Open for business

Time for this editor to put her pens in her pocket, fish out the moleskin notebook and check out interesting writers for Read These Lips, Volume 3.

Our new submissions guidelines are up.



Most disappointing

The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) has released nomination guidelines for its 2008 awards. Heading the new changes are that reprints and second or later editions are not eligible for consideration, then some vague breakdown of categories for bisexual and transgender books, then more confused, discretionary breakdown along sexual orientation or gender for warranted categories.

Basically, only first-print dead tree books published and available in US bookstores are eligible.

E-books are unequivocally excluded from the awards. Again. Can someone explain why? Are ebooks not literary enough? Isn’t literary merit a matter for the judges to decide per submission rather than wholesale format exclusions? Is Amazon or any eretailer considered a bookstore for these purposes? If a supermarket has a book section, is it a bookstore?

These and other questions perplex me.

Sadly sadly sadly, the Award Guidelines Committee has again failed to take the opportunity to grasp the emerging impact of ebooks on LGBT literature. Instead of being progressive, of understanding that many brick-and-mortar bookstores don’t even stock LGBT books, of ignoring the impact that the internet has on LGBT life, of not accepting the diversity of media that LGBTs have always excelled at, LLF prefer to expand on genre (21 categories!) so that a book can be nominated in more than one category.

The complete market exclusion of LGBT books published outside the US is stunning in its arrogance. In this day and age, that such an restrictive, protectionist stance is still advocated AND acceptable from a major literary body that professes to celebrate LGBT
literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians – the whole literary community,
is frankly, ironic.