New Rule: Straights Not Allowed to Compete for Lambda Literary Awards


“I was wondering if you had an opinion about the Lambda Literary Foundation’s decision to exclude non-GLBT authors from contention for Lambda Literary Awards?,” asks a reader. Our answer: We’re in full support of Lambda keeping things queer-only.

The Lambda Literary Awards, which adorns homo literature (including erotica!) with fancy superlatives authors can put on their book jackets, is a project of the Lambda Literary Foundation, and overseen by gay mystery scribe Christopher Rice (pictured). They “spent much of last year discussing how our literature has evolved, and the actual mission of the Foundation given the perilous place we find ourselves in with our drastically changed market conditions. We also took into consideration the despair of our own writers when a heterosexual writer, who has written a fine book about us, wins a Lambda Award, when one or more of our own LGBT writers may have as a Finalist a book that may be the only chance in a career at a Lambda Literary Award.”

And after all that ruminating? And discussing this year’s fun #amazonfail scandal? That only LGBT authors are eligible for prizes. Because we’re still discriminated against in publishing! And we deserve a category of awards unto ourselves. So even if you happen to be straight be write excellent gay fiction? Take your manuscript to some hetero-loving panel of judges, please!

Of course, Lambda isn’t positioning itself to actually rule on an author’s LGBT-ness: “We take the nomination of any book at face value: if the book is nominated as LGBT, then the author is self-identifying as part of our LGBT family of writers, and that is all that is required. There are many permutations of LGBT and they’re all welcome as that LGBT term we’ve all adopted makes clear. ”

Which means there will be plenty of fun finger waving wherein a Lambda Literary Award runner-up accuses the winner of proffering some bogus sexual identity just to score. Heh. That sounds like college.