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Award Winners LibGuide: Lambda Literary Award Winners

Lambda Literary Award Winners

For over 30 years, the Lambda Literary Awards have identified and honored the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books.

The Lammys bring together 600 writers, celebrities, culture-workers, and publishing executives to celebrate excellence in LGBTQ publishing. For this year’s winners, chosen from over 1,000 submissions, click here.

General Eligibility

  • Lambda Literary Award submissions are judged principally on literary merit and content relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives.
  • Submitted books must be published between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year. The book must also be distributed (i.e., available in bookstores or online) in the United States during the previous year.
  • Lambda Literary Awards are open to all authors regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity except in the case of the special awards (e.g., Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers and the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, that mark specific stages of an individual LGBTQ writer’s career).
  • Books must be published in English. Translations from other languages are eligible.
  • Self-published books are eligible.
  • Books available only in ebook format are not eligible.
  • First print editions of books previously published online or in ebook format are eligible.
  • Reprints of books that were published in the United States in previous years are not eligible. This includes second (or later) editions, books that have been republished by a different publisher, and books that are modified versions of previously published works.
  • First US editions of books published outside the US before the previous year are eligible if the original edition was not submitted for Lammy consideration in a previous year.
  • Unpublished play manuscripts are eligible, as long as the play has received a full production of at least 8 consecutive shows in 2019. Manuscripts must be bound.

Specific Categories

A book may be submitted to only one category.

If a category receives fewer than ten (10) submissions, the category will not be active in this awards cycle. The submitted books may then be reassigned to another category, if appropriate. If the book cannot compete in another category, the submission fee will be refunded.

Lesbian or Gay Categories

Books eligible for lesbian categories feature a prominent lesbian character or contain content of strong significance to lesbian lives.

Books eligible for gay categories feature a prominent gay male character or contain content of strong significance to gay male lives.

Gay Fiction or Lesbian Fiction:
Literary fiction that does not fit more precisely into a specific genre category such as Erotica, Romance, Speculative Fiction, or Mystery. Novels, novellas, and short story collections by a single author are eligible; anthologies are not.

Gay Memoir/Biography or Lesbian Memoir/Biography:
Biographies, memoirs, autobiographies, and works of creative nonfiction by or about lesbians and gay men or with content of strong significance to gay and lesbian lives. Posthumously published works and or those with co-authors are eligible; anthologies are not.

Bisexual or Transgender Categories

These categories are non-gender specific works containing material of strong significance to members of the bi and trans communities.

Please note that if these categories receive fewer than ten (10) submissions, the genre categories will be collapsed into a single category of bisexual literature or transgender literature.

Bisexual Fiction or Transgender Fiction:
Novels, novellas, short story collections, and anthologies with prominent bi/trans characters and/or content of strong significance to the bi/trans communities. May include historical novels, comics, cross-genre works of fiction, humor, and other styles of fiction.

Bisexual Nonfiction or Transgender Nonfiction:
Nonfiction works with content of strong significance to members of the bi/trans communities. Includes a wide range of subjects for the general or academic reader (e.g., history, memoirs, cultural studies, public policy, law, politics, community organizations, humor, spirituality, gender studies, parenting, religion, spirituality, relationships, psychology, travel).

LGBTQ Categories

These categories are non-gender-specific works containing material of strong significance to members of the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ Anthology:
Collections of fiction, nonfiction and poetry are eligible.

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult:
Individual works and collections of fiction, nonfiction, picture books, and poetry whose intended audience is young readers are all eligible; anthologies are not.

LGBTQ Nonfiction:
LGBTQ-themed works for general readers as opposed to those targeted primarily to scholarly audiences (for example, LGBT/Queer/Gender Studies programs). Includes, but is not limited to, law, history, politics, spirituality, humor, parenting, relationships, psychology, travel, and photography. Anthologies (edited collections of separately authored work) are not eligible in the LGBTQ Nonfiction category and should be submitted to LGBTQ Anthology. (Please see the LGBTQ Studies category below for comparison and contact Lambda’s awards manager at awards@lambdaliterary.org if you have questions about where to submit your work.)

LGBTQ Studies:
Scholarly work focusing on issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, and oriented toward academia, libraries, cultural professionals, and the more academic reader. Generally, but not exclusively, published by university presses. Anthologies (edited collections of separately authored work) are not eligible in the LGBTQ Studies category and should be submitted to LGBTQ Anthology. (Please see the LGBTQ Nonfiction category above for comparison and contact the Lambda’s awards manager at awards@lambdaliterary.org if you have questions about where to submit your work.)