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Finalists for the Lambda Literary Award were announced today by the Lambda Literary Foundation in Los Angeles. Books from major mainstream publishers and from academic presses, from both long-established and brand new LGBT publishers, and even from emerging publish-on-demand technologies, make up the 114 finalists for the “Lammys.” The finalists were selected from a record number of nominations.
The awards, now in their twenty-third year, celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2010. Winners will be announced at a May 26 ceremony in New York at the School of Visual Arts Theater (333 West 23rd Street).
Lambda set a record in 2009 for both the number of LGBT books nominated (462) and the number of publishers participating (about 200), reports Lambda Awards Administrator Richard Labonté. But that record has been surpassed this year, with more than 520 titles represented from about 230 publishers.
“Some of the increase in nominations stems from the growth in recent years of self-published books, reflecting an expanding reliance on ever-more-accessible publish-on-demand technology by talented LGBT authors with worthwhile stories to tell — a do-it-yourself approach that hearkens back to the late 1970s and 1980s, when lesbians and gay men established their own presses and launched the queer book boom,” Labonté said. “The books came, and the Lammys soon followed.”
“These record-breaking numbers are occurring at a time when the publishing industry is under siege and we hear report after report on the death of books,” said LLF Board Co-Chair, Dr. Judith Markowitz. “What’s even more heartening is that the quality of those nominations is extremely high. All of this bodes well for the future of LGBT literature and for the Foundation’s continued role in advocating on behalf of that literature.”
Another sign of evolution in the state of LGBT publishing: the Transgender category joined the Bisexual category in garnering enough nominations to merit dividing it this year into Transgender Fiction and Transgender Nonfiction; the Bisexual category was split for the first time last year.
More than 90 booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, authors, previous Lammy winners and finalists, and other book professionals volunteered many hours of reading time, critical thinking, and invigorating shared discussion to select the finalists in 24 categories.
“Lambda Literary depends on the generous gifts of time and talent from its volunteer judges, year after year, to keep the Lammys vibrant. We couldn’t do it without them,” said Lambda Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela. “This day really belongs to our finalists, whose work has entered the elite company of Lammy nominated books that enrich our community’s literature. Congratulations to these talented authors on their momentous achievement.”
Tickets for the Lambda Literary Award ceremony and After-Party go on sale today. The ceremony will be held Thursday, May 26, 2011 at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City (333 W. 23rd St), followed by a private after-party nearby. For information: www.lambdaliterary.org/awards
David McConnell – Co-Chair
Don Weise – Co-Chair
S. Chris Shirley – Co-Chair
Jamie Chelsea Brickhouse
Heather Aimee O’Neill
The Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers. LLF’s programs include the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers’ Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, and our web magazine at www.lambdaliterary.org.