A new award, the Rainbow Awards for Literature and Journalism, has been instituted to recognise work done by queer and cis-het writers’ narratives around LGBTQIA+ lives. It also hopes to encourage new writers in the genre and show that every story makes a difference in social constructs and perceptions. The awards aim to identify and reward exemplary affirmative work that bring to life authenticity, realities, stories of love, trials, tribulations, vulnerabilities and strength of the queer community.

The submissions for the first edition of the awards began on May 19 and will remain open till July 18. The awards are open to all Indians. They can be residents of India, living and based in the country, or they can also be residing elsewhere, but they must hold an official, government-recognised document that states that they are a person of Indian origin. Authors, journalists, and freelance writers who meet these qualifications are eligible to apply. The winners will be awarded with a cash prize.

Writers will be awarded in the following category:


  • Fiction: This includes novels, graphic novels and collections of short stories (by a single author).
  • Nonfiction: This includes memoirs, biographies, history and anything that doesn’t fall under Fiction.


  • Feature: This involves an article of at least 1,200 words.
  • Op-Ed: This involves a piece of at least 600 words.

This year’s jury will be chaired by author and activist Pramesh Shahani, who will be joined by editor Adrija Bose, art historian and writer Alka Pande, writer and translator Anish Gawande, artist and writer Jyotsna Siddharth, activist, writer, and artist Kalki Subramaniam, writer Parvati Sharma, writer and translator Poonam Saxena, and writer and researcher Sindhu Rajasekaran.