The 2023 Lambda Finalists were just announced. The award has been championing LGBTQ+ books for more than 30 years. By highlighting the stories of queer people, the Lambda awards preserve and affirm queer culture and experiences, something that is vital in a time of attacks on queer personhood.

New executive director of Lambda Literary Samiya Bashir said “our writers represent our greatest culture creators. In a moment when our voices and our stories are being weaponized against our very lives across the country, supporting our storytellers — whether their media centers the page, the stage or the survey, is more critical by the day. Lambda Literary has embarked on a truly transformational year — growing its size and capacity to meet our cultural moment where our communities need us most.”

Seventy-five judges chose this year’s finalists, which were selected from a larger-than-usual pool of more than 1,350 submissions. Of the 24 award categories, Young Adult and Speculative Fiction accounted for the majority of the increase in submissions. The winners will be announced for the first time in person since 2019 at The Edison Ballroom in New York City on June. 9, 2023. The event can also be streamed. Tickets are available for purchase and will go towards supporting queer storytelling year round.

Here are the 2023 Lambda Finalists:

Lesbian Fiction

Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (W.W. Norton & Company) 

Gods of Want by K-Ming Chang (One World)

Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda; translated by Sarah Booker (Coffee House Press)

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley (Alfred A. Knopf)

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (Flatiron Books)


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