The Publishing Triangle is proud to honor the best and brightest writers working today. Others contribute to the health, vibrancy, and prestige of LGBTQ literature. In that light, the Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award recognizes the many contributions of editors, literary agents and others, including institutions and periodicals, who have worked tirelessly to see that great books reach avid readers.

In 2022, this prize was renamed in honor 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.

The award was instituted in 2002, and for twenty years was known as the Publishing Triangle Leadership Award. Karlsberg won this award herself, in 2010. A cash prize was inaugurated with the 2016 award; the winner receives $500.

Past winners are:

2023 — Bureau of General Services – Queer Division
2022 — Trent Duffy
2021 — William Johnson
2020 — In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction, a documentary by Project Legacies
2019 — Paul Willis
2018 — Malaga Baldi
2017 — John Scognamiglio
2016 — Christopher Street magazine
2015 — (no award)
2014 — Sinister Wisdom magazine
2013 — Ira Silverberg
2012 — Frances Goldin
2011 — Gay and Lesbian Review
2010 — Michele Karlsberg
2009 — Carole DeSanti
2008 — Carol Seajay and Richard Labonte
2007 — Nancy Bereano
2006 — Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop
2005 — Lesbian Herstory Archives
2004 — Barbara Gittings
2003 — Jed Mattes
2002 — Michael Denneny