Ellen Hoil of Riverhead picked up two LesFic Bard Awards for her 2020 novel, "Traumatic Love." Miranda Gatewood photo courtesy of Ellen Hoil. Photo copyright: Miranda Gatewood.

Riverhead resident Ellen Hoil has won two awards honoring Lesbian fiction, or ‘Lesfic’, for her 2020 novel “Traumatic Love.”

Hoil won for excellence in writing and storytelling for both the fiction and drama categories in the competition held by the Lesfic Bard Awards. The awards, presented annually, celebrate lesbian literature.

Hoil said she’d been working on “Traumatic Love” on and off for over a decade. She began reading Lesfic in the 90s when the internet popularized fan fiction. She published her first novella 15 years ago. 

Hoil submitted the novel for the awards after a friend who was also submitting talked her into it.

“I was excited and shocked,” when notified of the award, she said. “I never thought I would win,” Hoil said.

Hoil said “Traumatic Love” tackles how being a domestic violence survivor impacts a relationship. The story follows the relationship between Jo Powers, a police officer and domestic violence survivor, and Nydia Rogers, an emotionally scarred trauma doctor who is untrusting of police. The story takes place in a fictional town on the North Fork of Long Island.

“What are the ramifications [of domestic violence] like? You grew up, you survived it, now you’re an adult, but are you a functioning adult? Or do you just appear to be a functioning adult?” Hoil said.

“It started out of the premise of: how many times can you say you’re sorry before it doesn’t work anymore?” Hoil said.

Hoil, a lawyer and 2021 Democratic candidate for Riverhead town assessor, said the award recognition has reassured her of her writing skills. She’ll continue her passion for writing with future books, she said.

“It’s giving me the confidence to move forward with the other stories I’m working on,” Hoil said.

“Traumatic Love” is available to order in paperback, audiobook and ebook format through publisher Desert Palm Press or wherever you buy your books. Hoil has also donated copies to the Southold and Riverhead libraries.

One of two LesFic Bard Awards won by Ellen Hoil of Riverhead, for her book “Traumatic Love” published last year by Desert Palm Press.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]