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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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Subraj Singh (Speculative Fiction - 2023)

Subraj Singh (@subrajsingh1) is a fiction writer from Guyana. He is currently studying for his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland. His work is forthcoming in Columbia Journal and AGNI.

Taylor Alyson Lewis (Poetry - 2023)

Taylor Alyson Lewis (he/him) is a poet originally from Atlanta. He holds a B.A. in English from Spelman College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden. At Rutgers, he taught first-year composition and was a research assistant at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice. He has also been a visiting instructor in creative writing at Bryn Mawr College. He was the recipient of the 2020 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Queer Writer Fellowship in Prose and the 2017 Edith A. Hambie Poetry Prize. His work appears or is forthcoming in Nat. Brut, Poetry Online, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. His debut chapbook, Milk River, is forthcoming from KERNPUNKT Press in 2024. He now lives in Philadelphia.

Thalia Stafford (Young Adult Fiction - 2023)

Thalia’s passion for writing can be traced to the 1st grade where they wrote their first story about taking a rocket to the moon. Since then, they’ve written many allegorical tales about vulnerability and healing. (214)

Ugochukwu Damian Okpara (Poetry - 2023)

Ugochukwu Damian Okpara is the author of the poetry collection, In Gorgeous Display (Fordham Uni. Press, Sept 2023). His work appears in Poetry Magazine, Poetry Wales, The Republic, and elsewhere. (Twitter: ug_damian)

Vernon Jordan, III (Screenwriting - 2023)

Vernon Jordan, III is a Philly-born ‘n raised writer, filmmaker, poet, and teaching artist. He expands upon African American memories, dreams, hauntings, queer kinship, and intimate fluidity; his priority is the merging of the visual and the musical: a Visual Lyricist.

Twitter: @afrojediii

William Koné (Screenwriting - 2023)

William Koné is a Black gay writer and a Registered Psychotherapist based in Toronto, Ontario. He is drawn to character driven stories that draws upon themes related to race, gender, and sexuality to highlight its influence within platonic, romantic, familial, and sexual relationships.

IG: @william.kone

Willow Watson (Virtual Multi-Genre - 2023)

Willow (she/her, they/them) is a Black transfemme poet, narrativist, and creative hailing from the Black Midwest via unceded Mississiauga, Kaskakia, and Erie territory (Cleveland, OH). Find her on Twitter @willowsgr0ve.

Zack Lesmeister (Poetry - 2023)

Zack Lesmeister is a mixed queer Vietnamese American poet from St. Louis, Missouri. Their work is published in The Offing, The Margins, Nimrod, Rosebud, and elsewhere. You can follow them on @zacklesmeister

storäe michele (Playwriting - 2021)

storäe michele is a black queer, shape-shifting, non-binary femme, afro-futurist performer + storäe-teller. their creative practice builds a present + embodied archive of black femme futures + aliveness. their first film, [the listening heart], was officially selected for film festivals internationally + domestically. her upcoming piece, [claustrophobia], is supported by Columbia University’s Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics & Social Justice. storäe, a Pratt Institute alum (MPS, ‘08; MFA, ‘21), is heavily inspired by badass femmes of the funk era + can be spotted in big hair, leopard print + bright, kaleidoscopic, fuzzy garments. follow on IG: @storae.michele

Trevor Ketner (Poetry - 2021)

Trevor Ketner is the author of 2020 National Poetry Series winner [WHITE] (University of Georgia Press, 2021). They have been published in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Brooklyn Rail, West Branch, Pleiades, Diagram, Foglifter, and elsewhere. Their essays and reviews can be found in The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, and Lambda Literary. They have been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Lambda Literary, The Poetry Project, and Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota and live in Manhattan with their husband.

Trystan Reese (Nonfiction - 2021)

Trystan Reese is an established thought leader, educator, and speaker, focusing on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a professionally trained anti-racism facilitator and curriculum designer, studying under Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington at the Social Justice Training Institute. Trystan has also been organizing with the trans community for nearly two decades and has been on the frontlines of this generation’s biggest fights for LGBTQ justice. Trystan launched onto the global stage as “the pregnant man” in 2017 when his family’s unique journey gained international media attention. He was invited to give closing performances for The Moth Mainstage in Portland, Albuquerque, and Brooklyn

Stephen Patrick Bell (Fiction - 2022)

Stephen Patrick Bell (he/him) is a writer raised in New York by Jamaican immigrants, currently based in Chicago where he produced The Moth StorySLAM. His work revolves around themes of class, race, immigrant experience, sex and sexuality, loss, grief, otherness, and neurodiversity. Stephen lives in a classic six with his husband, where they collect art and operate a sex therapy practice. When not reading, writing, traveling, or cooking, he can be found eating his way through various cities. He is currently working on his first novel.
Twitter: @StephenOrBell Instagram: @StephenPatrick.Bell

Suzi F. Garcia (Poetry - 2022)

Suzi F. Garcia is the author of the chapbook, A Homegrown Fairytale (Bone Bouquet 2020). She is an Executive Editor at Noemi Press and, along with José Olivarez, is a Poetry Editor for Haymarket Books. Suzi served as Guest Editor for Poetry magazine for the December 2021, January 2022, and February 2022 issues. Suzi is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Macondista, and participated in the first ever Poetry Incubator at the Poetry Foundation. She has served as a CantoMundo Steering Committee member, CantoMundo regional director, and a board member for the Latinx Caucus. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming from POETRY Magazine, the Offing, Zoeglossia, Fence Magazine, and more. You can find her at or on Twitter at @SuziG.

Taeyin ChoGlueck (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

Taeyin ChoGlueck is a Korean writer born in Minneapolis and raised in S. Korea & the American Midwest. They co-founded InterAction Initiative and trained young BIPOC in identity, racial justice, & critical history for a decade. They hold an MFA in fiction from the Univ. of Notre Dame. Migdalia Cruz’s Irene Fornés Playwriting Workshop and the Yanyi’s One World Workshop shaped them. They’ve been a finalist for the Firsts! Kelsey Street Prize judged by Bhanu Kapil and the Kay Murphy Prize judged by Myung Mi Kim. Chicago Dramatists, Goodman Theatre, & Rec Room Arts have showcased their plays, with a production at ND Theatre Now. Their writing has appeared in The Margins, Entropy, etc. Recurrent themes include satire, diaspora, & queerness. It is quite possible that they are as angsty as their YA characters.

Tauheed Zaman (Nonfiction - 2022)

Tauheed Zaman (he/him) is a Bengali-American writer and physician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His non-medical writing has been featured in Salon, Foglifter Press, and at LitQuake 2021. When not writing, you can find him singing with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. IG: agentmowgli

Timothy David Rey (Playwriting - 2022)

Timothy David Rey (He/His) is a Chicago-based writer/ performer who works in, plays and monologues (both fictional and autobiographical). He teaches creative writing and performance throughout the city of Chicago and its suburbs.

He is a two-time 2021-2022, 2022-2023 ‘Survive and Thrive’ Changing Worlds/ Arts Work Grant Awardee for his ongoing work, The Monologue Play. His play, White House! was a finalist for the ETA Creative Arts Foundation, ‘New Play Initiative,’ 2019. He is the co-founder of the LBGT+ solo performance showcase, Solo Homo (2002-2011). A revival is pending! Timothy’s plays and performance pieces have been seen and heard at venues throughout Chicago as well as out of state and in Panama (translated into Spanish). Other plays include Gloria! The (Almost) Last Picture Show, and For Every Ring There Is a Season (A Telephone Play). Most recently his solo performances pieces can be found in I Can’t Breathe: A Poetic Anthology of Social Justice, (edited by Christopher Okemwa, Ph.D., 2021), and Obsidian: Literature and Arts of the African Diaspora: Issue: 48.2. Gender Queer/ Genre Queer Playground Special Issue. (Forthcoming in 2022).

TJ Hurt (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

TJ (they/he) is a Black agender writer who’s work centers narratives of race, queerness, mental health, and humor. They’re a believer in theater as activism, and worked as a playwright and teaching artist for local queer youth nonprofit, Dreams of Hope.
As a tween, TJ fell in love with the Young Adult genre and the way it offers a safe space for teens to look towards. Their writing is a unique blend of serious and comedic, seeking to represent common (yet rarely spoken of) struggles of youth in a way that humanizes instead of tokenizes.
TJ was also in their high school’s anime club which probably communicates more about them than anything else.
TJ can be found on Twitter @biheretic

Toby Tegrotenhuis (Poetry - 2022)

Toby Tegrotenhuis is a Filipino American lesbian/queer poet from Colorado. They graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado Denver with a BA in English. Toby’s poems appear in or are forthcoming from The Allegheny Review, Glass Mountain, Collision Literary Magazine, and more. Prior to Lambda, Toby was an associate editor for Copper Nickel and copy edited for CU Denver’s student-run paper The Sentry. Find him on Twitter (@tobionn), playing video games or D&D with friends, re-learning to roller skate, or driving somewhere in the mountains.

torrin greathouse (Poetry - 2022)

torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk & MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. Her work is published in POETRY, New England Review, Ploughshares, and The Kenyon Review. They have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Effing Foundation, Zoeglossia, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her debut collection Wound from the Mouth of a Wound (Milkweed Editions, 2020) was the winner of the Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Troy Rockett (Playwriting - 2022)

Troy Rockett (he/they) is an interdisciplinary artist and theatremaker based in Oakland, CA. Troy works across the mediums of poetry, performance and digital media. He has a Master’s in English Literature and Creative Writing, and is a VONA Voices Fellow, an Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund recipient, and a 2021 Titan Award winner with Theatre Bay Area.

He is interested in intersectional art and new contemporary works. Troy received training as an arts professional through NYU Tisch School of Art, Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP), 3Girls Theatre Company, and The Center for Cultural Power. These cultural spaces and institutions provided extensive training in storytelling, practice, and production, and has helped shape his artistic vision.

Previous acting roles include TV series Dyke Central, lead roles in plays: WAAFRIKA 123, The Gay Divorce Play, and Displaced, and supporting roles in: Leaving the Blues, and PrEP Play, Or Blue Parachute; as well as a number of appearances in independent short films. For bookings or to follow his work visit, @Troy.Rockett

Vallerie Matos (Screenwriting - 2022)

Vallerie Matos is a writer from Washington Heights, New York. She is an English PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center with research interests in Sound Studies, Digital Humanities, and Afro-Latinx literature. She is also a Teaching Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Queens & Baruch College. Vallerie holds an MA in literature from Hunter College and a BS from New York University. Prior to CUNY, Vallerie was a Program Director for an arts and social justice youth development program for 5 years.

Vicki Johnson (Young Adult Fiction - 2022)

VICKI JOHNSON (she/her) is a former band nerd, White House staffer, and nonprofit director. Her 2023 debut picture book is MOLLY’S TUXEDO, illus. by Gillian Reid (Little Bee Books). Born and raised in rural GA, Vicki is a first-gen graduate of Smith College and Emory Law School, and an MFA candidate in Writing for Children & Young Adults at VCFA. She was a 2020 PB Chat Mentee, a 2020 WNDB MG mentorship finalist, and a 2018 grant recipient from the WV Div. of Arts, Culture & History and the National Endowment for the Arts. Vicki is currently working on her middle grade novel and texting cat photos to her kid. Find her overly-supportive posts on twitter @vickijohnson and IG: @vickijohnsonwrites. More:

Victor Manibo (Speculative Fiction - 2022)

Victor Manibo is a Filipino speculative fiction writer living in New York. As a queer immigrant and a person of color, he writes about people who live these identities and how they navigate imaginary worlds. Aside from fiction, he also spins fantastical tales in his career as a lawyer. He lives in Queens with his husband, their dog, and their two cats. He is a 2022 Lambda Literary Emerging Voices Fellow, and his debut science fiction noir novel, THE SLEEPLESS, is out August 2022 from Erewhon Books. Find him online at or on Twitter @victormanibo.

Vinh Nguyen (Nonfiction - 2022)

Vinh Nguyen (he/him) is an educator and writer living in Toronto. He is co-editor of Refugee States: Critical Refugee Studies in Canada. His critical and creative writing appears in a range of venues including Social Text, Canadian Literature, The Criterion Collection, MUBI Notebook, LitHub, Brick, The Malahat Review, PRISM international and The New Quarterly, where he’s also a creative non-fiction editor. He’s also served as consultant on the CBC sitcom Run the Burbs and a Canadian Heritage Minutes on Vietnamese boat people. In 2017 he was the recipient of the John C. Polanyi Prize for Literature. He’s at work on several projects: an anthology on refugee narratives, a monograph on the concept of refuge, and a memoir. Follow him on Twitter @8vinhnguyen and Instagram @cousinvinnhy.

Vivian DeRosa (Fiction - 2022)

Vivian DeRosa (she/her) is a writer from New Jersey. She is a current student at Smith College, where she’s majoring in English, Creative Writing, and Archival studies. Previously, she’s been honored as a 2019 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a 2020 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellow, and her writing has appeared in Huffington Post, Poets Reading the News, and Lunch Ticket. She’s an instructor at Project Write Now and a student worker in Smith College’s special collections. Currently, she’s working on a novel. Vivian loves dying malls, exploring the archives, collaging, and lesbian pulp fiction. You can find her at, and on Instagram @vivianderosawriter.

Wendy Judith Cutler (Playwriting - 2022)

Wendy Judith Cutler is a Jewish lesbian feminist, queer, activist, radical teacher, writer, author, facilitator and playwright. She immigrated to the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish First Nations (Salt Spring Island, BC) where she resides with her lovergirl of thirty-five years and their constellation of intimates. She is thrilled to have written her first play, An UnDutiful Daughter. Drawn from her own journals, it portrays dynamics within a Jewish family as the daughter comes into political and sexual awakening in the turbulent 1970s and 1980s, creating a universal story of bittersweet resilience. Its premier is on Salt Spring Island on July 1, 2 and 3, 2022. (

Zeli Miceli (Playwriting - 2022)

Zeli Miceli is a recent graduate from the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College. Her work in drama has been staged at INTAR Theatre (Corona: Flushing Meadows), Dixon Place (3Sisters), and The SoHo Playhouse (The Topography Between). Her works in poetry and essays have appeared in Foglifter Press, Belle Ombre, and QC Voices. Zeli currently teaches writing as a high school English teacher in the Bronx. Her trans and queer students— and all her students— help her realize the kinds of visions she hopes to bring to the theater.

Zeyn Joukhadar (Fiction - 2022)

Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of The Thirty Names of Night, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Stonewall Book Award, and The Map of Salt and Stars, which won the Middle East Book Award and was a Goodreads Choice Awards and Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize finalist. His work has appeared in the Kink anthology, Salon, The Paris Review, [PANK], and elsewhere, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Joukhadar guest edited Mizna’s 2020 Queer + Trans Voices issue and is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and a mentor with the Periplus Collective.

Syd Westley (Poetry - 2019)

Syd Westley (they/them) is a queer, mixed-race, non-binary poet currently pursuing their BA from Stanford. They are from the Bay Area, have lived on stolen Ohlone land all their life, and are very interested in the trans-generational effects caused and sustained by Japanese American internment. They love lavender and sleep and are (and always will be) mourning the loss of their recently passed grandmother, Edna Mashihara.

Tahirah Alexander Green (Nonfiction - 2019)

Tahirah Alexander Green Living in their hometown of Washington, DC, Tahirah is a literary artist and cultural organizer. As a writer, they’re passionate about celebrating Black queer weirdos in their work. When they’re not creating, Tahirah is binge reading comics and proselytizing about the joys of snuggles.

Thomas Dai (Nonfiction - 2019)

Thomas Dai lives and writes in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is working towards his Ph.D. at Brown. Before moving to the Ocean State, he taught English in China, got his MFA from the University of Arizona, and studied Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. His writing and photography have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, The Southern Review, Lithub, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

Tiff Ferentini (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Tiff Ferentini is an Associate Editor at Penguin Random House, Advocacy Chair of Penguin Random House’s LGBTQ Network ERG, Marketing Manager for Monkey Business: New Writing From Japan, and former President of the LGBTQ Writers Caucus of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). A graduate of Manhattanville College’s MFA Program, their writing has appeared in The Gambler; Off the Rocks: The LGBTQ Anthology of Newtown Writers Press; and Songs of My Selfie: An Anthology of Millennial Writing. They are currently working on their debut novel, the first book in a young adult historical fiction trilogy. They live in New York and on Twitter @Ferenteeny.

Tim Murphy (Fiction - 2019)

Tim Murphy is the author of the novels Getting Off Clean, The Breeders Box, Christodora, and Correspondents. He is also a longtime journalist on HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues for places including The New York Times, New York magazine, The Nation, Poz, and the magazines of the ACLU and Lambda Legal. His novel Christodora was longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He has once won and another time been nominated for Best Magazine Article by the GLAAD Media Awards. He has taught journalism at City College in Harlem and both journalism and fiction at Arts and Letters middle school in Brooklyn. He was an early organizer of the activist groups Gays Against Guns and Rise and Resist. He lives in Brooklyn and is at work on a new novel.

Todd Wellman (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Todd Wellman received his MA in writing from UW-Milwaukee and served as fiction editor for cream city review. Current manuscripts: a middle-grade fantasy that reveals where flight really comes from; several picture books that celebrate quirks; a young-adult novel that may or may not feature real magic spells; and a horror screenplay buzzing with some nasty toxic masculinity. Writing has appeared in The James Franco Review, Lunch Ticket, Indie Next Lists, The Missouri Review blog, and more. By day, Todd supports a Milwaukee-area nonprofit leadership program; and implores people to shop at independent bookstores. Twitter: @toddwe

Tovah Leibowitz (Nonfiction - 2019)

Tovah Leibowitz is a film and television editor, essayist, and screenwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked with legendary producers Spike Lee, James Cameron, Amy Schumer and his most recent editorial credits include Comedy Central’s Broad City and tbs’ Search Party. His essays have been featured on Autostraddle, Harlot Magazine, and Fist Zine. Tovah is currently working on a forthcoming memoir on trans-sexuality, pornography and pleasure, and new modes of sexual emancipation that do not demand redemption or redress.

Vero González (Nonfiction - 2019)

Vero González is a queer femme-inist writer and translator from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has a MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (Dean’s Graduate Fellow) and a BFA from Pratt Institute (Thesis Prize in Fiction). She has received support from A Room of Her Own Foundation (Touching Lives Fellow, 2015) as well as Hedgebrook and the Rona Jaffe Foundation (Hedgebrook/Rona Jaffe Inaugural Fellow, 2018). Vero is currently a Neighborhood Programs Fellow for GrubStreet. She lives in Boston, where she is working on a hybrid book about intergenerational trauma, colonialism, and healing.

Waverly SM (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Waverly SM is a queer, agender, autistic writer living in Oxford, England. They studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where they worked on martyrdom in medieval saints’ lives and on madness in the works of Tennessee Williams. Their work can be found all over the internet, and will appear in Stim: An Autism Anthology in 2020. They’re currently working on a YA novel about queer kids fighting a god at the end of days, in which the real cosmic horror is the ambient trauma of living in the world.

Zach Shultz (Nonfiction - 2019)

Zach Shultz is a higher education administrator in New York City and a freelance writer. His work has appeared in the Rumpus, Brevity, Entropy, Huffington Post, INTO, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and more. He received a master’s in Latin American Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans and a bachelor’s in Spanish and Sociology from the University of Kentucky. He’s currently working on a book-length project about AIDS and gentrification in New York City told through the story of one almost famous playwright and historical preservationist who died in the 90s.

Tia Clark (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Tia Clark’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, The Offing, Day One, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere. She was a 2015-16 fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a 2017-18 fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.

Victoria Newton Ford (Poetry - 2018)

Victoria Newton Ford is a poet and essayist from two Southern cities: Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, South Carolina. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a recipient of the 2016 Deacon Maccubbin Young Writer Poetry Award from the DC Center for the LGBT Community. Her writing has appeared in Sojourners, Connotations Press: An Online Artifact, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She is currently working on her first manuscript about black girlhood, mental illness, incarceration, and the South.

Wryly T. McCutchen (Poetry - 2018)

Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, hybrid writer and community educator teaching, writing, and surviving in the Pacific Northwest. Their poetry and nonfiction has appeared in Foglifter, Lady/Liberty/Lit, Tiferet Journal, Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. They were awarded an MFA in creative writing with dual concentration in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University. Their first poetry manuscript, My Ugly and Other Love Snarls, is available from University of Hell Press. Their first memoir is in progress.

Yosimar Reyes (Playwriting - 2018)

Yosimar Reyes is a nationally-acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerreo, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.” His first collection of poetry, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly… was self published after a collaboration with the legendary Carlos Santana. His work has also been published in various online journals and books including Mariposas: An Anthology of Queer Modern Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press), Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella Press), and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press). Reyes was featured in the documentary 2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry.

Sun Jones (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Sun Jones is a half-Korean, mostly-lesbian writer who grew up out in the country down South, where she spent most of her adolescent years escaping to the woods so she could write in peace. She writes fiction about queer Asians having adventures in space or in faraway magical lands, because that’s what she wanted to read as a child but could never find in her local library. She also writes confessional poetry because therapy is expensive. She was recently published for the first time in Moon City Review, where she also interns as an assistant poetry editor.

Tanea Lunsford Lynx (Fiction - 2017)

Tanea Lunsford Lynx is a third generation born Black San Franciscan on both sides. Tanea completed her undergraduate study at Columbia University and her Master’s thesis work at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is the child of an incarcerated parent. She is an abolitionist. She is a multi-genre writer currently writing a novel entitled Sanctuary City that provides an in-depth look at life as a Black San Franciscan in the current moment of gentrification and police violence. Tanea has more than 10 years of experience as an artist, activist, and educator in San Francisco.

Taylor Edelhart (Playwriting - 2017)

Taylor Edelhart makes new theatre. Their work deals with the sinister, the power of objects, and the intersection between theatre and games. Proud genderqueer person, they/them pronouns. Honored to currently be developing work with Pipeline Theatre Company, Upstream Artists Collective, Undiscovered Countries, and now Lambda Literary! BFA, NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School.

TC Tolbert (Poetry - 2017)

TC Tolbert (POETRY) often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet but really s/he’s just a human in love with humans doing human things. The author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press 2014), Conditions/Conditioning (a collaborative chapbook with Jen Hofer, New Lights Press 2014) I: Not He: Not I (Pity Milk chapbook 2014), spirare (Belladonna* chaplet 2012), and territories of folding (Kore Press chapbook 2011), TC is also co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books 2013), the first anthology of its kind. S/he is Core Faculty in the low residency MFA program at OSU-Cascades and Arts and Culture co-editor for The Feminist Wire. His favorite thing in the world is Compositional Improvisation (which is another way of saying being alive). Gloria Anzaldúa said, Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks. John Cage said, it’s lighter than you think.

Theodore Kerr (Nonfiction - 2017)

Theodore Kerr is a writer and organizer whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS. He received his BA from The New School, and his MA from Union Theological Seminary. His writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, BOMB, The Advocate, The Body, IndieWire, Cineaste, Hyperallergic as well as in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Drain and Dandelion. He is working on a book about AIDS, culture and history. He is a founding member of What Would an HIV Doula Do? and a member of the New York City Trans Oral History project. He was the 2016 winner of the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine.

Tom Ryan (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Tom Ryan is a Canadian author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections. His young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. Tom currently lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his husband and their dog.

Tori Truscheit (Nonfiction - 2017)

Tori Truscheit is a community organizer based in San Jose, CA, where she’s a regular contributor for the alternative weekly newspaper. Her essays have appeared in The Establishment, Everyday Feminism, and The Cut at New York Magazine, and she’s reported stories for Civil Eats, Extra Crispy, and Mic. She’s working on longer pieces about misogyny in millennial relationships, queer cheerleaders, and disco.

Wendy Judith Cutler (Nonfiction - 2017)

Wendy Judith Cutler, passionately committed to social transformation, is a longtime radical teacher, writer, jewish lesbian feminist activist. She co-authored Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection (2014). Her Memoir of an Undutiful Daughter about Lesbian Feminism in the 1970s is her current obsession. Her coming out letter, “Dear Mom and Dad,” was published in The Coming Out Stories (1980). She lives on magical Salt Spring Island (B.C.: unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples) with her lovergirl of thirty years where she creates sacred circles of women writing together and communes within a circle of queers.

Whitney Porter (Fiction - 2017)

Whitney Porter has published fiction in Battered Suitcase, Metazen and Ping Pong Literary Journal. Additionally her work was in included in the Writer’s Studio at 30 Anthology. She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and has a degree in Journalism from SUNY Empire State.

William Lung (Fiction - 2017)

William Lung is an adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York, and received the 2016 Norman Kelvin Teacher-Writer Award. He also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CCNY, and is a two-time recipient of The Stark Short Fiction Prize.

Steven Riel (Poetry - 2016)

Steven Riel is the author of one full-length collection of poetry, Fellow Odd Fellow (Trio House, 2014), as well as three chapbooks: How to Dream, The Spirit Can Crest, and most recently, Postcard from P-town, which was selected as runner-up for the inaugural Robin Becker Chapbook Prize and published in 2009 by Seven Kitchens Press. His poems have appeared in several anthologies and numerous periodicals, including The Minnesota Review and International Poetry Review. Christopher Bursk named him the 2005 Robert Fraser Distinguished Visiting Poet at Bucks County Community College. He received an MFA in 2008 from New England College.

Taylor Johnson (Poetry - 2016)

Taylor Johnson is a poet from Washington, DC. They’ve received fellowships from Callaloo, the Vermont Studio Center, and Lambda Literary. Their work appears in the most recent issue of the minnesota review. They are currently working on their first collection of poems.

Tennessee Jones (Nonfiction - 2016)

Tennessee Jones is the author of the Lambda Literary Award nominated collection Deliver Me From Nowhere, a ‘cover’ of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. He is the recipient of awards from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation and Hunter College, where he received his MFA in Fiction in 2010. He was also the George Bennett Fellow (Writer in Residence) at Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University. He grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Wayne Bund (Playwriting - 2016)

Wayne Bund was born in Portland Oregon, and raised on a small farm in Boring. He is an interdisciplinary artist working in photography, performance, painting, and writing. He created the word Lumbertwink, which is a quarterly dance party for lovers of plaid and beards. He holds an MFA in Visual Studies from PNCA, and an MS in Teaching from Pace University. He has exhibited and performed internationally and locally. He is currently working on a full length solo performance called Sass Manifesto, about his drag persona Feyonce, Tina Turner, and Judith Butler. He currently works as a Kindergarten Teacher.

Whitney Porter (Fiction - 2016)

Whitney Porter is a teacher at the Writer’s Studio in New York where she is also student in the master class taught by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schultz. Her work has appeared in Ping Pong Literary Magazine, Battered Suitcase and Metazen. Originally from Houston, Texas, she now calls Brooklyn, New York her home. She holds a BA in journalism from Empire State College SUNY.

Suzanne Rush (Nonfiction - 2015)

Suzanne Rush is a writer and journalist hailing from Los Angeles, California. She has been published in LA Weekly, SF Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Santa Fe Reporter, youtalkingtame? and Record Collector News, as well as the websites After Ellen (Fake Gay News) and Boy are my arms tired. She won a spot in the California Arts Council Working Class Writers workshop at The LAB, San Francisco, taught by Dorothy Allison and is a Recursos de Santa Fe Best New Fiction winner. Suzanne is currently conducting a series of interviews with astrologers — among other things.

Sylvia Sukop (Nonfiction - 2015)

Sylvia Sukop grew up in rural Pennsylvania and lived in Boston and New York City before settling in Los Angeles. In 2009 she received PEN Center USA’s Emerging Voices Fellowship and is now working on her first book. Her personal essay, “Pioneers on the frontier of faith: How a handful of audacious Angelenos sparked the movement for LGBT inclusion in mainstream religion that led to a nationwide civil rights sea change,” was published this spring in LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas (Heyday, 2015). She has a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and a master’s through a joint program of New York University and the International Center of Photography.

Todd Gastelum (Nonfiction - 2015)

Todd Gastelum is a California-born writer and editor living in Mexico City. A lifelong scribbler, his only paid work to appear in print is gay erotica, which he peddled to smut mags before the internet killed them off. He has recently overcome his animosity toward digital media and publishes regularly on Todd writes non-fiction about identity, ethnicity, sexuality, class, cities, and food. A former teenage gay rights activist, he never thought he’d live to see same-sex marriage legalized in the US. A half-breed Mexican-American, he has lived in Mexico as an ambivalent immigrant for the past decade. Todd has a degree in geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He’s a recovering misanthrope who longs for the burritos and bánh mì of his homeland.

Twig Delujé (2015)

Writer-in-Residence Twig Delujé is a trans* identified fiction writer with a blue-collar, Midwestern/Ozarkian upbringing. His stories revolve around the topics of class, gender, and queer survival while broadening the dialogue around the rural queer experience. He currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

William Lung (Fiction - 2015)

William Lung is an MFA student and adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York where he’s been a recipient of the Stark Short Fiction Prize. He is a returning fiction fellow and his work is forthcoming in Gaslight, the LLF’s inaugural anthology of work from the retreat.

Zavé Martohardjono (Playwriting - 2015)

Zavé Martohardjono is a multidisciplinary Brooklyn-based artist who calls New York City, Indonesia, and Canada home. Zavé makes performance, video, installations and also curates. His work centers on fractured and liminal experiences of borderland identities, exploring mixed-race, multi-national, queer, and trans subjectivity. He’s shown at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Bowery Poetry Club, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Bronx River Art Center Gallery, Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Chashama 540, Dixon Place, La MaMa E.T.C., Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, Rats 9 Gallery, SOMArts, and the Wild Project. His videos have screened at film festivals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Montréal, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Jakarta. In collaboration, he’s had the pleasure of performing for Lawrence Weiner, Mariangela Lopez/Accidental Movement, Ximena Garnica, Vanessa Anspaugh, Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade, devynn emory, and J. Dellecave. In ocmmunity, he’s collaborated with MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival, Helix Queer Performance Network + Brooklyn Arts Exchange, FIERCE, Theater Transgression, Into the Neon, and New Children/New York. Zavé works in civil rights advocacy and digital media. He received his B.A. from Brown University (2006), his M.F.A. in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York (2009), and participated in the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics’ EMERGENYC Program (2011).

Stephen Ira (Poetry - 2014)

Stephen Ira has published poetry and short fiction in Topside Press’s Collection, Spot Literary Magazine, the St. Sebastian Review, and Specter Magazine. He is a returning fellow from the cohort of 2013. In 2014, he was featured as a guest star in LA MAMA’S SQUIRTS: New Voices in Queer Performance. He’s gay. He’s a transsexual.

Theodosia Henney (Poetry - 2014)

Theodosia Henney was born in New York, raised in Utah, and currently resides in Vermont, where she attends circus school and works in a jam factory. When not learning to juggle and stand on her hands she writes reviews for Lambda Literary and is the Poetry Editor for Cactus Heart Literary Magazine. Additionally, she enjoys baking, campy sci-fi shows, lucid dreaming, and throwing knives at her dresser.

Timothy Carrier (Nonfiction - 2014)

Timothy Carrier is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and lives in New York City. Currently he’s a candidate in the low residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is active in the field of art & social justice.

Victor Vazquez (Poetry - 2014)

Victor Vazquez is a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, and holds two playwriting commissions with 24th Street Theatre’s Teatro del Pueblo Initiative working with the community of University Park in South Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund McNamara Creative Arts Grant, a graduate of UC Irvine’s undergraduate creative writing emphasis program, and currently works as a Community Organizer in the Artistic Department at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA. Spanish is his native language. He is writing a book of poems titled MEN, and a novel titled, Us, Boys. He lives in Los Angeles.

Wayne Johns (Fiction - 2014)

Wayne Johns has published work in New England Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Image, court green, and elsewhere. His poetry manuscript, Words Without Songs, has been a finalist for the Wick Poetry Prize and the National Poetry Series, among others. His first published fiction was a short story selected by Scott Heim as runner-up for the 2013 Bloom Fiction Chapbook Prize. He has been a recent resident at the Vermont Studio Center and also began taking courses at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. He’s currently working on a novel (tentatively titled Where Your Children Are) set in his hometown of Atlanta, GA.

William Lung (Fiction - 2014)

William Lung is an MFA student and adjunct instructor at the City College of New York, where he’s been the recipient of the Stark Short Fiction Prize and a Sydney Jacoff Graduate Scholarship. His fiction is often inspired by true stories and a love of travel, and while his writing hasn’t really appeared anywhere yet, he hopes that will change soon. Also, he admits to being overly fond of ellipses…

Wo Chan (Poetry - 2014)

Wo Chan is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Creative Writing as an undergrad. There he received the Rachel St. Paul Poetry Award for his work. He has received fellowships from Poets House, Kundiman, and Lambda Literary. Wo plans to pursue an MFA (eventually). He currently resides in Brooklyn, where he works as a makeup artist by day and performs as a standing member of the New York drag alliance, Switch N’ Play, by night.

Yana Calou (Nonfiction - 2014)

Yana Calou is a genderqueer Brazilian-American writer, performance artist and media activist on economic, racial and gender justice issues. Yana has performed at the Pop-up Museum of Queer History, La MaMa, Dixon Place, and BAX. Yana lives in Brooklyn and is currently working on a master’s degree in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, and works at the Retail Action Project. In a past life, they led communications for the Utah Pride Center, GLAAD, and the Women’s Media Center.

Yuska Lutfi (Nonfiction - 2014)

Yuska Lutfi earned MFA degrees in fiction and nonfiction writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. His peers described his pieces as “sartorially delicious, peppered with just enough snark, wit, and charm.” In spring 2014, he facilitated the memoir writing workshop for Lafayette Seniors Citizens, and curated the blog ( and its anthology. He is working on his book that explores issues of drag performers, gender, and religion in his home country Indonesia. Yuska is an American Tribal Style belly dancer, photographer, and collector of antique fabrics and jewelry. He loves cats, cheesecakes, beefcakes, and dancing in his tiny kitchen.

Stephen Ira (Poetry - 2013)

Stephen Ira’s poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, Spot Lit Mag, Specter Magazine, The St. Sebastian Review, LGBTQ Nation, and Original Plumbing’s online edition. He is a rising senior at Sarah Lawrence College where he studies Literature, Queer Studies, and Critical Theory. He lives with his boyfriend in Yonkers, New York, and tweets fitfully at @supermattachine.

Steve Coulter (Fiction - 2013)

Steve Coulter is finishing his second novel, Sodom’s Son, about the libertarian, conservative paradise of America in 2076 and the gay lovers who save democracy. He repeatedly finished his first novel that frightened literary agents across America (Armour of God: a journalist is sucked into a conspiracy to suppress the greatest scientific discovery in history—physical evidence than an intelligent entity created life, but not the god in Genesis or any other religion). He has worked as a hod-carrier, carpenter, journalist, soldier, state assemblyman, corporate executive, library commissioner and pre-published, prefamous but hopeful novelist. He lives in San Francisco with his husband of 36 years, Greg, and Kirby, the Tibetan Terrier.

Steven Sanchez (Poetry - 2013)

Steven Sanchez is working towards his MFA in Creative Writing at CSU, Fresno where he received his degree in Philosophy. Originally planning to attend law school, an undergrad workshop made him realize his passion is for poetry’s vulnerable and emotionally honest analogies usually absent in legal reasoning. At the retreat, he will continue developing his first poetry collection. He works at the smallest Starbucks in Fresno, is an editorial assistant for the Philip Levine Prize, a 2012 Tin House alum, and a managing editor of Flies, Cockroaches, & Poets. His poetry has appeared in Chelsea Station and San Joaquin Review.

Tess Sharpe (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Born in a backwoods cabin to a pair of punk rockers, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural Northern California. Following an internship with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she studied theatre and Shakespeare at SOU before abandoning the stage for the professional kitchen. She lives, writes and bakes near the Oregon border. Far From You, her first YA novel, is an LGBT mystery, to be published by Hyperion in Spring of 2014.

Tommy Pico (Poetry - 2013)

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is the driving force behind birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press and zine that publishes art and writing. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn and is working on his first collection of poetry. He’s been published in BOMB, [PANK] and THEthe poetry blog.

Twig Deluje’ (Fiction - 2013)

Twig Deluje’ is a trans* identified fiction writer with a blue-collar, Midwestern/Ozarkian upbringing. A creative writing & queer literature instructor at SFCC, Deluje’ devotes his professional career to broadening the dialogue around the rural queer experience. His stories revolve around the topics of class, gender, and queer survival, while always finding a place for humor as part of that survival. Currently, Deluje’ resides in Madrid, New Mexico with his two beastly dogs. There he thrives as a ranch hand, throws hatchets in his free time, continues to work on his collection of short stories, and produces The Queer Country Roadshow.

Vanesa Evers (Poetry - 2012)

Vanesa Evers is currently an MFA Poetry Candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, Class of 2013. Her writing challenges stagnant and “conservative” paradigms. Through her poetry, she frees her readers/listeners. There is nothing that can’t be written.

Stephanie Glazier (Poetry - 2011)

Stephanie Glazier has poems in various publications based in the Lansing, MI area. Her interviews with poets Billy Collins and Thomas Lynch have been published in MittenLit. She is a MFA candidate at Antioch University LA and assistant director of the RCAH Center for Poetry at Michigan State University. She lives in East Lansing, MI where she loves to write, eat, read, repeat.

Tanya Olson (Poetry - 2011)

Tanya Olson teaches English at Vance-Granville Community College. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Cairn, Main Street Rag, Pedestal, Elysian Fields, Fanzine, and Southern Cultures. She won the 2005 Independent Poetry contest, was a runner-up for the 2009 Rita Dove Award, and received a 2010 “Discovery” Award from the 92nd Street Y and the Boston Review. She is a member of the Black Socks poetry group, and serves on the board of the Carolina Wren Press. (Photo by Derek Anderson.)

Tommy Theollyn (Nonfiction - 2011)

Tommy Theollyn lives with his family and an eclectic mix of neurotic animals off the coast of Georgia. Through the alchemy of social services, crap jobs, and a certain creative tenacity, Tommy builds magical castles, magnificent artwork, and family memories out of spray paint and thrift store finds. Although active in social justice communities, Tommy is recently drawn more towards contemplation of universal transformation and belly button lint. He is working on his first novel.

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal (Poetry - 2011)

Among other publications, Tracy Rosenthal’s fiction, essays, and opinion have appeared in The New Republic, Art in America, and FENCE.

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