Under Consideration for February 2023

By Katelin Deushane  

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:


Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle. Simon & Schuster. 2023

From beloved internet icon Chuck Tingle, Camp Damascus is a searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community face in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down.

Chlorine by Jade Song. William Morrow. 2023

In the vein of The Pisces and The VegetarianChlorine is a debut novel that blurs the line between a literary coming-of-age narrative and a dark unsettling horror tale, told from an adult perspective on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a society that puts pressure on young women and their bodies… a powerful, relevant novel of immigration, sapphic longing, and fierce, defiant becoming.

Endpapers by Jennifer Savran Kelly. ‎Algonquin Books. 2023

A queer book conservator finds a mysterious old love letter, setting off a search for the author who wrote it and for a meaningful life beyond the binary in early-2000s New York City.

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself by Marisa Crane. Catapult. 2023

Dept. of Speculation meets Black Mirror in this lyrical, speculative debut about a queer mother raising her daughter in an unjust surveillance state.

Judas Goat by Gabrielle Bates. Tin House Books. 2023

In confession, in illumination, Bates establishes herself as an unflinching witness to the risks that desire necessitates, as Judas Goat holds readers close and whispers its unforgettable lines.

Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy Snyder. Tor Nightfire. 2023

Sister, Maiden, Monster is a visceral story set in the aftermath of our planet’s disastrous transformation and told through the eyes of three women trying to survive the nightmare, from Bram Stoker Award-winning author Lucy A. Snyder.

Stop Lying by Aaron Smith. University of Pittsburgh Press. 2023

Stop Lying is Aaron Smith’s most personal and vulnerable work yet. Revolving around the death of the poet’s mother and how Smith, a gay man, faces his upbringing where his sexuality was viewed as sinful and unnatural, these poems plumb the complexities of what families say and choose not to say. 

Tell me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt. Tor Nightfire. 2023

A dark, unflinching haunted house novel that takes readers from the well of the literary gothic, up through Brighton’s queer scene, and out into the heart of modern day trans experience in the UK


Ace Notes by Michele Kirichanskaya. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2023

Covering everything from coming out, explaining asexuality and understanding different types of attraction, to marriage, relationships, sex, consent, gatekeeping, religion, ace culture and more, this is the ultimate arsenal for whatever the allo world throws at you.

Black on Black by Daniel Black. Hanover Square Press. 2023

A piercing collection of essays on racial tension in America and the ongoing fight for visibility, change, and lasting hope.

Choosing Family by Francesca Royster. Abrams Family. 2023

A brilliant literary memoir of chosen family and chosen heritage, told against the backdrop of Chicago’s North and South Sides.

Sounds Fake but Okay by Sarah Costello. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2023

Spanning the whole range of relationships we have in our lives – to family, friends, lovers, society, our gender, and ourselves, this book asks you to let your imagination roam, and think again what human connection really is.

Transformer: A Story of Glitter, Glam Rock, and Loving Lou Reed by Simon Doonan. HarperCollins. 2023

In this funny and poignant memoir and cultural history, the television personality, columnist, and author of Drag pays homage to Lou Reed’s groundbreaking album Transformer on its fiftieth anniversary and recalls its influence on his coming of age and coming out through glam rock.


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