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).
Lanchi Le is a first generation Vietnamese American, butch lesbian, and weeb who loves to feed people home-cooked meals. Born in Southern California but raised in Oklahoma, the cultural clash of being Vietnamese Buddhist in a Southern Baptist environment still greatly influences the diaspora stories they write about today. They are thrilled to be a part of the 2022 Lambda Lit Writers’ Retreat and hope that it will teach them to cry less about how hard revising is.
You can find them at @lanchiwrites on twitter and @lanchitranle on IG.
Dale Walls is the author of the forthcoming novel The Queer Girl Is Going to Be Okay. She is currently a graduate student at Stanford University studying art history. When not writing, they can be found creating educational videos about artists of color on their YouTube channel, Art in Color. Find her online @dalewalls_ or dalewallsauthor.com.
Liv Morris hawks stories at Harvard Book Store, an indie bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds an MA in Children’s Literature and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Boston with her wife, two cats (Bo and Pawl Simon), and a frankly irresponsible number of stuffed animals. You can find her on Instagram @livmmorris and on Twitter @dragonologuy.
Quinn Diacon-Furtado writes about gender, magic, and ancestral healing across multiple genres. After years of teaching middle school and high school, they particularly love writing for young readers. Their fiction has been recognized by Voyage Magazine’s First Chapter Contest, the Francelia Butler Conference, and the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature.
Quinn is also the creator of the newsletter/podcast The Slow Read, a series about their personal experience with reading (dis)ability.
They hold an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. They live with their partner on Mohican lands. You can find them at www.thisisquinnswebsite.com OR @ya_quinn_ya on IG & Twitter.
Sharon De La Cruz is a storyteller, educator, and activist from NYC. Her research and practice are rooted at the intersection of STEM pedagogy, art, and social justice. Thanks to comic storytelling, she landed in the Tin House Summer Workshop and created her first graphic novel memoir, “I’m a Wild Seed” (Street Noise, April 2021). Kirkus Reviews called the work a “potent graphic memoir about the forming of one woman’s queer identity… [that] effectively portrays both the fears and joys of discovering one’s marginalized identity” and Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “the wit and exuberance found here marks her as a worthy new artist [in her] limber, playful debut collection.” De La Cruz received her master’s from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, Processing Foundation Fellowship, a TED Residency, and is a 2021-22 Red Burns Teaching Fellow at ITP-NYU.
Taeyin ChoGlueck is a Korean writer born in Minneapolis and raised in S. Korea & the American Midwest. They co-founded InterAction Initiative and trained young BIPOC in identity, racial justice, & critical history for a decade. They hold an MFA in fiction from the Univ. of Notre Dame. Migdalia Cruz’s Irene Fornés Playwriting Workshop and the Yanyi’s One World Workshop shaped them. They’ve been a finalist for the Firsts! Kelsey Street Prize judged by Bhanu Kapil and the Kay Murphy Prize judged by Myung Mi Kim. Chicago Dramatists, Goodman Theatre, & Rec Room Arts have showcased their plays, with a production at ND Theatre Now. Their writing has appeared in The Margins, Entropy, etc. Recurrent themes include satire, diaspora, & queerness. It is quite possible that they are as angsty as their YA characters. taeyinchoglueck.com
TJ (they/he) is a Black agender writer who’s work centers narratives of race, queerness, mental health, and humor. They’re a believer in theater as activism, and worked as a playwright and teaching artist for local queer youth nonprofit, Dreams of Hope.
As a tween, TJ fell in love with the Young Adult genre and the way it offers a safe space for teens to look towards. Their writing is a unique blend of serious and comedic, seeking to represent common (yet rarely spoken of) struggles of youth in a way that humanizes instead of tokenizes.
TJ was also in their high school’s anime club which probably communicates more about them than anything else.
TJ can be found on Twitter @biheretic
VICKI JOHNSON (she/her) is a former band nerd, White House staffer, and nonprofit director. Her 2023 debut picture book is MOLLY’S TUXEDO, illus. by Gillian Reid (Little Bee Books). Born and raised in rural GA, Vicki is a first-gen graduate of Smith College and Emory Law School, and an MFA candidate in Writing for Children & Young Adults at VCFA. She was a 2020 PB Chat Mentee, a 2020 WNDB MG mentorship finalist, and a 2018 grant recipient from the WV Div. of Arts, Culture & History and the National Endowment for the Arts. Vicki is currently working on her middle grade novel and texting cat photos to her kid. Find her overly-supportive posts on twitter @vickijohnson and IG: @vickijohnsonwrites. More: www.vickijohnsonwrites.com
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.
Elisa A. Bonnin (Twitter: @eabwrites / IG: @elisa.a.bonnin) was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. She is the author of Dauntless and Stolen City.
Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of the young adult books Anger Is a Gift(2019 Schneider Family Book Award) and Each of Us a Desert, both with Tor Teen, as well as their middle grade debut, The Insiders, with Harper Collins. They are also the co-author (with Rick Riordan) of the upcoming Percy Jackson novel centered on Nico di Angelo and Will Solace. When not writing, they are trying to pet every dog in the world.