The Stonewall Book Awards - Barbara Gittings Literature Award Committee shall select the winner of the Barbara Gittings 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.
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The Stonewall Book Awards - Adult Committee shall be composed of 11 members including the chair. The chair is appointed by the RT Chair. The Adults Committee will consider works eligible for the Barbara Gittings Literature Award and the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award.
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 Midwinter Meeting.
About the Awards
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. 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).
Anyone may suggest a title to the Stonewall Book Awards - Adult Committee members for consideration for the Barbara Gittings Literature Award and the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award. 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/rt/glbtrt/award/stonewall/suggest and must be sent by the deadline of December 31.
The Committee Chair compiles recommended titles throughout the course of the year. 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 and the Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction 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 Rainbow Round Table, the Chair will notify the American Library Association of the winners at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, specifically the ALA Communications and Marketing Office and the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services.
In collaboration with the ALA ODLOS 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 Rainbow Round Table News, the RRT Board list, the RRT-list, the ALA Communications and Marketing Office, library and book selling periodicals, and other LGBTQIA+ publishers, booksellers, periodicals, and newspapers. The press release shall also be distributed widely through discussion groups on the Internet.
Roles & Requirements
Requirements and Duties of the Chair
The Chair must be a member of the American Library Association and the Rainbow 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 LGBTQIA+ 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 Rainbow 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 RRT 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 LGBTQIA+ 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 Rainbow Round Table policies and procedures, as well as its own.
- Set and meet deadlines agreed upon by the Committee, the Rainbow Round Table, and the American Library Association.
- Provide the authors and publishers of winning books with a complete list of Rainbow 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 Rainbow Round Table and the American Library Association.
- Report on the Committee's work to the Executive Board of the Rainbow 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 Rainbow 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 Rainbow 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 LGBTQIA+ 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 shall adhere to the following requirements and responsibilities:
- Keep abreast of current LGBTQIA+ publishing and notify the Committee of eligible award candidates.
- Read and critically evaluate as many current literature and nonfiction LGBTQIA+ books as possible.
- Participate actively in Committee discussions of books both nominated and eligible for nomination.
- Submit nominations of LGBTQIA+ books throughout the year for the Book Awards.
- 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 - Adult Committee and meet the deadlines established by the Committee Chair.
- Perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Chair of the Stonewall Book Awards - Adult Committee.
- Committee members are strongly encouraged to attend the Stonewall Book Awards Program at ALA Annual.
Members with a close personal relationship (family member, spouse/partner, intimate friend) or a professional relationship (co-author, co-illustrator) to an author and/or illustrator that is eligible for the award must excuse themselves from all discussion and voting process for said author and/or illustrator. If a situation does arise:
- The member must tell the committee chair in a timely manner that they have a close relationship to the author and/or illustrator
- The committee chair excuses member from discussion and voting process for said author and/or illustrator
- Virtual meeting: recused member disconnects from meeting
- In person meeting: recused member leaves the room
Members who write reviews for publications either in print or online must not submit reviews of materials eligible for this award during their terms of service.
Committee members completing terms on the Book Awards Committee are strongly encouraged to participate on other committees within the Rainbow Round Table.
If anyone can contribute information about the history of this committee, share it via the RRT Web Committee Contact Form.
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