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Writer’s Retreat

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Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices

The Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is the nation’s premier LGBTQ writing residency. It is the only multi-genre writing residency devoted exclusively to emerging LGBTQ writers.

Since 2007, the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices has offered sophisticated instruction in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult fiction, playwriting led by the most talented writers working today. The Retreat is an unparalleled opportunity to develop one’s craft and find community.

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Writer’s Retreat Impact

Since 2007, the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices has provided over 500 emerging writers to write their truth in an exclusively queer space. The experience builds community for life and increases access to publishing opportunities. 

All fellows participate in free public readings in Los Angeles during the Retreat and are invited to be published in Emerge, an annual anthology published by Lambda Literary.

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416

Emerging writers since have taken part in the retreat since 2011.

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41

Faculty, including Dorothy Allison, Danez Smith, Andrew Holleran.

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7

genres, including poetry, young adult fiction, and playwriting

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5

Anthologies, presenting Retreat Fellows work.

Last Year’s Fellows

Watch the fellows read from their work

How To Apply

Applications for the next Retreat are now closed. Applications will open again in November 2021.

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Fellows & Faculty Directory

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Andrew Rosendorf (Playwriting - 2019)

Andrew Rosendorf‘s work has been produced or developed at La Jolla, MCC, KC Rep, Signature Theatre, the National New Play Network, Nashville Rep, City Theatre, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, and Local Theater Company. He is an alum of NNPN’s Playwright-in-Residence program, the Ingram New Works program, terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, and has been a SPACE on Ryder Farm, Tofte Lake Center, VCCA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He was a previous McKnight and Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center. His play, Cottontail, was a runner-up for the Yale Drama Series Award. MFA: The New School for Drama, Playwriting.

Anthony Veasna So (Fiction - 2019)

Anthony Veasna So is a queer boy, a Cambodian-American son of former refugees, and a graduate of Stanford University. From Stockton, CA, he was raised on stories of the Khmer Rouge Genocide that often, somehow, ended on a joke. His prose and comics have appeared in n+1, Hobart, and Ninth Letter. Currently, he is a PD Soros Fellow and an MFA Candidate in Fiction at Syracuse University, where he was awarded a University Fellowship and the Joyce Carol Oates Award for Fiction. He is at work on a novel and a collection of stories interspersed with comics.

Aurielle Marie (2019)

Writer-in-residence Aurielle Marie is an essayist, poet, and activist hailing from the Deep South. She’s received invitations to fellowships from Lambda Literary, VONA Voices, and Tin House. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The Guardian, Allure Magazine, Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, and BOAAT. Aurielle writes about Blackness, bodies, sex and pop culture from a Black feminist lens. Follow her: YesAurielle

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Benjamin Garcia (Poetry - 2019)

Benjamin Garcia works in HIV/HCV/STD and opioid overdose prevention in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He had the honor of being the 2017 Latinx Scholar at the Frost Place, 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and winner of the 2018 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Contest. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in: The Missouri Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, and Best New Poets 2018. Find him on twitter: @bengarciapoet

Brandon Riley (Playwriting - 2019)

Brandon Riley–a Memphis, Tennessee native–is an alumnus of The University of Memphis with a BFA in theatre performance and a BS in chemistry. Recently earning his MFA in dramatic writing at Arizona State University, he has had his plays read and developed in various cities from Phoenix, Arizona to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Awards that he has won while a graduate student includes the ASU Special Talent Award, ASU Eirene Peggy Lamb Fellowship, ASU Claire and Henry Sargent Fellowship in Theatre, and the 2018 Fade to Black Theatre Festival Winner. He currently lives in Tempe, Arizona.

Chanel Glover (Playwriting - 2019)

Chanel Glover is a former lawyer and special education teacher, with a current focus on screenwriting, playwriting, music, & fiction. In May 2014, she completed an MFA in playwriting at Ohio University. Chanel was a featured playwright in terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group in 2015. She’s screenwriter for the SEX IS A GOD THING (2014) viral short, and for the upcoming digital series, premiering at the Black Harvest Film Festival in August 2019. Chanel served as co-host/producer of the podcast, OVERQUALIFIED & DRUNK (2016 – SOULE LGBT). She is also co-writer and producer for the quasi-animated digital series, SASHA & CONDI (late 2019).

Charles Jensen (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Charles Jensen is the author of the poetry collection Nanopedia and six chapbooks of poems. His first collection, The First Risk, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. He received the 2018 Zócalo Poetry Prize, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, the 2007 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, the Red Mountain Review Chapbook Award, and an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Field, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. He lives in Los Angeles and directs the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension.

Charlie Miller (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Charlie Miller is a New York born, Boston based, and Baltimore bound writer, scholar, educator, and aspiring disney villain who is dedicated to youth and youth literature from many angles. He received his BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in 2014 and just graduated from Simmons University with an MLS and an MA in Children’s Literature. He is interested in representations of queerness, mental illness, disability, and religion in youth literature, particularly in fantasy and horror. Right now, he is working on a novel about a queen bee, a doppelgänger, and the complexities of trans male experience.

Charlotte Marchant (Nonfiction - 2019)

Charlotte Marchant was born and raised in New York with working class activist roots. She is a Lesbian still trying to figure out the world but now seeing it through the lens of a 70 year old. She has a blog/memoir based on 100 letters from her father written from 1963-1976 and on her own activism in the Sixties. She has read excerpts to enthusiastic audiences at Dixon Place in NYC and in San Francisco.

Abraham Johnson (Playwriting - 2018)

Abraham Johnson is a queer writer based in Athens, Georgia and he is so excited to be returning as a 2018 Lambda Playwriting Fellow this year. His plays have been developed all around Athens and Atlanta, working with the Classic City Fringe Festival, New Georgia Group, Horizon Theater, Out of Box Theater, Essential Theater, and Lionheart Theater. His playwriting has also earned him residencies with the Sundress Academy for The Arts, recognition as a 2017 Lambda Playwriting Fellow, and in 2018 he was a finalist for SPACE on Ryder Farms’ Greenhouse Residency. His publications can be seen in the international queer men’s magazine Hello Mr., Emerge, the 2017 Lambda Emerging Voices Anthology, and the Athens Playwrights’ Workshop Press. In his free time, Abraham enjoys drinking cheap wine with his boyfriend and recommending Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays to strangers. He hopes you pick up a copy for yourself.

Adam Swanson (Nonfiction - 2018)

Adam Swanson is a writer, advocate, and occasional ballet dancer. Today he works with state governments as the senior prevention specialist at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Adam helped advance anti-bullying legislation and HIV/AIDS reforms while working in the U.S. Senate, and he is a former Mental Health America fellow. He was recipient of the 2017 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Student Award to support his studies at George Washington University in its LGBT Health Practice and Policy graduate certificate program. Adam holds a Master’s in public policy, and sits on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Consumer-Survivor Advisory Committee.

Amal Haddad (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Amal Haddad is a haphazard poet and wannabe novelist who collects maps of the Upper Michigan Peninsula, despite never having been there. Her writing has been recognized by the Montgomery County Council for Arts and Humanities and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is a 2018 Adroit Journal summer mentee in poetry and was named a 2018 YoungArts Finalist in Visual Arts for her series about the AIDS epidemic and its ramifications today. Amal studies English at Swarthmore College.

Amanda V. Mead (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Amanda V. Mead is a queer writer and teacher living in Spokane, Washington with her wife, two dogs, and a cantankerous cat named Seamus. She received her MFA from Eastern Washington University, where she served as Poetry Editor for Willow Springs. She was a contributor to Lambda Literary-nominated collections Dear John, I Love Jane, and its sequel Greetings from Janeland. Her poetry has been published in Calyx, Drunken Boat, Confrontation, and elsewhere. Amanda is currently working on a young adult novel that connects her childhood home in eastern Montana to her current home in the Pacific Northwest.

Amos Mac (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Amos Mac is an artist living and working in Hollywood. In 2009 he founded Original Plumbing, the seminal print magazine documenting the culture of trans men. He was a producer for the Emmy-nominated series Gaycation, has been honored on the OUT 100, TRANS 100, and featured in the HBO film The Trans List. The Original Plumbing Anthology, featuring the best of all 20 issues, will be published by the Feminist Press in 2019. Amos is writing the young adult novel he needed as a kid.

Anant Kaur (Nonfiction - 2018)

Anant Kaur is Brown and proud, a femme working-class survivor. Their writing appears in various publications including Feministing, The World Policy Journal, Bitch and make/shift magazines, and their self-published anthology Colored Girls. They is one of seven sex worker storytellers featured in the documentary film The Red Umbrella Diaries. They also graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine and was listed in Marie Claire magazine’s list of sex workers better suited for the presidency than 45. They has over a decade of experience organizing in low-income communities of color where they played a lead role in decriminalizing medical marijuana and ending the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution in New York State. They has a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an MA in Public Policy and Administration from McMaster University. They currently lives in Toronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory, and is writing their first book of stories on sex work.

Aurielle Marie (Poetry - 2018)

Aurielle Marie is a Black, Atlanta-born, Queer hip-hop scholar and a community organizer. Through her work as a poet and an activist, she explores the uses of intimacy and ritual in the practice of Black resistance. Aurielle is a 2018 Lambda Literary Writer Retreat fellow, a 2017 Roddenberry Fellowship Finalist, a Voices of Our Nation Fellow-Alum, a 2016 Kopkind Fellow, and a current Queer Emerging Artist-In-Residence at Destiny Art Center. She was chosen by Safiya Sinclair as the 2017 Poetry Prize Winner for Blue Mesa Review. She has been featured as a social-political pundit on CNN. Her essays and poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Blue Mesa Review, Selfish Magazine, in Scalawag, on For Harriett, ESSENCE Mag, Allure, NBC Blk, and Huffington Post. Her collection, Gumbo Ya Ya, won the 2017 Write Bloody Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured on a global host of stages, most prestigiously in her grandmother’s kitchen.

Avi Cummings (Fiction - 2018)

Avi Cummings is a writer pursuing an MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College. With Belkys Garcia, he is co-editing a special fiction issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, “‘Grab the Broom of Anger’: Stories for the Revolution.” Avi has worked at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. He has also been involved with Jewish Voice for Peace, the Roots to Freedom Giving Circle, and other activist projects. He lives in New York City.

Barrak Alzaid (Fiction - 2018)

Barrak Alzaid is a writer and an artist with extensive experience in curating contemporary art and performance. His current project, Fabulous at Five, is a memoir that relates the coming of age of a gay kid in an Arab and Muslim upbringing. It is a story of coming of age and family fracture and reconciliation. He is a founding member of the artist collective GCC whose work examines the Arab Gulf region’s transformations and shifting systems of power. They have exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at MoMA Ps1, The Whitney Biennial, Sultan Gallery Kuwait, Berlin Bieniale IX, and Sharjah Art Foundation, among others. He lives in Chiang Mai with his husband and their dog Starbuck.

Benjamin Fainstein (Playwriting - 2018)

Benjamin Fainstein is a playwright and theatre maker currently based in Portland, Oregon, where he serves as literary manager and resident dramaturg for Portland Center Stage at The Armory and JAW: A Playwrights Festival. His plays and performance texts include Carnival/Invisible, Iphigenia Among the Stars, Prototype 373-G, The Body Politic, and Paradise Sets In. He is a former founding artistic director of Whistler in the Dark Theatre, associate artistic director of Yale Cabaret, and managing editor of Theater magazine. Benjamin is a graduate of Middlebury College and Yale School of Drama; he originally hails from Houston, Texas.

Benoit Denizet-Lewis (Nonfiction - 2018)

Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a longtime writer with The New York Times Magazine, where he is known for deeply reported cover stories and features about identity, LGBT life, youth culture, and mental health. Benoit’s narrative nonfiction has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Slate, and Out. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including “America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life” and the New York Times bestselling “Travels With Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country.” Named one of the most fifty most influential LGBT media members by The Advocate, Benoit appears on many radio and television programs, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, and NPR’s Here & Now and On Point. He teaches at Emerson College in Boston.

C. Bain (Playwriting - 2018)

C. Bain is a gender liminal writer-performer based in Brooklyn. His plays have been performed at the Kraine, the Tank, and at Dixon Place in NYC. His poetry appears in anthologies and journals including PANK, theRumpus.net, A Face to Meet the Faces, the Everyman’s Library book Villanelles, and Muzzle Magazine. Thrice-nominated for the Pushcart Prize, he has also competed on and coached multiple slam teams. Debridement, his poetry collection, was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Awards. He works extensively with mythology, embodiment, trauma and sexuality. But he’d rather just dance with you.

Caitlin Hernandez (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Caitlin Hernandez’s love of young-adult literature is rivaled only by her fondness for ice cream with Oreos and anything and everything rainbow. A Lambda fellow in 2015, Caitlin’s fiction has earned her mentorships from Writing in The Margins and We Need Diverse Books. Her nonfiction appears in the disability studies textbook Barriers and Belonging and the forthcoming Land of Firsts anthology. Totally blind since birth, Caitlin lives in San Francisco, where she teaches elementary-school special education. She’s also seeking a new a cappella group who will appreciate her rusty perfect pitch and “blawkward” dance moves. Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff!

Catherine Chen (Poetry - 2018)

Catherine Chen is a poet and performer. Their work has appeared in Entropy, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Mask Magazine, Taggverk, Nat. Brut, among others. Their chapbook Manifesto, or: Hysteria is forthcoming from Big Lucks, and they’re working on a full-length collection of poems about disembodiment, machine language, and the Amazon Echo.

Charlie James Cote (Playwriting - 2018)

Charlie James Cote is a playwright from Atlanta, Georgia. He is the recipient of the 2013 Columbia College Chicago Fresh Play Prize. His work has been developed at Chicago Dramatists and Horizon Theatre, where he was a Young Playwright’s Fellow in 2010. He is thrilled to return to Horizon Theatre as a playwriting apprentice for the upcoming 2018/2019 season. A lifelong storyteller, Charlie also harbors passions for screenwriting and creative non-fiction, as well as dramaturgy and new play development. Often explored topics in Charlie’s work include existential dread, time, gay love, the intersection of science and the arts, and the paradox of masculinity. In undergrad, a professor once described his playwriting style as “poetic realism,” he isn’t entirely sure what this means, but he has included the label in every artistic statement since.

Aaron Tilford (Nonfiction - 2017)

Aaron Tilford works as a graphic designer and DJ. He is a recent transplant to LA after 15+ years in NYC and an extended layover in his hometown of Bloomington, IN. Since 2003 he’s been editing and publishing the queer-bent literary art journal Spunk, for which he has curated art shows and organized readings and other events. His writing and art have appeared in Exposed: The BPX Zine, the JOSH, Lambda Literary Review, and Mary Literary. He has appeared in KAISERIN Hors-Série; CRUSHfanzine; the reading series Brother My Lover; and in Robert W. Richards’ The Vanishing City at Dixon Place.

Abraham Johnson (Playwriting - 2017)

Abraham Johnson is a young writer from Athens, Georgia. He is an active member of the Athens Playwrights’ Workshop and his plays have been produced by every student theatre group at the University of Georgia. He has also developed plays at the Horizon Theatre, Out of Box Theatre, Sundress Academy for The Arts, and the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. His prose has been published in the magazine Hello Mr. as well as won the American Voices and National Silver Medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. He recently received CURO’s 2017 Summer Research Fellowship to research “Queer Spirituality Onstage.”

Al Reitz (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Al Reitz is a Boston-based writer, a prose reader for the Blueshift Journal, and an aspiring cryptid. They spend most of their time thinking about the stars, frantically writing down ideas in their iPhone notes, and reminding themself that they’re never finished growing. Their debut collection of short stories, Middlelands, was released from Wilde Press in April.

Ammi Keller (Fiction - 2017)

Ammi Keller is almost done with a novel-in-stories about Hurricane Katrina, sexuality and disaster capitalism. She wrote the zine Emergency and has published fiction and nonfiction in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015, American Short Fiction, Joyland, Stories Care Forgot, The Zine Yearbook and Bottoms Up. Ammi was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University and now teaches for Stanford’s Certificate in Novel Writing Program. Her writing has been supported by residencies from the Norton Island Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Annette Covrigaru (2017)

Writer-in-Residence Annette Covrigaru is a bigender American-Israeli writer and returning Lambda Fellow. In 2014, she received Kenyon College’s Muriel C. Bradbrook Award for her story “Echoes of Time,” which also won Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal’s short fiction contest and was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards. She is the creator and editor of All Things Jesbian, an LGBTQ Jew(ish) literary and art magazine (allthingsjesbian.com) whose inaugural issue will be out this summer. Her work has appeared in HIKA, Kaaterskill Basin, TQ Review, The Calling Bell, and Gaslight. A master’s student in Holocaust Studies at University of Haifa, she has dedicated most of her young adult life to working for various LGBTQ and Jewish non-profits.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (2017)

Writer-in-Residence Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a theatre maker from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. He is an inaugural Field Leadership Fund Arts Manager Fellow (2015-2017) as well as a Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting (2015 & 2016). Azure received the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Award for his first full-length play “Mirrors.”

Brandon Taylor (Fiction - 2017)

Brandon Taylor is the assistant editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a contributing writer at Literary Hub. His work has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Bull Magazine, Split Lip Magazine, Literary Hub, Catapult, and elsewhere.

C.B. Lee (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

C.B. Lee is a bisexual writer based in California. She is a first-generation Asian American and has a BA in Sociology and Environmental Science, which occasionally comes in handy in her chosen career, but not usually. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits, and was a Lambda Literary Fellow in 2016.

Cal Angus (Fiction - 2017)

Cal Angus is a queer & trans writer whose fiction and essays can be found at The Common Online, The Offing, BuzzFeed LGBT, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Origins Journal and elsewhere. He just finished his MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and before graduate school he worked as a naturalist, a fishmonger, a reporter in Idaho, and an advocate for transgender youth. He’s currently at work on a novel and a short story collection linked by the violent histories of museums.

Calvin Kasulke (Playwriting - 2017)

Calvin Kasulke is a playwright living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the recipient of a Creative Capital summer intensive fellowship, a Helene Wurlitzer fellow in playwriting, and was previously a BuzzFeed editorial fellow. If you have a Dungeons and Dragons campaign going in NYC, he’d love to join you. He is currently a Senior Associate at Precision Strategies, where he is a digital strategist for the good guys. “Who Killed Fun Horse,” his upcoming radio serial, will be released in Fall 2017. His work has appeared on the Internet.

Carlos Sirah (Playwriting - 2017)

Carlos Sirah is writer and performer. His work encounters: exile, rupture, displacement in relation to institutions, local and beyond. His most recent theater pieces include: The Utterances, The Light Body, and Planets Measured by Parallax. His work has been performed and/or shown at Poet’s House, Nuyorican Café, KGB, The Granoff Centre, and the National Black Theatre Festival, and he has performed on the main stage at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Sirah has developed work with The Flea Theater, Vermont Studio Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Warrior Writers in collaboration with William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences. The Hambidge Center, The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and The Blue Mountain Center. He is a facilitator and serves on the steering committee of Warrior Writers, a community of veterans who make art.

Carson Beker (2017)

Writer-in-Residence Carson Beker is a writer, playwright, and storyteller. They are the co-founder of The Escapery, a Writing Unschool. Their work has appeared in Foglifter, Gigantic Sequins, Sparkle + Blink, Transfer Magazine, and Bourbon Penn. Their plays have been produced at or developed through the San Francisco Olympians Festival, Z Space, Custom Made, and Exit Theater. They were a 2016 Lambda Fellow and Tin House Workshop scholar, and they are so happy to return to Lambda as a WIR to work on their short story collection: Dead Cat Elegy: Nine Stories of Undrowning.

Chanelle Gallant (Nonfiction - 2017)

Chanelle Gallant is an activist-writer with a focus on sex and justice, a long-time organizer and a queer femme powerhouse. Her writing has appeared in MTV News, The Rumpus, The Establishment, Huffington Post, The Walrus and various anthologies. She is based in Toronto, Canada (Haudenesaunee, Mississauga of New Credit, Huron-Wendat territories) and is currently working on her first book.

Charlie Miller (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Charlie Miller is a queer trans writer, student, after school teacher, and disney villain currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated Emerson College with a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, and he’s currently studying Children’s Literature and Library Services to Children at Simmons College. He likes monsters, magic, and summer camp, and you can find him on twitter @thefakechuckie.

Alexis Smithers (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Alexis Smithers is a black nonbinary writer who grew up and still lives in the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia area) and creates mostly through poetry, personal essay, and fiction. A contributing editor for Words Dance Magazine, Alexis advised to Winter Tangerine Review’s workshop for writers of color, interned at a non-profit advocating for people with rare blood diseases, and attended Pink Door, a women of color writer’s retreat. Currently working in food service and trying to turn all the learning they’ve done in the past four years into a tangible degree, Alexis tweets at @DangerLove12.

Andrew Holleran (Fiction - 2016)

Andrew Holleran is the author of Dancer From the Dance, a novel about pre-AIDS New York, and, most recently, Grief, a novella set in post-AIDS Washington, D.C. An original member of The Violet Quill, he has written two other novels, a book of stories, and a collection of essays about AIDS. For the past decade, he has been teaching Creative Writing at American University in Washington and currently writes for The Gay and Lesbian Review.

Ashley Young (Nonfiction - 2016)

Ashley Young is a Queer feminist poet, author and teacher. Her work has been published in three anthologies, Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press), All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin Press) and Glitter and Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy (Portland Studio). She a contributor at Elixher magazine‎ and has been featured in various online magazines, such as Autostraddle, Rvkvry Journal and more. She is a 2010 Voices of Our Nation’s Foundation Poetry Fellow and a 2011 Lambda Literary Foundation Nonfiction Fellow, to return summer of 2016. She taught her biomythography workshop at the Fire and Ink Conference in 2015 and performs her work at various readings throughout the country. She is currently working on a collection of poetry and prose entitled Chronicles of Bipolar Living and is completing her first novel, a biomythography entitled The Liberation of the Black Unicorn. Ashley lives in New York City with her wife, four wild cats and her sweet service dog.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (Playwriting - 2016)

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a theatre maker and arts administrator from South of the Mason-Dixon Line. He holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama as well as an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies and a BA in English & Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin. Azure is an inaugural Field Leadership Fund Arts Manager Fellow (2015-2017) as well as an alumnus of both Rising Circle Theater Collective’s INKtank (2014) and EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program (2014). Azure has held playwriting residences with Brooklyn Community Pride Center (2015), New Shoes Theatre (2011), and Freedom Train Productions (2010), and he was recently awarded the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Award for his first full-length play, “Mirrors.” He has performed at BRIC, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), HERE Arts Center, BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

Baruch Porras Hernandez (Playwriting - 2016)

Baruch Porras Hernandez is currently working on three full length plays, and a solo play. His solo play currently titled ¡Agárrate! is being developed for production by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission for Individual Theatre Artists. His last solo play When I Was a Color Kid debuted at Marga Gomez’s PERFORMERAMA at Oasis SF-2015. His first solo show Reasons to Stay On The Ground was performed at the National Queer Arts Festival in 2010. His first children’s play Rosita y La Llorona was produced by Sonoma State University in 2003. His ten-page play, Apex of Friendzone was recently published by The Santa Ana River Review. He has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Sonoma State University and is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry-2014. Mr. Porras Hernandez’s poetry can be found in several anthologies and regularly hosts poetry shows in San Francisco where he lives.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults as well as a Lambda Literary Award for Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Brian Rigg (Poetry - 2016)

Brian Rigg’s poems have appeared in a number of publications including: Grain Magazine, Windsor Review, Canadian Dimension, Descant, and Fireweed. They were also included in two anthologies: Ma’ka: Diasporic Juks: Contemporary Writing by Queers of African Descent and Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets. A False Paradise, his first collection of poetry, was published by ECW Press (2001). He is currently working on a new collection of poetry, titled Guerrilla.

C. Kevin Smith (2016)

Writer-in-Residence C. Kevin Smith was a Lambda Fellow in 2007 and 2013 and is thrilled to return in 2016 as a Writer in Residence. In May, he will receive an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he is an Iowa Arts Fellow. His work has appeared in The Sun, Alimentum, and the Redwood Coast Review, and has won awards from the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation, the Carl Cherry Center, and the Templeton Foundation. When he is not in Iowa, he lives with his husband Jeff and their cat Joshua in Big Sur, California. Kevin is also a certified instructor of Tai Chi and Qigong.

C.B. Lee (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

C.B. Lee is a bisexual writer and hiking enthusiast from the California coast. A first generation Asian American, Lee identifies strongly with immigrant communities and has a background working with various educational nonprofits with inner-city youth in Los Angeles. She is passionate about working in communities of color and providing a space through outdoor and environmental education where youth can be empowered in themselves and inspired to write characters and stories they identify with. Lee’s debut novel Seven Tears at High Tide was published by Duet Books in 2015 and named a finalist in the fourth annual Bisexual Books Awards.

Caitlin Bagwell (Fiction - 2016)

Caitlin Bagwell is a substitute teacher whose seen everything, man, seen everything, and still loves it. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch LA. You can find her work at Jaded Ibis and Lunch Ticket. She lives in Portland Oregon with her two cats Freddy and Mercury.

Candace Eros Díaz (Nonfiction - 2016)

Candace Eros Díaz is a 2015-16 Steinbeck Fellow out of The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University. She is a former San Francisco Writer’s Grotto Fellow and a proud VONA/Voices alum. She is the Coordinator for the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California where she received a dual-concentration MFA in creative nonfiction and fiction. She writes in the dreamy space where fact and fiction collide and is currently at work on a historical creative nonfiction novel about her women ancestors. She lives in Oakland, CA and can be found at candaceerosdiaz.com.

Carson Beker (Fiction - 2016)

Carson Beker is a writer, playwright, and storyteller with an MFA and MA from SFSU. They are the co-founder of The Escapery, an SF Bay Writing Unschool, and the former Fiction Editor of Fourteen Hills. Their work has appeared in Gigantic Sequins, Sparkle + Blink, Transfer Magazine, and Bourbon Penn. Their plays have been at the San Francisco Olympians Festival and at Z Space, and they are proud to have performed for Radar Literary Series. They have two cats, one living and one ghost. They are so excited to be a 2016 Lambda fellow in Fiction!

Cary Alan Johnson (Fiction - 2016)

Cary Alan Johnson writes. Working from bases in Brooklyn and various cities in Africa. He was an original member of the Blackheart Collective and Other Countries: Black Gay Voices. (Yes, an O.G.) He has recently connected with brilliant brothers at the Tenth Magazine and his essay, “Mo(u)rning in America: Confessions of a Black Gay Baby Boomer” appeared in their sophomore issue. He has published poetry, fiction, and works for the stage as well as non-fiction in various anthologies including Changing Men, RFD, Go the Way Your Blood Beats, E. Lynn Harris’s In this Village, and Assoto Saint’s the Road Before Us. He is currently working on something that feels like a novel.

Celeste Chan (2016)

Writer-in-Residence Celeste Chan is a queer artist, activist, writer, and filmmaker, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. She makes experimental and hybrid genre work. Her recent writing can be found in AWAY, cream city review’s genrequeer folio, and the Glitter & Grit Anthology. In addition to her own practice, Chan curates, collaborates, and creates platforms to amplify fellow artists. Alongside KB Boyce, she directs Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She’s a contributing editor to Foglifter, a new literary journal of queer form & content. Chan is thrilled to launch new projects in 2016. She is collaborating with Elliat Graney-Saucke to create ART Heart: Children of Riot Grrrl and Beyond, an experimental documentary (est. completion 2018). Her multimedia solo show, (Re)generation, debuts June 15 and 16 at SAFEhouse (Saving Art From Extinction) in San Francisco.

Charles Stephens (Playwriting - 2016)

Charles Stephens is a writer and activist. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Counter Narrative Project and co-editor of the anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call. His writings have appeared in the anthologies: Think Again, If We Have to Take Tomorrow, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough and publications such as Georgia Voice, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lambda Literary Review, Creative Loafing, and RH Reality Check.

Annah Anti-Palindrome (Poetry - 2015)

Annah Anti-Palindrome is a bay-area based musician/Optical Sound-Smith, writer, and queer/femme antagonist who hails from the working-class craters at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Annah performs using a variety of different mediums including a Line 6 (DL4) looping system, kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, her body (mostly her throat), and more! As part of the 2014 National Queer Arts Festival, Annah co-edited Passage and Place, a queer anthology on Home. Annah is also the co-editor of 1-2-3 Punch: How Misogyny Hurts Queer Communities, curator for the East Bay’s monthly event, Culture Fuck!, and a collective member of Deviant Type Press. She holds an MFA in poetry from Mills College. Her written work has been published in Transfer literary magazine, Buckets Kicked: Writings on Radical Grief, and in the QZAP archives (Queer Zine Archive Project). She is currently working on a collection of poems tentatively called Resisting Palindromes.

Anton Dela Cruz (Nonfiction - 2015)

Anton Dela Cruz is a writer based in Columbia, South Carolina by way of New York. He is a Nonfiction Reader for Tayo Literary Magazine. A VONA/Voices fellow, his writing explores the intersection of science and culture.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (Playwriting - 2015)

Azure D. Osborne-Lee is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist and theatre maker. This past winter Azure’s writing was presented as part of The Fire This Time Festival and National Black Theatre’s Keep Soul Alive! Mondays. This spring you can find him leading the Voicebox Workshops at Brooklyn Community Pride Center. Come summer he will receive a reading at 2econd Stage Theatre. Azure was also recently a member of Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC and Rising Circle Theater Collective‘s 2014 INKtank. He has been selected as a finalist for National Black Theatre’s I AM SOUL playwriting residency and Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab.

Brandon Taylor (Fiction - 2015)

Brandon Taylor is a PhD student in biochemistry at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a B.S. in Physical Science from Auburn University, at Montgomery. His writing deals in themes of exile, family, and the intersections of sexuality, race, and class.

Bryan Borland (Poetry - 2015)

Bryan Borland is founding publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press, founding editor of Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry, and author of the poetry collections My Life as Adam and Less Fortunate Pirates: Poems from the First Year Without My Father. He’s been honored three times by the American Library Association through inclusion on its “Over the Rainbow” list of recommended LGBT reading: as a poet for Adam and as an editor for Joy Exhaustible: Assaracus Presents the Publishers and Lady Business: A Celebration of Lesbian Poetry. He lives in Arkansas with his husband and co-publisher of SRP, Seth Pennington.

C. Russell Price (Poetry - 2015)

C. Russell Price is a genderqueer poet originally from the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia (Glade Spring) and now calls Chicago home. Price currently works with TriQuarterly and StoryClub Magazine. Previous publications include Assaracus, Court Green, MiPOesias, North Chicago Review, Weave, and elsewhere. He’s been a finalist for the Edes Award for Emerging Artists, The Russell Prize, and the Boston Review/Discovery Prize. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Northwestern University. He paints, plays piano, and works on recycled art installation pieces on Chicago’s north side. He’s been a featured performer at The Poetry Foundation, Molly Malone’s, This Is Not An Intervention, Homolatte, Sunday Salon, and other venues in the Windy City.

Caitlin Hernandez (Genre Fiction - 2015)

A graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, Caitlin Hernandez’s essays, poetry, and prose have been published in several anthologies and on the web sites WordGathering and The Mighty. She has written a short musical and two plays, which were produced by CRE Outreach’s Theatre By the Blind, the only theatre troupe in the country comprised solely of blind actors. When not working toward her masters degree in special education, reading and writing young ­adult fiction, or singing with her a cappella group, Caitlin enjoys eating coffee ice cream with Oreos and trying not to trip people with her rainbow cane.

Catherine Frost (Playwriting - 2015)

Catherine Frost is a playwright from Washington, DC. She is graduating from Pomona College with a major in Africana Studies and a Theatre minor. Her work often focuses on radical personhood and sound is an important element in her art. Her favorite sitcoms are Smart Guy and Living Single.

Catherine Healy (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Catherine Healy’s work has appeared in Geez Magazine and the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthology Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from Swarthmore College and is now completing a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, in preparation for ordination as an Episcopal priest. Catherine’s interests include alternatives to capitalism, the transformative power of fiction, the boundless grace of God, and making the world a safer place for kids.

Celeste Chan (Playwriting - 2015)

Celeste Chan is an experimental artist, writer, and organizer. A Lambda Literary fellow & VONA alumni, her writing can be found in Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, As/us journal, Feminist Wire, Hyphen Magazine, Matador, and the forthcoming Writing the Walls Down anthology (Trans-Genre Press). She recently received a Hedgebrook residency, a SF Writers’ Grotto fellowship, and a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant. Her films have screened in CAAMFest, Digital Desperados, Entzaubert, Frameline, Heels on Wheels, MIX NYC, National Queer Arts Festival, Queer Women of Color Film Festival, and Vancouver Queer Film Festival, among others. Alongside KB Boyce, she co-directs Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She has presented and curated in the SF Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, Bloomington, Seoul, Glasgow, Berlin, and beyond. She lives in San Francisco.

Alex Grandstaff (Fiction - 2014)

Alex Grandstaff is a nonbinary native Houstonian and founding member of Gamma Rho Lambda’s Kappa Chapter at their alma mater, University of Houston. Alex is into urban fantasy and magical realism stories with a side of memoirs. A writer of fiction and comics, they are currently writing and illustrating a graphic novel The Trialand working on the novel The Moving City. Both pieces began as a part of Alex’s senior honors thesis, a collection of fiction focused on queer protagonists. Alex still resides in Houston and can be found blogging at AnalyticalAlex and making art on AGrandMark.

Anne Laughlin (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Anne Laughlin is the author of five novels – three that have been published by Bold Strokes Books and two more that will come out in late 2014. She has written numerous short stories published by Cleis Press, Alyson Books and others. Her story “It Only Occurred to Me Later” was a finalist in the Saints and Sinners 2013 Short Fiction Contest. She is a three time Goldie Award winner and has twice been short listed for a Lammy Award. Anne was named a Writers Retreat Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation in 2008. She’s been accepted into residencies at Ragdale and Vermont Studio Center. Anne lives in Chicago with her wife, Linda.

Annette Covrigaru (Nonfiction - 2014)

Annette Covrigaru is a Long Island, NY native who has not only spent the past four years living in rural Ohio, but has spent the past four years being asked, “Why did you want to go to school in Ohio?” That being said, she recently graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in English emphasizing in Creative Writing. Her short story “Echoes of Time” won the college’s Muriel C. Bradbrook Award. Her stories have been published in Kenyon’s student run literary magazine, HIKA. In past years, she has worked as a Kenyon Review Student Associate and has interned at Random House. An incoming M.A. student in the Weiss-Livnat International M.A. Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa, she will continue to merge her studies of the Holocaust and queer identity to create nonfictional stories and preserve LGBTQA Holocaust narratives. When she isn’t writing, Annette is most likely playing guitar, lounging on Fire Island, or watching Game of Thrones.

Baruch Porras-Hernandez (Poetry - 2014)

Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a writer, performer, and organizer, based in San Francisco. He has performed his writing all over California, and featured at shows in Washington D.C., NYC, and Canada. His poetry appears in Aim for the Head anthology of Zombie Poetry, -Write Bloody Publishing, Divining Divas – Lethe Press, Flicker and Spark Queer Poetry Anthology -Low Brow Press, Tandem – Bicycle Comics Press, Sparkle and Blink -Quiet Lightning Press, and is forth coming in Multiverse, anthology of Superhero Poetry, also with Write Bloody Publishing. For the past 5 years he’s been the curator and head organizer for The San Francisco Queer Open Mic and regularly puts together literary shows and festivals, most recently the ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente? festival of Latino Poetry and Spoken Word. He has been a resident artist at the spoken word program at the Banff Center in Alberta Canada, and the A.I.R. Program at The Garage, a Space for Performance Art, in San Francisco. He was born in Toluca, Mexico and grew up in Albany, California. Baruch Porras-Hernandez

Celeste Chan (Nonfiction - 2014)

Celeste Chan is a writer and artist/organizer, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. A VONA fellow, her writing can be found in As/us journal, Feminist Wire, and Hyphen blog. Her films have screened in CAAMFest, Digital Desperados, Entzaubert, Frameline, MIX NYC, National Queer Arts Festival, and Vancouver Queer Film Festival, among others. She has presented and curated in the SF Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, Bloomington, Glasgow, Berlin, and beyond. Alongside KB Boyce, she co-directs Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project. She lives in San Francisco.

Charles Rice-González (Writers in Residence - 2014)

Charles Rice-González, born in Puerto Rico and reared in the Bronx, is a writer, long-time community and LGBT activist, co-founder of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and a Distinguished Lecturer at Hostos Community College – CUNY. He received a B.A. in Communications from Adelphi University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His debut novel, Chulito (Magnus 2011), has received awards and recognitions from American Library Association (ALA) and the National Book Critics Circle. He co-edited From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction (Tincture 2011) with Charlie Vázquez. He is also an award-winning playwright and his play I Just Love Andy Gibb will be published in Blacktino Queer Performance: A Critical Anthology co-edited by E. Patrick Johnson and Ramón H. Rivera-Servera in 2015. He received an Audre Lorde scholarship from the ZAMI Foundation, a P.R.I.D.E. (Puerto Rican Initiative to Develop Empowerment) Award and the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award in 2014. Charles serves as the chair of the board for The Bronx Council on the Arts and NALAC – The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, and is an active organizer for the Queer Latina/o Writers Collective.

Audrey Coulthurst (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

A native of Portland, Oregon, Audrey Coulthurst now lives in Austin, Texas, despite her passionate hatred of hot weather. She received an MS in Writing (Book Publishing) from Portland State University in 2008 and is completing the final edits on her YA fantasy about a princess who falls in love with her fiancé’s sister. Audrey spends most of her time cackling gleefully at her computer while crafting elaborate euphemisms and disturbing metaphors. However, she can also be found drinking too much tea at her day job, telling crude jokes with her friends, livetweeting bad movies, or riding her horse.

Blake Nemec (Poetry - 2013)

Blake Nemec is a health care worker, writer and teacher, from Western Wisconsin, who lives in Chicago. He recently completed an MFA in Bilingual Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he started Mouth to Mouth: a hybrid poetry/fiction collection about flash intimacies between informal trade workers. He is recently included in Captive Genders; Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, the Rio Grande Review and Jupiter 88. The National Queer Arts Festival, Radical Queer Semaine, and Boston AWP are events where he has presented or performed.

Brandi M. Spaethe (Poetry - 2013)

Brandi M. Spaethe recently graduated from Fresno State with an M.F.A. in poetry. She’s worked for The Normal School: A Literary Magazine, The Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and currently interns at Poets & Writers in Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared in CRATE, Off the Rocks: An GLBT Anthology, American Athenaeum, and Slipstream. Her chapbook, To You Who Wants In, was released in December 2012. She plans to continue working with literary nonprofits in Los Angeles and writing about the queer community.

Bryn Kelly (Nonfiction - 2013)

Bryn Kelly has shared her written work at NYC-based performance series Gayety!, Low Standards, and Queer Memoir; on Showtime Network’s OurChart.com; in Original Plumbing magazine; as a regular columnist at the digital literary magazine PrettyQueer.com; and in the anthology, Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love and Relationships Beyond the Gender Binary, edited by Morty Diamond. She was a cofounder of Theater Transgression, a transgender multimedia performance collective, and studied playwriting at Brooklyn College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York!

C. Kevin Smith (Fiction - 2013)

C. Kevin Smith typed his first poems and stories on an old Smith-Corona that belonged to his great-grandfather. On carbon paper. More recently, he has published in The Sun, Alimentum, The Redwood Coast Review, and on his blog Arts Alive. He performed his solo monologue “For Pete’s Sake” at the Broadway Playhouse, in Santa Cruz, and appeared in the award-winning documentary “Emile Norman: By His Own Design,” which aired nationally on PBS. A Lambda Literary Fellow in 2007 and a certified instructor of tai chi and qigong, Kevin lives in Big Sur, California with his husband Jeff and Joshua the cat.

Carlyle Nuera (Nonfiction - 2013)

Carlyle Nuera is an artist, designer and writer from Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in May 2010, having studied both fashion design and product design. Since October 2010, he’s been working at his dream job as a Barbie designer at Mattel, Inc. In January 2013, Carlyle participated in VONA/Voices, a writing workshop for writers of color. He was one of three writers at the workshop to receive the Manuel G. Flores Scholarship from PAWA, Inc. (Philippine American Writers and Artists). He’s currently working on a memoir, tentatively titled “Freak Like Me”.

Abbie J. Leavens (Poetry - 2012)

Abbie J. Leavens is a writer-poet-mother-lover-teacher-student-friend who lives in Los Angeles. She is currently wrapping up her MFA from UC-Irvine. While at UCI, she has taught classes such as composition & rhetoric and beginning poetry. She loves teaching as much as writing, so this has been very awesome. Her work has appeared in various journals including Barnstorm, BlazeVOX, BLOOM, Reed, and Xenith, among others. She grew up in Iowa and enjoys iced tea, sunshine, and good company.

AJ Reyes (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

AJ Reyes was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a music lover, bookworm and sexy beast, he enjoys all things awesome. When he’s not roller skating, playing his guitar or watching covers of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” on YouTube, you’ll find him sitting on his bedroom floor writing. His published works include— Oh, wait. He doesn’t have any. He does, however, have a large collection of other people’s published works. You’ll often find an AJ in a dark and cold climate. AJ’s often melt when left in direct sunlight.

Alex Sanchez (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Alex Sanchez, recipient of LLF’s 2011 Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize, is best known for his debut 2001 novel, Rainbow Boys, selected by the American Library Association as a “Best Book for Young Adults,” and praised by School Library Journal as a book that could “open eyes and change lives.” The success of that first novel led to two Rainbow sequels and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel, So Hard to Say. His novel, The God Box, explores the intersection between sexuality and spirituality. And his novel, Getting It, a sort of “queer eye for the straight teenage boy,” won the Myers Outstanding Book Award for Human Rights. Alex’s last novel, Bait, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for young adult fiction and was recently selected to receive the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award. His newly-released novel, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, focuses on bisexual teens. Alex received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor. He divides his time between Florida and Thailand.

Alysia Angel (Fiction - 2012)

Alysia Angel is a southern-bred Lakota, and a working class queer high femme. She is self-published in chapbooks entitled “what i do when you’re not looking”. She is also published in Femme Family zine, Salacious Magazine, Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion, Bay Woof Magazine, Cactus Heart Magazine, Curve Magazine, Say Please, a Cleis Press anthology, and is a 2011 and 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow.

Annameekee Hesik (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Annameekee Hesik grew up on a healthy diet of Pippi Longstocking movies, Fig Newtons, and Schwinns. Too tall for most backseats, she spent her teen years playing basketball and wearing high waters. She now teaches high school English in Northern California and writes the books she wishes were around when she started falling for girls. Her YA novel, The You Know Who Girls, will be available in October, 2012. Its sequel is in the works. She is the youngest of ten siblings and likes her beverages ice cold. She is…the most interesting lesbian in the world.

Beth Neff (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Beth Neff majored in journalism at the University of Michigan but only turned back to writing recently after almost three decades as an organic vegetable farmer, dairy goat maven, sustainability activist, and single mother to four homeschooled children. Her young adult novel Getting Somewhere was released by Viking/Penguin in early 2012. She is presently at work on several more novels, a couple of non-fiction manuscripts and a collection of short fiction. When not writing, she can usually be found in her garden, playing the piano, on the river, reading, or in the kitchen.

Bonnilee Kaufman (Poetry - 2012)

Bonnilee Kaufman is a Learning Disabilities Specialist for the California Community Colleges. Her poetry was included in two anthologies Ghosts of the Holocaust and, Milk and Honey, A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry. She looks forward to having more of her work published.

Bridget Birdsall (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Bridget Birdsall (MFA Vermont College) author, teacher, queer-loving salad-bar spiritualist seeks to connect hearts with words and art. Bridget made a mid-life decision to overcome dyslexic challenges and pursue her passion for writing, especially Young Adult (YA) lit and poetry. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. Her YA novel August Atlas, about the challenges facing an intersexed teen, is seeking a publisher under the representation of the Jonathan Lyon’s Literary Agency. Her debut novel, Ordinary Angels, a story about siblings surviving the death of a sibling is available at Amazon.com.

Bryan Castille (Fiction - 2012)

Bryan Castille is a fiction writer from St. Louis, Missouri. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Upernavik Artist Residency in Greenland and from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He’s currently working on a novel.

Charan P. Morris (Poetry - 2012)

Charan P. Morris is a poet/performer/educator transplanted from Chicago to New York. She has been teaching literature in the NY public schools for seven years. Poetry takes its rightful place in her life — neck and neck with teaching. She has performed as a feature poet at a number of festivals and venues, namely The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Nuyorican Poets Café, DC Poetry Festival. Charan has shared a stage with artists such as Gill Scott-Heron, Lemon Anderson, The Last Poets, Staceyann Chin, Ishle Park, Tara Betts and others. After completing the Cave Canem spring writing intensive, she has just finished her first chapbook, When A Locked Door Opens, which explores the shifting relationship between family and the self.

Alan Orr (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Alan Orr teaches college courses in writing, rhetoric, and grammar in Toronto. He’s written textbooks and instructors’ manuals on business writing, and his short screenplays have received honourable mention in the US and Mexico. Alan has an MA in English Literature from University of Sheffield (UK) and an MEd in Applied Linguistics. Alan is currently having a great time working on his first novel, Death by Deceit, a murder mystery romp in the desert.

Allison Moon (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Allison Moon‘s first novel, Lunatic Fringe, can be summed up in two words: Lesbian Werewolves. It will be released in October 2011 and she is currently working on the sequel. Her writing has been published in make/shift, Not For Tourists, Nerve, McSweeneys.net, and she was recently named a runner up for the Victoria Hudson Emerging Writer’s Award. Allison is a vocal queer, polyamorous, and sex-positive feminist who blogs about all of these things, and more, at TalesofthePack.com.

Alysia Angel (Fiction - 2011)

Alysia Angel is a wise cracking, working class, queer high femme, an avid yelp.com reviewer, and a long time barista and coffee lover. She has self published a series of prose/poetry chapbooks titled “what i do when you’re not looking”, has pieces published in Salacious Magazine, Curve Magazine online, and is slated to be published in a Lesbian BDSM Erotica anthology by Cleis Press in 2012. She deeply loves all dogs and encourages them to jump on her and muddy her fancy dresses.

Anders Renee (Poetry - 2011)

Anders Renee is a purple seahorse living in a trannyboi’s body with a queer mind that is up to no good. He just received his BA in Gender Studies from Scripps College and can’t wait to explore his own voice and discover new ones. When he’s not cutting people’s hair he can probably be found eating a burrito and scribbling down poems on paper plates.

Andrea Lawlor (Fiction - 2011)

Andrea Lawlor writes, studies, and teaches writing at UMass-Amherst, and edits the Pocket Myths series. Lawlor’s writing has appeared in Persiflage, The Brooklyn Rail, Route 9, Encyclopedia (Volume II), MiPOesias, and OCHO 31.

Andrew J. Peters (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Andrew J. Peters writes fantasy, young adult and contemporary fiction. His work has appeared in Ganymede, Wilde Oats and La Bloga. His latest project is an LGBT re-telling of the last days of Atlantis. While writing and submitting his work for publication, he works as a social worker for LGBT youth. Andrew lives in New York City with his partner and their feline “daughter” Chloë.

Anna-Marie McLemore (Fiction - 2011)

Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American roots in the Southwest, her upbringing in the Christian church, and the love of stories she first learned from her family. Her work is included in six Cleis Press anthologies and has also appeared in cratelit and on the website of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. She lives in California with her Sapphic husband.

Ashley Young (Nonfiction - 2011)

Ashley Young is a black feminist queer dyke; poet, non-fiction writer and teaching artist. She is the creator of an online writing project for women of color called Brown Girl Love and is currently working on a memoir. She works as the Education Program Assistant at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and as a teaching artist for Urban Stages. She lives with her partner and four cats in New York City.

Belo Cipriani (Nonfiction - 2011)

Belo Cipriani is a freelance writer, speaker, and the author of Blind: A Memoir. To read and write, Belo uses a desktop application for the blind called JAWS. His favorite snack is cold pizza and one of his past times is sneaking quick games of tug-a-war with his guide dog Madge throughout the day. Belo lives in San Francisco.

C. Adán Cabrera (Fiction - 2011)

C. Adán Cabrera is the queer son of Salvadoran refugees. Among other publication credits, Carlos’s writing has appeared in Westwind, has been anthologized in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, and his author interviews have appeared in Switchback. While living in San Francisco, Carlos was also a member of the 2010 Intergenerational Writers’ Lab and wrote for the bilingual newspaper El Tecolote. Besides translating Salvadoran folktales, Carlos volunteers with Inside OUT Writers and is a regular contributor to the online magazine Being Latino. He holds an MFA in short fiction from the University of San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA. Carlos currently lives in Los Angeles where he is hard at work on his first book, Tortillas y Sal, a bilingual collection of short stories about El Salvador and the many faces of the Salvadoran diaspora.

Caitlin Frances Thornbrugh (Nonfiction - 2011)

Caitlin Frances Thornbrugh is a feminist, writer, and Kansas native, who loves to travel. She is currently working on her MFA at the University of Kansas, writing fiction and non-fiction. After some morning coffee or tea, she is the Managing Editor for Beecher’s Literary Journal, and a Graduate Teaching Assistant. On Saturday mornings, she likes to go the farmer’s market, where someone once told her she had a map of Ireland on her face.

Carla Trujillo (Fiction - 2011)

Carla Trujillo was born in New Mexico and grew up in Northern California. She has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 26 years. She received her B.S. degree in Human Development from UC Davis, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

She is the editor of Living Chicana Theory (Third Woman Press 2003), and Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About, winner of a Lambda Book Award and the Out/Write Vanguard Award. Her novel, What Night Brings (Curbstone Press 2003), won the Miguel Marmol prize focusing on human rights.

What Night Brings also won the Paterson Fiction Prize, the Latino Literary Foundation Latino Book Award, Bronze Medal from Foreword Magazine, Honorable Mention for the Gustavus Meyers Books Award, and was a LAMBDA Book Award finalist. Carla works as the Director of the Graduate Diversity Program at U.C. Berkeley, and has focused some of her recent activities on improving the work and classroom climate using Interactive Theater.

Charan P. Morris (Poetry - 2011)

Charan P. Morris is a poet/performer/educator transplanted from Chicago to New York. She has been teaching literature in the NY public schools for seven years. Poetry takes its rightful place in her life — neck and neck with teaching. She has performed as a feature poet at a number of festivals and venues, namely The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Nuyorican Poets Café, DC Poetry Festival. Charan has shared a stage with artists such as Gill Scott-Heron, Lemon Anderson, The Last Poets, Staceyann Chin, Ishle Park, Tara Betts and others. After completing the Cave Canem spring writing intensive, she has just finished her first chapbook, When A Locked Door Opens, which explores the shifting relationship between family and the self.

Charles Stephens (Nonfiction - 2011)

Charles Stephens is an Atlanta based writer. He has been published in the anthologies Think Again and If We Have to Take Tomorrow, and the online journal Loose Change. He is most inspired by memory, nostalgia, and the transgressive.


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