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2018 AWARDS CATEGORIES

 

    • GCLS Literary Awards are presented in 16 judged categories (see below). If unsure of which category is appropriate for the book being nominated, please contact the Awards Administrators at  awards@goldencrown.org.
    • GCLS also presents five special awards: Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award, Tee Corinne Award for Outstanding Cover Design, GCLS Trailblazer Award, Lee Lynch Classic Award, and the GCLS Directors’ Award. All nominations for these awards are due by December 31, 2017.
    • The number of awards in each 'genre' category plus the Debut Novel category will be determied using the 25%-10% rule:
      • 25% of eligible nominations will be finalists
      • 10% of eligible nominations will be winners
    • If fewer than 6 books are nominated in a category, the category will be aggregated with another category, to the extent possible; or the category will be eliminated for the current awards year.
    • Novels must have a minimum word count of 40,000 words to be eligible for judging, (a 2% flexibility margin is allowed).
    • The Awards Administrators may, at their discretion, move a book into a more appropriate category. If the book cannot be placed in a suitable category, the administrative fee will be refunded and, if applicable, the books returned.

     



AWARD CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS AND JUDGING GUIDELINES

 

Lesbian Content

Content in all categories must include significant lesbian characters and/or themes and meet one of the following criteria: (1) the main character identifies as a lesbian; (2) the main character is or ends up in a lesbian relationship; or (3) the theme or plot deals with lesbian issues or lesbian life.

 

Anthology/Collections (Fiction)

Includes individual and/or multi-author fiction collections and/or short stories of any genre that may cover a large variety of topics, excluding Poetry and Erotica.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: none


Anthology/Collections (Non-Fiction)

 

Includes individual and/or multi-author nonfiction collections such as short-form memoirs, creative nonfiction, essays, humor, commentary, and short stories, excluding Poetry and Erotica.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: if fewer than 6 entries, will be combined with General Non-Fiction.

Word Count Guideline: none

 

Contemporary Romance: Short Novels

Romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship of the two main characters. In this category, the love story is the main focus of the novel. There may be secondary story lines (drama, humor, coming out, family dynamics, etc.) but the romance is the main story line. Romances must have a happy or hopeful ending.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: Contemporary Romance categories may be combined and recalculated annually, depending on number of entries and wordcount.

Word Count Guideline: 40,000-70,000 words

 

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Novels

Romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship of the two main characters. In this category, the love story is the main focus of the novel. There may be secondary story lines (drama, humor, coming out, family dynamics, etc.) but the romance is the main story line. Romances must have a happy or hopeful ending.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: Contemporary Romance categories may be combined and recalculated annually, depending on number of entries and wordcount.

Word Count Guideline: 70,001-85,000 words

 

Contemporary Romance: Long Novels

Romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship of the two main characters. In this category, the love story is the main focus of the novel. There may be secondary story lines (drama, humor, coming out, family dynamics, etc.) but the romance is the main story line. Romances must have a happy or hopeful ending.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: Contemporary Romance categories may be combined and recalculated annually, depending on number of entries and wordcount.

Word Count Guideline: 85,001+ words

 

Debut Novel

This category is for authors who have published their first novel during the time period covered by this awards cycle. Academic books, anthologies/collections, poetry, and works of nonfiction are not eligible for the debut novel award.

Judging Guideline: In the event an author published multiple titles during the nomination period, the FIRST published novel must be the one nominated for this category. In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

Erotica

Includes erotic anthologies/collections and erotic novels that contain a high level of sexual content, especially stories about sexual interaction. For each piece in an erotic anthology/collection, sex must be the inherent focus of the story. For erotic novels, sex must be an inherent part of the plot, narrative and character growth and couldn't be removed without damaging the storyline.

Judging Guideline: In this category, sexual interactions are central to the work, though stories may contain elements of other subgenres (such as romance, paranormal, historical, etc.). The works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words for Erotica novels, no minimum for erotic anthologies/collections

 

General Fiction

Novels that fall into the general fiction category may straddle so many genres that it’s hard to place them in any specific one. Examples include: a science fiction, fantasy, or romance that has strong elements of comedy and action and adventure; a dramatic or comedic story for which a romance is not the primary arc; a love story with an unfulfilled romantic arc; coming out stories; character studies; or fresh genres not included in other categories.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbians, but do not focus primarily on romance and/or sex, though those elements are often present. The works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

General Non-Fiction

This branch of literature comprises works of narrative prose dealing with or offering opinions or conjectures upon facts and reality. Includes humor, commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, personal narrative, memoirs, and biography.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: if fewer than 6 entries, will be combined with Anthology/Collection (Non-Fiction).

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

Historical Fiction

This genre of literature comprised of narratives that take place in the past and are characterized chiefly by an imaginative reconstruction of historical events and personages. For purpose of the GCLS Awards, a novel classified as 'Historical' must be set primarily in a time period at least fifty years in the past.

Judging Guideline: In this category, the historical elements must be part of the main plot/theme of the book. There can be romantic elements, but they are not necessarily the main focus. The works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

Mystery/Thriller

Novels in which mystery, puzzle, or search, particularly in the realm of crime, are central to the main plot. For mysteries, there generally would be sleuth(s) detecting, crime(s) committed, and a resolution to the mystery. Thrillers may include mysery elements as well as suspense, action and/or searches and chases. When romance looms larger or as large as the mystery or thriller plot, the book belongs in the Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure category.

Judging Guidelines: In this category, no love story or personal issues for the main character(s) ever constitute the main plot (though minor subplots of romance or personal issues may exist). The major focus is on solving crimes, catching criminals, saving the world, and the like. In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

Paranormal/Horror

Novels in which vampires or other creatures, ghosts, or some sort of paranormal happenings constitute a major part of the plot, or in which events of horror cause overwhelming feelings of fear, dread and shock.

Judging Guideline: In this category, paranormal and horror events are central. Though subplots of romance and drama may exist, the major focus does not have to be on love and romance. The works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: if fewer than 6 entries, will be combined with Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

Poetry

Includes single author or multi-author collections of poetry.

Judging Guidelines: In this category, the poems are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: none

 

 

Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure

 

These novels include two interwoven plot lines -- a romance and a complex storyline of suspense, intrigue and/or adventure. Focus may shift throughout the novel from the romance to the suspense/intrigue/adventure and back again. The category is not to be confused with the Mystery/Thriller category (where the main plot line is the mystery or thriller).

Judging Guideline: The culmination of storylines in these novels achieves an emotionally satisfying romantic arc and resolves issues of suspense, intrigue or adventure. Judging shold not give undue weight to either the romance or the suspense/intrigue/adventure but consider both equally. Romances in this category must have a happy or hopeful ending. In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Includes novels in which a significant element of the story does not now exist or never has existed--e.g., stories set in the future, imaginary worlds, and alternate histories. Stories can be set in the here and now, but with invented features--e.g., aliens living secretly among us.

Judging Guideline: In this category, futuristic, fantasy events are central. Though subplots of romance and drama may exist, the major focus does not have to be on love and romance. In this category, the works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: if fewer than 6 entries, will be combined with Paranormal/Horror.

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

  

Young Adult Fiction

This category is for any young adult novel, regardless of genre. The main focus of the plot must revolve around young adults and/or young adult issues. Young adult novels are defined as novels published for young adults that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 17.

Judging Guideline: In this category, young adult themes are the focus of the novel. it can be romance, science fiction, or any other genre, but must focus on the 12-17 age group. These novels do not necessarily have to take place in the present. The works are about lesbian issues, experiences, and lives.

Aggregation Guideline: none

Word Count Guideline: minimum 40,000 words

 


SPECIAL AWARDS

 

Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award

This award is voted on by members of the Golden Crown Literary Society. Voting eligibility requires active membership in the Golden Crown Literary Society on the day the voting opens. All other criteria for nominations for the judged categories, including publication date, first edition, and lesbian content are applicable. All nominations will be compiled and the Membership will vote to narrow the field to a shortlist of eight (8) finalists. The Membership will vote again to determine the winner from the eight (8) finalists.

Ann Bannon is the author of a series of five lesbian pulp novels known as “The Beebo Brinker Chronicles.” Written from 1957 to 1962, the books were bestsellers when they were first released, and have had remarkable longevity, especially for genre fiction. They have been published in five different editions and in several languages, and are often taught in women’s studies and LGBT studies courses. Ann was the winner of the first GCLS Trailblazer Award in 2005.

 

Tee Corinne Award for Outstanding Cover Design

This award is voted on by members of the Golden Crown Literary Society. Voting eligibility requires active membership in the Golden Crown Literary Society on the day the voting opens. All other criteria for nominations for the judged categories, including publication date, first edition, and lesbian content are applicable. All nominations will be compiled and the Membership will vote to narrow the field to a shortlist of eight (8) finalists. The Membership will vote again to determine the winner from the eight (8) finalists.

This award sets a professional bar for the look of our books by offering an award for favorite cover design. The award provides recognition for artistic work that contributes to the promotion of a quality product in our marketplace. The award honors cover designs that create a beautiful representation of the story and put a professional face on the lesbian genre. Cover design goes beyond the art and includes the typography and layout of the printed words as well as how the visual elements are arranged.

Tee Corinne (November 3, 1943 – August 27, 2006) was a photographer, author, and editor notable for the portrayal of sexuality in her artwork. This award is named after her to honor a trailblazer for lesbian visibility and give the award prestige with those who recognize how daring she was in her art and quest to make lesbians visible to the world. Tee Corinne was responsible for the covers of many of the early lesbian fiction books such as Curious Wine. She was also a published author of graphic design-related books, some (like the playful, educational Cunt Coloring Book) had a dedicated feminist edge.

 

GCLS Trailblazer Award

This award is for lifetime achievement and is presented each year to a single author in recognition of the contributions made to the field of lesbian literature. To be eligible to win, the author must meet specific criteria. The author must have published a significant body of work over a period of at least 20 years and written lesbian-themed works that have had a positive impact upon the growth and visibility of the field of lesbian literature. This award can be given posthumously.

Any active GCLS member can submit nominations for the Trailblazer Award which is chosen by past GCLS Trailblazers. The Trailblazer will be announced on April 30th (Alice Toklas' birthday).

 

Lee Lynch Classic Award

The GCLS aims to recognize books/titles that convey meaningful lesbian experiences with influential historical value to the lesbian community, recognizing that individual perceptions of classics will differ. The Classics Award differs from the Trailblazer Award in that the Classic Award is for a specific book/title that is timeless (e.g., Lee Lynch for The Swashbuckler).

Criteria Are:

  1. Publication date pre-dates the GCLS Literary Awards (i.e., Pre-2004);
  2. Book/Title is currently available and has been consistently available over the years;
  3. The book reflects the lesbian experience, lives, and/or history in a meaningful way;
  4. The book can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry;
  5. The book must be representative of the time period in which it was written and yet still resonate with present day readers;
  6. The book can now be considered a "classic" in the lesbian community.

Any active GCLS member can submit nominations for the Lee Lynch Classic Award. All nominations will be compiled and past GCLS Trailblazers will vote to determine the winning title. If a Trailblazer's book has been nominated, that Trailblazer will be removed from the voting. The winning title will be announced on February 3rd (Gertrude Stein's birthday), a GCLS defined "Lesbian Classics Day," by posting the winner on the GCLS website.

Lee Lynch started writing lesbian fiction and non-fiction in the 1960s when she was a frequent contributor to The Ladder, the only lesbian publication at the time. Since then she has published novels and essays, her stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, and she has written reviews and feature articles for The Lambda Book Report and many other publications. Lee's syndicated column, "The Amazon Trail," has been running in papers across the country since 1986.

 

GCLS Director's Award

The GCLS Directors' Award is presented to a single GCLS member in recognition of contributions made to the Golden Crown Literary Society during the past year and/or to the ongoing mission of the organization over a longer period of time. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be a GCLS member in good standing. Nominations for the Directors' Award are eagerly solicited from any active GCLS member and is chosen by the GCLS Board of Directors.


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