Originally founded in 1987 as a literary journal for gay and lesbian books based at Lambda Rising Bookstore in DC, Lambda Literary – under the direction of L. Page (Deacon) Maccubbin – has grown over the decades. Now, alongside the Enlightened Review, Lambda holds nonprofit status, hosts a writers retreat for emerging LGBTQ+ authors, engages with the youth community, and rewards excellence at Lambdas. Annual awards.
The Lambda Literary Awards (aka the Lammys) highlight outstanding written works from 24 main categories by LGBTQ+ writers/artists and about the queer experience. In addition to the main awards, there are a handful of special awards, such as the Randall Kenan Award for Black LGBTQ Fiction, the Jeanne Córdova Award for Lesbian/Queer Non-Fiction, the Judith A. Markowitz Award for New LGBTQ Writers outstanding, Jim Duggins, Ph. .D. Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Award and J. Michael Samuel Award for Emerging Writers Over 50. Sometimes Lambda Literary will award an award to those who innovate across all mediums and those in the publishing industry.
Some of the categories we monitor
Since some categories are categorized by genre and books may only appear in one category, I encourage you to check out all of these books to find something that fits your favorite genre. Here are a few I’m most excited for:
LGBTQ speculative fiction
Other categories include GBT Fiction (3 categories), Bisexual Nonfiction, Transgender Nonfiction, LGBT Poetry (4 categories), Lesbian Memoir/Biography, Gay Memoir Biography, Lesbian Romance, Gay Romance, LGBTQ Anthology, LGBTQ Children’s/Middle Grade, LGBTQ YA , LGBTQ Drama (plays), LGBTQ Erotica, LGBTQ Mystery and LGBTQ Studies.
Where are the 2020 Lammys?
I look at books all day, almost every day, and seeing so many titles for the first time really shows how important the Lammys remain. Of course, I don’t regularly read in all genres, but still, I only recognized 15 titles and covers. Even of these (13% overall), half are widely published and celebrated. Non-binary Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi wouldn’t even obsess me if it weren’t for booktubers like Jesse who constantly brought them to my attention. Although many people like me have shared Shelley Parker-Chan’s novel The one who became the sunmy first meaningful interaction with their work was a tryout here at The Mary Sue.
Drag queen and visual artist Sasha Velor will host this year’s virtual Lambda Awards at 6:00 PM EST. Tickets are $50 per person and include digital giveaways and pre-show author access. This access includes readings and interviews with finalists starting at 2:00 p.m. EST, and money raised will go towards the Emerging Writers Retreat and youth programs.
(Image: Lambda Literary, Alyssa Shotwell and respective editors.)
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