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Robin Talley

Robin Talley is a queer author who grew up in southwest Virginia and now lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife and kids. She did digital communications work for LGBTQ rights, educational equity, and other progressive causes for 15 years before she turned to writing full-time, and is now the New York Times-bestselling author of seven novels for teen readers, including The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre, Music From Another World, Pulp, and As I Descended. Her books have been short-listed for the Lambda Literary Award and the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and have appeared on the Junior Library Guild, Amelia Bloomer Project, Kids’ Indie Next, and ALA Rainbow lists. You can find her at robintalley.com.

Samuel Ace is a trans and genderqueer poet and sound artist. He’s the author of several books, including Our Weather O­ur Sea (Black Radish Books, 2019) and Meet Me There: Normal Sex & Home in three days. Don’t wash. (Belladonna* Germinal Texts, 2019). A Lambda Literary Award finalist, he’s the recipient of the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund Award in Poetry and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award. His work has been widely anthologized and appears in Poetry, Aufgabe, Fence, and many other publications. He teaches poetry and creative writing at Mount Holyoke College.

For over 30 years, Monica Palacios has created performances and plays featuring the LGBTQ Latinx experience. Monica won the Nancy Dean Lesbian Playwriting Award 2021. Palacios is featured in: STAND UP STAND OUT, winner of Best Documentary Santa Fe Film Festival 2021, about the first gay comedy club in the nation, San Francisco 1980s. Palacios was the Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College Spring 2019. Monica has received numerous awards, including Latinx LGBTQ Trailblazer 2017 from the city of Los Angeles. Monica Palacios Day was declared by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Oct 12, 2012. Monica received a Postdoctoral Rockefeller Fellowship from UCSB.

Saeed Jones is the author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, the 2020 Stonewall Book Award/Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award, a 2020 Publishing Triangle Award, and a 2020 Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The poetry collection was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his dog Caesar.

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the acclaimed novel, Patsy, (Norton/Liveright, June 2019), which Time Magazine called “stunning,” and the debut novel, Here Comes the Sun (Norton/Liveright, July 2016). She is a Lambda Literary Award winner and a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Grant. Time Out Magazine has described Dennis-Benn as an immigrant putting her stamp on New York City and Vice named her among immigrant authors “who are making American Literature great again.”

Nahshon Dion is a multi-talented writer and teaching artist from Altadena, California. Published in LGBTQ anthologies and journals, Nahshon speaks to discrimination and violence black and brown LGBTQ youth face. Nahshon has created a uniquely personal work turning her anguish into art that touches on mental health, gun violence, and state terrorism. She’s the recipient of dozens of grants, fellowships, artist residencies, honors, and awards totaling over $100,000 that provided ammunition and support towards developing and creating her gutwrenching forthcoming memoir Shootin’ Range. Nahshon’s literature shows how youth can reach their full potential and shine when their rainbow is blurred. @nahshondionanderson www.nahshondionanderson.com

JUBI ARRIOLA-HEADLEY is a Blacqueer poet, storyteller, & first-generation United Statesian who lives with his husband in South Florida & whose work explores themes of masculinity, vulnerability, rage, tenderness & joy. He’s a 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, holds an MFA from the University of Miami, & his poems have been published with Ambit, Beloit Poetry Journal, Literary Hub, Nimrod, Southern Humanities Review, The Nervous Breakdown, & elsewhere. Jubi’s debut collection of poems, original kink, is available now from Sibling Rivalry Press. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. Stop Asian Hate. Art is Labor. Eat the Rich. Free Palestine.

medina is a Honduran-American, nonbinary, demisexual lesbian. They hold a dual MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults and Nonfiction from The New School. They’ve written for Self Magazine, HelloGiggles, Bustle, Electric Literature, Them., and more. They are a 2019 SCBWI Emerging Voices Winner and former We Need Diverse Books mentee. They’re represented by Verve Talent LA and Avalon. Their debut queer contemporary middle-grade book, THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU THE MOST, comes out in the Spring of 2022 via Levine Querido.

Joni Renee Whitworth is a poet, producer, and curator from rural Oregon. They have performed at The Moth, the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art alongside Marina Abramovic. Whitworth served as the inaugural Artist in Residence at Portland Parks and Recreation, Poet in Residence for Oregon State University’s Trillium Project, and 2020 Queer Hero for the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest. Their writing explores themes of nature, future, family, and the neurodivergent body, and has appeared in Lambda Literary, Tin House, Oregon Humanities, Proximity Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, Eclectica, Pivot, SWWIM, Smeuse, Superstition Review, xoJane, Inverted Syntax, Unearthed Literary Journal, Sinister Wisdom, Dime Show Review, and The Write Launch.

Nik Traxler grew up in San Diego and Phoenix, amongst a musical family who spent most of their time outdoors. Her family encouraged a love of storytelling, both through music and literature. Nik received a BA in English Literature and M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Arizona State University, and later became a high school teacher. Nik spends her time dreaming up stories about messy queers and the people who love them. She’s currently working on a contemporary young adult novel set in Phoenix that explores queer friendship, complicated families, and the indie art scene. Her first published short story will appear in an upcoming, yet to be announced young adult anthology. She can sometimes be found on Twitter (@nik_trax) or Instagram (@niktraxlerwrites).

Dionne Richardson is a researcher, teacher, and former librarian. She lives in Northern Virginia and enjoys biking, hiking, and speaking Mandarin. She’s traveled around the world but likes her couch the best. She’s been writing for almost twenty years after reading the American Girl series and deciding she could write better characters and worlds. She published a short story called “Heart” in The First Line literary magazine in 2019 but has been writing a never-ending YA fantasy novel since 2011. Her favorite genres are fantasy, manga, and romantic comedies. In her spare time, she studies herbology and concocts potions in her kitchen for family and friends. Her Instagram handle is @_deerichardson_.

Stephan Nance, also known as Sparkbird, is a singer-songwriter and writer whose performing credits include multiple tours in Japan and Europe. Their album Look at the Harlequins! attracted the attention of Birding Magazine and the National Audubon Society with its references to 21 species of birds. Their writing has been published in The Gay & Lesbian Review. Stephan lives in Portland with their partner Adam, along with a 13-year-old Senegal parrot named Georgie, and a 42-year-old Yellow-naped parrot named Fred. Stephan is currently working on their next album and a very birdy young adult novel set in Eastern Oregon. Twitter: @HelloStephan, IG: @sparkbirdmusic

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