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Lambda Literary is Pleased to Introduce the 2014 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows
The 2014 class of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices will spend a week in Los Angeles, August 3-10, workshopping their manuscripts in classes led by some of our community’s leading LGBT writers. Read about these talented up-and-coming authors below and, please, consider donating to their individual fundraising campaigns to attend the Retreat, or to the general scholarship fund. Congratulations to our incoming students!
FICTION WORKSHOP STUDENTS (TAUGHT BY LUCY JANE BLEDSOE)
Jane V. Blunschi is an MFA candidate in Fiction at the University of Arkansas. Her travel book, “Love, Tupelo” was published in 2012 by Corvus Press, and she is the recipient of the Lily Peter Creative Writing Scholarship. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Jane lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Donate to Jane
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….
Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn is a Jamaican-born writer who received her BS in Nutrition from Cornell University, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. But after years of working in public health, she decided to take the advice of an English professor who once said she ought to take her writing more seriously. She went back to school and received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her writing has earned her fellowships from Kimbilio, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers. Her work has been awarded Honorable Mention from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and has appeared in Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony.com, and the Feminist Wire. She currently teaches writing at the College of Staten Island and Manhattan College and lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York. Donate to Nicole
Jenna Leigh Evans has been published in In Pieces: an Anthology of Fragmentary Writing; the Outlet, FragLit, the Nervous Breakdown, and most recently The Toast. She’s a Barbara Deming grantee, a finalist for the Eludia Award, and a semifinalist for the Black Lawrence Press’s Big Moose Prize. Her debut novel, Prosperity, is slated to be published this summer. She lives in Brooklyn.
Alex Grandstaff is a nonbinary native Houstonian and founding member of Gamma Rho Lambda’s Kappa Chapter at their alma mater, University of Houston. Alex is into urban fantasy and magical realism stories with a side of memoirs. A writer of fiction and comics, they are currently writing and illustrating a graphic novel The Trial and working on the novel The Moving City. Both pieces began as a part of Alex’s senior honors thesis, a collection of fiction focused on queer protagonists. Alex still resides in Houston and can be found blogging at AnalyticalAlex and making art on AGrandMark. Donate to Alex
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 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… Donate to William
Marcos L. Martínez is a native of Brownsville, TX, and is completing his MFA in Fiction at George Mason University. As a Sally Merten Fellow, he has taught creative writing to high school students and adults throughout Northern Virginia. He currently serves as the inaugural Student Editorial Manager for Stillhouse Press, a collaboration between GMU’s Creative Writing Program and Relegation Books. His work has appeared in The Washington Blade, River Sedge, and Whiskey Island. Current projects include his novel, Embarkations (or, Boati
Ed Moreno is a writer, lecturer and bookseller living in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently undertaking a PhD on hate crimes against LBGT people in Brazil, which has the highest homicide rate against LGBT in the world. Originally from New Mexico, Ed came to Australia “for a visit” in 1995, attended the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, fell in love with the rowdy, sophisticated locals and the bush and the beaches and the cities and now calls Australia home. Ed’s short stories have appeared at blithe.com, questions.com.au, Mini Shots, Poslink, and in Cleis Press’ Best Gay Romance and Best Gay Erotica. He is currently working on his first collection of short stories.
Christina Quintana is a New Orleans-grown, Brooklyn-based writer. Her plays have been developed and/or produced by the Alliance Theatre, INTAR Theatre, Prospect Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Southern Rep. Her work has also appeared in ITCH Magazine, KNACK Magazine, and Glyph. She is a proud finalist for the 2014 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and former intern for the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y. At the Retreat, she’ll be developing her first novel, Slip of Moon. BFA, Santa Fe University of Art and Design (College of Santa Fe); MFA Playwriting, Columbia University. www.cquintana.com. Donate to Christina
Jeffrey Ricker is the author of Detours (2011) and the YA fantasy The Unwanted, both published by Bold Strokes Books. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction, A Family by Any Other Name, Men of the Mean Streets, and others. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia and lives in St. Louis with his partner and their contrary dachshund. Keep up with his work here. Donate to Jeffrey
kynita stringer-stanback is an Information Activist and native North Carolinian. She is working on her first novel (heretofore untitled) about a tween struggling with her identity and parent’s divorce. She resides in the Bull City (Durham, NC) with her partner, Afiya Carter and their three children. Donate to kynita
NONFICTION WORKSHOP STUDENTS (TAUGHT BY RANDALL KENAN)
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. Donate to Yana
Celeste Chan is a writer and artist/organizer, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. A VONA fellow, her writing can be found inAs/us journal, Feminist Wire, and Hyphen blog. Her films have screened in CAAMFest, Digital Desperados, Entzaubert, Frameline, MIX NYC, National Queer Arts Festival, and Vancouver Queer Film Festival, among others. She has presented and curated in the SF Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, Bloomington, Glasgow, Berlin, and beyond. Alongside KB Boyce, she co-directs Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She lives in San Francisco.www.celestechan.com.
Annette Covrigaru is a Long Island, NY native who has not only spent the past four years living in rural Ohio, but has spent the past four years being asked, “Why did you want to go to school in Ohio?” That being said, she recently graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in English emphasizing in Creative Writing. Her short story “Echoes of Time” won the college’s Muriel C. Bradbrook Award. Her stories have been published in Kenyon’s student run literary magazine, HIKA. In past years, she has worked as a Kenyon Review Student Associate and has interned at Random House. An incoming M.A. student in the Weiss-Livnat International M.A. Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, she will continue to merge her studies of the Holocaust and queer identity to create nonfictional stories and preserve LGBTQA Holocaust narratives. When she isn’t writing, Annette is most likely playing guitar, lounging on Fire Island, or watching Game of Thrones.
Timothy Dorsey 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.
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.
Jennie Gruber is a writer, educator, media-maker, queer punk, and true karaoke believer. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence. Her writing has appeared on Vice, Helix Queer Performance Network, Fleshbot, and Gaga Stigmata, in The Believer, AORTA, and Whore! magazines, and in several Cleis Press anthologies. Her workshops and readings have been featured at a variety of venues, including Red Umbrella Diaries, Perverts Put Out, Lesbian Sex Mafia, and the Feminist Porn Conference. In a parallel dimension, she is also an award-winning experimental documentary filmmaker. Born in Northern California, Gruber now lives in Manhattan with a very sweet bear. Donate to Jennie
Miah Jeffra is an artist, writer and educator, hailing from Baltimore. He runs social justice arts network ShadowLab and teaches cultural studies and writing at San Francisco Art Institute. He is recipient of the Clark-Gross Award for his novel Highlandtown, and is currently working on a book of short fiction, The Violence Almanac. His work can be seen most recently in North Atlantic Review, Educe, A Cappella Zoo, Fourteen Hills and Edge. He lives in San Francisco, and will do unconscionable things for a good beer. Maya was the recipient of Lambda’s 2014 Editorship Scholarship and will serve as Editor of the forthcoming e-book anthology of works by this year’s Fellows.
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 lafayetteseniors.wordpress.com and its anthology. He is working on his book that explores issues of drag performers, gender, and religion in his home country of 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.
Joseph Osmundson is a scientist, writer, and educator from rural Washington state. His research focuses on protein structure and function while his writing explores identity and place and sexuality and class and race and all sorts of messy, complicated stuff. His work has been published on Salon, The Feminist Wire, and Gawker, and he will have an essay included in the upcoming anthology The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press) due out in the Fall of 2014. He has taught at The New School and Vassar College and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Systems Biology at New York University.
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. Donate to Parrish
David Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Boston. He works as an editorial assistant at Ploughshares and is an editorial consultant in his spare time. His MFA in nonfiction, still underway at Emerson College, has him writing personal and biographical essays. Of particular interest to him is the impact of technology on gay communities and relationships. His work has appeared in Slate, among other publications. Donate to David
POETRY WORKSHOP STUDENTS (TAUGHT BY EDUARDO C. CORRAL)
Ian Spencer Bell is a dancer and poet combining the two in performance. He was awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and fellowships from Summer Stages Dance and Jacob’s Pillow, where he danced with his group on the Inside/Out Stage. Bell often performs in gallery spaces and, in New York City, has danced at National Arts Club, Queens Museum, and Tibor de Nagy Gallery. He is artist in residence at the Nightingale-Bamford School and writes essays for Ballet Review. Donate to Ian
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.
Lisa Galloway grew up in Indiana where she was adopted into a family with Southern Baptist roots (read more in her forthcoming collection). Thankfully, she moved to the far more progressive Pacific Northwest landing in Portland, Oregon just over ten years ago. In the last year, she’s worked as a writer/ researcher consulting with attorneys advocating for people screwed by ineffective systems, a carpenter, a vegetarian food cart cook, a video ethnographer for healthcare operations change, and a caterer. She’s the author of Liminal: A Life of Cleavage from Lost Horse Press’ New Poets, Short Books Series, a graduate of Pacific University’s MFA Program and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “She Was a Chagall.” She is currently finishing her second poetry collection titled Mother, Marriage, and Other Natural Disasters that’s mostly about her mother’s death, contentious family dynamics, first gay marriage, and the other interestingly intense events from her astrological Saturn’s Return. Donate to Lisa
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. Visit her at www.theodosia-henney.com. Donate to Theodosia
Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a writer, performer, and organizer, based in San Francisco. He has performed his writing all over California, and featured at shows in Washington D.C., NYC, and Canada. His poetry appears in Aim for the Head anthology of Zombie Poetry, -Write Bloody Publishing, Divining Divas – Lethe Press, Flicker and Spark Queer Poetry Anthology -Low Brow Press, Tandem – Bicycle Comics Press, Sparkle and Blink -Quiet Lightning Press, and is forth coming in Multiverse, anthology of Superhero Poetry, also with Write Bloody Publishing. For the past 5 years he’s been the curator and head organizer for The San Francisco Queer Open Mic and regularly puts together literary shows and festivals, most recently the ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente? festival of Latino Poetry and Spoken Word. He has been a resident artist at the spoken word program at the Banff Center in Alberta Canada, and the A.I.R. Program at The Garage, a Space for Performance Art, in San Francisco. He was born in Toluca, Mexico and grew up in Albany, California. baruchporrashernandez.
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.
Meg Leitold is a ball of queer femme fire based in Toronto and a returning Lambda Fellow from the 2013 Non-Fiction workshop. A graduate of Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute and the University of Toronto, her writing has been published in several zines, art installations, and journals, including No More Potlucks, Historiae, and Subversions. In her spare time, she delights in dancing, reading fiction, and out-jargoning the mansplainer. Donate to Meg
Megan McHugh is a garden teacher at a grade school in New Orleans, LA. She recently received her MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans, while starting an urban flower farm: www.
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. Donate to Ricardo
Roberto F. Santiago is a poet, translator, and lead singer in an 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.
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.
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. Donate to Victor
GENRE FICTION WORKSHOP STUDENTS (TAUGHT BY ELIZABETH SIMS)
John Copenhaver chairs the English department at Flint Hill School, an independent high school outside of Washington, DC. His novel Dodging and Burning placed as a quarter finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. He attended Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2012 and 2013, and Tin House in 2013. In 2011 he was a fellow in genre fiction at the Lambda Writers Retreat. He graduated with his MFA from George Mason, where he edited the literary magazine Phoebe. He has published in regional journals, including Timber Creek Review and The Roanoke Review, and was first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest and Narrative Magazine Winter Story Contest, 2014. His blog is called Talking the Walk.
Garrett Foster is an Emmy Award-winning writer for his work on the CBS daytime drama Guiding Light. A graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. in English, Garrett has also worked as an editor/writer at The Palm Beach Post and Sun Sentinel and served as editor-in-chief of Soap Opera Magazine. A Connecticut native, Garrett traded in his snow shoes for flip flops, moved to South Florida in 1991 and hasn’t looked back since. He is currently working on his fifth novel and finally working up the nerve to actually start sending them out! When he isn’t writing, he can be found doing a mean Warrior pose, trying to perfect the ultimate smoothie, and spending time with the sweetest rescue cat in the world, Katie.
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. Donate to Regina
Anne Laughlin is the author of five novels – three that have been published by Bold Strokes Books and two more that will come out in late 2014. She has written numerous short stories published by Cleis Press, Alyson Books and others. Her story “It Only Occurred to Me Later” was a finalist in the Saints and Sinners 2013 Short Fiction Contest. She is a three time Goldie Award winner and has twice been short listed for a Lammy Award. Anne was named a Writers Retreat Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation in 2008. She’s been accepted into residencies at Ragdale and Vermont Studio Center. Anne lives in Chicago with her wife, Linda.
Claudia Moss is the author of two novels, Dolly: The Memoirs of a High School Graduate (her Holloway House debut, adolescent novel) and If You Love Me, Come (her sophomore, self-published novel). She has authored a short fiction collection, a series of books debuting the feisty Ms. Wanda B. Wonders, a contemporary of Langston Hughes’ Jessie B. Simple. In addition, Claudia is the author of Soft Tsunami: a poetry collection showcasing lesbian desire. Her short fiction has appeared in a host of anthologies including Longing, Lust, and Love: Black Lesbian Stories (Nghosi Books), Gietic: Erotic Poems/Kinky Short Stories (Gia Bella & The Siren), The Lust Chronicles (e-book), The Hoot & Holler of the Owls (Hurston/Wright Publications), Purple Panties (Strebor Books), SWING!: Adventures in Swinging By Today’s Top Erotica Writers (Logical-Lust Publications), Life, Love & Lust and Her Voice (Lesbian Memoirs). Her poetry has appeared in Venus Magazine and a Pearl Cleage magazine with the theme “What Women Want.” Donate to Claudia
Morgan M Page (Odofemi) is a trans performance + video artist, writer, and Santera in Montreal. Her video work has screened in Canada, Hong Kong, and South Korea, and she regularly performs across Canada and the United States. Her writings have been featured on PrettyQueer.com, TitsandSass.com, and in the upcoming anthology Fractured (Exile Editions, 2014). Her first novel is forthcoming from Topside Press later this year. Morgan can be found online at Odofemi.com and @morganmpage on Twitter. Donate to Morgan
McKinzie Payton is a native of Southwest Missouri, where she currently spends her days writing short stories and hacking out the next chapter in her first novel. She has been awarded in two local contests for short fiction, including an honorable mention in 2002 and second place in 2007. When not staring at a blank screen for hours until words appear, she is an active member of a local theatre troupe, which recently performed a short script of her creation. Donate to McKinzie
Corey Saucier is an African American Queer artist living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Non-sense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com. D
Hope Thompson is a Toronto-based playwright, filmmaker and writer and is a graduate of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre. Hope is interested in mystery, film noir and camp and has written and directed several award-winning short films and many one-act plays in these genres. Hope’s monologue, Cardigan Confidential was published in the collection, City Voices: A Book of Monologues by Toronto Artists and she will be performing it at World Pride in Toronto this June. Hope is currently working on her first mystery novel. www.hopethompson.net
Jan Zivic, a Lambda Literary Fellow, received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of San Francisco in 2012. In 2011 she published a memoir piece in the Porter Gulch Review, and more recently, a short story in Temporary Shelter, Eleven Stories, edited by Karl Soehnlein. In 2007, Jan co-founded vibrant Brains, a cognitive gym and start-up listed in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies.” She has received the Cable Car Woman of the Year Award, the Maya Angelou Award for Community Leadership from the Center for Excellence at the University of California Medical School, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of California, PA, all for her community philanthropic and volunteer leadership. She currently serves on the Board of Lambda Literary, and is still working on emerging as a published writer…published being the key word here.
The Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices is made possible, in part, with a generous donation from Amazon.com.