Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award Applications Now Open

Lambda Literary has played a pivotal role is nurturing the development of emerging writers through programs such as our annual summer fellowship, internships and review writing opportunities at and community building through readings, conferences and other events. Supporting emerging writers is central to our mission: they are the future of LGBTQ literature.

The Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award recognizes LGBTQ-identified writers whose work demonstrates their strong potential for promising careers. The award includes a cash prize of $1000. Two Emerging Writer prizes will be awarded.

Previous winners of the Emerging Writer Award (previously the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award):

  • 2015: Anne Balay & Daisy Hernandez
  • 2014:  Imogen Binnie & Charles Rice-Gonzalez
  • 2013: Carter Sickels & Sassafras Lowrey

Qualifications for Nomination

  • The nominee must self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
  • The nominee must have written and published at least one but no more than two books of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.
  • The nominee must be of demonstrated ability and show promise for continued growth.
  • The nominee must show meaningful engagement with LGBTQ literary communities.

Important Considerations

  • The 2015 submission period opens on November 15, 2015 and all nominations must be received by January 31, 2016.
  • This award is for a writer, not a book. The application must therefore focus on the qualifications of the writer, not the qualities of a book.
  • This award honors emergent writers. Established authors are not eligible for consideration. Lambda Literary defines emergent writers as those who have published at least one but no more than two books of fiction, nonfiction or poetry.
  • The nominee’s contributions to the LGBTQ literary field beyond their writings and publications will also be considered. For example, reviewing LGBTQ literature, conducting relevant research, participating in LGBTQ literary events, contributing to LGBTQ journals and reviews, membership in on-line LGBTQ literary forums, etc.
  • Additional literary work such as short stories and essays, or editing LGBTQ-themed anthology collections will also be considered.
  • Individuals may nominate themselves or other writers. Nomination by others and self-nominations are given equal weight.
  • If you are having your application prepared and submitted by an agent/publicist/publisher, please read it very carefully.
  • All materials must be received by the deadline; incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have questions, please direct them to