Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction

Lambda Literary’s Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, in memory of the beloved activist and author, honors lesbian/queer-identified women and trans/gender non-conforming nonfiction authors. The award will go to a writer committed to non-fiction work that captures the depth and complexity of lesbian/queer life, culture and/or history. The winner of the prize will have published at least one book and show promise in continuing to produce ground breaking and challenging work. The award was introduced in 2018 and includes a cash prize of $2,500.

Important Considerations

  • The award is for a writer, not a book. The application must therefore focus on prior and ongoing writings, showing the author’s commitment to lesbian/queer nonfiction (including, but not limited to: memoir, biography, history, philosophy, and social justice genres and themes.)
  • Nominees must submit a sample from an already published book, no more than 20 pages, as well as a sample from (or outline of) ongoing work. (Maximum 10 pages)
  • Individuals may nominate themselves or other writers. Nominations by others and self-nominations are given equal weight.
  • All materials must be received by the deadline; incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have questions, please direct them to [email protected].

 Jeanne Córdova Award for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction Recipients

  • Karen Tongson (2019)
  • Melissa Febos (2018)

About Jeanne Córdova

Jeanne Córdova, author, activist & publisher, was a pioneer of the West Coast LGBTQ Movement. Her writing and journalism included the Lammy award-winning memoir When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution. Her work also appeared in numerous award-winning anthologies including Persistent Desire: a Femme-Butch Reader and Lesbian Nuns: Breaking the Silence. In addition, she was a columnist for many publications, among them the L.A. Free Press and The Advocate. Córdova also founded and published The Lesbian Tide, the national newsmagazine of the lesbian feminist 1970’s, and she created the Community Yellow Pages, the nation’s largest LGBTQ business directory. Her long life of activism included founding many key LGBTQ rights organizations including the LA Gay Press Association, and serving as President of Stonewall Democratic Club and as Media Director for the campaigns to defeat anti-LGBTQ Propositions 6 & 64 in California. Major conferences she organized ranged from the first National Lesbian Conference in 1973 to Butch Voices LA in 2010.  More recently her band of guerilla activists-LEX (the Lesbian Exploratory)-created political, art and history events, including “GenderPlay in Lesbian Culture” and the Lesbian Legacy Wall at ONE Archives.