Inaugurated in May 2006, this award recognizes outstanding first novels or story collections by LGBTQ authors. The award is open to first-book authors of any age whose work contains queer themes. Writers can have published works of nonfiction, and their short fiction can have previously appeared in a published anthology. The book nominated must be the author’s first work of book-length fiction.

This award honors the distinguished Edmund White, who won the very first Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990. White is the author, among many other works, of A Boy’s Own Story, States of Desire, A Married Man, Fanny, and Arts and Letters.

The winner receives a prize of $1000. Each year’s finalists were published the preceding year (i.e., the 2019 award below honored books published in 2018).

The finalists and winners are determined by a panel of judges appointed by the Publishing Triangle’s awards committee. In the list below, finalists are presented in alphabetical order by book title. Bold type and a triangle indicate winners.


Arribada, by Estela Gonzalez (Cynren Press)

Greenland, by David Santos Donaldson, (Amistad/Harper Collins)

Little Rabbit, by Alyssa Songsiridej (Bloomsbury US)

Manywhere, by Morgan Thomas (MCD Books/Farrar, Straus Giroux)

Vagabonds!, by Eloghosa Osunde (Riverhead Books/Penguin)


A Natural History of Transition, Callum Angus (Metonymy Press)

The Prophets, Robert Jones Jr. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Radiant Fugitives, Nawaaz Ahmed (Counterpoint Press)

Silver Beach, Claire Cox (University of Massachusetts Press)


After Elias, by Eddy Boudel Tan (Dundurn Press)

The Contradictions, Sophie Yanow (Drawn and Quarterly)

99 Erics: A Kat Cataclysm Faux Novel, by Julia Serano (Switch Hitter Press)

Real Life, by Brandon Taylor (Riverhead)


Black Light, by Kimberly King Parsons (Vintage)

In West Mills, by De’Shawn Charles Winslow (Bloomsbury)

Lot, by Bryan Washington (Riverhead)

Shut Up You’re Pretty, by Téa Mutonji (Arsenal Pulp Press)


Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press)

Heartland, by Ana Simo (Restless Books)

The House of Impossible Beauties, by Joseph Cassara (Ecco/HarperCollins)

That Was Something, by Dan Callahan (Squares and Rebels)


Elmet, by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin Books)

Her Body and Other Parties, by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)

Marriage of a Thousand Lies, by SJ Sindu (Soho Press)

Scarborough, by Catherine Hernandez (Arsenal Pulp Press)


Bull and Other Stories, by Kathy Anderson (Autumn House Press)

Hide, by Matthew Griffin (Bloomsbury USA)

An Innocent Fashion, R. J. Hernández (HarperPerennial/HarperCollins)

Jazz Moon, by Joe Okonkwo (Kensington)


Blue Talk and Love, by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (Riverdale Avenue Books)

Bright Lines, by Tanwi Nandini Islam (Penguin Books)

Hotel Living, by Ioannis Pappos (HarperPerennial/HarperCollins)

One Hundred Days of Rain, by Carellin Brooks (BookThug)


For Today I Am a Boy, by Kim Fu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Little Reef and Other Stories, by Michael Carroll (University of Wisconsin Press)

New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, by Shelly Oria (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Unaccompanied Minors, by Alden Jones (New American Press)


An Honest Ghost, by Rick Whitaker (Jaded Ibis Press)

How to Shake the Other Man, by Derek Palacio (Nouvella)

If You Could Be Mine, by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Young Readers)

Letters Never Sent, by Sandra Moran (Bedazzled Ink)


Broken Like This, by Monica Trasandes (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s)

The Evening Hour, by Carter Sickels (Bloomsbury)

Love, in Theory, by E. J. Levy (University of Georgia Press)

Monstress, by Lysley Tenorio (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Mitko, by Garth Greenwell (Miami University Press)

My Sister Chaos, by Lara Fergus (Spinifex Press)

We the Animals, by Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Zipper Mouth, by Laurie Weeks (The Feminist Press)


Alcestis, by Katharine Beutner (Soho Press)

Cut Away, by Catherine Kirkwood (Arktoi Books)

Ivan and Misha, by Michael Alenyikov (Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press)


Because I Have Loved and Hidden It, by Elise Moser (Cormorant Books)

The Bigness of the World, by Lori Ostlund (University of Georgia Press)

Blue Boy, by Rakesh Satyal (Kensington)


The End of the World Book, by Alistair McCartney (University of Wisconsin Press)

Finlater, by Shawn Stewart Ruff (Quote Editions)

Light Fell, by Evan Fallenberg (Soho Press)


Dahlia Season, by Myriam Gurba (Manic C Press)

Selfish and Perverse, by Bob Smith (Carroll & Graf)

Tales from the Town of Widows, by James Cañón (HarperCollins)


A Scarecrow’s Bible, by Martin Hyatt (Suspect Thoughts Press)

Tomorrow They Will Kiss, by Eduardo Santiago (Little, Brown)

The Zookeeper, by Alex McLennan (Alyson Books)


Choir Boys, by Charlie Anders (Soft Skull Press)

Crashing America, by Katia Noyes (Alyson Books)

Setting the Lawn on Fire, by Mack Friedman (University of Wisconsin Press)