The Lambda Literary Foundation, the nation’s leading national nonprofit organization promoting LGBT literature and writers, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize and the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award. This year the Mid-Career Prize recognizes Nicola Griffith and Trebor Healey; the Emerging Writer Award recognizes Sassafras Lowrey and Carter Sickels.

The judges for the Mid-Career Prize were author and collections manager Jim Van Buskirk and co-owner of the Saint Louis based Left Bank Books, Kris Kleindienst. Commenting on the 2013 prize recipients, they stated:

Trebor Healey and Nicola Griffith are both writers who are unafraid to take risks in their writing, stretching the strictures of genre to ask bigger questions. They use the lens of their LGBT experience as a prism through which universal themes of love, society, and the meaning of life are refracted, disassembled and reassembled in ways that are at once challenging and rewarding to the reader. Their work deepens and enriches the tapestry of LGBT literature: worthy of a place in the modern canon of English literature while expanding the notions of what LGBT literature can be.

The judges for the Emerging Writer Award were author Noel Alumit and co-owner of the Atlanta based Charis Books, Sara Luce Look. In choosing Sassafras Lowrey and Carter Sickels for this year’s awards, they commented:

Both of these novelists are well on their way to promising careers and truly represent the future of LGBTQ literature. While very different, their works both explore the fluidity of gender and sexuality, as well as issues of community, intimacy, and queer identity. Lowrey challenged us to revisit pronouns, the status quo and LGBT life. Hir work deserves further investigation. Sickels is exploring masculinity from a trans man’s point of view. This kind of exploration is what makes queer letters exciting and interesting. Beyond being emerging writers they are also committed to sharing their experiences, as writers and transgender people, with the next generation of queer writers, young and old.

The Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize, made possible by James Duggins, PhD, consists of two cash prizes of $5000. To qualify, recipients must have published at least three novels or two novels and substantial additional literary work such as poetry, short stories, or essays.

The Emerging Writer Award, made possible by former LLF Board Member Teresa DeCrescenzo, and named after her late partner, the renowned author and psychotherapist, Dr. Betty Berzon, consists of two cash prizes of $1000. To qualify, recipients must have published up to 2 books or 1 book and additional literary work such as short stories, essays or journalistic articles.

The awards will be handed out on June 3, 2013 at the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards ceremony in New York City.

“The judges made excellent choices from among a field of strong candidates,” said LLF Board President, Dr. Judith Markowitz, “The writing of both Nicola and Trebor pushes readers to leave our assumptions behind so that we might feel, think, and imagine in new ways.” She continued, “Sassafras and Carter are truly exciting new writers who are pushing the boundaries of queer literature.”

To learn more about the Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize visit here.

To learn more about the Emerging Writers Award visit website.


2013 Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize Winners


Nicola Griffith (photo: Jennifer Durham)

Nicola Griffith (photo: Jennifer Durham)

Nicola Griffith is a novelist living in Seattle (dual US/UK citizen). Author of Hild (forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2013), five other novels, and a multi-media memoir. Co-editor of the Bending the Landscape series. EssayistTeacherBlogger. Winner of the Nebula, Tiptree, World Fantasy, and six Lambda Literary Awards (among others). Partner of writer Kelley Eskridge (and co-owner of Sterling Editing). Currently lost in the 7th century (working on the follow-up to Hild) but emerges to drink just the right amount of beer and take enormous delight in everything.



Trebor Healey
Trebor Healey

Recipient of the 2004 Ferro-Grumley and Violet Quill awards for his first novel, Through It Came Bright Colors,Trebor Healey is also the author ofFaun and A Horse Named Sorrow (a finalist for this year’s Lambda Literary and Ferro-Grumley Fiction Awards), as well as a collection of poems, Sweet Son of Pan, and a short story collection, A Perfect Scar & Other Stories.  He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco, and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic. He lives in Los Angeles.


2013 Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award Winners

Sassafras Lowrey
Sassafras Lowrey (photo: Syd London)


Sassafras Lowrey got hir start writing as a punk zinester in Portland, Oregon. Ze is the editor of the two time American Library Association honored & Lambda Literary Finalist Kicked Out anthology, and Leather Ever After. Hir debut novel Roving Pack was honored by the American Library Association and chronicles the underground lives of gender-radical queer youth searching for identity, community, and belonging. Sassafras has contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, and ze believes storytelling is essential in the creation of social change. Sassafras lives and writes in Brooklyn with hir partner, two dogs of dramatically different sizes, and two bossy cats.


Carter Sickels
Carter Sickels


Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Evening Hour (Bloomsbury USA), a Finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Award, the Lambda Literary Debut Fiction Award, and the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Debut Fiction Award. Carter is the recipient of a 2013 artistic grant from Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council, and scholarships and fellowships to the Hambidge Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He is currently Visiting Faculty for West Virginia Wesleyan ‘s Low Res MFA Program. Carter lives in Portland, Oregon.


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3 Responses to “Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist and Emerging Writer Winners Announced”

  1. […] The winners of Lambda Literary’s outstanding novelists and emerging writers are […]

  2. 25 April 2013 at 4:17 PM #

    Congratulations to Trebor Healey on winning this award. For his Toronto fans, he will be giving talks at Toronto Public Library’s Parliament Branch (269 Gerrard St E) on May 1, 7 pm, and at Glad Day Books (598a Yonge St), May 2, 7 pm.

  3. 28 April 2013 at 1:47 PM #

    Congratulations to the winners. Perhaps the Award should be renamed as a TRANS Award or did the selection panel only see the future of gay literature as restricted to the trans community?

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