Audible and Out on the Page have joined forces with over 40 of UK’s most prominent and exciting LGBTQIA+ writers, to celebrate Queer storytelling this Pride month.
42 names have contributed to a list of over 100 stories written by, and about, the LGBTQIA+ community.
The list intends to celebrate vast range of queer storytelling as new YouGov data reveals that half of the nation believes LGBTQIA+ representation in storytelling is important in tackling prejudice.
From poems and novellas to memoirs and even speeches, the Pride List of Queer Storytelling features over 100 titles, hand-picked by 42 LGBTQIA+ writers and voices from a breadth of genres, including Val McDermid, Liv Little, Damien Barr, Travis Alabanza, Juliet Jacques, plus many more.
Accompanied by their compelling and insightful reasons for submitting each title, the project hopes to encourage people in the UK to engage with, discover and broaden their knowledge of LGBTQIA+ stories and authors.
The project has also explored the UK’s attitude to and consumption of LGBTQIA+ literature and today releases new YouGov data, which reveals that, compared to ten years ago, people in the UK feel they are seeing more LGBTQIA+ characters in literature (52%), more positive storylines for queer characters (52%) and broader representation of the LGBTQIA+ community (62%).
Encouragingly, the LGBTQIA+ community also recognises these changes, with three quarters of those surveyed stating they can see more characters (75%), more positive storylines (78%) and broader representation (82%) in literature now compared to ten years ago.
Additional findings bring to life the real-world importance of diversifying the stories we consume, as almost half of Brits (45%) said they believe LGBTQIA+ representation in storytelling was important in tackling prejudice, with this number almost doubling (82%) among those surveyed from the LGBTQIA+ community.
Allyship of the LGBTQIA+ community is also affected by representation in modern storytelling. Of those who recall reading literature with LGBTQIA+ characters, two fifths (42%) agree that queer literature has made them a better ally to the community, whilst over a third (34%) said it made them more accepting of LGBTQIA+ people. Within the community itself, 65% also agreed that reading or listening to LGBTQIA+ stories has widened their perspectives.
Importantly, representation can also be revelatory for some, almost half (49%) of those surveyed from the LGBTQIA+ community felt that queer literature had helped them affirm their gender or sexuality.
While Brits feel there is more representation compared to ten years ago, the data also suggests more must be done to represent the full LGBTQIA+ community in modern storytelling. Of those who have read literature with LGBTQIA+ characters, around 7 in 10 could think of a gay (76%) or lesbian (69%) character, much fewer could recall bisexual (54%) or transgender (38%) characters, with fewer still able to recall non-binary (23%) asexual (19%) or intersex (9%) characters from literature they have consumed.
To bring to life the project, and mark the end of Pride month, Audible and Out on the Page will also be hosting ‘A Celebration of Queer Storytelling’, a one-off celebratory panel event, on Tuesday 27th June at Barbican in London. Confirmed panellists include author and lecturer Okechukwu Nzelu (Here Again Now, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney), award-winning Young Adult author Lisa Williamson (The Art of Being Normal, All About Mia), and poet, playwright and education facilitator Gayathiri Kamalakanthan, with more to be announced. Presenter and broadcaster Shivani Dave will be hosting the panel discussion.
Paul Bradley, founder of Out on the Page, said: “We've always worked to champion the voice of LGBTQIA+ writers and writing, and this collaboration with Audible is one of our most exciting ventures to date. Many of the wonderful writers who have contributed have worked with us and others to support the development and breakthrough of the LGBTQ+ writers of tomorrow. That's why this project is so important, highlighting great LGBTQ+ writing wherever it appears, thinking about what these stories mean for LGBTQ+ representation in the wider world, bringing great queer storytelling to wider audiences, readers finding inspiration and stories that speak to them and their experience. To us, this project during Pride Month is a wonderful expression of queer joy.”
Richard Noble, Senior Director of Communications at Audible, added: “Representation of all communities across the UK is extremely important to Audible and we are thrilled to have had so many LGBTQIA+ writers join us in compiling such a rich list of queer stories. Through this list of queer storytelling, we hope to offer a destination where all people are encouraged to find new stories or characters to fall in love with from the vibrant and diverse world of queer literature.”
The Audible and Out on the Page Pride List of Queer Storytelling can be found at https://www.audible.co.uk/Pride_List_of_Queer_Storytelling.
Tickets for ‘A Celebration of Queer Storytelling’ can be purchased at Eventbrite from Thursday 8th June. Tickets cost £5 with all proceedings to be donated to Out on the Page’s writer development programme.