Stonewall Book Awards Committee

Charge

The Stonewall Book Awards Committee shall select the winner of the Barbara Gittings Literature Award, the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award and the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award and name honor books (as appropriate) in accordance with award eligibility guidelines.  The committee shall recommend titles for consideration as well as read books submitted to and solicited by the committee.

Roster

Dr. Rebecca D. Hunt (Chair, March 24, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
Ellen M. Bosman (Member, July 1, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
Ms. Jennifer L. Collins (Member, July 1, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
Alyson Feldman-Piltch (Member, July 1, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
Gina Marie Hernandez (Member, July 1, 2013, to February 5, 2015)
Joel Nichols (Member, July 1, 2013, to February 5, 2015)
Ms. Holly Okuhara (Member, July 1, 2013, to February 5, 2015)
Mr. David Lee Suarez (Member, July 1, 2013, to February 5, 2015)
Wick Thomas (Member, July 1, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
Mr. Donald L. Yarman (Member, July 1, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
Elizabeth DeCoster (Administrative Assistant, July 1, 2014, to February 5, 2015)
John Amundsen (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015)
Michelle Harrell Washington (Primary Staff Liaison, July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015)

Displaying active committee roster as of 09/15/2014. Last retrieved on 09/15/2014. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Composition

The Stonewall Book Awards Committee shall be composed of 2 subcommittees of 11 members in each subcommittee including the chair:  the Adult subcommittee and the Children’s and Young Adult  subcommittee.  The Adults subcommittee will consider works eligible for the Barbara Gittings Literature Award and the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award.  The Children’s and Young Adult subcommittee will consider works for the Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award.  Each subcommittee will deliberate separately.

A Chair who serves for one year assumes leadership responsibilities for the committee.  The RT chair shall appoint a Chair of the Stonewall Book Awards Committee who shall serve as the overall administrator of the Committee.  This person will also serve as chair of one of the subcommittees and participate in the deliberations of that committee (adult or youth).  The Chair will make him/herself available during the Midwinter meeting to answer procedural questions of the other subcommittee as well but will not participate in their deliberations.  The RT Chair shall also appoint a chair of the other subcommittee.  

The committee will be diverse in gender identify, race, age, geography and by type of library.

Committee members serve for two years and are not eligible for successive reappointment.  In any given year, approximately one half of the Committee should be first time appointees. Incoming Chairs and new Committee members begin their terms following the conclusion of the ALA Annual Conference.

Description

Each year, the round table presents the Stonewall Book Awards to the best books with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes. There are three award categories: literature, non- fiction and children’s and young adult literature. Winning titles and honor books are announced at ALA Midwinter Meetings and the awards are presented at the Stonewall Book Award brunch at ALA Annual Conferences.

Procedures

General Information

The Stonewall Book Awards of the American Library Association are given annually to English-language books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience. The awards are given to works published in the United States in the previous calendar year, although works published elsewhere may be considered. (For the purpose of award eligibility, the 2015 Stonewall Book Awards Committee will consider works published between October 1, 2013-December 31, 2014; Subsequent Award committees will consider works published during the calendar year, meaning the 2016 Award Committee will consider works published January 1, 2015-December 31, 2015, and so on). Re-printings of previously published books will not be considered. Substantially changed new editions of previously published works and English translations of foreign-language books are eligible for the awards.

The Book Award Committee announces the winners at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, usually held in January. The awards, which consist of a commemorative plaque and a cash award of $1000, are presented to the winning authors or editors at the ALA Annual Conference, held in June or July.  Honor authors receive a certificate and no cash award.

Awards are made in three categories: adult literature, adult nonfiction and children's and young adult literature. The literature category encompasses novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. The nonfiction category includes biography, history, criticism, reference works, fine arts, and other traditional nonfiction genres. Anthologies comprised of both nonfiction and literary pieces will be categorized by whichever form predominates. The children’s and young adult literature includes both fiction and non-fiction. The Chair of the Stonewall Book Awards Committee shall make the final determination as to category, taking into account the Library of Congress classification number (if applicable).

Award Selection Process

Recommendation for Consideration

Anyone may suggest a title to the Stonewall Book Award Committee members for consideration for a Stonewall Book Award.  However, recommendations will not be accepted from the publisher of a proposed title, agents or representatives of the author, or anyone else who may stand to gain directly from the nomination of the book.  Publisher’s representatives may contact the Committee Chair and make them aware of titles that may be of interest to the Committee, or may send unsolicited copies to the Committee members.  Recommendations may be sent via email to any Committee member or submitted online at http://www.ala.org/GLBTrt/award/suggest and must be sent by the deadline of December 31.  A short statement describing why the book should be considered must accompany the recommendation. 

The Committee Chair compiles recommended titles throughout the course of the year, and divides the list of titles into the three categories, Literature, Non-Fiction, Children’s/Young Adult.  Committee members inform each other, via the listserv, of each recommendation as it is made.  Review copies of each title will be requested from the respective publishers for each Committee member.   It must remain clear that titles requested by the Committee are not nominated for the award, but are merely recommended for consideration.  Committee members must receive all requested or unsolicited titles by December 31.  During the course of the year, Committee members actively participate in ongoing discussions of the recommended titles, facilitated by electronic means and the Committee listserv.  Committee members are also expected to read reviews of recommended titles, either by consulting review sources directly available to them, or reading reviews produced by the other Committee members.

Members of the Committee may not suggest or recommend a title that they have contributed to, edited, or in any other way been affiliated with, or a title authored or edited by members of their immediate family or anyone with whom they share a household.  Committee members will nominate titles for consideration in the first stage of voting.

“Nominated titles”:  Committee members nominate not less than 10 and not more than 15 titles in each category to be semifinalists.  Committee members are encouraged to submit 15 titles.  The chair tallies the votes and the 10 titles with the most nominations advance to be discussed at the Midwinter Meeting.  In the case of a tie there may be more than 10 in any given category.  This list is compiled approximately 1 month before the Midwinter meeting.

“First ballot”:  At the Midwinter meeting, Committee members discuss the 10 semi-finalists in each category.  From these 10, Committee members nominate 5 titles to be considered for the Stonewall Book Award in each category.  The 5 titles with the most number of nominations are eligible for the second ballot.  In the case of a tie there may be more than 5. 

“Second ballot”:  Committee members vote for their top choice from among the 5 finalists.  The book with the most number of votes for the top choice is awarded the Stonewall Book Award in the appropriate category (Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award, the Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award or the Stonewall Book Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award).  The remaining titles from the results of the first ballot are eligible to be named Stonewall Honor Books.  The committee may choose to not name all (or any) of the remaining finalist titles as Stonewall Honor Books.

There may only be one winner in each category.  In the case of a tie the committee must revote until there is a single winner.

Announcement of Winners

The Chair will notify the winning authors and publishers as soon as the winners have been decided. The Chair will also notify the publishers of the Stonewall Honor Books.

In addition to the Chair of the GLBT Round Table, the Chair will notify the American Library Association of the winners at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, specifically the ALA Public Information Office and the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

In collaboration with the ALA OLOS office, the Book Awards Chair shall prepare a press release announcing the winners and finalists. Copies of this announcement shall be sent to the editor of the GLBT News, the GLBTRT Board list, the GLBTRT-list, the ALA Public Information Office, library and book selling periodicals, and other GLBT publishers, booksellers, periodicals, and newspapers. The press release shall also be distributed widely through discussion groups on the Internet.

Requirements and Duties of the Chair

The Chair must be a member of the American Library Association and the GLBT Round Table. They must commit to attendance at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference.

The Chair is proscribed from publishing book reviews of current GLBT books throughout the course of their terms. They may not nominate a book that they have contributed to, edited, or in any other way been affiliated with, or a book authored or edited by a member of their immediate family or anyone with whom they currently share a household.

The Chair is proscribed from holding any other official positions within the GLBT Round Table throughout the course of their terms.

 The Chair shall adhere to the following requirements and responsibilities, dividing leadership in a mutually agreed upon manner:

  • Recommend Committee members to the GLBTRT Chair and Chair-elect.  
  • Keep abreast of the publication of eligible books and compile lists of eligible titles. Suggested tools to use in the compiling of lists include: OCLC, Books in Print Plus, online catalogs of English-speaking countries outside the United States available on the Internet, national bibliographies, book review sources, national as well as local/regional GLBT publications, and publishers' and booksellers' catalogs, both print and online.
  • Ensure that small and academic presses are given equal consideration with trade and mass-market press publications.
  • Ensure that the Committee complies with American Library Association and GLBT Round Table policies and procedures, as well as its own.
  • Set and meet deadlines agreed upon by the Committee, the GLBT Round Table, and the American Library Association.
  • Provide the authors and publishers of winning books with a complete list of GLBT Round Table activities at the ALA Annual Conference as well as information about the book awards presentation.
  • Pursue and advocate for adequate funding for the Stonewall Book Awards with the GLBT Round Table and the American Library Association.
  • Report on the Committee's work to the Executive Board of the GLBT Round Table and its general membership via appropriate Round Table discussion lists and newsletters, and at American Library Association conferences/meetings.
  • Perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Committee and the GLBT Round Table.

The Chair is required to attend the Stonewall Book Awards Program at ALA Annual.

Requirements and Duties of Committee Members

Committee members must be members of the American Library Association and the GLBT Round Table. They must commit to attendance at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.  It is highly suggested they attend ALA Annual as well.

Committee members are proscribed from publishing book reviews of current GLBT books throughout the course of their terms. They may not nominate a book that they have contributed to, edited, or in any other way been affiliated with, or a book authored or edited by a member of their immediate family or anyone with whom they currently share a household.

Committee members are proscribed from holding any other official positions within the GLBT Round Table throughout the course of their terms.

Committee members shall adhere to the following requirements and responsibilities:

  • Keep abreast of current GLBT publishing and notify the Committee of eligible award candidates.
  • Read and critically evaluate as many current literature and nonfiction GLBT books as possible.
  • Participate actively in Committee discussions of books both nominated and eligible for nomination.
  • Submit nominations of GLBT books throughout the year for the Book Award.
  • Work collaboratively to acquire and relay to the Committee book reviews and other information pertinent to nominated titles and/or titles being considered for nomination.
  • Follow the rules and procedures of the Stonewall Book Awards Committee and meet the deadlines established by the Committee Chair.
  • Perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Chair of the Stonewall Book Awards Committee.
  • Committee members are strongly encouraged to attend the Stonewall Book Awards Program at ALA Annual.

Committee members completing terms on the Book Awards Committee are strongly encouraged to participate on other committees within the GLBT Round Table.

Updated & revised:

Origin

If anyone can contribute information about the history of this committee, share it via the GLBTRT Web Committee Contact Form.

Get Involved

Serving on a GLBT Round Table committee requires membership in ALA and GLBTRT. Learn more by visiting our membership page. To volunteer for a committee, visit our volunteer form page.