A Crucial Time to Support LGBTQ Writers

We are proud to announce that several new authors will join Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program in 2019. Authors new to the program include Lisa Kron, Tony Award winner for her adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Darnell Moore, activist and author of the memoir No Ashes in the Fire, Kheryn Callender (pictured), author of This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story, Mark Oshiro, author of Anger Is a Gift, and Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Lambda Award-winning Here Comes the Sun.

Now in its fourth year, this program has been made possible through funding from New York City and is implemented in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

Validating the Experience of LGBTQ Students

Since 2015, LGBTQ Writers in Schools has brought award-winning LGBTQ writers into schools to discuss their books and lives. Every participating student receives a free copy of the book to read and keep. The program celebrates LGBTQ lived experience, advances tolerance, and fosters a lifelong love of reading.

As David Whitman, a teacher at University Neighborhood High School, recently told us:

Students were elated to not just have a story they could relate to, but to have LGBTQ characters included in their required reading. I know that exposing more students to this program will foster the kind of empathy, support, and understanding that allow our students to thrive.

The writers in the program appreciate the impact they can have on students. New author Mark Oshiro joined the program for this reason, saying, “I know how badly I needed to see other LGBTQ creators when I was in school. I hope to inspire other young creatives to pursue a career in writing and to be unapologetically themselves!”

Support from Publishers

Along with the educators and authors dedicated to the success of the LGBTQ Writers in Schools program, many publishers are committed to donating books so that every student can receive a free, signed copy of the book they’ve read.

Erin Coffey, Vice President of Internal Communications, Events and Community Services at Macmillan Publishers, relayed how this commitment is part of Macmillan’s mission:

It’s important for children to feel accepted and understood in and out of the classroom, no matter how they choose to identify. At Macmillan, we are focused on fostering inclusiveness and diversity, in the content we produce, the authors we work with, and the employees we hire and develop. It makes sense to incorporate those same values in the educational programs we support.

Get Involved

If you are interested in helping more LGBTQ youth see themselves in the books they read in school, consider making a donation to Lambda Literary today.

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