The first USA Bisexual Book Awards, organized by the Bi Writers Association, were presented on Sunday June 2nd. The awards ceremony was preceded by a multi-arts program, with readings from eight of the nominated books including, Annette Lapointe “Whitetail Shooting Gallery”; Basil Papademos “Mount Royal”; Donnelle McGee “Shine”; Ellen Kushner “Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction”; Erynn Rowan Laurie “Fireflies at Absolute Zero”; Janet Hardy “Girlfag”; Kelli Dunham “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B.”; Vincent Meiss “Tio Jorge”. There was also live music by bisexual singer-songwriters Rorie Kelly and Ben Silver, and an art photo slideshow presentation of tattoos and extreme piercings by bisexual photographer Efrain John Gonzalez, from his book, “Ink and Steel”.
Following the multi-arts program was an awards ceremony announcing the winners of seven categories: Bisexual Fiction, Bisexual Non-fiction, Bisexual Erotic Fiction/Erotica, Bisexual Speculative Fiction [Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror], Bisexual Poetry, the Bi Book Publisher of the Year and the Bi Writer Award. Winners were thrilled to be recognized for their efforts.
“There are so few opportunities for bi-themed books to be recognized and rewarded. The Bi Writers Association decided that, since other book awards have not been stepping up, we needed to provide more of those opportunities ourselves, in order to encourage publication of bisexual books,” says Bi Writers Association founder Sheela Lambert.
This year, Lambda Literary Awards had only one category for bisexual books, Publishing Triangle had none and neither did any other book awards, LGBT or otherwise. The Bisexual Book Awards, by contrast, offered seven categories: five bisexual book categories, open to authors of any orientation; one category for publishers; and one for the best bi writer of the year from any genre.
Books were judged on three main aspects and ideally, winning books are expected to excel at all three:
1. Quality of overall writing
2. Quality of writing about bisexual characters, bisexual themes or bisexual material
3. Quantity of bisexual material
Bisexual Book Awards winners:
My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B, Cheryl Burke, Topside Signature
Fireflies at Absolute Zero, Erynn Rowan Laurie, Hiraeth Press
Bisexual Erotic Fiction/Erotica
Mount Royal, There’s nothing harder than love, Basil Papademos, Tightrope Books
Bisexual Speculative Fiction [Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror]
Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, Brit Mandelo, Lethe Press
In One Person, John Irving, Simon & Schuster
Bi Book Publisher of the Year (three joint winners announced)
- Lethe Press: published Beyond Binary, Silver Moon
- Riptide Publishing: published Dark Soul, Gleams of a Remoter World
- Sibling Rivalry Press: published For the Comfort of Automated Phrases, Shine
Bi Writer Award
Cheryl Burke for My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B, Topside Signature