I’m delighted to announce that Spear has been shortlisted for the UK Society of Authors’ inaugural ADCI (Authors living with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses) Literary Prize which celebrates positive representation of disability in literature. The prize is open to authors with a disability or chronic illness, for novels including a disabled or chronically ill character or characters.

Spear is in excellent company, alongside Braver by Deborah Jenkins and Fiona-Scott-Barrett’s The Exit-Facility. The winner will be announced along with other SoA honourees at Southwark Cathedral on Friday 29th June. I’m trying to work out if I can be there for the ceremony—I’m not sure yet. If I can be, I will. These awards for literary excellence and crip representation are important.

A year or so ago I wrote a blog post, R/evolution in disability lit is accelerating, about why awards such as the ADCI and Barbellian prizes matter, and what they suggest for the future. Please go read it.

Prizes like these aren’t huge in terms of financial gain: the cash awards are small, and winning doesn’t significantly move the needle in terms of sales—yet. But the same was once true of the Hugo Award—and perhaps even, in its very early days, of the Booker Prize. (Okay, maybe not. When it first began in 1969 the prize was £5,000—about 15% more than the average UK house price; not to be sneezed at. Now of course it nets its winners £50,000 cash, definitely not to be sneezed at—but paling in comparison to the sales bonanza that follows for most winning novelists, and their subsequent advances.

Prizes for CripLit—or DisLit, or Disability Literature, or CIADlit; I don’t care which of these terms you use to talk about CripLit as long as you talk about it—are important because they acknowledge and privilege fiction about crips by crips. They privilege our own truth, lived experience over the regurgitated ableist crap we’ve been force-fed for generations. (I’ve written many pieces about this. See the New York Times or my Washington State Book Award acceptance speech. Or frankly half the essays on my essay page.) If you want to read some thoughts of disabled writers—what we have to face from the publishing industry, what we’re working on—go read the archive of #CripLit chats Alice Wong and I hosted for a while.

Change really has begun. Long may it accelerate! And if you want to help, go buy a CripLit book—go buy one of the ones on the shortlist.

IndieBound | Amazon.com | Bookshop.org | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Amazon.co.uk