On the eve of the Lammys

Colette Moody collects the 2009 Lammy for Lesbian Romance

This time next week I’ll be in New York for the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, which recognize excellence in literature from the LGBTQ community. From over 900 submissions, our judges chose 143 finalists. Come Monday June 12th at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (near Washington Square), we’ll announce winners in 23 categories. Emcee for the festivities is author and performance artist Mx. Justin Vivian Bond. It’s sure to be an exciting night, especially for those 23 authors who carry off a crystal etched with their name and book title. Tickets are still available.

It’s going to be a starry night as well. In addition to the book awards, Lambda Literary will be honoring a pair of literary giants — Jacqueline Woodson and Jeanette Winterson — and we’re also honored to host many outstanding presenters:

  • Cynthia Nixon, Sex and the City‘s Miranda, will present the Visionary Award to Ms. Woodson, winner of two Coretta Scott King Awards, and the 2014 National Book Award for the poetic novel Brown Girl Dreaming. Her latest work, an adult novel called Another Brooklyn, is queued up on my Kindle.
  • A.M. Homes, Orange Award winner for May We Be Forgiven (and my favorite Music for Torching), will present the Trustee Award to Ms. Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?).
  • Among our other presenters are comic & Lammy finalist Tig Notaro (Netflix’s One Mississippi); New York Times truth-teller Frank Bruni; and my good friend Ellery Washington, author of the upcoming novel Buffalo from Creston Books.
  • **********

    The 2017 Lammys have special significance for me — it’s my last official event as a member of the Board of Trustees. Honestly, it’s been quite a lot of work for the past six years, but richly rewarding. There’s a tendency, I think, to stay cloistered within our own communities of identity; lesbians with other lesbians, genre writers with other genre writers. Lambda Literary serves a broad community, and reminds us that the “queer experience” is a rainbow in and of itself. I’ve made wonderful friends — among them, executive director Tony Valenzuela, incoming president Amy Scholder, and fellow board members too numerous to name. It’s been a tremendous honor to lead this organization as president, and I expect to be in their orbit for years to come.

    I can’t sign off at Lambda Literary without thanking you again for the support you’ve shown for our mission, starting way back in 2012 when I held a drawing among donors for an autographed copy of Playing With Fuego. We’ve raised over $12,000 since then. That supports not only the Lammys, which honor excellence in our literature; but also our Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices; Writers in Schools, which introduces queer authors and their works to students; and Lambda Literary Review, the web home to hundreds of LGBTQ reviews and features.

    I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with some photos of the gala. For now, enjoy that one above — Colette Moody is every bit as entertaining in person as she is on Facebook.

    **********

    A big thanks to those who answered my call for support last month. I’ll send your autographed copy of my newest book, Moment of Weakness, as soon as they arrive on my doorstep. Below are the names I’ve gotten so far. If you made a donation and don’t see your name, drop me a note and I’ll be sure to run it down. You’re the best — all of you!

    Lainie & Lee
    Dawn
    Sandra
    Silke
    Danielle
    Bonnie
    Lynn
    Sandy
    JJ
    Meryl
    Sylvie
    Ann
    Becky

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