✰ Award-winning LGBT Books

As LGBTQ literature grows in number and quality, with more readers buying books and more authors daring to create and be published each year, LGBT literature is becoming a noticeable force in its own right. There are a number of LGBT-focussed awards and among these is the best place to look for good lesbian reading material - and it is here the growth of the lesbian writing voice is most marked.

The main awards were all established in the 1980's, and initially only gave out one award a year - usually to a rather dry looking non-fiction book. In the 1990's, the number of awards doubled, with new categories being added, and more books being selected - and a wider variety! And again, from 2000 onwards, there are even more categories and larger prizes.

The LGBT publishing industry is not the only place to find good lesbian writing - some books have won awards in mainstream literature too - but it is the industry that actively looks at LGBT literature.

Main GLBTQ Awards

Stonewall Book Awards

The most prestigious and longest-running LGBTQ award are the Stonewall awards. The Stonewall Book Award is sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA). It is an annual award to fiction (Barbara Gittings Literature Award), non-fiction (Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award) and children's books (Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award) in the English language.

It began in 1971, when it was known as the Gay Book Award, has changed several times over the years (adding various categories into the name - e.g. Lesbian, fiction and non-fiction), then became the Stonewall award after the Stonewall riots.

Initially, only one book a year recieved an award, but from 1990, both a Non-Fiction and a Literature award was given out. From 2010, a Children & Young Adult category has been added.

Lambda Award Winners

The 'Lammys' are yearly LGBT awards to books in the US, begun in 1988 "to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians - the whole literary community."

They offer a much wider range of categories - Transgender; Bisexual; Lesbian or Gay debut fiction, poetry, general, erotica, romance, mystery, memoir/biography; Lgbt children & young adult, studies, non-fiction, drama, spirituality, anthology, arts & culture, humour, sci-fi/fantasy/horror.

These can change slightly from year to year.

Awards are given out the following year but named for the year of publication, so the awards announced in 2009 are for books published in 2008, for example. This can be slightly confusing, as other awards - such as the Stonewall awards - are named after the year they are given out (even more confusing when a book appears on both lists!)

If you want to skim through the categories awarded each year, this page is the best place to do that.

Lambda Awards 
Yearly Winners and Finalists

1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 |1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 |2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 (pending)

Gaylactic Spectrum Awards

The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards have run since 1998 and are awarded to positively GLBT books in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror. In 2002, the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards Foundation was created to manage them, and it took over from the Gaylactic Network.

Categories are Best Novel, Best Short Fiction and Best Other Work - although in some years (e.g. 2009) Best Short Fiction has not been awarded because there are either not enough candidates, or they are not of high enough calibre.

Other Awards:
Official Sites

Award-winning Lesbian Books by Genre
Because it can be a pain wading through lists of awards for each year to find the few you're actually interested in, you can also just jump straight to this curated lists.

Off-site Links