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The J. Michael Samuel Prize honors emerging LGBTQ writers over the age of 50. To be eligible, the winner of the prize must be unpublished and meet our minimum age requirement. The award includes a cash prize of $5,000.


In order to be considered for the award, the applicant must:

  • be 50 years of age or older as of January 1st of the award year;
  • be unpublished and have no books under contract or forthcoming from a publisher (up to one (1) self-published title is permitted). Writers with bylines for short stories, poetry, and essays are still eligible.;
  • be of demonstrated ability and show promise for continued growth; and
  • show meaningful engagement with LGBTQ literary communities.

Additional Information

The applicant's contributions to the LGBTQ literary field beyond their writings will also be considered. For example: reviewing LGBTQ literature, conducting relevant research, participating in LGBTQ literary events, contributing to LGBTQ journals and reviews, membership in online LGBTQ literary forums, etc. This award is made possible by founding sponsor Chuck Forester.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.