The Second Annual Bisexual Book Awards ceremony, organized by the Bi Writers Association (BWA), took place on Sat, May 31, honoring six categories of bisexual books and two special categories, for books published in 2013. The bisexual book categories were for Fiction, Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction (which includes Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror and more), Teen/Young Adult Fiction, Biography/Memoir and Erotic Fiction/Erotica. The Bisexual Book Publisher of the Year award rewards publishers for publishing multiple, quality bi-themed books and Bi Writer of the Year is reserved for an out bi writer whose book is notable and influential.
"Even though this is only our second outing, we have attracted more bisexual book nominations than any other literary awards in history--with a total of sixty books," says Bi Writers Association founder/director Sheela Lambert, "adding weight to the notion: 'if you build it, they will come.' We are thrilled that so many quality books were nominated and thrilled that the work we've been doing to encourage publication of bisexual books over the past eight years has been working! We hope this momentum continues," says Lambert.
The dedicated judges, one team for each of the six categories, spent over five months reading, critiquing and deliberating; first picking a list of finalists, then from that narrowed down list, picking the winners. The finalist and winners of the two special awards were chosen by BWA director Sheela Lambert.
Two publishers, Circlet Press and Riverdale Avenue Books, stood out this year for several reasons: they each published and nominated multiple bisexual books, they each had finalists in the awards and they each are dedicated to publishing bisexual material. "I was having the toughest time deciding which one deserved the award. Eventually I gave up and called it a tie!," said Lambert.
Shiri Eisner was chosen as the Bi Writer of the Year. Her book, "Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution" was the first book on bisexual politics published in a long time and was not only comprehensive and thought provoking, it was also influential. It inspired a Bi Book Club in New York City formed solely to study that one book, one chapter per meeting, for eight meetings. Which has now inspired BWA to start its own Bi Book Club to study other bisexual books and discuss the issues they raise.
The awards ceremony was augmented by a fabulous presentation visual by BiRequest leader Paul Nocera, showing the finalist books arranged in circles around the points of the star topping the award trophy with a bi pride flag in the background.
The awards ceremony was preceded by Bi Lines VII, a multi-arts reading by several nominated finalists of the Bisexual Book Awards, with musical interludes and visual art. There was also a couple of readings by contributors to Best Bi Short Stories, an anthology of bisexual literary fiction in multiple-genres that came out the day of the awards and will be eligible next year.
BWA director Sheela Lambert hosted the awards and was joined by LGBT literary star, author/publisher Cecilia Tan (Slow Surrender/Circlet Press) and bi community fan favorite author Ann Herendeen (Pride/Prejudice, Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander) in handing them out. Of course, Tan could only hand out awards Circlet Press was not up for, which was joked about from the stage, since Circlet had finalists in three of the eight awards.
After the awards, performers, award winners and audience decamped to the afterparty nearby at Café Gitane at the Jane Hotel where food and drinks were imbibed and much literary conversation was had.
Second Annual Bisexual Book Awards Winners:
Bisexual Fiction: The City of Devi by Manil Suri, W. W. Norton & Company
Bisexual Non-fiction: Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond Gay and Straight edited by Charles “Zan” Christensen, Northwest Press
Bisexual Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror/Etc.]: Pantomime by Laura Lam, Strange Chemistry
Bisexual Teen/Young Adult Fiction: Inheritance by Malinda Lo, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Bisexual Biography/Memoir: The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, Alden Jones, Terrace Books/The University of Wisconsin Press
Bisexual Erotic Fiction/Erotica: The Reunion by Adriana Kraft, B&B Publishing
Bisexual Book Publisher of the Year: (Tie) Circlet Press and Riverdale Avenue Books
Bi Writer of the Year: Shiri Eisner, author of Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution, Seal Press