Writing Awards to Consider as an Indie Author of Romance/Erotica

This is a partial list of potential writing awards that indie writers of romance and erotica might consider submitting their work to. I am not specifically endorsing any of these awards, my goal is to share information about them so that you can decide for yourself whether it might be worth submitting your work. If your work is cross-genre, you might consider SFF, children’s literature, or mystery/crime fiction awards as well. Here’s a general list of awards to explore.

I’m listing these now, early in the year, because in my experience it takes planning to submit to some of these awards as an indie writer, not only because you may need to budget for cost, but also because you may decide to do a print run for a book you want to submit or may want to adjust your release date so you can submit. So even though most of these deadlines just passed, now is a good time to be thinking about your 2020 releases. As an indie author, you decide what makes the most sense for you, weighing costs and potential outcomes, but I would encourage marginalized authors: don’t self reject.

(post last updated 2/5/20)

Ripped Bodice Awards for Excellence in Romantic Fiction (Ribbies)

  • Nominations are currently CLOSED for the 2020 awards.
  •  Eligibility:
    • Book must be originally published in the year in question
    • Book must be a romance novel (central love story, happy ending)
  • There is no formal submission process; books are selected by a panel that is very familiar with the books being released in the genre. Authors can submit books for consideration.
  • No deadline for nominations as there is no formal process
  • No cost to authors
  • No specific categories, all subgenres and lengths are considered in one group
  • Winners receive $ honorarium

RITA Award (RITAs)

  • The 2020 RITA awards have been cancelled and the award is being revamped.

Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys)

  • Nominations are currently CLOSED for the 2020 awards.
    • 2019 finalists announced in March 2020
    • 2019 awards will be announced 6/8/20 (online ceremony this year)
  • Eligibility:
    • Judged principally on literary merit and content relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives.
    • Open to all authors regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity except in the case of the special awards
    • Must be published in English
    • Self-published books are eligible
    • Books available only in e-book format are not eligible. There must be a print edition. First print edition of previously published ebooks are eligible.
    • First US printings are eligible if prior printing outside the US was not submitted fot the award.
    • Unpublished play manuscripts are eligible, as long as the play has received a full production of at least 8 consecutive shows in the given year.
  • The author or publisher can submit a book for one category only.
  • Deadline is 11/15 of the year in question
  • Cost for submission: $50 per book (publishers submitting more than 11 books get discounted fee of $45)
  • Winners of special awards receive $ honorarium.
  • Categories are adjusted based on number of submissions. More info.
    • LGBTQ Anthology
    • LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult
    • LGBTQ Drama
    • LGBTQ Erotica
    • LGBTQ Graphic Novel
    • LGBTQ Nonfiction
    • LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Studies
    • Lesbian General Fiction
    • Lesbian Memoir/Biography
    • Lesbian Mystery
    • Lesbian Poetry
    • Lesbian Romance
    • Gay General Fiction
    • Gay Memoir/Biography
    • Gay Mystery
    • Gay Poetry
    • Gay Romance
    • Bisexual Fiction
    • Bisexual Non-Fiction
    • Bisexual Poetry
    • Transgender Fiction
    • Transgender Non-Fiction
    • Transgender Poetry
    • Other specialized awards

Bisexual Book Awards (BBA8)

  • Nominations are currently CLOSED for the 2020 awards.
    • They generally open in the fall, but you may be able to request a form for early submission.
    • Finalists for 2019 awards will be announced April 2020
    • 2019 Awards announced June 2020
    • Current submissions for 2019 awards
  •  Eligibility:
    • Any book with a bisexual/pansexual or bi+ character, bisexual storyline, bisexual subject matter or bisexual themes.
    • The book award categories are open to all authors regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • Books should be first published in print in the year in question.
    • Books should be published in English.
    • Books must be published in print: not only e-book format. Print-on-Demand counts as “in print.”
    • Single short stories are not eligible.
  • Anyone can suggest a book, but only the author, publisher or Bi Writers Association (BWA) can nominate a book.
  • Deadline is 12/2 of the year in question
  • Cost for nomination: $30 per book
  • Categories are adjusted/eliminated based on number of nominees. More details.
    • Bisexual Non-Fiction
    • Bisexual Memoir/Biography
    • Bisexual Fiction
    • Bisexual Romance
    • Bisexual Erotic Fiction
    • Bisexual Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/Bi-fi/Fantasy/Paranormal/-Horror/Etc.]
    • Bisexual Teen/Young Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction
    • Bisexual Mystery
    • Bisexual Poetry
    • Bisexual Anthology
    • Bisexual Graphic Novel/Memoir
    • Bisexual Playscript

Golden Crown Literary Society Awards (Goldies)

  • Nominations are currently OPEN for the 2020 awards. 
  • Eligibility:
    • Significant themes, characters, situations, and/or other lesbian-oriented content
    • Currently available
    • First published within the year
    • All formats ok (hardback, paperback ebook)
    • Self pubbed ok
    • Meets length requirements for category (novels are 40k+)
  • Anyone can nominate
  • Rolling deadlines (depending on when book is published, it may have a different deadline
  • Cost for nomination: $35 print book, $30 ebook, additional $30 for debut novel category, $15 for the popular choice awards–Ann Bannon (books) and Tee Corrine (cover art) categories
  • Categories stay the same but the number of winners for each is determined by the number of nominees. More info.
    • Fiction Anthologies/Collections
    • Contemporary Romance: Short Novels
    • Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Novels
    • Contemporary Romance: Long Novels
    • Erotic Novels
    • General Fiction
    • Historical Fiction

    • Humorous Novels

    • Mystery/Thriller/Crime

    • New Adult Fiction

    • Paranormal/Occult/Horror

    • Romantic Blend
    • Science Fiction/Fantasy
    • Young Adult Fiction
    • Non-fiction Anthologies/Collections
    • General Non-fiction
    • Poetry Anthologies/Collections

Publishing Triangle Awards (more info)

  • Nominations are currently CLOSED for the 2020 awards. 
    • 2019 Finalists announced March 2020
    • Awards given April 23, 2020 (ceremony cancelled, awards announced online)
  • Eligibility:
    • First published within the year
    • Must be published in print
  • Anyone can nominate
  • Deadline Dec 2 of the year
  • Winners receive $ honorarium
  • Cost for nomination: Current, dues paying, individual members of the Publishing Triangle may enter 1 book in one category for free. Current, dues paying, corporate members of the Publishing Triangle may enter up to 8 books for free; additional submissions are $40 per book.
  • To join and then submit, fill out membership form and send it in. The use the submissions form. Membership is $40.
  • Categories stay the same but the number of winners for each is determined by the number of nominees. More info.
    • Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement
    • Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction
    • Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
    • Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry
    • Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry
    • Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
    • Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature
    • Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award

Living in Leather Literary Awards (formerly known as

NLA Writing Awards)

  • Nominations are currently CLOSED for the 2020 awards. 
    • 2019 Finalists announced April 2020
    • Awards given at the Living in Leather meeting November 6-8 2020
  •  Eligibility
    • Nominated works should foster education and promote awareness and a positive image of the kink community. 
    • Geoff Mains – Non-Fiction
      • ~ 20,000 – 100,000 words
      • Print or ebook ok, can be anthology. No website only formats.
      • Kink/leather/BDSM lifestyle focus
    • Samois – Poetry
      • ~150 -~1,500 words
      • Ballad, epic or free verse
      • Erotic
      • Kink/leather/BDSM lifestyle focus
    • John Preston – Short Fiction
      • ~ 2,000 – 20,000 words
      • No website only formats or personal blogs. Can be published in an anthology, magazine, online news site or self published print or ebook formats.
      • Kink/leather/BDSM lifestyle focus
    • Cynthia Slater – Non-Fiction Article
      • ~ 1,000 – 4,000 words
      • No website only formats or personal blogs. Can be published in an anthology, magazine, online news site or self published ebook formats.
      • Kink/leather/BDSM lifestyle focus
    • Pauline Reage – Novel
      • ~ 20,000 – 100,000 words
      • Print or ebook ok. No website only formats.
      • Kink/leather/BDSM lifestyle focus
  • Anyone can nominate
  • Deadline is 12/31 of the year in question
  • Cost for nomination: $10 per item nominated

 

 

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