interior banner image

Writer’s Retreat

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. The Retreat is an unparalleled opportunity to develop one’s craft and find community.

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. In 2022, the Writer’s Retreat expanded to include instruction in screenwriting and speculative fiction, and in 2023, the community is growing even more with an all new completely virtual multi-genre cohort.


Fiction with Jeanne Thornton

Nonfiction with Meredith Talusan

Poetry with Phillip B. Williams

Playwriting with Victor I. Cazares

Screenwriting with Ashton Pina

Speculative Fiction with K-Ming Chang

Young Adult Fiction with Candice Iloh

Virtual Multi-Genre with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Location: Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Online

Dates: July 30-August 5, 2023

Tuition: $1,875. Full and partial scholarships are available.

Application Dates: Applications for the Writers Retreat closed on January 31, 2023. Decisions will go out in April.

Accessibility Strategy for In-Person Retreat:

Accessibility at Chestnut Hill: It is a very small campus, find their map here. The workshops, readings, and panels will take place in building 1, Fornier hall, which is the bulk of where fellows will be spending their days. Fellows will be staying overnight in building 4, Fitzsimmons hall, where all dorm rooms are air conditioned. The map doesn’t have distance on it, but Fitzsimmons hall is about .1 mile to Fornier hall.

The school has a variety of physical accessibility supports built in such as elevators in the dorm, ramps and lifts throughout for wheelchair users, and hand railings on all other steps. Outside of the dorms, our meeting rooms are all situated on the first floor, but there is elevator access throughout Fornier hall as well. All of the classrooms, larger meeting spaces, and dining hall are in close proximity inside Fonier hall. Bathrooms in the dorms and Fournier Hall are accessible for those with wheelchairs as well.

The school is about 40 minutes from the Philadelphia airport. The Retreat will be chartering buses on travel days to pick up and drop off at the Philadelphia airport and the train station closest to campus. For those with cars, parking will be available, and there is accessible parking in front of Fonier hall.

The food service at Chestnut Hill will offer a variety of options for those who may have allergies and dietary restrictions, we will be providing food all week for fellows.

In regards to the options for private rooms, we will have a number of single dorms available to fellows based on their individual needs.

The Retreat Team will be gathering information from Fellows on any other accessibility accommodations needed during the time of the Retreat–such as accessibility requirements within workshops, information on dietary restrictions, information on single dorming needs, and any other specific needs of the individuals attending The Retreat.

Please reach out to with any questions or concerns.

Rectangle Red Created with Sketch.
image i
video from youtube

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.



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


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


genres, including poetry, young adult fiction, screenwriting, and playwriting


Anthologies, presenting Retreat Fellows work.

Read Their Work

Check out books written by Lambda Fellows

How To Apply

Applications for the 2023 Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices are now closed.

Rectangle Red Created with Sketch.
image i
video from youtube

Fellows & Faculty Directory


You are filtering by

Jewelle Gomez (Playwriting - 2022)

Jewelle Gomez, (CaboVerdean/Wampanoag/Ioway; she/her), novelist, poet, and playwright. Her eight books include the first Black Lesbian vampire novel, THE GILDA STORIES, recently optioned by Cheryl Dunye (Lovecraft Country) for a TV mini-series. She’s the 2021 winner of the Legacy award from The Horror Writers Association. She is playwright in residence at New Conservatory Theatre Center where her last three plays were commissioned. Waiting for Giovanni about an imagined moment of indecision in the life of James Baldwin; Leaving the Blues, about singer/songwriter Alberta Hunter; and Unpacking in Ptown, about a multi-racial group of retired Vaudevillians.

Juniper Johnson (Screenwriting - 2022)

Juniper Johnson (b. Inglewood, CA) is an interdisciplinary artist who marries visual and literary elements to explore the labyrinthine nature of Blackness. While her screenwriting and prose highlight identity, coming of age, and the unconventional comforts of found family; her fine art photography is an unwavering homage to Black American love, culture, and life. She wields a BFA in Creative Writing from Ringling College of Art and Design with minors in Photography, Film Studies, and Art History. In undergrad, she curated her first solo exhibition “The Jubliant Art of Being Black” and became a Women of Color Unite Screenwriting Mentee. Her words can be found in Midnight and Indigo, Neptune Magazine, Fifth Wheel Press, and elsewhere. Her instagram is up the road @junipers.street; to find her Twitter, take a left on @junipers_street.

Kiefer Lloyd (Playwriting - 2022)

Kiefer Lloyd (he/him) is a writer from Portland, Oregon whose work explores queer narrative and masculinity. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is working on his thesis novel, a queer retelling of the Oedipus myth set among the firefighting camps of the American west. His work has been published in The Portland Review.

Kiefer recently directed a short film and his play Ticking, the story of the first school shooting in American history, will premiere in Edinburgh in the fall of 2022.

Instagram; Twitter @kief_er.

Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick (he/they) is a queer, Latinx writer based in Los Angeles and Barcelona. His fiction has been published by PRISM International, Cosmonauts Avenue, Midnight Breakfast, The Exposition Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and more. He is at work on his first novel. He loves dogs, pét-nat, and short shorts.

Lanchi Le (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Lanchi Le is a first generation Vietnamese American, butch lesbian, and weeb who loves to feed people home-cooked meals. Born in Southern California but raised in Oklahoma, the cultural clash of being Vietnamese Buddhist in a Southern Baptist environment still greatly influences the diaspora stories they write about today. They are thrilled to be a part of the 2022 Lambda Lit Writers’ Retreat and hope that it will teach them to cry less about how hard revising is.

You can find them at @lanchiwrites on twitter and @lanchitranle on IG.

Lara Ameen (Screenwriting - 2022)

Lara Ameen is a screenwriter, fiction writer, sensitivity reader, and PhD candidate in Education with a Disability Studies emphasis at Chapman University. She received an MFA in Screenwriting from California State University, Northridge. Her YA Contemporary Fantasy novel was awarded a grant from Suffering the Silence, longlisted in Voyage YA’s First Chapters Contest, and their Book Pitch Contest. A graduate of the Tin House YA Fiction Workshop, Futurescapes Writers’ Workshop and a 2022 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow, her short fiction has been published in Prismatica Magazine, Disabled Voices Anthology, Flash Fiction Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, and just femme & dandy. Twitter/Instagram: @trucherrygirl

Larissa Lai (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Larissa Lai has written eight books, including Salt Fish Girl (Thomas Allen 2002), Automaton Biographies (Arsenal Pulp 2009), The Tiger Flu (Arsenal Pulp 2018), and Iron Goddess of Mercy (Arsenal Pulp 2021). Recipient of the Jim Duggins Mid-Career Novelist’s Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, and the Astraea Award; and finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award and seven more, she holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary where she directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing. Her new novel The Lost Century will be published by Arsenal Pulp in 2022.

Leo Aquino (Screenwriting - 2022)

Leo Aquino is a non-binary queer Filipinx storyteller living in Los Angeles. They write queer romcoms, narrative nonfiction, and poetry. They also created Queer and Trans Wealth, an anti-capitalist personal finance resource for queer and trans folx looking for financial freedom from capitalism.

Liana Fu (Nonfiction - 2022)

Liana Fu (they/she) is a queer nonbinary Cantonese writer and organizer from Chicago. She studied at the University of Chicago while organizing for student of color power. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and Scholastic Art & Writing national silver medalist with an affinity for hybrid forms. Using critical race and gender theory, their creative practice playfully reimagines, critiques, and builds upon the Cantonese diasporic archive as a contested site of imperialism and capitalism. You can find their work in Hyphen Magazine, The Margins, Glass Poetry, and at In their free time, they enjoy running their food Instagram (@mushroomhatersonly) and occasionally tweeting @liana_lfu.

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.

Jubi Arriola-Headley (Writers in Residence - 2021)

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

Katie Jean Shinkle (Poetry - 2021)

Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of three novellas and six chapbooks, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018), Rat Queen (Bloof Books, 2019), and Will You Kiss Me Goodnight? (The Offending Adam, forthcoming). Her creative work and criticism has appeared in Flaunt Magazine, The Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, Fugue, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Denver, and serves as co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM. Currently living in Texas, she teaches at Sam Houston State University in the MFA program in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing. You can find her on Instagram @katiejeanshinkle.

Kayla Kumari (Nonfiction - 2021)

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is a fiction editor at TriQuarterly and a writer for Autostraddle. Her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Catapult, The Offing, Joyland, and others. Her pop culture writing—which usually focuses on queer film and TV—is published in The Cut, The A.V. Club, Vulture, Refinery29, Vice, and more. When she gets stuck while writing, she turns to cooking for a distraction, and she previously worked as a restaurant reporter for Eater NY. She attended the 2020 Tin House Summer Workshop for short fiction. Find her on social media @KaylaKumari

Lane Michael Stanley (Playwriting - 2021)

Lane Michael Stanley is a transgender director, playwright, filmmaker, and producer. Lane has won Best Director from City Paper’s Best of Baltimore 2016, The Bad Oracle, and DC Metro Theatre Arts, and received the Mayor’s Individual Artist Award. Their first feature film ADDICT NAMED HAL premiered at the 2021 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Their films have shown at festivals including Toronto Short Film Festival and Big Apple Film Festival. Their plays have been produced and developed by 19 theaters in 8 states. They completed their MFA in Directing at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit and

Leah Johnson (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Leah Johnson is a writer, educator, and author of award-winning books for children and young adults. Her bestselling debut YA novel, You Should See Me in a Crown was the inaugural Reese’s Book Club YA pick, a 2021 Stonewall Honor Book, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2021 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten selection, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ young adult literature. It was featured on a number of Best of the Year lists including: Cosmopolitan, Amazon, Kirkus, Marie Claire, Publishers Weekly, and New York Public Library. Her sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun is due out from Scholastic in July 2021, and the first installment of her debut middle grade series, Ellie Engle Saves Herself is slated for publication from Disney-Hyperion in spring 2023. In 2020, Leah was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, and her debut novel named an Indies Introduce pick by the American Booksellers Association. Leah is a 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published or is forthcoming in BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar among others. When she’s not writing or ranting about pop culture and politics on Twitter, Leah is a professor of creative writing and composition.

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.

Kay Gabriel (Poetry - 2019)

Kay Gabriel is a poet and essayist. She’s the author of Elegy Department Spring / Candy Sonnets 1 (BOAAT Press, 2017), the finalist for the 2016 BOAAT Chapbook Prize selected by Richard Siken. She’s also a 2018-19 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow at the Poetry Project and a PhD Candidate at Princeton University. With Andrea Abi-Karam she’s co-editing an anthology of radical trans poetics, forthcoming in 2020 from Nightboat Books. Find her recent work in The Brooklyn Rail, Salvage, The Believer, and Social Text.

Khaliah Peterson-Reed (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Khaliah Peterson-Reed is from Newark, New Jersey. She lived in Washington D.C. while she earned her B.A. in English at Howard University. She currently lives in Los Angeles and is a PhD student in English Literature at the University of Southern California. Her work has focused on mental health, specifically the mental health of African American teens and young adults including but not limited to depression, anorexia, and PTSD. In 2016 she won first place in the Tuckson Health Connections 2016 Healing Stories contest for her short story “Jagged Little Girl.” When she isn’t writing, she’s handmaking journals that she’ll never have the time to write in.

Levi Bentley (Poetry - 2019)

Levi Bentley is an artist member at Vox Populi. They teach workshops, most notably through Bluestoop, write for Artblog, and make publications with friends. “Bucolic Eclogue” was released from Lamehouse Press in July 2016. Chapbooks “Obstacle, Particle, Spectacle,” “&parts”, and “Stub Wilderness” were released from 89plus/LUMA Foundation, Damask Press, and Well Greased Press, respectively. Vitrine released their tape “Red Green Blue.” Poems have appeared through Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Elective Affinities, Fact-Simile, Gigantic Sequins, Madhouse, Maestra Vida, Magic Pictures, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stillwater Review, The Wanderer, and a variety of other venues.

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.

Kat Evasco (Playwriting - 2018)

Kat Evasco is a theatermaker, writer, and stand up comedian. As a queer Filipina immigrant, Evasco’s work primarily reflects and celebrates the experiences QTPOC and immigrant communities. Evasco is best known for her autobiographical one-woman show, Mommy Queerest, co-written and directed by John Caldon. She has performed at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bovard Auditorium, Logan Center, Annenberg Center, and FringeArts. Evasco’s current projects include developing and directing Prieto by written and performed by Yosimar Reyes and directing Locus of Control, a one man show by Jason Bayani. Evasco serves as the Co-Director for Resilience Archives.

Kate Bove (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Kate Bove is a New Englander living in the Bay Area, where she completed the University of San Francisco’s MFA program and received the school’s Zivic Fellowship in 2016. Her work has appeared in Exposition Review, Concrete Literary, Emerson Review, and plain china. When not writing, Kate can be found adding another flannel shirt to her closet—or exploring the city, the woods, and everywhere in between.

Kay Ulanday Barrett (2018)

Writer-in-Residence Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi, is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. K. has featured globally: Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, The Chicago Historical Society, NY Poetry Festival, Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & National Queer Arts Festival. They are a 3x Pushcart Prize nominee and has received fellowships from Lambda Literary Review, VONA/Voices, The Home School, and Drunken Boat. Their contributions are found in Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, NYLON, The Margins, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine,, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Apogee, Entropy, Colorlines, Everyday Feminism, Them., The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. They are currently a Guest Editor at Nat.Brut and 2018 Guest Faculty for The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary. When The Chant Comes (Topside Press, 2016) is their first collection of poetry.

Kirt Ethridge (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Kirt Ethridge is a genderqueer/transmasculine writer and science educator living in Southern Indiana. They received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 2016. They are currently working on a YA novel about trans kids growing up in their hometown of Evansville. Their writing has been published in apt literary magazine, Paper Darts, the Heavy Feather Review’s #notmypresident, and Crab Fat Magazine. When Kirt isn’t writing, they are probably cuddling snakes or helping with their local Trans Support Group.

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.

Jubi Arriola-Headley (Poetry - 2017)

Jubi Arriola-Headley is a writer, editor, storyteller, and first-generation American born to Bajan (Barbadian) parents. He’s currently working on his first collection of poems. Jubi and his husband divide their time between South Florida and Guatemala, where Jubi hopes to pick up enough Spanish to figure out what his in-laws are saying about him.

Karina Vahitova (Poetry - 2017)

Karina Vahitova is a post-Soviet queer poet and movement artist from Kiev, Ukraine living in New York. She has previously worked with Opportunity Project helping to develop healing art therapy programs for individuals with brain damage. She led and managed the global research and performance art archive project at Marina Abramovic Institute. Currently, she volunteers as a rape and domestic violence crisis counselor with Crime Victims Treatment Center. She is a co-founder of The Void Academy and is working on her first book of lyrical theory about female queerness, totalitarianism, violence, and women in the Soviet Union.

Kate Cochrane (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Kate Cochrane lives outside Boston with her wife, two daughters, and badly-behaved chocolate lab. Before becoming a law librarian at one of Boston’s many law schools, Kate was a Division I ice hockey player, a lawyer, and a stay-at-home mom. In the time she can steal from her family, she’s a writer. She was a contributing writer to for over four years before moving to Her short story, Dragon Slayer, was published in the Torqued Tales Anthology.

Kay Ulanday Barrett (Poetry - 2017)

Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi, is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. K. has featured globally; Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, The Chicago Historical Society, The Guild Complex, The Hemispheric Institute, & The White House. They have received fellowships from The Home School, and Drunken Boat. Contributions are in PBS News Hour, The Margins, Lambda Literary, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine,, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Make/Shift, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. When The Chant Comes is their first collection.

Kayleb Rae Candrilli (Poetry - 2017)

Kayleb Rae Candrilli is author of What Runs Over, forthcoming with YesYes Books and winner of the 2016 Pamet River Prize. They are published or forthcoming in BOAAT Press, Puerto del Sol, Booth, Vinyl, Muzzle, Cream City Review, and others. Candrilli is a Best of the Net winner and a Pushcart Prize nominated poet. They serve as an assistant poetry editor for BOAAT Press and they hold an MFA and an MLIS from the University of Alabama. Candrilli now lives in Philadelphia with their partner.

Kenan Ince (Poetry - 2017)

Kenan Ince is a mathematician, poet, and musician from Denton, TX, living on occupied Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute territory (so-called Salt Lake City). Their work has appeared in Word Riot, Duende, and Permafrost, among others, and won first prize in the Utah Pride Center Poetry & Prose Writing Contest. They are the recipient of scholarships to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and Lambda Literary Writers’ Retreat.

Laura Carpenter (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Laura Carpenter is a writer, runner, mother, wife, lesbian and Alaskan (not necessarily in that order). Her publications include The New York Times, The Guardian, Lambda Literary, Curve, and the anthology Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaskan LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her wife and daughter and is so grateful to Lambda Literary for this opportunity to work on her young adult novel. You can also find her at

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.

Joy Ladin (Poetry - 2016)

Joy Ladin is the author of seven books of poetry, including recently-published Impersonation, Lambda Literary Award finalist Transmigration, and Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life, was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her poetry has appeared in many publications, including American Poetry Review and she has spoken about gender identity issues around the country, and was featured on NPR’s “On Being” with Krista Tippett and other NPR programs. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University, and has also taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Massachusetts (Amherst).

Julia Tranchina (Poetry - 2016)

Julia Tranchina is a writer, poet, and municipal employee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in places like The Rusty Toque, Bone Bouquet, Monkeybicycle, Permafrost and Juked. She was born, raised, and lives still, in San Jose, California (before it was never cool) with her wife and four-year-old twins.

Juliana Delgado Lopera (Fiction - 2016)

Juliana Delgado Lopera is an award-winning Colombian writer/educator/oral-historian based in San Francisco. The recipient of the 2014 Jackson Literary award, and a finalist of the Clark-Gross Novel award, she’s the author of ¡Cuéntamelo! an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBT Latin@ immigrants awarded the Regen Ginaa Grant from Galería de la Raza and a 2014 National Queer Arts Festival Grant from theQueer Cultural Center. She’s the executive director of RADAR Productions.

Kai M. Green (Nonfiction - 2016)

Kai M. Green is a writer, scholar, poet, filmmaker, abolitionist, feminist, and whatever else it takes to make a new and more just world. He is invested in the work of healing and loving Black: he is particularly interested in helping to develop healthy Black masculinities. His work and thinking on queer and trans issues within communities of color has been published widely in prominent journals and anthologies such as TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies, and many others. Dr. Green is a regular contributor to activist and grassroots publications such as the, He is also a member of BYP100, Chicago where he sits on the the healing and safety council. Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2014.

Karen Yin (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Karen Yin is a peace-loving, riot-inciting middle child with one eyebrow permanently arched. An award-winning writer, she alternates between several writing projects about unothering: a fantasy novel from a troll’s point of view, a graphic novel about person-based love, and a collection of short tales about collapsing identities. She received a grant from Table 4 Writers Foundation in 2014 and was a Lambda Literary Foundation fellow in 2015 and 2016. A longtime editor, Karen is the creator of Conscious Style Guide, “the place to go for people words.” She also writes about language style on her oddly popular blog, AP vs. Chicago.

Kate Goka (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Kate Goka is a returning Lambda and VONA/ Voices fellow writing YA fiction and graphic novels. A life-long education nerd, Kate was a founding member of June Jordan School for Equity. She lives in Brisbane, California with her wife and three kids.

Katherine Agard (Nonfiction - 2016)

Katherine Agard grew up in Trinidad listening to the stories of her mother growing up in Ghana. She studied Visual and Environmental Studies and Social Anthropology at Harvard, where she focused on some mixture of post-colonial theory, queer studies, religion, painting and filmmaking. Her work moves between fiction, non-fiction, image-making and social practice. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices and Callaloo Writer’s workshops.

Kathleen Nacozy (Nonfiction - 2016)

Kathleen Nacozy is a writer who focuses on justice. She began working as a journalist while attending law school in small-town Texas. Earning her law degree spurred her to write about criminal justice for dozens of media outlets. She also works as a storyteller and stand-up comedian. Kathleen has performed for Bumbershoot, Gay City, Hella Much, Hollow Earth Radio, the Links and Alliances Conference, and the Northwest Folklife Festival. She is an impassioned student and teacher of improv through a social justice framework.

Keelay Gipson (Playwriting - 2016)

Keelay Gipson is a multi-disciplinary artist including work as an actor, filmmaker, director and award-winning playwright. His play What I Tell You in the Dark was recently selected as a Premiere Stages Playwriting Festival Finalist. His work as a playwright has been seen at the Wild Project, HERE Arts Center, Loft227, 133rd Street Arts Center, The Theater at Alvin Ailey, Tom Noonan’s Paradise Factory, Pace University, SCENE, The University of Houston, The National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theater and New York Theatre Workshop. He is a playwriting fellow with The Amoralists Theater Company’s ‘Wright Club, a Rising Circle Theater Collective INKTank Semi-Finalist, and a finalist for NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and NYC Administration for Children’s Services Artist in Residence Program. As Co-Artistic Director of The Oneness Project he means to explore questions focusing on social injustice through various performance based mediums.

Kristian O’Hare (Playwriting - 2016)

Kristian O’Hare’s plays have been produced or developed at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Ruckus Theatre, Ringwald Theatre, Ivy Theatre Company, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Sanguine Theatre Company, and Headlands Center of the Arts. His plays have been semifinalists at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. His full-length play Like Poetry had a successful run in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. The New York Times called it “a highly promising production…beautifully structured, with an impressive blend of poignancy and humor.” Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of English at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN.

Laura Carpenter (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Laura Carpenter lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her wife and daughter. She survives the dark Northern winters by reading, writing, running in studded shoes, and drinking chai lattes. She works in marketing and public relations and tries to not let that tarnish her fiction too much. Her publications include Curve, The New York Times, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Pride Blog, Naked Ptarmigan, NorthView, Inside Passages and more.

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.

Justin Torres (Fiction - 2015)

Justin Torres is author of the best-selling novel We the Animals, which won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and has been translated into fifteen languages. He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a Lambda Literary Fellow, and most recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 Under 35. He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists. He has taught at Columbia University, Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA Program, and The Writers’ Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s College. Justin is currently a 2014-2015 Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library.

Karen Yin (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Karen Yin is a peace-loving, riot-inciting middle child with one eyebrow permanently arched. An award-winning writer of short tales and a novel about person-based love, she considers the boxes drawn around us to be curious fictions. Karen received a writing grant from Table 4 Writers Foundation last year and is a 2015 Lambda Literary Foundation fellow. In her life as an editor, she is the creator of Conscious Style Guide, an online resource for kind, empowering, and inclusive language. She writes about language style on AP vs. Chicago and is a columnist for Copyediting newsletter.

Kate Goka (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Kate Goka is a writer and VONA fellow currently working on The Infinity of You, a math-infused, Cyrano de Bergerac-inspired graphic novel love story between two high school girls. Kate is also a married, Queer Asian mom living in the suburbs of San Francisco and can parallel park her old-skool minivan like nobody’s business. If there’s anything she hates with a passion, it’s all those newfangled minivans with their slow-ass automatic doors.

Kayla Rae Candrilli (Nonfiction - 2015)

Kayla Rae Candrilli received a Bachelors and Masters in Creative Writing from Penn State University and is a current MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. Candrilli was awarded first place in Vela Magazine’s non-fiction contest and is featured or forthcoming in the Chattahoochee Review, Puerto del Sol, Dogwood, Pacifica Literary, and others.

Kazim Ali (Poetry - 2015)

Kazim Ali is currently on the faculty of Oberlin College where he is associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature and the Director of the Creative Writing Program. His volumes of poetry include Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, The Far Mosque, The Fortieth Day, and the poetic memoir Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities which was finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, the Lantern Award in Memoir and the Asian American Literary Award. He has also published the novels Quinn’s Passage, named one of the Best Books of 2005 by Chronogram, The Disappearance of Seth and Wind Instrument. He is the author of three collections of essays, Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence, Resident Alien: On Border Crossing and the Undocumented Divine, and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is the translator of Water’s Footfall and Oasis of Now: Selected Poems, both by Sohrab Sepehri, as well as the novel L’Amour by Marguerite Duras. He is the founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books as well as the Series Editor for the Poets on Poetry Series from the University of Michigan Press.

Keith Jarrett (Fiction - 2015)

Keith Jarrett lives in London, UK. Former UK poetry slam champion and Rio de Janeiro International Poetry Slam Winner 2014, he writes performance poetry and short fiction and teaches as part of a pioneering Spoken Word Educator programme. He is now working on his first novel, a tale written partly in verse.

Kelly McQuain (Poetry - 2015)

Kelly McQuain’s poems and stories have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Redivider, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kestrel, The Pinch, Asssaracus, A&U, Kin and Mead, as well as in numerous anthologies: The Queer South, Between: New Gay Poetry, Best American Erotica, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, and Skin & Ink. His chapbook, VELVET RODEO (2014), won Bloom magazine’s poetry prize and went on to receive two Rainbow Award citations. He has twice received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A former comics illustrator, he now hosts Poetdelphia, a literary salon in the City of Brotherly Love where he teaches at Community College of Philadelphia.

Lamya H (Nonfiction - 2015)

Lamya H is a queer, brown, angry muslim living in New York with her cat. Bios are her least favorite thing to write as they fuel her existential crises. Her work has been published in Black Girl Dangerous, The Islamic Monthly and Tanqeed.

Laura Araujo S. (Playwriting - 2015)

Laura Araujo S. is a Mexican-born Chicana educator and writer living in the Inland Empire, Califas. Although her love for literature and writing has been a life-long passion, she recognizes she is a late bloomer and is eager to share the long awaited writings and art projects stirring within. Her works explore the connections that present themselves through the act of writing, body politics, borders, memory, and identity. When she is not at a workshop fixing something, creating something with her hands, or learning a new skill, then she’s with familia. Orale.

Laura Chandra (2015)

Writer-in-Residence Laura Chandra is a born and raised Bostonian and a returning Lambda Fellow from the 2013 Genre/YA workshop. She spends her days in the finance world and her evenings and weekends plotting, writing, and revising.

Laura Rena Murray (Nonfiction - 2015)

Laura Rena Murray is an investigative journalist who tackles public interest and accountability stories that highlight corruption, mismanagement or human rights violations across the world. She has written for The New York Times, the Guardian, Al Jazeera America, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Weekly, 100Reporters and the Center for Public Integrity. Her work has been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative, Nation Institute, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Ragdale Foundation and National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association. On Twitter @laurarenamurray

Lauren Shufran (Poetry - 2015)

Lauren Shufran received her MFA from San Francisco State University in 2008 and is currently a PhD candidate in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Inter Arma, her first full-length book, won Fence Books’ Motherwell Prize, and was published in 2013.

Leah “Parker” CT Goodreau (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Leah “Parker” CT Goodreau is an artist and writer from Rhode Island. Like the state, they are small and have an unnecessarily long name. A long-time fan of fantasy and children’s literature, they have written several young adult manuscripts, now in various stages of not-quite-right-yet. In the spare time they force themselves to make every week, they write and draw a webcomic about superpowers and lying. They co-own four oddly named cats.

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.

kynita stringer-stanback (Fiction - 2014)

kynita stringer-stanback is an Information Activist and native North Carolinian. She is working on her first novel (heretofore untitled) about a tween struggling with her identity and parent’s divorce. She resides in the Bull City (Durham, NC) with her partner and their three children.

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.

Kristen Arnett (Fiction - 2013)

Kristen Arnett is a Florida native who has spent the past nine years working in libraries. She is a fiction writer with interest in short stories and southern regionalism, female storytelling and new media. Her work on Flannery O’Connor won her the 2012 Howard Fox Senior Thesis award and she was also the recipient of the Barbara Harrell Carson award for English Literature. She interned for Winter With the Writers Literary Festival in 2012, and worked on short fiction with Paula McLain. She has been published in the Rollins Undergraduate Research Journal and in Brushing magazine. She lives in Winter Park, FL with her partner, Emily, and their son, Matthew.

Laura Chandra (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Laura Chandra is a born and raised Bostonian without an accent. She is in the process of completing her first full length young adult manuscript about a South Asian/American girl who thinks she is the anti-christ. Outside of writing, Laura spends her time trying hard not to waste her Masters degree in financial planning while pouring money into prolonging her dog’s life. She will trade financial advice for writing tips.

Lee Wheaton (Nonfiction - 2013)

Lee Wheaton is a genderqueer introvert who lives in Oakland, California. Raised in New England and molded into an adult by New York City, Lee combines natural imagery and Yankee sensibility with reflections on complex familial and queer relationships in non-fictionmprose. Lee, a former encyclopedia editor, continues to work in online reference publishing and spends free time attempting to bring the country into the city through cooking, urban farming, rock climbing, and two-stepping.

LeVan D. Hawkins (Nonfiction - 2013)

LeVan D. Hawkins is an LA-based poet, essayist, & performance artist now residing in the Chicago area. He has performed his published work at venues such as Links Hall, Highways Performance Space, USC, UCLA Hammer Museum, Disney Hall Redcat Theater, Henry Miller Library, Dixon Place Theater (NYC), New York International Fringe Festival, & Dartmouth College. A 2011 MFA recipient from Antioch University – LA, he has received fellowships from Millay Colony & the Dorothy West & Helene Johnson Foundation, and a Scholarship to the Norman Mailer Writing Colony. He is currently working on What Men Do (An Uncle’s Quest to Save His Adult Nephew).

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.

JP Howard (Poetry - 2012)

JP Howard (Juliet P. Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow and native New Yorker. JP was a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a finalist in the 2009-2010 Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund poetry category. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine’s “Best of the First Year” print edition, The Mom Egg 2012, Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008-2009, Connotation Press and OF FIRE, OF IRON by The Hot Poets Collective. She co-founded and runs Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS) and blog. WWBPS’ debut poetry Anthology is forthcoming. [Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffith.]

Julian Shendelman (Nonfiction - 2012)

Julian Shendelman is an aspiring memoirist who spends most of his time talking about food, having existential crises, and fixing his hair. Having graduated from Mills College with a degree in Queer Studies in 2011, he now spends his days assembling sandwiches in Philadelphia, journaling extensively, and plotting his return to Oakland to pursue an M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies at SFSU. Julian has published poems in The Walrus, displayed photographs in San Francisco, and screened videos in The Netherlands, Germany, and of course, the Bay Area.

Karman Johnson-Vega (Nonfiction - 2012)

Karman Johnson-Vega is a credentialled Teacher Librarian serving two high schools in California. She spent three decades instructing an award-winning Fine Art and Graphic Design program for high school and college students. She is also a survivor of a violent crime, an experience which informs both her art and her writing. Karman believes she lived in order to tell her story to help others facing similar challenges. She is a recipient of the Wayne Thiebauld Undergraduate Fellowship in Art at University of California Riverside, where she earned a Bachelors degree in studio art and art history. She also holds a Masters Degree in Library Information Science from San Jose State University. She owns a home with her partner, Roz, that they share with a Rottweiller, and three tiny toy poodles.

Kenny Kruse (Fiction - 2012)

Kenny Kruse is a first-generation Utahn from Park City. He is currently getting his MFA at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where drivers do not use blinkers. He is a classical pianist and avid swimmer and has a rare condition in which his body is unable to conserve water. When not writing postcards, he might be working on his novel, essays, fictions, or poems. His work can be found in Neon, SOFTBLOW, and Artichoke Haircut.

Kevin Brannon (Fiction - 2012)

Kevin Brannon is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. He moved to New York City in 2002 following two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Estonia. His experiences writing about LGBT communities of faith in Manhattan and the Bronx as a student at the Columbia Journalism School have informed his interest in the intersection of race, religion and sexuality in American culture. These themes have also provided the focus for his studies as an MA candidate in English, also at Columbia. Kevin began work on his first novel in the winter of 2011 after a long hiatus from fiction writing. He is also an avid movie-goer and an unrepentant consumer of crime and suspense fiction.

Kima Jones (Poetry - 2012)

Kima Jones is a poet and writer. Born and raised in Harlem, she writes to honor her grandmothers. Kima is at work on a first collection that is poetry but also fiction, family history and geography. It is a matriarchal line and a witness. Kima is concerned with mother/daughter relationships, the black female body, the family as body, women as a united body, anatomical and spiritual bodies, the ability and disability of the corporeal body and how those bodies inform relationships. Kima is an Afrofuturist and is interested in the body on this planet, in the sea, out to space, other realms, the possibilities of the black female body on other Earths.

Leah Horlick (Poetry - 2012)

Leah Horlick is a writer, poet, and spoken word artist from Saskatoon, SK. Her work on queer and feminist experiences of love, justice, and violence has earned her a 2008 Short Grain Award and a place among the top 15 independent slam poets in Canada in 2012. An MFA student in Creative Writing at UBC, Leah is the Poetry Editor for PRISM international. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in So To Speak, Canadian Dimension, GRAIN, Poetry is Dead, and On Nights Like This: An Anthology of Comics by Survivors. Leah’s first collection of poetry, Riot Lung, will be released by Thistledown Press in fall 2012.

Lee Wheaton (Nonfiction - 2012)

Lee Wheaton is a genderqueer introvert who lives in Oakland, California. Raised in New England and molded into an adult by New York City, Lee combines natural imagery and Yankee sensibility with reflections on complex familial and queer relationships in non-fiction prose. Lee, a former encyclopedia editor, continues to work in online reference publishing and spends free time attempting to bring the country into the city through cooking, urban farming, rock climbing, and two-stepping.

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.

Juliet P. Howard (Poetry - 2011)

Juliet P. Howard (JP Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow & native New Yorker. JP has been selected as a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow in Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and was a finalist in the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund 2009-2010 poetry category. Her poems are published in Muzzle Magazine, TORCH, Queer Convention: A Chapbook of Fierce and Cave Canem XI 2007 Anthology. She is co-founder of Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon & Blog.

July Westhale (Poetry - 2011)

July Westhale is a femme shark/radical-archivist with a weakness for botany & hot air balloons. An archive enthusiast, she has published with academic conferences around the world, focusing on queering normative forms of record keeping. Her poetry has most recently been published in A Sharp Piece of Awesome and Bang Out!. She has forthcoming publications in 580 Split and Generations. A graduate of Mills College, she is currently an MFA candidate at Lesley University. She believes that her story should be told the way she wants it to be, and yours should too.

Katherine V. Forrest (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Katherine V. Forrest, a recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award, is the internationally recognized author of 15 works of fiction including, Curious Wine, Daughters of a Coral Dawn, and the Kate Delafield mystery series–which has won three Lambda Literary Awards. She has edited numerous anthologies, and her stories, articles and reviews have appeared in publications worldwide. Senior editor at the storied Naiad Press for a decade, she is supervising editor at Spinsters Ink and editor at large at Bella Books. She lives with her partner in the Southern California desert.

Kathy Bougher (Nonfiction - 2011)

Kathy Bougher is an educator, progressive lesbian feminist activist and writer living in Denver, Colorado. She taught immigrant student in public schools for thirty years, and now teaches at the University of Colorado Denver. She is active in the immigrant rights movement in Denver, and travels to Mexico and Central America frequently where she writes about immigration and collaborates with feminist and lesbian groups in El Salvador. Her writing appears in off our backs: feminist newsjournal, Poetalk, and make/shift.

Subscribe to our newsletter