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About the Alice B. Awards Committee

History and Organization
The Awards


Alice B. Toklas, a Guiding Inspiration

Organization: The Alice B. Awards Committee is a mostly anonymous group of lesbians living in southern Arizona and Ohio who are avid readers. The award is made possible by money supplied by an anonymous donor. The donor and the committee share a common goal: to reward and thank writers of lesbian fiction for their contribution to the lesbian community, culture, and identity. We like to think our Medal winners are our “All Time, All-Star” writers.

History: The Alice B. Awards Committee was established originally to encourage submissions of quality manuscripts to a small press and to reward the writers of well-written books. That press went out of business, and subsequently the goal of the group was altered from awarding a prize for a single book to awarding a medal for “Lifetime Achievement.” Winners under the initial guidelines were: Gerri Hill, Nancy Sanra, Aya Walksfar, and Radclyffe. Radclyffe’s award was for that year’s “body of work,” and she was the only one not involved with the original publisher.
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The Alice B. Medal: This award is given annually to living writers who have careers distinguished by consistently well-written stories about lesbians. 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 gift of a $500.

At least two Medals are given out annually. Selections are made from lists of all-time favorite living authors compiled by the committee members. In order to qualify a writer must have published at least 3 books. Decisions are by consensus. The order of selection for this prize has nothing to do with how the writers are ranked in our hearts and minds.

The Lavender Certificate: The Lavender Certificate was awarded from 2005-2016 to authors early in their careers who, in the committee's opinion, had outstanding "maiden" novels in print. The award was intended to encourage new writers in their quest to let their voices be heard, which until recently was not an easy accomplishment. Nowadays, though, the volume of lesbian books published is awesome, and the committee is unable to read the incredible wealth of debut books, so as of 2017 the certificate is suspended. We are delighted that at long last, there are plenty of books reflecting lesbian lives!

© 2017 Alice B. Reader Appreciation Committee