Join Lambda Literary’s Queer Hub at AWP!

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference 

Tampa Convention Center
& Marriott Tampa Waterside
March 7–10, 2018

Lambda Literary will be hosting a booth (#1418) at this year’s AWP Writers Conference in Tampa Bay, Florida.

About AWP:

The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2017 conference featured over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The bookfair hosted over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. AWP’s is now the largest literary conference in North America. Join us in Tampa, in 2018 to celebrate the best of what contemporary literature has to offer.

Consider us a resource and meeting point for all LGBTQ writers, publishers, readers, librarians, editors, literary organizations and allies. If we’re missing your LGBTQ event, let us know. Be sure to bring extra fliers and we’ll place them at the Lambda booth.

Lambda Literary Program Director, William Johnson, and Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela, as well as a number of brilliant volunteers, including many Lambda Fellows, will be staffing the booth throughout the weekend. Come by and say hello!

Please note that AWP events held in the conference center require a paid registration. Offsite events are open to the public.

Email your questions or queer AWP events to: [email protected].

Click here for a full list of book-fair exhibitors.




Thursday, March 8th
7:30 pm. to 9:00 pm

Waterside Grill – Tampa Marriott Waterside
700 South Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida

Join the LGBTQ Caucus and Lambda Literary for a mixer to relax and unwind over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Together Lambda Literary and the LGBTQ Writers Caucus will host another fantastic gathering of the queerest of queer writers at #AWP18! There will be an open bar for the first hour.

The mixer will also be the soft launch for Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, edited by Christopher Soto and published by Nightboat Books.

Copies will be available for purchase.

Queer Magic: A Reading + Celebration

Friday, March 9th
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Red Door No. 5
1910 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 3360

Copper Canyon Press and Lambda Literary present an #AWP18 off-site reading and celebration of queer literary magic featuring:

Kay Ulanday Barrett
Ilana Masad
Natalie Sharp
Jericho Brown
Jenny Factor
Rachel McKibbens

Doors at 7:00pm
Reading at 8:00pm


Queer Events and Panels at AWP

Thursday, March 8, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am
Room 22, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  Gender Outlaws: Teaching Gender Identity in Creative Writing . (Jody KeisnerMeg DayChing-in ChenMisha RaiAlea Hall )

This multigenre, gender-diverse panel will discuss inclusive pedagogical approaches that move beyond the gender binary in order to expand their students’ creative writing potential. Panelists offer examples of practical application in the classroom and also discuss the challenges they faced, such as seeking institutional support for LGBTQIA+ curriculum, incorporating lessons into classes that aren’t designated as gender special topics, and teaching a classroom of cis-identified students.

10:30 am to 11:45 am
Grand Salon D, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor  Writing Resistance: LGBTQ Writing as a Platform for Change. (Tiff FerentiniJulia Leslie GuarchSeth FischerEverett MaroonKika Chatterjee)

With the safety and lives of LGBTQ individuals at stake now more than ever, the call for politically driven writing is even more urgent. This panel features LGBTQ writers known for their politically driven content, who use their writing as a platform for activism and change. Panelists will demonstrate how politically fueled writing can contribute to the change and support that the LGBTQ community needs, and how one’s pen can be the most powerful tool for those who wish to create change.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
Meeting Room 9 & 10, Marriott Waterside, Third Floor The Road Out: Lambda Literary Surveys the Future of LGBTQ Writing. (Tony ValenzuelaWilliam JohnsonJoy LadinAmy ScholderBrandi Spaethe)

In the thirty years since its founding, Lambda Literary has advocated for LGBTQ writers and readers as we confronted AIDS, debated marriage, grappled with issues of equality and justice and sought to advance a diverse and inclusive queer/trans culture. Now, amid renewed oppression and threat, how best can Lambda Literary and LGBTQ writers foster a proactive, sustainable place for ourselves? Literary activists affiliated with Lambda Literary lead a conversation with the community on the path forward.

6:00 pm to 7:15 pm
Room 3 & 4, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  LGBTQ Caucus. (Tiff FerentiniMiguel M. MoralesJay McCoySamantha TetangcoSean Patrick Mulroy)

The LGBTQ Writers Caucus provides a space for writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer to network and discuss common issues and challenges, such as representation and visibility on and off the literary page; and how to incorporate one’s personal identity into their professional and academic lives. The caucus also strives to discuss, develop, and increase queer representation for future AWP conferences, and serve as a supportive community and resource for its members.

Friday, March 9, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am
Meeting Room 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor  Writing the Revolutions. (Paul KetzleSimmons BuntinJuan MoralesAndy HoffmanHeather Hirschi)

Revolutions are not accidents of history. Behind every act of resistance stand the writers and writing that inspired, shaped, transformed, and actualized them—Rousseau, Paine, Hamilton, Madison, Marx, Anthony, King, Friedan, Havel. From these historical lessons we turn to the current battles for LGBTQ, women, immigrants, and the environment and discuss the role and tactics that we will need to write today’s revolution.

Ballroom A, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  Power, Change, and the Literary Establishment.(Katharine Coles, Lucinda Roy, Brynn Saito, Peter Covino, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram)

As women, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color move into positions of power in literary culture, we may imagine we are ahead of other professions in addressing gender and racial inequities. In a cultural climate that makes these inequities urgently visible, the participants in this roundtable will open a discussion about whether power dynamics and double standards that lay the ground for mistreatment are more deeply entrenched than we think, expressed in routine interactions too subtle to take on directly, and we will ask how we might work to make these dynamics visible, and so, subject to change.

Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  Publishing Pulse: Anthologies for Orlando. (Miguel M. MoralesRoy G GuzmánDavid LópezLuis Lopez-MaldonadoMaya Chinchilla)

June 12, 2016. Pulse Nightclub. Orlando, FL. As writers responded to the mass shooting by creating work honoring lost LGBTQ voices, two anthologies arose: Pulse/Pulso and The Brillantina Project. This panel details how editors defined and organized their projects focusing on healing and community while navigating the initial crisis and the troubling aftermath. Learn how these sister projects continue to support one another and united for a reading at AWP. Panel will also share contributor poems.

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  Writing LGBTQ Fiction Based on Real People. (Alan LessikKathy AndersonLarry Benjamin)

Novels and short stories are often shaped by real events happening to real people that they know. Three LGBTQ writers will talk about the real people within their stories and how the creative process changed both the characters and ultimately the authors themselves. For LGBTQ writers, exploring these stories become an exploration of our larger community and the known and unknown histories of our lives. Each of our writers will discuss these themes and read from their works.

10:30 am to 11:45 am
Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  From Pronouns to Pedagogy: Queering the Creative Writing Classroom. (Kathie BergquistTrace PetersonCharles Rice GonzalesC. Russell PriceMecca Jamilah Sullivan)

Outside of the rare queer lit class, creative writing curricula remains overwhelmingly cis- and hetero-centered, and queer experience, marginalized or ignored. Addressing practical concerns, such as confronting insensitivity in the workshop and integrating diverse texts, alongside theoretical questions of queer literary aesthetic and semiotics, this multi-genre panel examines how we cultivate LGBTQ+, trans and genderqueer-inclusive creative writing classrooms––to the benefit of all our students.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
Florida Salon 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor  Writing Race, Writing Madness: Writing Trans, Writing Genderfuck(Ari BurfordMel McCuinWryly Tender McCutchenTimothy CordivaeGrace Liew)

This panel focuses on truth-telling, specifically writing about trans and/or genderqueer, lives in relation to race and mental illness. We will share readings that evoke questions about naming the varied realities of our lived experiences in a transphobic heteronormative racist ableist world that denies our realities and glorifies white able-bodied androgyny and thinness. Each author will address different challenges around writing memories of trauma.

Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor “Nothing Can Happen Nowhere”: The Craft of Setting in LGBTQ-Themed Fiction . (Paula MartinacAmy HoffmanCheryl HeadSerkan GorkemliCarter Sickels)

“Nothing can happen nowhere,” Elizabeth Bowen famously wrote about the importance of setting in fiction. But in LGBTQ-themed fiction, “place” is complicated: While many physical settings support queer characters, others feel unwelcoming or dangerous, including familiar ones like home. This panel explores how fiction writers negotiate place for their LGBTQ characters. Is the city a natural refuge? Are rural spaces always inhospitable? Does “home” necessarily render LGBTQ characters strangers?

Room 17, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor Crazy, Sexy Miami: Reporters Tell All. (S.L. (Sandi) WisenbergLiz BalmasedaMadeleine BlaisSydney P. Freedberg)

In South Florida in the ’80s, today’s hot topics were already in full evidence: racial tension, terrorism, free speech, LGBTQ rights, immigration, culture clashes, epidemics (then, incurable AIDS). To explore these complicated topics Miami Herald reporters became experts in long-form, immersion, and voice-driven journalism. Prizewinning (seven Pulitzers) former staffers will explain how and why they wrote what they wrote, and connect that writing to current creative nonfiction.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
Room 12, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor  Taking up the Quill: Queer Representation Through Writing, Awards, and Publication(Tobi HarperCeleste GaineyRyka AokiMartha K. Davis)

Though labels of identity can be alienating, they can also be empowering and community building. We discover identities within ourselves through the recognition of communities in visual and print media. This was the inspiration to launch Quill, a new queer imprint of Red Hen Press, which publishes queer literary prose through award submissions. Hear Quill’s editor, judges, and award winners read their powerful works and discuss the need for representation through publication.


Offisite Events:

Living Out Series Celebration
Join University of Wisconsin Press staff and authors in a celebration of UWP’s award-winning series Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies.
Friday, March 9,  5:30 PM – 7:30 PM EST
American Social   Cash bar
601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa

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6 Responses to “Queer Events at AWP 2018”

  1. 20 February 2018 at 8:43 PM #

    Here’s another Queer Event at AWP 2018

    Older Queer Voices: A Reading

    Friday, March 9th 5:30pm-6:30pm
    Inkwood Books: 1809 N. Tampa St. (Entrance off of Franklin)

    Barrie Jean Borich
    Nic Leland  Patty Smith  Edward Moran
    Miguel M. Morales  C.W. Emerson
    Brian Kornell  Bonné de Blas
    Eunice Tiptree  Penny Guisinger

    Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival (edited by Sarah
    Einstein and Sandra Gail Lambert) is an online anthology of
    prose and poetry that celebrates our lives and offers strategies
    for living in hard times.

    This event is co-sponsored by the LGBTQ Writers Caucus.

  2. 23 February 2018 at 10:45 AM #


    Happy (Everything) Hour with SRP: An AWP Offsite Celebration
    Thursday, March 8 at 5 PM – 7 PM EST
    Red Star Rock Bar
    5210 N Florida Ave, Tampa

    It’s Happy (Everything) Hour with Sibling Rivalry Press! Come celebrate poetry, art, each other, Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington’s five-year wedding anniversary, and Seth’s 30th birthday! Featuring: John Andrews, Nickole Brown, Sarah Browning, Franny Choi, Julie R. Enszer, D. Gilson, Luther Hughes, Jessica Jacobs, Kathryn Leland, Carl Napolitano, C. Russell Price, Ruben Quesada, and Valerie Wetlaufer. On March 8, SRP’s mission will be to ENTERTAIN and ENRAPTURE, and we want to see YOU!

  3. 23 February 2018 at 6:40 PM #

    Celebrating the Bi+ Community and Jaded Ibis Press
    Thursday, March 8 at 7 PM – 8 PM EST
    Inkwood Books
    1809 N. Tampa Street, Tampa, Florida 33602

    An AWP reading to celebrate both the Bi+ Community and Jaded Ibis Press, two communities that are very much fans of each other. Featuring A. Rafael Johnson, Arisa White, Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, Everett Maroon, Anthony Moll, Fayeza Hasanat, and Catie Disabato. MC’d by Seth Fischer.

    Bi+ people — an umbrella term that includes bi, pan, queer, and more — are people who identify as attracted to more than one gender. We make up more than half of the LGBT community, yet we’re often not heard from as a group. This reading is here to change that.

    Jaded Ibis Press is a feminist press committed to publishing socially engaged literature with an emphasis on the voices of people of color.

  4. 28 February 2018 at 12:19 PM #

    Queer, Sweet Home: Foglifter Press & Co. Redefining Home
    Cost: Free
    Bradley’s on 7th, 1510 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
    How do queers negotiate their feelings of home when their nation has ceased being a place of comfort? Foglifter Press invites writers to claim their homestead. Featuring Arisa White, Tony Valenzuela, Frederick Spears, Sophia Starmack, Roberto Santiago, Maya Marshall, Temim Fruchter, Some Mei Sheng Frazier, Carson Beker, Kazim Ali, and perhaps others.
    Contact: Foglifter Press

    • 5 March 2018 at 5:14 PM #

      Friday, March 9, 2018, 7-9 PM
      The Portico, 1001 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

      Reading Queer: Poetry In A Time of Chaos Offsite Reading
      Cost: Free
      Event URL: website
      Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos, edited by Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton, brings the LGBTQI community together in the spirit and solidarity of poetry at its finest and fiercest. “It is our gift to all conscious citizens. With love.” (Seaton & de la Flor) Readers include: Bryan Borland, Cathleen Chambless, Ching-In Chen, Gregg Shapiro, Jan Becker, Jericho Brown, J.P. Howard, Ruben Quesada, Sam Sax, Samiya Bashir, Shane Allison, Valerie Wetlaufer, and more!
      Contact: Greg Shapiro, Kristine Snodgrass
      Organization: Anhinga Press
      Organization URL: website

  5. 5 March 2018 at 5:19 PM #

    Saturday, March 10, 2018, 1:30-2:45 PM
    Meeting Room 4, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor

    S209. Bless Our Hearts: Teaching While Queer in the South. (Brandy T. Wilson, Douglas Ray, Lu Vickers, Julie Marie Wade, L. Lamar Wilson) Teaching as a queer writer in the South has its own set of benefits and challenges, from Southern hospitality and humor to conservative religious values and students with little exposure the nontraditional literary canon. Should writers “come out” in the classroom? How can we address diversity in the classroom while making students feel respected and welcome? How does one address homophobia, racism, and sexism as a queer person? Panelists offer tips for teaching while queer in the South.

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