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Check Out This Year’s 35th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalists

The 2023 Lambda Literary Awards nominations are out and there’s plenty to celebrate in queer and trans literature. The Lammys, as they’re affectionately called, are the most prestigious award in LGBTQ+ publishing. 75 different judges spent 6 months reviewing a record-breaking number of submissions, including a consistent growth in submissions within the Young Adult and Speculative Fiction genres. 

All of the nominees and winners will receive their flowers at a celebration in New York City’s Art Deco classic, the Edison Ballroom, on June 9th. All proceeds from the Lammys ticket sales will support LGBTQ+ storytelling all year round. This means funding for the LGBTQ Writers-in-Schools program, which has brought queer and trans authors to over 7000 students in New York City, and for the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, the only multi-genre writing residency designed for emerging LGBTQ+ writers. 

While the ceremony will be celebrated in person at the Edison Ballroom, the Lammys will also be streamed, in its first ever hybrid format. Missing out on this joyous celebration of Lammy Award winners and honorees will be a thing of the past. 

Speaking of the past, the Lammys continues its rich history of honoring the work of numerous LGBTQ+ authors. Many literary greats received their first literary awards from Lambda Literary. Past winners include Dorothy Allison, Alison Bechdel, Richard Blanco, Charles M. Blow, Susan Choi, Michael Cunningham, Roxane Gay, Tony Kushner, Audre Lorde, Carmen Maria Machado, and Jacqueline Woodson.

“Our writers represent our greatest culture creators. In a moment when our voices and our stories are being weaponized against our very lives across the country, supporting our storytellers – whether their media centers the page, the stage or the survey, is more critical by the day,” said Samiya Bashir, new executive director of Lambda Literary. “Lambda Literary has embarked on a truly transformational year – growing its size and capacity to meet our cultural moment where our communities need us most. Supporting the Lammys not only makes that work possible, but does so while providing a sanctuary of celebration. Here, our voices, and our lives are (celebrated), and our stories are artfully, joyfully told.”

With its diverse selection of awards and greatest amount of special prize money in the organization’s history, the Lammys continues to honor and celebrate LGBTQ+ literature. Check out the nominees below.

Lesbian Fiction

  • Big Girl: A Novel // Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (W.W. Norton & Company) 
  • Gods of Want // K-Ming Chang (One World)
  • Jawbone // Mónica Ojeda; translated by Sarah Booker (Coffee House Press)
  • Nightcrawling // Leila Mottley (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Our Wives Under the Sea: A Novel // Julia Armfield (Flatiron Books)

Gay Fiction

  • Call Me Cassandra // Marcial Gala; Translated from the Spanish by Anna Kushner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • The Foghorn Echoes // Danny Ramadan (Canongate Books)
  • God’s Children Are Little Broken Things // Arinze Ifeakandu (A Public Space Books)
  • Hugs and Cuddles // João Gilberto Noll; Translated from Portuguese by Edgar Garbelotto (Two Lines Press)
  • My Government Means to Kill Me: A Novel // Rasheed Newson (Flatiron Books)

Bisexual Fiction

  • Meet Us by the Roaring Sea // Akil Kumarasamy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Mother Ocean Father Nation // Nishant Batsha (Ecco/HarperCollins)
  • Reluctant Immortals // Gwendolyn Kiste (S&S/Saga Press)
  • Roses, In the Mouth of a Lion: A Novel // Bushra Rehman (Flatiron Books)
  • Stories No One Hopes Are About Them // A.J. Bermudez (The University of Iowa Press)

Transgender Fiction

  • All the Hometowns You Can’t Stay Away From // Izzy Wasserstein (Neon Hemlock)
  • Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta // James Hannaham (Little, Brown and Company)
  • Manywhere // Morgan Thomas (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MCD)
  • The Call-Out // Cat Fitzpatrick (Seven Stories Press)
  • Wrath Goddess Sing // Maya Deane (William Morrow) 

Bisexual Nonfiction

  • Appropriate Behavior // Maria San Filippo (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
  • Carrying It Forward: Essays from Kistahpinanihk // John Brady McDonald (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers)
  • Never Simple: A Memoir // Liz Scheier (Henry Holt/Macmillan)
  • Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy // Rachel Krantz (Harmony Books/Penguin Random House)
  • The Crane Wife // CJ Hauser (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

Transgender Nonfiction

  • Before We Were Trans: A New History of Gender // Kit Heyam (Basic Books)
  • Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist // Cecilia Gentili (LittlePuss Press)
  • Feral City: On Finding Liberation in Lockdown New York // Jeremiah Moss (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • The Terrible We: Thinking with Trans Maladjustment // Cameron Awkward-Rich (Duke University Press)
  • The Third Person // Emma Grove (Drawn & Quarterly)

LGBTQ+ Nonfiction

  • And the Category Is…: Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community // Ricky Tucker (Beacon Press)
  • How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures // Sabrina Imbler (Little, Brown & Company)
  • The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin // Hafizah Augustus Geter (Random House)
  • The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison // Hugh Ryan (Bold Type Books/Hachette Book Group)
  • Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between  // Joseph Osmundson (W.W. Norton & Company)

Lesbian Poetry

  • As She Appears // Shelley Wong (YesYes Books)
  • Beast at Every Threshold // Natalie Wee (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Concentrate // Courtney Faye Taylor (Graywolf Press)
  • Prelude // Brynne Rebele-Henry (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Yearn // Rage Hezekiah (Diode Editions)

Gay Poetry

  • Alive at the End of the World // Saeed Jones (Coffee House Press)
  • Brother Sleep // Aldo Amparán (Alice James Books)
  • Pleasure // Angelo Nikolopoulos (Four Way Books)
  • Some Integrity // Padraig Regan (Carcanet Press)
  • Super Model Minority // Chris Tse (Auckland University Press)

Bisexual Poetry

  • 50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse // Karyna McGlynn (Sarabande Books)
  • Dereliction // Gabrielle Octavia Rucker (The Song Cave)
  • indecent hours // James Fujinami Moore (Four Way Books)
  • Meat Lovers // Rebecca Hawkes (Auckland University Press)
  • Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes // Nicky Beer (Milkweed Editions)

Transgender Poetry

  • A  Dead Name That Learned How to Live // Golden (Game Over Books) 
  • A Queen in Bucks County // Kay Gabriel (Nightboat Books)
  • All the Flowers Kneeling // Paul Tran (Penguin Books)
  • Emanations // Prathna Lor (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.)
  • MissSettl // Kamden Ishmael Hilliard (Nightboat Books)

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

  • Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place // Neema Avashia (West Virginia University Press)
  • Brown Neon // Raquel Gutiérrez (Coffee House Press)
  • Lost & Found: A Memoir // Kathryn Schulz (Random House)
  • Ma and Me // Putsata Reang (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/MCD)
  • Pretty Baby: A Memoir // Chris Belcher (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster)

Gay Memoir/Biography

  • All Down Darkness Wide: A Memoir // Seán Hewitt (Penguin Press)
  • An Angel in Sodom // Jim Elledge (Chicago Review Press)
  • Boy with the Bullhorn: A Memoir and History of ACT UP New York // Ron Goldberg (Empire State Editions/Fordham University Press)
  • High-Risk Homosexual // Edgar Gomez (Soft Skull Press)
  • I’m Not Broken // Jesse Leon; edited by Maria Goldverg (Vintage Books)

Lesbian Romance

  • Hard Pressed // Aurora Rey (Bold Strokes Books)
  • If I Don’t Ask // E. J. Noyes (Bella Books)
  • Queerly Beloved // Susie Dumond (Dial Press)
  • Southbound and Down // K.B. Draper (K.B. Draper, LLC)
  • The Rules of Forever // Nan Campbell (Bold Strokes Books)

Gay Romance

  • Forever After // Marie Sinclair (Self-published)
  • Forever, Con Amor // A.M. Johnson (Self-published)
  • I’m So Not Over You // Kosoko Jackson (Berkley Romance)
  • Just One Night // Felice Stevens (Self-published)
  • Two Tribes // Fearne Hill (Self-published)

LGBTQ+ Anthology

  • OutWrite: The Speeches That Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture // Julie R. Enszer and Elena Gross (Rutgers University Press)
  • Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology // Ed. Michael Walsh (Autumn House Press)
  • This Arab is Queer: An Anthology by LGBTQ+ Arab Writers // Elias Jahshan (Saqi Books)
  • Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource by and for Transgender Communities, Second Edition // Laura Erickson-Schroth (Oxford University Press)
  • Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth // Isabela Oliveira and Jed Sabin (Speculatively Queer)

LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

  • A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington // Carole Boston Weatherford and Rob Sanders; Illustrated by Byron McCray (Holt Books for Young Readers)
  • Kapaemahu // Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson; Illustrated by Daniel Sousa (Kokila)
  • Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle // Nina LaCour (Candlewick Press)
  • Mighty Red Riding Hood // Wallace West (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • The Sublime Ms. Stacks // Robb Pearlman; Illustrated by Dani Jones (Bloomsbury)

LGBTQ Comics

  • A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings: A Graphic Memoir // Will Betke-Brunswick (Tin House)
  • Gay Giant // Gabriel Ebensperger; Translated by Kelley D. Salas (Street Noise Books)
  • Mamo // Sas Milledge (BOOM! Studios)
  • Other Ever Afters // Melanie Gillman (Random House Graphic)
  • The Greatest Thing // Sarah Winifred Searle (First Second)

LGBTQ+ Drama

  • Duecentomila  // Kai Fig Taddei (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone: 方 // Ho Ka Kei (Jeff Ho) (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Heretic // Sikivu Hutchinson (Self-published)
  • The Show on the Roof // Book by Tom Ford, Music and Lyrics by Alex Syiek (Boise Contemporary Theater)
  • Wolf Play // Hansol Jung (Samuel French, a Concord Theatricals Company)

LGBTQ+ Middle Grade

  • Answers In the Pages // David Levithan(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Different Kinds of Fruit // Kyle Lukoff (Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One // Maggie Horne (Clarion Books/HarperCollins)
  • Nikhil Out Loud // Maulik Pancholy (HarperCollins: Balzer + Bray)
  • The Civil War of Amos Abernathy // Michael Leali (HarperCollins)

LGBTQ+ Mystery

  • A Death in Berlin // David C Dawson (Park Creek Publishing)
  • And There He Kept Her // Joshua Moehling (Poisoned Pen Press)
  • Dead Letters from Paradise // Ann McMan (Bywater Books)
  • Dirt Creek: A Novel // Hayley Scrivenor (Flatiron Books)
  • Lavender House // Lev AC Rosen (Forge Books)

LGBTQ+ Romance and Erotica 

  • A Lady’s Finder // Edie Cay (Self-published)
  • Kiss Her Once For Me: A Novel // Alison Cochrun (Atria Books)
  • Loose Lips: A Gay Sea Odyssey // Joseph Brennan (Hard Crossing Press)
  • Mistakes Were Made  //  Meryl Wilsner (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • The Romance Recipe // Ruby Barrett (Carina Adores)

LGBTQ+ Speculative Fiction

  • Book Eaters // Sunyi Dean (Tor Books)
  • Into the Riverlands // Nghi Vo (Tordotcom Publishing)
  • The Circus Infinite // Khan Wong (Angry Robot Books)
  • The Paradox Hotel // Rob Hart (Ballantine)
  • The Wicked and the Willing: An F/F Gothic Horror Vampire Novel // Lianyu Tan (Shattered Scepter Press)

LGBTQ+ Studies

  • Keeping It Unreal: Black Queer Fantasy and Superhero Comics // Darieck Scott (NYU Press)
  • Lesbian Death: Desire and Danger Between Feminist and Queer // Mairead Sullivan (University of Minnesota Press)
  • Sissy Insurgencies: A Racial Anatomy of Unfit Manliness // Marlon B. Ross (Duke University Press)
  • Surface Relations: Queer Forms of Asian American Inscrutability // Vivian L. Huang (Duke University Press)
  • There’s a Disco Ball Between Us: A Theory of Black Gay Life // Jafari S. Allen (Duke University Press)

LGBTQ+ Young Adult

  • Burn Down, Rise Up // Vincent Tirado (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Funny Gyal: My Fight Against Homophobia in Jamaica // Angeline Jackson with Susan McClelland, foreword by Diana King (Dundurn Press Ltd.)
  • Lakelore // Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel & Friends)
  • The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School // Sonora Reyes (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)
  • The Summer of Bitter and Sweet // Jen Ferguson (Heartdrum/HarperCollins)

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