World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lambda Literary Award

Article Id: WHEBN0000737103
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lambda Literary Award  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Alex Sánchez (author), Gay male teen fiction, S. Bear Bergman, Dorothy Allison, Ali Liebegott
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lambda Literary Award

The Lambda Literary Award Medal Design 2008.

Lambda Literary Awards (also known as the "Lammys") are awarded yearly by the US-based Lambda Literary Foundation to published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes. Categories include Humor, Romance and Biography. To qualify, a book must have been published in the United States in the year current to the award. The Lambda Literary Foundation states that its mission is "to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians - the whole literary community."[1] The awards were instituted in 1988.

The program has grown from 14 awards in early years to 22 awards today. Early categories such as HIV/AIDS Literature were dropped as the prominence of the AIDS crisis within the gay community waned,[2] while categories for bisexual and transgender literature were added as the community became more inclusive.[2] In both the bisexual and transgender categories, one or two awards may be presented annually; if the number of submissions in a given year warrants, then separate awards for fiction and non-fiction are presented, while a smaller number of submissions results in a single award.

In addition to the primary literary awards, the Lambda Literary Foundation also presents a number of special awards. The Pioneer Award is presented as a lifetime achievement award to a distinguished figure in the history of LGBT literature; the Bridge Builder Award is presented to a person, regardless of sexuality, who has been a prominent ally and advocate of the LGBT community; and the Trustee Award is presented to a writer who has made a considerable contribution to a wider awareness and understanding of the lives of LGBT people.

Beginning in 2011, the Lambda Literary Awards also took over the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize, formerly presented by the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. The award, endowed by academic and writer James Duggins, is presented annually to two LGBT writers, one male and one female, to honor their body of work. In 2013, the foundation instituted the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award, to honor young writers who have published at least one book.


  • Award categories 1
    • Current 1.1
      • Notes 1.1.1
      • Tallies 1.1.2
      • Adaptations 1.1.3
    • Discontinued 1.2
  • Awards by year 2
  • Controversies 3
    • Bisexual Community/Bi Any Other Name 3.1
    • Transgender Community/The Man Who Would Be Queen 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Award categories


  • Bisexual Literature or Bisexual Fiction, Non-Fiction1
  • Gay Erotica
  • Gay Fiction
  • Gay Memoir or Biography
  • Gay Mystery
  • Gay Poetry
  • Gay Romance
  • Lesbian Erotica
  • Lesbian Fiction
  • Lesbian Memoir or Biography
  • Lesbian Mystery
  • Lesbian Poetry
  • Lesbian Romance
  • LGBT Anthology
  • LGBT Children's or Young Adult
  • LGBT Debut Fiction
  • LGBT Drama
  • LGBT Graphic Novel
  • LGBT Non-Fiction
  • LGBT Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror
  • LGBT Studies
  • Transgender Literature or Transgender Fiction, Transgender Non-Fiction1


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 for "fiction" and "non-fiction", while if a smaller number of titles is deemed eligible, then a single award for "literature", inclusive of both fiction and non-fiction titles, is presented.


R. D. Zimmerman).

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 (along 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 (along with Stephen Pagel, Clive Barker, 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 (along 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 (along 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 prior to the category being 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:


  • AIDS Literature (1-3)
  • Anthologies - Fiction
  • Anthologies - Non-Fiction
  • Arts and Culture
  • Autobiography/Memoir
  • Belles Lettres
  • Biography
  • Editor's Choice
  • Erotica
  • Gay Anthology
  • Gay Debut Fiction
  • Gay Mystery/Science Fiction (1)
  • Gay Non-Fiction
  • Gay Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror
  • Gay Small Press
  • Gay Studies
  • Humor
  • Lesbian Anthology
  • Lesbian Debut Fiction
  • Lesbian Mystery/Science Fiction (1)
  • Lesbian Non-Fiction
  • Lesbian Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror
  • Lesbian Small Press
  • Lesbian Studies
  • Photography/Visual Arts
  • Poetry
  • Publisher Service
  • Romance
  • Small Press
  • Spirituality
  • Transgender/Bisexual

Awards by year

The Lambda Literary Awards are presented each year to honour 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


Bisexual Community/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[3] by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu was forced to compete (and lose) in the category "Lesbian Anthology".[4] Additionally, in 2005, Directed by Desire: Collected Poems[5], a posthumous collection of the bisexual Jamaican American writer June Jordan's work, had to compete (and win) in the category "Lesbian Poetry".[6]

Led by 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.

Transgender Community/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. ^ "News and Announcements".  
  2. ^ a b Dewey, Charlsie (May 28, 2013). "Lambda Literary Foundation marks 25 years of LGBT writers".  
  3. ^ "Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out Review". International Gay & Lesbian Review. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  4. ^ "1991 Lambda Literary Awards Recipients". Lambda Literary Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Directed by Desire: Collected Poems". Copper Canyon Press. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  6. ^ "2005 Lambda Literary Awards Recipients". Lambda Literary Foundation. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Letellier, Patrick (16 March 2004). "Group rescinds honor for disputed book".  
  9. ^ Schwartz, Nomi (16 June 2005). "Lambda Literary Foundation Announces Major Changes".  
  10. ^ Flowers, Charles (September 20, 2007). Letter to the New York Times, Sept 20, 2007.

External links

  • Lambda Literary Awards website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.