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2023 Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced

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Pierce Alquist

Senior Contributor

Pierce Alquist is a transplanted New Yorker living and working in the publishing scene in Boston. Don’t worry if she fooled you, the red hair is misleading. She’s a literature in translation devotee and reviewer and lover of small, independent presses. A voracious traveler and foodie, you can find her in her kitchen making borscht or covered in red pepper paste as she perfects her kimchi recipe.

The 2023 Lambda Literary Award winners have been announced! This year’s winners were selected by a panel of over 60 judges from the literary world and from more than 1,300 book submissions from over 300 publishers. Now in its 35th year, the Lambda Literary Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards in LGBTQ publishing. The winners were announced live at The Edison Ballroom in New York City on June 9, 2023, marking the first time since 2019 that the ceremony was held in person.

In addition to the winners in the award categories, five special honors were awarded. Eboni J. Dunbar won the Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction. The award goes to a Black LGBTQ writer whose fiction explores themes of Black LGBTQ life, culture, and/or history. Maya Salameh and Naseem Jamnia won the Markowitz Award for Exceptional New LGBTQ Writers. Jaquira Diaz won the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. Christopher Tradowsky won the J. Michael Samuel Prize for Emerging Writers Over 50 and Ryka Aoki and Aaron Hamburger won the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize.

In the press release announcement of the finalists, new Lambda Literary executive director Samiya Bashir writes that “our writers represent our greatest culture creators.” She continues,

“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. 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.”

2023 Lambda Literary Award Winners

Cover of Gods of Want

Lesbian Fiction

Gods of Want by K-Ming Chang (One World)

Gay Fiction

The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan (Canongate Books)

Bisexual Fiction

Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste (S&S/Saga Press)

Transgender Fiction

The Call-Out by Cat Fitzpatrick (7 Stories Press)

Bisexual Nonfiction

Appropriate Behavior by Maria San Filippo (McGill-Queens University Press)

Transgender Nonfiction

The Third Person by Emma Grove (Drawn & Quarterly)

Cover of The Black Period

LGBTQ+ Nonfiction

The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin by Hafizah Augustus Geter (Random House)

Lesbian Poetry

As She Appears by Shelley Wong (YesYes Books)

Gay Poetry

Some Integrity by Padraig Regan (Carcanet Press)

Bisexual Poetry

Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes by Nicky Beer (Milkweed Editions)

Transgender Poetry

MissSettl by Kamden Ishmael Hilliard (Nightboat Books)

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

Lost & Found: A Memoir by Kathryn Schulz (Random House)

Cover of High-Risk Homosexual

Gay Memoir/Biography

High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir by Edgar Gomez (Soft Skull Press)

Lesbian Romance

The Rules of Forever by Nan Campbell (Bold Strokes Books)

Gay Romance

I’m So Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson (Berkley Romance)

LGBTQ+ Anthology

OutWrite: The Speeches That Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture by Julie R. Enszer and Elena Gross (Rutgers University Press)

LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

Mighty Red Riding Hood by Wallace West (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

LGBTQ+ Middle Grade

Nikhil Out Loud by Maulik Pancholy (Balzer + Bray)

the lesbiana's guide to catholic school book cover

LGBTQ+ Young Adult

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes (Balzer + Bray)

LGBTQ+ Comics

Mamo by Sas Milledge (BOOM! Studios)

LGBTQ+ Drama

Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone: 方 by Ho Ka Kei—Jeff Ho (Playwrights Canada Press)

LGBTQ+ Romance & Erotica

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun (Atria Books)

LGBTQ+ Mystery

Dirt Creek: A Novel by Hayley Scrivenor (Flatiron Books)

LGBTQ+ Speculative Fiction

The Wicked and the Willing by Lianyu Tan (Shattered Scepter Press)

LGBTQ+ Studies

Keeping It Unreal: Black Queer Fantasy and Superhero Comics by Darieck Scott (NYU Press)

Looking for even more great recommendations? Check out the complete list of the 2023 Lambda Literary Awards Finalists. Or learn more about the History of the Lambda Literary Awards.