Monday, August 29, 2011

Lambda Literary Foundation Announces
New Guidelines for Lambda Literary Awards Submissions

CONTACT: Dr. Judith Markowitz, LLF Co-Chair
(773) 769-9243,

For its first 20 years, the Lambda Literary Foundation accepted submissions for the Lambda Literary Awards based solely on a book's LGBT subject matter. That policy changed in 2009 to restrict the awards to self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer authors. After two years of implementing the LGBT-only policy, the queer book community remains sharply divided about limiting Lammy nominations to LGBT authors only.

In its review of the LGBT-only policy, the LLF Board of Trustees took into consideration LLF's mission statement

The Lambda Literary Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers.

and core provisions in its Bylaws. The Board also noted that the large majority of finalists and winners of the Lambda Literary Awards have been LGBT authors, but not all of them. There have also been a small number of outstanding books about LGBT lives written by our heterosexual allies.

In addition, the LLF Board solicited opinions from individuals in the LGBT book community, including publishers, authors, important donors, readers, and casual supporters. Those opinions represented both sides of the issue and were, in many cases, intensely held.

After careful consideration of all these factors, the Board crafted a new policy designed to honor excellence in writing about LGBT lives. The new policy has three components:

LGBT authors will be recognized with three awards marking stages of a writer's career: the Betty Berzon Debut Fiction Award (to one gay man and one lesbian), the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize (to one male-identified and one female-identified author), and the Pioneer Award (to one male-identified and one female-identified individual or group)
Awards for the remaining Lambda Literary Award categories will be based on literary merit and significant content relevant to LGBT lives. These awards will be open to all authors regardless of their sexual identity
All book award judges will be self-identified LGBT
"We fully understand the importance of this issue and the extent to which it has divided our community," said LLF Board Co-Chair, Dr. Judith Markowitz. "Resolving these strongly-held differences was not easy. We worked carefully keeping in mind the best interests of LGBT people, writing, and writers."

She continued, "The policy we've crafted recognizes that those opposing viewpoints are actually contained in LLF's mission. We hope that the result of our deliberations promotes healing and strengthens LGBT writers and literature."

The revised guidelines appear on the LLF website. They are effective immediately in preparation for the 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards to be held in New York City in early June 2012.


The Lambda Literary Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers. LLF's programs include: the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers' Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, and our comprehensive website, For more information call (213) 568-3570.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Milk and Honey Schedule of Reading Events

Milk and Honey -- A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry! West Coast Book Launch! Join contributors Joan Annsfire, Ellen Bass, and Elana Dykewomon in moving us toward a new year and new inspirations
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
James C. Hormel Center at the San Francisco Public Library
Co-Sponsored by Keshet and the East Bay JCC
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA

Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:30 p.m. EST
Radio Interview with Lara Zelinsky on BlogTalkRadio
For more information and to tune in, go to:

Monday, October 10th, 7:00 p.m.
Reading at Bluestockings

172 Allen
New York, NY
Featuring Joanna Hoffman and Eleanor Levine
All other contributors are invited to join us and read at this event!

Tuesday, October 11th, 6:30 p.m.
Reading at The City College of New York, sponsored by The Simon H. Rifkind Center

160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031
Featuring Sandra Tarlin, Hilary Lustick, Rose Fox, and Sima Rabinowitz

Saturday, 12 November 2011 Time TBD
Reading at Charis Books & More in Atlanta, GA

Megan Volpert has graciously coordinated this event which will be held in Atlanta during the National Women's Studies Association Conference. I will be attending and reading with Megan, Lisa Dordal, and Batya Weinbaum. All other contributors are invited to join us for this event.

Sunday, 13 November 2011 Time TBD
Reading at Location TBD in Atlanta, GA

Sunday, 18 December 2011 at 5 p.m.
Sunday Kinds of Love Reading Series
Busboys & Poets

14th & V. Street
Washington, DC
Eryca Kasse and I are the featured readers for half the program; Ahron Taub is the other featured reader.

Reading/Celebration of Milk and Honey at Split This Rock! - March 22-25, 2012

Eryca Kasse secured a reading and celebration for Milk and Honey in conjunction with the 2012 Split This Rock conference, March 22-25. We don't have the time and location yet, but when we do, I'll let you know. Meanwhile, feel free to make plans to join us.
More information about Split This Rock here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Photos from Milk and Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry
Reading at The Center in Washington, DC on Saturday 6 August 2011

Margarita Miniovich from Toronto, Ontario, Eryca Kasse from Washington, DC, and Batya Weinbaum from Cleveland, OH

From left to right: Margarita Miniovich, Julie R. Enszer, David Mariner, Eryca Kasse, Jessica Simon, and Batya Weinbaum.