The very first award, originally called the “Gay Book Award” was presented in 1971 to a book titled Patience and Sarah / by Isabel Miller.
The award is presented by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) which is a division of the American Library Association. A committee of librarians review the books, drawing from a pool of candidates which were published the year prior to the announcement date.
The name of the “Stonewall Book Awards” was chosen to honor the historical significance of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, an event which is now recognized as marking the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement.
It was at that ceremony that I met the featured speaker, Patricia Nell Warren, the author of the Front Runner.
I handed her a very old, very worn, paperback copy of her book, The Front Runner, to sign and her comment was “Wow, I haven’t seen one of these in a while!” referring to the edition with the cover shown over to the left.
I told her that had enjoyed the book so much that I had kept it with me for years, through countless moves. When I found out that she was going to be speaking at ALA, I went on a frenzy of cleaning and digging through my storage unit, to find the book, so I could bring it with me and have her autograph the book for me.
She smiled and signed the book for me. It told her that I thought the book was an awesome story and share with her how when a much younger me had read the book, I was blown away by the story. It was one of those watershed moments. She responded that …. [Read the rest of the article]