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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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noam keim (Nonfiction - 2022)

noam keim (they/them – @thelandisholy) is a trans Jewish Arab medicine maker and transformative justice practitioner, who spends their days building webs of liberation with individuals impacted by the legal system.

noam self-publishes a zine called the Land is Holy in which they weave the threads of
colonialism, longing, reverence to the natural world, trauma healing and what it means to live through climate collapse. They currently live on Lenape land currently known as Philadelphia and you can usually find them walking around the city, in the woods or in their backyard, watching the bees, moss and birds, and listening to trap and bachata.

Nora Hikari (Poetry - 2022)

Nora Hikari (she/her) is an Japanese- and Chinese-American transgender poet based in Philadelphia. Her work has been selected for publication by Ploughshares, Foglifter, Palette Poetry, The Journal, Washington Square Review, and others. She is the author of two chapbooks: DEAD NAMES and GIRL 2.0, and was a runner-up for the Benjamin Saltman award. Her work seeks to investigate the internal cosmologies of religious trauma, transgender exegesis, and hypermediated cyberlife. When happiest, she can be found at the aquarium with the sharks. She is currently working on two chapbooks and a debut full-length collection. Her website is

Patricia Martin (Fiction - 2022)

Patricia Martin (she/they) is a NJ-born, LA-based writer and founder of the blog The Glam Femme. Patricia writes QTPOC-focused contemporary fiction that subverts societal norms and thoughtfully promotes diverse experiences and authentic voices. Her short stories are published in Midnight & Indigo and MMURE. They’re a freelance contributor for several publications and a 2020 AWP Writer to Writer and 2022 The Word Editor-Writer mentee. Patricia’s manuscript incorporates themes of love, found family, and identity. An editor and attorney by trade, Patricia also considers herself an advocate for those discovering their creative voices as she has done. Twitter @Patriciamwrites, IG @patriciamartinwrites

Peggy Kyoungwon Lee (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Peggy Kyoungwon Lee is a queer Korean American writer and professor based in DC. Her novel-in-progress is inspired by anticolonial Korean anarchist resistance. Creative non-fiction is a significant practice for her fiction writing and cultural criticism. She was a part of the inaugural cohorts for creative non-fiction at Kundiman and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop Open City Fellowship. She has been invited to read her creative work at community spaces like Bluestockings or the first Asian American Literature Festival hosted by the Smithsonian and Library of Congress. When not writing or teaching, she is pursuing Piscean pleasures on a daily, from bringing a ranch sauce fountain to karaoke to thrifting vintage Korean silk pieces. Learn more at

Poonam Dhir (Playwriting - 2022)

Poonam Dhir (they/she) is a queer playwright, poet, Punjabi descendent, and settler currently based in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal on the traditional, unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people. Their work explores identity, trauma, memory and the relationship between belief and belonging. They contemplate themes of migration, displacement and loss. Poonam was a finalist for the 2021 PEN Canada New Voices Award in poetry. They are the recipient of the 2022 Concordia Award in Poetry, 2021 Award in Drama and finalist for the 2022 Award in Fiction. They are a 2022-23 Artist-in-Residence at Infinithéâtre. You can read her latest pieces in Vallum, Contemporary Verse 2 and PRISM International. Find them on twitter @pnmdhir

Quinn Diacon-Furtado (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Quinn Diacon-Furtado writes about gender, magic, and ancestral healing across multiple genres. After years of teaching middle school and high school, they particularly love writing for young readers. Their fiction has been recognized by Voyage Magazine’s First Chapter Contest, the Francelia Butler Conference, and the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature.
Quinn is also the creator of the newsletter/podcast The Slow Read, a series about their personal experience with reading (dis)ability.
They hold an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. They live with their partner on Mohican lands. You can find them at OR @ya_quinn_ya on IG & Twitter.

Rafi Kleiman (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Rafi Kleiman is a queer, Jewish, nonbinary author of speculative sci-fi and fantasy. They know firsthand the value of being able to see yourself reflected in the media you consume, and believe it’s vitally important that people of all types, especially those who have been historically underserved, are thoughtful represented in fiction. They love modern fantasy, bad puns, mythical creatures of all kinds, and live punk shows. They believe thoroughly in the power of hope, community, and friendship, but also believe that necromancy is pretty cool and maybe not that big of a deal. They are occasionally on twitter at @mothmanlives.

Sachiko Ragosta (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Sachiko Ragosta (they/them) is a Bay Area-based speculative fiction writer, sexual and reproductive health researcher, and sex educator. As a mixed nonbinary nisei, they like to write about light, feathery things such as the limits of the self and the body, mothers, and failed technological solutions for loneliness. Their work is in Ms. and forthcoming in It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror (Feminist Press, October 2022) and the Intergalactic Gaysians anthology (2022). They are an alum of the Tin House Summer Workshop and a first reader for khōréō magazine. Check out their multimedia online chapbook and say “greetings” at or @v3rsachiko.

Sam Heyman (Playwriting - 2022)

Sam Heyman (he/they) is a gay, nonbinary playwright and fiction writer based in Nashville, TN. His prose has been published in Hashtag Queer, Ordinary Space and Typehouse, and his plays have been produced at the university and community theatre level. Sam is passionate about capturing unique queer perspectives in his work, and always strives to tell the stories that aren’t being told–and to challenge the ones that are. Sam is currently developing a musical for the stage and making revisions to a prospective debut novel. In his spare time, Sam enjoys playing Magic The Gathering with friends and consuming queer love stories in whatever form he can find. You can find him on Twitter @sheymanCYCO and on IG @heysamhey4292.

Sean Dowie (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Sean Dowie is an Assistant Editor at Augur Magazine where he finds many creative, hidden spec fic gems in the slush pile. He also reviews books, movies, and TV at Nerds of a Feather and FIYAH Literary Magazine. Recently, his has been published at Carousel Magazine. He loves writing in pretty much every genre but weird fiction is where he gravitates toward the most. Sean is biracial (Black/white), gay, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Find him on Twitter @DowieSean

Seoung Kim (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Seoung Kim (he/they) is a librarian and writer. They have published short stories with If There’s Anyone Left and Strange Horizons. He has a story forthcoming with Cast of Wonders.
Their favorite genre to work in is historical fantasy, but they’ll never say no to a good romance.
He resides gratefully on the homeland of the people of the Council of Three Fires. In his spare time, he enjoys Kate Bush, hiking in the woods, and his cats Jolene and Spaghetti. He can be found at and @chimneyfalls on Twitter.

Shannon Kelley (Screenwriting - 2022)

Shannon Kelley is a screenwriter who writes comedies about unrequited love, failed idealism, and the lure of nostalgia. Specifically, many of her stories focus on honestly depicting gay people in the American South (although she doesn’t shy away from banjos either).

Shannon recently received her MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University. While there, her script “Unitarians” won Faculty Honors and she received the Alex Sichel Fellowship. In her spare time, Shannon organizes with the New York City Dyke March, which brings dykes from all over the world together each year to celebrate.

Born in Atlanta, GA, she currently lives in Brooklyn. She is tentatively on twitter @shangoskel.

Shannon TL Kearns (Screenwriting - 2022)

@shannontlkearns (on both insta and twitter)

A former fundamentalist who became the first openly transgender man ordained to the Old Catholic priesthood, Shannon TL Kearns believes in the transformative power of story. As an ordained priest, a playwright, a theologian, and a writer all of his work revolves around making meaning through story. He is the co-founder of, and will soon publish with Eerdmaan’s books.

Shannon is a recipient of the Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowship in 20/21 and he was a Lambda Literary Fellow for 2019 and a Finnovation Fellow for 2019/2020. He is a sought after speaker on transgender issues and religion as well as a skilled facilitator of a variety of workshops.

Sharon De La Cruz (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Sharon De La Cruz is a storyteller, educator, and activist from NYC. Her research and practice are rooted at the intersection of STEM pedagogy, art, and social justice. Thanks to comic storytelling, she landed in the Tin House Summer Workshop and created her first graphic novel memoir, “I’m a Wild Seed” (Street Noise, April 2021). Kirkus Reviews called the work a “potent graphic memoir about the forming of one woman’s queer identity… [that] effectively portrays both the fears and joys of discovering one’s marginalized identity” and Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “the wit and exuberance found here marks her as a worthy new artist [in her] limber, playful debut collection.” De La Cruz received her master’s from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, Processing Foundation Fellowship, a TED Residency, and is a 2021-22 Red Burns Teaching Fellow at ITP-NYU.

sheena d. (Nonfiction - 2022)

sheena d. (@bookofsheena) is an essayist, storyteller, and humorist based in NYC. sheena is a first-year provost diversity fellow and doctoral student at Columbia School of Journalism, studying the intersections of comedy, race, and social movements. A lover and by-product of Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and White Castle, she is at work on an essay collection about what growing up in a fast food test market and later bouncing between four continents, nine countries, and six U.S. states has taught her about belonging, otherness, and home. Find sheena’s work on or in Split Lip Magazine, Taco Bell Quarterly, Autostraddle, The Seventh Wave, and elsewhere.

Shelby Pinkham (Poetry - 2022)

Shelby Pinkham (she/they) is a Chicanx, queer, bipolar poet from the Central Valley. Their work hopes to dismantle archives that honor institutions, systems, and policies before people; a visual poetix comprised of collage, paint, and text. Their writing has appeared in Pank, Honey Literary, Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, and elsewhere. They were a runner-up in Poetry Online’s 2021 Launch Prize and placed second in the 2019 Betty Creative Writing Awards. They earned an MA from Cal State Bakersfield and an MFA from Fresno State. They work as an editor for the Kern County literary journal Rabid Oak and as an educator at Clovis Community College. You can find them on Instagram (@pinkhamshelby).

Si Yon Kim (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Si Yon Kim is a Korean writer who grew up in Ilsan and Seoul. She is an MFA candidate in fiction at Syracuse University and has been a finalist for multiple Speculative Literature Foundation grants. Her translations of Korean poems can be found in chogwa zine. The noona of two doggos, Ddalgi and Ankko, Si Yon is working on two speculative novels and tweets @seeyawning.

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

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.

Rukmini Girish (Playwriting - 2021)

Rukmini Girish grew up in Chennai, India, and lives in Chicago, Illinois. After studying sociology and creative writing (Augustana College, Columbia College Chicago), while working on as much theatre as she could, she still hasn’t shaken a fascination with how we perform our various identities. She’s published nonfiction in Essay Daily and Litro Magazine, and performed solo work at the Chicago Theatre Marathon. Her solo piece ABCD was developed through Piven Theatre’s Lab Series. Find her sitting by the lake after a long bike ride on a perfect summer’s day. @rukmini_girish

Saeed Jones (Nonfiction - 2021)

Saeed Jones is the author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, the 2020 Stonewall Book Award/Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award, a 2020 Publishing Triangle Award, and a 2020 Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The poetry collection was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his dog Caesar.

Samuel Ace (Poetry - 2021)

Samuel Ace is a trans and genderqueer poet and sound artist. He’s the author of several books, including Our Weather O­ur Sea (Black Radish Books, 2019) and Meet Me There: Normal Sex & Home in three days. Don’t wash. (Belladonna* Germinal Texts, 2019). A Lambda Literary Award finalist, he’s the recipient of the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund Award in Poetry and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award. His work has been widely anthologized and appears in Poetry, Aufgabe, Fence, and many other publications. He teaches poetry and creative writing at Mount Holyoke College.

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.

Sabrina Sarro (Nonfiction - 2019)

Sabrina Sarro Quick-witted and emotionally investigative, Sabrina can often be found rocking their poly-chromatic flower clogs and utilizing their sharp teeth. They are a fierce person of color who brings an unmatched sense of charisma and curiosity to all situations. They currently live in NYC and work as a program coordinator and psychotherapist. They have been a participant of the Santa Barbara’s Writers’ Conference, the Yale Writer’s Conference, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. They have received scholarships/fellowships from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference.

Scott Broker (Fiction - 2019)

Scott Broker is a queer writer currently based in Columbus, Ohio. His work has been a finalist for the Iowa Review Fiction Prize, an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s “Fiction Open” Contest, and a nominee for two Pushcart Prizes. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Catapult, Hobart, Passages North, The Rumpus, and DIAGRAM, among others. Currently, he is an MFA candidate in fiction at Ohio State University.

Shannon TL Kearns (Playwriting - 2019)

Shannon TL Kearns is a transgender man who’s playwriting is obsessed with big questions told through small stories. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Uprising Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. He was awarded a spot in the HBMG Foundations’ Winter Playwright Retreat in 2018 and 2019. He was a finalist for the Equity Library Theatre of Chicago’s Reading Series, the 2019 TransLab, and the American Stages 2019 New Play Festival. Shannon’s plays include Line of Sight, Twisted Deaths, The Resistance of My Skin, and Who Has Eyes To See.

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.

Ry Szelong (Playwriting - 2018)

Ry Szelong is a playwright/performer/director+ originally from the Bay Area, CA. He’s a 2018 Fellow with University Settlement’s Performance Project and a SPACE @ Ryder Farm Greenhouse Residency Finalist. His own work has been presented at Nuyoricans Poets Cafe, INTAR’s Steep Salons, Triskelion Arts, Ars Nova ANT Fest, Dixon Place HOT Festival, and on Governor’s Island as a 2017 Public Works Department Resident Artist. BFA from NYU Tisch: Playwrights Horizons Theater School where he is an alumni TA and mentor. Artistic Associate of The Parsnip Ship, which turns plays into live podcast recordings.

Ryka Aoki (Poetry - 2018)

Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song) and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. Ryka was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” She worked with the American Association of Hiroshima Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions were adopted as the organization’s official “songs of peace.”

Ryka is a two-time Lambda Award finalist, winner of the Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest and the Corson-Bishop Poetry Prize. She has MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University, and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. Ryka is also a former national judo champion, and the founder of the International Transgender Martial Arts Alliance. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Sacha Mankins (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Sacha Mankins is a part-time writer, part-time librarian, and part-time stepparent to a small herd of small goats. As Sacha Lamb, he writes magical, queer Jewish fiction. Sacha’s publishing debut was Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live (Book Smugglers, 2017). Sacha is currently pursuing master’s degrees in History and Library Sciences from Simmons College in Boston while continuing to write fiction and occasionally contributing to the Jewish Book Council’s Prosen People blog. Sacha can be found online @mosslamb on Twitter.

Sanchari Sur (Fiction - 2018)

Sanchari Sur is a feminist/anti-racist/sex-positive/genderqueer Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. Her work can be found in The Feminist Wire, Matrix, Toronto Lit Up’s The Unpublished City (BookThug, 2017), Arc Poetry Magazine, Humber Literary Review, Prism International, and elsewhere. She is a PhD candidate in English at Wilfrid Laurier University, the curator/host/co-founder of Balderdash Reading Series.

Scott Hunter (Fiction - 2018)

Scott Hunter is the author of 5,000 post cards. His fiction was included in The Writers Studio at 30, released in May 2017, and is forthcoming in the Kyoto Journal. He is working on a collection of stories and a novel. He reads submissions for Epiphany Magazine and Cagibi Lit Online, and is active with Verbal Supply Company, a collective of writers and poets. A graduate of New York University, he studies and teaches at the Writers Studio in New York City.

Serkan Gorkemli (Fiction - 2018)

Serkan Gorkemli is originally from Turkey and has a Ph.D. in English from Purdue University. He is associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Stamford. His non-fiction writing about media and Turkish LGBTQ activism has appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Enculturation, Reflections, and Computers and Composition Online. Serkan is the author of Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey, winner of the 2015 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Book Award. He is working on a short-story collection that explores the themes of identity, masculinity, and sexuality in various contexts in Turkey.

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 in which he “reads” the news. In addition to 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.

s.a.b.u. (Playwriting - 2017)

s.a.b.u. is a genderqueer, mixed race, first generation American playwright, poet, actor, and performance artist. Themes explored have included sex, addiction, race, gender issues, sexual identity, feminism, reproductive rights, ageism, classism, and abuse. When not writing, s.a.b.u. enjoys provocative conversation with family, friends, and strangers. Several of their plays have recently been read and/or produced. They currently split their time between Los Angeles, Maui, and New York City. s.a.b.u. gets into things. (@igetintothings)

Santiago J. Sanchez (Fiction - 2017)

Santiago J. Sanchez is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He studied anthropology and creative writing at Yale University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mask Magazine, The Latent Image, Aint-Bad Magazine, and the Mint Museum.

Sarah M. Bess (Poetry - 2017)

Sarah M. Bess is a neuroqueer transsexual witch/poet grown in the ghostswamps of rural southeast Missouri. She was a 2016 Topside Press Trans Women Writers Workshop fellow. Her writing has appeared in Matrix, The Fem, and The Wanderer and is forthcoming in Resilience, an anthology from Wormbook 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.

Rosie Wilby (Nonfiction - 2016)

Rosie Wilby is a London-based comedian, writer and broadcaster who has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and performed at major festivals including Glastonbury. Her solo shows have included The Science Of Sex, which she performed at New York’s Fresh Fruit Festival in 2013. Her articles have been published by The Sunday Times, New Statesman, Time Out and more. She was shortlisted for the 2014 Mslexia memoir prize for her account of 1990s London life, How (not) to make it in Britpop. She presents an award-winning LGBT magazine on Resonance FM where her guests have included Armistead Maupin.

Sally J. Johnson (Poetry - 2016)

Sally J. Johnson received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she served as Managing Editor for the award-winning literary journal Ecotone. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in the Collagist, Bodega, the Pinch, the Manifest-Station, and elsewhere. Recently, she won the 2015 Poetry International Prize judged by Carol Frost, was a finalist for Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize in Nonfiction, and winner of Madison Review’s 2015 Phyllis Smart-Young Prize for Poetry. She works as a freelance publicist and part-time instructor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Find her on twitter: @sallyjayjohnson.

Sam Corfman (Poetry - 2016)

Sam Corfman is a poet who writes plays as well as an MFA candidate and writing instructor at the University of Pittsburgh. Poems (will) appear in Phantom, Prelude, H_NGM_N, 1913: a journal of forms, and Twelfth House, among others, and also in OmniVerse as a finalist for Omnidawn’s chapbook prize.

Sarah Fonseca (2016)

Writer-in-Residence Sarah Fonseca is a nonfictionist living in Brooklyn. Her work has been shared at the Queer Memoir Reading Series, SOLANUS, and in the digital pages of Autostraddle, Medium, and BuzzFeed. She is currently working on a collection of short essays on impostresses throughout history, both personally and culturally known. Fonseca regularly swaps her pen out for an olympic barbell. When she’s not writing for publication or tumblr, she competes in the USAPL.

Sarah Jiménez (2016)

Writer-in-Residence Sarah Jiménez is a fiction writer obsessed with the glory and growing pains of adolescence. The young adult trilogy she is currently working on centers around teen pregnancy, and three cousins’ mutual desire of leaving behind their small suburbia hometown. Sarah received her MFA in Fiction/Creative Writing from Mills College in 2015, and is thrilled to return to Lambda as a Writer in Residence.

Sarah Schulman (Nonfiction - 2016)

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter and AIDS historian. Her most recent books include the novel The Cosmopolitans and the forthcoming Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and The Duty of Repair. Her other nonfiction titles are Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years.

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

sam sax (Poetry - 2015)

sam sax is a 2015 NEA Fellow and a Poetry Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he’s the associate poetry editor at Bat City Review. He’s the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion + the author of the chapbooks, A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry, 2014) + sad boy / detective (Winner of the Black Lawrence’s 2014 Black River Chapbook Prize). His poem Kaddish won Red Hen Press + The Los Angeles Review’s 2014 Wild Light Poetry Contest and he has work forthcoming in Boston Review, Minnesota Review, Ninth Letter, Normal School, Rattle, Salt Hill + other journals.

Sara Brickman (Poetry - 2015)

Sara Brickman is a queer Jewess author, performer, and activist from Ann Arbor, MI. The 2014 Ken Warfel Fellow for Poetry in Community, Sara was named the winner of the Split This Rock Poetry Contest by Natalie Diaz. She is the recipient of a grant from 4Culture, and has attended Bread Loaf and the TILL Writers Convergence. An Artist Trust EDGE fellow, her work has been published or is forthcoming in Muzzle, Bestiary, Hoarse, The New, Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls, and more. A teacher with Writers in the Schools and the 2013 Rain City Women of the World Slam Champion, Sara has performed her work at venues across North America. In 2010 she founded a multimedia reading series in her living room called The Hootenanny, to showcase groundbreaking writers and performers. She lives and writes in Seattle, WA.

Sara David (Nonfiction - 2015)

Sara David received her degree in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Brown University, where she wrote a thesis about women of color feminist organizations and social media. Currently, she works in LGBT youth advocacy with the It Gets Better Project. You can find her writing in the Guardian, Autostraddle, Medium, and Thought Catalog.

Sara Ryan (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Sara Ryan is the author of the YA novels Empress of the World (Lambda Literary Award finalist, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Oregon Book Award winner, Booklist Top Ten Teen Romance) and The Rules for Hearts (Oregon Book Award winner, Junior Library Guild selection), and the graphic novel Bad Houses (TIME Magazine Top Ten Graphic Novels & Comics of 2013, USA Today Best of 2013 Comics & Graphic Novels). Her shorter comics include the Eisner Award finalist “Me and Edith Head.” She lives in Portland, Oregon with a cartoonist and a cat, and works as the Teen Services Specialist for Multnomah County Library.

Sarah C. Jiménez (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Sarah C. Jiménez is originally from Chula Vista, San Diego’s border-town to Tijuana, and has lived in San Francisco for the past twelve years. She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing/Fiction Prose at Mills College, and is currently finishing her manuscript – a young adult novel about Latinas in the ’burbs. Jiménez has facilitated several writers workshops with middle school students, and advocates for the educational development of Latino youth in her community. She lives with her partner of ten years (her biggest fan), and their two cats.

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,, 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.

Seth Fischer (Nonfiction - 2014)

Seth Fischer is a writer, teacher and editor who lives in L.A. His work on bisexuality has appeared in The Rumpus and Buzzfeed, and his Rumpus essay was selected for Best Sex Writing 2013 and as a notable in Best American Essays 2013. His essays and short stories have also appeared in Gertrude, Pank, Guernica, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. He teaches and tutors at Antioch University and Writing Workshops L.A., and he was a Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He’s currently working on a memoir called The Three Year Switch.

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.

Samuel R. Delany (Fiction - 2013)

Samuel Delany’s stories are available in Aye and Gomorrah and other stories and Atlantis: Three Tales. His novels include Nova, Dhalgren, Hogg,The Mad Man, the Stonewall Award-winning Dark Reflections, and-most recently-Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. His nonfiction collections includeSilent Interviews, Longer Views, Shorter Views, andTimes Square Red/Times Square Blue. His award-winning autobiography is The Motion of Light in Water. A judge for the 2010 National Book Awards, he was the subject of a 2007 documentary, The Polymath. He is the author of About Writing and his interview in the Paris Review‘s “Art of Fiction” series appeared in the spring 2012. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Temple University. [Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy]

Sarah Schulman (Nonfiction - 2013)

Sarah Schulman is the author of the novels: The Mere Future, The Child, Shimmer, Empathy, Rat Bohemia, People In Trouble, After Delores, Girls Visions and Everything, The Sophie Horowitz Story and the nonfiction books My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During The Reagan/Bush Years, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS and the Marketing of Gay America,Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, the plays: Carson McCullers, Manic Flight Reaction and the stage adaptation of IB Singer’s Enemies, a Love Story, and the films The Owls and Mommy is Coming. She is co-producer of UNITED IN ANGER: A History of ACT UP. Her awards include: Guggenheim (Playwrighting), Fulbright (Judaic Studies), 3 NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (Playwrighting and Fiction), 2 American Library Association Book Awards (Fiction and Nonfiction), the Kessler Prize for Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies. She is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University and the Bonham Center for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Sarah organized the first US tour of Queer Palestinian Leaders and the first US LGBT Delegation to Palestine. She is co-founder of the ACT UP Oral History Project and MIX: NY Queer Experimental Film and Video Festival, now in its 25th year.

Sathid Pankaew (Fiction - 2013)

Sathid Pankaew was raised in “Little Manila”, Daly City. He was accepted into 2013 Voices of Our Nation – Writers of Color Retreat. His SFF features strong underdogs in oppressive systems, creation mythology, nature’s ingenuity, non-human intelligent life, and amazing people living with disabilities. He views fiction as a medium for expelling, reformatting and transcending traumatic experience. He’s been a carpenter, phlebotomist, HIV test counselor, biological illustrator, and more “unsavory” forms of employment. He works as a barber, puppy counselor and fitness instructor. He hopes to attend “Chicken school for dog-trainers” and write a blockbuster starring Willow Smith and Quvenzhane Wallis when they’re grown.

Sean Patrick Mulroy (Poetry - 2013)

Born and raised in Southern Virginia, the house where Sean Patrick Mulroy grew up was built in 1801 and was commandeered by the union army during the civil war to serve as a makeshift hospital. As a boy, Sean loved to peel back the carpets to show where the blood from hasty surgeries on wounded soldiers had stained the wooden floorboards. Now he writes poems. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The Bakery, Assaracus, Rua de Baixo, Network Awesome, Moonshot, Side B, Union Station, Tandem, Frigg,Neon, Best Indie Literature of New England, Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, and Ganymede.

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.

Sailor Holladay (Nonfiction - 2012)

Sailor Holladay is a writer, artist, and teacher living in San Francisco while pursuing an MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction degree at Mills College in Oakland. Sailor’s writing and art have appeared in Gay Genius comics anthology, When Language Runs Dry #3, The Encyclopedia Project Vol. F-K, Chronotopia at the 2010 National Queer Arts Festival, Colony Collapse Disorder Radio,, Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing up Working Class, and elsewhere.

Sarah Fonseca (Nonfiction - 2012)

Sarah Fonseca is a blue collar essayist living in south Georgia. While Bible Belt politics are another story, she appreciates the strong women, cheap rent, and stray dogs that come with the territory. Her work has appeared in The Q Review, Off the Rocks 16, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and in the digital pages of Autostraddle. When not working on her memoir, Sarah serves as a Choice USA correspondent and a speechwriter for Marc Silver, a democratic candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives.

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.

Sara Kate Ellis (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Sara Kate Ellis lives in Tokyo where she is a master of seat nabbing during crowded commutes. Her short fiction has recently appeared in Allegory, Brain Harvest and Electric Spec, with stories forthcoming in The Red Penny Papers and the Rockets, Swords and Rainbows anthology.

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