Writer Jane Wagner to Join Wife Lily Tomlin, Hilton Als for Lambda Literary Conversation

The award-winning playwright and screenwriter is participating as part of the tribute for her Visionary Award prize.
Manny Carabel/Getty Images
Hilton Als, Jane Wagner, Lily Tomlin and Thomas Beard.

Like so many big events, the Lambda Literary Awards celebration — aka "The Lammys" — had to be scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Visionary Award winner Jane Wagner will have a chance to wax on about the honor during a rare sit-down conversation June 30 wife Lily Tomlin on Crowdcast on at 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST). The duo will be joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Hilton Als. 

“The Lammys," originally scheduled for June 8 in New York, recognize the best LGBTQ books of the year while Wagner was selected for the top honor thanks to her "achievement and passionate commitment to writing" and having "contributed positively and tangibly to the LGBTQ community."

Said Lambda Literary board of directors president Amy Scholder, "Wagner’s innovative and barrier-breaking work has influenced and shaped the lives of generations of young LGBTQ writers. Her work both defies categorization and reflects the broad range of our shared humanity."

Unlike many virtual events amid the pandemic, the online chat is "pay what you wish" with a suggested donation between $10-100. Proceeds benefit Lambda Literary’s work on behalf of LGBTQ writers, including the LGBTQ Writers-in-Schools program and the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices.

The Visionary Award is the latest in a long list of honors for Wagner who has won three Emmys, Peabody Awards, a Writer’s Guild Award, three Grammy, a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Special Award and a New York Drama Desk Award. Major hits include the Broadway success, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, J.T., and the television special, Edith Ann’s Christmas: Just Say Noel. The teleplay J.T. brought her to the attention of Tomlin, who was seeking a writer for her television character, the precocious Edith Ann at the same time Wagner was looking to expand into her writing to include comedy. They began working together on an Edith Ann album, and thus began an award-winning, creative and personal alliance that has lasted over 50 years.