The Alice B Readers Award
The Alice B Readers Award is given annually to living writers of lesbian fiction whose careers are distinguished by consistently well-written stories about lesbians. Named for Alice B. Toklas, the award is given once, only, in appreciation of career achievement. In addition to the medal, each recipient is given a lapel pin and a significant honorarium.
The Award was founded by Roberta "Sandy" Sandburg who died of cancer at the age of 72 on June 16, 2009. Sandy envisioned the Alice B Awards a decade or so ago, and in 2004 decided to make the awards a reality by committing funds from "an anonymous donor." A lifelong reader who was passionate about lesbian fiction, Sandy wanted to thank and reward the authors who had given her so much joy, and she did so by establishing the Alice B fund and gathering a group of women who became the Alice B Readers Appreciation Committee.
In addition to Alice B Medals, the Committee often awards Alice B Lavender Certificates to up-and-coming authors who do not yet have a body of work but who have published a remarkable work or two deserving of notice. Winners of the certificate also receive an honorarium of $50, and medal winners receive $500 and a hand-crafted medal inscribed with their name and the pertinent details of the award.
- 1 Significance of the Award
- 2 The Alice B Awards Committee
- 3 Winners of the Alice B Award
- 4 Winners of the Lavender Certificate
- 5 References
- 6 Notes
- 7 External links
Significance of the Award
Historically, lesbians have rarely had their voices heard in the fiction or nonfiction of modern society, (except perhaps as footnotes in medical journals regarding pathology). As Bertha Harris, author of many novels including Lover, once wrote: "Between the time of Sappho and the birth of Natalie Clifford Barney lies a 'lesbian silence' of twenty-four centuries." It wasn't until the 1970s and the establishment of Naiad Books (after the Stonewall-riots in 1969), that books by, for, and about lesbians began to be regularly published. Still, it was a long hard road with little recognition and to this day, considerable difficulties and discrimination face authors of lesbian works.
The Alice B Award is one small contribution toward overcoming discrimination. As Martha Nell Smith so cogently wrote:
"The trajectory of lesbian literature for the first two-thirds of the twentieth century can be described as a movement from encrypted strategies for expressions of the love that dare not speak its name to overtly political celebrations of woman-for-woman passion that, by the late 1960s, refused to be denied, denigrated, or expunged."
The Alice B Award exists to honor and recognize forerunners of modern lesbian fiction including such luminaries as Ann Bannon, Jane Rule, Marijane Meaker, Katherine V. Forrest, and Lee Lynch as well as to the new voices who are providing information, entertainment, and enlightenment to lesbians around the world.
The Alice B Awards Committee
The Alice B Awards Committee is an anonymous group of avid lesbian readers. The award is made possible by an anonymous donor. The donor and committee share a common goal: to reward and thank writers of lesbian fiction for their contribution to the lesbian community, culture, and identity.
At least two Medals are given out annually. Selections are made from lists compiled by the committee members’ all-time favorite living authors currently publishing and those who have not published in more than five years.
Winners of the Alice B Award
- Ann Bannon
- Kim Baldwin
- Cate Culpepper
- Lauren Wright Douglas
- Jennifer L. Jordan
- Val McDermid
- Joanna Russ
- Therese Szymanski
- Jennifer Fulton
- Claire McNab
- Ann Allen Shockley
- Sheila Ortiz-Taylor
Winners of the Lavender Certificate
- Regina Hanel for Love Another Day
- Cari Hunter for Snowbound
- Ann McMan for Jericho
- AJ Quinn for Hostage Moon
- Pol Robinson for Open Water
- Amy Briant for Shadow Point
- Nat Burns for Two Weeks in August
- Gina Noelle Daggett for Jukebox
- D. Jackson Leigh for Bareback and Long Shot
- Kristin Marra for Wind and Bones
- Amy Dawson Robertson for Miles to Go
- DL Line for On Dangerous Ground
- Colette Moody for The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin
- Carsen Taite for truelesbianlove.com
- Del Robertson for Taming the Wolff
- Gill McKnight for Falling Star and Green-eyed Monster
- L-J Baker for Broken Wings
- Catherine Friend for The Spanish Pearl
- Nairne Holtz for The Skin Beneath
- Brenda Adcock for Pipeline
- Cynthia Tyler for Descanso
- Jaime Clevenger for The Unknown Mile
- Gabrielle Goldsby for The Caretaker's Daughter
- C. Paradee for Deep Cover
- Home - Alice B Awards - The Website for the Alice B Reader's Appreciation Committee
- Alice B Awards Winners. Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
- Bold Strokes Alice B Award Winners. Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
- Alice B Award Winner Lori L. Lake. Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
1. The Lesbian History Portal. Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
2. Bertha Harris on glbtq.com Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
3. American Literature: Lesbian, 1900-1969. Martha Nell Smith. Retrieved on 2008-05-31.
4. The Alice B Awards 2011 Winners Page. Retrieved on 2011-03-06.
5. The Alice B Awards 2016 Winners Page. Retrieved on 2016-07-10.