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2024 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices

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.

Location: Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Chestnut Hill is the Writers Retreat new home. It’s a quaint, lush campus situated in Philadelphia. During the Retreat, you can find our fellows reading in the lounge, chatting on the beautiful rotunda steps, seated in the Adirondack chairs on on the piazza, eating lunch by the fountains, or even taking midnight walks through the cemetery situated behind the dorms.

Dates: July 28-August 3, 2024

Tuition: $2,100. Full and partial scholarships are available.

Applying: Applications for the Writers Retreat are open from October 30-December 11. The application will be accessible through the Submittable platform.

There is a $30 application fee. We are offering a number of application fee waivers for the QTBIPOC** (Queer and Trans folks who are or identify as Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color) members of our community applying for a fellowship who would be attending the Retreat for the first time (excluding Writers in Residence). Email to request a waiver.

Our application review is done in three stages by a team of Retreat Alumni, our Program Manager, and Retreat Faculty. Our application process is unique in that each Faculty member chooses their own cohort.

Decisions will go out in April.

2024 Retreat Faculty

Please join us in welcoming the seven faculty members leading the 2024 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices.

Casey Plett is pictured outside in a black and white photo. They have straight shoulder-length hair, bangs, and glasses framing their face.

Casey Plett


Casey Plett is the author of A Dream of a Woman (Arsenal Pulp, 2021), which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; Little Fish (Arsenal Pulp, 2018), winner of a Lambda Literary Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and the Amazon First Novel Award in Canada; and A Safe Girl to Love (Topside Press, 2014; Arsenal Pulp, 2023), also a winner of a Lambda Literary Award. She was the co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy From Transgender Writers (2017) alongside Cat Fitzpatrick. Most recently, Plett authored the essay collection On Community (Biblioasis, 2023), which draws on a range of firsthand experiences to start a conversation about the larger implications of community as a word, an idea, and a symbol.

Raquel Gutiérrez is a person with medium skintone and dark hair pictured smiling at the camera, wearing a colorful sweater and a tan hat with the word "Honest" on it.

Raquel Gutiérrez


Raquel Gutiérrez is a critic, essayist, poet, performer, and educator. Gutiérrez’s first book Brown Neon (Coffee House Press) was named as one of the best books of 2022 by The New Yorker and listed in The Best Art Books of 2022 by Hyperallergic. Brown Neon was a 2023 Recipient of The Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. A 2021 recipient of the Rabkin Prize in Arts Journalism, as well as a 2017 recipient of the The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, Gutiérrez calls Tucson, Arizona home.

James Ijames is pictured in a black and white picture. They have dark facial hair, are wearing a light beanie, and have glasses framing their face.

James Ijames


James Ijames (he/him) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright, a director and educator. 

Ijames’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre, JACK, The Public Theater (NYC), Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Definition Theatre, Timeline Theater (Chicago IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright’s Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden. 

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company and Gem of the Ocean with Arden Theatre. James is a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ….Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award, a 2019 Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise, a 2020 and 2022 Steinberg Prize, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama recipient and a 2023 Tony nominee for Best Play for Fat Ham

James was a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective. 

He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James an Associate Professor of Theatre at Villanova University. He resides in South Philadelphia. 

Chen Chen is pictured in front of a blurred building. They have tan-toned skin, short light red hair, and clear glasses framing their face.

Chen Chen


Chen Chen (he/him) is the author of Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency (BOA Editions), a best book of 2022 according to the Boston GlobeElectric Lit, and others. His debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions), was long-listed for the 2017 National Book Award and won the 2018 Thom Gunn Award. He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and United States Artists. He teaches for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College, Stonecoast, and Antioch.

Rasheed Newson is pictured with dark skin tone, a bald head, and a button up shirt, looking off into the distance and smiling slightly

Rasheed Newson


Rasheed Newson (he/him) is the author of My Government Means to Kill Me, which examines the political and sexual coming of age of a young, gay, Black man in New York City in the mid-1980s. The novel is a 2023 Lambda Literary finalist for Gay Fiction and was named one of the “The 100 Notable Books of 2022” by The New York Times.

Rasheed is also a television drama writer, producer, and showrunner. Along with his television writing partner, T.J. Brady, he co-developed and is an executive producer of the drama series Bel-Air. Rasheed and T.J. have also worked on The Chi, Animal Kingdom, and Narcos, among other drama series. 

Behind the scenes, Rasheed has been a significant partner to organizations working for both racial justice and LGBTQ+ thriving, including GLAAD and the Trevor Project. He is a board member for the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice and is a longtime supporter of LA Voice. Rasheed is a graduate of Georgetown University. He lives with his husband and their two children in Pasadena. 

Charlie Jane Anders is pictured in front of a white background. They have light-toned skin and are wearing a black sleeveless dress. They have chin-length hair and bangs colored bright pink.

Charlie Jane Anders

Speculative Fiction

Charlie Jane Anders (she/her) is the author of the Unstoppable trilogy: the first two books, Victories Greater Than Death and Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak, are out now, and the final book, Promises Stronger Than Darkness, comes out April 11, 2023. She’s also the author of the short story collection Even Greater Mistakes, and Never Say You Can’t Survive (August 2021), a book about how to use creative writing to get through hard times. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky. She’s won the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, Lambda Literary, Crawford and Locus Awards. She co-created Escapade, a transgender superhero, for Marvel Comics and wrote her into the long-running New Mutants comic. And she’s currently the science fiction and fantasy book reviewer for the Washington Post. Her TED Talk, “Go Ahead, Dream About the Future” got 700,000 views in its first week. With Annalee Newitz, she co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct.

Darcie Little Badger is pictured sitting outdoors. They have light toned skin, shoulder length brown hair, and light glasses framing their face.

Darcie Little Badger

Young Adult Fiction Faculty

Darcie Little Badger (she/her) is a Lipan Apache writer with a PhD in oceanography. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Elatsoe, was featured in Time Magazine as one of the best 100 fantasy books of all time. Elatsoe also won the Locus award for Best First Novel and is a Nebula, Ignyte, and Lodestar finalist. Her second fantasy novel, A Snake Falls to Earth, received a Nebula Award, an Ignyte Award, and a Newbery Honor and is on the National Book Awards longlist. Sheine Lende, the prequel to Elatsoe, will be published in 2024. Darcie is married to a veterinarian named Taran.

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