Lambda Literary 2019 Awards Issued in 24 Categories in LGBTQ+ Content

In News by Porter Anderson

In their 31st year, the Lambda Literary Awards were sponsored by the Big Five publishers in the US, as well as independent houses, booksellers, and other retailers.

Feminist author Barbara Smith speaks on receipt of her Publishing Professional Award at the Lammys ‘for a lifetime of work that has profoundly shaped our collective understanding of the interconnections between race, class, and gender.’ Image: Lambda Literary

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Special Awards to Chee, Gessen, Smith
In a ceremony Monday evening (June 3) at New York City’s Skirball Center, the Lambda Literary Awards are, as the organizers’ descriptive content says, “judged principally on literary merit and content relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives.”

This year’s event—in a program now with a track record of more than three decades—drew from record numbers of submissions into 24 categories from more than 300 publishers. Panels of some 60 specialists in literature and the industry made the selections.

In addition to book awards, special honors were presented in three cases:

  • To Alexander Chee, who received Lambda’s Trustee Award for “immeasurable contributions to culture as a novelist, essayist, activist, and teacher”
  • To Masha Gessen, who was given the Visionary Award for “work advancing public awareness around the globe of the threat of totalitarianism”
  • To Barbara Smith, presented with the Publishing Professional Award “for a lifetime of work that has profoundly shaped our collective understanding of the interconnections between race, class, and gender”

Sponsors of this year’s 31st annual round of the Lammys included the Big Five publishing houses as well as prominent national and international bookselling and non-book retail brands including,

  • At the platinum level, The Gap
  • At the gold level, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Scholastic, Keltel One Vodka, and Stone Soup Community Press
  • At the silver level, Barnes & Noble, HBO, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and MetroPlus Health
  • At the bronze level, Bold Stroke Books and Bywater Books
  • “Champion Underwriters” are Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency and KG MacGregor

A complete listing of finalists for the awards is here.

At the 2019 Lammys. Image: Lambda Literary

2019 Lambda Literary Award Winners

Lesbian Fiction

The Tiger Flu, Larissa Lai, Arsenal Pulp Press

Gay Fiction

Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead, Arsenal Pulp Press

Bisexual Fiction

Disoriental, Négar Djavadi, Translated by Tina Kover, Europa Editions

Bisexual Nonfiction

Out of Step: A Memoir, Anthony Moll, Mad Creek Books / The Ohio State University Press

Transgender Fiction

Little Fish, Casey Plett, Arsenal Pulp Press

LGBTQ Nonfiction

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, Imani Perry, Beacon Press

Transgender Nonfiction

Histories of the Transgender Child, Julian Gill-Peterson, University of Minnesota Press

Lesbian Poetry

Each Tree Could Hold a Noose or a House, Ru Puro, New Issues Poetry & Prose

Gay Poetry

Indecency, Justin Phillip Reed, Coffee House Press

Bisexual Poetry

We Play a Game, Duy Doan, Yale University Press

Transgender Poetry

lo terciario / the tertiary, Raquel Salas Rivera, Timeless, Infinite Light

Lesbian Mystery

A Study in Honor: A Novel, Claire O’Dell, HarperCollins / HarperVoyager

Gay Mystery

Late Fees: A Pinx Video Mystery, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books

Lesbian Memoir and/or Biography

Chronology, Zahra Patterson, Ugly Duckling Presse

Gay Memoir and/or Biography

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America, Darnell L.
Moore, Bold Type Books

Lesbian Romance

Beowulf For Cretins: A Love Story, Ann McMan, Bywater Books

Gay Romance

Crashing Upwards, SC Wynne, self-published

LGBTQ Erotica

Miles & Honesty in SCFSX!, Blue Delliquanti & Kazimir Lee, self-published

LGBTQ Anthology—Fiction

As You Like It: The Gerald Kraak Anthology Volume II, The Other Foundation, Jacana Media

LGBTQ Anthology—Nonfiction

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, Roxane Gay, HarperCollins / Harper Perennial

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult

Hurricane Child, Kacen Callender, Scholastic / Scholastic Press


Draw the Circle, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Dramatists Play Service

LGBTQ Graphic Novels

The Lie and How We Told It, Tommi Parrish, Fantagraphics Books

LGBTQ Science Fiction and Horror

The Breath of the Sun, Isaac R. Fellman, Aqueduct

LGBTQ Studies

Toxic Silence: Race, Black Gender Identity, and Addressing the Violence Against Black Transgender Women in Houston, William T. Hoston, Peter Lang International Academic Publishers

For more on the awards and the program, you can follow hashtag #Lammys . Information about the September 21 to 28 Lambda LitFest program in Los Angeles is here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.