The Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction is Open/ How to Apply (Prize: $3000)

The Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction, in memory of the celebrated author Randall Kenan, honors Black LGBTQ writers of fiction. The award will go to a Black LGBTQ writer whose fiction explores themes of Black LGBTQ life, culture, and/or history.

Writer, teacher, and former Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices faculty member Randall Kenan was the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of non-fiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and two collections of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead and the recently released If I Had Two Wings. In his work, he explored how desire, community, and generational trauma can both uplift and warp the Black gay rural experience. He also edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the North Carolina Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize, and a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction.

Eligibility for The Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ Fiction.

  • To be eligible, the winner of the prize must have published at least one book and show promise in continuing to produce groundbreaking work.
  • The applicant must self-identify as LGBTQ and Black.
  • The theme of the writer must be Black LGBTQ life, culture, and/or history.

The Randall Kenan Prize for Black LGBTQ 2023

Submission Guidelines 

  • This award is made possible by founding sponsors Cedric Brown, Darnell Moore, Dr. L. Lamar Wilson, and Steven Petrow.
  • The applicant must have written and published (self-published or traditionally published) at least one book of fiction that captures the depth and complexity of Black LGBTQ life, culture, and/or history.
  • Applicants must submit a sample from an already published book of fiction of no more than 20 pages.
  • The submission must be well written and edited
  • All materials must be received by the deadline and submitted through the Submittable portal. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Do not submit materials via email.
  • If you have questions, email [email protected]
  • Deadline is 18th February, 2023.


The award includes a cash prize of $3,000.


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