The Lambda Literary Foundation at an awards ceremony in New York City’s SVA Theater announced winners for the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards last night.
“The Lambda Literary Awards are the most prestigious queer literary prize in the world,” says Lambda Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela. “The Awards are important because they recognize the work of authors chronicling the LGBT experience and creating art out of our lives.”
Awards were presented in 23 categories. Winners were chosen by a jury of 87 judges who come from all walks of literary life: journalists, authors, booksellers, librarians, playwrights, and illustrators.
The judges assessed 462 LGBT-interest titles nominated in 23 categories, selecting 113 finalists from LGBT-specific presses academic publishers and mainstream trade houses.
Of those 113 finalists, 24 winners were announced (including 1 tie). Winners included Ariel Gore, editor of the anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City; Catherynne M. Valente, author of the fantasy novel Palimpsest; and Vestal McIntyre author of the novel, Lake Overturn.
Two $1,000 cash prizes were given out to debut fiction authors Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy) and Rhiannon Argo (The Creamsickle). The Betty Berzon Debut Fiction Award is named after long-time LGBT activist and author, Betty Berzon.
2010 Pioneer Awards were also given to Larry Kramer and Kate Clinton.
“Reading powerful stories about ourselves is important, and the foundation’s commitment to supporting LGBT artists and writers is vital,” said 2010 Pioneer Award Recipient, Kate Clinton.
“Queer books save queer lives,” Lambda Board member, Nicola Griffith observes. The Lambda Literary Foundation’s sole purpose is to champion those books, to nurture, celebrate, and preserve queer literature.”
Scott Cranin, Board member: “The Lambda Literary Awards have become the centerpiece of the year for the literary community. They help readers find the gems and recognize the authors for writing them.”
Terry DeCrescenzo, Board member: “The Lambda Literary Awards insure that our literary voices are not only heard, but also celebrated. Without the Lammys, LGBT writing would be marginalized.”
The 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards were made possible by support from Bella Books/Spinsters Ink, Harper Perennial, Kensington Publishing Corp., TLA Gay, Gay City News, Bold Strokes Books, Alyson Books, Monette-Horowitz Trust, American Institute of Bisexuality, Barefoot Wine, American Booksellers Association, Bywater Books, Blind Eye Books, University of Wisconsin Press, Black Lawrence Press, Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management, Beacon Press, and Arsenal Pulp Press.