2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced

Author: Brian Gentes Lambda Literary.org

March 15, 2021

Lambda Literary, the nation’s premier LGBTQ literary organization, today announces the finalists of the 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the “Lammys”).

Created over thirty years ago to recognize the crucial role LGBTQ writers play in shaping the world, the Lammys celebrate the very best in LGBTQ literature. Since the inception of the Lammys in 1989, more than 3,500 books have been named finalist or winner, an imprimatur that bookstores, libraries, and individuals use to stock their shelves.

Notable in this year’s finalists is the depth and breadth of books for young people, which give LGBTQ youth a sense of belonging and teach those who are not LGBTQ how to respect those who are. Reflecting the increasing availability of and appetite for books featuring LGBTQ characters, Lambda Literary gives awards in two categories for younger readers: LGBTQ Young Adult and LGBTQ Children’s/Middle Grade. 

Exemplifying how queer literature is far from monolithic, the Lammys celebrate books across 24 categories, and feature works by debut authors, self-published authors, and writers from both big and small presses. 

“By celebrating LGBTQ books, we celebrate LGBTQ life,” said Sue Landers, executive director of Lambda Literary, “and as a community often under threat of legislative and actual violence, the Lammys offer a rare and necessary space where we come together in joy.”

Finalists and winners will be celebrated in a virtual award ceremony on Monday, June 1st, 2021, which will feature a performance by Meshell Ndegeocello, along with other guests including Alan Hollinghurst, Carmen Maria Machado, Torrey Peters, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Ryan O’Connell, JP Brammer, and more. The event is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $25. Proceeds benefit Lambda Literary’s educational programs for LGBTQ young people and emerging writers. To reserve your space at the virtual award ceremony or for more information about the finalists, go here.

This year’s finalists were first announced exclusively by the Associated Press. Please join us in celebrating the following authors and their literary accomplishments.

Lesbian Fiction

Gay Fiction

Bisexual Fiction

Transgender Fiction

Bisexual Nonfiction

Transgender Nonfiction

The Black Trans Prayer Book
, J Mase III & Dane Figueroa Edidi, The Black Trans Prayer BookFairest: A Memoir, Meredith Talusan, VikingThe Freezer Door, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Semiotext(e)Nepantla Squared: Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift, L Heidenreich, University of Nebraska PressTrans Care, Hil Malatino, University of Minnesota Press

LGBTQ Nonfiction

Lesbian Poetry

Gay Poetry

Bisexual Poetry

2021 Lambda Literary Awards Bisexual Poetry finalists

Transgender Poetry

2021 Lambda Literary Awards Transgender Poetry finalists

Greyhound, Aeon Ginsberg, Noemi Press
I Love You and I’m Not Dead, Sade LaNay, Argos Books
More Than Organs, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Sibling Rivalry Press
The Nancy Reagan Collection, Maxe Crandall, Futurepoem Books
Theories of Performance, Jay Besemer, The Lettered Streets Press

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

2021 Lambda Literary Awards Lesbian Memoir/Biography finalists

Gay Memoir/Biography

2021 Lambda Literary Awards Gay Memoir/Biography finalists

Lesbian Romance

2021 Lambda Literary Awards Lesbian Romance finalists

Gay Romance

2021 Lambda Literary Awards Gay Romance finalists

LGBTQ Anthology

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Anthology finalists

LGBTQ Children’s/Middle Grade

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Children's/Middle Grade finalists

LGBTQ Young Adult

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Young Adult finalists

LGBTQ Comics

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Comics finalists


2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Drama finalists

LGBTQ Erotica

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Erotica finalists

LGBTQ Mystery

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Mystery finalists

LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror finalists

LGBTQ Studies

2021 Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Studies finalists

For media and press inquiries, please contact Jodie Hockensmith.

Lambda Literary thanks the following sponsors for their support of the Lammys.