Saturday, May 09, 2009

Finalists for the 21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards

Results will be announced on May 28th.

The Lambda Literary Awards seek to recognize excellence in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature. Each year, over 80 judges -- writers, booksellers, librarians, journalists -- assess the entries in more than 20 categories.

This year, 105 finalists representing 72 publishers are competing for awards in 22 categories.

NOTE: Finalists will be contacted about tickets through their publisher, or may send an email to


* Open, Jenny Block, Seal Press
* Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love & Desire,
Lisa M. Diamond, Harvard University Press
* The Bishop's Daughter, Honor Moore, W.W. Norton
* Kinsey Zero Through Sixty: Bisexual Perspectives on Kinsey, Ron Jackson Suresha, Taylor & Francis Journals
* Rimbaud, Edmund White, Atlas & Company


* 10,000 Dresses, Marcus Ewert & Rex Ray, Seven Stories Press
* Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word), Thea Hillman, Manic D Press
* Two Truths and a Lie, Scott Schofield, Homofactus Press
* Boy with Flowers, Ely Shipley, Barrow Street Press
* Transgender History, Susan Stryker, Seal Press


* A Casulty of War: Gay Short Fiction, Peter Burton, Arcadia Books
* Live Through This, edited by Sabrina Chapadjiev, Seven Stories Press
* Love, West Hollywood, edited by Chris Freeman and James J. Berg, Alyson
* Our Caribbean, edited by Thomas Glave, Duke University Press
* Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing, edited by Raphael Kadushin, University of Wisconsin Press


* Hit the Road, Manny: A Manny Files Novel, Christian Burch, Simon and Schuster
* Out of the Pocket, Bill Konigsberg, Dutton
* How They Met & Other Stories, David Levithan, Knopf Children's Books
* Mousetraps, Pat Schmatz, Carolrhoda Books
* What They Always Tell Us, Martin Wilson, Random House Children's Books
* Love & Lies: Marisol's Story, Ellen Wittlinger, Simon and Schuster


* Phi Alpha Gamma, Dan Bernitt, Sawyer House
* Radical Acts: Collected Political Plays, Martin Duberman, The New Press
* The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, Carolyn Gage, Outskirts Press
* Two Truths and a Lie, Scott Schofield, Homofactus Press
* Vile Affections, Vanda, Original Works Publishing


* Me as Her Again, Nancy Agabian, Aunt Lute Books
* If I Could Write This in Fire, Michelle Cliff, Univ of Minnesota Press
* Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America 1861-2003, William N. Eskridge Jr, Penguin Group
* Beyond (Straight & Gay) Marriage, Nancy Polikoff, Beacon Press
* Loving The Difficult, Jane Rule, Hedgerow Press
* Drifting Toward Love, Kai Wright, Beacon Press


* The Archer's Heart, Astrid Amara, Blind Eye Books
* The Magician and the Fool, Barth Anderson, Bantam Del Rey
* Wilde Stories 2008, Steve Berman, Lethe Press
* Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories, Craig Gidney, Lethe Press
* Turnskin, Nicole Kimberling, Blind Eye Books


* Tomboys: A Literary & Cultural History, Michelle Ann Abate, Temple University Press
* The Dividends of Dissent: How Conflict and Culture Work in Lesbian and Gay Marches on Washington, Amin Ghaziani, The University of Chicago Press
* Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality, Regina Kunzel, The University of Chicago Press
* Political Manhood: Red Bloods, Mollycoddles, & & the Politics of Progressive Reform, Kevin P. Murphy, Columbia University Press
* Screening Sex, Linda Williams, Duke University Press


* Red Audrey & the Roping, Jill Malone, Bywater Books
* Passing for Black, Linda Villarosa, Kensington
* Closer to Fine, Meri Weiss, Kensington
* Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind, Chavisa Woods, Fly by Night Press
* The Bruise, Magdalena Zurawski, Fiction Collective Two/University of Alabama Press


* Lipstick on Her Collar, Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia, Pretty Things Press
* Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures, Lynne Jamneck, Lethe Press
* In Deep Waters 2: Cruising the Strip, Radclyffe and Karen Kallmaker, Bold Strokes Books


* The Slow Fix, Ivan E. Coyole, Arsenal Pulp Press
* The Sealed Letter, Emma Donoghue, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
* Map of Ireland, Stephanie Grant, Scribner
* All the Pretty Girls, Chandra Mayor, Conundrum Press
* Breaking Spirit Bridge, Ruth Perkinson, Spinsters Ink


* Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy, Susan Griffin,
Shambhala Publications
* Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word), Thea Hillman, Manic D Press
* Sex Variant Woman, Joanne Passet, Da Capo
* Sex Talks to Girls: A Memoir, Maureen Seaton, University of Wisconsin Press
* Case of a Lifetime, Abbe Smith, Palgrave Macmillan


* Blind Faith, Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall, Bold Strokes Books
* Whacked, Josie Gordon, Bella Books
* Sweet Poison, Ellen Hart, St. Martin's Press
* Losers Weepers, Jessica Thomas, Bella Books
* Calling the Dead, Ali Vali, Bold Strokes Books


* Interpretive Work, Elizabeth Bradfield, Arktoi / Red Hen Press
* Kissing Dead Girls, Daphne Gottlieb, Soft Skull Press
* love belongs to those who do the feeling, Judy Grahn, Red Hen Press
* Same Life, Maureen N. McLane, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
* Two Minutes of Light, Nancy K. Pearson, Perugia Press


* Finding Home, Georgia Beers, Bold Strokes Books
* A Pirate's Heart, Catherine Friend, Bold Strokes Books
* The Kiss That Counted, Karin Kallmaker, Bella Books
* Hotel Liaison, JLee Meyer, Bold Strokes Books
* The Lonely Hearts Club, Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books


* Shuck, Daniel Allen Cox, Arsenal Pulp Press
* Light Fell, Evan Fallenberg, Soho Press
* The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie The Second, Drew Ferguson, Kensington
* The Steve Machine, Mike Hoolboom, Coach House Books
* Finlater, Shawn Ruff, Quote Editions


* Best Gay Erotica 2009, Richard Labonte & James Lear, Cleis Press
* The Secret Tunnel, James Lear, Cleis Press
* Hard Working Men, William Maltese, Victor J. Banis, Jardonn Smith, & J.P. Bowie, MLR Press


* Stray Dog Winter, David Francis, Macadam/Cage Publishing
* The Torturer's Wife, Thomas Glave, City Light Publishers
* We Disappear, Scott Heim, Harper Perennial
* The Conversion, Joseph Olshan, St. Martin’s Press
* The Boomerang Kid, Jay Quinn, Alyson


* Bringing Him Home, Aaron Cooper, Late August Press
* Swish, Joel Derfner, Broadway Books
* Assisted Loving, Bob Morris, Harper
* Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love, Sheila Rowbotham, Verso Books
* King of Shadows, Aaron Shurin, City Lights Publishers


* The Fisher Boy, Stephen Anable, Poisoned Pen Press
* Sundowner Ubuntu, Anthony Bidulka, Insomniac Press
* Mahu Fire, Neil Plakcy, Alyson Books
* First You Fall, Scott Sherman, Alyson Books
* Spider Season, John Morgan Wilson, St. Martin's Press


* Want, Rick Barot, Sarabande Press
* Please, Jericho Brown, New Issues
* Fire to Fire, Mark Doty, Harper
* Now You're the Enemy, James Allen Hall, Univ. of Arkansas Press
* My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, Jack Spicer, edited by Peter Gizzi & Kevin Killian, Wesleyan University Press


* Mexican Heat, Laura Baumbach & Josh Lanyon, MLR Press
* Got 'til it's Gone, Larry Duplechan, Arsenal Pulp Press
* The Protector, N.L. Gassert, Seventh Window Publications

Judging criteria: The two equally important criteria for judging a submission are 1) the LGBT content and 2) the quality of writing.

LGBT content is a combination of factors: LGBT characters, events that influence LGBT lives and/or have meaning to the LGBT community; LGBT stories that haven’t been told; or traditional LGBT material that is handled in a unique and fresh way.

Quality of the writing. If a work is beautifully written but has little LGBT content, then it may not deserve to become a finalist. If a work has substantial LGBT content but is poorly written (e.g., clich├ęd, inadequate characterization or other substandard craft), then it may not deserve to become a finalist. These awards seek to honor both talent and content, not just one or the other.

For the genre categories (Mystery, Romance, Erotica, Science Fiction, etc.), the quality of the writing should also fulfill the expectations of the genre. When assessing a mystery, consider how the mystery stands in relation to its genre: a) is it traditional, b) does it challenge the conventions of a mystery in a new and interesting way, or c) is it not really a mystery but a novel with a few mysterious elements?

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