Photo credit: Neil Drew.
William Johnson is the winner of the Publishing Triangle Leadership Award. Created in 2002, this award recognizes contributions to LGBTQ literature by those who are not primarily writers, including editors, agents, librarians, and institutions.
William Johnson is a Brooklyn-based editor and arts administrator. He was editor of Mary Literary, an important LGBTQ journal, and in 2011 moved to the Lambda Literary Foundation, where he held various roles until early this year. Johnson oversaw two of Lambda’s most dynamic programs: the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, a weeklong residency designed to offer intensive and sophisticated instruction to selected writers; and Lambda’s web magazine, The Lambda Literary Review. He has also supervised Lambda’s Writers in Schools project. Johnson has recently joined PEN America as program director.
Johnson said that his love of queer literature actually “came from delinquency,” mentioning a job at the public library shelving books while he was in high school, where he “stole all the queer books that I could find.” But this has propelled his career toward “making sure that the shelves are packed with queer books, dynamic works by queer authors, and that queer young adults and adults have access to those books, without shame.”
He will receive an honorarium of $500 with this award. For Johnson’s full acceptance speech, watch the video below or on YouTube.