Photo by Eliel Cruz

John Paul Brammer is the winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award, its prize for an LGBTQ writer who has published at least one book but not more than two. 

John Paul Brammer is a writer and artist who grew up in rural Oklahoma. Since 2017 he has run the popular LGBTQ and Latino advice column “¡Hola Papi!,” which is available on Substack. The column formed the foundation for his first book, the 2021 memoir Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons. Brammer is a contributing editor to The Washington Post, where his illustrations have also appeared. His nonfiction work has been featured in The New York Times, Guernica, Food & Wine, and many more, and he’s published short fiction on Catapult. He lives in Brooklyn. 

The judges for the Berzon Prize said, “John Paul Brammer’s insight is outstanding, and his humor is especially needed and welcome at this time. As a gay Latino ‘Dear Abby,’ Brammer uses his talent to reach a wide and diverse audience.” Brammer will receive a prize of $1500 with this award.

In accepting the Berzon Award, Brammer said that receiving it “is certainly something that I don’t take lightly, especially right now, when it seems like LGBTQ writers are under more pressure than ever,” citing the increase in removing queer books from libraries. He also noted that he is proud to be “part of a really strong, durable legacy of people, of creatives, a community that has found a way forward in what has been a pretty hostile environment.”

The Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award, first presented by the Publishing Triangle in 2017, is sponsored by Berzon’s widow, Teresa DeCrescenzo. Brammer will receive a prize of $1500 with this award. Watch Brammer’s full acceptance speech below or on YouTube.