Thursday, February 3, 2011

Outstanding mid-career queer novelists

The Lambda Literary Foundation is accepting applications and nominations for two juicy monetary prizes:

Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize
Applications Due March 1, 2011

Lambda Literary recently announced that it will be the new home of the largest monetary prize awarded exclusively to an LGBT writer: The Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize. The award, made possible by James Duggins, PhD, consists of two cash awards of $5000 and is unprecedented in its category as well as its value. To review the guidelines and application process, please click below.

Previous winners include Dorothy Allison, Jim Grimsley, Ann Bannon, Mark Doty, Jewelle Gomez, and more.

More info (guidelines, process) here. Apparently, one can apply for oneself, and/or recommend others, which I think is a nifty idea. Here are the criteria:

  • The award will be presented to one self-identified man and one self-identified woman, and age will not be a factor in defining mid-career.
  • The award will recognize emergent LGBT authors who have written and published at least three novels or two novels and substantial additional literary work such as poetry, short stories, essays.
  • The authors will be of demonstrated ability and show promise for growth.
  • Candidates’ contributions to the LGBT literary field beyond their writings and publications will also be considered.

This strikes me as a a good opportunity to talk about queer novelists.

I think we all know the crop who are well-known and working and at the top of their game: Jeannette Winterson, Andrew Hollinghurst, Emma Donoghue, Michael Cunningham, Sarah Waters, Val McDermid...

...but how about those who are a little less well-known but equally deserving? Who would you choose? Who should we be reading?

ETA: To be very clear: I won't be applying for this prize and if someone nominates me, I will decline the honour. I'm on LLF's Board of Trustees. This is a cash award. It would be pretty tacky to blur those lines.

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