Posts tagged ‘LLF’

New media savvy queer lit editor wanted

JOB OPENING:
Web Producer/Editor, the Lambda Literary Foundation

The job
We are looking for a tech-savvy lit-lover who wants to be at the the nexus of the burgeoning online LGBT litscape.  The web producer/editor will help put the finishing touches on the new website, then take responsibility for 1) commissioning and posting immaculately edited content which is refreshed on a reliable schedule, 2) promoting the site through social media, 3) ensuring smooth and uninterrupted operation of the site.  Essentially, the web producer/editor will be monitoring the weather in the LGBT literary landscape and providing the community with the content they need before they even know they need it: reviews, opinion, interviews, community interaction–in written, audio, and video formats.

In addition to recruiting and assigning freelancers and volunteers, the producer/editor will solicit advertisers and oversee forum moderators.  S/he will report to the Executive Director, with whom s/he will consult.

The ideal candidate

  • has a solid grasp of the LGBT literary landscape, preferably with connections to publishers, agents, booksellers, writers, editors, readers, artists, etc. [E notes: you must be clued in to the US queer lit scene.]
  • is at home with social media–FB, Twitter, blogosphere–and associated technologies such as podcasting and video streaming
  • is proficient in Adobe Photoshop, basic HTML and Javascript, selected CMS (WordPress), and working knowledge of CSS, and CMS plug-in installation
  • has experience with recruiting & managing volunteer and freelance content providers
  • posseses great writing and editing skills, design flair, an instinct for and delight in community-building, and the demonstrated ability to innovate, plan and execute
  • loves to solve problems, make things work, and get things done

The rewards
You will meet and work with the giants of the LGBT literary world.  You will help grow the careers of emerging writers.  You will be loved and admired the world over.  You can work from anywhere with an internet connection (though as LLF is based in Los Angeles, the West Coast would be an advantage).

This is currently a half-time salaried position which we anticipate will grow to be full-time.  Pay dependent on experience.  Please send CV and cover letter to jobs@lambdaliterary.org.  Review of applications will begin Nov 30 2009.

Download Job Description (PDF)

[via AN]

November 17, 2009 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Re: Re: #LLFfail

Clarification of Lambda Literary Foundation Policy Guidelines of Nominations, 2009 Lambda Literary Awards, from Katherine V. Forrest, Interim President, Board of Trustees

September 25, 2009 – The Board of Lambda Literary Foundation, under the leadership of Christopher Rice, spent much of last year discussing how our literature has evolved, and the actual mission of the Foundation given the perilous place we find ourselves in with our drastically changed market conditions. We also took into consideration the despair of our own writers when a heterosexual writer, who has written a fine book about us, wins a Lambda Award, when one or more of our own LGBT writers may have as a Finalist a book that may be the only chance in a career at a Lambda Literary Award.

We discussed two essential questions: who we are, what we are here to accomplish. We discussed every single word of this, our Mission statement: The Lambda Literary Foundation is dedicated to raising the status of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people throughout society by rewarding and promoting excellence among LGBT writers who use their work to explore LGBT lives.

Lambda Literary Foundation is a service organization for our writers. Our LGBT family of writers. We celebrate those who support our writers, those in all the allied areas of our literature: our readers, publishers, booksellers, publicists, agents, etc. We celebrate straight allies of every kind and always have throughout our history, with the Bridge Builder Award, Small Press Award, Publishers Service Award, Editor’s Choice Award, among other awards and acknowledgments, and we’ll continue to do so.

Today we continue to be excluded in heterosexual society as we have been historically. Our books are taken from the shelves of libraries all over the country and even from the website of Amazon.com this year. It is more difficult to be an LGBT writer now than it has been in many decades, more difficult to make any income from our written words, much less a living. Publishers have closed, stores have closed, the markets seem to be shrinking with each passing day. It seems more urgent than ever that LLF be as active and supportive a service organization as we possibly can be for our own writers, and that’s what we’re working on, with a Board that could not be more passionate in our commitment. We will soon have a new, far more comprehensive website connecting all segments of our publishing world, and we’re determined to restore our Writers Retreat for emerging writers, the single most important initiative we’ve undertaken next to the Lambda Literary Awards.

As to what defines LGBT? That is not up to anyone at Lambda Literary Foundation to decide. The writers and publishers are the ones who will be doing the self-identifying. Sexuality today is fluid and we welcome and cherish this freedom. We take the nomination of any book at face value: if the book is nominated as LGBT, then the author is self-identifying as part of our LGBT family of writers, and that is all that is required. There are many permutations of LGBT and they’re all welcome as that LGBT term we’ve all adopted makes clear.

We hope this will clarify our policy and answer some of your questions and concerns. We welcome your comments.

I’m sorry, it doesn’t, and I’ll explain why I think so. I’m going to discuss this statement and I’m going to sound angry along the way, but I hope I make sense.

I wish I didn’t have to tear LLF apart, I really don’t. The LLF, over the years, became a flagship for LGBT literature where none existed before (there are others now) and therefore, as an organisation “dedicated to raising the status of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people throughout society by rewarding and promoting excellence among LGBT writers who use their work to explore LGBT lives” it became the word on quality queer literature.

Except when you look into its history, you’ll see it’s an organisation established to be self-rewarding even after the early years, slow to accept change, to be non-inclusive of all LGBT lit, unaccountable to its members, and still struggling with internal biases. I’m not going to discuss any of that. There’s already plenty of bitching about the LLF because y’know, politics. Instead, I want to focus on the issues that I see coming out of the new awards guidelines and LLF’s continuing blindness to its US-centric focus and to changes in the publishing landscape.

We’ve seen where LLF is coming from so I think it’s fair to show where I’m coming from in relation to queer lit;

I’m a lesbian writer and e-publisher not based in US or Canada.

Is the LLF applicable to me, bearing in mind:

  • Its mission statement (changed from “celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians – the whole literary community.”); and
  • Its awards’ eligibility guidelines (no ebooks and nominees must have been published and printed in the US (English language books only) in the nomination year)

I have big beef with the LLF purporting to be supportive of LGBT writers yet excludes international writers/publishers and electronic LGBT books while it asks for and accepts funds from the global community so that they can award US/Ca publications (previous longer post here). I don’t know who is dafter, them or the global community who give them money. It comes down to the misleading impression that the LLF promotes LGBT lit but really, only if the literature fits within a narrow definition, which is not declared in its mission statement but is operative.

The Lammies became narrower this year when, as you’ve seen above, LLF has decided to reward only openly LGBT writers. That’s a basket of angry cats in that statement, and arguments have turned ugly and public. For myself, and I know for many others who had assumed literary merit was the defining standard for a literary award (call us crazy), to be told that our books would now be vetted first on our sexuality was just stunning. All because of a knee-jerk reaction to a straight person winning a Lammie. One award, out of 21. In other worlds, we’d be celebrating this cross-over, we’d be lauding the success of integration, we’d be using the opportunity to push for more mainstream recognition. Instead, the LLF folds inwards and suddenly, our allies and friends are again seen as the other. It was fine as long as they played supporting roles in our lives but how horrible to think that they could actually sit at our table and play with our toys. They must all leave immediately.

This is laughable because of the following :

1. when one or more of our own LGBT writers may have as a Finalist a book that may be the only chance in a career at a Lambda Literary Award.

That’s presuming a lot. Surely all nominees hope to win every year. At that stage I’d like to think they’re hoping their book is better than the other nominees and not whether they had the good fortune to act on a same-sex attraction. Also I’m sorry to break this to the Lammy folks but outside of North America, readers don’t care whether a book won or became a finalist at the Lammies. LGBT bookstores don’t care (I’ve yet to see a book positioned upfront for winning a Lammy. In fact, I’ve asked why and the response I got was, “What’s a Lammy?”), and I suspect many writers who aren’t discriminated by their publishers aren’t all that fussed about it. I’ve yet to see evidence that a Lammy helps sales substantially. What gets bookstore staff and critics excited are books that are well-written, and when they get excited, more readers will be too. We should continue to keep them excited by upholding the beacon of good writing, otherwise the Lammies will become a quaint award only for the wee queer folk.

2. Today we continue to be excluded in heterosexual society as we have been historically. Our books are taken from the shelves of libraries all over the country and even from the website of Amazon.com this year. It is more difficult to be an LGBT writer now than it has been in many decades, more difficult to make any income from our written words, much less a living. Publishers have closed, stores have closed, the markets seem to be shrinking with each passing day.

I think this confuses several issues for an inflammatory effect- that the publishing market is facing tough times is true, but it is faced by the whole industry, not only LGBT publishers and writers. LGBT issues, our mere existence, will always be contentious and we’re always going to be fighting for our right to ‘be’, battling for our literature to be representative and represented is not going to end soon and the best way we can keep our literature alive is to support it from the ground up and keep promoting it by any media and any avenue possible. By taking a closed stance, we risk years of good work and public support.

The snafu at Amazon earlier this year brought the lgbt world out snarling. Although it was explained as an administrative error and rectified, it left a bitter taste in our mouths. We’ve forgotten though that Amazon is a private retailer and as such can do as it pleases. We’ve also forgotten that the LLF issued a statement absolving Amazon of any wrongdoing and sought a dialogue, a move that saw the acceptance of online retailers in the new guidelines when, up till last year, only books available via brick and mortar stores were eligible. More power to Amazon. But as the LLF had decided the snafu was a non-issue then, why dredge it up as an issue now?

As for LGBT writers losing opportunities because of a shrinking market, why not look at other opportunities for LGBT writers to earn a living? I’m referring to ebooks and e-publishers, of course. I’ll bet there isn’t one LGBT publisher who isn’t offering books in e-format or at least seriously considering it. Amazon is going great guns with Kindle, and most publishers already sell multiple format e-books directly from their own sites. Overseas readers buy most of their LGBT books from US publishers – e-books are attractive in both price and access. LLF should be putting resources into exploring this new medium, and if they find it beneficial, add their support to a fledgling market. It has the chance to act to secure the future of diverse and accessible LGBT literature that is potentially, truly global.

3.  As to what defines LGBT? That is not up to anyone at Lambda Literary Foundation to decide. The writers and publishers are the ones who will be doing the self-identifying. Sexuality today is fluid and we welcome and cherish this freedom. We take the nomination of any book at face value: if the book is nominated as LGBT, then the author is self-identifying as part of our LGBT family of writers, and that is all that is required.

This bit of the guidelines undoubtedly caused the bigger backlash. It smells of reverse discrimination and the Pros and Cons are still arguing about it. I don’t think we can ever agree on this issue because the wounds of discrimination are still with us and a hurt animal cannot see beyond its pain. My argument is, if (author’s) sexuality is not an issue, why have it as an eligibility requirement? If LLF are not going to police it, why declare it? Are they being superfluous or are they warning that it will be operative in the judging process? The statement and guidelines are contradictory. I hope they won’t be tested.

4. We celebrate straight allies of every kind and always have throughout our history, with the Bridge Builder Award, Small Press Award, Publishers Service Award, Editor’s Choice Award, among other awards and acknowledgments, and we’ll continue to do so.

These must be rare indeed – there’s barely any information on them on the LLF site.

Whew! That’s my beef this week. Tune in next week when veal may be on the menu.

October 1, 2009 at 12:56 am Leave a comment

Re: #LLFfail

The LLF has released a statement in response to the uproar caused by their new Lammy eligibility guidelines (see my previous post). I’m pleased they’ve actually acknowledged the issue – reaction on the interwebs hasn’t been positive for them, y’know – but after I read the statement by Katherine V Forrest (long may she live), I’m still confused.  I’ll post my thoughts about the LLF statement in a day or two, this weekend has been too busy.

Clarification of Lambda Literary Foundation Policy Guidelines of Nominations, 2009 Lambda Literary Awards, from Katherine V. Forrest, Interim President, Board of Trustees

September 25, 2009The Board of Lambda Literary Foundation, under the leadership of Christopher Rice, spent much of last year discussing how our literature has evolved, and the actual mission of the Foundation given the perilous place we find ourselves in with our drastically changed market conditions. We also took into consideration the despair of our own writers when a heterosexual writer, who has written a fine book about us, wins a Lambda Award, when one or more of our own LGBT writers may have as a Finalist a book that may be the only chance in a career at a Lambda Literary Award.

We discussed two essential questions: who we are, what we are here to accomplish. We discussed every single word of this, our Mission statement: The Lambda Literary Foundation is dedicated to raising the status of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people throughout society by rewarding and promoting excellence among LGBT writers who use their work to explore LGBT lives.

Lambda Literary Foundation is a service organization for our writers. Our LGBT family of writers. We celebrate those who support our writers, those in all the allied areas of our literature: our readers, publishers, booksellers, publicists, agents, etc. We celebrate straight allies of every kind and always have throughout our history, with the Bridge Builder Award, Small Press Award, Publishers Service Award, Editor’s Choice Award, among other awards and acknowledgments, and we’ll continue to do so.

Today we continue to be excluded in heterosexual society as we have been historically. Our books are taken from the shelves of libraries all over the country and even from the website of Amazon.com this year. It is more difficult to be an LGBT writer now than it has been in many decades, more difficult to make any income from our written words, much less a living. Publishers have closed, stores have closed, the markets seem to be shrinking with each passing day. It seems more urgent than ever that LLF be as active and supportive a service organization as we possibly can be for our own writers, and that’s what we’re working on, with a Board that could not be more passionate in our commitment. We will soon have a new, far more comprehensive website connecting all segments of our publishing world, and we’re determined to restore our Writers Retreat for emerging writers, the single most important initiative we’ve undertaken next to the Lambda Literary Awards.

As to what defines LGBT? That is not up to anyone at Lambda Literary Foundation to decide. The writers and publishers are the ones who will be doing the self-identifying. Sexuality today is fluid and we welcome and cherish this freedom. We take the nomination of any book at face value: if the book is nominated as LGBT, then the author is self-identifying as part of our LGBT family of writers, and that is all that is required. There are many permutations of LGBT and they’re all welcome as that LGBT term we’ve all adopted makes clear.

We hope this will clarify our policy and answer some of your questions and concerns. We welcome your comments.

Contact: Tony Valenzuela, info@lambdaliterary.org

This appeared the same time as the announcement that the President of the Board of Trustees, Christopher Rice, had resigned immediately and that Katherine V Forrest was the acting President in the interim. The Board is being advised by an interim Executive Director.

September 28, 2009 at 1:27 am 2 comments

#LLFfail

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This is a recurring theme for me and will continue until LLF moves with the times.

For background to this post, read my criticism against the LLF for excluding e-books and international queer lit from their awards (the Lammies). Basically, if you’re not in North America and don’t write English, you’re not queer worthy enough.

LLF has released their guidelines for next year’s Lammies. Changes! but not enough and some may think for the worse. Current guidelines are posted on their site but I’ll repeat the eligibility requirements here for posterity as the guidelines change every year.  Emphasis are mine.

The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) seeks to elevate the status of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people throughout society by rewarding and promoting excellence among LGBT writers who use their work to explore LGBT lives. (Lambda’s mission statement)

ELIGIBILITY
· In determining whether a book should be submitted for consideration, it should be noted that the Lambda Literary Awards are based principally on the LGBT content, the gender orientation/identity of the author and the literary merit of the work.

· The book must be published and distributed (i.e. available in bookstores or online) in the United States during 2009.

· Self-published books are eligible.

· Reprints of previously published paperback, hardcover or electronic books are not eligible. Second (or later) editions of a book are not eligible for consideration. A book that has been republished by a different publisher after its initial publication is not eligible.

· The book must be published in English. Translations from other languages into English are accepted, as long as the U.S. publication occurs during 2009.

· Books available in eBook format alone are not eligible.

Is this progress? LLF will now accept books only available from online stores (all bow to Amazon) as long as US readers can get them. Self-published books are  eligible.

On the other hand,  pure ebook publications are still barred (i.e.  still discriminated).  Yes, I’m spewing but unsurprised. Where would LLF be if they weren’t ultra conservative? Speaking of conservative, this statement worries me:

… the Lambda Literary Awards are based principally on the LGBT content, the gender orientation/identity of the author and the literary merit of the work.

Is that in descending order of priority? LGBT, I notice, doesn’t include intersex or queer identification. What does taking into account the gender orientation or identity of the author have anything to do with literary merit or promoting excellence in LGBT writing? What would the panel do with such information assuming they can get it? Most importantly, literary merit is last on the list!

Pardon me but this makes the LLF appear creepily inward looking  and self-rewarding, for themselves and their network again. Only.

September 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm 2 comments

LLF awards 2009

The Lambda award winners for this year were announced on May 28. I’ll post a link to the list later.

(more…)

May 30, 2009 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment


Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.