father/daughter relationships, family secrets, and how we’re taught to love. It was a finalist in the 2023/24 Merky Book Prize.

CHARLIE WÜHRER – Princess Court

Charlie Wührer is a Berlin-based writer and literary translator from the West-Midlands. Most recently, her short fiction has been published by Fruit Journal, The Masters Review, Wicked Gay Ways and Querencia Press. Her debut novel is about haunted spaces, guilt, queer and elderly love, care work, sex and friendship, and is written in part from the perspective of a tenth-floor council estate flat in London.

YUE CHEN – Like Peanut Butter and Sesame

Yue Chen received her master’s in world literatures from Oxford University, where she pursued Asian diasporic literature, children’s literature, and memory studies. She serves as senior editor of Sine Theta, an international print-based creative arts magazine platforming the Sino diaspora. In her free time, she enjoys getting lost in the woods and collecting jewelry with personality. Like Peanut Butter and Sesame is a WeChat-originating anti-romantic comedy starring Kevin Hua and Sesame Shen, two parents-pleasing, gay, effortfully closeted young professionals who hate their jobs and embark on a fake dating scheme to stave off their matchmaking mothers.

BUNNY JACKSON – Acts of Love

Bunny Jackson lives in a den with their partner and has far too many interests, including cooking, birdwatching, and the Zuiderzee. Set in a small, strange, flood-prone English town, their debut novel Acts of Love chronicles the vile deeds we do for those we love–regardless of whether they want it or not.

CHILDREN’S & YA

CLAYTON COLEMAN – The First Martian

Clayton is a 27-year-old queer farmer who works for an environmental education organization in Maine, USA. His writing reflects these aspects of his identity. His work in progress, The First Martian, is a YA coming-of-age novel about the first and only child born on a Mars research station.

ABI MOORE – Drag Us to the Deep

Abi Moore is a queer author living in Leicestershire with her husband, two children and one grumpy cat. She has been a fan of all kinds of horror ever since watching Evil Dead 2 at far too young an age, and wants to write the kind of horror books she would have devoured as a teen. Drag Us to the Deep is a queer horror novel about mutating girls on a stranded cruise ship. It is inspired by both her love of the ocean and her husband’s fear of it.

RUKMAN RAGAS – To Defy the Heavens

Rukman Ragas (they/he) is a speculative and literary fiction writer based in Colombo. Rukman’s stories that explore queerness, grief, storytelling, and immigration under a postcolonial lens can be found in Tasavvur, Khoreo, and more. When not wrangling their irreverent fantasy novel into shape, they can be found consuming an unhealthy amount of historical media.

ATHENA LAMBROU – The Skeletons in Both Our Closets

Athena Lambrou is from the small sunny island of Cyprus and has graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a BA in Creative Writing & Media and a Creative Writing MA degree. In her spare time she loves listening to Taylor Swift, watching horror movies and making bookmarks with pressed flowers. Her current work-in-progress is about a bisexual Cypriot boy falling in love with his sister-in-law’s brother.

GRAYSON CAMPBELL – Cats Are Not Made of Fire

Grayson Campbell is a writer living in Dorset with cat Titus. They are studying a Master’s in Writing for Performance, focusing in queer and disabled horror for stage and screen. Cats Are Not Made of Fire is a contemporary YA focusing on Julian, a gay teenager trying to figure out life, school, and love, after being released from a psychiatric unit.

ELEANOR DRAGE – The Taste Of You

Eleanor is a Brightonian bookworm who likes to swim in the sea (when it’s sunny), talk loudly in the pub (when it’s rainy), and walk her bearded rescue dog along the South Downs (whatever the weather). Steeped in 90s nostalgia, The Taste of You explores the angst-riddled joy of opening yourself up to others, the importance of meaningful human connection, and the evolving attitudes towards bisexuality over the past three decades.

HARRY BLAKE – The Truth About Monsters

Harry Blake is a composer and writer living in London. Earlier this year, he wrote the songs for Bear Snores On at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The Truth About Monsters is a funny adventure story about a lonely boy called Miles who thinks he knows everything there is to know about monsters, until he meets one. In his spare time, Harry enjoys running, cooking and walking his big fluffy dog called Bruno.

CAZ SCALES – Find the Tunnels

Caz is a twenty-two-year-old creative writing graduate who is based in Cornwall. When she’s not running or spending time by the sea, she is writing YA stories that include a hint of magic, a sprinkle of Celtic mythology and proud, bisexual protagonists. Find the Tunnels follows a gang of LGBTQ+ teens as they race towards a murderous, supposedly inaccessible island while also battling grief, deception and out-of-control leylines.