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Lambda Literary Award

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lambda Literary Award
Lambda Literary Award Seal
LocationNew York City, United States
Presented byLambda Literary
First awarded1989 Edit this at Wikidata

Lambda Literary Awards, also known as the "Lammys", are awarded yearly by Lambda Literary to recognize the crucial role LGBTQ writers play in shaping the world. The Lammys celebrate the very best in LGBTQ literature.The awards were instituted in 1989.

The program has grown from 14 awards in early years to 24 awards today. Early categories such as HIV/AIDS literature were dropped as the prominence of the AIDS crisis within the gay community waned,[1] and categories for bisexual and transgender literature were added as the community became more inclusive.[1]

In addition to the primary literary awards, Lambda Literary also presents a number of special awards.

Award categories



1 In both the bisexual and transgender categories, presentation may vary according to the number of eligible titles submitted in any given year. If the number of titles warrants, then separate awards are presented in either two (Fiction and Nonfiction, with the Fiction category inclusive of poetry titles) or three (Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry) categories, while if a smaller number of titles is deemed eligible, then a merged Literature shortlist is put forward. However, even when the category shortlists have been merged, judges still retain the right to identify a single winner in the unlisted category; for example, at the 25th Lambda Literary Awards in 2013 the judges named both fiction and non-fiction winners in the Bisexual Literature category, and at the 29th Lambda Literary Awards in 2017 the judges picked a title from the Bisexual Fiction shortlist as the winner in Bisexual Poetry despite the lack of an advance poetry shortlist.


Ellen Hart has won five awards in the Lesbian Mystery category, the most by any single author, and is one of only three writers to have won the award more than once (with three-time winners Katherine V. Forrest and J. M. Redmann). Similarly, Michael Nava has won five awards in the Gay Mystery category, the most by any single author, and is one of only four writers to have won the award more than once (with three-time winner John Morgan Wilson, two-time winner R. D. Zimmerman, and two-time winner Marshall Thornton). Marshall Thornton is the only author in the gay mystery category to have won twice for two different series.

Alison Bechdel has won four awards in the Humor category, the most by any single author, and is one of five writers to have won the award more than once (with Joe Keenan, Michael Thomas Ford, David Sedaris, and David Rakoff). The Humor category has been discontinued.

Nicola Griffith and Melissa Scott have each won four awards in the Scifi/Fantasy/Horror category, and are two of six writers to have won the SFFH award more than once (with Stephen Pagel, Jim Grimsley, and Lee Thomas).

Sarah Waters has won three awards in the Lesbian Fiction category, for Tipping the Velvet (2000), Fingersmith (2002), and The Night Watch in (2007), and is one of only three writers to have won the Lesbian Fiction award more than once (with two-time winners Dorothy Allison and Achy Obejas).

Mark Doty and Adrienne Rich have each won three awards in the Poetry category, and are two of seven poets to have won the award more than once (with two-time winners Joan Larkin, Michael Klein, Marilyn Hacker, Audre Lorde, and J. D. McClatchy)

Richard Labonté, Radclyffe, and Tristan Taormino have each won two awards in the Erotica category, each winning once before the category was split into Gay and Lesbian subdivisions, and each winning their second after the category was split.

Karin Kallmaker and Michael Thomas Ford have each won two awards in the Romance category, each winning one before the category was split into Gay and Lesbian subdivisions – Kallmaker with Maybe Next Time and Ford with Last Summer, but in 2004 – and each winning their second after the category was split – Ford with Changing Tides in 2008 and Kallmaer with The Kiss That Counted in 2009.

Colm Tóibín is the only writer to have won two awards in the Gay Fiction category for The Master in 2004 and for The Empty Family in 2011.

Paul Monette is the only writer to have won two awards in the Gay Non-Fiction category, for Borrowed Time in 1989 and for Becoming a Man in 1993.

Lillian Faderman is the only writer to have won awards in seven different categories, having received:

  • The Editor's Choice Award for Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers in 1992
  • The Fiction Anthology Award for Chloe Plus Olivia in 1995
  • The Lesbian Studies Award for To Believe in Women in 2000
  • The Autobiography/Memoir Award for Naked in the Promised Land in 2004
  • The LGBT Arts & Culture award for Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians in 2007
  • The LGBT Non-Fiction award for Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians in 2007
  • The Pioneer Award in 2013.

Several writers have won awards in more than one category in the same year for the same work (note that according to current guidelines a book may only be entered in one category):

Several writers have won awards in more than one category in the same year for different works:

Several other writers have won awards in more than one category in different years and for different works:

Several authors have won awards in three different categories:


Numerous Lambda Award-winning works have been adapted for film and television:


Awards by year

The Lambda Literary Awards are presented each year to honor works of literature published in the previous year; accordingly, the first awards ceremony may be described in different sources as either the 1989 awards (for the year of presentation) or the 1988 awards (for the year in which the nominated works were published).

Ceremony Year of presentation Year of publication
1st Lambda Literary Awards 1989 1988
2nd Lambda Literary Awards 1990 1989
3rd Lambda Literary Awards 1991 1990
4th Lambda Literary Awards 1992 1991
5th Lambda Literary Awards 1993 1992
6th Lambda Literary Awards 1994 1993
7th Lambda Literary Awards 1995 1994
8th Lambda Literary Awards 1996 1995
9th Lambda Literary Awards 1997 1996
10th Lambda Literary Awards 1998 1997
11th Lambda Literary Awards 1999 1998
12th Lambda Literary Awards 2000 1999
13th Lambda Literary Awards 2001 2000
14th Lambda Literary Awards 2002 2001
15th Lambda Literary Awards 2003 2002
16th Lambda Literary Awards 2004 2003
17th Lambda Literary Awards 2005 2004
18th Lambda Literary Awards 2006 2005
19th Lambda Literary Awards 2007 2006
20th Lambda Literary Awards 2008 2007
21st Lambda Literary Awards 2009 2008
22nd Lambda Literary Awards 2010 2009
23rd Lambda Literary Awards 2011 2010
24th Lambda Literary Awards 2012 2011
25th Lambda Literary Awards 2013 2012
26th Lambda Literary Awards 2014 2013
27th Lambda Literary Awards 2015 2014
28th Lambda Literary Awards 2016 2015
29th Lambda Literary Awards 2017 2016
30th Lambda Literary Awards 2018 2017
31st Lambda Literary Awards 2019 2018
32nd Lambda Literary Awards 2020 2019
33rd Lambda Literary Awards 2021 2020
34th Lambda Literary Awards 2022 2021


Bisexual community and Bi Any Other Name

In 1992, despite requests from the bisexual community for a more appropriate and inclusive category, the groundbreaking bisexual anthology Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out[2] by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu was forced to compete, and lost, in the category "Lesbian Anthology".[3] Additionally, in 2005, Directed by Desire: Collected Poems,[4] a posthumous collection of the bisexual Jamaican-American writer June Jordan's work, competed (and won) in the category "Lesbian Poetry".[5]

Led by BiNet USA,[6] and assisted by other bisexual organizations including the American Institute of Bisexuality, BiPOL, and Bialogue, the bisexual community launched a multi-year struggle that eventually culminated in 2006 with the addition of a Bisexual category.[7]

Transgender community and The Man Who Would Be Queen

In 2004, the book The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism by the highly controversial researcher J. Michael Bailey was announced as a finalist in the Transgender category of the 2003 Awards.

Transgender people immediately protested the nomination and gathered thousands of petition signatures in opposition within a few days. After the petition, the Foundation's judges examined the book more closely, decided that they considered it transphobic and removed it from their list of finalists.[8] Within a year the executive director who had initially approved of the book's inclusion resigned.[9] Executive director Charles Flowers later stated that "the Bailey incident revealed flaws in our awards nomination process, which I have completely overhauled since becoming the foundation’s executive director in January 2006."[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dewey, Charlsie (28 May 2013). "Lambda Literary Foundation marks 25 years of LGBT writers". Windy City Times. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out Review". International Gay & Lesbian Review. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  3. ^ "1991 Lambda Literary Awards Recipients". Lambda Literary Foundation. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  4. ^ Rich, Adrienne. "Foreword to Directed by Desire: Collected Poems". Copper Canyon Press. Retrieved 21 January 2021 – via Poetry Foundation.
  5. ^ "2005 Lambda Literary Awards Recipients". Lambda Literary Foundation. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  6. ^ Curry, Wendy (2007). "What makes a book bisexual?". Curried Spam. BiNet USA. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  7. ^ Chuck Stewart, Proud Heritage: People, Issues, and Documents of the LGBT Experience. ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 9781610693998. p. 84.
  8. ^ Letellier, Patrick (16 March 2004). "Group rescinds honor for disputed book". PlanetOut. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Nomi (16 June 2005). "Lambda Literary Foundation Announces Major Changes". American Booksellers Association. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
  10. ^ Flowers, Charles (September 20, 2007). Letter to the New York Times, Sept 20, 2007. Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine

External links

This page was last edited on 1 April 2022, at 10:28
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