I just saw this and wanted to post about it. I'm thrilled to see that things are changing for once in a positive direction. Of course it would also be nice to see the LLF add e-books, too. But I have a feeling that's going to take a long time. Like most of publishing, there are still a lot of people who have yet to embrace e-books and many who don't even understand them. I even know one or two people who think e-books are a passing trend and will die out. Who knows? All I do know is once I switched to an e-reader I never went back to print...for a variety of reasons, most having to do with the higher quality of my reading experience with an e-reader.
This is what the LLF says about e-books: Books available in eBook format alone are not eligible. Interesting mind set, especially with amazon's .99 e-books doing so well. You have to wonder if some of these nice folks are living under rocks. I'll post more about that in the future.
For now, I'm thrilled to see that Lambda has added the changes, especially this one: These awards will be open to all authors regardless of their sexual identity. Even though I don't enter award contests, ever, (It's a personal thing for me...I'm not writing to win awards and I never did write to win awards...I don't even enter the Rainbow Awards and I'm one of the jurors. And anyone who reads this blog knows how much I love Elisa Rolle, the person who started the Rainbow Awards.) I'm thrilled to see the LLF do this.
Here's the link, and below is the article.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29, 2011
CONTACT: Dr. Judith Markowitz, LLF Co-Chair
(773) 769-9243, email@example.com
Lambda Literary Foundation Announces
New Guidelines for Lambda Literary Awards Submissions
For its first 20 years, the Lambda Literary Foundation accepted submissions for the Lambda Literary Awards based solely on a book's LGBT subject matter. That policy changed in 2009 to restrict the awards to self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer authors. After two years of implementing the LGBT-only policy, the queer book community remains sharply divided about limiting Lammy nominations to LGBT authors only.
In its review of the LGBT-only policy, the LLF Board of Trustees took into consideration LLF's mission statement
The Lambda Literary Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers.
and core provisions in its Bylaws. The Board also noted that the large majority of finalists and winners of the Lambda Literary Awards have been LGBT authors, but not all of them. There have also been a small number of outstanding books about LGBT lives written by our heterosexual allies.
In addition, the LLF Board solicited opinions from individuals in the LGBT book community, including publishers, authors, important donors, readers, and casual supporters. Those opinions represented both sides of the issue and were, in many cases, intensely held.
After careful consideration of all these factors, the Board crafted a new policy designed to honor excellence in writing about LGBT lives. The new policy has three components:
LGBT authors will be recognized with three awards marking stages of a writer's career: the Betty Berzon Debut Fiction Award (to one gay man and one lesbian), the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize (to one male-identified and one female-identified author), and the Pioneer Award (to one male-identified and one female-identified individual or group)
Awards for the remaining Lambda Literary Award categories will be based on literary merit and significant content relevant to LGBT lives. These awards will be open to all authors regardless of their sexual identity
All book award judges will be self-identified LGBT
"We fully understand the importance of this issue and the extent to which it has divided our community," said LLF Board Co-Chair, Dr. Judith Markowitz. "Resolving these strongly-held differences was not easy. We worked carefully keeping in mind the best interests of LGBT people, writing, and writers."
She continued, "The policy we've crafted recognizes that those opposing viewpoints are actually contained in LLF's mission. We hope that the result of our deliberations promotes healing and strengthens LGBT writers and literature."
The revised guidelines appear on the LLF website. They are effective immediately in preparation for the 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards to be held in New York City in early June 2012.
The Lambda Literary 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 comprehensive website, www.LambdaLiterary.org. For more information call (213) 568-3570.