interior banner image

Introducing Lambda Literary’s 2018 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows

Introducing Lambda Literary’s 2018 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows

Author: Edit Team

June 25, 2018

The 2018 Class of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices will spend a week in Los Angeles, August 5-12, 2018 working on their manuscripts in workshops led by some of our community’s leading LGBT authors/mentors. Read about these talented up-and-coming writers below and, please, consider donating to their individual fundraising campaigns to attend the Retreat, or to the general scholarship fund. Congratulations to our incoming students!


FICTION – Faculty: Chinelo Okparanta


Barrak Alzaid is a writer and an artist with extensive experience in curating contemporary art and performance. His current project, Fabulous at Five, is a memoir that relates the coming of age of a gay kid in an Arab and Muslim upbringing. It is a story of coming of age and family fracture and reconciliation. He is a founding member of the artist collective GCC whose work examines the Arab Gulf region’s transformations and shifting systems of power. They have exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at MoMA Ps1, The Whitney Biennial, Sultan Gallery Kuwait, Berlin Bieniale IX, and Sharjah Art Foundation, among others. He lives in Chiang Mai with his husband and their dog Starbuck. Twitter. Instagram.


Avi Cummings is a writer pursuing an MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College. With Belkys Garcia, he is co-editing a special fiction issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, “‘Grab the Broom of Anger’: Stories for the Revolution.” Avi has worked at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. He has also been involved with Jewish Voice for Peace, the Roots to Freedom Giving Circle, and other activist projects. He lives in New York City.


Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne, Australia. She has an MFA from San Francisco State University. Natasha has had poetry published in many journals including Landfall, Shenandoah, Bloom, Red Light Lit, Spoon River Poetry Review, Foglifter and North American Review. Her collections Anatomize (2015), Triptych Caliform (2016) and her novella-in-verse About a Girl (2017) were published by Norfolk Press in San Francisco. Her trans chapbook Seahorse (2017) was published by Nomadic Press in Oakland. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is an editor at Nomadic Press and works at St James Infirmary, a clinic for sex-workers.


Javier Fuentes is a Spanish-American writer and educator. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University where he was awarded a Teaching Fellowship. Javier has also taught at The School of Visual Arts. His writing has appeared in the Columbia Journal. He’s currently working on a novel about forced migration.


Serkan Gorkemli is originally from Turkey and has a Ph.D. in English from Purdue University. He is associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Stamford. His non-fiction writing about media and Turkish LGBTQ activism has appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Enculturation, Reflections, and Computers and Composition Online. Serkan is the author of Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey, winner of the 2015 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Book Award. He is working on a short-story collection that explores the themes of identity, masculinity, and sexuality in various contexts in Turkey.


Scott Hunter is the author of 5,000 post cards. His fiction was included in The Writers Studio at 30, released in May 2017, and is forthcoming in the Kyoto Journal. He is working on a collection of stories and a novel. He reads submissions for Epiphany Magazine and Cagibi Lit Online, and is active with Verbal Supply Company, a collective of writers and poets. A graduate of New York University, he studies and teaches at the Writers Studio in New York City.


Ludmila Leiva is a queer, mixed-race Latinx writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. Through her writing and art, she explores diasporic identity as it intersects with gender, race and sexuality. Her written and visual works have previously appeared in Wired, The New York Times‘ Women in the World, Literary Hub, Broadly, and more. She is currently working on her first novel. You can support Ludmila here.


Melissa Nigro is a queer writer and artist living in the Bay Area. She is working on a series of interconnected short stories set in the fictional community of Eden, a dying gold rush town in northern California. Her work explores how difficult it is to know when to call a place home, and when to leave it. She works as a photographer and graphic designer for Bay Area Children’s Theatre. Learn more at


Ricco Villanueva Siasoco has published in AGNI, Joyland, Post Road, The North American Review and numerous anthologies. In 2013, he was selected as a NYC Emerging Writer Fellow from The Center for Fiction. Ricco received his MFA from Bennington College and has taught at Columbia University, Boston College, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He works at the Chadwick School in Los Angeles and serves as a board member for Kundiman, a literary nonprofit dedicated to writers and readers of Asian American literature. Ricco’s short story collection, The Foley Artist, is forthcoming from Gaudy Boy in 2019.


Fredric Sinclair earned his MFA in Fiction from Boston University, where he was awarded the Saul Bellow Fellowship in fiction and the Leslie Epstein Global Travel Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Baltimore Review, Jersey Devil Press, and Chelsea Station, among others. He has taught creative writing at Boston University and Boston Arts Academy and is an alum of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Prior to receiving his MFA, Fredric lived in New York City where he was active in playwriting and play production and worked for humanitarian organizations. Currently, he is at work on a novel concerning the lasting trauma of a political sex scandal on those involved and a book of short stories. You can support Fredric here.


Sanchari Sur is a feminist/anti-racist/sex-positive/genderqueer Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. Her work can be found in The Feminist Wire, Matrix, Toronto Lit Up’s The Unpublished City (BookThug, 2017), Arc Poetry Magazine, Humber Literary Review, Prism International, and elsewhere. She is a PhD candidate in English at Wilfrid Laurier University, the curator/host/co-founder of Balderdash Reading Series, and blogs at



YOUNG ADULT – Faculty: emily danforth


Kate Bove is a New Englander living in the Bay Area, where she completed the University of San Francisco’s MFA program and received the school’s Zivic Fellowship in 2016. Her work has appeared in Exposition Review, Concrete Literary, Emerson Review, and plain china. When not writing, Kate can be found adding another flannel shirt to her closet—or exploring the city, the woods, and everywhere in between. You can support Kate here.


Tia Clark’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, The Offing, Day One, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere. She was a 2015-16 fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a 2017-18 fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.


Jennifer Cox recently completed her first novel, an apocalyptic Bildungsroman set in New Hampshire. She graduated from Harvard University with a Master’s in Literature and Creative Writing and is Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Change Magazine (please submit!). She lives in Chicago and balances her love of dark stories with dogs, pop music, independent book stores, and adventures with her fiancée. You can support Jennifer here.


Kirt Ethridge is a genderqueer/transmasculine writer and science educator living in Southern Indiana. They received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 2016. They are currently working on a YA novel about trans kids growing up in their hometown of Evansville. Their writing has been published in apt literary magazine, Paper Darts, the Heavy Feather Review’s #notmypresident, and Crab Fat Magazine. When Kirt isn’t writing, they are probably cuddling snakes or helping with their local Trans Support Group. You can support Kirt here.


Amal Haddad is a haphazard poet and wannabe novelist who collects maps of the Upper Michigan Peninsula, despite never having been there. Her writing has been recognized by the Montgomery County Council for Arts and Humanities and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is a 2018 Adroit Journal summer mentee in poetry and was named a 2018 YoungArts Finalist in Visual Arts for her series about the AIDS epidemic and its ramifications today. Amal studies English at Swarthmore College. You can support Amal here.


Jasmyne Hammonds grew up as a military brat and went to college in Virginia where she studied Creative Writing. She lives in Portland, Oregon and works as a full-time flight attendant. When she’s not daydreaming at 30,000 feet, she enjoys reading and writing fiction about characters from diverse backgrounds. She has contributed to The Flight Attendant Life blog and is currently working on a young adult murder mystery set in the Deep South. You can support Jasmyne here.


Caitlin Hernandez’s love of young-adult literature is rivaled only by her fondness for ice cream with Oreos and anything and everything rainbow. A Lambda fellow in 2015, Caitlin’s fiction has earned her mentorships from Writing in The Margins and We Need Diverse Books. Her nonfiction appears in the disability studies textbook Barriers and Belonging and the forthcoming Land of Firsts anthology. Totally blind since birth, Caitlin lives in San Francisco, where she teaches elementary-school special education. She’s also seeking a new a cappella group who will appreciate her rusty perfect pitch and “blawkward” dance moves. Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff! You can support Caitlin here.


Amos Mac is an artist living and working in Hollywood. In 2009 he founded Original Plumbing, the seminal print magazine documenting the culture of trans men. He was a producer for the Emmy-nominated series Gaycation, has been honored on the OUT 100, TRANS 100, and featured in the HBO film The Trans List. The Original Plumbing Anthology, featuring the best of all 20 issues, will be published by the Feminist Press in 2019. Amos is writing the young adult novel he needed as a kid. You can support Amos here.


Sacha Mankins is a part-time writer, part-time librarian, and part-time stepparent to a small herd of small goats. As Sacha Lamb, he writes magical, queer Jewish fiction. Sacha’s publishing debut was Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live (Book Smugglers, 2017). Sacha is currently pursuing master’s degrees in History and Library Sciences from Simmons College in Boston while continuing to write fiction and occasionally contributing to the Jewish Book Council’s Prosen People blog. Sacha can be found online @mosslamb on Twitter. You can support Sacha here.


Amanda V. Mead is a queer writer and teacher living in Spokane, Washington with her wife, two dogs, and a cantankerous cat named Seamus. She received her MFA from Eastern Washington University, where she served as Poetry Editor for Willow Springs. She was a contributor to Lambda Literary-nominated collections Dear John, I Love Jane, and its sequel Greetings from Janeland. Her poetry has been published in Calyx, Drunken Boat, Confrontation, and elsewhere. Amanda is currently working on a young adult novel that connects her childhood home in eastern Montana to her current home in the Pacific Northwest. You can support Amanda here.


Octavia Saenz I am an author illustrator from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where I went to theatre school and worked at a design agency for three years. I’m currently completing my undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing and Illustration at Ringling College of Art + Design. I write short fiction and games. My literary fiction focuses on LGBTQIA+ life, memory, and being Puerto Rican. I also write speculative fiction and horror, where my themes range from dreams and nature to consciousness and guilt. My short story about a transgender woman re-doing a date, “Overnight,” won the Gold Juror’s Prize in Creative Writing for Best of Ringling, as selected by Todd Pierce. I also received the Trustee Scholarship at Ringling. You can support Octavia here.


JD Scott is a writer, editor, amateur perfumer, and the author of two chapbooks. Recent and forthcoming publications include Best American Experimental Writing, Best New Poets, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, Ninth Letter, Apogee, and elsewhere. Recent accolades include being awarded residencies at the Millay Colony, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Writers at the Eyrie, in Brooklyn, NY. More of JD can be found at


Lin Thompson is a queer writer and children’s librarian who grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Boston. They hold a BFA from Emerson College and an MS from Simmons College. They spend their time leading story time and encouraging kids to make messy art at the public library, reading as many books about LGBTQ+ kids as possible, and taking care of their very needy cat. They’re working on a middle-grade novel about queer kids in Kentucky finding the space to be themselves.



NONFICTION – Faculty: Benoit Denizet-Lewis


Ellen Adams writes essays, fiction, and songs, with a particular interest in the unexpected doorways between kinship and estrangement. Recently named Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer in Nonfiction, her work appears in Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, and Singapore Art Museum, among others. She studied Comparative Literature at Princeton University and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. Before settling in Seattle, Adams was a Fulbright grantee researching politically-engaged Thai contemporary art. As a recipient of a 2018 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, she is revising a novel and developing a book-length work of nonfiction. Visit for more information.


Christopher Bakka is a writer from Texas. He studied English literature and theatre at Knox College, where he was awarded a Ford fellowship to attend the summer writing program at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. His work has appeared in If You Can Hear This and in Assaracus, both from Sibling Rivalry Press. A lover of languages, he’s translated Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell and The Illuminations, as well as several works by François Augiéras, from the French. He’s working on a record of his time in Paris, France.


Mariam Bazeed is a non-binary Egyptian immigrant living in a rent-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. She has an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. In addition to being an alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays, Mariam is a singer and performance artist. She is a current fellow at the Center for Fiction, and has received fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU, and Lambda Literary. She has been awarded residencies at the Marble House Project, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Hedgebrook. Mariam runs a monthly world-music salon in Brooklyn, and is a slow student of Arabic music.


Peter Bresnan is a writer and radio journalist. He’s reported stories about space simulations, about the weird underground world of Chicago stand-up comedy, and about the enduring joy and pain of gay heartbreak. His work has been spotlighted in The Atlantic, Vulture, The Guardian, The Financial Times, HuffPost, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a series of essays about the intersection of queerness and clinical depression. You can support Peter here.


Rhett Cooper, a gay, has a modular MFA in creative writing & book arts from The University of Utah. He is second of five sons born to celestial procreators in rural Utah. His memoir NOTHING IS PRIVATE is about gay Mormon drug addicts—all of whom were him. Some lucky publisher will make it available for purchase at airports, probably. His work is graphittied on pearly gates, flashing neon on toilet stalls. He lives with his widowed mother on purpose. Together, they devour cakes, watch Gilmore Girls, and he details his sex life to make her blush.


Daniel Elder lives in Oregon with his cat, Terence. His writing appears at The Rumpus, Gertrude Press, Portland Review, Maudlin House, and more. He’s writing a book about his mom, whom he misses very much. You can support Daniel here.


Naomi Gordon-Loebl is a writer and educator from Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Complex, The Nation, The Toast, and elsewhere. She works as the Research Editor and Internship Director at The Nation Institute. You can support Naomi here.


Jackie Hedeman is a Midwesterner and a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University, where she served as Reviews & Interviews Editor of The Journal. Jackie’s nonfiction has appeared in Autostraddle, The Best American Travel Writing 2017, Entropy, The Offing, and elsewhere. When she isn’t writing grants for a Kansas arts nonprofit, Jackie is working on a collection of essays about pop culture, secrecy and subtext, and identity. You can support Jackie here.


Anant Kaur is Brown and proud, a femme working-class survivor. Their writing appears in various publications including Feministing, The World Policy Journal, Bitch and make/shift magazines, and their self-published anthology Colored Girls. They is one of seven sex worker storytellers featured in the documentary film The Red Umbrella Diaries. They also graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine and was listed in Marie Claire magazine’s list of sex workers better suited for the presidency than 45. They has over a decade of experience organizing in low-income communities of color where they played a lead role in decriminalizing medical marijuana and ending the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution in New York State. They has a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an MA in Public Policy and Administration from McMaster University. They currently lives in Toronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory, and is writing their first book of stories on sex work.


Hiram Perez teaches at Vassar College. His first book, A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire (NYU Press), won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBT Studies in 2016. He has published essays in Social Text, Camera Obscura, The Scholar & Feminist Online, The Journal of Homosexuality, The Margins, and Transformations. His work has also appeared in the edited collections Reading Brokeback Mountain, East Main Street: Asian American Popular Culture, and Asian American Studies Now. He is currently at work on a memoir, Mongrel Love, where he explores the relationship between racial embodiment and shame.


Adam Swanson is a writer, advocate, and occasional ballet dancer. Today he works with state governments as the senior prevention specialist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Adam helped advance anti-bullying legislation and HIV/AIDS reforms while working in the U.S. Senate, and he is a former Mental Health America fellow. He was recipient of the 2017 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Student Award to support his studies at George Washington University in its LGBT Health Practice and Policy graduate certificate program. Adam holds a Master’s in public policy, and sits on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Consumer-Survivor Advisory Committee.


Margaret Whitehead came to writing after a previous career in refugee resettlement. In 2016 she earned her MA in Literary Reportage from NYU, and was a Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity Literary Journalism Fellow in 2017. These days she writes short stories, essays and reported features, which have appeared in publications including Good Housekeeping (online), Reason Magazine and Narratively. She lives in Springfield, Massachusetts. You can support Margaret here.



POETRY – Faculty: Ryka Aoki


Dana Alsamsam is a queer, Syrian-American poet from Chicago, and an MFA candidate at Emerson College. She is the author of a chapbook, (in)habit (tenderness, yea press, 2018), and her poems are published or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Gigantic Sequins, Poetry East, Tinderbox Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Fugue, The Boiler Journal, BOOTH and others. You can support Dana here.


Moncho Alvarado is a Latinx poet, translator, and educator. Their poems have been published in Poets House, The Academy of American Poets website, Mikrokosmos Journal, Acentos Review, Chaparral, and other publications. They are a recipient of fellowships from Poets House, Troika House, the Summer Seminar at Sarah Lawrence College, and won the Academy of American Poet’s John B. Santoianni award for excellence in poetry. They received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where they were awarded the Thomas Lux Scholarship for dedication to teaching, demonstrated through writing workshops with youths in Sunnyside Community Services in Queens, New York. Born and raised in Pacoima, California, they currently live in Brooklyn, New York, where they teach literature and creative writing.


Nefertiti Asanti is a writer, cultural worker & sometimes performance poet from the Bronx. Nefertiti is a fellow of The Watering Hole (2016, 2017) & EMERGENYC Hemispheric Institute (2015). In 2018, Nefertiti received a scholarship to attend Hedgebrook’s VORTEXT & joined the inaugural cohort of the Anaphora Literary Arts Residency for writers of color. Nefertiti’s work can be found at Winter Tangerine, AfroPunk & elsewhere. Nefertiti also reads poetry for Honeysuckle Press. Nefertiti can be found at


Cori Bratby-Rudd is an eclectic writer from the Bay Area. As a recent graduate from UCLA’s Gender Studies department, and a current MFA candidate in Creative Writing at California Institute of the Arts, she enjoys incorporating themes of emotional healing and social justice into her creative and non-fiction works. She has been published in Ms. Magazine, DryLand Lit Press, FEM News, Canyon News, Rainy Day Magazine, Westwind Journal of the Arts and she recently received an editorial choice award in Audeamus’ Academic Journal for the best research piece. You can support Cori here.


Catherine Chen is a poet and performer. Their work has appeared in Entropy, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Mask Magazine, Taggverk, Nat. Brut, among others. Their chapbook Manifesto, or: Hysteria is forthcoming from Big Lucks, and they’re working on a full-length collection of poems about disembodiment, machine language, and the Amazon Echo. Say hi.


Victoria Newton Ford is a poet and essayist from two Southern cities: Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, South Carolina. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a recipient of the 2016 Deacon Maccubbin Young Writer Poetry Award from the DC Center for the LGBT Community. Her writing has appeared in Sojourners, Connotations Press: An Online Artifact, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She is currently working on her first manuscript about black girlhood, mental illness, incarceration, and the South. You can support Victoria here.


Hank Henderson is a poet and storyteller. His monologues and one man show have been featured at Highways’ BEHOLD! Queer Performance Festival, INSTALL: WeHo, APT 3F, and the West Hollywood One City One Pride Arts Festival. Most recently, written work has been published in RFD Magazine and online at Entropy Magazine and HIV Here & Now. Hank has also curated the LGBTQ reading series homo-centric since 2010. He lives in Los Angeles with three cats and a man named Joe. You can support Hank here.


Nia KB is a queer black poet, musician and journalist from Fort Worth, Texas. She completed her B.A. in writing and journalism at Texas Christian University where she founded TCUnderground, an organization that integrated campus and local communities of color through artistic expression via informal showcases. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Eleven40Seven, Z Publishing House, Pamplemousse and elsewhere. You can support Nia here.


Aurielle Marie is a Black, Atlanta-born, Queer hip-hop scholar and a community organizer. Through her work as a poet and an activist, she explores the uses of intimacy and ritual in the practice of Black resistance. Aurielle is a 2018 Lambda Literary Writer Retreat fellow, a 2017 Roddenberry Fellowship Finalist, a Voices of Our Nation Fellow-Alum, a 2016 Kopkind Fellow, and a current Queer Emerging Artist-In-Residence at Destiny Art Center. She was chosen by Safiya Sinclair as the 2017 Poetry Prize Winner for Blue Mesa Review. She has been featured as a social-political pundit on CNN. Her essays and poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Blue Mesa Review, Selfish Magazine, in Scalawag, on For Harriett, ESSENCE Mag, Allure, NBC Blk, and Huffington Post. Her collection, Gumbo Ya Ya, won the 2017 Write Bloody Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured on a global host of stages, most prestigiously in her grandmother’s kitchen.


Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, hybrid writer and community educator teaching, writing, and surviving in the Pacific Northwest. Their poetry and nonfiction has appeared in Foglifter, Lady/Liberty/Lit, Tiferet Journal, Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. They were awarded an MFA in creative writing with dual concentration in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University. Their first poetry manuscript, My Ugly and Other Love Snarls, is available from University of Hell Press. Their first memoir is in progress.


Jaz Papadopoulos is an interdisciplinary artist who works in experimental poetry, installation, video and performance. They explore the in-between – that which is overlooked by language and other social and cultural powers – and are interested in diaspora, gender, bodies, place, memory, grief and ritual. Recently, Jaz completed a residency at the Cartae Open School in Winnipeg, Canada, and performed at Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece alongside Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. They are a current recipient of the New Artist in Media Art Production Fund at Video Pool. Jaz lives in Treaty 1 territory, “Canada.” You can support Jaz here.


Jon Riccio is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers where he serves as an associate editor at Mississippi Review. His work appears in print or online at Booth, The Cincinnati Review, Cleaver, Hawai’i Review, Permafrost, Switchback, and Waxwing, among others. The poetry editor at Fairy Tale Review and contributing interviewer for Sonora Review, he received his MFA from the University of Arizona.




PLAYWRITING – Faculty: Luis Alfaro


j. sebastián alberdi writes plays & poems about being queer, being mexican, and being brought up in his mother’s catholicism. he runs (, an erasure e-zine, and his first book of erasures Y ES is available from ghost city press. You can support j. sebastián here.


Raf Antonio is a Latinx, queer, LA born creator based in Toronto. His play Salvador: A Latin-Canadian Fantasia made him the first winner of the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s RBC Emerging Playwright Award. Recently, Raf served as a story consultant on Teletoon series Princess Sparkly Butt and the Hot Dog Kid – available on YouTube – and made his professional debut with the world premiere of Rope Running Out, which was developed at Soulpepper Theatre and Cahoots Theatre, directed by Indrit Kasapi, and presented by lemonTree creations. Raf is now Playwright-in-Residence at Cahoots, developing The Effeminates: A Queer Tale of Bloody Vengeance under the guidance of Artistic Director Marjorie Chan. He is also part of the inaugural Buddies Salon at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, facilitated by company dramaturge Mel Hague. can support Raf here.


C. Bain is a gender liminal writer-performer based in Brooklyn. His plays have been performed at the Kraine, the Tank, and at Dixon Place in NYC. His poetry appears in anthologies and journals including PANK,, A Face to Meet the Faces, the Everyman’s Library book Villanelles, and Muzzle Magazine. Thrice-nominated for the Pushcart Prize, he has also competed on and coached multiple slam teams. Debridement, his poetry collection, was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Awards. He works extensively with mythology, embodiment, trauma and sexuality. But he’d rather just dance with you. More at You can support C. here.


Lucas Baisch is a playwright and visual artist, originally from San Francisco, currently based in Providence, Rhode Island. His work has been read, developed, and shown at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Playwrights Horizons, Salonathon, Victory Gardens Theater, Links Hall, Gloucester Stage, American Theatre Company, The Neo-Futurists, The RISD Museum, The DeYoung Museum, SF Playground, etc. Productions include: Refrigerator (First Floor Theatre), The Scavengers (The Healy Theater at DePaul University), and A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company). Baisch is currently pursuing his MFA in Playwriting at Brown University. For more visit


Charlie James Cote is a playwright from Atlanta, Georgia. He is the recipient of the 2013 Columbia College Chicago Fresh Play Prize. His work has been developed at Chicago Dramatists and Horizon Theatre, where he was a Young Playwright’s Fellow in 2010. He is thrilled to return to Horizon Theatre as a playwriting apprentice for the upcoming 2018/2019 season. A lifelong storyteller, Charlie also harbors passions for screenwriting and creative non-fiction, as well as dramaturgy and new play development. Often explored topics in Charlie’s work include existential dread, time, gay love, the intersection of science and the arts, and the paradox of masculinity. In undergrad, a professor once described his playwriting style as “poetic realism,” he isn’t entirely sure what this means, but he has included the label in every artistic statement since. You can support Charlie here.


Kat Evasco is a theatermaker, writer, and stand up comedian. As a queer Filipina immigrant, Evasco’s work primarily reflects and celebrates the experiences QTPOC and immigrant communities.  Evasco is best known for her autobiographical one-woman show, Mommy Queerest, co-written and directed by John Caldon. She has performed at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bovard Auditorium, Logan Center, Annenberg Center, and FringeArts. Evasco’s current projects include developing and directing Prieto by written and performed by Yosimar Reyes and directing Locus of Control, a one man show by Jason Bayani. Evasco serves as the Co-Director for Resilience Archives.


Benjamin Fainstein is a playwright and theatre maker currently based in Portland, Oregon, where he serves as literary manager and resident dramaturg for Portland Center Stage at The Armory and JAW: A Playwrights Festival. His plays and performance texts include Carnival/Invisible, Iphigenia Among the Stars, Prototype 373-G, The Body Politic, and Paradise Sets In. He is a former founding artistic director of Whistler in the Dark Theatre, associate artistic director of Yale Cabaret, and managing editor of Theater magazine. Benjamin is a graduate of Middlebury College and Yale School of Drama; he originally hails from Houston, Texas. You can support Benjamin here.


Abraham Johnson is a queer writer based in Athens, Georgia and he is so excited to be returning as a 2018 Lambda Playwriting Fellow this year. His plays have been developed all around Athens and Atlanta, working with the Classic City Fringe Festival, New Georgia Group, Horizon Theater, Out of Box Theater, Essential Theater, and Lionheart Theater. His playwriting has also earned him residencies with the Sundress Academy for The Arts, recognition as a 2017 Lambda Playwriting Fellow, and in 2018 he was a finalist for SPACE on Ryder Farms’ Greenhouse Residency. His publications can be seen in the international queer men’s magazine Hello Mr., Emerge, the 2017 Lambda Emerging Voices Anthology, and the Athens Playwrights’ Workshop Press. In his free time, Abraham enjoys drinking cheap wine with his boyfriend and recommending Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays to strangers. He hopes you pick up a copy for yourself.


Roger Q. Mason’s plays give voice to the silenced through the ritual of performance. His works have played at New Group, McCarter Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, Son of Semele Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and the Kraine Theatre. His play The White Dress was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His piece Hard Palate was a New York Theatre Innovator Award nominee. Mason was a finalist for the Piven Center Lab and Activate: Midwest New Play Festival, semi-finalist for the inaugural Shonda Rhimes Emerging Playwright Award and Theatre Masters, and winner of a Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Producer’s Award. Mason holds an MFA in Writing from Northwestern University, MA in English from Middlebury College, and BA in English and Theatre from Princeton University. He is currently a writer in residency at Skylight Theatre’s PlayLab.


Yosimar Reyes is a nationally-acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerreo, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.” His first collection of poetry, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly… was self published after a collaboration with the legendary Carlos Santana. His work has also been published in various online journals and books including Mariposas: An Anthology of Queer Modern Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press), Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella Press), and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press). Reyes was featured in the documentary 2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry.


Michael Shayan is an Iranian-American Jewish playwright based in New York. His work has recently been presented & developed at La MaMa (dir. John Michael DiResta), The Lark (dir. Lisa Rothe), Dixon Place’s queer HOT! Festival (dir. Ellie Heyman), and Lambda Literary as part of the 2017 Playwriting Fellowship. 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 is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.


Ry Szelong is a playwright/performer/director+ originally from the Bay Area, CA. He’s a 2018 Fellow with University Settlement’s Performance Project and a SPACE @ Ryder Farm Greenhouse Residency Finalist. His own work has been presented at Nuyoricans Poets Cafe, INTAR’s Steep Salons, Triskelion Arts, Ars Nova ANT Fest, Dixon Place HOT Festival, and on Governor’s Island as a 2017 Public Works Department Resident Artist. BFA from NYU Tisch: Playwrights Horizons Theater School where he is an alumni TA and mentor. Artistic Associate of The Parsnip Ship, which turns plays into live podcast recordings: You can support Ry 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, NY Poetry Festival, Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & National Queer Arts Festival. They are a 3x Pushcart Prize nominee and has received fellowships from Lambda Literary Review, VONA/Voices, The Home School, and Drunken Boat. Their contributions are found in Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, NYLON, The Margins, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine,, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Apogee, Entropy, Colorlines, Everyday Feminism, Them., The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. They are currently a Guest Editor at Nat.Brut and 2018 Guest Faculty for The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary. When The Chant Comes (Topside Press, 2016) is their first collection of poetry. can support Kay here.


Matthew Haynes received his M.A. in Fiction Writing and M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Boise State University. He has been a finalist for the William Faulkner Award, Writer’s Digest Literary Award, and Glimmer Train Short Short Story Award. He is the author of the novels Moving Towards Home and Friday. Matthew was a State of Idaho Literary Fellow in 2010, Idaho State Library Traveling Scholar from 2011-13, and Lambda Literary Fiction Fellow in 2017.


Echo Pane is a returning 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow. Her work has appeared in Tin House, No Tokens, and The Still. She holds an MFA in Fiction from New York University and is a bookseller in Brooklyn. She recently finished revisions on a short story collection, The Hard Outer Layer, and will begin working on a novel at Lambda.


Subscribe to our newsletter