Arts & Entertainment
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Amber Dawn nominated for Lambda Award

'I'm really excited to be a part of that'

"Of course I'm a writer, but I'm also an avid reader, so I have a lot of queer writers that I'm really looking forward to meeting," says Vancouver author Amber Dawn, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Credit: Courtesy of Amber Dawn

Local author and performance artist Amber Dawn is off to New York City next month to mingle with the brightest luminaries of the queer literary world. Dawn’s first novel, Sub Rosa, has been nominated as a finalist for a prestigious Lambda Award in the lesbian debut fiction category.

“They have quite a strong tradition of acknowledging queer authors, and I’m really excited to be a part of that,” she says. “Of course I’m a writer, but I’m also an avid reader, so I have a lot of queer writers that I’m really looking forward to meeting.”

The Lambda Literary Awards were created in 1988 and are given out annually to published books dealing with or celebrating queer themes. This year’s winners will be announced in New York on May 26.

Dawn describes Sub Rosa as a combination of speculative fiction and magical realism.

“It’s slightly off the grid when it comes to literary genres already,” she says. “Throw in the content of sex work and exploited youth, and you’ve got a bit of a challenging read ahead of you.”

Dawn has recently shifted her focus to short fiction; one of her stories will be featured in Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, an upcoming anthology edited by Ivan Coyote and Zena Sharman.

Dawn was honoured as Xtra‘s Visual Artist of the Year in 2005 and as Community Hero of the Year in 2008. She was previously nominated for a Lambda Award for editing the anthology Fist of the Spider Woman in 2010 and is currently director of programming for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.