One of Lambda Literary’s most dynamic programs is our Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, a summer residency dedicated to supporting our community’s up-and-coming playwrights, poets, novelists, and storytellers. Held in August in Los Angeles at Otis College of Art and Design, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices embodies the exciting and diverse future of LGBTQ literature. 

These talented writers need your support. In this heightened political climate, it is vital that LGBTQ writers are given a venue to refine their craft so their vibrant voices can thrive. Your donation to our Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Scholarship Fund will ensure that writers accepted into the Retreat, regardless of their socioeconomic background, will be able to partake in this life changing experience.

Fiction Class


About the Retreat:

Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is one of the country’s most competitive writing residencies and the only one in the world specifically for promising LGBTQ writers. It is a series of master classes that combines rigorous instruction from teachers who are also our community’s leading authors. The Retreat convenes LGBTQ writers (Fellows) from all over the world for one intensive, immersive week. Students arrive with manuscripts in hand, which may include a novel, a book of poetry, or a play that will soon enrich the fabric of our literature.

William Johnson and Amy Scholder

Our stellar faculty have included our community’s leading writers such as Dorothy Allison, Samuel Delany, Robert O’Hara, Jewelle Gomez, Joy Ladin, Kazim Ali, Andrew Holleran, and Katherine V. Forrest, to name a few. Past Fellows include literary luminaries Justin Torres, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Chen Chen.

Emerging writers are also given access to 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 learn the basics of mastering their craft, using social media to build their audience, and to writing query letters to potential agents.

Simply put, this residency is dedicated to nurturing LGBTQ genius.

Class of 2016 Fellows

This year’s outstanding faculty mentors include Garth Greenwell (Fiction), Diana Cage (Nonfiction), TC Tolbert (Poetry), Malinda Lo (Young Adult Fiction), and Phillip Howze (Playwriting).

A donation to the scholarship fund will provide a LGBTQ writer a perceptible chance for creative development and professional achievement. Our Lambda Fellows go on to become both accomplished artists and stellar emissaries of LGBTQ literary arts: this year alone several graduates of Lambda’s Retreat were finalists and winners of numerous Lambda Literary Awards

Your generous gift to the Retreat Scholarship Fund will give these exceptional emerging writers an unequaled opportunity in their careers, and empower them to be active participants in the global cultural conversation. 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.

I hope you will 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, $500—every dollar of which will go directly to help our community’s most promising storytellers.

Click here to see the list of this year’s Fellows.






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