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Writer’s Retreat

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Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices

The Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is the nation’s premier LGBTQ writing residency. It is the only multi-genre writing residency devoted exclusively to emerging LGBTQ writers.

Since 2007, the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices has offered sophisticated instruction in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult fiction, playwriting led by the most talented writers working today. The Retreat is an unparalleled opportunity to develop one’s craft and find community.

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Writer’s Retreat Impact

Launched in 2007, Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is the only multi-genre writing residency in the world devoted exclusively to emerging LGBTQ writers. It provides a uniquely powerful opportunity to participants, jumpstarting the careers of dozens of LGBTQ writers every year.

 

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554

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

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46

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

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9

genres, including poetry, young adult fiction, and playwriting

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7

Anthologies, presenting Retreat Fellows work.

Read Their Work

Check out books written by Lambda Fellows

How To Apply

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

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Fellows & Faculty Directory

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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 www.nahshondionanderson.com

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.”

Nik Traxler (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

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

Octavio R. González (Poetry - 2021)

Octavio (Tavi) R. González is associate professor of English and creative writing at Wellesley College. His chapbook The Book of Ours was published by Letras Latinas at the University of Notre Dame. He’s revising his new collection, “Limerence: The Wingless Hour.” Some poems appear in Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, Anomaly, La Guagua Poetry Anthology, and Retrato íntimo de poetas dominicanos. Other work appears in Puerto del Sol, The Latino Book Review, HIV±Here & Now, and Mass. Poetry on the T. Tavi once worked alongside Julian Casablancas at Elite Models. He still loves shooting Polaroids. Twitter: @TaviRGonzalez Instagram: @DistractedDoodling

Robin Talley (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

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

Rose Himber Howse (Fiction - 2021)

Rose Himber Howse is a queer writer from North Carolina. She’s currently a Wallace Stegner fellow in fiction at Stanford University and a Steinbeck fellow in fiction at San Jose State University. She earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she served as fiction editor of The Greensboro Review. She has received fellowships and residencies from the Millay Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Jentel Foundation. Her work appears in Joyland, Hobart, The Carolina Quarterly, Sonora Review, YES! Magazine, and elsewhere. She can be found eating cheese puffs, hanging out with her tabby cat, and on twitter @rosehimber.

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.

Nadine Marshall (Poetry - 2019)

Nadine Marshall is a black, queer, gender non-conforming poet, workshop facilitator, and collaborator living and working in Detroit, MI. They hold an MSW and B.S. in Psychology and African American Studies. Their work explores being black, queer, genderless, and the various spaces in between. Nadine organizes the Allied Media Conference and facilitates poetry workshops with their peers and through Detroit City Wide Poets- a program of InsideOut Literary Arts.

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.

Nissy Aya (Playwriting - 2019)

Nissy Aya is a Black girl from the Bronx. She and all her younger selves tell stories and tall tales. They lead workshops, too. As an artist and cultural worker, we believe in the transformative nature of storytelling, placing those most affected by oppressive systems in the center, and examining how we move forward through healing and joy. We explore history/memory, time travel, and both the absence and presence of love. The love is mutual between her and a bunch of organizations, feel free to ask which.

Phillip Christian Smith (Playwriting - 2019)

Phillip Christian Smith is a runner-up for the inaugural Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Competition, 2019 Finalist for The Dramatists Guild Fellowship, 2019 Semifinalist for The O’Neill (NPC) and PlayPenn. He has been a semifinalist for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries (ASC), finalist for Trustus, playwright in residence of Exquisite Corpse and founding member of The Playwriting Collective. His work has been supported by Primary Stages (Cherry Lane) ESPA, Fresh Ground Pepper, the 53rd Street New York Public Library, Forge, Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre. MFA in acting Yale School of Drama, University of New Mexico BFA in acting.

Rhonda Gibson (RG) (Playwriting - 2019)

Rhonda Gibson Focused, career minded television writer and playwright, seeks like-minded individuals. Must enjoy creating content for a diversified audience. Must love witty drama and exploring the complexities of the human condition. Horror fans with an ironic sense of humor are welcome to apply. RG is a New York based artist and recipient of UCLA’s Extension’s Phyllis Grebur Award for Television Writers. She is currently working on her third TV pilot. RG is grateful to explore her first full-length play at Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat this fall.

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.

Octavia Saenz (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Octavia Saenz I am an author illustrator from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where I went to theatre school and worked at a design agency for three years. I’m currently completing my undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing and Illustration at Ringling College of Art + Design. I write short fiction and games. My literary fiction focuses on LGBTQIA+ life, memory, and being Puerto Rican. I also write speculative fiction and horror, where my themes range from dreams and nature to consciousness and guilt. My short story about a transgender woman re-doing a date, “Overnight,” won the Gold Juror’s Prize in Creative Writing for Best of Ringling, as selected by Todd Pierce. I also received the Trustee Scholarship at Ringling.

Peter Bresnan (Nonfiction - 2018)

Peter Bresnan is a writer and radio journalist. He’s reported stories about space simulations, about the weird underground world of Chicago stand-up comedy, and about the enduring joy and pain of gay heartbreak. His work has been spotlighted in The Atlantic, Vulture, The Guardian, The Financial Times, HuffPost, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a series of essays about the intersection of queerness and clinical depression.

Raf Antonio (Playwriting - 2018)

Raf Antonio is a Latinx, queer, LA born creator based in Toronto. His play Salvador: A Latin-Canadian Fantasia made him the first winner of the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s RBC Emerging Playwright Award. Recently, Raf served as a story consultant on Teletoon series Princess Sparkly Butt and the Hot Dog Kid – available on YouTube – and made his professional debut with the world premiere of Rope Running Out, which was developed at Soulpepper Theatre and Cahoots Theatre, directed by Indrit Kasapi, and presented by lemonTree creations. Raf is now Playwright-in-Residence at Cahoots, developing The Effeminates: A Queer Tale of Bloody Vengeance under the guidance of Artistic Director Marjorie Chan. He is also part of the inaugural Buddies Salon at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, facilitated by company dramaturge Mel Hague.

Rhett Cooper (Nonfiction - 2018)

Rhett Cooper, a gay, has a modular MFA in creative writing & book arts from The University of Utah. He is second of five sons born to celestial procreators in rural Utah. His memoir NOTHING IS PRIVATE is about gay Mormon drug addicts—all of whom were him. Some lucky publisher will make it available for purchase at airports, probably. His work is graphittied on pearly gates, flashing neon on toilet stalls. He lives with his widowed mother on purpose. Together, they devour cakes, watch Gilmore Girls, and he details his sex life to make her blush.

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco (Fiction - 2018)

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco has published in AGNI, Joyland, Post Road, The North American Review and numerous anthologies. In 2013, he was selected as a NYC Emerging Writer Fellow from The Center for Fiction. Ricco received his MFA from Bennington College and has taught at Columbia University, Boston College, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He works at the Chadwick School in Los Angeles and serves as a board member for Kundiman, a literary nonprofit dedicated to writers and readers of Asian American literature. Ricco’s short story collection, The Foley Artist, is forthcoming from Gaudy Boy in 2019.

Roger Q. Mason (Playwriting - 2018)

Roger Q. Mason’s plays give voice to the silenced through the ritual of performance. His works have played at New Group, McCarter Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, Son of Semele Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and the Kraine Theatre. His play The White Dress was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His piece Hard Palate was a New York Theatre Innovator Award nominee. Mason was a finalist for the Piven Center Lab and Activate: Midwest New Play Festival, semi-finalist for the inaugural Shonda Rhimes Emerging Playwright Award and Theatre Masters, and winner of a Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Producer’s Award. Mason holds an MFA in Writing from Northwestern University, MA in English from Middlebury College, and BA in English and Theatre from Princeton University. He is currently a writer in residency at Skylight Theatre’s PlayLab.

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.

Nita Tyndall (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Nita Tyndall is a tiny Southern queer with a deep love of sweet tea and very strong opinions about the best kind of barbecue (hint: it’s vinegar-based.) She is a 2017 #PitchWars mentor. In addition to being a YA writer, she is a moderator for The Gay YA. You can find her on tumblr at nitatyndall where she writes about YA and queer things, or on Twitter at @NitaTyndall. She lives in North Carolina.

Omotara James (Poetry - 2017)

Omotara James is a British-born American poet and essayist. The daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants, she is an MFA candidate at NYU. She is the Third Place Winner of the 2017 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, the recipient of Slice Literary’s 2016 Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets, as well as the Nancy P. Schnader Academy of American Poets Award. Her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine, The Recluse, Cosmonauts Avenue, Luna Luna Magazine and elsewhere. She has received scholarships from Cave Canem and the Home School.

Phillip Howze (Playwriting - 2017)

Phillip Howze (PLAYWRITING) is a playwright whose work has been developed or produced at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, BRIC Arts-Media, Bushwick Starr, Clubbed Thumb, Cutting Ball Theater, Theater Masters, PRELUDE Festival 2015, San Francisco Playhouse, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Sundance Institute, and Yale Cabaret. A graduate of Yale School of Drama, he is the 2015-16 Artist Fellow at Lincoln Center Education, and a member of the 2016 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. He is currently a Resident Writer at Lincoln Center Theater, and was previously a visiting lecturer in playwriting at Wesleyan University. Prior to attending graduate school he worked in advocacy at the Open Society Foundations.

Quentin Greif (Fiction - 2017)

Quentin Greif is a writer, teacher, and bookseller from San Antonio, Texas. He is working on a novel which focuses on queer communities in central Texas. Currently he studies writing with Catapult Literature in New York City, teaches high-school English, and is a bookseller at Little City Books in Hoboken, New Jersey.

R. Eric Thomas (Playwriting - 2017)

R. Eric Thomas is an award-winning playwright and humorist. His most recent play, Time Is On Our Side, was the recipient of two Barrymore Awards including Best New Play and was named a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. His work has been produced or developed by Simpatico Theatre, PlayPenn, Azuka Theatre, and City Theatre Miami. He has twice been a finalist for the City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting. Eric is the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. He writes a daily humor column for Elle.com in which he “reads” the news. In addition to Elle.com and ELLE magazine, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, W Magazine, Man Repeller, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and more.

Rachel Brownson (Poetry - 2017)

Rachel Brownson writes and works as a children’s hospital chaplain in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems and essays have been published in Nimrod, Four Way Review, The Collagist, The Volta, The Toast, and The Christian Century. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College.

Rajat Singh (Nonfiction - 2017)

Rajat Singh lives, works, and writes in New York. He holds an MA in anthropology and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. His personal essays appear on Catapult and in Papercuts, as well as in two South Asian-American anthologies—Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Writings on Family, and the inaugural issue of Kajal. He has published essays and reviews in The Gay & Lesbian Review, on LSE Review of Books, Literary Hub, Lambda Literary, Kajal Mag, and CFDA.

Ricky Tucker (Nonfiction - 2017)

Ricky Tucker is a North Carolina native, storyteller, essayist, and art critic. His work explores the imprint of art on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He is the former editor of 12th Street journal and has contributed to Big Red and Shiny, The Paris Review Daily, The Tenth Magazine, and Lambda Literary, and has performed for reading series including The Moth Story Slam, Sister Spit, Born: Free, and Spark London, among others. He received his BA from The New School as a Riggio: Writing and Democracy scholar, and a Writer/Teacher MA at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Romana Soutus (Playwriting - 2017)

Romana Soutus is an Ukrainian/Argentinian actress, playwright, and producer based in New York City. They graduated in May 2014 cum laude from Fordham University’s prestigious Theatre Program with a focus on Performance. For the last five years, Romana has performed and produced at the experimental theatre institution La MaMa in New York City. Romana’s plays include Hyena, which they performed at La MaMa, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival and the United Solo festival, and Martyrs, set to premiere in La MaMa’s Spring 2018 season.

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, Mic.com, 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.

Pam Watts (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Pam is an editor in San Francisco for No Starch Press where she hopes to help incite children towards acts of math/science-related mayhem. She was a 2015 fellow, and she is thrilled to be returning! When she is not wrangling hacker chapters, she writes graphic novels, YA, memoir, and the occasional blog post. She holds her MFA in Writing for children & young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in mostly Philosophy from St. John’s College, and a BA in Physics from Wellesley College. Her writing has appeared in Odyssey Magazine and Teaching Tolerance. And her first book (Ocean Ecosystems) came out last fall.

Paul J.S. Oliveria (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Paul J.S. Oliveria has been working in the field of information security for over ten years as a writer, marketer, and public speaker. He tells stories about computer malware, cybercrime, and new technologies by collaborating with cybersecurity researchers and experts. When not developing awareness campaigns on internet safety or uncovering a cybercriminal modus operandi, he binge-watches TV shows, writes reviews in a startup Filipino movie blog he co-founded, and writes snippets of stories that may or may not be based on his life. He lives in the Philippines, and is in constant search for the best pizza, burger, and chocolate.

Peyton Thomas (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Peyton Thomas is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s political science and sexual diversity studies program. They are a recipient of the Norma Epstein Foundation Award in Creative Writing, and their proposal on Weezer’s Pinkerton was recently shortlisted for publication in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series. They are presently writing their first novel, and they aspire to give young queer and trans readers the happy endings they deserve.

Portia Elan (Poetry - 2016)

Portia Elan lives and writes in the East Bay, where she shares a house with one indifferent cat and one whip-smart puppy. She teaches 9th grade English and History in Oakland. Her chapbooks, “To Yield Like Water & Nothing Else,” “Ghazals for the Body,” and “Everything Here is Noise & I” (co-written with Jenny Boychuk) all circle around the intersection between the mystic and the body.

Robert O’Hara (Playwriting - 2016)

Robert O’Hara has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, 2 OBIEs and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the World Premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy as well as his own plays, the Lambda Literary Award winning Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. This year his new plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue, has their world premieres at Woolly Mammoth Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, respectively. He is currently the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theater.

Robert Smith (Fiction - 2016)

Robert Smith has most recently been published in Neutrons Protons, Bird’s Thumb Journal, JONATHAN, Wilde Stories 2014: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction, and Barney Rosset’s Evergreen Review. He was a regular contributor to SPANK Art Mag, and has been featured in several NY based queer journals, including: Ganymede, and Mary Literary, as well as a forthcoming story in the next issue of Spunk.

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.

Pam Watts (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Watts decided to leave behind more than a decade of teaching last Spring to write. So now she splits her time freelancing for educational publishers and slinging cheese & charcuterie around at a small cut-to-order cheese shop in Santa Fe, NM. In her free time she writes graphic novels, teen fantasy, memoir, and the occasional blog post about childhood adversity or the art of open, honest discussion. She holds her MFA in Writing for children & young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in old, dead white guys from St. John’s College, and a BA in Physics from Wellesley.

Paul Tran (Poetry - 2015)

Paul Tran is a Vietnamese American historian and poet living in Brooklyn, NY. He won “Best Poet” and “Pushing the Art Forward” at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, as well as awards and fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices. His poems appears in CURA: A Literary Magazine for Art & Activism, Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color, and RHINO, which selected him for the 2015 Editor’s Prize. He currently works at New York University and coaches the Barnard/Columbia University slam team. Visit him at @speakdeadly.

Rahul Kanakia (Fiction - 2015)

Rahul Kanakia’s first book, a contemporary young adult novel called Enter Title Here, is coming out from Disney-Hyperion in August ’16. Additionally, his stories have appeared or are forthcoming Clarkesworld, The Indiana Review, Apex, and Nature. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford, and he used to work in the field of international development. Originally from Washington, D.C., Rahul now lives in Berkeley. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rahkan

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: www.pistilandstamenflowers.com. 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.

Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn (Fiction - 2014)

Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn is a Jamaican-born writer who received her BS in Nutrition from Cornell University, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. But after years of working in public health, she decided to take the advice of an English professor who once said she ought to take her writing more seriously. She went back to school and received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her writing has earned her fellowships from Kimbilio, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers. Her work has been awarded Honorable Mention from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and has appeared in Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony.com, and the Feminist Wire. She currently teaches writing at the College of Staten Island and Manhattan College and lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York.

Noah Stetzer (Poetry - 2014)

Noah Stetzer, born & raised in Pittsburgh PA, worked as a bookseller for twenty years and is an alumnus of the Young Writers Workshop at the University of Virginia. Noah is a 2014 degree candidate at The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and currently lives with his partner in the Washington DC area.

Parrish Turner (Nonfiction - 2014)

Parrish Turner is an aspiring essayist and playwright who hails from Georgia. He is pursuing a degree in Writing and Linguistics from Georgia Southern University. When he is not otherwise occupied in the full time job that is being queer, he spends his time camped out in the theater or watching way too many Netflix documentaries about the end of the world. Parrish has participated in the New Horizons Playwright Festival, Georgia Southern’s Ten Minute Play Festival, and, with his fellow playwrights, been honored with the Metro Atlanta Theater award for his work on the musical By Wheel and By Wing. Currently, he is working on a theater adaptation of Frankenstein and a collection of essays. Exploring ideas of family, gender, belief, experience, bodies, identity, and the crucial importance of the oxford comma, Parrish is always up for a late night discussion over tea.

PJ Carlisle (Fiction - 2014)

PJ Carlisle is a queer-masculine-trans-butch Boy (at-heart) who writes mostly prose. He/she: 1.) just packed up a truck and an Alien Green Kia Soul with novels, theory, poetry, and other crucial stuff and drove through wavering heat and rain bursts from Salt Lake City, UT to The U. of Dayton, OH . . . then unpacked and hopped a plane to the L.A. Lambda Workshops; b.) will soon become the next Herbert W. Martin Post-Doc Fellow of Diversity and Creative Writing at the above mentioned U. of Dayton; 3.) has a newly-minted Ph.D. (from the U. of Utah) and professorial dreams.; d.) won the Turow-Kinder Award at the U. of Pitt and the AWP Journals Project Award in Fiction; 5.) just finished a novel that plays with the conventions of postmodernism and pop culture . . . about a humble bunch of trans and butch boys; f.) craves LGBTQ support, can’t do it without You.

Randall Kenan (Nonfiction - 2014)

Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of non-fiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Regina Jamison (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Regina Jamison is a writer, educator, mother, and dreamer who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her poetry has appeared in Promethean eZine and Off the Rocks: An Anthology of GLBT Writing Vols. 14 & 15. Her erotic short stories have appeared in Girls Who Bite: Vampire Lesbian Anthology and Purple Panties: Anthology of Black Lesbian Erotica. She is infatuated with southern settings, dialects, and characters. She is currently working on a YA novel set in. Louisiana.

Ricardo Hernandez (Poetry - 2014)

Ricardo Hernandez is an aspiring poet. A recent CUNY Baruch graduate with a BA in English Literature, he looks forward to having some time to read and write poetry, and hopes to attend graduate school in the near future. He lives in Queens, NY with his parents, his sisters, and two larger-than-life Chihuahuas.

Roberto F. Santiago (Poetry - 2014)

Roberto F. Santiago is a poet, translator, and lead singer in a solo act who produces his own music, and dances rips into his pants. Roberto received an MFA from Rutgers University, BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is the recipient of the 2011 Alfred C. Carey Prize for Poetry. His poetry has been published in such anthologies/journals as Assaracus – Sibling Rivalry (2014), CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art & Action(2014), Hypothetical: A Review of Everything Imaginable(2014), and The Waiting Room Reader: Stories to Keep you Company – CavanKerry (2013). His first full-length collection of poems, Angel Park, will be released April 2015 by Lethe Press.

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.

Phill Branch (Nonfiction - 2013)

Phill Branch is a graduate of the American Film Institute (MFA, Screenwriting) and most recently served as an Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at his undergraduate alma mater Hampton University. Phill’s creative nonfiction work inspired his live, personal essay showcase dear diary…tales of love, life, pain & stupidity. The showcase ran for two years in L.A. and featured the work of a diverse group of writers and performers. In 2012, Phill’s essay “Chicago,” was published in the anthology For Colored Boys who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out and Coming Home. In recent years he has received fellowships from National Association of Television Program Executives and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications In addition, he created and serves as a writer/producer on the award-winning web series The PuNanny Diaries.

Rebecca Chekouras (Fiction - 2013)

Rebecca Chekouras I am a freelance writer living in Oakland; specifically the Port of Oakland. My backyard is the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Rail Road and behind that vast snarl of tracks are the berths and cranes in whose rough lap I tenderly sit. My stories and essays have been published in Curve Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Narrative Magazine, and the online zine Pure Slush. I have stories in anthologies published by Pure Slush Books and the University of Wisconsin, my alma mater. I have completed a first draft of two novels.

Rebecca Leach (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Rebecca Leach is an information designer and copyeditor from Austin, Texas. By day, she turns charts and data into visually compelling presentations, and by night, she hunts down the grammatical errors and typos that often lurk in manuscripts. In 2011, she received her master’s in writing from the New School University in New York City. She writes whenever she can—in the morning when she wakes up, in the car on the way to work, during lunch, and between turns at flying trapeze classes. Currently, she’s working on three speculative YA novels, which are in varying stages of completion.

Rose Yndigoyen (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Rose Yndigoyen is a freelance writer and archivist from New York City. Her short fiction will be featured in the upcoming Southern Gothic anthology from New Lit Salon Press. She has been a non-fiction contributor to the websites AfterEllen and Biographile and covers queer and feminist issues in pop culture on her blog, Queer for Theory. Rose is also co-host of the podcast Pretty Little Recaps. Basically, Rose cannot stop with the words. She is currently at work on her first YA novel, a queer, girly love story. Rose lives with her wife in northern Manhattan. They are proud foster parents.

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.

Nikkya Martin (Nonfiction - 2012)

Nikkya Martin is a mom, a wife, and a writer currently working on creating and publishing her first work, a memoir. Her memoir chronicles her life from birth to her journey through parenting with her wife, Dinushka. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut and is passionate about making a difference in the world not only through her writing but also in her professional life. She is a graduate from Bard College with a BA in Humanities, and she also has a Masters in Counseling from Mercy College. Nikkya and her family recently moved to Connecticut from New York. When not writing, Nikkya can be found perusing Connecticut real estate, reading, and deepening her spirituality through yoga and church. Her motto in life is: the mind is a fragile organ, we must water it with positive thoughts, happiness, and nurturing people.

Nina Packebush (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Nina Packebush is a kick-ass queer, unschooling, grown-up-teen-mama, granny, writer, zinester, activist, artist, wanna-be-urban-farmer and often survives on little sleep and lots of coffee. She has been published in a variety of alternative press magazines, websites and anthologies. Nina has been publishing zines for almost ten years now, including; The Edgy-catin’ Mama, The True Adventures of the Feminist Snails (a comic zine) and The Granny Chronicles. She is currently working on a graphic novel for young adults.

Rachel Pepper (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Rachel Pepper is the author of several nonfiction books including the recently released anthology, Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children (Cleis, 2012). She is the long standing book editor of Curve magazine and an award winning, widely published journalist. Having recently gone back to school to get her Master’s degree in counseling, Rachel is also an MFT Intern practicing in the Bay Area, specializing in the mental health needs of the transgender, LGB, and transitional age youth communities. Rachel is currently working on her first young adult novel.

Robert Andrew Perez (Poetry - 2012)

Robert Andrew Perez lives in Berkeley, California with two biologists in a regrettably, but predictably, platonic arrangement. Unlike most poets, he is, quite literally, rolling in the dough, working for a deep dish pizza company based in Oakland. In true post-recession fashion, he holds various other odd jobs: teaching ESL, mobile DJing for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and working for the English departments of UC Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College (where he earned his BA and MFA, respectively) in a variety of academic capacities ranging from undergraduate paper scrubber to lecturer. He is also the blog manager for the Underpass Reading Series and—for the sake of alliterative music we’ll call—the “director of design” for speCt!, a chapbook project. His recent work can be found in publications such as The Cortland Review, Writing Without Walls, and The Offending Adam. He apologizes for his aggressively professional bio photo.

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.)

Ona Marae (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Ona Marae is a 46-year-old Denver transplant from rural Kansas, a Queer Femme with a disability. When not writing or reading voraciously, she is also a disability rights and LGBTQ rights activist. She has published short stories and poetry, but recently was pleasantly surprised to break into non-fiction with essays in two college textbooks. She is a full time writer and a practicing licensed minister in a progressive mainstream Christian denomination.

Robin Talley (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Robin Talley is a young adult novelist who dreams of being the queer J.K. Rowling, the female John Green, or the slightly cheerier Suzanne Collins, though she’s not picky and would be willing to settle for the combined sales totals of all three. When she’s not writing, Robin spends her days planning online communications strategy for progressive nonprofit organizations. Robin is represented by Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She lives in Washington, D.C.


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