George Abraham is a Palestinian American poet and writer from Jacksonville, FL. He is the author of the poetry collection, Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020), winner of the 2021 Arab American Book Award in Poetry. He is a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), a recipient of grants and fellowships from Kundiman, The Boston Foundation, and the Poetry Foundation, and winner of the 2018 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize selected by Tommy Pico.
He is currently based in Somerville, MA where he is a PhD candidate in Bioengineering at Harvard University, and an affiliated faculty member in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College.
Daniel Aleman was born and raised in Mexico City. A graduate of McGill University, he is passionate about books, coffee, and dogs. After spending time in Montreal and the New York City area, he now lives in Toronto, where he is on a never-ending search for the best tacos in the city. Indivisible is his first novel.
Damian Alexander is a cartoonist & storyteller who grew up in and around Boston. Other Boys, his first graphic novel. He has also created illustrations for The Trevor Project, and you can stumble across his comic shorts & essays on Huffington Post, Narratively, The Nib, and a handful of other places. Damian is a graduate of Simmons College MFA program in Writing for Children (2018), a John Locher Memorial Award winner (2017), and a Lambda Literary Fellow (2016). When he’s not doodling he loves reading ghost stories, building miniatures, and watching cartoons with his cats on sunny afternoons.
K. Ancrum, is the author of the award-winning thriller The Wicker King, a lesbian romance The Weight of the Stars and the upcoming Peter Pan thriller Darling. K. is a Chicago native passionate about diversity and representation in young adult fiction. She currently writes most of her work in the lush gardens of the Chicago Art Institute.
Charlie Jane Anders
Charlie Jane Anders is the author of Victories Greater Than Death, the first book in a new young-adult trilogy. Her fiction and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, McSweeney’s, Mother Jones, the Boston Review, Tor.com, Tin House, Teen Vogue, Conjunctions, Wired Magazine, and other places. 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.
Jake Maia Arlow
Jake Maia Arlow is a podcast producer, writer, and bagel connoisseur. She studied evolutionary biology and creative writing (not as different as you might think) at Barnard College. She has lived in various places, but can always be found with an iced coffee.
Kalynn Bayron is the bestselling author of the award-winning YA fantasy Cinderella Is Dead. She is a classically trained vocalist and when she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family.
Cris Beam is the author of Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers, which won a Lambda Literary Award, and I Am J, a novel for young adults. She teaches creative writing at Columbia University and New York University.
Phil Bildner is a former New York City public school teacher and lives in Newburgh, New York. The author of many books, among them the Rip & Red series, he speaks at numerous schools and libraries every year.
Jackson Bird is a writer and internet creator dedicated to demystifying the transgender experience. A YouTube NextUp Creator and GLAAD Rising Star Digital Innovator, Jackson shares his and others’ stories on his YouTube channel, jackisnotabird, and in his debut book Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vulture, The Advocate, and more, and his TED Talk “How to talk (and listen) to transgender people” has been viewed over one and a half million times. Jackson lives in New York City, where he hosts the daily podcast Kottke Ride Home.
Agnes Borinsky is a writer from Baltimore, now living in Los Angeles. She mostly writes essays and plays, and has collaborated on all sorts of projects in basements, backyards, gardens, circus tents, classrooms, bars, and theaters. Sasha Masha is her first novel.
Tanya Boteju is a teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, British Columbia). Part-time, she teaches English to clever and sassy young people. The rest of her time, she writes and procrastinates from writing. Her novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens was named a Top Ten Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association, as well as selected for the American Librarian Association 2020 Rainbow List. In both teaching and writing, she is committed to positive, diverse representation.
Matthew Burgess is an Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College. He is the author of a poetry collection, Slippers for Elsewhere (UpSet Press, 2014), and four children’s books: Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings (Enchanted Lion Books, 2015), The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon (Knopf, 2019), Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring (ELB, 2020), and The Bear and The Moon (Chronicle, 2020). A poet-in-residence in New York City public schools since 2001, Matthew also serves as a contributing editor of Teachers & Writers Magazine.
Cheril N. Clarke
Born in Toronto, raised in Miami and now living in southern Atlanta, GA, Cheril N. Clarke is the author of five novels, two stage plays, several short stories and poetry collections, and numerous children’s books. She has been featured in Curve Magazine, the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine, VoyageATL, The Princeton Packet, Philadelphia Gay News (PGN), About.com, Out IN Jersey, Burlington County Times, as well as Phillyburbs.com, among others. Clarke is also an executive ghostwriter and the woman behind PhenomenalWriting.com. She has written for Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs worldwide.
Devika Dalal is a Creative Art Director and the author, designer and illustrator of ABC of Gender Identity. She works in advertising and is an advocate of using creativity for social impact. She currently lives in New York City.
Joy Michael Ellison
Joy Michael Ellison is a queer and non-binary trans writer, whose creative writing has appeared in publications including Columbus Alive, Lunch Ticket, the Baltimore Review, Story Club Magazine. They are a PhD candidate in Women’s and Gender Studies at Ohio State University, where they are researching transgender history.
A.C. Esguerra is a Los Angeles-based comics artist and illustrator. Previous clients include BOOM! Studios, Northwest Press, Gallery Nucleus and Nucleus Portland. They regularly contribute writing about stationery and analog lifestyle to Baum-kuchen Studio. Their debut graphic novel is Eighty Days, a queer historical romance epic about pilots in an alternate-1930s. The novella won a PRISM Queer Press Grant Award in 2016.
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. Her work has been featured in Poetry, Denver Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Poem-a-Day, Lambda Literary, PEN America, The Offing, and elsewhere. Her full-length collection There Should Be Flowers was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at UC Riverside.
Bernard Ferguson is a Bahamian poet, essayist and MFA candidate at New York University. He is currently working on a book of nonfiction, The Climate Sirens (Graywolf, 2023), about Hurricane Dorian and the effects of climate change on Small-Island Developing States across the world. These days he is thinking mostly about wonder, climate trauma, migrations of all kind, and Bahamian/Caribbean history.
Isaac Fitzsimons is the author of The Passing Playbook (Dial BFYR/PRH, 2021). He writes Young Adult fiction so that every reader can see themselves reflected in literature. A lifetime dabbler in the arts, he currently lives outside Washington, DC, and does research for an arts advocacy nonprofit in the city.
Camryn Garrett was born and raised in New York. In 2019, she was named one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 and a Glamour College Woman of the Year. Her first novel, Full Disclosure, received rave reviews from outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, the Today Show, and The Guardian, which called a “warm, funny and thoughtfully sex-positive, an impressive debut from a writer still in her teens.” Her second novel, Off the Record, was released May 18, 2021. Camryn is also interested in film and is a student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Michael Genhart, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco. He is the acclaimed author of many picture books, including Love is Love, I See You, Ouch! Moments, So Many Smarts!, Cake & I Scream!, Mac & Geeez!, Peanut Butter & Jellyous, among other titles. He lives with his rainbow family in Marin County, California.
Alex Gino is author of middle grade novels Rick, You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! and the Stonewall Award-winning George, which they now call Melissa’s Story. They love glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the complexity of being alive.
Robin Gow is a trans and queer poet, editor, and educator from rural Pennsylvania. They are the director and founder of Transcendent Connections, an organization that provides trans education resources to support trans youth. Gow also founded the New York City trans and queer reading series Gender Reveal Party. They live in Pennsylvania with their pugs, Gertrude and Eddie. They are an out and proud autistic bisexual genderqueer man passionate about LGBTQIA+ issues.
torrin a. greathouse
torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk and MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Wound from the Mouth of a Wound, which was selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil as the winner of the 2020 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry. She is a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and has received fellowships from Zoeglossia, the Effing Foundation, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Their work is published in POETRY, Ploughshares, and the Kenyon Review.
Candice Iloh is a first generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist, and youth educator. She is a graduate of Howard University and holds an MFA in writing from Lesley University. Her work has earned fellowships from Lambda Literary and VONA among many others. Her debut novel, Every Body Looking, was a finalist for the National Book Award and earned a Michael L. Printz honor.
Kosoko Jackson is a digital media specialist, focusing on digital storytelling, email, social and SMS marketing, and a freelance political journalist. Occasionally, his personal essays and short stories have been featured on Medium, Thought Catalog, The Advocate, and some literary magazines. When not writing YA novels that champion holistic representation of black queer youth across genres, he can be found obsessing over movies, drinking his (umpteenth) London Fog, or spending far too much time on Twitter.
Taylor Johnson is from Washington, DC. They are the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their work appears in The Paris Review, The Baffler, Scalawag, and elsewhere. Johnson is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a recipient of the 2017 Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers from Lambda Literary. They live in New Orleans where they listen.
Naomi Kanakia is the author of two young adult novels Enter Title Here (Disney ’16) and We Are Totally Normal (HarperTeen, ’20) and The Cynical Writer’s Guide To The Publishing Industry. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and daughter.
Vincent X. Kirsch
Vincent X. Kirsch is an author, illustrator, playwright, and designer. He is the author-illustrator of books for children, including How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees and Natalie & Naughtily. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.
CB Lee is a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese American writer whose novels include the Sidekick Squad series, a young adult science fiction adventure that follow queer teens who take on a corrupt government superhero agency, and also the fantasy Seven Tears At High Tide. Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Lee lives in Los Angeles and when not writing, enjoys hiking, rock climbing and other outdoor pursuits.
Emery Lee is a kidlit author, artist, and YouTuber hailing from a mixed-racial background. After graduating with a degree in creative writing, e’s gone on to author novels, short stories, and webcomics. When away from reading and writing, you’ll most likely find em engaged in art or snuggling cute dog.
Malinda Lo is the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of several young adult novels, including Last Night at the Telegraph Club, which received eight starred reviews and was named by Oprah Magazine as one of the 50 Best LGBTQ Books That Will Heat Up the Literary Landscape in 2021. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog. She writes the biweekly newsletter Lo & Behold on writing and culture, and she can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Kyle Lukoff writes books for kids and other people. Kyle spent eight years as an elementary school librarian, but now he writes full time, assists in sensitivity readings and consultations, and presents on children’s and youth literature all across the country. He got hired at a bookstore when he was sixteen, which means he’s been working at the intersection of books and people for well over half his life.
Award winning poet, essayist and Freedom Fighter Aurielle Marie is a child of the Deep South and an Atlanta native. She received her bachelors in Social Justice Strategy and Hip-Hop Theory from the Evergreen State College, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. Co-founder of the grassroots community-led political coalition It’s Bigger Than You, and noted cultural strategist for organizations on the frontlines of change, she is also a powerful public speaker, a facilitator, and a popular performance artist.
Roya Marsh, a native of the Bronx, New York, is a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator, and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC, and she works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Marsh’s work has been featured on NBC, BET, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, and Lexus Verses and Flow, and in Poetry Magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, The Village Voice, Nylon, HuffPost, and The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic (2018).
Ernesto Javier Martínez
Ernesto Javier Martínez, PhD is a queer Chicano/Puerto Rican literary critic, educator, and writer. He is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon and an Executive Board member of the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS). His work has received multiple recognitions, including a Lambda Literary Award in 2012. Ernesto is also the founder of The Femeniños Project, a children’s literature and narrative film initiative exploring the relationship between queer Latino/x youth and their familias.
Anna-Marie McLemore writes magical realism and fairy tales that are as queer, Latine, and nonbinary as they are. Their books include The Weight of Feathers, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book When the Moon Was Ours, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature and was the winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award; Wild Beauty, a Kirkus School Library Journal, and Booklist best book of 2017; Blanca & Roja, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; Miss Meteor (co-authored with Tehlor Kay Mejia); Dark and Deepest Red, a Winter 2020 Indie Next List selection; and The Mirror Season.
Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture-deliverer and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training, and hitchhiked from Montana to California. The author of nearly twenty books for tweens and teens, Mitchell’s work includes Edgar Award nominee Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine Series, Indiana Author Award Winner and Lambda Nominee All the Things We Do in the Dark, as well as the Camp Murderface series with Josh Berk. She is the editor of four anthologies for teens, Defy the Dark, All Out, Out Now, and Out There. She always picks truth; dares are too easy.
Sarah Moon is a teacher and writer. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, with her wife, Jasmine, and their daughter, Zora. She is the co-editor of The Letter Q, a young adult anthology. Her first YA novel is the critically acclaimed Sparrow.
David Barclay Moore
David Barclay Moore was born and raised in Missouri. After studying creative writing at Iowa State University, film at Howard University in Washington, DC and language studies at L’Universite de Montpellier in France, David moved to New York City where he has served as communications coordinator for Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone, and communications manager for Quality Services for the Autism Community. David now lives, works, and explores in Brooklyn, NY.
Iraqi-Canadian author Hasan Namir graduated from Simon Fraser University where he received a BA in English, and the Ying Chen Creative Writing Student Award. He is the author of God in Pink (2015), which won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Fiction and was chosen as one of the Top 100 Books of 2015 by The Globe and Mail. He was recently named a writer to watch by CBC books. He is also the author of poetry book War/Torn (2019, Book*Hug Press) and children’s book The Name I Call Myself (2020, Arsenal Pulp Press). Hasan lives in Vancouver with his husband and child.
Abdi Nazemian spent his childhood in a series of exciting locations (Tehran, Paris, Toronto, New York), but could usually be found in his bedroom watching old movies and reading. Abdi’s first novel, The Walk-In Closet, was awarded Best Debut at the Lambda Literary Awards. He has written two young adult novels, both published by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins: The Authentics (2017) and Like a Love Story (2019). Abdi lives in Los Angeles with his two children and husband, and holds dual citizenship between the United States and Canada.
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Salvage: Poems and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. Originally from Bali, Indonesia, she has most recently been awarded the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award, the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, and an Amy Clampitt Residency. She lives with her son and partner in New Jersey.
Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Chinelo Okparanta received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. A Colgate University Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction as well as a recipient of the University of Iowa’s Provost’s Postgraduate Fellowship in Fiction, Okparanta was nominated for a US Artists Fellowship in 2012. She is currently Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Swarthmore College.
Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of the YA books Anger Is a Gift and Each of Us a Desert. When they are not writing, they are busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal of petting every dog in the world. The Insiders is their middle-grade debut.
Maulik Pancholy is an award-winning actor whose career has spanned hit television shows (30 Rock, Whitney), animated favorites (Phineas and Ferb, Sanjay and Craig), the Broadway stage, and films. He served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and he is the co-founder of the anti-bullying campaign Act to Change. Maulik lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his husband, Ryan, and his dog, T-Rex. The Best at It is his debut novel.
Karleen Pendleton Jiménez
Karleen Pendleton Jiménez is a writer and filmmaker who teaches education, gender, and social justice at Trent University. She is the author of Lambda Literary Award finalists Are You a Boy or a Girl? and How to Get a Girl Pregnant, Tomboys and Other Gender Heroes, and numerous short stories and essays. She wrote the award-winning animated film Tomboy, and has been recognized by the American Library Association and the Vice Versa Awards for Excellence in the Gay and Lesbian Press. Raised in Los Angeles, she lives in Toronto with her partner and daughter.
Sarah Prager is a writer, activist, and speaker on LGBTQ+ history. Her widely praised first book on the subject, Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World, received numerous accolades, including three starred reviews and being named a Best Book for Teens by the New York Public Library and Chicago Public Library. Her second book, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, is for ages 8-12. Prager’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, HuffPost, and many other publications. Prager lives with her wife and their children in Massachusetts.
S. Qiouyi Lu
S. Qiouyi Lu writes, translates, and edits between two coasts of the Pacific. Ær debut biocyberpunk novella In the Watchful City is out now from Tordotcom Publishing, and ær other work has appeared in several award-winning venues.
Juan A. Ríos Vega
Juan A. Ríos Vega is a queer Latino educator and researcher from Panama who loves to write, read, and make things, especially puppets. Carlos, the Fairy Boy: Carlos, El Niño Hada is his first children’s book and he’s already dreaming up his next one! He currently teaches in the Department of Education, Counseling, and Leadership at Bradley University and is an active member in the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS).
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He was the first Hispanic winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and a recipient of 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 Belpré Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. He lives in El Paso, Texas.
Alex has a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and worked for many years as a youth and family counselor.
Alex Sanchez has published ten novels, including the American Library Association “Best Book for Young Adults” Rainbow Boys and Lambda Award-winning So Hard to Say. His novel Bait won the Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Book Award and the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for Young Adult fiction. You Brought Me the Ocean, his graphic novel from DC Comics, was illustrated by Julie Maroh. Alex’s newest book, The Greatest Superpower, came out in 2021.
Rob Sanders is an elementary school teacher in Brandon, FL. He is the author of Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk, and the Rainbow Flag, Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights, and Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution. His other picture books include Rodzilla, the Ruby Rose series, and Outer Space, Bedtime Race.
Hal Schrieve grew up in Olympia, Washington, and has never met a werewolf. Xie has worked as an after-school group leader, a summer camp counselor, a flower seller, a tutor, a grocer, and a babysitter. Hal has had poetry in Vetch magazine,and is featured in Stacked Deck Press’s 2018 trans comics anthology We’re Still Here. Hal earned hir Master’s in Library Science from Queen’s College and works as a Children’s Librarian at New York Public Library. Out of Salem, hir debut novel, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly and was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Hal lives in Brooklyn.
James Sie is the author of the YA novel All Kinds of Other. His debut novel, Still Life Las Vegas, was a Lambda Literary Award nominee for Best Gay Fiction. An award-winning playwright, he has had productions performed in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (Lincoln Center Institute) and across the country. In addition to writing, James is also a voiceover artist for many cartoons and games, including Jackie Chan Adventures, Stillwater, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness; Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, where his excessive love of cabbages has earned him immortal fame. James now lives in Los Angeles with his husband and son.
Stan Stanley makes comics that are sometimes creepy, sometimes funny, but always queer. She’s been making comics since she was in high school and has continued doing so throughout various science-related careers when she was supposed to be doing science. Instead, she created Friendly Hostility, The Hazards of Love, and her online journal comic, Stananigans. The Hazards of Love is heavily influenced by the ephemera of the Mexico in which Stan grew up, though she now finds herself in NYC among a lovely crew of weirdos. She lives with her spouse, a large cat, and a larger collection of bones.
Aiden Thomas is a trans, Latinx, New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels. They received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
Peyton Thomas is an author and journalist with bylines in Vanity Fair, Pitchfork, and Billboard. His debut novel, Both Sides Now, was a Junior Library Guild selection. He was a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow, studying under Benjamin Alire Sáenz. He graduated with honours from the University of Toronto in 2015, majoring in political science and sexual diversity studies. He is a recipient of the Bill 7 Award and the Norma Epstein Foundation Award in Creative Writing. He lives in Toronto.
Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding to tell her mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She spent her childhood reading by flashlight in the closet until she came out as queer. She lives in Oregon with a dog, a cat, and an abundance of plants. She is the author of young adult novels Tarnished Are the Stars and Fire Becomes Her.
Ray Stoeve is the author of the young adult novel Between Perfect and Real, which was a 2021 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. They also contributed to the young adult anthology Take The Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance. They received a 2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellowship and created the YA/MG Trans and Nonbinary Voices Masterlist, a database that tracks all books in those age categories written by trans authors about trans characters. When they’re not writing, they can be found gardening, making art in other mediums, or hiking their beloved Pacific Northwest.
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is the author of the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love, winner of the Judith Markowitz Award from Lambda Literary. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Temple University, and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College. In her fiction, she explores the intellectual, emotional, and bodily lives of young black women through voice, music, and hip-hop inflected magical realist techniques.
Meredith Talusan is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Fairest from Viking/Penguin Random House, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. She is also an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation, WIRED, SELF, and Condé Nast Traveler, among many other publications, and has contributed to several essay and fiction collections. She has received awards from GLAAD, The Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. She is also the founding executive editor of them, Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ digital platform, where she is currently contributing editor.
David Valdes is the author of the nonfiction books Homo Domesticus, The Rhinestone Sisterhood, and Today Show pick A Little Fruitcake, as well as a dozen produced plays. A former Boston Globe columnist and Huffington Post blogger whose posts have received over a million hits, he currently writes for Medium, and was recently featured in the New York Times’s Modern Love column. He also teaches writing at Boston Conservatory and Tufts. David lives in the Boston area with his teen daughter.
Alexandra Villasante has always loved telling stories—though not always with words. She has a BFA in Painting and an MA in Combined Media (that’s art school speak for making work out of anything). Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, Alex has the privilegio of dreaming in both English and Spanish.
Julian Winters is an award-winning author of Running With Lions, How to Be Remy Cameron, and The Summer of Everything (Duet Books). Running With Lions is the recipient of an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award. How to Be Remy Cameron and The Summer of Everything were named Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selections. A self-proclaimed comic book geek, Julian currently lives outside of Atlanta.
Yao Xiao is a cartoonist and illustrator living in New York. Her debut graphic novel, Everything Is Beautiful, And I’m Not Afraid was published by Andrews McMeel in 2020 and has received praise from Publishers Weekly and Ms. Magazine. Yao was born in China and emigrated to the United States in 2006. After graduation with a degree in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts, Yao sought a way to document her experiences as a queer immigrant in and developed a series of comics incorporating illustration and writing. Yao Xiao continues to seek opportunities as an artist, writer and illustrator and to connect to others through her work.
Yanyi is a poet and critic who has received fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Poets House, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He formerly served as curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project and is associate editor at Foundry.