One of Lambda Literary’s most important initiatives is to nurture the development of our up-and-coming writers. We do this vital work through our unique summer residency called the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, to be held June 22-29, 2015 in Los Angeles. The gifted poets, novelists and playwrights that attend the Retreat represent the bright future of LGBTQ literature.

Many emerging writers who want to attend the Retreat simply can’t afford to come. By offering generous scholarships, Lambda Literary will make sure that all the very best aspiring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender writers can participate.

We need your support to help bring these talented writers to California. Please help us raise $25,000 to go directly toward the Retreat Scholarship Fund. Your tax-deductible contribution is critical to the program’s continuing success.


Professional Instruction – Mentoring – Community

In the nine years since Lambda Literary founded the Retreat, it has grown from hosting workshops in fiction, nonfiction and poetry to adding genre fiction and playwriting to serve more talented writers across many different genres.

Emerging LGBTQ writers need professional instruction and mentoring. Our stellar faculty have included our community’s leading writers such as Dorothy Allison, Samuel Delany, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Jewelle Gomez, Bernard Cooper, Ellen Bass, Randall Kenan, D.A. Powell and Katherine V. Forrest, to name a few. This year’s outstanding faculty mentors include Justin Torres (Fiction), Linda Villarosa (Nonfiction) Kazim Ali (Poetry), Sara Ryan (Genre Fiction), and Cherríe Moraga (Playwriting).

Emerging LGBTQ writers need a community of supportive peers who, like them, are committed to writing LGBTQ books in a publishing environment that doesn’t always feel welcoming of our stories. They need to learn the basics from mastering their craft, to using social media to build their audience, to writing query letters to potential agents. They also need to understand trends in publishing in order to help them navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the industry. They need all of these tools-and more.

One of a Kind Writers Residency

Lambda’s Writers Retreat is the only residency in the world specifically for promising LGBTQ writers. They come from all over the U.S. – and the globe – for one intensive, immersive week.   Students arrive with manuscripts in hand, which may include a memoir, a short story collection, a book of poetry or a play that will soon add to the richness of our literature. At the residency they attend craft lectures, work on perfecting their writing voice, develop more convincing characters and believable plot. Teaching is personalized in small groups and one-on-one sessions. Besides this essential instruction, students forge connections to publishing industry professionals, and most importantly, build a community of peers on whom they’ll depend for years of encouragement, inspiration and friendship.

Gaslight, an e-Book Anthology of Writing by Lambda Fellows

With a donation of $25 or more you will receive our first annual issue of Gaslight, a brilliant e-book anthology of fiction, nonfiction and poetry that showcases the talent of the 2014 students of the Retreat. As the editor of the first volume of Gaslight, Miah Jeffra writes in the introduction:

I realize that an editor of something like this is supposed to sit with the collection of texts, wade through their poetics, their choices (and such terrific choices!) and declare the emergent theme … Not the case, here. The only emergent theme in this collection, besides our identities as queer folks all across the spectrum, is just how much of a rounded horizon that spectrum has become. There is plot play, political jabs, social polemic, meditations on nature, domestic lensing and, of course, love. And, of course, music. And, of course, perspective, that sliver of the truth, that light of a blade or that to light the way.

Don’t miss your chance to receive a copy of the e-anthology, Gaslight, when you make a contribution to the scholarship fund!

An Opportunity to Help

A gift to the scholarship fund will give a talented LGBTQ writer a real chance for professional growth and personal achievement. Our Lambda Fellows go on to achieve an impressive record of publication and community involvement. They are both accomplished artists and our finest ambassadors of LGBTQ literary arts.

We often tout Lambda Fellows as the future of queer literature, but they are also our vibrant present: this year alone, an astonishing seven graduates of Lambda’s Retreat are finalists for the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Award! Clearly, the future is now.

Your generous donation to the Retreat Scholarship Fund will give these shining emerging writers an unparalleled opportunity in their careers, and empower them as agents of social change. You can make a direct, meaningful difference in the life of a writer by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Retreat Scholarship Fund today.

Consider funding a full scholarship of $1,650 (tuition, room and board) to bring a talented emerging writer to Los Angeles this summer. Please give whatever you can afford – $25, $100, $250 – every dollar of which will go directly to help our community’s most promising LGBTQ storytellers.


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