Lambda Literary LitFest LA Presents:

Spring Writes – April 14-15, 2018

Celebrating LGBTQ Literature in Southern California 


Lambda Literary LitFest LA presents Spring Writes, a weekend of literary happenings featuring an evening with presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco, a submission workshop for LGBTQ writers, and a panel discussion on queer representation on the screen, April 14-15, 2018.

Spring Writes kicks off with acclaimed poet and memoirist Richard Blanco in conversation with fellow Cuban-American author Eduardo Santiago at Emerson College LA. A reading by Blanco will be followed by a discussion of his work, life, and the vital importance of LGBTQ voices in our current cultural climate.

“Queers Who Submit” demystifies the publication process while fostering community in a supportive and encouraging space. Participants are asked to bring work they are ready to submit. The workshop, presented in partnership with “Women Who Submit,” will cover best practices for submitting work to literary journals and other publications.

Spring Writes closes at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre with a screening and panel discussion. Jen Richards (Her Story), Brittani Nichols (Transparent and Suicide Kale), and Michelle Badillo (One Day at a Time) will discuss the joys and challenges of bringing LGBTQ representation to television, cinema, and the web. Short clips of each writer’s work will be interspersed with a lively panel discussion that explores craft, politics, and what it means to be queer in the writer’s room (and on the screen). Moderated by Trish Bendix, managing editor at INTO.

Spring Writes, a production of Lambda LitFest LA, brings curated and community-driven literary programming to the Southland. “Spring Writes showcases the incredible literary talent of queer LA,” said Dan Lopez, Event Producer. “Freedom of expression, queer rights and social justice persevere when we create spaces for the free flow of ideas.”

All events free and open to the public. Tickets available through Eventbrite.
Lambda Literary LitFest LA presents Spring Writes schedule:

Saturday, April 14:
5:00 pm – Richard Blanco in conversation with Eduardo Santiago at Emerson College LA Bordy Center (5960 Sunset Blvd)

Sunday, April 15th:
12:00 pm – “Queers Who Submit” at 826LA (1714 W. Sunset Blvd)

3:00 pm – “Writing Queer Characters for the Screen”
Jen Richards, Brittani Nichols, and Michelle Badillo, moderated by Trish Bendix at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre (4800 Hollywood Blvd)

Confirmed Spring Writes Participants


Michelle Badillo is a 25-year old queer Latinx writer from Queens. Her short film, “Ladies Room,” premiered at Outfest 2016, and she is currently an executive story editor at Netflix’s One Day at a Time and Freeform’s The Bold Type.

Trish Bendix is the manging Editor at INTO, Grindr’s newly-launcgec, GLAAD Media Award-nominated LGBTQ digital magazine. She was previously the editor in chief of AfterEllen and has had her work published in outlets such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Broadly, ELLE,, and The Hollywood Reporter.

Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his three collections of poetry: City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of UsOne Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. His latest book, Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.

Cuban-born Eduardo Santiago’s first novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss was an Edmund White Debut Fiction Award finalist and won Latino Book Award for Best Historical Novel. His second book, Midnight Rumba, won the New England Book Award – Best Fiction. His short stories have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, his nonfiction was published in the Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, and Out Traveler Magazine. He is currently writing his next novel, The Weight Of My Shadow. Mr. Santiago currently teaches at Mt. San Jacinto College, and is the founder of the Idyllwild Authors Series.

Brittani Nichols is a writer, comedian, and actor living in Los Angeles. Prior to her career in television and film, Brittani’s writing could be found in various places on the internet including Autostraddle, Jezebel, Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed. Words With Girls, a comedy pilot (based on the webseries of the same name) which she created and starred, was produced as part of Issa Rae’s Color Creative TV and premiered at HBO/BET’s Urbanworld Film Festival in 2014. Brittani was a recurring character on Season 2 of Transparent and guest starred on the IFC series, Boxed In. She currently co-hosts Brand New Podcast with her neighbor and friend, Ariana Lenarsky. Suicide Kale, the feature she produced, wrote, and starred is currently available SVOD after winning the Audience Award at both Outfest and Newfest amongst other festival awards. Some of Brittani’s most recent television writing credits include Take My Wife and Drop the Mic. She just finished writing for the second season of Strangers which will be available on Facebook later this year.

Jen Richards is a writer & actress, as well as a consultant & advocate. She is the Co-Writer/Star/Producer of the series Her Story, which was nominated for an Emmy and won Gotham and Peabody awards; Co-Producer of the documentary More Than T (Showtime) and Writer of its accompany in Trans 102 series (Refinery 29); a 2016 Outfest Screenwriting Fellow for her feature script Any Given Week; and can be seen in CBS’s Doubt, CMT’s Nashville, FX’s Better Things, the film Easy Living, and Two Sentence Horror Stories (Stage 13). Jen was a series regular on E!’s I Am Cait, featured in Logo’s Beautiful As I Want To Be and AOL’s True Trans with Laura Jane Grace, covered live events for Logo, has appeared in several videos for BuzzFeed, OWN, and After Ellen, and countless podcasts and YouTube shows. She is a columnist for NewNowNext, has published essays on multiple platforms, and wrote the 2015 Sep/Oct cover story “What Trans Movement?” for The Advocate. She was previously the Co-Founder and Director of The Trans 100, creator of We Happy Trans, a website dedicated to celebrating positive transgender experiences.

For more information, visit
Publicity contact:         Dan Lopez, Event Producer
                                    Phone: 718-501-3550
Lambda Literay LitFest LA presents Spring Writes Major Sponsors:
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Lambda LitFest Los Angeles Steering Committee

Lynn Harris Ballen, Samantha Cohen, Seth Fischer, Missy Fuego, Ron Gutierrez, Rosalind Helfand, Charles Jensen, Steven Reigns, Kevin Robertson, Mathew Rodriguez, Corey Roskin, Amy Scholder, Brandi Spaethe, Carrie Truong, and Tony Valenzuela


About Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read. LL’s programs include: the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, LGBTQ Writers in Schools, Lambda LitFest LA, and our web magazine the Lambda Literary Review at For more information, call (323) 643-4281 or e-mail


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