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The Rainbow Awards is an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBTA fiction and nonfiction. Hosted and owned by blogger Elisa Rolle, the contest is open to all authors of work containing LGBTA fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBTA persons.

There is no direct submission fee, but for a submission to be eligible, authors/publishers must donate an equivalent amount per book to a selected LGBTA non-profit charitable organization. Suggested amount: 25 USD per submission.

Suggested Charities:
Abbey of the Brew City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: www.brewcitysisters.org/
Accept: www.acceptromania.ro/doneaza/ 

AIDS Healthcare Foundation: www.aidshealth.org/
AIDS LifeCycle: www.aidslifecycle.org/
AIDS Project LA: www.apla.org/
AIDS Support Network of San Luis Obispo: www.asn.org/
AIDS Walk Kansas City: www.aidswalkkansascity.org/

Albert Kennedy Trust: www.akt.org.uk/
Ali Forney Center: www.aliforneycenter.org/
All Out: www.allout.org/en/
AllSorts: www.allsortsyouth.org.uk/
American Institute of Bisexuality: www.bisexual.org/
Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice: www.astraeafoundation.org/
udre Lorde Project: www.alp.org/
Australian Marriage Equality: www.australianmarriageequality.org/
Avenue Community Centre: www.outsaskatoon.ca/
Basic Rights Oregon: www.basicrights.org/
Bay Area Bisexual Network: www.babpn.org/
BeLonG To Youth Services www.belongto.org/
Bi Foundation: bi.org/en
BiNet USA: www.binetusa.org/
Bisexual Resource Center: www.biresource.org/
Broken Rainbow UK: www.www.brokenrainbow.org.uk/
Calgary Outlink: www.calgaryoutlink.ca/
Callan-Lorde: callen-lorde.org/
CAMP Rehoboth: www.camprehoboth.com/
Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives: arquives.ca/
Center Long Beach: www.centerlb.org/
Central Valley Pride Center: centralvalleypridecenter.org/

Centerpoint: www.centrepoint.org.uk/
Chico Stonewall Alliance: www.stonewallchico.org/
CliniQ: cliniq.org.uk/

Colors: www.colorsyouth.org/
Covenant House www.covenanthouse.org/

Diversity Center: www.diversitycenter.org/
Diversity Collective Ventura County: www.diversitycenter.org/
Diversity Richmond: www.diversityrichmond.org/
Diversity Role Models: www.diversityrolemodels.org/
Divine Center for Queer Renewal: www.facebook.com/queerrenewal/
Equality Network Scotland www.equality-network.org/

Equality Toledo: www.equalitytoledo.org/
Fair Wisconsin: www.fairwisconsin.com/
Family Builders: www.familybuilders.org/
Frank Harr Foundation: www.frankharrfoundation.org/
Free2Be, GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services: www.free2be.org/

GALFA: www.galfa.org.au/
GALOP: www.galop.org.uk/

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders: www.glad.org/
Gay & Lesbian Fund of Vermont: www.glfundvt.org/
Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York: www.glyswny.org/copy-of-about-us
Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network : www.glsen.org/
GCLS Scholarship Fund: www.goldencrown.org/WaysToDonate/
Gender Centre: gendercentre.org.au/
Gendered Intelligence: genderedintelligence.co.uk/
Gerber/Hart Library: www.gerberhart.org/
GLAAD: www.glaad.org/
GLBT Community Center of Colorado: www.glbtcolorado.org/
Global Poverty Relief Foundation: gprf.net/index.html
GLYS: www.glyswny.org/
GMFA: www.gmfa.org.uk/

Hearts United For Animals: www.hua.org/
HIV/AIDS Care Program: www.careprogram.org/
HRC: www.hrc.org/
In Other Words Feminist Community Center: www.inotherwords.org/
Indiana Youth Group: www.indianayouthgroup.org/
Inland Northwest LGBT Center: www.thelgbtcenter.org/
It Gets Better Project: www.www.itgetsbetter.org/
Just like Us: www.justlikeus.org/about

Kaleidoscope Diversity Trust: kaleidoscopetrust.com/
Lambda Legal: www.lambdalegal.org/
Lambert House: www.lamberthouse.org/
Lavender Library Archives: lavenderlibrary.com/
Lesbians Who Tech www.lesbianswhotech.org/

LGBT Center Central PA/Lancaster: www.centralpalgbtcenter.org/
LGBT Center Los Angeles: www.lalgbtcenter.org/
LGBT Center Greater Cleveland: www.lgbtcleveland.org/
LGBT Center New York: www.gaycenter.org/
LGBT Center Sacramento: www.saccenter.org/
LGBT Foundation: www.lgbt.foundation

LGBT Youth Scotland www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/
LGBT National Help Center: www.glbthotline.org/
LGBT Youth Line: www.youthline.ca/
LBGTQ Center of Durham: www.lgbtqcenterofdurham.org/
LGBTQ Resource Center of Gulfport Library: www.mygulfport.us/lgbtq-resources/
Lifelong AIDS Alliance: www.llaa.org/
Like Me Organization: www.likeme.org/
London Friend: londonfriend.org.uk/counselling/
Long Island Crisis Center: www.longislandcrisiscenter.org/

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center: lalgbtcenter.org/
Lost-n-Found: www.lost-n-found.org/
LSVD: www.lsvd.de/
LYRIC www.lyric.org/

Margays: www.margays.de/
Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center www.mglcc.org/
Mercury Phoenix Trust: www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com/
Mermaids: www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/
Metro LGBT Wellness Center - St Pete www.metrotampabay.org/

Milwaukee LGBT Community Center: www.mkelgbt.org/
Moveable Feast: www.mfeast.org/
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance: www.nqapia.org/
National Center for Transgender Equality: transequality.org/
Network for Good: www.networkforgood.com/
New Zealand Rainbow Youth: www.ry.org.nz/
NOH8 Campaign: www.noh8campaign.com/
Odyssey Youth Center
: www.odysseyyouth.org/
One 'n' Ten: www.onenten.org/

One Iowa: www.oneiowa.org/
Opening Doors London: www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk/
OUT Foundation: theoutfoundation.org/
Out Saskatoon: www.outsaskatoon.ca/
Out Youth: www.outyouth.org/
OutFront Minnesota: www.outfront.org/
OutSpokane: www.outspokane.com/
PACE: www.pacehealth.org.uk/
Pasadena Pride Center: www.pridepasadena.org/
Pathfinders Milwaukee: www.pathfindersmke.org/
PFLAG: www.community.pflag.org/
Point Foundation: www.pointfoundation.org/
Pride Centre of Edmonton: pridecentreofedmonton.ca/
PRIDE Community Center of North Central Florida: www.gainesvillepride.org/
Pride Foundation Australia: pridefoundation.org.au/
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC: www.pridefund.org/
Q Center Portland: www.pdxqcenter.org/
Qmunity: www.qmunity.ca/
Quatrefoil Library: www.qlibrary.org/
Queer Rock Camp: www.queerrockcamp.org/
queerblick: www.queerblick.tv/
Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County: www.rainbowcc.org/

Rainbow Railroad: www.americanrainbowrailroad.org/
Rainbow Resource Center: www.rainbowresourcecentre.org/
Ruth Ellis Center: www.ruthelliscenter.org/
Sacramento LGBT Center: saccenter.org/

Sage: www.giveto.sageusa.org/
Seattle Humane: www.seattlehumane.org/

Seta: en.seta.fi/
Sherbourne Health Centre: www.sherbourne.on.ca/
Soy Toronto: www.soytoronto.org/
St. James Infirmary: www.stjamesinfirmary.org/
Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk/
Stonewall Alliance of Chico: www.stonewallchico.com/
Switchboard: switchboard.lgbt/
Tampa Bay LGBT Welcome Center: www.lgbtwelcomecenter.com/
Tennessee Equality Project: www.tnep.nationbuilder.com/
Terrence Higgins Trust: www.tht.org.uk/
Time Out Youth: www.timeoutyouth.org/
Trans Lifeline: www.www.translifeline.org/
Trans Media Watch: transmediawatch.org/
Trans United Fund: www.transunitedfund.org/
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund: http://www.transgenderlegal.org/
Trevor Project: www.thetrevorproject.org/
True Colors Fund: www.truecolorsfund.org/
UCAN: www.ucanchicago.org/
UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group: uklgig.org.uk/
Ventura County Pride: www.diversitycollectivevc.org/pride.html

Wanda Alston Foundation: www.wandaalstonfoundation.org/
William Way: www.waygay.org/
Women's Resource Center of Scranton: www.wrcnepa.org/
WWTLC: wwtlc.org/
Wyoming Equality: www.wyomingequality.org/
You Can Play: www.youcanplayproject.org/
You Will Rise: www.youwillriseproject.blogspot.com
YouthCare: www.youthcare.org/
Youth Project www.youthproject.ns.ca/

Zebra Coalition: www.zebrayouth.org/


1. The book must be published between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2021 inclusive.

2. The book must contain prominent LGBTA characters. In the case of romance categories, these characters must be engaged in the primary romance.

3. The book must fit into one of the following categories:

Fiction (Non Romance):
Contemporary General Fiction
Young Adult
Alternative Universe/Reality

Fiction (Romance):
Contemporary Romance
Erotic Romance
Romantic Comedy
Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance
Fantasy Romance
Romantic Suspence

Non Fiction:
General Non Fiction
Visual Arts & Photography

Special Category:
Debut Fiction

Within these categories entries will be further subdivided: Asexual, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender

4. The following books are eligible:

---a. First time ebooks or print books, self-published also

---b. First time print editions of previously published ebooks

---c. Republication by a publisher providing it was previously self published by the author

5. The following books are not eligible:

---a. Ebook editions of previously published print books

---b. Republication by a publisher if it was previously published by a different publisher


1. Book submissions will be accepted between 22 March 2021 and 20 September 2021 inclusive.

2. A book can only be submitted by its author or its publisher.

3. The submission must clearly state which category applies.

4. Books must be submitted in electronic format (PDF, EPUB and/or MOBI).

5. By submitting the ebook, authors/publishers agree for its distribution with the only purpose of being read by the commission. It's recommended, but not mandatory, that the file has some kind of protection, like a specific disclaimer or similar.

6. Submissions will be made via email to the following address: rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com.

For Book Contest, please provide the following info (mandatory if not different stated):

i. Author Name:

ii. Contact Email:

iii. Book Title:

iv. Publisher:

v. Release Date:

vi. Subcategory: Asexual / Bisexual / Gay / Lesbian / Transgender (ONLY for Anthology / Collection AND Non Fiction also LGBTA)

vii. Genre: Contemporary General Fiction / Humor / Mystery Thriller / Young Adult / Sci-Fi Futuristic / Alternative Universe-Reality / Fantasy / Historical / Erotica / Anthology Collection / Contemporary Romance / Erotic Romance / Romantic Comedy / Historical Romance / Paranormal Romance / Fantasy Romance / Romantic Suspence / General Non Fiction / Biography Memoir / Poetry / Visual Arts & Photography (ONLY for Anthology / Collection specify also subgenre: i.e. Anthology Collection Fantasy, Anthology Collection Paranormal Romance)

viii. Debut Novel: Yes / No

ix. Comments: please specify Charity name and amount and forward receipt from donation (email, pdf, jpg, whatever proof you have donation has been made)

xi. Attachment: please attach ebook to the email in PDF, EPUB and/or MOBI (preferably all three of them) AND receipt from donation

7. A Judge can submit books as either the author or publisher providing it is for a category which they are not reading for.

8. There is no direct submission fee, but for a submission to be eligible, authors/publishers must donate an equivalent amount per book to a selected LGBTA non-profit charitable organization: when submitting please provide in Comments field Charity name and amount you donated and forward receipt from donation (email, pdf, jpg, whatever proof you have donation has been made). Suggested amount: 25 USD per submission.


1. A book can be submitted in only one category unless it is also being submitted in Debut Fiction.

2. If a category receives fewer than five (5) submissions, the category will not be active in this awards cycle. The submitted books will be reassigned to parent category in the Category Tree.

3. In addition to specifying which Genre Category applies (see Eligibility Section) the submission must also state which SubCategory applies. There will be not reassignment cross-gender, unless there aren't enough submissions within a gender category. If there arenít at least 5 submissions for Bisexual Contemporary Romance AND Bisexual Erotic Romance, all submissions WILL BE reassigned to Bisexual Romance; they WILL NOT BE reassigned to LGBTA Contemporary Romance or LGBTA Erotic Romance, unless there aren't enough submission in Bisexual Romance.

4. Special Category: Debut Fiction. This is considered the first published stand-alone book in print or ebook of more than 41000 words meeting the eligibility requirements.


1. Judges will not judge any books which they have written, published or edited.

2. Judges will be required to read entries from 1 May to 30 November 2021 inclusive.

3. Judges must indicate prior to the commencement of reading which categories they are not comfortable reading.

4. Each Judge will be required to read a minimum of 5 books and will only be sent the books they are required to read.

5. Each book will be judged using 4 different criteria: Plot Development, Setting Development, Characters Development and Writing Style. Judges will rate entries in a range of 1 to 10 points for each criteria.

6. Winners will be announced on December 8, 2021.

The gay and lesbian world is interconnected in many ways and this is especially true in the world of LGBTA fiction with the rise of social media, internet groups and other online activities. The community prides itself in the support given to new and aspiring authors from many sources and in many ways, with the ultimate aim always being to not only give something back to the community but also to enable all of us to have the pleasure of more good quality books available. This support includes reviewing, beta-reading, running book groups and so on.

Qualified judges usually have ties throughout our community and by necessity they are well read, in fact usually voracious readers who care passionately about books and their quality. Many of them are already active volunteers within the LGBTA fiction community as previously described and it is recognized that entrants may already be known to Judges. This is an issue that is not exclusive to the Rainbow Awards. Our rules have always been clear that, in order to prevent any undue bias, anyone who is the author, publisher or editor of a nominated book is not allowed to judge that book. Likewise, a Judge may nominate a book for any category providing that they are not then involved in the judging of that book. In addition not only do the Judges follow clear judging guidelines but any book reaching the finals will have been judged by 5 to 7 different judges. Candidates wishing to be judges are welcomed, please contact Elisa Rolle at rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com. If you have not judged for this contest before, please give a short introduction explaining why you wish to participate in the jury for this contest.

As always we had a close look at the guidelines and refined them so that they reflect the process with the utmost clarity. Please make sure to read them before submitting or before volunteering to judge.

"Rainbow Pride Cheesecake" is the official pin-up boy of the Rainbow Awards especially created by Paul Richmond

"Air de Capri" is a 1923 painting by Gerda Wegener, with Gerda herself and her partner, transgender male to female, Lili Elbe