The Publishing Triangle established its Leadership Award in 2002, specifically to honor contributions to LGBTQ literature by those who are not primarily writers, such as editors, agents, booksellers, and institution. This award will now be known as the Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award, honoring the work of the publicist and consultant Michele Karlsberg. Karlsberg was one of the Publishing Triangle’s first pair of co-chairs, and she was a founder of the queer publisher Amethyst Press. Her eponymous firm, Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management, has worked with a bevy of queer authors, including Kate Clinton, Assotto Saint, Emanuel Xavier, Katherine Forrest, Jewelle Gomez, Wayne Hoffman, Dorothy Allison, and Felice Picano, just to name a few. Karlsberg won this award herself, in 2010. Starting in 2016, she has endowed the cash prize for this award.
Trent Duffy is the first winner of the Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award. He is the longtime awards chair of the Publishing Triangle, and he’s stepping down from that role this summer. The board of directors wanted to recognize his years of service to the organization and to queer letters, especially as he was also one of the founding members of the group (he served alongside Michele Karlsberg as its first treasurer). He will also be retiring from the role of Publishing Triangle treasurer this summer.
Duffy has been an editor, a managing editor, and a copy chief, working at various publishing houses over the past decades, including Artisan/Workman, Dutton, and Holt. Since 2014, he has primarily been a copy editor, working with such mainstream authors as Louise Erdrich, Les and Tamara Payne, Joseph Ellis, and Simon Winchester, as well as such LGBTQ authors as Jim Grimsley, Robert W. Fieseler, Genevieve Hudson, and Taylor Brorby. Duffy lives in New York City and, as a condition of accepting the award, has asked that the $500 in prize money donated by Karlsberg remain in the Publishing Triangle’s hands.