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Writer’s Retreat

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Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices

The Writer’s 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.

Since 2007, the Writer’s 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. The Retreat is an unparalleled opportunity to develop one’s craft and find community.

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Writer’s Retreat 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.

 

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554

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

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46

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

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9

genres, including poetry, young adult fiction, and playwriting

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7

Anthologies, presenting Retreat Fellows work.

Read Their Work

Check out books written by Lambda Fellows

How To Apply

The Retreat is held each year in August. Applications for the 2022 Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices will open in fall 2021.

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Fellows & Faculty Directory

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Erica Frederick (Fiction - 2021)

Erica Frederick is a queer, Haitian-American writer and an MFA candidate in fiction at Syracuse University. She writes about being brought up by immigrants, brought up in brotherhood, brought up while being big in all the ways there are to be big—in body, in vitriol, in Blackness in Florida suburbia. She was the 2019 VIDA Fellow for the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival and is the 2021 winner of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation College Fiction Award. She’s a child of the internet and ran a quasi-successful fan blog in her teens. You can find her on Twitter @ericafrederick

Erik J. Brown (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Erik J. Brown is a writer of genre-blending books for young adults. His debut novel, ALL THAT’S LEFT IN THE WORLD, will be published by HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray in March 2022. He is a Temple University graduate with a degree in Film and Media Arts with an emphasis in Writing for Media. When not writing, he enjoys traveling (pre-pandemic), collecting disco compilations on vinyl, remodeling his haunted house, and embarking on the relentless quest of appeasing his Shiba Inu. He lives in Philadelphia with his husband. You can find his website at erikjbrown.com, on Twitter @WriterikJB, and Instagram @ErikJB.

Guthrie Blechman (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Guthrie Blechman crosses fiction genres and forms to illuminate the joy and trauma, marginalization, power, and complexity of their trans and queer community. They’ve worked in case management and higher education and provide LGBTQIA+ sensitivity editing services. Degrees include an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia College of Chicago and a B.A. in psychology from Arcadia University. They are currently working on a collection of short speculative fiction and a trans-centric YA coming-of-age novel. In their spare time, they review diverse books on their website, www.guthrieblechman.com. They can be found with their partner and three cats in their Chicago apartment and on Twitter @guthrieblechman.

H. Melt (Poetry - 2021)

H. Melt is a poet, artist and educator whose work celebrates trans people, history and culture. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. H. Melt was an artist in residence at the Newberry Library, researching the Chicago Protest Collection. They’ve attended the Tin House Writer’s Workshop and co-founded Queeriosity at Young Chicago Authors. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. Their next book, There Are Trans People Here, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in the fall of 2021.

Hannah Suchor (Fiction - 2021)

Hannah Suchor is a writer from Wisconsin, where they have recently returned to pursue a slower life after receiving their MFA in fiction at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. They are also an educational consultant in Shanghai. Their writing has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Typehouse, and elsewhere, and they are currently hard at work on a novel about living under the psychological burden of environmental disaster and a short story collection looking through the funhouse mirror of queerness. They tweet @hannahsuchor and talk about books on Instagram at @inkoneverypage.

Isaiah Holbrook (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Isaiah Holbrook holds a BA in English from Saint Francis University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Oregon State University. He’s been published in The Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Harvard Review, CRAFT Literary, Stellium Magazine, and The Voyage Journal, where he received third place in their short story writing contest. He’s a reality TV enthusiast and can be seen buying too many books at his favorite local bookstore.

Jack Kaulfus (Fiction - 2021)

Jack Kaulfus is the author of the short story collection Tomorrow or Forever (Transgress Press, 2018). Their work has been published in A cappella Zoo, Heavy Feather Review, Barrelhouse, and Off the Rocks, among other journals. Their short story “Rockaway” was listed as a top ten finalist in 2021’s American Short(er) Fiction Prize. Jack was born and raised in small-town Seguin, Texas. They earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and sold books in Atlanta before returning to Texas in the early 2000s to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University in San Marcos. In addition to teaching high school English in Austin, Texas, Jack is a 2021 Lambda Literary Fellow, Board Secretary at Austin Bat Cave, Fiction Editor at Gertrude Press, and one-fifth of the queer Americana band Brand New Key.

Jaime Estepa (Playwriting - 2021)

Jaime Estepa (@_jaimest) is a queer, Filipino American spoken word artist, playwright, and aspiring TV writer who grew up on unceded Southern Paiute land (Las Vegas, NV). He has performed spoken word in venues across Southern California including the La Jolla Playhouse, and his play, The Mojave, earned a staged reading at The Old Globe’s 2020 Powers New Voices Festival. In collaboration with The Old Globe and Diversionary Theatre, other short plays by Estepa appeared in San Diego’s 2020 Virtual Pride. He is descended from 20th century migrant Filipino/a/x laborers who worked on Alaskan fishing boats and the farms of Hawai’i and Northern California. He swears some must’ve been queer, too.

Jesús I. Valles (Poetry - 2021)

Jesús I. Valles (they/them) is a queer Mexican immigrant, writer-performer from Cd. Juarez/El Paso. Jesús has received fellowships and support from the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Lambda Literary, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Community of Writers’ Poetry Workshop, Idyllwild Arts, Undocupoets, Tin House, and the Poetry Incubator. Their work has been featured in The New Republic, Palabritas, Quarterly West, The Adroit Journal, PANK, NPR’s Code Switch, The Slowdown, The BreakBeat Poets’ LatiNext Anthology, and the Best New Poets 2020 anthology. Jesús is currently OUTSider festival’s OUTsider-in-residence and a first year MFA playwriting student at Brown University.

JET (Nonfiction - 2021)

JET retells and subverts personal myths and anxieties, as well as sends dispatches to loved ones in this world and other realms. Inspired by the expansiveness of humor, speculative storytelling, zines, chapbooks, plays, and pamphlets, JET’s working on a memoir project that takes on a hybrid of those forms. JET’s a founding member of The Josie Club, a digital experience and weekend retreat for Queer Black Womxn. A MFA candidate at Columbia University’s creative writing program with a Non-Fiction concentration, JET lives in Harlem, though she was raised in New York’s Lower East side. Find JET on Instagram at @izdabes, where she has leaned into her Queer-Fashionable-Auntie-Socialite aesthetic.

Joni Renee Whitworth (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

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.

Faylita Hicks (Nonfiction - 2019)

Faylita Hicks is a writer and mobile photographer living in San Marcos, Texas and writing nonfiction/poetry about social media and social justice for the queer black femme. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College in 2018 and is the Managing Editor of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. She was a finalist in the 2018 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship and Palette Poetry’s 2019 Spotlight Award. She is a 2019 Jack Jones Literary Arts “Culture, Too” Gender/Sexuality Fellow and her work has appeared in Slate, HuffPost, POETRY, The Rumpus, The Cincinnati Review, and others. Her debut poetry collection, HoodWitch, is forthcoming Fall 2019 from Acre Books.

Hannah Abigail Clarke (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Hannah Abigail Clarke is here and queer, etc. They have been previously published in PRISM international and Portland Review, and his first novel, The Scapegracers, debuts in 2020 via Erewhon Books with two sequels to follow. They’re attending the University of Chicago come fall to pursue a Master’s Degree, specifically studying the interrelatedness of monstrosity and queerness in fiction. They reads tarot for cash in her spare time.

Imani Davis (Poetry - 2019)

Imani Davis is a queer Black miracle from Brooklyn. A Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, they are a recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Stadler Center for Literary Arts. Their poetry appears with Rookie, PBS News Hour’s Brief But Spectacular Series, The Adroit Journal, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. Notably, they have performed at the Teen Vogue Activism Summit, the Apollo Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Nuyorican Poets Café. They currently study at the University of Pennsylvania, where they serve as Outreach Coordinator for the Kelly Writers House.

J K Chukwu (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

J K Chukwu is a half Nigerian, half Detroitian writer from the Midwest. Her writing is rooted in examining the strangeness, depravity, and trauma that is contained in everyday life. Currently, she is attending Brown University for her MFA in Fiction. Her audio essay “Love Sounds”, published by A Velvet Giant, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has presented her writing and art at University of Wisconsin-Madison, National Louis University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Maryland. Her personal essay is forthcoming in the Black Warrior Review.

Jamiece Adams (Fiction - 2019)

Jamiece Adams is a queer writer and high school teacher based in Chicago. She earned her MFA in fiction at Columbia College Chicago. Recently she worked on a multidisciplinary project, Take Care, which examined the roles of intimacy and correspondence; her poem is featured in the limited-edition artist book. Currently, she’s working on a collection of short stories that examines the nature of childhood, friendship, and family by questioning the ways that “home” constructs who we are and who we aren’t. Some of these stories have been published in Hair Trigger, Rabbit: Nonfiction Poetry Journal, The Lindenwood Review, and forthcoming to Hypertext Magazine.

Jazlyn Patricio-Archer (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Jazlyn Patricio-Archer is a queer, mixed Filipina from the Bay Area. Jazlyn writes fiction for young queer romantics of color. She believes deeply in writing stories where we get to be happy and alive, brown and queer, all at once. In addition, she is a femme urban farmer, taiko player, and pop music evangelist. Jazlyn is currently at work building a cookware brand that centers on storytelling and product-making around immigrant and indigenous food traditions launching this August.

Jeremy Lybarger (Fiction - 2019)

Jeremy Lybarger is a writer and editor in Chicago. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Paris Review, The Nation, The Baffler, Art in America, OUT, Mother Jones, The New Republic, The California Sunday Magazine, and many others. He is the features editor at the Poetry Foundation and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. He is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories.

Jesús I. Valles (Poetry - 2019)

Jesús I. Valles is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, storyteller, and performer based in Austin, Texas, originally from Cd. Juarez, México. As an actor and theatremaker, Jesús is the recipient of four B. Iden Payne awards, including Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for their autobiographical solo show, (Un)Documents. (Un)Documents was also nominated for five Austin Critics’ Table Awards, including the David Mark Cohen Award for Best New Play. Jesús is a recipient of the 2019 Letras Latinas Scholarship from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, a poetry fellow at Idyllwild Arts Writers Week, and a recipient of a 2019 Fine Arts Work Center scholarship. Jesús is also a 2018 Undocupoets Fellow, a 2018 Tin House Scholar, a fellow of The 2018 Poetry Incubator, the runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest, and a finalist of the 2016 Write Bloody Poetry Contest. Their work has been published in The Shade Journal, The Texas Review, The New Republic, Palabritas, The Acentos Review, Quarterly West, and The Mississippi Review. Jesús is a proud member of The VORTEX Repertory Company, Shrewd Productions, and executive board member for Teatro Vivo, and has also worked with Scottish Rite Theater, Lucky Chaos, and Glam Fam. Jesús currently teaches social and emotional learning to high school students, focusing on those recently arrived to the U.S.

Joe Baumann (Fiction - 2019)

Joe Baumann’s fiction and essays have appeared in Electric Literature, Electric Spec, On Spec, Barrelhouse, Zone 3, Hawai’i Review, Eleven Eleven, and many others. He is the author of Ivory Children, published in 2013 by Red Bird Chapbooks. He possesses a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He currently teaches and directs the creative writing program at St. Charles Community College in Cottleville, Missouri.

John Bavoso (Playwriting - 2019)

John Bavoso is a Washington, DC-based playwright, book and theatre reviewer, marketer, and aspiring wrangler of unicorns. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a Pinky Swear Productions company member, and the recipient of District of Columbia FY18 and FY19 Arts and Humanities Fellowships. His plays have been produced and/or developed in DC, Virginia, New York, Colorado, Texas, California, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, and Arizona; Toronto, Canada; and Gold Coast and Sydney, Australia.

John Gregan (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

John Gregan‘s writing career peaked in the eighth grade, when his crush read one of his short stories and texted him “Haha that was cool.” Since then John has graduated from college, won a queer studies writing contest, and written a novella, but nothing has ever beaten that middle-school high. Still, he remains hopeful for his next project, a YA novel about a trans teenager traveling from Los Angeles to Roswell in search of aliens.

Joseph Cáceres (Fiction - 2019)

Joseph Cáceres is a writer from New York whose work investigates the relationship between language, race, (homo)sexuality, and capitalism in America. His fiction has been published in Slice, Cosmonauts Avenue, and CURA Literary Magazine. He is currently working on a novel.

Joseph Jess Rey (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Joseph Jess Rey is a queer Chicano writer, born and raised in Los Angeles. He recently received his B.A. in Literature from UCLA, where he presented about Queer Latinx Characters in YA at the QScholars Research Symposium, as well as a spoken-word piece at UCLA’s first Latino Film Festival. He writes fiction and poetry but is currently working on a poetry collection that focuses on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and race criticism. He plans to contribute many queer stories to the world! Find him talking about Buffy or queer things on twitter @JosephJessRey.

Joshunda Sanders (Fiction - 2019)

Joshunda Sanders is the award-winning author of five books, most recently I Can Write the World, a book for children praised by international bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson as “lovely and timely.” She has won fellowships and scholarships to attend the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, Hedgebrook and Key West Literary Seminars. In 2018, she won a fiction grant award from the Bronx Council on the Arts. She lives in New York City.

Fredric Sinclair (Fiction - 2018)

Fredric Sinclair earned his MFA in Fiction from Boston University, where he was awarded the Saul Bellow Fellowship in fiction and the Leslie Epstein Global Travel Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Baltimore Review, Jersey Devil Press, and Chelsea Station, among others. He has taught creative writing at Boston University and Boston Arts Academy and is an alum of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Prior to receiving his MFA, Fredric lived in New York City where he was active in playwriting and play production and worked for humanitarian organizations. Currently, he is at work on a novel concerning the lasting trauma of a political sex scandal on those involved and a book of short stories.

Hank Henderson (Poetry - 2018)

Hank Henderson is a poet and storyteller. His monologues and one man show have been featured at Highways’ BEHOLD! Queer Performance Festival, INSTALL: WeHo, APT 3F, and the West Hollywood One City One Pride Arts Festival. Most recently, written work has been published in RFD Magazine and online at Entropy Magazine and HIV Here & Now. Hank has also curated the LGBTQ reading series homo-centric since 2010. He lives in Los Angeles with three cats and a man named Joe.

Hiram Perez (Nonfiction - 2018)

Hiram Perez teaches at Vassar College. His first book, A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire (NYU Press), won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBT Studies in 2016. He has published essays in Social Text, Camera Obscura, The Scholar & Feminist Online, The Journal of Homosexuality, The Margins, and Transformations. His work has also appeared in the edited collections Reading Brokeback Mountain, East Main Street: Asian American Popular Culture, and Asian American Studies Now. He is currently at work on a memoir, Mongrel Love, where he explores the relationship between racial embodiment and shame.

j. sebastián alberdi (Playwriting - 2018)

j. sebastián alberdi writes plays & poems about being queer, being mexican, and being brought up in his mother’s catholicism. he runs (pnkprl.com), an erasure e-zine, and his first book of erasures Y ES is available from ghost city press.

Jackie Hedeman (Nonfiction - 2018)

Jackie Hedeman is a Midwesterner and a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University, where she served as Reviews & Interviews Editor of The Journal. Jackie’s nonfiction has appeared in Autostraddle, The Best American Travel Writing 2017, Entropy, The Offing, and elsewhere. When she isn’t writing grants for a Kansas arts nonprofit, Jackie is working on a collection of essays about pop culture, secrecy and subtext, and identity.

Jasmyne Hammonds (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Jasmyne Hammonds grew up as a military brat and went to college in Virginia where she studied Creative Writing. She lives in Portland, Oregon and works as a full-time flight attendant. When she’s not daydreaming at 30,000 feet, she enjoys reading and writing fiction about characters from diverse backgrounds. She has contributed to The Flight Attendant Life blog and is currently working on a young adult murder mystery set in the Deep South.

Javier Fuentes (Fiction - 2018)

Javier Fuentes is a Spanish-American writer and educator. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University where he was awarded a Teaching Fellowship. Javier has also taught at The School of Visual Arts. His writing has appeared in the Columbia Journal. He’s currently working on a novel about forced migration.

Jaz Papadopoulos (Poetry - 2018)

Jaz Papadopoulos is an interdisciplinary artist who works in experimental poetry, installation, video and performance. They explore the in-between – that which is overlooked by language and other social and cultural powers – and are interested in diaspora, gender, bodies, place, memory, grief and ritual. Recently, Jaz completed a residency at the Cartae Open School in Winnipeg, Canada, and performed at Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece alongside Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens. They are a current recipient of the New Artist in Media Art Production Fund at Video Pool. Jaz lives in Treaty 1 territory, “Canada.”

JD Scott (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

JD Scott is a writer, editor, amateur perfumer, and the author of two chapbooks. Recent and forthcoming publications include Best American Experimental Writing, Best New Poets, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, Ninth Letter, Apogee, and elsewhere. Recent accolades include being awarded residencies at the Millay Colony, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Writers at the Eyrie, in Brooklyn, NY.

Jennifer Cox (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Jennifer Cox recently completed her first novel, an apocalyptic Bildungsroman set in New Hampshire. She graduated from Harvard University with a Master’s in Literature and Creative Writing and is Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Change Magazine (please submit!). She lives in Chicago and balances her love of dark stories with dogs, pop music, independent book stores, and adventures with her fiancée.

Jon Riccio (Poetry - 2018)

Jon Riccio is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers where he serves as an associate editor at Mississippi Review. His work appears in print or online at Booth, The Cincinnati Review, Cleaver, Hawai’i Review, Permafrost, Switchback, and Waxwing, among others. The poetry editor at Fairy Tale Review and contributing interviewer for Sonora Review, he received his MFA from the University of Arizona.

Evan James (Nonfiction - 2017)

Evan James has written for Oxford American, Travel + Leisure, Catapult, The New York Times, The New York Observer, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. His essay “Lovers’ Theme” was selected by Eula Biss as the winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Carson McCullers Center, and the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. He lives in New York.

Frederick McKindra (2017)

Writer-in-Residence Frederick McKindra is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. His work does to race, sexuality, gender, and socio-economics what Tiger Woods did to ethnic identities by calling himself “Cablinasian” back in ’97. Frederick is himself a black man however, as well as a 2016 Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fiction Fellow, an aspiring novelist, and hopelessly Southern.

Garth Greenwell (Fiction - 2017)

Garth Greenwell (FICTION) is the author of What Belongs to You, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A NYT Book Review Editors’ Choice, it is being translated into ten languages, and has been named one of the best books of 2016 by Publishers Weekly, Esquire, Slate, Vulture, and the New Republic, among others. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, and for the New Yorker and the Atlantic online. A native of Louisville, KY, he holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Iowa City.

Hannah Rubin (Poetry - 2017)

Hannah Rubin is an Oakland-based theorist, artist and community organizer. They frequently perform their work in bookstores, cafes, and basements around the Bay Area and have published in an array of literary magazines, punk journals, and copy-shop zines (such as Entropy, Be About It, Dryland, HOLD: A Journal, and many others). They run Poetry in the Dark, an experimental poetry reading series at Less Space Gallery, and Queer Living Room, a low-key writing group for queer writers caught between genres. Currently, they are at work on a book of lyrical poems and photographs that investigate the structural relationships between queerness, water, and abuse.

Ilana Masad (Fiction - 2017)

Ilana Masad is an Israeli-American writer. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Printer’s Row, Joyland, and more, while her nonfiction and book criticism have appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Vice, and more. She is the founder and host of The Other Stories, a podcast featuring fiction writers both seasoned and new. She enjoys social media too much for her own liking.

Jane Starr (Poetry - 2017)

When Jane isnt writing the coolest stories you’ll ever read in your entire life, She spends far too much of her time in her apartment piecing together a “career” as a dominatrix/pornographer/sex worker/masseuse. She loves skateboarding and is always covered in bruises. Jane has played bass since she was thirteen in various go nowhere punk bands and is grateful to be alive. She currently resides in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

jayy dodd (Poetry - 2017)

jayy dodd is a blxk question mark from los angeles, california– now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Lambda Literary, The Establishment, Assaracus, Winter Tangerine, Guernica, & Yes,Poetry among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank] (Pizza Pi Press 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017). they are a Pushcart Prize & Bettering American Poetry nominee; their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy.

Joanna Eng (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Joanna Eng is a freelance editor, writer, and web producer based in Yonkers, New York. When she’s not curating newsletters about classical piano music or writing persuasive emails to global news consumers or proofreading 700-page history tomes, she loves to write fiction for all ages featuring characters who don’t fit into neat categories—some of whom happen to be obsessed with plants, and others of whom, well, are plants. She tweets occasional compliments @joannamengland.

Frederick McKindra (Fiction - 2016)

Frederick McKindra, a fiction writer living in Brooklyn, NY, is working to complete his first novel on the lotto, ill-fated love, and the Great Recession in NYC. He intends this project to serve as the definitive survival guide for black Snow Qweens who look for advice on love in the works of Baldwin, the gospel powerhouses known as the Clark Sisters, and 90s RnB trio SWV. He attended Howard University in DC, received an MFA in Fiction from the New School, and regularly contributes to the Lambda Literary blog.

James Chaarani (Fiction - 2016)

James Chaarani is a writer and journalist based in Toronto, Canada. He’s written for Slate, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Lambda Literary, The Quietus and Daily Xtra. His first novel, “Paris Demands,” was released last year. He’s working on his second novel based on his column, “Hole and Corner,” for Daily Xtra.

Janelle Fine (Poetry - 2016)

Janelle Fine is a queer poet, artist, and performance artist living in Boulder, Colorado with their leopard gecko named Max. They graduated with their MFA from Naropa University and currently work as a book designer. Their poetry and visual art can be found in various online and in print journals. They are the founder and editor of Le Petit Press and are always turning fellow poets’ and writers’ work into small books and art objects. They have an obsession with matchboxes and miniatures and want to spend the rest of their life handcrafting beautiful things.

Javier Hurtado (Playwriting - 2016)

Javier is a playwright, drag performer and producer. Javier’s performance work has been presented at colleges, clubs, theaters, and on city streets across the Southwest, on the East coast and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His plays has been developed and presented at El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, Brava Theater Center in San Francisco and at AS220 in Providence, RI. His most recent works El Niño and Housewarming had concert readings at The Culver Center for the Arts as part of the Latina/o Play Project in Riverside earlier this year.

Jennifer Hanks (Poetry - 2016)

Jennifer Hanks is the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press). They were a finalist for Heavy Feather Review’s Double Take Poetry Prize, judged by Dorothea Lasky, and have two chapbooks, gar child (Tree Light Books) and Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press), forthcoming in 2016. Their poetry and nonfiction appear or are forthcoming in Arcadia, Gigantic Sequins, Bone Bouquet, HOUSEGUEST, and elsewhere. An associate editor for Sundress Publications, they live in New Orleans with their fiancée and tweet @corsetofscales.

Jeremy O’Brian (Playwriting - 2016)

Jeremy O’Brian is a Mississippi native and Master’s candidate in African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. His work centers black queer subjects in the south, black family life, and the black everyday. He is a graduate of Tougaloo College where he co-produced his first theatrical production- Tongues Untied: A Compilation of Theatrical Acts on Black Self-Identity. His greatest hope is to create art that will have lasting implications and influences on the way black queer subjects in the south are represented and made visible.

Jonathan Mack (Fiction - 2016)

Jonathan Mack grew up on a family farm in NH, but has spent most of his adult life in India and Japan. He studied writing at Naropa and the School of the Art Institute. His story “The Right Way to Be Crippled & Naked” is the title story of an anthology of fiction about disability forthcoming from Cinco Puntos Press. Other stories and essays have appeared in Quarter After Eight, Green Mountains Review, Eleven Eleven, Epiphany, Zymbol, Gargoyle, Mary, Jonathan, Japanzine, The Tokyo Advocate, and elsewhere. He blogs at Guttersnipe Das.

Erica Cardwell (Nonfiction - 2015)

Erica Cardwell is a black queer essayist, educator, and cultural critic. Her work is centered on deconstructing the imagery and social perspectives of women and queer people. She writes about art, identity, language, and race. Her essays and reviews have been featured in The Feminist Wire, Ikons Magazine, In the Flesh Magazine, Bitch, and forthcoming for Hyperallergic. Throughout New York City, she has shared her work at La Galleria, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Brecht Forum, Heels on Wheels OpenToe Peepshow, Raw Fiction, and Queer Memoir. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College while overseeing the arts, culture, and women’s programming for LGBTQ youth at The Hetrick-Martin Institute. Erica lives in Astoria, Queens. She tweets at @EricaCardwell

Gibrán Güido (2015)

Writer-in-Residence Gibrán Güido was born in San Diego and raised in San Ysidro, California. He is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. As a doctoral student, his thesis and dissertation reflects a vein of an emerging area of scholarship, known as Jotería Studies, focusing particular attention to the ways pain and trauma has come to impact the lives of young gay men of color and formulate a sensibility of consciousness-raising. Currently, Gibrán is co-editing with Adelaida R. Del Castillo the forthcoming anthology titled, Fathers, Fathering and Fatherhood: Queer Chicano Desire and Belonging. He is also the co-editor of the anthology titled: Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out which was a Lammy Finalist for LGBT Anthology of the year.

Heather María Ács (Playwriting - 2015)

Heather María Ács is a West Virginia raised, Brooklyn-based, mixed race Anglo-Chicana theatre artist, independent film actor, and high femme drag performer. Her work has been featured in festivals, theatres, galleries, conferences, and universities internationally. She is the Co-Director of Heels on Wheels, a queer femme-inine spectrum, all genders performance group, that tours annually and hosts a monthly artists’ salon in Brooklyn. Heather has worked with Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, Nao Bustamante, Lois Weaver, J. Ed Araiza (SITI Company), Steven Soderbergh, and Paula Pell (SNL). Heather has worked as a teaching artist in NYC public schools for over a decade.

Herukhuti (Playwriting - 2015)

Herukhuti. Writer, performance artist, cultural studies scholar and activist. Author of Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality and Spirituality, Volume 1. Co-editor Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men, a Lammy finalist. Goddard College professor of interdisciplinary studies. Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner. National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellow. Neo-traditional African priest and Bodeme. PhD human and organizational systems. MEd curriculum and instruction. BA psychology and political science. Playwright and director in the 1st New York International Fringe Theatre Festival. Founder and Chief Erotics Officer, Center for Culture, Sexuality and Spirituality. Editor-in-Chief Sacred Sexualities. Experiments with forms, structures and energies.

Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa (Poetry - 2015)

Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa is currently completing an MFA in Poetry and an MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is a Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow. Her poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gabby, Some Call it Ballin’ and elsewhere. She is a native of Fresno, CA.

Imani Sims (Poetry - 2015)

Imani Sims, M.A. is a stiletto loving Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has developed an infinitely rippling love for poetry in all of its forms. She believes in the healing power of words and the transformational nuance of the human story. Imani is the founder of Split Six Productions, an interdisciplinary art production company that works towards connecting artists and collecting POC stories for production on stage. Her book Twisted Oak is available on Requiem Press and her second collection Beloved:Collision is available via Amazon.

Isabel Galupo (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Isabel Galupo is a second-generation queer writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She works as an Executive Assistant for the Nick Jr. show Dora and Friends: Into the City and is studying to get her MFA in Writing for Children at The New School. When she’s not writing, you can find Isabel missing her stop on the train because she’s too engrossed in a novel, Facetiming with her four younger sisters, and eating her way through Manhattan with her two lovely roommates.

Jasmine Molina (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Jasmine Molina Reading or writing biographies are dreadful, so please hold on. My life is simple like any other college student’s life I go to school, work, and study. I am majoring in biology to be a soon wildlife veterinarian. My family is the most important part of my life. Writing has recently become part of my daily life even when I am not writing. Life has been challenging now since all I can ever think about is continuing a story or creating new ones while trying to study for another future.

Javier Hurtado (Playwriting - 2015)

Javier is a playwright, drag performer and producer. Javier’s performance work has been presented at colleges, clubs, theaters, and on city streets across the Southwest, on the East coast and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His plays has been developed and presented at El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, Brava Theater Center in San Francisco and at AS220 in Providence, RI. His most recent show, LAST CALL was developed as part of the Teatro Lab residency in 2012. His lives with a spoiled chihuahua that keeps him company while he pursues an MFA in Playwriting at UC Riverside.

Jeanne Thornton (Fiction - 2015)

Jeanne Thornton is the copublisher of Instar Books and Rocksalt Magazine, as well as the author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam (Lambda Literary Award finalist for 2012) and The Black Emerald. She draws the comics Bad Mother and The Man Who Hates Fun, is working on an LA novel about the Beach Boys or reasonable facsimiles thereof, and she lives in New Orleans.

Jeffrey Wolf (Nonfiction - 2015)

Jeffrey Wolf grew up in Boston and attended GWU. He moved to NYC to get his MA in Psychology from The New School just five years after Stonewall, and less than a decade before ‘gay cancer’ began to devastate our community. After a career on Madison Avenue (not as a writer!) Jeffrey relocated to sunny SoCal, where he is now a self-proclaimed Reformed Mad Man. He has published several short stories and was a semi-finalist for The James Kirkwood Award for fiction at UCLA in 2014. Jeffrey is currently working on a memoir, A Very Bad Boy- The Story Of A Gay Baby Boomer Who Lived To Tell His Story.

Jess Pane (Fiction - 2015)

Jess Pane is a bookseller in Brooklyn, NY where she is the letters assistant for The Rumpus’ Letters in the Mail and volunteers for One Teen Story. Jess’ work has appeared on Everyday Genius and forthcoming on the podcast The Other Stories. She’ll be starting an MFA in Fiction in the fall.

Garrett Foster (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Garrett Foster is an Emmy Award-winning writer for his work on the CBS daytime drama Guiding Light. A graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. in English, Garrett has also worked as an editor/writer at The Palm Beach Post and Sun Sentinel and served as editor-in-chief of Soap Opera Magazine. A Connecticut native, Garrett traded in his snow shoes for flip flops, moved to South Florida in 1991 and hasn’t looked back since. He is currently working on his fifth novel and finally working up the nerve to actually start sending them out! When he isn’t writing, he can be found doing a mean Warrior pose, trying to perfect the ultimate smoothie, and spending time with the sweetest rescue cat in the world, Katie.

Hope Thompson (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Hope Thompson is a Toronto-based playwright, filmmaker and writer and is a graduate of Norman Jewison’s CanadianFilm Centre. Hope is interested in mystery, film noir and camp and has written and directed several award-winning short films and many one-act plays in these genres.Hope’s monologue, Cardigan Confidential was published in the collection, City Voices: A Book of Monologues by Toronto Artists and she will be performing it at World Pride in Toronto this June. Hope is currently working on her first mystery novel.

Ian Spencer Bell (Poetry - 2014)

Ian Spencer Bell is a dancer and poet combining the two in performance. He was awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and fellowships from Summer Stages Dance and Jacob’s Pillow, where he danced with his group on the Inside/Out Stage. Bell often performs in gallery spaces and, in New York City, has danced at National Arts Club, Queens Museum, and Tibor de Nagy Gallery. He is artist in residence at the Nightingale-Bamford School and writes essays for Ballet Review.

Jaime Shearn Coan (Writers in Residence - 2014)

Jaime Shearn Coan is a PhD student in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY and a poet whose work has appeared in publications includingThe Brooklyn Rail, Drunken Boat, The Portland Review, and Troubling the Line: An Anthology of Trans and Genderqueer Poetry. Jaime has received fellowships from Poets House, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Tin House Writers Workshop, and the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. He was awarded a 2014 Jerome Travel & Study Grant and has a chapbook forthcoming from Argos Books in Spring 2015. (Photo credit: Arnold Adler Photography)

Jan Zivic (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Jan Zivic, a Lambda Literary Fellow, received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of San Francisco in 2012. In 2011 she published a memoir piece in the Porter Gulch Review, and more recently, a short story in Temporary Shelter, Eleven Stories, edited by Karl Soehnlein. In 2007, Jan co-founded vibrantBrains, a cognitive gym and start-up listed in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies.” She has received the Cable Car Woman of the Year Award, the Maya Angelou Award for Community Leadership from the Center for Excellence at the University of California Medical School, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of California, PA, all for her community philanthropic and volunteer leadership. She currently serves on the Board of Lambda Literary, and is still working on emerging as a published writer…published being the key word here.

Jeffrey Ricker (Fiction - 2014)

Jeffrey Ricker is the author of Detours (2011) and the YA fantasy The Unwanted, both published by Bold Strokes Books. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction, A Family by Any Other Name, Men of the Mean Streets, and others. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia and lives in St. Louis with his partner and their contrary dachshund.

Jenna Leigh Evans (Fiction - 2014)

Jenna Leigh Evans has been published in In Pieces: an Anthology of Fragmentary Writing; the Outlet, FragLit, theNervous Breakdown, and most recently The Toast. She’s a Barbara Deming grantee, a finalist for the Eludia Award, and a semifinalist for the Black Lawrence Press’s Big Moose Prize. Her debut novel, Prosperity, is slated to be published this summer. She lives in Brooklyn.

Jennie Gruber (Nonfiction - 2014)

Jennie Gruber is a writer, educator, media-maker, queer punk, and true karaoke believer. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence. Her writing has appeared on Vice, Helix Queer Performance Network, Fleshbot, and Gaga Stigmata, in The Believer, AORTA, and Whore! magazines, and in several Cleis Press anthologies. Her workshops and readings have been featured at a variety of venues, including Red Umbrella Diaries, Perverts Put Out, Lesbian Sex Mafia, and the Feminist Porn Conference. In a parallel dimension, she is also an award-winning experimental documentary filmmaker. Born in Northern California, Gruber now lives in Manhattan with a very sweet bear.

John Copenhaver (Genre Fiction - 2014)

John Copenhaver chairs the English department at Flint Hill School, an independent high school outside of Washington, DC. His novel Dodging and Burning placed as a quarterfinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. He attended Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2012 and 2013, and Tin House in 2013. In 2011 he was a fellow in genre fiction at the Lambda Writers Retreat. He graduated with his MFA from George Mason, where he edited the literary magazine Phoebe. He has published in regional journals, including Timber Creek Review and The Roanoke Review, and was first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest and Narrative Magazine Winter Story Contest, 2014. His blog is called Talking the Walk.

Joseph Osmundson (Nonfiction - 2014)

Joseph Osmundson is a scientist, writer, and educator from rural Washington state. His research focuses on protein structure and function while his writing explores identity and place and sexuality and class and race and all sorts of messy, complicated stuff. His work has been published on Salon, The Feminist Wire, and Gawker, and he will have an essay included in the upcoming anthology The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press) due out in the Fall of 2014. He has taught at The New School and Vassar College and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Systems Biology at New York University.

Everett Maroon (Fiction - 2013)

Everett Maroon is a humorist, pop culture commentator, and fiction writer originally from New Jersey. He has a B.A. in English from Syracuse University and successfully dropped out of graduate school. A member of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association, he was a finalist in their 2010 literary contest for memoir. Everett authored Bumbling into Body Hair, published by Booktrope, and a short story, “Cursed,” in The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, from Topside Press. His YA novel, The Unintentional Time Traveler, is forthcoming. He’s written for Bitch Magazine, GayYA.org, RH RealityCheck, and Remedy Quarterly. His blog is Transplantportation.

Gibrán Güido (Nonfiction - 2013)

Gibrán Güido was born in San Diego and raised in San Ysidro, California. He is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. He completed his M.A. program in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. As a doctoral student, his thesis and dissertation reflects a vein of an emerging area of scholarship, known as Jotería Studies, focusing particular attention to the ways pain and trauma has come to impact the lives of young gay men of color and formulate a sensibility of consciousness-raising. By doing so, his contributions will serve as a medium between academia and his community that fosters and nurtures the lives of individuals who seek out a reflection of themselves, providing a platform to enable their own process of claiming voice to specific moments of struggle and transformation.

Gillian Chisom (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Gillian Chisom I am currently pursuing a PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley. Though I write urban fantasy rather than historical fiction, my scholarly and fictional writings both display my passion for women’s voices and stories. A lifelong fantasy reader, during the last few years I have wrestled with the genre’s flaws and possibilities, and have become committed to writing stories with queer teen girls at their centers. When I’m not reading seventeenth-century witch trials or writing about lesbians dealing with supernatural mayhem, I like to watch TV and make my own clothes (sometimes at the same time).

Heather Aimee O’Neill (Poetry - 2013)

Heather Aimee O’Neill is the Assistant Director of the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and teaches creative writing at CUNY Hunter College. An excerpt from her novel When The Lights Go On Again was published as a chapbook by Wallflower Press in April 2013. Her poetry chapbook, Memory Future, won the University of Southern California’s 2011 Gold Line Press Award, chosen by judge Carol Muske-Dukes. Her work was shortlisted for the 2011 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Award and has appeared in numerous literary journals. She is a freelance writer for publications such as Time Out New York, Parents Magazine and Salon.com, and is a regular book columnist at MTV’s AfterEllen.com.

Heather Askeland (Poetry - 2013)

Heather Askeland is a poet, fiddler, and aspiring healer from Minneapolis and Brooklyn, on her way to San Diego via Seattle. She began writing poetry in 2010 at Bent Writing Institute and is convinced that doing so saved her heart, if not her life (though she admits she is prone to hyperbole). Since then her work has appeared in Breadcrumb Scabs, Word Riot, and Boxcar Poetry Review, and in 2012 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Heather currently resides in Seattle with her two cats, where she’s busy packing her life into boxes, saying goodbye Mt. Rainer, and learning to thrive beyond the confines of chronic illness.

J S Kuiken (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

J S Kuiken My mother claims gypsies left me, which is as true as any other story which could be told. Some will say I graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Others remain skeptical such riff-raff would be accepted into the UEA’s distinguished program. Rumor has it that I’ve published in The Copperfield Review and Cactus Heart, was a founding editor for Rearrange, and I am completing a fantasy novel (or two), between teaching English, hiking, and having Jaime Lannister feels. You can find me on Twitter, and you should absolutely believe everything I say there.

Jayme Ringleb (Poetry - 2013)

Jayme Ringleb was raised in upstate South Carolina and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. He holds a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in English literature, film studies, and philosophy from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from the University of Iowa. He is the recipient of South Carolina’s Archibald Rutledge Award in Poetry and the Miriam McFall Starlin Poetry Prize. Currently, Jayme lives in Eugene, Oregon, where he is an MFA candidate and graduate teaching fellow at the University of Oregon.

Jerome Stueart (Fiction - 2013)

Jerome Stueart is a writer, teacher, performer, marketer who lives now in the Yukon Territory and (soon) Ohio. His fiction has appeared in Geist, Joyland, Fantasy, anthologies QueerWolf, Evolve, and three Tesseracts anthologies of Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. He’s a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop in San Diego (2007). He produced/wrote four radio series for CBCYukon, and his immigration journey was heard round the world on Radio Canada International. He has recently taken his Writing Faith workshop, developed for spiritually-bent writers, on the road to let him experience every city for 13 weeks.

Jessie Nash (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Jessie Nash is a British writer, punk-poet, and photographer. He studied BA Creative Writing in London and MA English in the USA, where he also taught undergraduate writing classes. Jessie’s poetry has appeared in publications such as Poetry Express, Luna Negra, Skin to Skin: The Art of the Lesbian, and the Off the Rocks Anthology. His fiction has been published in Glitterwolf, Lunch Ticket, (T)our and Minetta, and his short story ‘Danny’ won the Thompson Prize in the Altogether Now 2012 competition. Jessie has also written reviews and features, worked as a copyeditor, and is a trans man.

Jory Mickelson (Poetry - 2013)

Jory Mickelson was born and raised in rural Montana. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, The Adirondack Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Cossack Literary Journal, PANK Magazine and other places. He received an Academy of American Poet’s Prize in 2011 while completing his MFA in Poetry at the University of Idaho. His second chapbook Slow Depth, was published in 2012 by Winged City Chapbooks. When not writing, he pages through 1940s magazines, goes trout fishing, and writes letters by hand. He currently lives in Northwest Washington.

Joshua Barton (Fiction - 2013)

Joshua Barton is a writer, journalist, and photographer living in St. Louis, Missouri. His writing has been featured in St. Louis’ LGBT magazine The Vital VOICE and the online queer salon InOurWords: A Salon for Queers & Co. His blog New Amurican Gospels was nominated in 2013 for Best Sex Blog by the River Front Times’ St. Louis Web Awards.

Erika Turner (Nonfiction - 2012)

Erika Turner is an awkwardblackgirl with strong feminist leanings and a love for people of any gender. She was raised in Las Vegas and studies in Massachusetts with the full intention of returning to her birthplace of California. Erika has written columns for QWOC Media Wire and is a 2011 Point Scholar. She is usually a writer of short stories but also enjoys writing essays, memoir pieces, and terrible poetry. Sometimes a femme but always fabulous, Erika spends most of her time wishing she could be a host on HGTV and staring blankly into her refrigerator. She is currently interning as a PR agent.

Indira Allegra (Poetry - 2012)

Indira Allegra is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her experimental video poem, Blue Covers, has screened at festivals and events both nationally and internationally. Indira has contributed work to Cherokee Writers From the Flint Hills of Oklahoma: An Anthology and Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature, a winner of the Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and a finalist in 2012 for both the Lambda Literary Award and ForeWord Book of the Year Award. Indira has also contributed to Chicken Skin and Impossible Trees, Rivets Literary Magazine, Wordgathering Journal of Disability Poetry, Make/Shift Magazine and the 2008 Artists Against Rape Chapbook. She has forthcoming work in Konch Magazine. Indira is a 2007 Voices of Our Nation’s Arts alum and 2011 writer for the Intersection of the Arts, Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab. She is currently working on her first collection of poems entitled Indigo Season.

Jacks McNamara (Nonfiction - 2012)

Jacks McNamara is a genderqueer writer, artist, activist, and healer based in Oakland, California. Co-founder of The Icarus Project, an adventure in mutual aid & radical mental health support, and co-author of Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness, Jacks has facilitated workshops and performed poetry across North America and Europe. Jacks is currently building a somatics practice, making everyone pancakes, and working on finishing their first book. Lung Seed, a collection of poetry, prose, & hybrid experiments inbetween, is due out from Deviant Type Press later this year. Jacks’ life and work are the subject of the documentary film Crooked Beauty.

Jade Brooks (Fiction - 2012)

Jade Brooks is a writer, editor, and activist who lives in Durham, NC. She does work for make/shift magazine, Duke University Press, Southerners on New Ground, and other brave folk here in the South. She comes from the blackberry wilds of Oregon.

Jan Zivic (Fiction - 2012)

Jan Zivic will graduate in the MFA in Writing program at USF in San Francisco this year. A Lambda Literary Fellow in 2011, Jan joined the Board of Trustees of Lambda in 2012. In previous careers Jan taught film and English, sponsored the literary magazine, and directed the musicals at a high school in Pittsburgh, where she is from. She then moved to San Francisco and developed new interests in business and film production. Always a highly active community volunteer, Jan is now focused on her writing and volunteering in the literary community where she hopes to someday actually be a published writer. The two most important women in her life are Lisa Schoonerman, her wife, and her daughter, Jessie.

Jef Blocker (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Jef Blocker works as a recruiter for a non-profit and as Store Manager at Bound To Be Read Books in East Atlanta Village. His short fiction, essays, and poetry have won several writing contests. Jef participated in the Perfect Pitch at the 2004 and 2006 Atlanta Film Festivals. He’s a graduate of Orson Scott Card’s 2011 Literary Boot Camp, and was a finalist in the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. Jef writes a humor blog at www.CultofJef.com. He’s the 17th biggest Bananarama fan in the world and frequently does his cat’s evil bidding.

Jewelle Gomez (Poetry - 2012)

Jewelle Gomez (Cape Verdean/Ioway/Wampanoag) is a writer and activist. She is the author of seven books including the double Lambda Literary Award-winning, Black lesbian vampire novel, The Gilda Stories. She also wrote the play based on the novel, Bones and Ash, which toured 13 US cities. Her third collection of poetry, Oral Tradition, was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry are included in over one hundred anthologies. She has written essays, literary and film criticism for numerous publications including The Village Voice, MS Magazine, The Advocate, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Black Scholar.

She was a member of the editorial collective of Conditions, an early lesbian/feminist literary journal and was one of the first contributors to On Our Backs, the erotic lesbian journal. She was on the founding board of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Open Meadows Foundation.

She’s taught creative writing and popular culture at San Francisco State University, Hunter College (NYC), New College of California, Menlo College as well as the Maui Writers Conference. She most recently taught poetry at the annual Saints & Sinners LGBT Writers Conference in New Orleans.

She sits on the poetry selection committees for the Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards; and for the San Francisco Poet Laureates. She currently serves as President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

She’s just finished a new novel, Televised, that’s looking for a home and her new play about James Baldwin premiered at the New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco) in the fall of 2011.

Frank Adams (Poetry - 2011)

Frank Adams writes poetry. Wild Ocean Press published his books, Mother Speaks Her Name in 2010, and Love Remembered is due out in 2011. He previously published Crazy Times. His poems have appeared in Q Review and downgo sun, as well as in several anthologies. Long ago he lived in NYC and studied under the direction of Lee Strasberg.

Gale E. Hemmann (Poetry - 2011)

Gale E. Hemmann is a poet and freelance journalist based in Olympia, Washington. She recently completed her M.F.A. in Writing in Poetry at Pacific University. She spends her time sending out writing, rescuing cats, and dancing around the house. She completed her B.A. in Women’s Studies at Smith College in 2003. Her poetry is forthcoming in Cloudbank and Apercus Quarterly, and she is a regular contributor to Olympia Power & Light newspaper. Gale is currently designing a community writing course that combines creative writing and holistic healing.

Graeme Stone (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Graeme Stone is a success-adjacent writer, playwright, and actor. A member of the uber-fabulous SCBWI, he won awards in 2010 and 2011 with the YA novel The French Class Confessional of the Mysterious Mr. Bridge, and the nonfiction MG disaster book Kiss Your Butt Goodbye. Current project: The Devil’s Claw, a thriller.

Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti is the author of three books and a lover of all things poetry and fiction. A former columnist for the Lesbian News, Ta’Shia’s poetry and fiction have been published in bestselling anthologies including, Chicken Soup for the African American Soul (Tyndale), Best Black Women’s Erotica 2 (Cleis) and From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth (Tiny Satchel Press). Ta’Shia is the recipient of the Audre Lorde Black Quill Award for creating positive images of Black lesbians in the media and the award for Best Contemporary Fiction by a Woman of Color.

Jan Zivic (Fiction - 2011)

Jan Zivic recently published in the Porter Gulch Review and is enrolled in the MFA in Writing program at USF in San Francisco. Involved in independent film production and business, Jan founded vibrantBrains, a start-up recently listed on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies.” In a previous career Jan taught English and sponsored the literary magazine at a high school in Pittsburgh, where she is from. She has received the Cable Car Woman of the Year Award, the Maya Angelou Award for Community Leadership and a Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of California, PA.

Jill Leininger (Poetry - 2011)

Jill Leininger is a poet, arts administrator, and all-around tinkerer. Her literary scrap pile currently includes: some notes on a play, the beginnings of a few essays, and six handfuls of lines which may or may not become poetry. Past work has been included in Shenandoah, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review and, most recently, in the Harvard Review Online. “Roof Picnic Skies, New York,” a chapbook of prose poems, will be published by dancing girl press in Fall 2011.

John Boucher (Nonfiction - 2011)

John Boucher started writing in 2005 in HIV+ Writing Workshops sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. His first published piece, “Speaking in Tongues,” appeared in Washburn University’s inscape literary journal, where it won the 2009 Best Nonfiction award. John was a 2009 PEN Center USA Emerging Voice Fellow, and is the recipient of a 2009/2010 Community Access Scholarship to UCLA, where he studied and worked on Dichondra, his collection of humorously dark nonfiction stories. John attended Corcoran College of Art and Design and earned his MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Born in 1962 and raised in Los Angeles, John lives in West Hollywood. (Photo by Don Tinling.)

John Copenhaver (Genre Fiction - 2011)

John Copenhaver is passionate about crime fiction, visual art and artists, and the way that visual media skews our perception of reality. His novel, Dodging and Burning, a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is a murder mystery that explores discriminatory attitudes toward homosexuals during the 1940s. He has an MA in literature from Bread Loaf, and a MFA in fiction from GMU. He currently teaches English at a college preparatory school outside DC and blogs.

Johnathan Wilber (Fiction - 2011)

Johnathan Wilber is a novelist from Iowa, now based in New York, and a graduate of the MFA fiction program at Columbia. He is the author of Out, Beelzebub!, available in the Amazon Kindle store. An assistant editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and freelance copyeditor, he’s at work on a novel set in the mid-1970s, an adaptation of Stoker’s Dracula, which tells the story of how HIV came to the United States.


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