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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 2020 Retreat are now closed. 2020 applicants will be notified of their status in May 2020. Applications for each year’s retreat are open from November to February.

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Fellows & Faculty Directory

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Levi Bentley (Poetry - 2019)

Levi Bentley is an artist member at Vox Populi. They teach workshops, most notably through Bluestoop, write for Artblog, and make publications with friends. “Bucolic Eclogue” was released from Lamehouse Press in July 2016. Chapbooks “Obstacle, Particle, Spectacle,” “&parts”, and “Stub Wilderness” were released from 89plus/LUMA Foundation, Damask Press, and Well Greased Press, respectively. Vitrine released their tape “Red Green Blue.” Poems have appeared through Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Elective Affinities, Fact-Simile, Gigantic Sequins, Madhouse, Maestra Vida, Magic Pictures, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stillwater Review, The Wanderer, and a variety of other venues.

Linda Villarosa (Nonfiction - 2019)

Linda Villarosa runs the journalism program at the City College of New York and is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. In June 2017, she wrote the Magazine‘s cover story “America’s Hidden Epidemic,” about HIV/AIDS among black gay/bisexual men in the South. In April 2018, her article “Why America’s Mothers and Babies Are in a Life or Death Crisis,” also ran on the Times Magazine cover. Linda is the author or co-author of a number of books and is working on Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation to be published by Doubleday.

Lourdes Dolores Follins (2019)

Writer-in-residence Lourdes Dolores Follins is a Black queer femme who comes from a long line of intrepid women and working-class strivers. She has published several articles and book chapters about LGBTQI people of color’s health, is the lead editor of the award-winning, ground-breaking book, Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation (Lexington Books, 2016), and was recently published in Rigorous. Lourdes Dolores’s development as a creative nonfiction writer was enhanced by a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellowship. She is using her Lambda Literary Writer-in-Residence to complete a wry and moving memoir about her relationship with her mother.

Martin Padgett (Nonfiction - 2019)

Martin Padgett has written books, features, product reviews, and news for 30 years, and still finds a blank page invigorating—and intimidating. He is the editorial director for Internet Brands Automotive, where he runs websites that include TheCarConnection, GreenCarReports, and MotorAuthority. He has written for Details, Outside, BusinessWeek, Men’s Health and Creative Loafing, on topics that have ranged from single mothers in pursuit of sole custody, to the prison labor that trains wild horses for adoption, the novel legal defenses of Atlanta strip clubs, the best dive bars in the French Quarter (RIP Flanagan’s), and the economic effects of self-driving cars. He earned his MFA in narrative nonfiction writing from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He lives in Atlanta and Pensacola Beach with his husband, three cats, and an overflowing file of future story ideas. He will forever be #TeamKatya.

Matthew Thompson (Poetry - 2019)

Matthew Thompson is a writer & filmmaker from Cleveland, Ohio living in Brooklyn, NY. Poems, essays, and his mama’s church plays brought him to writing. Also can’t discount the time he spent riffing in highschool math classes. Born out of midwest existential worlds his work thinks through sanity, sex, religion, music, nostalgia. Matthew is a graduate of The New School’s writing program. You can find his things in The Seventh Wave, Racebaitr, NBCC blog, Brooklyn Magazine, Juked Poetry, and elsewhere. Matthew has performed and shown his filmwork across the U.S. and internationally including: Melrose Ballroom, Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, Pratt Institute, Godsbanen Museum, and Apache Cafe. Matthew is currently a Writer-In-Residence at Teachers & Writers Magazine. Also mentoring with St. Ann’s School and Urban Word NYC. Connect with his headspace @blondemattmatt on Instagram and Twitter.

Maya Arthur (Poetry - 2019)

Maya Arthur is a writer and novice archivist/artist/researcher. She completed her BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2018. During her time at Penn, she gardened in a Victorian cemetery, started a zine library, discussed witches at length, and held seances. Her writing seeks to find cohesion through the collision and estrangement of genre, perspective, and mobility. She currently publicizes books in New York but will soon be returning to her favorite city—Philly!

Mfoniso Udofia (Playwriting - 2019)

Mfoniso Udofia, a 1st Generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College and obtained her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay, she co-pioneered youth initiative, The Nia Project, providing artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint. Mfoniso is a former Playwrights Realm Page One Resident and, in January 2016, Playwrights Realm produced the World Premiere of Sojourners, the origin story of the Ufot Family Cycle. In Spring 2016, The Magic Theater in San Francisco produced the West Coast Premiere of Sojourners and the World Premiere of the third installation in the Ufot Family Cycle, runboyun, in repertory with each other. New York Theatre Workshop produced the return of Sojourners to New York City in Spring 2017, which ran in repertory with the World Premiere of Her Portmanteau, and was previously developed at the National Black Theatre in an I Am Soul Residency in 2015. Her Portmanteau had its West Coast Premiere at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA. Mfoniso is also currently at work on a commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival translating Shakespeare’s Othello, through their Play On! program. She has four upcoming productions: Her Portmanteau (American Conservatory Theater, Winter 2019), In Old Age (A Magic Theater World Premiere, Spring 2019), runboyrun (A New York Theatre Workshop East Coast N Premiere, Fall 2019) and In Old Age (A New York Theatre Workshop East Coast Premiere, Fall 2019); and, she is a staff writer on the 3rd season of Netflix’s, 13 Reasons Why.

Mfoniso’s plays have been developed at and/or presented/produced by Playwrights Realm, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle’s INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company and more. Mfoniso is the recipient of the 2017-2018 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists.

Mia S. Willis (Poetry - 2019)

Mia S. Willis is a Black performance poet from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their work has been featured by or is forthcoming in FreezeRay, Curating Alexandria, WORDPEACE, Peculiar, Foothill, Button Poetry, and Slamfind. Mia was the recipient of the 2018 Foothill Editors’ Prize for their poem “hecatomb,” which was subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in Best New Poets 2018. They ranked fourth out of 96 femme poets at the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam and placed fifth out of 150 poets at the 2018 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Mia was a member of Tender Bitch, the winning team at the 2018 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament, and they are the first two-time Capturing Fire Slam Champion (2018, 2019). Mia was also named a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry as well as the 2019 Young Artist Fellow at ChaShaMa’s ChaNorth residency in Pine Plains, NY. Their debut poetry collection, monster house., was the 2018 winner of the Cave Canem Foundation’s Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize and is available now with Jai-Alai Books. Connect with Mia on Facebook and Twitter (@poetinthehat).

Milo Todd (Fiction - 2019)

Milo Todd writes trans historical fiction based on people and events that have often been distorted, erased, or cis-washed. He’s presented at Muse and the Marketplace and the Boston Book Festival, and is an instructor at GrubStreet in Boston. He’s an alum of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator Program, where he worked as a Pechet Fellow on THE FALCON OF DOVES, a work of historical fiction about a trans pirate and his surrogate cis father. Milo’s represented by Esmond Harmsworth of Aevitas Creative.

Nadine Marshall (Poetry - 2019)

Nadine Marshall is a black, queer, gender non-conforming poet, workshop facilitator, and collaborator living and working in Detroit, MI. They hold an MSW and B.S. in Psychology and African American Studies. Their work explores being black, queer, genderless, and the various spaces in between. Nadine organizes the Allied Media Conference and facilitates poetry workshops with their peers and through Detroit City Wide Poets- a program of InsideOut Literary Arts.

Naseem Jamnia (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Naseem Jamnia received their AB from the University of Chicago and MS from DePaul University, both in the biological sciences, and left their neuroscience PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania after the 2016 US presidential election. They’re the coauthor of Positive Interactions With At-Risk Children (Routledge, 2019), were the 2018 Bitch Media Fellow in Technology, and have written for outlets like The Washington Post, The Rumpus, Cosmopolitan, and more. A native Chicagoan, Naseem now lives in Reno with their spouse, dog, and two cats, where they’re working towards their fiction MFA at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Nicole Shawan Junior (Nonfiction - 2019)

Nicole Shawan Junior (Smith College BA | Pace University MST | Temple University JD) was born & bred in the bass-heavy beat & scratch of Brooklyn, where the Bed-Stuy cool of beautiful inner-city life barely survived the cripplings caused by crack cocaine. She’s a multi-genre counter-storyteller, felon and womynxst. Her writing is featured in Gay Magazine, For Harriet, The Feminist Wire, and more. The Hurston/Wright Foundation, African Voices, Black Film Space, and others have supported her work. She’s a 2019 NeON Arts Teaching Artist grant recipient, a SAFTA Fellow and a 2018 finalist for The Brooklyn Arts Festival’s Nonfiction Prize.

Nissy Aya (Playwriting - 2019)

Nissy Aya is a Black girl from the Bronx. She and all her younger selves tell stories and tall tales. They lead workshops, too. As an artist and cultural worker, we believe in the transformative nature of storytelling, placing those most affected by oppressive systems in the center, and examining how we move forward through healing and joy. We explore history/memory, time travel, and both the absence and presence of love. The love is mutual between her and a bunch of organizations, feel free to ask which.

Lin Thompson (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Lin Thompson is a queer writer and children’s librarian who grew up in Kentucky and now lives in Boston. They hold a BFA from Emerson College and an MS from Simmons College. They spend their time leading story time and encouraging kids to make messy art at the public library, reading as many books about LGBTQ+ kids as possible, and taking care of their very needy cat. They’re working on a middle-grade novel about queer kids in Kentucky finding the space to be themselves.

Lucas Baisch (Playwriting - 2018)

Lucas Baisch is a playwright and visual artist, originally from San Francisco, currently based in Providence, Rhode Island. His work has been read, developed, and shown at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Playwrights Horizons, Salonathon, Victory Gardens Theater, Links Hall, Gloucester Stage, American Theatre Company, The Neo-Futurists, The RISD Museum, The DeYoung Museum, SF Playground, etc. Productions include: Refrigerator (First Floor Theatre), The Scavengers (The Healy Theater at DePaul University), and A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company). Baisch is currently pursuing his MFA in Playwriting at Brown University.

Ludmila Leiva (Fiction - 2018)

Ludmila Leiva is a queer, mixed-race Latinx writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. Through her writing and art, she explores diasporic identity as it intersects with gender, race and sexuality. Her written and visual works have previously appeared in Wired, The New York Times‘ Women in the World, Literary Hub, Broadly, and more. She is currently working on her first novel.

Luis Alfaro (Playwriting - 2018)

Luis Alfaro is an Associate Professor at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He is a Chicano writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. He is the first-ever resident playwright of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, courtesy of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. Alfaro is also a producer/director who spent 10 years at the Mark Taper Forum as Associate Producer, Director of New Play Development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative.

Margaret Whitehead (Nonfiction - 2018)

Margaret Whitehead came to writing after a previous career in refugee resettlement. In 2016 she earned her MA in Literary Reportage from NYU, and was a Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity Literary Journalism Fellow in 2017. These days she writes short stories, essays and reported features, which have appeared in publications including Good Housekeeping (online), Reason Magazine and Narratively. She lives in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mariam Bazeed (Nonfiction - 2018)

Mariam Bazeed is a non-binary Egyptian immigrant living in a rent-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. She has an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. In addition to being an alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays, Mariam is a singer and performance artist. She is a current fellow at the Center for Fiction, and has received fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU, and Lambda Literary. She has been awarded residencies at the Marble House Project, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Hedgebrook. Mariam runs a monthly world-music salon in Brooklyn, and is a slow student of Arabic music.

Matthew Haynes (2018)

Writer-in-Residence Matthew Haynes received his M.A. in Fiction Writing and M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Boise State University. He has been a finalist for the William Faulkner Award, Writer’s Digest Literary Award, and Glimmer Train Short Short Story Award. He is the author of the novels Moving Towards Home and Friday. Matthew was a State of Idaho Literary Fellow in 2010, Idaho State Library Traveling Scholar from 2011-13, and Lambda Literary Fiction Fellow in 2017.

Melissa Nigro (Fiction - 2018)

Melissa Nigro is a queer writer and artist living in the Bay Area. She is working on a series of interconnected short stories set in the fictional community of Eden, a dying gold rush town in northern California. Her work explores how difficult it is to know when to call a place home, and when to leave it. She works as a photographer and graphic designer for Bay Area Children’s Theatre.

Michael Shayan (Playwriting - 2018)

Michael Shayan is an Iranian-American Jewish playwright based in New York. His work has recently been presented & developed at La MaMa (dir. John Michael DiResta), The Lark (dir. Lisa Rothe), Dixon Place’s queer HOT! Festival (dir. Ellie Heyman), and Lambda Literary as part of the 2017 Playwriting Fellowship. He studied playwriting at Harvard, where he worked with mentors Sam Marks, Liz Duffy Adams and Robert Scanlan. He was the youngest elected Board Member at the queer New Conservatory Theater Center in San Francisco, and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

Moncho Alvarado (Poetry - 2018)

Moncho Alvarado is a Latinx poet, translator, and educator. Their poems have been published in Poets House, The Academy of American Poets website, Mikrokosmos Journal, Acentos Review, Chaparral, and other publications. They are a recipient of fellowships from Poets House, Troika House, the Summer Seminar at Sarah Lawrence College, and won the Academy of American Poet’s John B. Santoianni award for excellence in poetry. They received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where they were awarded the Thomas Lux Scholarship for dedication to teaching, demonstrated through writing workshops with youths in Sunnyside Community Services in Queens, New York. Born and raised in Pacoima, California, they currently live in Brooklyn, New York, where they teach literature and creative writing.

Naomi Gordon-Loebl (Nonfiction - 2018)

Naomi Gordon-Loebl is a writer and educator from Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Complex, The Nation, The Toast, and elsewhere. She works as the Research Editor and Internship Director at The Nation Institute.

Natasha Dennerstein (Fiction - 2018)

Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne, Australia. She has an MFA from San Francisco State University. Natasha has had poetry published in many journals including Landfall, Shenandoah, Bloom, Red Light Lit, Spoon River Poetry Review, Foglifter and North American Review. Her collections Anatomize (2015), Triptych Caliform (2016) and her novella-in-verse About a Girl (2017) were published by Norfolk Press in San Francisco. Her trans chapbook Seahorse (2017) was published by Nomadic Press in Oakland. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is an editor at Nomadic Press and works at St James Infirmary, a clinic for sex-workers.

Nefertiti Asanti (Poetry - 2018)

Nefertiti Asanti is a writer, cultural worker & sometimes performance poet from the Bronx. Nefertiti is a fellow of The Watering Hole (2016, 2017) & EMERGENYC Hemispheric Institute (2015). In 2018, Nefertiti received a scholarship to attend Hedgebrook’s VORTEXT & joined the inaugural cohort of the Anaphora Literary Arts Residency for writers of color. Nefertiti’s work can be found at Winter Tangerine, AfroPunk & elsewhere. Nefertiti also reads poetry for Honeysuckle Press.

Nia KB (Poetry - 2018)

Nia KB is a queer black poet, musician and journalist from Fort Worth, Texas. She completed her B.A. in writing and journalism at Texas Christian University where she founded TCUnderground, an organization that integrated campus and local communities of color through artistic expression via informal showcases. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Eleven40Seven, Z Publishing House, Pamplemousse and elsewhere.

Laura Carpenter (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Laura Carpenter is a writer, runner, mother, wife, lesbian and Alaskan (not necessarily in that order). Her publications include The New York Times, The Guardian, Lambda Literary, Curve, and the anthology Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaskan LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her wife and daughter and is so grateful to Lambda Literary for this opportunity to work on her young adult novel. You can also find her at twitter.com/lauramcarpenter.

Lourdes Dolores Follins (Nonfiction - 2017)

Lourdes Dolores Follins is a Black, queer, US-born femme who comes from a long line of badass survivors, intrepid women, and working-class strivers. As a professor, psychotherapist, and a Ifa/Lukumi priestess, she also wears many masks. Lourdes has written about the health of LGBTQ people of color and her first book, Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation was published in 2016. Her second book, Black LGBT Health Across the Globe: A Regional Perspective will be published in 2017 and she is working on a book about the effect of the Great Migration on three generations of women in her family.

Malinda Lo (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Malinda Lo (YOUNG ADULT FICTION) is the author of the young adult novels Ash, Huntress, Adaptation, and Inheritance. Ash was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Horn Book, and AfterEllen. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog.

Matthew R. K. Haynes (Fiction - 2017)

Matthew R. K. Haynes earned his M.A. in Fiction and M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Boise State University. His first novel, Moving Towards Home, was published 1999. His most recent novel, Friday, was published in 2015. His short works have appeared in Fringe, Yellow Medicine Review, and Hawai’i Pacific Review, among others. He has been a finalist for the Faulkner Award in Nonfiction, Writer’s Digest Award in Fiction, and Glimmer Train Award for Short Short Fiction. His collection of multi-genre writing, titled Shall We Not Go Missing, has been chosen for the Wayne Kaumuali’i Westlake Monograph Series, and is forthcoming from Kuleana Press of the University of Hawaii in 2017. In 2010, Matthew was awarded a State of Idaho Writing Fellowship.

Maxe Crandall (Playwriting - 2017)

Maxe Crandall is a poet and playwright based in Berkeley and Brooklyn. His work can be found in Vetch, Women & Performance, Brooklyn Poets Anthology, The Recluse, and SFMOMA’s Open Space. His play Together Men Make Paradigms (Yo-Yo Labs 2014) debuted at Dixon Place and was a finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award. Additional work includes the play Underwater Wedding, the chapbook Emoji for Cher Heart, and a solo piece he’s developing called Mud in Love. Maxe has received fellowships from the Poetry Project, Poets House, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He teaches at Stanford University.

Melissa Eastlake (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Melissa Eastlake earned a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Hollins University and works in nonprofit marketing. Her debut novel, The Uncrossing, is coming in 2017 from Entangled Teen. She lives in Athens, Georgia with her partner and dog.

Michael Shayan (Playwriting - 2017)

Michael Shayan is an Iranian-American Jewish playwright based in New York. His latest play, Buddy, will be presented as part of the Dixon Place HOT! Festival this summer. His work has also been developed at The Lark in collaboration with director Lisa Rothe. He studied playwriting at Harvard, where he worked with mentors Sam Marks, Liz Duffy Adams and Robert Scanlan. He was the youngest elected Board Member at the queer New Conservatory Theater Center in San Francisco, and currently works at Google in NYC. He’s also a stand-up comedian, a YouTuber, and a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild.

Miranda Schmidt (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Miranda Schmidt’s work has appeared in The Collagist, Phoebe, Luna Station Quarterly, Driftwood Press, and other journals. Miranda grew up in the Midwest and now lives with her partner and two cats in Portland, Oregon where she edits the Sun Star Review, teaches writing at Portland Community College. A graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program, Miranda recently completed a novel about haunting and is currently at work on a project inspired by shapeshifting fairy tales.

Nahshon Anderson (2017)

Writer-in-Residence Nahshon Anderson is an award-winning artist from Altadena, California. They studied at California State University, Los Angeles, and has worked in television and film production for over two decades. Anderson is an NALAC Leadership Institute, Lambda Literary and VONA Fellow. An inaugural recipient of the Bryn Kelly Scholarship and a non-fiction BRIO Award from Bronx Council on Arts. They are a contributing writer in the forthcoming anthology, Happy Hour: Our Lives in Gay Clubs in Emerge: 2016-Lambda Fellows Anthology, Prose & Lore Issues 2, 3 & 5, and the Bronx Memoir Project. They are a recipient of grants from Creative Capacity Fund and the National Arts and Disability Center. They are a Grants Advisory Panelist for the New York State Council on The Arts, and a Juror for the Scholastic Art & Writing awards and has been a member of SAG-AFTRA since 1999. Anderson is working on a memoir Shooting Range.

Natalie Sharp (Poetry - 2017)

Natalie Sharp is a native of Savannah, GA and a proud black queer poet working on both page and stage. She earned her BA in English at Georgia College & State University and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Natalie has work that has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Juked, Madcap Review, Prick of the Spindle, Cactus Heart Press, and elsewhere. Natalie is an avowed supporter of Waffle House on every block, queer liberation, and joy without foreboding.

Nawaaz Ahmed (Fiction - 2017)

Nawaaz Ahmed is a transplant from Tamil Nadu, India. In a previous life he was a computer scientist, researching search algorithms for Yahoo. After quitting his job, he attended the creative writing MFA program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, winning several Hopwood awards for his novel, short fiction, and non‑fiction. He’s been invited to Macdowell, Yaddo, and VCCA, and has received scholarships from Breadloaf and Squaw Valley writer’s conferences. His fiction has appeared in the Sonora Review, and performed at the Sterling Music Room. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working on his first novel Sings Like A Bird.

Nelle Tankus (Playwriting - 2017)

Nelle Tankus is a queer trans woman playwright interested in making weird gay shit. Her full-length work has been seen at Copious Love Productions (The Untitled Play About Art School, dir. L. Nicol Cabe), Annex Theater (Eat Cake, dir. Catherine Blake Smith, and Gay City Arts (Safe, dir. Gary Zinter). Her shorter works have been seen at Mo-Wave, The Pocket Theater, Volunteer Park, The Erickson Theater, 14/48, and have been presented in association with MAP Theatre, ACT’s 1-Minute Play Festival, Fantastic Z. Theatre Company, Annex Theatre’s Spin the Bottle, Forward Flux’s collaborate/create, and in Portland OR with Fuse Theatre Ensemble. Nelle is a 2015 Lambda Fellow in Playwriting, was shortlisted for the 2016 Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and is an alumni of Parley: A Playwright’s Group.

Nita Tyndall (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Nita Tyndall is a tiny Southern queer with a deep love of sweet tea and very strong opinions about the best kind of barbecue (hint: it’s vinegar-based.) She is a 2017 #PitchWars mentor. In addition to being a YA writer, she is a moderator for The Gay YA. You can find her on tumblr at nitatyndall where she writes about YA and queer things, or on Twitter at @NitaTyndall. She lives in North Carolina.

Kristian O’Hare (Playwriting - 2016)

Kristian O’Hare’s plays have been produced or developed at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Ruckus Theatre, Ringwald Theatre, Ivy Theatre Company, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Sanguine Theatre Company, and Headlands Center of the Arts. His plays have been semifinalists at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. His full-length play Like Poetry had a successful run in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. The New York Times called it “a highly promising production…beautifully structured, with an impressive blend of poignancy and humor.” Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of English at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN.

Laura Carpenter (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Laura Carpenter lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her wife and daughter. She survives the dark Northern winters by reading, writing, running in studded shoes, and drinking chai lattes. She works in marketing and public relations and tries to not let that tarnish her fiction too much. Her publications include Curve, The New York Times, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Pride Blog, Naked Ptarmigan, NorthView, Inside Passages and more.

Marcus Tran Degnan (Fiction - 2016)

Marcus Tran Degnan is a current graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Asian American Studies Department. He is relatively new to the West Coast, having grown up in the swamplands of Central Florida. He attended and graduated from the University of Florida in 2015, where he was engaged with social activism around Asian American issues, as well as contributed to various social justice-oriented literary outlets. He identifies as a gay, Catholic, mixed race Vietnamese American, as much of it is a mouthful to say.

Molly Thornton (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Molly Thornton is a Seattle-based femme, writer, and poet who hails from the Land of Enchantment. She aims to write new anthems for young adults and is influenced by female friendship, queer love, and life’s gritty magic. When she’s not absorbed in editing her first novel, she is engaged in young women’s empowerment projects, or thrift shopping for leopard print garments and floral housewares.

Nahshon Anderson (Nonfiction - 2016)

Nahshon Anderson is an Afro-Indian and Latin writer with roots in East Texas where family members served in WW I & II. A Californian, Nahshon’s family was close to Rodney King. Nahshon attended California State University Los Angeles. At age 19, Nahshon survived an attempted murder, inspiring short story “Shooting Range,” which won a 2014 BRIO Award from Bronx Council on Arts. A recipient of grants from the California Arts Council and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Nahshon has studied with writer Andrew X. Pham. A member of SAG-AFTRA, Pen America and a 2015 VONA fellow, Nahshon is currently writing a memoir.

Natalia Vigil (Nonfiction - 2016)

Natalia Vigil was born and raised in San Francisco, the city that inspires her everyday. Her writing arises from the voices and stories of the people around her and deals in themes of loss, family, sexuality, race, and class. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and on many Bay Area stages including Curbside Splendor Press, Mic.com, VONA, SOMArts, Mission Cultural Center and more. She has an MFA from Mills College and is the proud co-founder of Still Here San Francisco. You can find her curating shows in S.F. and enjoying life with her 5 younger siblings.

Nico Amador (Poetry - 2016)

Nico Amador was born and raised in San Diego, lived and worked for many years in Philadelphia and has recently landed in the small town of Bristol, Vermont. Nico’s writing life has its beginnings in the political community of queer and POC organizers that helped him come out and come into his work as a young activist. Since that time poetry has been a tool for exploring the complicated nature of history and for looking outside of it. His work has been published in Poet Lore, Big Bell, MiPoesias, Plenitude Magazine, APIARY, Nimrod International Journal, and Rogue State. Nico is also the co-editor of Thread Makes Blanket Press.

Lamya H (Nonfiction - 2015)

Lamya H is a queer, brown, angry muslim living in New York with her cat. Bios are her least favorite thing to write as they fuel her existential crises. Her work has been published in Black Girl Dangerous, The Islamic Monthly and Tanqeed.

Laura Araujo S. (Playwriting - 2015)

Laura Araujo S. is a Mexican-born Chicana educator and writer living in the Inland Empire, Califas. Although her love for literature and writing has been a life-long passion, she recognizes she is a late bloomer and is eager to share the long awaited writings and art projects stirring within. Her works explore the connections that present themselves through the act of writing, body politics, borders, memory, and identity. When she is not at a workshop fixing something, creating something with her hands, or learning a new skill, then she’s with familia. Orale.

Laura Chandra (2015)

Writer-in-Residence Laura Chandra is a born and raised Bostonian and a returning Lambda Fellow from the 2013 Genre/YA workshop. She spends her days in the finance world and her evenings and weekends plotting, writing, and revising.

Laura Rena Murray (Nonfiction - 2015)

Laura Rena Murray is an investigative journalist who tackles public interest and accountability stories that highlight corruption, mismanagement or human rights violations across the world. She has written for The New York Times, the Guardian, Al Jazeera America, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Weekly, 100Reporters and the Center for Public Integrity. Her work has been recognized by the Overseas Press Club, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative, Nation Institute, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Ragdale Foundation and National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association. On Twitter @laurarenamurray

Lauren Shufran (Poetry - 2015)

Lauren Shufran received her MFA from San Francisco State University in 2008 and is currently a PhD candidate in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Inter Arma, her first full-length book, won Fence Books’ Motherwell Prize, and was published in 2013.

Leah “Parker” CT Goodreau (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Leah “Parker” CT Goodreau is an artist and writer from Rhode Island. Like the state, they are small and have an unnecessarily long name. A long-time fan of fantasy and children’s literature, they have written several young adult manuscripts, now in various stages of not-quite-right-yet. In the spare time they force themselves to make every week, they write and draw a webcomic about superpowers and lying. They co-own four oddly named cats.

librecht baker (Playwriting - 2015)

librecht baker is a writer, member of the Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, in Long Beach, CA, as well as a Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices) alumnae. She has a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Her poetry is included in CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape (MTV Books) and is forthcoming in Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices (Trans-Genre Press).

Linda Villarosa (Nonfiction - 2015)

Linda Villarosa is a journalist, author, editor, novelist and college professor. She runs the journalism program at the City College of New York in Harlem and teaches writing and media studies. For several years, she edited the health pages of the New York Times and later spent six years as a contributing New York Times reporter. As the executive editor of Essence Magazine she wrote or edited a number of award-winning articles. Linda has also contributed to Glamour, Health, Latina, Ms., O Magazine and Vibe. She writes for The Root, Slate, AfterEllen and The Amsterdam News.

Near the start of the AIDS epidemic, as a beginning reporter for Essence, Linda wrote the first article to examine HIV/AIDS in an ethnic publication. A number of years later, two of her stories on African-Americans and HIV/AIDS appeared on the front page of the New York Times.

Linda has authored/co-authored a number of books, including Body & Soul: The Black Women’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being, which sold over 200,000 copies. Her first novel, Passing for Black, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Most recently, she wrote autobiographical essays for the anthologies Here Come the Brides and The Letter Q.

M-E Girard (Genre Fiction - 2015)

M-E Girard is a writer of YA fiction about teen girls who kick ass in a variety of ways. Some facts about M-E: She’s Canadian, speaks French, was a fellow of the YA workshop of the 2013 Lambda retreat, spends hours playing video games, has 2 chihuahuas, should stop eating so many carbs and cheese, buys too many books, and still plays with dolls. Her debut novel GIRL will be released in the fall of 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins.

Marcos L. Martínez (Fiction - 2015)

Marcos L. Martínez is a returning Lambda fellow and received his MFA in Fiction at George Mason University. He is the Editor for Stillhouse Press, an independent press affiliated with GMU’s Creative Writing Program. As a Sally Merten Fellow, he has taught creative writing to high school students and adults throughout Northern Virginia. His work has appeared in The Washington Blade, RiverSedge, and Whiskey Island. Current projects include his novel, Embarkations (or, Boating for Beginners), and Cleave: The Journals of Caine Lance Calletano, a companion book of poetry told through the voice of his novel’s main character. A native of Brownsville, TX, Marcos lives in Alexandria, VA with his husband Wayne.

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela (Fiction - 2015)

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela’s writing has been recognized by The Leeway Foundation, Hedgebrook and others. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Make/shift, As Us Journal, The Rust Belt Rising, Aster(ix), Big Bell and elsewhere. She is the founder Thread Makes Blanket, a small press with some big publications including Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop for which she also served as an editor. Marissa also a fiction editor at APIARY magazine and a member of the Rogue Poetry Workshop. She teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia. Thread Makes Blanket.

Mat Wenzel (Poetry - 2015)

Mat Wenzel is a student of poetry in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program. He teaches high school English at DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts in a converted canning factory in downtown Ogden, UT. Mat’s current writing explores the space and conflict created between his faith and sexual identity. He currently has 17 stamps in his National Parks Passport.

Maya Chinchilla (Playwriting - 2015)

Maya Chinchilla is an Oakland-based Guatemalan femme writer, video artist, educator and author of The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética (Kórima Press, 2014). Maya writes and performs poetry that explores themes of historical memory, heartbreak, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures. Her work —sassy, witty, performative, and self-aware— draws on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry. Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, by a mixed class, mixed race, immigrant activist extended family, Maya has lived and loved in the Bay Area for the second half of her life. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including: Mujeres de Maíz, Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies, Cipactli Journal, and The Lunada Literary Anthology, and is quoted (and misquoted) in essays, presentations and books on U.S.-Central American poetics; Chicana/Latina literature; and identity, gender, and sexuality. Maya is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galería de La Raza in San Francisco, CA; and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA; and is a VONA Voices, Dos Brujas and Lambda Literary Fellow. She is the co-editor of Desde El Epicentro: An anthology of Central American Poetry and Art and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, UC Davis and other Bay Area colleges.

Meghan Allen (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Meghan Allen grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where you’re more likely to find wild elk than a bookstore. She studied social work at Elizabethtown College before returning to her hometown to work as a family social worker for a non-profit organization. Meghan is at work on her first novel.

Mel King (Nonfiction - 2015)

Mel King grew up in Albany, New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in gender, queer theory, and grassroots organizing. Post-undergrad, he worked at Empire State Pride Agenda, serving as Executive Assistant, Administrative & Development Associate, and finally Network Coordinator. He has written short stories whenever and wherever he could, publishing in Mason’s Road, Wilde Magazine, and T(OUR) Literary Magazine. His writing focuses on queer identity, trauma, Judaism, and the intersections of memory and fiction in family life. Currently working on a collection of short stories and a memoir, he is pursuing his passion for writing full time as a Truman Capote Fellow in fiction in the Creative Writing MFA program at Rutgers University, Newark.

Militza Jean-Felix (Fiction - 2015)

Militza Jean-Felix is a Haitian-American writer and visual artist from Boston. She has a BFA and studied art, history, and literature at The Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France and the Ludwig Foundation in Cuba. She then moved to San Francisco and got her MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts. Her MFA thesis focused on her family’s experience during the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the perilous journey of a ten-year-old boy searching for his family at its’ epicenter. While attending CCA, she was invited by the Atis Rezistans to contribute her work as a part of the official selection of the 2nd Ghetto Biennale; A Salon des Refuses for the 21st Century in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She has shown her work in Haiti, Korea, France, and the United States. When she’s not writing or painting, she’s most likely chillin’ with her little buddy, a gentle kitty named Mr. Pants.

Nelle Tankus (Playwriting - 2015)

Nelle Tankus began her writing career in an unexpected way: writing lyrics to songs for her high school band when she was 15. Thinking nothing would come of it, she attended Cornish College of the Arts to pursue her first passion, musical theatre. This quickly turned around, and by her junior year she was accepted into the Cornish original works program and hasn’t stopped writing since. She has had her work produced with Fantastic Z Theatre, Seattle 1-Minute Play Festival, Annex Theatre, RiOT Productions, Gay City Arts, ‘Mo Wave Queer Arts Festival, and readings with MAP Theatre and Fuse Theater Ensemble in Portland, OR. She loves cats, loud music, black licorice, queerness. She is excited and honored to join Cherrie Moraga and other queer writers on this retreat.

Nia Witherspoon (Playwriting - 2015)

Nia Witherspoon is a multidisciplinary artist-scholar producing work at the intersections of indigeneity, queerness, and African diaspora epistemologies. Working primarily in the mediums of vocal and sound composition, playwriting, and creative scholarship, Dr. Witherspoon’s work has been recognized and supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, Theatre Bay Area, and the National Queer Arts Festival. Her original play, The Messiah Complex, a multi-temporal meditation on the loss of parents in black and queer diasporas, was developed at an AIR Space Residency (San Francisco), featured in the Company of Angels’ NAACP-nominated Black Women: State of the Union (Los Angeles), and invited to staged readings at The Painted Bride Art Center (Philadelphia) and the National Black Theatre (New York). Messiah was also performed at New York’s prestigious Downtown Urban Theatre Festival (HERE Art Center) where it received the Audience Award and placed second for Best Play. Witherspoon’s work as a vocalist, both independently and with acclaimed ceremonial-music duo SoliRose, has spanned stages, ceremonial spaces, and activist organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Beirut, and her creative non-fiction is most recently featured in Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought. Witherspoon has forthcoming publications in the Journal of Popular Culture and Women and Performance, and she is currently at work on a book project, “The Nation in the Dark: Reparations of Ceremony in Diaspora,” which asserts that nationalism, far from being dead, is essential to radical women of color re-envisioning indigenous religions. She received a B.A. from Smith College and a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from Stanford University.

kynita stringer-stanback (Fiction - 2014)

kynita stringer-stanback is an Information Activist and native North Carolinian. She is working on her first novel (heretofore untitled) about a tween struggling with her identity and parent’s divorce. She resides in the Bull City (Durham, NC) with her partner and their three children.

Lisa Galloway (Poetry - 2014)

Lisa Galloway grew up in Indiana where she was adopted into a family with Southern Baptist roots (read more in her forthcoming collection). Thankfully, she moved to the far more progressive Pacific Northwest landing in Portland, Oregon just over ten years ago. In the last year, she’s worked as a writer/ researcher consulting with attorneys advocating for people screwed by ineffective systems, a carpenter, a vegetarian food cart cook, a video ethnographer for healthcare operations change, and a caterer. She’s the author of Liminal: A Life of Cleavage from Lost Horse Press’ New Poets, Short Books Series, a graduate of Pacific University’s MFA Program and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “She Was a Chagall.” She is currently finishing her second poetry collection titled Mother, Marriage, and Other Natural Disasters that’s mostly about her mother’s death, contentious family dynamics, first gay marriage, and the other interestingly intense events from her astrological Saturn’s Return.

Lucy Jane Bledsoe (Fiction - 2014)

Lucy Jane Bledsoe is the author of a collection of short stories and four novels, the most recent of which is The Big Bang Symphony. Her fiction has won a Yaddo Fellowship, the 2013 Saturday Evening Post Fiction Award, the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, a California Arts Council Fellowship, an American Library Association Stonewall Award, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships. Five of her books have been Lammy finalists. Her stories have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Chinese. She’s traveled to both Cuba and Antarctica as a visiting writer.

Marcos L. Martínez (Fiction - 2014)

Marcos L. Martínez is a native of Brownsville, TX, and is completing his MFA in Fiction at George Mason University. As a Sally Merten Fellow, he has taught creative writing to high school students and adults throughout Northern Virginia. He currently serves as the inaugural Student Editorial Manager for Stillhouse Press, a collaboration between GMU’s Creative Writing Program and Relegation Books. His work has appeared in The Washington Blade, RiverSedge, and Whiskey Island. Current projects include his novel, Embarkations (or, Boating for Beginners), and Cleave: The Journals of Caine Lance Calletano, a companion book of poetry told through the voice of his novel’s main character. Marcos lives in Alexandria, VA with his husband of 21 years, Wayne, and their obsidian cat Obi (a Jedi who plays mind-tricks with paper-clips).

Meg Leitold (Poetry - 2014)

Meg Leitold is a ball of queer femme fire based in Toronto and a returning Lambda Fellow from the 2013 Non-Fiction workshop. A graduate of Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute and the University of Toronto, her writing has been published in several zines, art installations, and journals, including No More Potlucks, Historiae, and Subversions. In her spare time, she delights in dancing, reading fiction, and out-jargoning the mansplainer.

Megan McHugh (Poetry - 2014)

Megan McHugh is a garden teacher at a grade school in New Orleans, LA. She recently received her MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans, while starting an urban flower farm: www.pistilandstamenflowers.com. She is originally from Chicago.

Miah Jeffra (Nonfiction - 2014)

Miah Jeffra is an artist, writer and educator, hailing from Baltimore. He runs social justice arts network ShadowLab and teaches cultural studies and writing at San Francisco Art Institute. He is recipient of the Clark-Gross Award for his novel Highlandtown, and is currently working on a book of short fiction, The Violence Almanac. His work can be seen most recently in North Atlantic Review, Educe, A Cappella Zoo, Fourteen Hills and Edge. He lives in San Francisco, and will do unconscionable things for a good beer. Maya was the recipient of Lambda’s 2014 Editorship Scholarship and will serve as Editor of the forthcoming e-book anthology of works by this year’s Fellows.

Molly McCloy (Writers in Residence - 2014)

Molly McCloy is an NYC Moth Storytelling Slam winner with work published in Nerve and Slate. She has performed recently for Tucson’s Odyssey and FST series as well as the award-winning Lit Lounge series at The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been described as all-muscle, hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking. She has been called a happy misanthrope and an angel.

Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn (Fiction - 2014)

Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn is a Jamaican-born writer who received her BS in Nutrition from Cornell University, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. But after years of working in public health, she decided to take the advice of an English professor who once said she ought to take her writing more seriously. She went back to school and received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her writing has earned her fellowships from Kimbilio, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers. Her work has been awarded Honorable Mention from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and has appeared in Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary Journal, Mosaic, Ebony.com, and the Feminist Wire. She currently teaches writing at the College of Staten Island and Manhattan College and lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York.

Laura Chandra (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Laura Chandra is a born and raised Bostonian without an accent. She is in the process of completing her first full length young adult manuscript about a South Asian/American girl who thinks she is the anti-christ. Outside of writing, Laura spends her time trying hard not to waste her Masters degree in financial planning while pouring money into prolonging her dog’s life. She will trade financial advice for writing tips.

Lee Wheaton (Nonfiction - 2013)

Lee Wheaton is a genderqueer introvert who lives in Oakland, California. Raised in New England and molded into an adult by New York City, Lee combines natural imagery and Yankee sensibility with reflections on complex familial and queer relationships in non-fictionmprose. Lee, a former encyclopedia editor, continues to work in online reference publishing and spends free time attempting to bring the country into the city through cooking, urban farming, rock climbing, and two-stepping.

LeVan D. Hawkins (Nonfiction - 2013)

LeVan D. Hawkins is an LA-based poet, essayist, & performance artist now residing in the Chicago area. He has performed his published work at venues such as Links Hall, Highways Performance Space, USC, UCLA Hammer Museum, Disney Hall Redcat Theater, Henry Miller Library, Dixon Place Theater (NYC), New York International Fringe Festival, & Dartmouth College. A 2011 MFA recipient from Antioch University – LA, he has received fellowships from Millay Colony & the Dorothy West & Helene Johnson Foundation, and a Scholarship to the Norman Mailer Writing Colony. He is currently working on What Men Do (An Uncle’s Quest to Save His Adult Nephew).

M-E Girard (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

M-E Girard is a Registered Nurse by night and writer of fiction featuring gender-bending queer girls by day…and often night, too. She is currently working on a slew of novels-in-progress, but primarily on Boifriend, a finalist of the 2010 Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest. M-E is a board member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region and blogs on its resource site Reading as Writers. M-E writes, reads, and regularly forgoes all that to binge on video games. She lives not too far outside of Toronto, Canada, with her partner and their two Chihuahua babies.

Malinda Lo (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Malinda Lo is the author of Adaptation, a YA sci-fi thriller; the sequel will be published in fall 2013. Her first novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Her second novel, Huntress, a companion novel to Ash, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. [Photo credit: Patty Nason]

Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez (Poetry - 2013)

Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez is from Vilches, Chile. In 2010 she was one of 12 lucky Junies attending the Bucknell Writing Seminar for Younger Poets. Her current projects include a novel in Spanish and a novel-in-verse that interweaves two points of views: Adesa, an intersex character, and Aditi, a hijra in India. She is co-director of the not-for-profit Palampore Writers, which promotes positive social change by teaching creative writing in communities which have been oppressed, marginalized, and/or struck by natural disaster. She is a recent graduate of Cornell University’s Poetry MFA program.

Marcie Bianco (Nonfiction - 2013)

Marcie Bianco, Queer Public(s) Intellectual, PhD, is a columnist and contributing writer at AfterEllen and Lambda Literary, as well as a lecturer at John Jay College. Her current projects include a scholarly manuscript about the anti-humanist, materialist ethics of English Renaissance Drama, and a salacious bildungsroman about seducing lesbian Shakespeareans, closeted Shakespeareans, as well as your run-of-the-mill awkward academidyke. She lives in Brooklyn with her pup, Deleuze.

Matthew Phillip (Fiction - 2013)

Matthew Phillp has covered New York City nightlife as a journalist for the past ten years and has been secretly writing a novel about it for the past four. On a good day, he wakes up early and writes for an hour in the dark, half asleep. When completely awake, he has contributed to the Village Voice and DNA Magazine Australia (among many other publications) and co-hosted a nightlife talk radio show in the East Village for four years on which he was one of the first people in the world to interview Lady Gaga. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meg Leitold (Nonfiction - 2013)

Originally hailing from rural Nova Scotia, Meg Leitold is a queer femme researcher, psychotherapist, and dilettante currently based in Toronto. A graduate of Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal, her writing has been published in several zines, art installations, and journals, including No More Potlucks, Historiae, and Subversions. She is currently writing a textbook on gender equity for junior high school students. When her red tips are not clicking away at her computer keyboard, Meg can be found burning up the dance floor, taking a bath, or belting out Rihanna covers at drop-in choir.

Miguel M. Morales (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Miguel M. Morales grew up in Texas working as a migrant farmworker. As a journalist, he earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award. Miguel lives in Kansas and serves on the Latino Writers Collective board. His work appears in the anthologies: Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland, To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, and in the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry. Miguel is thrilled to be a returning Lambda Literary Fellow.

Mikel Gerle (Nonfiction - 2013)

Mikel Gerle recently finished his memoir, Freedom Through Discipline. A probing saga chronicling Gerle’s journey through 1980s high school heartache with other Mormon boys in rural Idaho, facing the plague of AIDS and drug addiction in Los Angeles, and finally finding authenticity and release as International Mr Leather 2007. Gerle has been featured in Dan Savage’s blog Strange Love, a contributor for Instigator Magazine (a gay men’s fetish magazine published in seventeen countries), the KCRW Strangers podcast series, and a provocateur promoting gay culture in his day job at West Hollywood City Hall.

Militza Jean-Felix (Fiction - 2013)

Militza Jean-Felix is a Haitian-American writer and visual artist from Boston. She has a BFA and studied art, history, and literature at The Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France and the Ludwig Foundation in Cuba. She then moved to San Francisco and got her MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts. Her MFA thesis focused on her family’s experience during the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the perilous journey of a ten-year-old boy searching for his family at its’ epicenter. While attending CCA, she was invited by the Atis Rezistans to contribute her work as a part of the official selection of the 2nd Ghetto Biennale; A Salon des Refuses for the 21st Century in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. She has shown her work in Haiti, Korea, France, and the United States. When she’s not writing or painting, she’s most likely chillin’ with her little buddy, a gentle kitty named Mr. Pants.

Leah Horlick (Poetry - 2012)

Leah Horlick is a writer, poet, and spoken word artist from Saskatoon, SK. Her work on queer and feminist experiences of love, justice, and violence has earned her a 2008 Short Grain Award and a place among the top 15 independent slam poets in Canada in 2012. An MFA student in Creative Writing at UBC, Leah is the Poetry Editor for PRISM international. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in So To Speak, Canadian Dimension, GRAIN, Poetry is Dead, and On Nights Like This: An Anthology of Comics by Survivors. Leah’s first collection of poetry, Riot Lung, will be released by Thistledown Press in fall 2012.

Lee Wheaton (Nonfiction - 2012)

Lee Wheaton is a genderqueer introvert who lives in Oakland, California. Raised in New England and molded into an adult by New York City, Lee combines natural imagery and Yankee sensibility with reflections on complex familial and queer relationships in non-fiction prose. Lee, a former encyclopedia editor, continues to work in online reference publishing and spends free time attempting to bring the country into the city through cooking, urban farming, rock climbing, and two-stepping.

Liz Latty (Nonfiction - 2012)

Liz Latty is a queer, feminist, adoptee, writer, educator, and activist originally from the Detroit area. Her work can be found in The Wayne Literary Review, The F-Word Magazine, make/shift and the anthology We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, among others. Liz is a 2012 nominee for the Jackson, Phelan, and Tanenbaum Literary Awards from the San Francisco Foundation and her chapbook, A Parallel Life, is forthcoming from Unthinkable Creatures Press in October of 2012. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and currently lives in Oakland, California where she works in public education.

Lydia Eato Harris (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Lydia Eato Harris, a diary/journal writer from the age of seven, draws on her eclectic life experiences to energize her fiction writing. Born on Long Island, she has written, sang, and worked her way through Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida where she lives with her husband and her partner. Lydia has a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. She particularly enjoyed her seventeen years in Alaska. She also enjoyed her time in Oregon’s high plateau desert as “Motorcycle Mama” working with veterans and children. She’s a reviewer of Young Adult fiction for Lambda Literary Online.

Megan Backer (Poetry - 2012)

Megan Backer is a queer poet and spoken word artist from Rochester, NY. Upstate New York’s inclement weather has forced her into the seclusion of academia where she teaches English and Women’s Studies at the SUNY College at Brockport. She most recently participated in the Juniper Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ever-dutiful in the “publish or perish” realm, shortly after she received her MA in Creative Writing, her work will be published in the upcoming literary anthology Off the Rocks.

Miguel M. Morales (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Miguel M. Morales lives in Kansas and embraces his farmworker/child laborer past. As a journalist, he earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award. Miguel serves on the Latino Writers Collective board and is featured in its anthologies: Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland and Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland. His work also appears on the Latino Literature website, La Bloga; in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction; and in the forthcoming To the Stars Through Difficulty: 2012 Kansas Renga and Joto: An Anthology of Queer Ch/Xicano Poetry.

Monica Carter (Fiction - 2012)

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Monica Carter currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she recently finished the PEN Center USA’s Mark program for Emerging Voices alumni. A PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow 2010 and a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging GLBT Voice 2010, her fiction has appeared in Strange Cargo, An Emerging Voices Anthology, The Rattling Wall, and the current Spring issue of Bloom. She is finishing her novel, In the Life, and a collection of short stories.

Nancy Agabian (Nonfiction - 2012)

Nancy Agabian is a nonfiction writer and performer based in Queens, New York. She is the author of Princess Freak (Beyond Baroque Books), a collection of poetry and performance texts on sexuality and rage, and the Lambda Literary Award-nominated Me as her again (aunt lute books), a memoir about the influence of her Armenian family’s dark history on her bisexual coming-of-age. A Fulbright scholar to Armenia in 2006-07, she is currently working on “The Fear of Large and Small Nations”, a nonfiction novel about the contradictions between political ideals and personal liberation in the fight for social change.

Nic Alea (Poetry - 2012)

Nic Alea is a poet based in San Francisco. They received their BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. They co-host a bi-monthly reading series called New Poetry Mission focusing on the production of new work. They co-facilitate a creative writing workshop at Solano Juevnile Detention Center and perform at various reading series around the Bay Area. Nic has self published three chapbooks, Arcana, P.S. Crater Face was Here, and This Crumbled Bell Tower. Their work has appeared in the Evergreen Review, >kill author, and the Minetta Review. Nic is a crafter, a tarot card reader, and will be working on their manuscript, Things We’ll Never Speak Of, while at Lambda.

Nicholas Hoover (Fiction - 2012)

Nicolas Hoover is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer from Seattle, WA. His work has appeared in [untitled], Fringe Magazine, and Breadcrumb Scabs. Nicolas was also a semi-finalist for L Magazine‘s Literary Upstart competition, and won first place for the Writers’ Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest in 2010. The Red Merit Badge of Courage, his children’s play, is available for purchase or production from Baker’s Plays. He completed a BA in Drama from University of Washington in 2004.

Nikkya Martin (Nonfiction - 2012)

Nikkya Martin is a mom, a wife, and a writer currently working on creating and publishing her first work, a memoir. Her memoir chronicles her life from birth to her journey through parenting with her wife, Dinushka. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut and is passionate about making a difference in the world not only through her writing but also in her professional life. She is a graduate from Bard College with a BA in Humanities, and she also has a Masters in Counseling from Mercy College. Nikkya and her family recently moved to Connecticut from New York. When not writing, Nikkya can be found perusing Connecticut real estate, reading, and deepening her spirituality through yoga and church. Her motto in life is: the mind is a fragile organ, we must water it with positive thoughts, happiness, and nurturing people.

Nina Packebush (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Nina Packebush is a kick-ass queer, unschooling, grown-up-teen-mama, granny, writer, zinester, activist, artist, wanna-be-urban-farmer and often survives on little sleep and lots of coffee. She has been published in a variety of alternative press magazines, websites and anthologies. Nina has been publishing zines for almost ten years now, including; The Edgy-catin’ Mama, The True Adventures of the Feminist Snails (a comic zine) and The Granny Chronicles. She is currently working on a graphic novel for young adults.

Mario Macías (Poetry - 2011)

Mario Macías hails from Guadalajara, Mexico. He attended Grinnell College thanks to the Posse Foundation Scholarship. At Grinnell, he started GoGo, a student publication on feminism and sexuality, and he served as the editor-in-chief of The Grinnell Review, the college’s arts and literary magazine. During the summer of 2009, he participated in the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) Writing Workshop under the mentorship of Thomas Glave. He currently lives in East Los Angeles, California.

Michael Fauver (Fiction - 2011)

Michael Fauver is a fiction writer from Saginaw, MI. He’s been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction and The Iowa Review. He’s currently working on a collection of stories, Take Me, Please, To Your Better Angels, and a novel, Why I Won’t Remember Who You Were. (Photo by Alexander Maksik.)


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