NLA-I began giving out their awards in 1987 at Living in Leather II.
From 1987 through 1989 the NLA-I awards were called the "Leather Man and Leather Woman" of the year awards. The goal was to award one man and one woman the award each year. In some cases no woman was nominated.
In 1990 the Leather Man and Leather Woman of the year awards were renamed to "Lifetime Achievement”.
In 1999 there was a tie and so three won the award.
In 2000 it was decided to bring back the Man and Woman awards without the “leather” titles. This was to recognize only one lifetime winner along with both a man and woman. In 2000 it was also decided we should focus on awarding our Chapters, so another award was created for them.
In 2004 the “outstanding award” was given to an individual member that provided outstanding activity. It was the only year this award was provided by this name.
In 2006 it was decided that the “outstanding award” be renamed as the President and Vice President awards to be given for outstanding service.
In 2008, Steve Vakesh requested NLA consider writing awards for the NLA-International. These awards were named for famous writers and tagged to the genres that they typically wrote within.
In 2010, the President stepped outside tradition and awarded his President’s award to the Misfits of Houston, a non-NLA affiliated organization. The Vice President also stepped outside tradition awarding a non-NLA member the Vice President’s award. This was the first time outside the lifetime achievement award a non-member or non-affiliated organization won an award from NLA.
The 2011 awards sparked much debate between NLA and the Transgender community over the gender identifying use of terms in the “Man and Woman” awards. The gender terms were removed and replaced. It was decided to name the Man after our Founder Steve Maidhof and the Female after Jan Lyon, two very important members of our Association. They would no longer be focused however on gender and would instead be focused on activity. Steve Maidhof award would go to those that perform work on both the national or International level. The Jan Lyon award would go to those that perform work on the local or State/Providence level.
Each year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) awards are given in the following categories;
Lifetime Achievement Award - to someone who has gone above and beyond for our way of life.
Man of the Year - a self identified male who's gone above and beyond. Now the Steve Maidhof Award for those that perform work on both the local and International Level
Women of the Year - a self identified woman who's gone above and beyond. Now the Jan Lyon Award for those that perform work on the local or State/Providence level.
President’s Award - an individual the President of NLA-I sees as having done something extra special or important.
Vice President’s Award -an individual the President of NLA-I sees as having done something extra special or important.
Chapter Of The Year -given to the chapter that the board feels has best exempified NLA's purpose or to a new chapter that has truly thrived.
NLA-I also gives the following writing awards to authors, bloggers, columnists and the like
Pauline Reage Novel Award
Cynthia Slater Non-Fiction Article Award
John Preston Short Fiction Award
Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Book Award
To view the list of past winners please visit the All Awards page.
If you have an individual or piece of writing you'd like to submit for an award you may do so on our contacts page.