The Publishing Triangle presents several awards annually, tied to a calendar year. Winners of our previous awards, honoring the best LGBTQ+ literature published, can be found here, or by clicking on the name of the award below. A full list of finalists can be found here.

We present nine awards for the best books of the year. They are The Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction; The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction; The Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry; The Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry; The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction; The Leslie Feinberg Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature; The Joseph Hansen Award for LGBTQ Crime Writing; The Jacqueline Woodson Award for LGBTQ+ Children’s/YA Literature; and, in conjunction our longtime partner the Ferro-Grumley Foundation, The Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. Each of the winners receives $1,000.

In addition, we honor one LGBTQ+ author annually with the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement (a $3,000 prize) and we also present the Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award ($1,500).

The Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award is given to a person or group that has done outstanding work on behalf of LGBTQ literature and letters. This award is specifically designed as not intended for writers; honorees have included editors, literary agents, booksellers, and archives. The winner receives $500.

In 2023, The Publishing Triangle began awarding The Publishing Triangle Torchbearer Award, which is presented to a non-publishing entity with a connection to the literary world. The recipient of the award receives $1,000.

Finally, from time to time, the board of directors bestows special awards. There is no formal submission process for such prizes, which have been awarded in the past as a result of discussions between the judges and the board.

For many years, the Robert Chesley Playwriting Awards were also presented at our annual awards ceremony, and for historical purposes we maintain a list of winners.

The submissions period for awards is generally late September through early December—the specific dates vary each year. A call for submissions, including guidelines, instructions, and links to the online submission system, is posted on our website early in the fall. If you have questions about the awards program, please email [email protected].