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Writers Retreat

The Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is the nation’s premier LGBTQ writing residency. It is the only multi-genre writing residency devoted exclusively to emerging LGBTQ+ writers. The Retreat is an unparalleled opportunity to develop one’s craft and find community.

Since 2007, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices has offered sophisticated instruction in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult fiction, playwriting led by the most talented writers working today. In 2022, the Writers Retreat expanded to include instruction in screenwriting and speculative fiction, and in 2023, the community grew even more with an all new completely virtual multi-genre cohort. In 2024, we will return to a fully in-person Retreat as well as introduce a Winter Retreat in 2025 dedicated to an immersive, fulfilling experience for faculty and fellows in a virtual setting.


You can help our community’s most promising storytellers attend the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices by giving right now.

Relive the 2023 Writers Retreat

On July 30, 2023, over 100 queer writers flooded Chestnut Hill campus in Philadelphia, PA for what our keynote speaker Kay Ulanday Barrett so aptly called, Big Gay Writing Camp™. The energy was high; the jittery nerves and first day school vibes melted away quickly to show us the home we built: within Chestnut Hill, within the Fellow’s cohorts, within each other. Faculty members Jeanne Thornton, Meredith Talusan, Phillip B. Williams, Victor I. Cazares, Ashton Pina, K-Ming Chang, Candice Iloh and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo provided instruction, wisdom, and leadership, while our Fellows and Writers in Residence provided the joy, energy, and community. There we were, back in person for the first time since 2019 as well as online, celebrating our 15th Retreativersary in style. Check out some of our highlights below.

Images and videos from the retreat

Join the 2024 Retreat

Our 7-day retreat takes place annually around the end of July into the first week of August. In addition to our full suite of programming which includes 5 days of workshops, panels, and craft talks, we also offer the opportunity to connect as a community by reading at our nightly reading series, attending social events, and building camaraderie over meals. Tuition covers programming, room and board, as well as on-site food services for the duration of the event. Full and partial scholarships are available. Applications open October 30, 2023 and close on December 11, 2023. Click below for more information.

Our Impact

Launched in 2007, Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is the only multi-genre writing residency in the world devoted exclusively to emerging LGBTQ writers. It provides a uniquely powerful opportunity to participants, jumpstarting the careers of dozens of LGBTQ writers every year.



Emerging writers since have taken part in the retreat since 2011.


Faculty, including Dorothy Allison, Danez Smith, Andrew Holleran.


genres, including poetry, young adult fiction, screenwriting, and playwriting


Anthologies, presenting Retreat Fellows work.

Support Lambda Literary Fellows!

The Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices has put many queer writers on the path to publishing. Books by Lambda Fellows can be found on our bookshelf at, where 10% of your purchase will benefit Lambda Literary.

Fellows & Faculty Directory


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Abe Zapata Jr. (Playwriting - 2023)

Abe Zapata Jr is a multi-hyphenate artist that works and resides in the city of Los Angeles. Abe’s writing deals with being a second generation Queer Mexican-American with a sharp and comedic voice. @abe_zapatajr

Adrian Khactu (Screenwriting - 2023)

Adrian Khactu (he/him) writes and teaches in Honolulu, HI. Clarion West, Fine Arts Work Center, VONA, and Kundiman. He is a pretty bad surfer, but a connoisseur of all the good boba shops on O‘ahu. @AdrianKhactu

Aileen Johnson (Young Adult Fiction - 2023)

Aileen Johnson’s kidlit celebrates diverse and daring young readers. Her novels, short stories, and picture books marry themes of privilege, race, gender, joy, and sexual identity. [JD@GW Law; MFA@VCFA] @aileenajohnson

Alex Romero (Young Adult Fiction - 2023)

Alex Romero is an American writer born and raised in Queens, New York. After earning his BA at Sarah Lawrence College, he taught English in a fishing village in the northwest of France. He is a proud 2023 Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow. In 2022, he was the recipient of the Matt Leone Fellowship at Colgate University. He has been featured or is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Coachella Review, Literary Hub, and others. His work has received support from the Southampton Writers’ Conference, the de Groot Foundation, and the Unterberg Poetry Center. He is completing his MFA in fiction at Columbia University, where he was awarded a Chair’s Fellowship. He is at work on a story collection titled Our Little Manila. His Instagram handle is @lil__papo

Alexandra Fallgren (Young Adult Fiction - 2023)

Alexandra Fallgren (she/her) writes about queer girls doing hard things and has far too many degrees. She works with teens in Chicago, where she spends her free time playing cello and spoiling her cat. (@alexfallgren)

Alfredo Trejo III (Virtual Multi-Genre - 2023)

@alfredotrejoIII is a queer scholar & artist, born & raised in LA. He is currently working on his PhD at UCLA. Alfredo has been thriving with HIV for a decade, sharing his story and advocating for people living with HIV.

Alli Cruz (Virtual Multi-Genre - 2023)

Alli Cruz (she/her/ella) is an American writer. Her work has appeared in The Margins, Diode, Hobart Pulp, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Stanford and an IG account under the handle @allicruzin. Alli resides in L.A.

Amanda Wong (Nonfiction - 2023)

Amanda Wong (they/them) is an essayist and technologist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amanda’s work explores the intersections between visual art, citizenship, and urban landscapes. Find them on their website ( or @awongxyz!

Amelia Diaz (Young Adult Fiction - 2023)

Amelia Diaz, she/her, is a blind, lesbian Latina with an MA in English, a passion for reading and writing queer YA fiction, and a love of French and music. Find her on Twitter @Braillethrulife.

Amina Awad (Young Adult Fiction - 2023)

Amina is a Palestinian writer who currently resides in Boston. Her writing is rooted in a desire to magnify the voices of young Queer Muslims struggling with mental illness. Her writing leans into the Palestinian tradition of storytelling as a means of resistance and connection. When not ranting about imperialism, Amina can be found watering one of her fifty plants named after some of her favorite characters. She is in her second year of her Master of Social Work degree at Boston College. Amina is the co-author of two children’s books written in English and Arabic, exploring storytelling and displacement. Amina can be found on instagram @aminaawado

Amina Kayani (Speculative Fiction - 2023)

Amina Kayani is a Muhajir writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories love their strangeness and have appeared or are forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, the Offing, JOYLAND, and elsewhere. Find her on twitter @_am1na.

Amy Estes (Nonfiction - 2023)

Amy Estes’ (she/her) work has been published in The Rumpus, McSweeney’s & elsewhere. She’s an MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, & a middle school English teacher. Find her online at @amymelissaestes.

Arianna Monet (Virtual Multi-Genre - 2023)

Arianna Monet (she/they) is a queer Black poet and strawberry ice cream enthusiast from eastern Massachusetts. She is also a 2022 Zoeglossia Fellow and can be found on Twitter @spilled__honey.

Ash B. Alpert (Fiction - 2023)

Ash Alpert is a non-binary queer Jewish physician whose novel-in-progress, Shelter, is a coming-of-age story of a young person’s perceived culpability in the violence around her and her search for a home @ash_alpert

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (Screenwriting - 2023)

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (he/they) is a creative writer and educator from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. He lives and works in New York City.
Twitter: @azuredeezure
IG: @theswitchwitch

Becker Grumet (Playwriting - 2023)

Becker Grumet (they/them) is a writer + producer of plays and musicals, as well as a psychotherapist. They are also the lead facilitator of Art Time Presents’ Peer Support Group for Gender Expansive Artists.

Benedict Nguyễn (Fiction - 2023)

Benedict Nguyễn (@xbennyboo) is a dancer, writer, and creative producer. Her writing has appeared in BOMB, Vanity Fair, and AAWW’s The Margins, among others. She published the art world zine “nasty notes” in 2022.

Brian Dang (Playwriting - 2023)

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Vietnamese/Chinese playwright/poet/teaching artist based in Duwamish Territory (Seattle). They really like bread. @brianeatswords

A. Light Zachary (Poetry - 2021)

A. Light Zachary is an autistic and bigender human being in Canada. Find them here and here. Light is currently writing two novels + a big book of poems on queer self-determination; in the meantime, you can buy their forthcoming chapbook, I build it better (Rahila’s Ghost, late 2021) and their novella, The End, By Anna (Metatron, 2016). Prior to Lambda, they most recently held a writing studio fellowship at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Light is also a teacher of writing, a consulting editor, and poetry curator of The Puritan.

A.J. McClenon (Poetry - 2021)

Born and raised in “DC proper,” A.J. is passionate about teaching and the art of words & making, with the goal that all the memories and histories that are said to have “too many Black people,” are told and retold again. As a means to uphold these stories A.J. creates writings, performances, installations, objects, sounds, and visuals. These creations often revolve around an interest in water and aquatic life, escapism, Blackness, science, grief, US history, and the global future. A.J. has most recently been published in the Blueshift Journal. Whether in D.C. or in Chicago you may find A.J. carrying around a portable Black Hole while playing the harmonica, a cowbell & other percussive sounds.

A.M. Rosales (Fiction - 2021)

A.M. Rosales is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and translator originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia. They hold a literature degree from George Mason University and their favorite rodent is the capybara. At this point in their life, they have lived in too many places to call any one of them home. Their work is interested in the mundane experiences of bodies and identities in flux, as well as gender identity at the intersection of colonial and indigenous culture. A Pride Foundation scholar and a recipient of the Oregon Literary Fellowship for Women Writers; a collaborating artist at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and a contributor of original content to the PICA blog, their work has been supported by the Precipice Fund and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. They currently teach composition and creative writing while earning their MFA at Portland State University.

andie millares (Playwriting - 2021)

andie millares is a writer, crop top devotee, and earring maker from New Jersey. She is Kundiman Poetry Fellow and serves on the organization’s Junior Board. Currently living in Brooklyn with the world’s most handsome cats, her work has been published in Catapult, Reductress, Foglifter Journal, Underblong, and elsewhere. For thirst traps and crafts, follow her on Instagram @andiewillalwaysloveu. For thirst traps and erratic thoughts about the end of empire, follow her on Twitter @andiemillares.

Anna Dorn (Nonfiction - 2021)

Anna Dorn is a writer and former criminal defense attorney living in Los Angeles. She has published two books (Vagablonde and Bad Lawyer) and has one forthcoming (Exalted). Anna also teaches writing online, edits manuscripts freelance, and writes for the internet. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @___adorn.

Anthony Green (Playwriting - 2021)

Anthony Green (@AnthonyGreen3576) is a writer/director from Memphis, TN but resides in Washington, DC. He’s served as an English professor at both Columbia College as well as the University of Memphis. His work has been featured in Glint Literary Journal, Black Magnolias and Polychrome Ink. He’s also the winner of the DC Black Theater Festival’s One Act battle in the comedy category in 2019. His collection of short stories, #BlackGayStoriesMatter is currently available on Amazon. His final play before the pandemic, When Boys Exhale closed last year. His debut film, The Souls of Black Pebbles will be released Summer 2021. He’s also the founder of Cagedbirds Productions, which affirms black, queer storytelling. In his spare time, Anthony enjoys jigsaw puzzles, frozen margaritas, and primetime soap operas.

Ariel Estrella (Nonfiction - 2021)

Ariel Estrella is a queer Latinx/e scholar hailing from Queens, NYC. Ariel is pursuing a PhD in Literatures in English at Cornell University, specializing in queer of color lyricism and art. To guide their research and creative work, Ariel asks: what does lyricism offer queer creators of color in the midst of racism and cultural celebration; homophobia and queer kinship; transphobia and gender possibility? And, in turn, what do queer creators of color offer lyrical creative enterprises with their experiments in form? Ariel’s essays and poems have been featured in several anthologies; independent zines; and an undergraduate newspaper column on the politics of love. @arielmestrella

Arielle Burgdorf (Fiction - 2021)

Arielle Burgdorf is a writer originally from Washington, D.C. They received their MFA from Chatham University in Pittsburgh where they taught in the Words Without Walls program at Allegheny County Jail and were awarded Best Fiction Thesis and the Creative Excellence Award. Their writing has appeared in Tasteful Rude, Maximum Rocknroll, Crab Fat Magazine, X-Ray Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. They are currently pursuing their PhD in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. In their spare time, Arielle loves to skateboard, volunteer with organizations supporting prison abolition, and play bass. You can find them on Instagram @jungle_of_fear

Aroh Akunth (Fiction - 2021)

Aroh Akunth is Dalit Queer Writer-Curator interested in building worlds that center the lived experience of their peoples. They are the current curator of Dalit Queer Project and Dalit Art Archive. Their current literary projects include a short story collection and a literary anthology by the Dalit Queer community. When not trying to catch up with their own thoughts Aroh is found watering their grandmothers plants. Keep up with them on IG at @dalitqueerproject @dalitartarchive @arohakunth

Benjamin Garcia (Nonfiction - 2021)

Benjamin Garcia’s first collection, THROWN IN THE THROAT (Milkweed Editions, August 2020), was selected by Kazim Ali for the 2019 National Poetry Series. A son of Mexican immigrants, he received his BA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from Cornell University. Benjamin had the honor of being a 2019 Lambda Literary fellow, the 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and the 2017 Latinx Scholar at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry. He is the winner of the 2018 Puerto del Sol Poetry Contest and the 2019 Julia Peterkin Flash Fiction Contest. His poems and essays have recently appeared or are forthcoming in: AGNI, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and many more. Find him at

A.C. Lamberty (Screenwriting - 2022)

A.C. Lamberty (he/they) is a Minnesotan filmmaker now residing in Los Angeles. Their work has received honors from film festivals including NewFest, the Hollyshorts Film Festival Screenplay Competition, the Shore Scripts Short Film Fund, QueerWrites, and the Nashville Film Festival. He is currently developing his feature debut, MISS TEEN DAIRY MINNESOTA. Above all, Lamberty aims to create work that subverts traditional notions of representation and creates conversation around queer sex, desire and power. You can see more of their work at, or on Instagram at @aclamberty. Outside of creating perverted art, Lamberty is an avid powerlifter and cinephile.

Aleese Lin (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Aleese Lin (Twitter/iG: @aleeselin) is a queer, YA speculative fiction writer based in Evergreen, CO. In her teens, she won national writing competitions and founded her Japanese university’s bilingual creative writing magazine. More recently she has been invited to multiple juried workshops including Tin House YA. She is also a co-organizer of the upcoming 20th annual Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop. Having lived abroad for nearly a decade, her stories explore wildness, identity, and belonging. Aleese enjoys any activity that whisks her into nature, but when she’s snowed in, she’s either writing, reading, or cooking wafū dishes with her partner and opinionated part-Siamese cats.

Alejandro Heredia (Fiction - 2022)

Alejandro Heredia is a queer Afro Dominican writer and community organizer from The Bronx. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary, VONA, the Dreamyard Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, and the Dominican Studies Institute. In 2019, he was selected by Myriam Gurba as the winner of the Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Contest. His book of short stories, You’re the Only Friend I Need (2021), explores themes of queer transnationalism, friendship, and (un)belonging in the African Diaspora. Alejandro’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Lambda Literary Review, Tasteful Rude Magazine, and elsewhere. Twitter: @heredia_alej Instagram: @aleherex

Amanda Paige Inman (Fiction - 2022)

Amanda Paige Inman works in book marketing, but spent the bulk of her career working with children as a nanny and teacher. Her poetry and prose has been published or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Catapult, and Entropy. She attended the Tin House Summer Workshop and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. You can learn more about her at and follow on Twitter (@mandapaigeinman) and Instagram (@_mandapaige_).

Amos Mac (Screenwriting - 2022)

Amos Mac is a writer on GOSSIP GIRL for HBO Max. Previously, Amos was known for creating Original Plumbing, the first print magazine in America dedicated to trans male culture. Incited by the lack of nuanced trans masc stories on tv, he spent years in support staff roles on shows including Amazon’s TRANSPARENT and AMC’s THE SON before landing a coveted job on GOSSIP GIRL in 2019. The same year, Amos co-wrote the award-winning feature NO ORDINARY MAN, exploring the extraordinary life of jazz musician Billy Tipton. Amos lives in LA with his family where he writes, develops and pitches original shows that explore identity and second coming of age narratives through a queer lens.

Andy Winter (Poetry - 2022)

Andy Winter (@themythofwinter) is a non-binary trans-femme ice goddess living in the warm tropics of Singapore. They are interested in queer acts and ephemera, and the intersections of poetry, performance and drag. If they are not consulting their tarot cards, they can often be found petting their community cats or strutting down in thigh high boots to the beat of a K-Pop girl group track. They dream of queer kampungs and celestial realms. Their works have appeared in Stellium, Strange Horizons, EnbyLife and beestung amongst others. They were a finalist for the Transpoetics Broadside Prize. Find them chilling at

Apoorva Mittal (Fiction - 2022)

Apoorva Mittal (they/she) is a queer author from northern India. They are pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at University of Southern Mississippi. They hold a B.Tech. in Software Engineering from Delhi Technological University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. They want to tell stories that break the monolith of the desi diaspora and present desi queerness in all its twisted beauty. Their short stories and essays have appeared and are forthcoming in Catapult and Electric Literature. They home in Mississippi with their married partner and a river dog named Jake Barnes. They can be found on Instagram and Twitter @MittalWrites.

Aqueela C. Britt (Nonfiction - 2022)

Aqueela C. Britt published her first novel, London Reign, under the pseudonym, A.C. Britt in 2007. She writes raw, matter-of-fact stories about LGBTQ identified black and brown kids trying to live their best lives. She obtained her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University (2018) and has penned several works of short and long fiction, poetry and essays. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Columbia College, South Carolina and a Master of Social Work from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College).
Aqueela C. Britt is the Director of Field Education and Associate Professor of Practice for the Simmons University Bachelor of Social Work program.

aureleo sans (Fiction - 2022)

aureleo sans is a flamingo. She is a Colombian-American, non-binary, queer, formerly unhoused writer/poet with a disability who resides in San Antonio, Texas. This year, she is a Tin House Scholar, a Sewanee Writers Conference fellow, a Roots Wounds Words Writers Retreat fellow, and a Periplus fellow. She was named the second-place winner of Fractured Lit’s 2021 Micro Fiction Contest and has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction. Her work has been published in The Offing, Shenandoah, Salamander, and Electric Literature and is forthcoming in Passages North, No Tokens, and elsewhere. Follow her at @aureleos or

Bex Ehrmann (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Bex Ehrmann is a Chicago-based writer, theatremaker, and teaching artist. Through their creative work, they aim to investigate meaningful questions and engage their audience’s imagination. A recipient of fellowships from Luminarts Cultural Foundation and the Highlights Foundation, Bex is now an MFA candidate at Hamline University, where they study Writing for Children and Young Adults. As a teaching artist, they have worked with many organizations that nurture the growth of young people, including About Face Theatre, Ag47 Arts Collective, Youth Guidance, and Imagination Stage. Find Bex on Twitter (@BexEhrmann) and Instagram (@deusbexmachina).

Bobuq Sayed (Fiction - 2022)

Bobuq Sayed is a queer Afghan writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami, where they were a James A. Michener Fellow, and winner of the Dean’s Award and the Irene Pines Award.

Their writing has been supported by Tin House, Kundiman, and VONA/Voices, and has appeared or is forthcoming in New Australian Fiction 2022, Gulf Coast, Collisions: Fictions of the Future, Meanjin, and The Rumpus.

They are the co-editor of an anthology called Nothing to Hide: Voices from Trans and Gender Diverse Australia (Allen and Unwin), and they are a 2022-23 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University. They tweet @bobuqsayed.

Andrew Rosendorf (Playwriting - 2019)

Andrew Rosendorf‘s work has been produced or developed at La Jolla, MCC, KC Rep, Signature Theatre, the National New Play Network, Nashville Rep, City Theatre, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, and Local Theater Company. He is an alum of NNPN’s Playwright-in-Residence program, the Ingram New Works program, terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, and has been a SPACE on Ryder Farm, Tofte Lake Center, VCCA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He was a previous McKnight and Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center. His play, Cottontail, was a runner-up for the Yale Drama Series Award. MFA: The New School for Drama, Playwriting.

Anthony Veasna So (Fiction - 2019)

Anthony Veasna So is a queer boy, a Cambodian-American son of former refugees, and a graduate of Stanford University. From Stockton, CA, he was raised on stories of the Khmer Rouge Genocide that often, somehow, ended on a joke. His prose and comics have appeared in n+1, Hobart, and Ninth Letter. Currently, he is a PD Soros Fellow and an MFA Candidate in Fiction at Syracuse University, where he was awarded a University Fellowship and the Joyce Carol Oates Award for Fiction. He is at work on a novel and a collection of stories interspersed with comics.

Aurielle Marie (2019)

Writer-in-residence Aurielle Marie is an essayist, poet, and activist hailing from the Deep South. She’s received invitations to fellowships from Lambda Literary, VONA Voices, and Tin House. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The Guardian, Allure Magazine, Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, and BOAAT. Aurielle writes about Blackness, bodies, sex and pop culture from a Black feminist lens. Follow her: YesAurielle

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Benjamin Garcia (Poetry - 2019)

Benjamin Garcia works in HIV/HCV/STD and opioid overdose prevention in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He had the honor of being the 2017 Latinx Scholar at the Frost Place, 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and winner of the 2018 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Contest. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in: The Missouri Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, and Best New Poets 2018. Find him on twitter: @bengarciapoet

Brandon Riley (Playwriting - 2019)

Brandon Riley–a Memphis, Tennessee native–is an alumnus of The University of Memphis with a BFA in theatre performance and a BS in chemistry. Recently earning his MFA in dramatic writing at Arizona State University, he has had his plays read and developed in various cities from Phoenix, Arizona to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Awards that he has won while a graduate student includes the ASU Special Talent Award, ASU Eirene Peggy Lamb Fellowship, ASU Claire and Henry Sargent Fellowship in Theatre, and the 2018 Fade to Black Theatre Festival Winner. He currently lives in Tempe, Arizona.

Abraham Johnson (Playwriting - 2018)

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.

Adam Swanson (Nonfiction - 2018)

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.

Amal Haddad (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

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.

Amanda V. Mead (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

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.

Amos Mac (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

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.

Anant Kaur (Nonfiction - 2018)

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.

Aurielle Marie (Poetry - 2018)

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.

Avi Cummings (Fiction - 2018)

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.

Barrak Alzaid (Fiction - 2018)

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.

Benjamin Fainstein (Playwriting - 2018)

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.

Benoit Denizet-Lewis (Nonfiction - 2018)

Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a longtime writer with The New York Times Magazine, where he is known for deeply reported cover stories and features about identity, LGBT life, youth culture, and mental health. Benoit’s narrative nonfiction has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Slate, and Out. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including “America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life” and the New York Times bestselling “Travels With Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country.” Named one of the most fifty most influential LGBT media members by The Advocate, Benoit appears on many radio and television programs, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, and NPR’s Here & Now and On Point. He teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

Aaron Tilford (Nonfiction - 2017)

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.

Abraham Johnson (Playwriting - 2017)

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.”

Al Reitz (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

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.

Ammi Keller (Fiction - 2017)

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.

Annette Covrigaru (2017)

Writer-in-Residence 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.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (2017)

Writer-in-Residence 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.”

Brandon Taylor (Fiction - 2017)

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.

Alexis Smithers (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Alexis Smithers is a black nonbinary writer who grew up and still lives in the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia area) and creates mostly through poetry, personal essay, and fiction. A contributing editor for Words Dance Magazine, Alexis advised to Winter Tangerine Review’s workshop for writers of color, interned at a non-profit advocating for people with rare blood diseases, and attended Pink Door, a women of color writer’s retreat. Currently working in food service and trying to turn all the learning they’ve done in the past four years into a tangible degree, Alexis tweets at @DangerLove12.

Andrew Holleran (Fiction - 2016)

Andrew Holleran is the author of Dancer From the Dance, a novel about pre-AIDS New York, and, most recently, Grief, a novella set in post-AIDS Washington, D.C. An original member of The Violet Quill, he has written two other novels, a book of stories, and a collection of essays about AIDS. For the past decade, he has been teaching Creative Writing at American University in Washington and currently writes for The Gay and Lesbian Review.

Ashley Young (Nonfiction - 2016)

Ashley Young is a Queer feminist poet, author and teacher. Her work has been published in three anthologies, Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press), All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin Press) and Glitter and Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy (Portland Studio). She a contributor at Elixher magazine‎ and has been featured in various online magazines, such as Autostraddle, Rvkvry Journal and more. She is a 2010 Voices of Our Nation’s Foundation Poetry Fellow and a 2011 Lambda Literary Foundation Nonfiction Fellow, to return summer of 2016. She taught her biomythography workshop at the Fire and Ink Conference in 2015 and performs her work at various readings throughout the country. She is currently working on a collection of poetry and prose entitled Chronicles of Bipolar Living and is completing her first novel, a biomythography entitled The Liberation of the Black Unicorn. Ashley lives in New York City with her wife, four wild cats and her sweet service dog.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (Playwriting - 2016)

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a theatre maker and arts administrator from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. He holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama as well as an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies and a BA in English & Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin. Azure is an inaugural Field Leadership Fund Arts Manager Fellow (2015-2017) as well as an alumnus of both Rising Circle Theater Collective’s INKtank (2014) and EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program (2014). Azure has held playwriting residences with Brooklyn Community Pride Center (2015), New Shoes Theatre (2011), and Freedom Train Productions (2010), and he was recently awarded the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Award for his first full-length play, “Mirrors.” He has performed at BRIC, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), HERE Arts Center, BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

Baruch Porras Hernandez (Playwriting - 2016)

Baruch Porras Hernandez is currently working on three full length plays, and a solo play. His solo play currently titled ¡Agárrate! is being developed for production by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission for Individual Theatre Artists. His last solo play When I Was a Color Kid debuted at Marga Gomez’s PERFORMERAMA at Oasis SF-2015. His first solo show Reasons to Stay On The Ground was performed at the National Queer Arts Festival in 2010. His first children’s play Rosita y La Llorona was produced by Sonoma State University in 2003. His ten-page play, Apex of Friendzone was recently published by The Santa Ana River Review. He has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Sonoma State University and is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry-2014. Mr. Porras Hernandez’s poetry can be found in several anthologies and regularly hosts poetry shows in San Francisco where he lives.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults as well as a Lambda Literary Award for Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Brian Rigg (Poetry - 2016)

Brian Rigg’s poems have appeared in a number of publications including: Grain Magazine, Windsor Review, Canadian Dimension, Descant, and Fireweed. They were also included in two anthologies: Ma’ka: Diasporic Juks: Contemporary Writing by Queers of African Descent and Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets. A False Paradise, his first collection of poetry, was published by ECW Press (2001). He is currently working on a new collection of poetry, titled Guerrilla.

Annah Anti-Palindrome (Poetry - 2015)

Annah Anti-Palindrome is a bay-area based musician/Optical Sound-Smith, writer, and queer/femme antagonist who hails from the working-class craters at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Annah performs using a variety of different mediums including a Line 6 (DL4) looping system, kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, her body (mostly her throat), and more! As part of the 2014 National Queer Arts Festival, Annah co-edited Passage and Place, a queer anthology on Home. Annah is also the co-editor of 1-2-3 Punch: How Misogyny Hurts Queer Communities, curator for the East Bay’s monthly event, Culture Fuck!, and a collective member of Deviant Type Press. She holds an MFA in poetry from Mills College. Her written work has been published in Transfer literary magazine, Buckets Kicked: Writings on Radical Grief, and in the QZAP archives (Queer Zine Archive Project). She is currently working on a collection of poems tentatively called Resisting Palindromes.

Anton Dela Cruz (Nonfiction - 2015)

Anton Dela Cruz is a writer based in Columbia, South Carolina by way of New York. He is a Nonfiction Reader for Tayo Literary Magazine. A VONA/Voices fellow, his writing explores the intersection of science and culture.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (Playwriting - 2015)

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist and theatre maker. This past winter Azure’s writing was presented as part of The Fire This Time Festival and National Black Theatre’s Keep Soul Alive! Mondays. This spring you can find him leading the Voicebox Workshops at Brooklyn Community Pride Center. Come summer he will receive a reading at 2econd Stage Theatre. Azure was also recently a member of Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC and Rising Circle Theater Collective‘s 2014 INKtank. He has been selected as a finalist for National Black Theatre’s I AM SOUL playwriting residency and Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab.

Brandon Taylor (Fiction - 2015)

Brandon Taylor is a PhD student in biochemistry at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a B.S. in Physical Science from Auburn University, at Montgomery. His writing deals in themes of exile, family, and the intersections of sexuality, race, and class.

Bryan Borland (Poetry - 2015)

Bryan Borland is founding publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press, founding editor of Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, and author of the poetry collections My Life as Adam and Less Fortunate Pirates: Poems from the First Year Without My Father. He’s been honored three times by the American Library Association through inclusion on its “Over the Rainbow” list of recommended LGBT reading: as a poet for Adam and as an editor for Joy Exhaustible: Assaracus Presents the Publishers and Lady Business: A Celebration of Lesbian Poetry. He lives in Arkansas with his husband and co-publisher of SRP, Seth Pennington.

Alex Grandstaff (Fiction - 2014)

Alex Grandstaff is a nonbinary native Houstonian and founding member of Gamma Rho Lambda’s Kappa Chapter at their alma mater, University of Houston. Alex is into urban fantasy and magical realism stories with a side of memoirs. A writer of fiction and comics, they are currently writing and illustrating a graphic novel The Trialand working on the novel The Moving City. Both pieces began as a part of Alex’s senior honors thesis, a collection of fiction focused on queer protagonists. Alex still resides in Houston and can be found blogging at AnalyticalAlex and making art on AGrandMark.

Anne Laughlin (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Anne Laughlin is the author of five novels – three that have been published by Bold Strokes Books and two more that will come out in late 2014. She has written numerous short stories published by Cleis Press, Alyson Books and others. Her story “It Only Occurred to Me Later” was a finalist in the Saints and Sinners 2013 Short Fiction Contest. She is a three time Goldie Award winner and has twice been short listed for a Lammy Award. Anne was named a Writers Retreat Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation in 2008. She’s been accepted into residencies at Ragdale and Vermont Studio Center. Anne lives in Chicago with her wife, Linda.

Annette Covrigaru (Nonfiction - 2014)

Annette Covrigaru is a Long Island, NY native who has not only spent the past four years living in rural Ohio, but has spent the past four years being asked, “Why did you want to go to school in Ohio?” That being said, she recently graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in English emphasizing in Creative Writing. Her short story “Echoes of Time” won the college’s Muriel C. Bradbrook Award. Her stories have been published in Kenyon’s student run literary magazine, HIKA. In past years, she has worked as a Kenyon Review Student Associate and has interned at Random House. An incoming M.A. student in the Weiss-Livnat International M.A. Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, she will continue to merge her studies of the Holocaust and queer identity to create nonfictional stories and preserve LGBTQA Holocaust narratives. When she isn’t writing, Annette is most likely playing guitar, lounging on Fire Island, or watching Game of Thrones.

Baruch Porras-Hernandez (Poetry - 2014)

Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a writer, performer, and organizer, based in San Francisco. He has performed his writing all over California, and featured at shows in Washington D.C., NYC, and Canada. His poetry appears in Aim for the Head anthology of Zombie Poetry, -Write Bloody Publishing, Divining Divas – Lethe Press, Flicker and Spark Queer Poetry Anthology -Low Brow Press, Tandem – Bicycle Comics Press, Sparkle and Blink -Quiet Lightning Press, and is forth coming in Multiverse, anthology of Superhero Poetry, also with Write Bloody Publishing. For the past 5 years he’s been the curator and head organizer for The San Francisco Queer Open Mic and regularly puts together literary shows and festivals, most recently the ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente? festival of Latino Poetry and Spoken Word. He has been a resident artist at the spoken word program at the Banff Center in Alberta Canada, and the A.I.R. Program at The Garage, a Space for Performance Art, in San Francisco. He was born in Toluca, Mexico and grew up in Albany, California. Baruch Porras-Hernandez

Audrey Coulthurst (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

A native of Portland, Oregon, Audrey Coulthurst now lives in Austin, Texas, despite her passionate hatred of hot weather. She received an MS in Writing (Book Publishing) from Portland State University in 2008 and is completing the final edits on her YA fantasy about a princess who falls in love with her fiancé’s sister. Audrey spends most of her time cackling gleefully at her computer while crafting elaborate euphemisms and disturbing metaphors. However, she can also be found drinking too much tea at her day job, telling crude jokes with her friends, livetweeting bad movies, or riding her horse.

Blake Nemec (Poetry - 2013)

Blake Nemec is a health care worker, writer and teacher, from Western Wisconsin, who lives in Chicago. He recently completed an MFA in Bilingual Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he started Mouth to Mouth: a hybrid poetry/fiction collection about flash intimacies between informal trade workers. He is recently included in Captive Genders; Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, the Rio Grande Review and Jupiter 88. The National Queer Arts Festival, Radical Queer Semaine, and Boston AWP are events where he has presented or performed.

Brandi M. Spaethe (Poetry - 2013)

Brandi M. Spaethe recently graduated from Fresno State with an M.F.A. in poetry. She’s worked for The Normal School: A Literary Magazine, The Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and currently interns at Poets & Writers in Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared in CRATE, Off the Rocks: An GLBT Anthology, American Athenaeum, and Slipstream. Her chapbook, To You Who Wants In, was released in December 2012. She plans to continue working with literary nonprofits in Los Angeles and writing about the queer community.

Abbie J. Leavens (Poetry - 2012)

Abbie J. Leavens is a writer-poet-mother-lover-teacher-student-friend who lives in Los Angeles. She is currently wrapping up her MFA from UC-Irvine. While at UCI, she has taught classes such as composition & rhetoric and beginning poetry. She loves teaching as much as writing, so this has been very awesome. Her work has appeared in various journals including Barnstorm, BlazeVOX, BLOOM, Reed, and Xenith, among others. She grew up in Iowa and enjoys iced tea, sunshine, and good company.

AJ Reyes (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

AJ Reyes was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a music lover, bookworm and sexy beast, he enjoys all things awesome. When he’s not roller skating, playing his guitar or watching covers of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube, you’ll find him sitting on his bedroom floor writing. His published works include— Oh, wait. He doesn’t have any. He does, however, have a large collection of other people’s published works. You’ll often find an AJ in a dark and cold climate. AJ’s often melt when left in direct sunlight.

Alex Sanchez (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Alex Sanchez, recipient of LLF’s 2011 Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize, is best known for his debut 2001 novel, Rainbow Boys, selected by the American Library Association as a “Best Book for Young Adults,” and praised by School Library Journal as a book that could “open eyes and change lives.” The success of that first novel led to two Rainbow sequels and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel, So Hard to Say. His novel, The God Box, explores the intersection between sexuality and spirituality. And his novel, Getting It, a sort of “queer eye for the straight teenage boy,” won the Myers Outstanding Book Award for Human Rights. Alex’s last novel, Bait, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for young adult fiction and was recently selected to receive the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award. His newly-released novel, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, focuses on bisexual teens. Alex received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor. He divides his time between Florida and Thailand.

Alysia Angel (Fiction - 2012)

Alysia Angel is a southern-bred Lakota, and a working class queer high femme. She is self-published in chapbooks entitled “what i do when you’re not looking”. She is also published in Femme Family zine, Salacious Magazine, Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion, Bay Woof Magazine, Cactus Heart Magazine, Curve Magazine, Say Please, a Cleis Press anthology, and is a 2011 and 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow.

Annameekee Hesik (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Annameekee Hesik grew up on a healthy diet of Pippi Longstocking movies, Fig Newtons, and Schwinns. Too tall for most backseats, she spent her teen years playing basketball and wearing high waters. She now teaches high school English in Northern California and writes the books she wishes were around when she started falling for girls. Her YA novel, The You Know Who Girls, will be available in October, 2012. Its sequel is in the works. She is the youngest of ten siblings and likes her beverages ice cold. She is…the most interesting lesbian in the world.

Beth Neff (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Beth Neff majored in journalism at the University of Michigan but only turned back to writing recently after almost three decades as an organic vegetable farmer, dairy goat maven, sustainability activist, and single mother to four homeschooled children. Her young adult novel Getting Somewhere was released by Viking/Penguin in early 2012. She is presently at work on several more novels, a couple of non-fiction manuscripts and a collection of short fiction. When not writing, she can usually be found in her garden, playing the piano, on the river, reading, or in the kitchen.

Bonnilee Kaufman (Poetry - 2012)

Bonnilee Kaufman is a Learning Disabilities Specialist for the California Community Colleges. Her poetry was included in two anthologies Ghosts of the Holocaust and, Milk and Honey, A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry. She looks forward to having more of her work published.

Bridget Birdsall (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Bridget Birdsall (MFA Vermont College) author, teacher, queer-loving salad-bar spiritualist seeks to connect hearts with words and art. Bridget made a mid-life decision to overcome dyslexic challenges and pursue her passion for writing, especially Young Adult (YA) lit and poetry. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. Her YA novel August Atlas, about the challenges facing an intersexed teen, is seeking a publisher under the representation of the Jonathan Lyon’s Literary Agency. Her debut novel, Ordinary Angels, a story about siblings surviving the death of a sibling is available at

Bryan Castille (Fiction - 2012)

Bryan Castille is a fiction writer from St. Louis, Missouri. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Upernavik Artist Residency in Greenland and from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He’s currently working on a novel.

Alan Orr (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Alan Orr teaches college courses in writing, rhetoric, and grammar in Toronto. He’s written textbooks and instructors’ manuals on business writing, and his short screenplays have received honourable mention in the US and Mexico. Alan has an MA in English Literature from University of Sheffield (UK) and an MEd in Applied Linguistics. Alan is currently having a great time working on his first novel, Death by Deceit, a murder mystery romp in the desert.

Allison Moon (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Allison Moon‘s first novel, Lunatic Fringe, can be summed up in two words: Lesbian Werewolves. It will be released in October 2011 and she is currently working on the sequel. Her writing has been published in make/shift, Not For Tourists, Nerve,, and she was recently named a runner up for the Victoria Hudson Emerging Writer’s Award. Allison is a vocal queer, polyamorous, and sex-positive feminist who blogs about all of these things, and more, at

Alysia Angel (Fiction - 2011)

Alysia Angel is a wise cracking, working class, queer high femme, an avid reviewer, and a long time barista and coffee lover. She has self published a series of prose/poetry chapbooks titled “what i do when you’re not looking”, has pieces published in Salacious Magazine, Curve Magazine online, and is slated to be published in a Lesbian BDSM Erotica anthology by Cleis Press in 2012. She deeply loves all dogs and encourages them to jump on her and muddy her fancy dresses.

Anders Renee (Poetry - 2011)

Anders Renee is a purple seahorse living in a trannyboi’s body with a queer mind that is up to no good. He just received his BA in Gender Studies from Scripps College and can’t wait to explore his own voice and discover new ones. When he’s not cutting people’s hair he can probably be found eating a burrito and scribbling down poems on paper plates.

Andrea Lawlor (Fiction - 2011)

Andrea Lawlor writes, studies, and teaches writing at UMass-Amherst, and edits the Pocket Myths series. Lawlor’s writing has appeared in Persiflage, The Brooklyn Rail, Route 9, Encyclopedia (Volume II), MiPOesias, and OCHO 31.

Andrew J. Peters (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Andrew J. Peters writes fantasy, young adult and contemporary fiction. His work has appeared in Ganymede, Wilde Oats and La Bloga. His latest project is an LGBT re-telling of the last days of Atlantis. While writing and submitting his work for publication, he works as a social worker for LGBT youth. Andrew lives in New York City with his partner and their feline “daughter” Chloë.

Anna-Marie McLemore (Fiction - 2011)

Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American roots in the Southwest, her upbringing in the Christian church, and the love of stories she first learned from her family. Her work is included in six Cleis Press anthologies and has also appeared in cratelit and on the website of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. She lives in California with her Sapphic husband.

Ashley Young (Nonfiction - 2011)

Ashley Young is a black feminist queer dyke; poet, non-fiction writer and teaching artist. She is the creator of an online writing project for women of color called Brown Girl Love and is currently working on a memoir. She works as the Education Program Assistant at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and as a teaching artist for Urban Stages. She lives with her partner and four cats in New York City.

Belo Cipriani (Nonfiction - 2011)

Belo Cipriani is a freelance writer, speaker, and the author of Blind: A Memoir. To read and write, Belo uses a desktop application for the blind called JAWS. His favorite snack is cold pizza and one of his past times is sneaking quick games of tug-a-war with his guide dog Madge throughout the day. Belo lives in San Francisco.

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