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Meet the 2017 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellows!

Meet the 2017 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellows!

Author: Edit Team

June 27, 2017

Donate to the Retreat Scholarship Fund today!

Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is one of the country’s most competitive writing residencies and the only one in the world specifically for promising LGBTQ writers. It is a series of master classes that combines rigorous instruction from teachers who are also our community’s leading authors. The Retreat convenes LGBTQ writers (Fellows) from all over the world for one intensive, immersive week. Students arrive with manuscripts in hand, which may include a novel, a book of poetry, or a play that will soon enrich the fabric of our literature.

Our stellar faculty have included our community’s leading writers such as Dorothy Allison, Samuel Delany, Robert O’Hara, Jewelle Gomez, Joy Ladin, Kazim Ali, Andrew Holleran, and Katherine V. Forrest, to name a few. Past Fellows include literary luminaries Justin Torres, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Chen Chen..

This year’s outstanding faculty mentors include Garth Greenwell (Fiction), Diana Cage (Nonfiction), TC Tolbert (Poetry), Malinda Lo (Young Adult Fiction), and Phillip Howze (Playwriting).

Held in August in Los Angeles at Otis College of Art and Design, the 2017 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices embodies the exciting and diverse future of LGBTQ literature.


Nawaaz Ahmed is a transplant from Tamil Nadu, India. In a previous life he was a computer scientist, researching search algorithms for Yahoo. After quitting his job, he attended the creative writing MFA program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, winning several Hopwood awards for his novel, short fiction, and non‑fiction. He’s been invited to Macdowell, Yaddo, and VCCA, and has received scholarships from Breadloaf and Squaw Valley writer’s conferences. His fiction has appeared in the Sonora Review, and performed at the Sterling Music Room. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working on his first novel Sings Like A Bird.

Cal Angus is a queer & trans writer whose fiction and essays can be found at The Common Online, The Offing, BuzzFeed LGBT, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Origins Journal and elsewhere. He just finished his MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and before graduate school he worked as a naturalist, a fishmonger, a reporter in Idaho, and an advocate for transgender youth. He’s currently at work on a novel and a short story collection linked by the violent histories of museums.

Quentin Greif is a writer, teacher, and bookseller from San Antonio, Texas. He is working on a novel which focuses on queer communities in central Texas. Currently he studies writing with Catapult Literature in New York City, teaches high-school English, and is a bookseller at Little City Books in Hoboken, New Jersey. You can read more of his work here.

Matthew R. K. Haynes earned his M.A. in Fiction and M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Boise State University. His first novel, Moving Towards Home, was published 1999. His most recent novel, Friday, was published in 2015. His short works have appeared in Fringe, Yellow Medicine Review, and Hawai’i Pacific Review, among others. He has been a finalist for the Faulkner Award in Nonfiction, Writer’s Digest Award in Fiction, and Glimmer Train Award for Short Short Fiction. His collection of multi-genre writing, titled Shall We Not Go Missing, has been chosen for the Wayne Kaumuali’i Westlake Monograph Series, and is forthcoming from Kuleana Press of the University of Hawaii in 2017. In 2010, Matthew was awarded a State of Idaho Writing Fellowship.

Ammi Keller is almost done with a novel-in-stories about Hurricane Katrina, sexuality and disaster capitalism. She wrote the zine Emergency and has published fiction and nonfiction in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015, American Short Fiction, Joyland, Stories Care Forgot, The Zine Yearbook and Bottoms Up. Ammi was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University and now teaches for Stanford’s Certificate in Novel Writing Program. Her writing has been supported by residencies from the Norton Island Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

William Lung is an adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York, and received the 2016 Norman Kelvin Teacher-Writer Award. He also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CCNY, and is a two-time recipient of The Stark Short Fiction Prize.

Tanea Lunsford Lynx is a third generation born Black San Franciscan on both sides. Tanea completed her undergraduate study at Columbia University and her Master’s thesis work at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is the child of an incarcerated parent. She is an abolitionist. She is a multi-genre writer currently writing a novel entitled Sanctuary City that provides an in-depth look at life as a Black San Franciscan in the current moment of gentrification and police violence. Tanea has more than 10 years of experience as an artist, activist, and educator in San Francisco. Find her here. Donate to Tanea!

Ilana Masad is an Israeli-American writer. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Printer’s Row, Joyland, and more, while her nonfiction and book criticism have appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Vice, and more. She is the founder and host of The Other Stories, a podcast featuring fiction writers both seasoned and new. She enjoys social media too much for her own liking.

Whitney Porter has published fiction in Battered Suitcase, Metazen and Ping Pong Literary Journal. Additionally her work was in included in the Writer’s Studio at 30 Anthology. She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and has a degree in Journalism from SUNY Empire State.

Santiago J. Sanchez is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He studied anthropology and creative writing at Yale University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mask Magazine, The Latent Image, Aint-Bad Magazine, and the Mint Museum. Donate to Santiago Here!

Brandon Taylor is the assistant editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a contributing writer at Literary Hub. His work has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Bull Magazine, Split Lip Magazine, Literary Hub, Catapult, and elsewhere.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Tran is a high school English teacher, a near-graduate of an MFA in Fiction, a mother of two magical little boys, and a Kundiman Fiction Fellow—a space dedicated to the cultivation of Asian American Literature. She has written newspaper articles about social justice for the Vietnamese American community in Orange County, California. She is a lover of nature and words, a Vietnamese culture that doesn’t recognize her, people of color, and feminism. Currently, she is agonizing over a series of linked Vietnamese stories that reimagines Vietnam, myth, and war, while next to the ocean she can’t breathe without.


Wendy Judith Cutler, passionately committed to social transformation, is a longtime radical teacher, writer, jewish lesbian feminist activist. She co-authored Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection (2014). Her Memoir of an Undutiful Daughter about Lesbian Feminism in the 1970s is her current obsession. Her coming out letter, “Dear Mom and Dad,” was published in The Coming Out Stories (1980). She lives on magical Salt Spring Island (B.C.: unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples) with her lovergirl of thirty years where she creates sacred circles of women writing together and communes within a circle of queers.

Lourdes Dolores Follins is a Black, queer, US-born femme who comes from a long line of badass survivors, intrepid women, and working-class strivers. As a professor, psychotherapist, and a Ifa/Lukumi priestess, she also wears many masks. Lourdes has written about the health of LGBTQ people of color and her first book, Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation was published in 2016. Her second book, Black LGBT Health Across the Globe: A Regional Perspective will be published in 2017 and she is working on a book about the effect of the Great Migration on three generations of women in her family.

Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins is a speaker, educator and thought leader. A Southern California native, his work has been featured in Mused Magazine, Contrast Magazine and on sites like Blavity, TheRoot, and Attn. Dr. Higgins just recently completed a TEDx talk on the process of unlearning fear and embracing personal power and is a faculty member for this year’s Campus Pride summer camp.

Evan James has written for Oxford American, Travel + Leisure, Catapult, The New York Times, The New York Observer, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. His essay “Lovers’ Theme” was selected by Eula Biss as the winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Carson McCullers Center, and the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. He lives in New York.

Photo Credit: Tania A.

Chanelle Gallant is an activist-writer with a focus on sex and justice, a long-time organizer and a queer femme powerhouse. Her writing has appeared in MTV News, The Rumpus, The Establishment, Huffington Post, The Walrus and various anthologies. She is based in Toronto, Canada (Haudenesaunee, Mississauga of New Credit, Huron-Wendat territories) and is currently working on her first book. Find out more at

Photo Credit: Nic Holas

Theodore Kerr is a writer and organizer whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS. He received his BA from The New School, and his MA from Union Theological Seminary. His writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, BOMB, The Advocate, The Body, IndieWire, Cineaste, Hyperallergic as well as in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Drain and Dandelion. He is working on a book about AIDS, culture and history. He is a founding member of What Would an HIV Doula Do? and a member of the New York City Trans Oral History project. He was the 2016 winner of the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine.

Danny Thanh Nguyen is the editor of AS IS, an anthology of Vietnamese American art and literature. He received his MFA from Indiana University where he served as fiction editor of Indiana Review. Danny’s short stories and personal essays have appeared (or is forthcoming) in South Dakota Review, Gulf Coast, Entropy, New Delta Review, Foglifter, Hyphen Magazine, and other journals. He is currently a Kundiman Fiction Fellow and lives in San Francisco. @engrishlessons. Donate to Danny here!

Rajat Singh lives, works, and writes in New York. He holds an MA in anthropology and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. His personal essays appear on Catapult and in Papercuts, as well as in two South Asian-American anthologies—Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Writings on Family, and the inaugural issue of Kajal. He has published essays and reviews in The Gay & Lesbian Review, on LSE Review of Books, Literary Hub, Lambda Literary, Kajal Mag, and CFDA. Donate to Rajat Here!

Aaron Tilford works as a graphic designer and DJ. He is a recent transplant to LA after 15+ years in NYC and an extended layover in his hometown of Bloomington, IN. Since 2003 he’s been editing and publishing the queer-bent literary art journal Spunk, for which he has curated art shows and organized readings and other events. His writing and art have appeared in Exposed: The BPX Zine, the JOSH, Lambda Literary Review, and Mary Literary. He has appeared in KAISERIN Hors-Série; CRUSHfanzine; the reading series Brother My Lover; and in Robert W. Richards’ The Vanishing City at Dixon Place.

Steffan Triplett is a nonfiction writer interested in the essay, poetry, and hybrid writings. He is an MFA candidate and instructor at the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he was a John B. Ervin scholar. His work has been featured on Essay Daily and appears or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Wildness, The Shade Journal, Foundry, and elsewhere. Steffan is an incoming Callaloo fellow and a VONA alum. He was born and raised in southwest Missouri.

Tori Truscheit is a community organizer based in San Jose, CA, where she’s a regular contributor for the alternative weekly newspaper. Her essays have appeared in The Establishment, Everyday Feminism, and The Cut at New York Magazine, and she’s reported stories for Civil Eats, Extra Crispy, and Mic. She’s working on longer pieces about misogyny in millennial relationships, queer cheerleaders, and disco.

Ricky Tucker is a North Carolina native, storyteller, essayist, and art critic. His work explores the imprint of art on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He is the former editor of 12th Street journal and has contributed to Big Red and Shiny, The Paris Review Daily, The Tenth Magazine, and Lambda Literary, and has performed for reading series including The Moth Story Slam, Sister Spit, Born: Free, and Spark London, among others. He received his BA from The New School as a Riggio: Writing and Democracy scholar, and a Writer/Teacher MA at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Jubi Arriola-Headley is a writer, editor, storyteller, and first-generation American born to Bajan (Barbadian) parents. He’s currently working on his first collection of poems. Jubi and his husband divide their time between South Florida and Guatemala, where Jubi hopes to pick up enough Spanish to figure out what his in-laws are saying about him. Donate to Jubi Here! 

Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi, is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. K. has featured globally; Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, The Chicago Historical Society, The Guild Complex, The Hemispheric Institute, & The White House. They have received fellowships from The Home School, and Drunken Boat. Contributions are  in PBS News Hour, The Margins, Lambda Literary, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine,, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Make/Shift, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post,  The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. When The Chant Comes is their first collection.

Denise Benavides is an Oakland based queer xicana performance artist // poet // educator. Her work can be found in The Feminist Wire, Third Woman Press, and most recently, Foglifter Journal. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is currently teaching at Skyline College. Her debut collection of poetry, Split, was released in 2016 by Kórima Press. She is most looking forward to becoming a LAMBDA Fellow in the fall. For more information, please visit

Sarah M. Bess is a neuroqueer transsexual witch/poet grown in the ghostswamps of rural southeast Missouri. She was a 2016 Topside Press Trans Women Writers Workshop fellow. Her writing has appeared in Matrix, The Fem, and The Wanderer and is forthcoming in Resilience, an anthology from Wormbook Press. Donate to Sarah Here!

Rachel Brownson writes and works as a children’s hospital chaplain in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems and essays have been published in Nimrod, Four Way Review, The Collagist, The Volta, The Toast, and The Christian Century. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and she can be found online at Donate to Rachel Here!

jayy dodd is a blxk question mark from los angeles, california– now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Lambda Literary, The Establishment, Assaracus, Winter Tangerine, Guernica, & Yes,Poetry among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank] (Pizza Pi Press 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017). they are a Pushcart Prize & Bettering American Poetry nominee; their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy. find them talking trash or taking a selfie @

Kenan Ince is a mathematician, poet, and musician from Denton, TX, living on occupied Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute territory (so-called Salt Lake City). Their work has appeared in Word Riot, Duende, and Permafrost, among others, and won first prize in the Utah Pride Center Poetry & Prose Writing Contest. They are the recipient of scholarships to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and Lambda Literary Writers’ Retreat. Donate to Kenan Here!

Omotara James is a British-born American poet and essayist. The daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants, she is an MFA candidate at NYU. She is the Third Place Winner of the 2017 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, the recipient of Slice Literary’s 2016 Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets, as well as the Nancy P. Schnader Academy of American Poets Award. Her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine, The Recluse, Cosmonauts Avenue, Luna Luna Magazine and elsewhere. She has received scholarships from Cave Canem and the Home School. Online, you can find her at Donate to Omotara Here!

Natalie Sharp is a native of Savannah, GA and a proud black queer poet working on both page and stage. She earned her BA in English at Georgia College & State University and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Natalie has work that has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Juked, Madcap Review, Prick of the Spindle, Cactus Heart Press, and elsewhere. Natalie is an avowed supporter of Waffle House on every block, queer liberation, and joy without foreboding.

Hannah Rubin is an Oakland-based theorist, artist and community organizer. They frequently perform their work in bookstores, cafes, and basements around the Bay Area and have published in an array of literary magazines, punk journals, and copy-shop zines (such as Entropy, Be About It, Dryland, HOLD: A Journal, and many others). They run Poetry in the Dark, an experimental poetry reading series at Less Space Gallery, and Queer Living Room, a low-key writing group for queer writers caught between genres. Currently, they are at work on a book of lyrical poems and photographs that investigate the structural relationships between queerness, water, and abuse.

When Jane isnt writing the coolest stories you’ll ever read in your entire life, She spends far too much of her time in her apartment piecing together a “career” as a dominatrix/pornographer/sex worker/masseuse. She loves skateboarding and is always covered in bruises. Jane has played bass since she was thirteen in various go nowhere punk bands and is grateful to be alive. She currently resides in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

Karina Vahitova is a post-Soviet queer poet and movement artist from Kiev, Ukraine living in New York. She has previously worked with Opportunity Project helping to develop healing art therapy programs for individuals with brain damage. She led and managed the global research and performance art archive project at Marina Abramovic Institute. Currently, she volunteers as a rape and domestic violence crisis counselor with Crime Victims Treatment Center.  She is a co-founder of The Void Academy and is working on her first book of lyrical theory about female queerness, totalitarianism, violence, and women in the Soviet Union.  Donate to Karina Here!


Laura Carpenter is a writer, runner, mother, wife, lesbian and Alaskan (not necessarily in that order). Her publications include The New York Times, The Guardian, Lambda Literary, Curve, and the anthology Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaskan LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her wife and daughter and is so grateful to Lambda Literary for this opportunity to work on her young adult novel. You can also find her at

Kate Cochrane lives outside Boston with her wife, two daughters, and badly-behaved chocolate lab. Before becoming a law librarian at one of Boston’s many law schools, Kate was a Division I ice hockey player, a lawyer, and a stay-at-home mom. In the time she can steal from her family, she’s a writer. She was a contributing writer to for over four years before moving to Her short story, Dragon Slayer, was published in the Torqued Tales Anthology.

Melissa Eastlake earned a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Hollins University and works in nonprofit marketing. Her debut novel, The Uncrossing, is coming in 2017 from Entangled Teen. She lives in Athens, Georgia with her partner and dog. Donate to Melissa Here!

Joanna Eng is a freelance editor, writer, and web producer based in Yonkers, New York. When she’s not curating newsletters about classical piano music or writing persuasive emails to global news consumers or proofreading 700-page history tomes, she loves to write fiction for all ages featuring characters who don’t fit into neat categories—some of whom happen to be obsessed with plants, and others of whom, well, are plants. She tweets occasional compliments @joannamengland.

Sun Jones is a half-Korean, mostly-lesbian writer who grew up out in the country down South, where she spent most of her adolescent years escaping to the woods so she could write in peace. She writes fiction about queer Asians having adventures in space or in faraway magical lands, because that’s what she wanted to read as a child but could never find in her local library. She also writes confessional poetry because therapy is expensive. She was recently published for the first time in Moon City Review, where she also interns as an assistant poetry editor. Donate to Sun Here!

Charlie Miller is a queer trans writer, student, after school teacher, and disney villain currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated Emerson College with a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, and he’s currently studying Children’s Literature and Library Services to Children at Simmons College. He likes monsters, magic, and summer camp, and you can find him on twitter @thefakechuckie. Donate to Charlie Here!

Al Reitz is a Boston-based writer, a prose reader for the Blueshift Journal, and an aspiring cryptid. They spend most of their time thinking about the stars, frantically writing down ideas in their iPhone notes, and reminding themself that they’re never finished growing. Their debut collection of short stories, Middlelands, was released from Wilde Press in April.

Tom Ryan is a Canadian author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections. His young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. Tom currently lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his husband and their dog. For more information, visit

Miranda Schmidt’s work has appeared in The Collagist, Phoebe, Luna Station Quarterly, Driftwood Press, and other journals. Miranda grew up in the Midwest and now lives with her partner and two cats in Portland, Oregon where she edits the Sun Star Review, teaches writing at Portland Community College, and occasionally blogs about books at A graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program, Miranda recently completed a novel about haunting and is currently at work on a project inspired by shapeshifting fairy tales. 

C.B. Lee is a bisexual writer based in California. She is a first-generation Asian American and has a BA in Sociology and Environmental Science, which occasionally comes in handy in her chosen career, but not usually. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits, and was a Lambda Literary Fellow in 2016.

Nita is a tiny Southern queer with a deep love of sweet tea and very strong opinions about the best kind of barbecue (hint: it’s vinegar-based.) She is a 2017 #PitchWars mentor. In addition to being a YA writer, she is a moderator for The Gay YA. You can find her on tumblr at nitatyndall where she writes about YA and queer things, or on Twitter at @NitaTyndall. She lives in North Carolina. Donate to Nita Here! 

Daryn Wilde thinks of herself mostly as a ‘hermit crab’. Like, this fleshy thing she walks around in is just the shell and she’s this odd, squishy, carapaced thing inside that peeks out through the ocular openings. She also thinks she has a ‘rabbit heart’. She thinks of herself in terms of lots of odd animal metaphors, huh? She lives in New Jersey. She’s a librarian. She’s a vegan. She’s a non-binary, grey-A, what’s-it-to-ya? She drinks too much coffee (or so they say). Her writing is usually dark and twisty. You can learn more here. Donate to Daryn Here!


s.a.b.u. is a genderqueer, mixed race, first generation American playwright, poet, actor, and performance artist. Themes explored have included sex, addiction, race, gender issues, sexual identity, feminism, reproductive rights, ageism, classism, and abuse. When not writing, s.a.b.u. enjoys provocative conversation with family, friends, and strangers. Several of their plays have recently been read and/or produced. They currently split their time between Los Angeles, Maui, and New York City. s.a.b.u. gets into things. (@igetintothings)

Maxe Crandall is a poet and playwright based in Berkeley and Brooklyn. His work can be found in Vetch, Women & Performance, Brooklyn Poets Anthology, The Recluse, and SFMOMA’s Open Space. His play Together Men Make Paradigms (Yo-Yo Labs 2014) debuted at Dixon Place and was a finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award. Additional work includes the play Underwater Wedding, the chapbook Emoji for Cher Heart, and a solo piece he’s developing called Mud in Love. Maxe has received fellowships from the Poetry Project, Poets House, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He teaches at Stanford University. 

Taylor Edelhart makes new theatre. Their work deals with the sinister, the power of objects, and the intersection between theatre and games. Proud genderqueer person, they/them pronouns. Honored to currently be developing work with Pipeline Theatre Company, Upstream Artists Collective, Undiscovered Countries, and now Lambda Literary! Go to to sign up for their mailing list and stay in the loop about that and everything else they’re up to. BFA, NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School.

Daniel K. Isaac is a Korean American actor and writer born and raised in Southern California and currently based in New York City. You can see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.” Daniel began writing several years ago in order to share conversations he had with his ultra-conservative, uber-Christian, immigrant single mother. If you’d like to know too much about this hilariously sad // painfully funny relationship, head on over to According To My Mother. Donate to Daniel Here!

Abraham Johnson is a young writer from Athens, Georgia. He is an active member of the Athens Playwrights’ Workshop and his plays have been produced by every student theatre group at the University of Georgia. He has also developed plays at the Horizon Theatre, Out of Box Theatre, Sundress Academy for The Arts, and the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. His prose has been published in the magazine Hello Mr. as well as won the American Voices and National Silver Medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. He recently received CURO’s 2017 Summer Research Fellowship to research “Queer Spirituality Onstage.”

Calvin Kasulke is a playwright living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the recipient of a Creative Capital summer intensive fellowship, a Helene Wurlitzer fellow in playwriting, and was previously a BuzzFeed editorial fellow. If you have a Dungeons and Dragons campaign going in NYC, he’d love to join you. He is currently a Senior Associate at Precision Strategies, where he is a digital strategist for the good guys. “Who Killed Fun Horse,” his upcoming radio serial, will be released in Fall 2017. His work has appeared on the Internet. (, @weeklycase) Donate to Calvin Here!

Sloka Krishnan is a playwright-lyricist and recent Midwestern transplant to the east coast interested in magic; extravagance; ritual; and the disavowal of moral purity and coherent identity. In the DC area, his plays have received readings by the Rainbow Theatre Project and as a part of Forum Theatre (Re)Acts.

Michael Shayan is an Iranian-American Jewish playwright based in New York. His latest play, Buddy, will be presented as part of the Dixon Place HOT! Festival this summer. His work has also been developed at The Lark in collaboration with director Lisa Rothe. He studied playwriting at Harvard, where he worked with mentors Sam Marks, Liz Duffy Adams and Robert Scanlan. He was the youngest elected Board Member at the queer New Conservatory Theater Center in San Francisco, and currently works at Google in NYC. He’s also a stand-up comedian, a YouTuber, and a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild.

Carlos Sirah is writer and performer. His work encounters: exile, rupture, displacement in relation to institutions, local and beyond. His most recent theater pieces include: The Utterances, The Light Body, and Planets Measured by Parallax. His work has been performed and/or shown at Poet’s House, Nuyorican Café, KGB, The Granoff Centre, and the National Black Theatre Festival, and he has performed on the main stage at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Sirah has developed work with The Flea Theater, Vermont Studio Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Warrior Writers in collaboration with William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences. The Hambidge Center, The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and The Blue Mountain Center. He is a facilitator and serves on the steering committee of Warrior Writers, a community of veterans who make art.

Romana Soutus is an Ukrainian/Argentinian actress, playwright, and producer based in New York City. They graduated in May 2014 cum laude from Fordham University’s prestigious Theatre Program with a focus on Performance. For the last five years, Romana has performed and produced at the experimental theatre institution La MaMa in New York City. Romana’s plays include Hyena, which they performed at La MaMa, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival and the United Solo festival, and Martyrs, set to premiere in La MaMa’s Spring 2018 season.

Nelle Tankus is a queer trans woman playwright interested in making weird gay shit. Her full-length work has been seen at Copious Love Productions (The Untitled Play About Art School, dir. L. Nicol Cabe), Annex Theater (Eat Cake, dir. Catherine Blake Smith, and Gay City Arts (Safe, dir. Gary Zinter). Her shorter works have been seen at Mo-Wave, The Pocket Theater, Volunteer Park, The Erickson Theater, 14/48, and have been presented in association with MAP Theatre, ACT’s 1-Minute Play Festival, Fantastic Z. Theatre Company, Annex Theatre’s Spin the Bottle, Forward Flux’s collaborate/create, and in Portland OR with Fuse Theatre Ensemble. Nelle is a 2015 Lambda Fellow in Playwriting, was shortlisted for the 2016 Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and is an alumni of Parley: A Playwright’s Group.

R. Eric Thomas is an award-winning playwright and humorist. His most recent play, Time Is On Our Side, was the recipient of two Barrymore Awards including Best New Play and was named a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. His work has been produced or developed by Simpatico Theatre, PlayPenn, Azuka Theatre, and City Theatre Miami. He has twice been a finalist for the City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting. Eric is the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. He writes a daily humor column for in which he “reads” the news. In addition to and ELLE magazine, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, W Magazine, Man Repeller, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and more.


Nahshon Anderson is an award-winning artist from Altadena, California. They studied at California State University, Los Angeles, and has worked in television and film production for over two decades. Anderson is an NALAC Leadership Institute, Lambda Literary and VONA Fellow. An inaugural recipient of the Bryn Kelly Scholarship and a non-fiction BRIO Award from Bronx Council on Arts. They are a contributing writer in the forthcoming anthology, Happy Hour: Our Lives in Gay Clubs in Emerge: 2016-Lambda Fellows Anthology, Prose & Lore Issues 2, 3 & 5, and the Bronx Memoir Project. They are a recipient of grants from Creative Capacity Fund and the National Arts and Disability Center. They are a Grants Advisory Panelist for the New York State Council on The Arts, and a Juror for the Scholastic Art & Writing awards and has been a member of SAG-AFTRA since 1999. Anderson is working on a memoir Shooting Range.

Carson Beker is a writer, playwright, and storyteller. They are the co-founder of The Escapery, a Writing Unschool. Their work has appeared in Foglifter, Gigantic Sequins, Sparkle + Blink, Transfer Magazine, and Bourbon Penn. Their plays have been produced at or developed through the San Francisco Olympians Festival, Z Space, Custom Made, and Exit Theater. They were a 2016 Lambda Fellow and Tin House Workshop scholar, and they are so happy to return to Lambda as a WIR to work on their short story collection: Dead Cat Elegy: Nine Stories of Undrowning.

Annette Covrigaru is a bigender American-Israeli writer and returning Lambda Fellow. In 2014, she received Kenyon College’s Muriel C. Bradbrook Award for her story “Echoes of Time,” which also won Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal’s short fiction contest and was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards. She is the creator and editor of All Things Jesbian, an LGBTQ Jew(ish) literary and art magazine ( whose inaugural issue will be out this summer. Her work has appeared in HIKA, Kaaterskill Basin, TQ Review, The Calling Bell, and Gaslight. A master’s student in Holocaust Studies at University of Haifa, she has dedicated most of her young adult life to working for various LGBTQ and Jewish non-profits.

Frederick McKindra is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. His work does to race, sexuality, gender, and socio-economics what Tiger Woods did to ethnic identities by calling himself “Cablinasian” back in ’97. Frederick is himself a black man however, as well as a 2016 Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fiction Fellow, an aspiring novelist, and hopelessly Southern.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a theatre maker from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. He is an inaugural Field Leadership Fund Arts Manager Fellow (2015-2017) as well as a Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting (2015 & 2016). Azure received the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Award for his first full-length play “Mirrors.” You can keep up with Azure’s work at Donate to Azure Here!



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