Lambda Literary Foundation

Lambda Literary Foundation
Founded: 1997

Mission: To nurture, and advocate for, LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words, preserve their legacies, and affirm the value of their stories and lives.

About the organization: Lambda Literary believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when those stories are written, published, and read. Although the organization was first incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1997, it traces its beginnings back to 1987, when L. Page (Deacon) Maccubbin, owner of Lambda Rising Bookstore in Washington, D.C., published the first Lambda Book Report, drawing critical attention to LGBTQ books. The Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrate the best lesbian and gay books published each year, followed in 1989, and in the years since Lamda Literary has launched a writers' retreat, a writers-in-schools program, and a literary festival.

Current programs: The organization's programs include the Lambda Literary Review, which grew out of the Lambda Book Report and offers book reviews, interviews, and industry news, and the Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrate nearly two hundred LGBTQ authors and their books annually. In 2007, the organization launched the Writer's Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, the only multi-genre writing residency for emerging LGBTQ writers, with instruction offered in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult fiction, and playwriting.

Since 2015, Lambda Literary and the New York City Department of Education have worked together to bring LGBTQ writers into classrooms through the LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program. The program serves K-12 students and provides access to award-winning books and authors as well as professional development focused on how to deliver an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum. 

Launched in 2017, the Lambda LitFest is a week-long community-curated literary festival featuring all that queer literary Los Angeles has to offer. The 2020 event was an online celebration of "Queer Black Artistry," with BIPOC LGBTQIA+ writers in conversation about art-making, joy, and how to dismantle a white supremacist, ableist, cisgender, heteronormative world. In addition, the West Hollywood Lambda Literary Book Club is now online and open to all. 

Website: Visitors to the Lambda Literary site can watch videos about the organization's history or of Lambda LitFest events, learn more about the organization's programs and awards, browse a variety of resources, research calls for submissions, and/or make a donation.

Funding: Lambda Literary is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.

P.O. Box 20186
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (213) 277-5755

Featured NPO spotlight