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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.

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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.



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.

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Fellows & Faculty Directory


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Lisa Konoplisky (Playwriting - 2022)

Lisa Konoplisky’s plays have been produced in NY, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Lansing. Her play Dog Park premieres in 2023 in Anchorage. Her plays have been developed with The Bechdel Group and The Workshop Theatre in NY. Residencies include Ragdale, Jentel, Annex Theatre, Elsewhere Studios. She’s a semi-finalist for the Inge Festival, the Ashland New Play Festival and Play Penn Development Conference and a finalist for the Shattered Globe Global Playwrights Series and Chicago Dramatists Writer’s Residency. She has been a guest artist at both UW-Madison and the University of Wyoming. Education: BA, Lafayette College, MFA (Creative Writing) Columbia College, Chicago, MFA candidate (Playwriting): NYU/Tisch (2024). She’s a certified Kettlebell and Strength Coach and loves all the critters, great and small. @KonopliskyM.

Liv Morris (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Liv Morris hawks stories at Harvard Book Store, an indie bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds an MA in Children’s Literature and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Boston with her wife, two cats (Bo and Pawl Simon), and a frankly irresponsible number of stuffed animals. You can find her on Instagram @livmmorris and on Twitter @dragonologuy.

Loren Walker (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Originally from Ontario, Canada, Loren Walker’s debut fiction novel EKO won the Library Journal Indie E-book Award for Science Fiction, was awarded a BRAG Medallion, shortlisted for the Half the World Global Literari Award, and selected as a Shelf Unbound Notable Indie title. The sequels, NADI, INSYNN, and NYX were released to high acclaim. In addition to fiction, Loren’s micro-chapbook of poetry neverheart was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2021. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, and chosen as a finalist in the Beulah Rose Poetry Contest and the Harbor Review Editor’s Prize. A member of The Collaborative in Warren, Rhode Island, Loren is alsoa linocut printmaker and ‘impressionist embroiderer.’ She lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Instagram @lorenwalkercreates Twitter @lorencreates. Website:

Luz Rosales (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Luz Rosales is a Mexican-American college student and horror lover from South LA. Their work has been published in Strange Horizons, Black Telephone Magazine, Cotton Xenomorph, Okay Donkey, Perhappened, and elsewhere. They are an editor for Ginger Bug Press and a reader for Farside Review, X-R-A-Y Lit, and The Gamut Mag. When they aren’t reading or writing, they’re usually either watching cooking shows, looking at birds online, or hanging out with their cats.

Instagram: @luzziemcguire

Malik Thompson (Poetry - 2022)

Malik Thompson is a Black queer man from Washington, DC. He is an avid reader of all genres, a bookseller at Black, queer owned Loyalty Bookstores in DC, and a Janet Jackson super fan. Malik’s poems have been published in Voicemail Poems, Split This Rock’s The Quarry, and other places. You can find Malik’s thoughts on literature via his Instagram account @negroliterati.

María José Maldonado (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

María José Maldonado (she/they/fairy) is a Salvadoran-Ecuadorian writer & artist born & raised in Queens, NY. Their work is queer, feminist & leftist Central American. She hates cismen & loves to Instagram: @saymariajose

María José is a proud alum of Macondo Writers Workshop (Fiction) 2021, a 2020-2021 Barbara Deming Fund grantee for feminist fiction, a 2020-2021 Leslie-Lohman Artist Fellow, and a 2019-2020 Queer|Art Mentorship Literature Fellow mentored by Charles Rice-Gonzalez. She completed her first docushort “CALL 1-800-SALVI” as a grantee of Toronto Queer Film Festival’s DIY Film Lab 2020-2021.

Marilyn Schotland (Playwriting - 2022)

Marilyn Schotland (they/them) is a poet and playwright from Ann Arbor, MI by way of Philadelphia. Their work explores themes of queer Jewish history, postmemory, and the cosmos. In 2021, their play “The Dybbuk on Orchard” was a semi-finalist for Jewish Plays Projects. They are the author of the micro-chapbook Boychik (Ghost City Press). They hold a B.A. in History of Art, French, and History of Medicine from the University of Michigan, and are currently pursuing their MFA in Dramatic Writing at the University of Southern California. You can find them on various sidewalks in various cities with a cup of coffee in hand, or on the internet @m_schotland.

Mark Oshiro (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of the young adult books Anger Is a Gift(2019 Schneider Family Book Award) and Each of Us a Desert, both with Tor Teen, as well as their middle grade debut, The Insiders, with Harper Collins. They are also the co-author (with Rick Riordan) of the upcoming Percy Jackson novel centered on Nico di Angelo and Will Solace. When not writing, they are trying to pet every dog in the world.

Michal Jones (Poetry - 2022)

Michal ‘MJ’ Jones is a poet & parent in Richmond, CA. MJ serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Foglifter Press, a premier journal publishing trans and queer writers. Their poems have appeared in Anomaly, Kissing Dynamite, TriQuarterly Review, & wildness. They received their MFA in Creative Writing – Poetry from Mills College. They founded & currently facilitate Litany!, a monthly workshop for a cohort of Black queer poets. They have a debut full-length poetry collection HOOD VACATIONS from Black Lawrence Press, and a chapbook, SOFT ARMOR, from Nomadic Press, both forthcoming in 2023.

Twitter: @JustSayMJ

Lulu Duffy-Tumasz (Playwriting - 2021)

Lulu is a queer playwright raised and based in Philly. Their current plays (under development) explore modern sexuality and gender identity, hoping to engage with messiness and ambiguity. Main goal though is a good joke. Lulu studied playwriting and queer theory at Bard College, and is currently in graduate school to become a psychotherapist. Lulu is passionate about fighting for the autonomy of sex workers who use drugs through their 5+ years helping run a mutual-aid based harm reduction group. When not too burnt out and cranky, Lulu can be found watching a 76ers game while contemplating going to a queer dance party. They can also be found ranting on twitter: @queerwhosneers.

Maria Isabelle Carlos (Nonfiction - 2021)

Maria Isabelle Carlos is a writer from Missouri. Winner of the 2021 Academy of American Poets Prize from Vanderbilt University, the 2021 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Contest, and the 2020 Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Passages North, Hyphen Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net. After receiving her B.A. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill as the Thomas Wolfe Scholar, Maria bartended in New Orleans for a few years before attending the M.F.A. program at Vanderbilt University. She is the editor of Inch, a quarterly series of micro-chapbooks from Bull City Press. Follow her on social media @mariacarlospoet and find more of her work at

Marrion Johnson (Fiction - 2021)

Marrion Johnson is a Black, queer writer based out of Oakland, California. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Marrion utilizes fiction to examine the complex realities facing Black communities including memory, lineage, and freedom. Most recently, Marrion earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in Fiction from Saint Mary’s College of California. During his time at Saint Mary’s, Marrion advocated for the centering of Black students, Black writing, and Black professors. He is both a Lambda Literary and Risk Press Fellow. Marrion is currently working on his first novel. Twitter: @marrrjjj Instagram: @_marrrrjjj

Mary Maxfield (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Mary Maxfield is a writer, researcher, and organizer who strives to bridge creative arts, academic inquiry, and social change. Her work includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and explores queer experience and community formation, as well as the intersections of illness, trauma, and identity. (Bonus points for monsters or magic). Mary’s writing has appeared online at Scarleteen and in print in Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology from Middle America. Currently, Mary is a Ph.D. candidate and Dissertation Fellow in American Studies at St. Louis University, where her research examines the use of arts media—including literature—to form queer community. Find her online at

medina (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

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

Megan Xotchilt (Playwriting - 2021)

Megan Xotchilt is a queer Xicana from South L.A. Their playwriting explores the function of intergenerational memory in spiritual healing and cultural cuentos. Daydreaming, long-distance running, and falling on roller skates is what sustains her to be able to show up before the page. Meg has earned the Theresa Cha Fellowship from UC Berkeley, and performed a co-written piece for the 2018 UC Berkeley Vagina/Our Monologues titled, Nuestras Mujeres. You can find her on Instagram @me6gy.

Michael Chang (Poetry - 2021)

MICHAEL CHANG was awarded the Kundiman Scholarship at the Miami Writers Institute. Their poems have been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, & the Pushcart Prize. They are the author of two previous collections of poetry: DRAKKAR NOIR (which won the Bateau Press BOOM Chapbook Contest), & BOYFRIEND PERSPECTIVE (Really Serious Literature, 2021). Their collection CHINATOWN ROMEO is forthcoming from Ursus Americanus Press.

Mimi Tempestt (Poetry - 2021)

Mimi Tempestt is a multidisciplinary artist, poet, and daughter of California. She has a MA in Literature from Mills College, and is currently a doctoral student in the Creative/Critical PhD in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Her debut collection of poems, the monumental misrememberings, is published with Co-Conspirator Press (2020). She was chosen as a finalist in the Creative Nonfiction Prize for Indiana Review in 2020, and is currently a creative fellow at The Ruby in San Francisco. Her works can be found in Foglifter, Apogee Journal, Interim Poetics, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Mimi can be found daydreaming and hiking on an outdoor trail in Oakland.

Monica Palacios (Playwriting - 2021)

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

Nahshon Dion (Writers in Residence - 2021)

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

Natalie A. Martínez (Poetry - 2021)

Natalie A. Martínez is a queer Chicanx poet, brujx, Aries, twin, scholar and curator residing in the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples. She received her PhD from Arizona State University. Her work has been featured in Nepantla, d3ék’w, Hedreen Gallery & the Seattle Art Museum. She has received scholarships & fellowships to Penn State University, CCCCs, & Community of Writers. Her work is interested in exploring themes around legacies of cultural dispossession, racism, miscegenation, trauma, illness, queerness and the body related to her identities as a multi-racial person with roots in the four-corners region of New Mexico, Europe & North Dakota and Montana (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa).

Nicole Dennis-Benn (Fiction - 2021)

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

Linda Villarosa (Nonfiction - 2019)

Linda Villarosa runs the journalism program at the City College of New York and is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. In June 2017, she wrote the Magazine‘s cover story “America’s Hidden Epidemic,” about HIV/AIDS among black gay/bisexual men in the South. In April 2018, her article “Why America’s Mothers and Babies Are in a Life or Death Crisis,” also ran on the Times Magazine cover. Linda is the author or co-author of a number of books and is working on Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation to be published by Doubleday.

Lourdes Dolores Follins (2019)

Writer-in-residence Lourdes Dolores Follins is a Black queer femme who comes from a long line of intrepid women and working-class strivers. She has published several articles and book chapters about LGBTQI people of color’s health, is the lead editor of the award-winning, ground-breaking book, Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation (Lexington Books, 2016), and was recently published in Rigorous. Lourdes Dolores’s development as a creative nonfiction writer was enhanced by a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellowship. She is using her Lambda Literary Writer-in-Residence to complete a wry and moving memoir about her relationship with her mother.

MARS Marshall (Poetry - 2019)

MARS. is a writer and cultural organizer born and raised in Detroit. Their work has been published in Obsidian Literature & Arts for the African Diaspora, Michigan Quarterly Review: The Mixtape, Foglifter Journal, Gertrude Press, and elsewhere.

Martin Padgett (Nonfiction - 2019)

Martin Padgett has written books, features, product reviews, and news for 30 years, and still finds a blank page invigorating—and intimidating. He is the editorial director for Internet Brands Automotive, where he runs websites that include TheCarConnection, GreenCarReports, and MotorAuthority. He has written for Details, Outside, BusinessWeek, Men’s Health and Creative Loafing, on topics that have ranged from single mothers in pursuit of sole custody, to the prison labor that trains wild horses for adoption, the novel legal defenses of Atlanta strip clubs, the best dive bars in the French Quarter (RIP Flanagan’s), and the economic effects of self-driving cars. He earned his MFA in narrative nonfiction writing from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He lives in Atlanta and Pensacola Beach with his husband, three cats, and an overflowing file of future story ideas. He will forever be #TeamKatya.

Matthew Thompson (Poetry - 2019)

Matthew Thompson is a writer & filmmaker from Cleveland, Ohio living in Brooklyn, NY. Poems, essays, and his mama’s church plays brought him to writing. Also can’t discount the time he spent riffing in highschool math classes. Born out of midwest existential worlds his work thinks through sanity, sex, religion, music, nostalgia. Matthew is a graduate of The New School’s writing program. You can find his things in The Seventh Wave, Racebaitr, NBCC blog, Brooklyn Magazine, Juked Poetry, and elsewhere. Matthew has performed and shown his filmwork across the U.S. and internationally including: Melrose Ballroom, Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, Pratt Institute, Godsbanen Museum, and Apache Cafe. Matthew is currently a Writer-In-Residence at Teachers & Writers Magazine. Also mentoring with St. Ann’s School and Urban Word NYC. Connect with his headspace @blondemattmatt on Instagram and Twitter.

Maya Arthur (Poetry - 2019)

Maya Arthur is a writer and novice archivist/artist/researcher. She completed her BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2018. During her time at Penn, she gardened in a Victorian cemetery, started a zine library, discussed witches at length, and held seances. Her writing seeks to find cohesion through the collision and estrangement of genre, perspective, and mobility. She currently publicizes books in New York but will soon be returning to her favorite city—Philly!

Mfoniso Udofia (Playwriting - 2019)

Mfoniso Udofia, a 1st Generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College and obtained her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay, she co-pioneered youth initiative, The Nia Project, providing artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint. Mfoniso is a former Playwrights Realm Page One Resident and, in January 2016, Playwrights Realm produced the World Premiere of Sojourners, the origin story of the Ufot Family Cycle. In Spring 2016, The Magic Theater in San Francisco produced the West Coast Premiere of Sojourners and the World Premiere of the third installation in the Ufot Family Cycle, runboyun, in repertory with each other. New York Theatre Workshop produced the return of Sojourners to New York City in Spring 2017, which ran in repertory with the World Premiere of Her Portmanteau, and was previously developed at the National Black Theatre in an I Am Soul Residency in 2015. Her Portmanteau had its West Coast Premiere at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA. Mfoniso is also currently at work on a commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival translating Shakespeare’s Othello, through their Play On! program. She has four upcoming productions: Her Portmanteau (American Conservatory Theater, Winter 2019), In Old Age (A Magic Theater World Premiere, Spring 2019), runboyrun (A New York Theatre Workshop East Coast N Premiere, Fall 2019) and In Old Age (A New York Theatre Workshop East Coast Premiere, Fall 2019); and, she is a staff writer on the 3rd season of Netflix’s, 13 Reasons Why.

Mfoniso’s plays have been developed at and/or presented/produced by Playwrights Realm, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle’s INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company and more. Mfoniso is the recipient of the 2017-2018 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists.

Mia S. Willis (Poetry - 2019)

Mia S. Willis is a Black performance poet from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their work has been featured by or is forthcoming in FreezeRay, Curating Alexandria, WORDPEACE, Peculiar, Foothill, Button Poetry, and Slamfind. Mia was the recipient of the 2018 Foothill Editors’ Prize for their poem “hecatomb,” which was subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in Best New Poets 2018. They ranked fourth out of 96 femme poets at the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam and placed fifth out of 150 poets at the 2018 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Mia was a member of Tender Bitch, the winning team at the 2018 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament, and they are the first two-time Capturing Fire Slam Champion (2018, 2019). Mia was also named a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry as well as the 2019 Young Artist Fellow at ChaShaMa’s ChaNorth residency in Pine Plains, NY. Their debut poetry collection, monster house., was the 2018 winner of the Cave Canem Foundation’s Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize and is available now with Jai-Alai Books. Connect with Mia on Facebook and Twitter (@poetinthehat).

Milo Todd (Fiction - 2019)

Milo Todd writes trans historical fiction based on people and events that have often been distorted, erased, or cis-washed. He’s presented at Muse and the Marketplace and the Boston Book Festival, and is an instructor at GrubStreet in Boston. He’s an alum of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator Program, where he worked as a Pechet Fellow on THE FALCON OF DOVES, a work of historical fiction about a trans pirate and his surrogate cis father.

Naseem Jamnia (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Naseem Jamnia received their AB from the University of Chicago and MS from DePaul University, both in the biological sciences, and left their neuroscience PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania after the 2016 US presidential election. They’re the coauthor of Positive Interactions With At-Risk Children (Routledge, 2019), were the 2018 Bitch Media Fellow in Technology, and have written for outlets like The Washington Post, The Rumpus, Cosmopolitan, and more. A native Chicagoan, Naseem now lives in Reno with their spouse, dog, and two cats, where they’re working towards their fiction MFA at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Nicole Shawan Junior (Nonfiction - 2019)

Nicole Shawan Junior (Smith College BA | Pace University MST | Temple University JD) was born & bred in the bass-heavy beat & scratch of Brooklyn, where the Bed-Stuy cool of beautiful inner-city life barely survived the cripplings caused by crack cocaine. She’s a multi-genre counter-storyteller, felon and womynxst. Her writing is featured in Gay Magazine, For Harriet, The Feminist Wire, and more. The Hurston/Wright Foundation, African Voices, Black Film Space, and others have supported her work. She’s a 2019 NeON Arts Teaching Artist grant recipient, a SAFTA Fellow and a 2018 finalist for The Brooklyn Arts Festival’s Nonfiction Prize.

Lin Thompson (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Lin Thompson is a queer writer and children’s librarian who grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Boston. They hold a BFA from Emerson College and an MS from Simmons College. They spend their time leading story time and encouraging kids to make messy art at the public library, reading as many books about LGBTQ+ kids as possible, and taking care of their very needy cat. They’re working on a middle-grade novel about queer kids in Kentucky finding the space to be themselves.

Lucas Baisch (Playwriting - 2018)

Lucas Baisch is a playwright and visual artist, originally from San Francisco, currently based in Providence, Rhode Island. His work has been read, developed, and shown at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Playwrights Horizons, Salonathon, Victory Gardens Theater, Links Hall, Gloucester Stage, American Theatre Company, The Neo-Futurists, The RISD Museum, The DeYoung Museum, SF Playground, etc. Productions include: Refrigerator (First Floor Theatre), The Scavengers (The Healy Theater at DePaul University), and A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company). Baisch is currently pursuing his MFA in Playwriting at Brown University.

Ludmila Leiva (Fiction - 2018)

Ludmila Leiva is a queer, mixed-race Latinx writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. Through her writing and art, she explores diasporic identity as it intersects with gender, race and sexuality. Her written and visual works have previously appeared in Wired, The New York Times‘ Women in the World, Literary Hub, Broadly, and more. She is currently working on her first novel.

Luis Alfaro (Playwriting - 2018)

Luis Alfaro is an Associate Professor at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He is a Chicano writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. He is the first-ever resident playwright of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, courtesy of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. Alfaro is also a producer/director who spent 10 years at the Mark Taper Forum as Associate Producer, Director of New Play Development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative.

Margaret Whitehead (Nonfiction - 2018)

Margaret Whitehead came to writing after a previous career in refugee resettlement. In 2016 she earned her MA in Literary Reportage from NYU, and was a Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity Literary Journalism Fellow in 2017. These days she writes short stories, essays and reported features, which have appeared in publications including Good Housekeeping (online), Reason Magazine and Narratively. She lives in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mariam Bazeed (Nonfiction - 2018)

Mariam Bazeed is a non-binary Egyptian immigrant living in a rent-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. She has an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. In addition to being an alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays, Mariam is a singer and performance artist. She is a current fellow at the Center for Fiction, and has received fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU, and Lambda Literary. She has been awarded residencies at the Marble House Project, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Hedgebrook. Mariam runs a monthly world-music salon in Brooklyn, and is a slow student of Arabic music.

Matthew Haynes (2018)

Writer-in-Residence Matthew Haynes received his M.A. in Fiction Writing and M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Boise State University. He has been a finalist for the William Faulkner Award, Writer’s Digest Literary Award, and Glimmer Train Short Short Story Award. He is the author of the novels Moving Towards Home and Friday. Matthew was a State of Idaho Literary Fellow in 2010, Idaho State Library Traveling Scholar from 2011-13, and Lambda Literary Fiction Fellow in 2017.

Melissa Nigro (Fiction - 2018)

Melissa Nigro is a queer writer and artist living in the Bay Area. She is working on a series of interconnected short stories set in the fictional community of Eden, a dying gold rush town in northern California. Her work explores how difficult it is to know when to call a place home, and when to leave it. She works as a photographer and graphic designer for Bay Area Children’s Theatre.

Michael Shayan (Playwriting - 2018)

Michael Shayan is an Iranian-American Jewish writer and performer based in NY. He is currently under commission from Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund. Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting. He has recently developed and presented work at New York Stage & Film, La MaMa, The Lark, Project Y and Dixon Place. He is currently developing a theatrical project with Susanne Bartsch. Finalist: New Dramatists. Michael was also a member and performer at The Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Moncho Alvarado (Poetry - 2018)

Moncho Alvarado is a Latinx poet, translator, and educator. Their poems have been published in Poets House, The Academy of American Poets website, Mikrokosmos Journal, Acentos Review, Chaparral, and other publications. They are a recipient of fellowships from Poets House, Troika House, the Summer Seminar at Sarah Lawrence College, and won the Academy of American Poet’s John B. Santoianni award for excellence in poetry. They received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where they were awarded the Thomas Lux Scholarship for dedication to teaching, demonstrated through writing workshops with youths in Sunnyside Community Services in Queens, New York. Born and raised in Pacoima, California, they currently live in Brooklyn, New York, where they teach literature and creative writing.

Naomi Gordon-Loebl (Nonfiction - 2018)

Naomi Gordon-Loebl is a writer and educator from Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Complex, The Nation, The Toast, and elsewhere. She works as the Research Editor and Internship Director at The Nation Institute.

Natasha Dennerstein (Fiction - 2018)

Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne, Australia. She has an MFA from San Francisco State University. Natasha has had poetry published in many journals including Landfall, Shenandoah, Bloom, Red Light Lit, Spoon River Poetry Review, Foglifter and North American Review. Her collections Anatomize (2015), Triptych Caliform (2016) and her novella-in-verse About a Girl (2017) were published by Norfolk Press in San Francisco. Her trans chapbook Seahorse (2017) was published by Nomadic Press in Oakland. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is an editor at Nomadic Press and works at St James Infirmary, a clinic for sex-workers.

Nefertiti Asanti (Poetry - 2018)

Nefertiti Asanti is a writer, cultural worker & sometimes performance poet from the Bronx. Nefertiti is a fellow of The Watering Hole (2016, 2017) & EMERGENYC Hemispheric Institute (2015). In 2018, Nefertiti received a scholarship to attend Hedgebrook’s VORTEXT & joined the inaugural cohort of the Anaphora Literary Arts Residency for writers of color. Nefertiti’s work can be found at Winter Tangerine, AfroPunk & elsewhere. Nefertiti also reads poetry for Honeysuckle Press.

Nia KB (Poetry - 2018)

Nia KB is a queer black poet, musician and journalist from Fort Worth, Texas. She completed her B.A. in writing and journalism at Texas Christian University where she founded TCUnderground, an organization that integrated campus and local communities of color through artistic expression via informal showcases. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Eleven40Seven, Z Publishing House, Pamplemousse and elsewhere.

Lourdes Dolores Follins (Nonfiction - 2017)

Lourdes Dolores Follins is a Black, queer, US-born femme who comes from a long line of badass survivors, intrepid women, and working-class strivers. As a professor, psychotherapist, and a Ifa/Lukumi priestess, she also wears many masks. Lourdes has written about the health of LGBTQ people of color and her first book, Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation was published in 2016. Her second book, Black LGBT Health Across the Globe: A Regional Perspective will be published in 2017 and she is working on a book about the effect of the Great Migration on three generations of women in her family.

Malinda Lo (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Malinda Lo (YOUNG ADULT FICTION) is the author of the young adult novels Ash, Huntress, Adaptation, and Inheritance. Ash was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Horn Book, and AfterEllen. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog.

Matthew R. K. Haynes (Fiction - 2017)

Matthew R. K. Haynes earned his M.A. in Fiction and M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Boise State University. His first novel, Moving Towards Home, was published 1999. His most recent novel, Friday, was published in 2015. His short works have appeared in Fringe, Yellow Medicine Review, and Hawai’i Pacific Review, among others. He has been a finalist for the Faulkner Award in Nonfiction, Writer’s Digest Award in Fiction, and Glimmer Train Award for Short Short Fiction. His collection of multi-genre writing, titled Shall We Not Go Missing, has been chosen for the Wayne Kaumuali’i Westlake Monograph Series, and is forthcoming from Kuleana Press of the University of Hawaii in 2017. In 2010, Matthew was awarded a State of Idaho Writing Fellowship.

Maxe Crandall (Playwriting - 2017)

Maxe Crandall is a poet and playwright based in Berkeley and Brooklyn. His work can be found in Vetch, Women & Performance, Brooklyn Poets Anthology, The Recluse, and SFMOMA’s Open Space. His play Together Men Make Paradigms (Yo-Yo Labs 2014) debuted at Dixon Place and was a finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award. Additional work includes the play Underwater Wedding, the chapbook Emoji for Cher Heart, and a solo piece he’s developing called Mud in Love. Maxe has received fellowships from the Poetry Project, Poets House, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He teaches at Stanford University.

Melissa Eastlake (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Melissa Eastlake earned a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Hollins University and works in nonprofit marketing. Her debut novel, The Uncrossing, is coming in 2017 from Entangled Teen. She lives in Athens, Georgia with her partner and dog.

Michael Shayan (Playwriting - 2017)

Michael Shayan is an Iranian-American Jewish writer and performer based in NY. He is currently under commission from Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund. Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting. He has recently developed and presented work at New York Stage & Film, La MaMa, The Lark, Project Y and Dixon Place. He is currently developing a theatrical project with Susanne Bartsch. Finalist: New Dramatists. Michael was also a member and performer at The Magic Castle in Hollywoo

Miranda Schmidt (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Miranda Schmidt’s work has appeared in The Collagist, Phoebe, Luna Station Quarterly, Driftwood Press, and other journals. Miranda grew up in the Midwest and now lives with her partner and two cats in Portland, Oregon where she edits the Sun Star Review, teaches writing at Portland Community College. A graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program, Miranda recently completed a novel about haunting and is currently at work on a project inspired by shapeshifting fairy tales.

Nahshon Anderson (2017)

Writer-in-Residence Nahshon Anderson is an award-winning artist from Altadena, California. They studied at California State University, Los Angeles, and has worked in television and film production for over two decades. Anderson is an NALAC Leadership Institute, Lambda Literary and VONA Fellow. An inaugural recipient of the Bryn Kelly Scholarship and a non-fiction BRIO Award from Bronx Council on Arts. They are a contributing writer in the forthcoming anthology, Happy Hour: Our Lives in Gay Clubs in Emerge: 2016-Lambda Fellows Anthology, Prose & Lore Issues 2, 3 & 5, and the Bronx Memoir Project. They are a recipient of grants from Creative Capacity Fund and the National Arts and Disability Center. They are a Grants Advisory Panelist for the New York State Council on The Arts, and a Juror for the Scholastic Art & Writing awards and has been a member of SAG-AFTRA since 1999. Anderson is working on a memoir Shooting Range.

Natalie Sharp (Poetry - 2017)

Natalie Sharp is a native of Savannah, GA and a proud black queer poet working on both page and stage. She earned her BA in English at Georgia College & State University and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Natalie has work that has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Juked, Madcap Review, Prick of the Spindle, Cactus Heart Press, and elsewhere. Natalie is an avowed supporter of Waffle House on every block, queer liberation, and joy without foreboding.

Nawaaz Ahmed (Fiction - 2017)

Nawaaz Ahmed is a transplant from Tamil Nadu, India. In a previous life he was a computer scientist, researching search algorithms for Yahoo. After quitting his job, he attended the creative writing MFA program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, winning several Hopwood awards for his novel, short fiction, and non‑fiction. He’s been invited to Macdowell, Yaddo, and VCCA, and has received scholarships from Breadloaf and Squaw Valley writer’s conferences. His fiction has appeared in the Sonora Review, and performed at the Sterling Music Room. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working on his first novel Sings Like A Bird.

Nelle Tankus (Playwriting - 2017)

Nelle Tankus is a queer trans woman playwright interested in making weird gay shit. Her full-length work has been seen at Copious Love Productions (The Untitled Play About Art School, dir. L. Nicol Cabe), Annex Theater (Eat Cake, dir. Catherine Blake Smith, and Gay City Arts (Safe, dir. Gary Zinter). Her shorter works have been seen at Mo-Wave, The Pocket Theater, Volunteer Park, The Erickson Theater, 14/48, and have been presented in association with MAP Theatre, ACT’s 1-Minute Play Festival, Fantastic Z. Theatre Company, Annex Theatre’s Spin the Bottle, Forward Flux’s collaborate/create, and in Portland OR with Fuse Theatre Ensemble. Nelle is a 2015 Lambda Fellow in Playwriting, was shortlisted for the 2016 Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and is an alumni of Parley: A Playwright’s Group.

Marcus Tran Degnan (Fiction - 2016)

Marcus Tran Degnan is a current graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Asian American Studies Department. He is relatively new to the West Coast, having grown up in the swamplands of Central Florida. He attended and graduated from the University of Florida in 2015, where he was engaged with social activism around Asian American issues, as well as contributed to various social justice-oriented literary outlets. He identifies as a gay, Catholic, mixed race Vietnamese American, as much of it is a mouthful to say.

Molly Thornton (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Molly Thornton is a Seattle-based femme, writer, and poet who hails from the Land of Enchantment. She aims to write new anthems for young adults and is influenced by female friendship, queer love, and life’s gritty magic. When she’s not absorbed in editing her first novel, she is engaged in young women’s empowerment projects, or thrift shopping for leopard print garments and floral housewares.

Nahshon Anderson (Nonfiction - 2016)

Nahshon Anderson is an Afro-Indian and Latin writer with roots in East Texas where family members served in WW I & II. A Californian, Nahshon’s family was close to Rodney King. Nahshon attended California State University Los Angeles. At age 19, Nahshon survived an attempted murder, inspiring short story “Shooting Range,” which won a 2014 BRIO Award from Bronx Council on Arts. A recipient of grants from the California Arts Council and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Nahshon has studied with writer Andrew X. Pham. A member of SAG-AFTRA, Pen America and a 2015 VONA fellow, Nahshon is currently writing a memoir.

Natalia Vigil (Nonfiction - 2016)

Natalia Vigil was born and raised in San Francisco, the city that inspires her everyday. Her writing arises from the voices and stories of the people around her and deals in themes of loss, family, sexuality, race, and class. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and on many Bay Area stages including Curbside Splendor Press,, VONA, SOMArts, Mission Cultural Center and more. She has an MFA from Mills College and is the proud co-founder of Still Here San Francisco. You can find her curating shows in S.F. and enjoying life with her 5 younger siblings.

Nico Amador (Poetry - 2016)

Nico Amador was born and raised in San Diego, lived and worked for many years in Philadelphia and has recently landed in the small town of Bristol, Vermont. Nico’s writing life has its beginnings in the political community of queer and POC organizers that helped him come out and come into his work as a young activist. Since that time poetry has been a tool for exploring the complicated nature of history and for looking outside of it. His work has been published in Poet Lore, Big Bell, MiPoesias, Plenitude Magazine, APIARY, Nimrod International Journal, and Rogue State. Nico is also the co-editor of Thread Makes Blanket Press.

librecht baker (Playwriting - 2015)

librecht baker is a writer, member of the Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, in Long Beach, CA, as well as a Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices) alumnae. She has a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Her poetry is included in CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape (MTV Books) and is forthcoming in Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices (Trans-Genre Press).

Linda Villarosa (Nonfiction - 2015)

Linda Villarosa is a journalist, author, editor, novelist and college professor. She runs the journalism program at the City College of New York in Harlem and teaches writing and media studies. For several years, she edited the health pages of the New York Times and later spent six years as a contributing New York Times reporter. As the executive editor of Essence Magazine she wrote or edited a number of award-winning articles. Linda has also contributed to Glamour, Health, Latina, Ms., O Magazine and Vibe. She writes for The Root, Slate, AfterEllen and The Amsterdam News.

Near the start of the AIDS epidemic, as a beginning reporter for Essence, Linda wrote the first article to examine HIV/AIDS in an ethnic publication. A number of years later, two of her stories on African-Americans and HIV/AIDS appeared on the front page of the New York Times.

Linda has authored/co-authored a number of books, including Body & Soul: The Black Women’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being, which sold over 200,000 copies. Her first novel, Passing for Black, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Most recently, she wrote autobiographical essays for the anthologies Here Come the Brides and The Letter Q.

M-E Girard (Genre Fiction - 2015)

M-E Girard is a writer of YA fiction about teen girls who kick ass in a variety of ways. Some facts about M-E: She’s Canadian, speaks French, was a fellow of the YA workshop of the 2013 Lambda retreat, spends hours playing video games, has 2 chihuahuas, should stop eating so many carbs and cheese, buys too many books, and still plays with dolls. Her debut novel GIRL will be released in the fall of 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins.

Marcos L. Martínez (Fiction - 2015)

Marcos L. Martínez is a returning Lambda fellow and received his MFA in Fiction at George Mason University. He is the Editor for Stillhouse Press, an independent press affiliated with GMU’s Creative Writing Program. As a Sally Merten Fellow, he has taught creative writing to high school students and adults throughout Northern Virginia. His work has appeared in The Washington Blade, RiverSedge, and Whiskey Island. Current projects include his novel, Embarkations (or, Boating for Beginners), and Cleave: The Journals of Caine Lance Calletano, a companion book of poetry told through the voice of his novel’s main character. A native of Brownsville, TX, Marcos lives in Alexandria, VA with his husband Wayne.

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela (Fiction - 2015)

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela’s writing has been recognized by The Leeway Foundation, Hedgebrook and others. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Make/shift, As Us Journal, The Rust Belt Rising, Aster(ix), Big Bell and elsewhere. She is the founder Thread Makes Blanket, a small press with some big publications including Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop for which she also served as an editor. Marissa also a fiction editor at APIARY magazine and a member of the Rogue Poetry Workshop. She teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia. Thread Makes Blanket.

Mat Wenzel (Poetry - 2015)

Mat Wenzel is a student of poetry in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program. He teaches high school English at DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts in a converted canning factory in downtown Ogden, UT. Mat’s current writing explores the space and conflict created between his faith and sexual identity. He currently has 17 stamps in his National Parks Passport.

Maya Chinchilla (Playwriting - 2015)

Maya Chinchilla is an Oakland-based Guatemalan femme writer, video artist, educator and author of The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética (Kórima Press, 2014). Maya writes and performs poetry that explores themes of historical memory, heartbreak, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures. Her work —sassy, witty, performative, and self-aware— draws on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry. Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, by a mixed class, mixed race, immigrant activist extended family, Maya has lived and loved in the Bay Area for the second half of her life. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including: Mujeres de Maíz, Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies, Cipactli Journal, and The Lunada Literary Anthology, and is quoted (and misquoted) in essays, presentations and books on U.S.-Central American poetics; Chicana/Latina literature; and identity, gender, and sexuality. Maya is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galería de La Raza in San Francisco, CA; and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA; and is a VONA Voices, Dos Brujas and Lambda Literary Fellow. She is the co-editor of Desde El Epicentro: An anthology of Central American Poetry and Art and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, UC Davis and other Bay Area colleges.

Meghan Allen (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Meghan Allen grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where you’re more likely to find wild elk than a bookstore. She studied social work at Elizabethtown College before returning to her hometown to work as a family social worker for a non-profit organization. Meghan is at work on her first novel.

Mel King (Nonfiction - 2015)

Mel King grew up in Albany, New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in gender, queer theory, and grassroots organizing. Post-undergrad, he worked at Empire State Pride Agenda, serving as Executive Assistant, Administrative & Development Associate, and finally Network Coordinator. He has written short stories whenever and wherever he could, publishing in Mason’s Road, Wilde Magazine, and T(OUR) Literary Magazine. His writing focuses on queer identity, trauma, Judaism, and the intersections of memory and fiction in family life. Currently working on a collection of short stories and a memoir, he is pursuing his passion for writing full time as a Truman Capote Fellow in fiction in the Creative Writing MFA program at Rutgers University, Newark.

Militza Jean-Felix (Fiction - 2015)

Militza Jean-Felix is a Haitian-American writer and visual artist from Boston. She has a BFA and studied art, history, and literature at The Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France and the Ludwig Foundation in Cuba. She then moved to San Francisco and got her MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts. Her MFA thesis focused on her family’s experience during the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the perilous journey of a ten-year-old boy searching for his family at its’ epicenter. While attending CCA, she was invited by the Atis Rezistans to contribute her work as a part of the official selection of the 2nd Ghetto Biennale; A Salon des Refuses for the 21st Century in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She has shown her work in Haiti, Korea, France, and the United States. When she’s not writing or painting, she’s most likely chillin’ with her little buddy, a gentle kitty named Mr. Pants.

Nelle Tankus (Playwriting - 2015)

Nelle Tankus began her writing career in an unexpected way: writing lyrics to songs for her high school band when she was 15. Thinking nothing would come of it, she attended Cornish College of the Arts to pursue her first passion, musical theatre. This quickly turned around, and by her junior year she was accepted into the Cornish original works program and hasn’t stopped writing since. She has had her work produced with Fantastic Z Theatre, Seattle 1-Minute Play Festival, Annex Theatre, RiOT Productions, Gay City Arts, ‘Mo Wave Queer Arts Festival, and readings with MAP Theatre and Fuse Theater Ensemble in Portland, OR. She loves cats, loud music, black licorice, queerness. She is excited and honored to join Cherrie Moraga and other queer writers on this retreat.

Nia Witherspoon (Playwriting - 2015)

Nia Witherspoon is a multidisciplinary artist-scholar producing work at the intersections of indigeneity, queerness, and African diaspora epistemologies. Working primarily in the mediums of vocal and sound composition, playwriting, and creative scholarship, Dr. Witherspoon’s work has been recognized and supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, Theatre Bay Area, and the National Queer Arts Festival. Her original play, The Messiah Complex, a multi-temporal meditation on the loss of parents in black and queer diasporas, was developed at an AIR Space Residency (San Francisco), featured in the Company of Angels’ NAACP-nominated Black Women: State of the Union (Los Angeles), and invited to staged readings at The Painted Bride Art Center (Philadelphia) and the National Black Theatre (New York). Messiah was also performed at New York’s prestigious Downtown Urban Theatre Festival (HERE Art Center) where it received the Audience Award and placed second for Best Play. Witherspoon’s work as a vocalist, both independently and with acclaimed ceremonial-music duo SoliRose, has spanned stages, ceremonial spaces, and activist organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Beirut, and her creative non-fiction is most recently featured in Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought. Witherspoon has forthcoming publications in the Journal of Popular Culture and Women and Performance, and she is currently at work on a book project, “The Nation in the Dark: Reparations of Ceremony in Diaspora,” which asserts that nationalism, far from being dead, is essential to radical women of color re-envisioning indigenous religions. She received a B.A. from Smith College and a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from Stanford University.

Lisa Galloway (Poetry - 2014)

Lisa Galloway grew up in Indiana where she was adopted into a family with Southern Baptist roots (read more in her forthcoming collection). Thankfully, she moved to the far more progressive Pacific Northwest landing in Portland, Oregon just over ten years ago. In the last year, she’s worked as a writer/ researcher consulting with attorneys advocating for people screwed by ineffective systems, a carpenter, a vegetarian food cart cook, a video ethnographer for healthcare operations change, and a caterer. She’s the author of Liminal: A Life of Cleavage from Lost Horse Press’ New Poets, Short Books Series, a graduate of Pacific University’s MFA Program and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “She Was a Chagall.” She is currently finishing her second poetry collection titled Mother, Marriage, and Other Natural Disasters that’s mostly about her mother’s death, contentious family dynamics, first gay marriage, and the other interestingly intense events from her astrological Saturn’s Return.

Lucy Jane Bledsoe (Fiction - 2014)

Lucy Jane Bledsoe is the author of a collection of short stories and four novels, the most recent of which is The Big Bang Symphony. Her fiction has won a Yaddo Fellowship, the 2013 Saturday Evening Post Fiction Award, the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, a California Arts Council Fellowship, an American Library Association Stonewall Award, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships. Five of her books have been Lammy finalists. Her stories have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Chinese. She’s traveled to both Cuba and Antarctica as a visiting writer.

Marcos L. Martínez (Fiction - 2014)

Marcos L. Martínez is a native of Brownsville, TX, and is completing his MFA in Fiction at George Mason University. As a Sally Merten Fellow, he has taught creative writing to high school students and adults throughout Northern Virginia. He currently serves as the inaugural Student Editorial Manager for Stillhouse Press, a collaboration between GMU’s Creative Writing Program and Relegation Books. His work has appeared in The Washington Blade, RiverSedge, and Whiskey Island. Current projects include his novel, Embarkations (or, Boating for Beginners), and Cleave: The Journals of Caine Lance Calletano, a companion book of poetry told through the voice of his novel’s main character. Marcos lives in Alexandria, VA with his husband of 21 years, Wayne, and their obsidian cat Obi (a Jedi who plays mind-tricks with paper-clips).

Meg Leitold (Poetry - 2014)

Meg Leitold is a ball of queer femme fire based in Toronto and a returning Lambda Fellow from the 2013 Non-Fiction workshop. A graduate of Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute and the University of Toronto, her writing has been published in several zines, art installations, and journals, including No More Potlucks, Historiae, and Subversions. In her spare time, she delights in dancing, reading fiction, and out-jargoning the mansplainer.

Megan McHugh (Poetry - 2014)

Megan McHugh is a garden teacher at a grade school in New Orleans, LA. She recently received her MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans, while starting an urban flower farm: She is originally from Chicago.

Miah Jeffra (Nonfiction - 2014)

Miah Jeffra is an artist, writer and educator, hailing from Baltimore. He runs social justice arts network ShadowLab and teaches cultural studies and writing at San Francisco Art Institute. He is recipient of the Clark-Gross Award for his novel Highlandtown, and is currently working on a book of short fiction, The Violence Almanac. His work can be seen most recently in North Atlantic Review, Educe, A Cappella Zoo, Fourteen Hills and Edge. He lives in San Francisco, and will do unconscionable things for a good beer. Maya was the recipient of Lambda’s 2014 Editorship Scholarship and will serve as Editor of the forthcoming e-book anthology of works by this year’s Fellows.

Molly McCloy (Writers in Residence - 2014)

Molly McCloy is an NYC Moth Storytelling Slam winner with work published in Nerve and Slate. She has performed recently for Tucson’s Odyssey and FST series as well as the award-winning Lit Lounge series at The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been described as all-muscle, hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking. She has been called a happy misanthrope and an angel.

M-E Girard (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

M-E Girard is a Registered Nurse by night and writer of fiction featuring gender-bending queer girls by day…and often night, too. She is currently working on a slew of novels-in-progress, but primarily on Boifriend, a finalist of the 2010 Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest. M-E is a board member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region and blogs on its resource site Reading as Writers. M-E writes, reads, and regularly forgoes all that to binge on video games. She lives not too far outside of Toronto, Canada, with her partner and their two Chihuahua babies.

Malinda Lo (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Malinda Lo is the author of Adaptation, a YA sci-fi thriller; the sequel will be published in fall 2013. Her first novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Her second novel, Huntress, a companion novel to Ash, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. [Photo credit: Patty Nason]

Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez (Poetry - 2013)

Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez is from Vilches, Chile. In 2010 she was one of 12 lucky Junies attending the Bucknell Writing Seminar for Younger Poets. Her current projects include a novel in Spanish and a novel-in-verse that interweaves two points of views: Adesa, an intersex character, and Aditi, a hijra in India. She is co-director of the not-for-profit Palampore Writers, which promotes positive social change by teaching creative writing in communities which have been oppressed, marginalized, and/or struck by natural disaster. She is a recent graduate of Cornell University’s Poetry MFA program.

Marcie Bianco (Nonfiction - 2013)

Marcie Bianco, Queer Public(s) Intellectual, PhD, is a columnist and contributing writer at AfterEllen and Lambda Literary, as well as a lecturer at John Jay College. Her current projects include a scholarly manuscript about the anti-humanist, materialist ethics of English Renaissance Drama, and a salacious bildungsroman about seducing lesbian Shakespeareans, closeted Shakespeareans, as well as your run-of-the-mill awkward academidyke. She lives in Brooklyn with her pup, Deleuze.

Matthew Phillip (Fiction - 2013)

Matthew Phillp has covered New York City nightlife as a journalist for the past ten years and has been secretly writing a novel about it for the past four. On a good day, he wakes up early and writes for an hour in the dark, half asleep. When completely awake, he has contributed to the Village Voice and DNA Magazine Australia (among many other publications) and co-hosted a nightlife talk radio show in the East Village for four years on which he was one of the first people in the world to interview Lady Gaga. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meg Leitold (Nonfiction - 2013)

Originally hailing from rural Nova Scotia, Meg Leitold is a queer femme researcher, psychotherapist, and dilettante currently based in Toronto. A graduate of Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal, her writing has been published in several zines, art installations, and journals, including No More Potlucks, Historiae, and Subversions. She is currently writing a textbook on gender equity for junior high school students. When her red tips are not clicking away at her computer keyboard, Meg can be found burning up the dance floor, taking a bath, or belting out Rihanna covers at drop-in choir.

Miguel M. Morales (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Miguel M. Morales grew up in Texas working as a migrant farmworker. As a journalist, he earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award. Miguel lives in Kansas and serves on the Latino Writers Collective board. His work appears in the anthologies: Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland, To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, and in the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry. Miguel is thrilled to be a returning Lambda Literary Fellow.

Mikel Gerle (Nonfiction - 2013)

Mikel Gerle recently finished his memoir, Freedom Through Discipline. A probing saga chronicling Gerle’s journey through 1980s high school heartache with other Mormon boys in rural Idaho, facing the plague of AIDS and drug addiction in Los Angeles, and finally finding authenticity and release as International Mr Leather 2007. Gerle has been featured in Dan Savage’s blog Strange Love, a contributor for Instigator Magazine (a gay men’s fetish magazine published in seventeen countries), the KCRW Strangers podcast series, and a provocateur promoting gay culture in his day job at West Hollywood City Hall.

Militza Jean-Felix (Fiction - 2013)

Militza Jean-Felix is a Haitian-American writer and visual artist from Boston. She has a BFA and studied art, history, and literature at The Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France and the Ludwig Foundation in Cuba. She then moved to San Francisco and got her MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts. Her MFA thesis focused on her family’s experience during the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the perilous journey of a ten-year-old boy searching for his family at its’ epicenter. While attending CCA, she was invited by the Atis Rezistans to contribute her work as a part of the official selection of the 2nd Ghetto Biennale; A Salon des Refuses for the 21st Century in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She has shown her work in Haiti, Korea, France, and the United States. When she’s not writing or painting, she’s most likely chillin’ with her little buddy, a gentle kitty named Mr. Pants.

Liz Latty (Nonfiction - 2012)

Liz Latty is a queer, feminist, adoptee, writer, educator, and activist originally from the Detroit area. Her work can be found in The Wayne Literary Review, The F-Word Magazine, make/shift and the anthology We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, among others. Liz is a 2012 nominee for the Jackson, Phelan, and Tanenbaum Literary Awards from the San Francisco Foundation and her chapbook, A Parallel Life, is forthcoming from Unthinkable Creatures Press in October of 2012. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and currently lives in Oakland, California where she works in public education.

Lydia Eato Harris (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Lydia Eato Harris, a diary/journal writer from the age of seven, draws on her eclectic life experiences to energize her fiction writing. Born on Long Island, she has written, sang, and worked her way through Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida where she lives with her husband and her partner. Lydia has a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. She particularly enjoyed her seventeen years in Alaska. She also enjoyed her time in Oregon’s high plateau desert as “Motorcycle Mama” working with veterans and children. She’s a reviewer of Young Adult fiction for Lambda Literary Online.

Megan Backer (Poetry - 2012)

Megan Backer is a queer poet and spoken word artist from Rochester, NY. Upstate New York’s inclement weather has forced her into the seclusion of academia where she teaches English and Women’s Studies at the SUNY College at Brockport. She most recently participated in the Juniper Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ever-dutiful in the “publish or perish” realm, shortly after she received her MA in Creative Writing, her work will be published in the upcoming literary anthology Off the Rocks.

Miguel M. Morales (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Miguel M. Morales lives in Kansas and embraces his farmworker/child laborer past. As a journalist, he earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award. Miguel serves on the Latino Writers Collective board and is featured in its anthologies: Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland and Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland. His work also appears on the Latino Literature website, La Bloga; in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction; and in the forthcoming To the Stars Through Difficulty: 2012 Kansas Renga and Joto: An Anthology of Queer Ch/Xicano Poetry.

Monica Carter (Fiction - 2012)

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Monica Carter currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she recently finished the PEN Center USA’s Mark program for Emerging Voices alumni. A PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow 2010 and a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging GLBT Voice 2010, her fiction has appeared in Strange Cargo, An Emerging Voices Anthology, The Rattling Wall, and the current Spring issue of Bloom. She is finishing her novel, In the Life, and a collection of short stories.

Nancy Agabian (Nonfiction - 2012)

Nancy Agabian is a nonfiction writer and performer based in Queens, New York. She is the author of Princess Freak (Beyond Baroque Books), a collection of poetry and performance texts on sexuality and rage, and the Lambda Literary Award-nominated Me as her again (aunt lute books), a memoir about the influence of her Armenian family’s dark history on her bisexual coming-of-age. A Fulbright scholar to Armenia in 2006-07, she is currently working on “The Fear of Large and Small Nations”, a nonfiction novel about the contradictions between political ideals and personal liberation in the fight for social change.

Nic Alea (Poetry - 2012)

Nic Alea is a poet based in San Francisco. They received their BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. They co-host a bi-monthly reading series called New Poetry Mission focusing on the production of new work. They co-facilitate a creative writing workshop at Solano Juevnile Detention Center and perform at various reading series around the Bay Area. Nic has self published three chapbooks, Arcana, P.S. Crater Face was Here, and This Crumbled Bell Tower. Their work has appeared in the Evergreen Review, >kill author, and the Minetta Review. Nic is a crafter, a tarot card reader, and will be working on their manuscript, Things We’ll Never Speak Of, while at Lambda.

Nicholas Hoover (Fiction - 2012)

Nicolas Hoover is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer from Seattle, WA. His work has appeared in [untitled], Fringe Magazine, and Breadcrumb Scabs. Nicolas was also a semi-finalist for L Magazine‘s Literary Upstart competition, and won first place for the Writers’ Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest in 2010. The Red Merit Badge of Courage, his children’s play, is available for purchase or production from Baker’s Plays. He completed a BA in Drama from University of Washington in 2004.

Mario Macías (Poetry - 2011)

Mario Macías hails from Guadalajara, Mexico. He attended Grinnell College thanks to the Posse Foundation Scholarship. At Grinnell, he started GoGo, a student publication on feminism and sexuality, and he served as the editor-in-chief of The Grinnell Review, the college’s arts and literary magazine. During the summer of 2009, he participated in the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) Writing Workshop under the mentorship of Thomas Glave. He currently lives in East Los Angeles, California.

Michael Fauver (Fiction - 2011)

Michael Fauver is a fiction writer from Saginaw, MI. He’s been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction and The Iowa Review. He’s currently working on a collection of stories, Take Me, Please, To Your Better Angels, and a novel, Why I Won’t Remember Who You Were. (Photo by Alexander Maksik.)

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