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Arsenal Pulp sweeps Lambda fiction categories with three wins

(l-r) Arsenal Pulp Press novelists Casey Plett, Larissa Lai, and Joshua Whitehead each won Lambda Literary Awards for fiction (Heather Saitz [Lai])

Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press won three of the four fiction categories at the Lambda Literary Awards on June 3. The winners of the best in LGBTQ writing were announced at a ceremony in New York City.

Two of these writers were recognized for their debut novels. The award for transgender fiction went to Casey Plett for her novel Little Fish, about a Manitoban trans woman grappling with the possibility that her Mennonite grandfather was also trans. The book also won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

“I am so grateful to be involved in transwomen’s literature,” Plett said in her acceptance speech. “My hope is that Little Fish and other books that I have written will become specks among many. I wrote this with particular love for transwomen who are living beautiful lives as we always have, loving each other, building worlds with each other.”

The award for gay fiction went to another debut novelist, Joshua Whitehead for Jonny Appleseed, about a Two-Spirit cybersex worker caught between life in the city and his reserve. Larissa Lai’s novel The Tiger Flu, a work of speculative-fiction featuring two women fighting to save a degenerating world ravaged by a flu pandemic, won the award for lesbian fiction.

“We are stunned that Arsenal authors won for Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Fiction tonight??” the press wrote, in part, on Twitter. “So proud of our writers!”

The full list of winners is available on the Lambda Literary website.