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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

Launched in 2007, Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is the only multi-genre writing residency in the world devoted exclusively to emerging LGBTQ writers. It provides a uniquely powerful opportunity to participants, jumpstarting the careers of dozens of LGBTQ writers every year.



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


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


genres, including poetry, young adult fiction, and playwriting


Anthologies, presenting Retreat Fellows work.

Read Their Work

Check out books written by Lambda Fellows

How To Apply

The Retreat is held each year in August. In 2021, the Retreat will be held virtually, and this year’s Fellows have already been selected. Applications for the August 2022 retreat will open in winter 2021.

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Fellows & Faculty Directory


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Phillip Christian Smith (Playwriting - 2019)

Phillip Christian Smith is a runner-up for the inaugural Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Competition, 2019 Finalist for The Dramatists Guild Fellowship, 2019 Semifinalist for The O’Neill (NPC) and PlayPenn. He has been a semifinalist for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries (ASC), finalist for Trustus, playwright in residence of Exquisite Corpse and founding member of The Playwriting Collective. His work has been supported by Primary Stages (Cherry Lane) ESPA, Fresh Ground Pepper, the 53rd Street New York Public Library, Forge, Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre. MFA in acting Yale School of Drama, University of New Mexico BFA in acting.

Rhonda Gibson (RG) (Playwriting - 2019)

Rhonda Gibson Focused, career minded television writer and playwright, seeks like-minded individuals. Must enjoy creating content for a diversified audience. Must love witty drama and exploring the complexities of the human condition. Horror fans with an ironic sense of humor are welcome to apply. RG is a New York based artist and recipient of UCLA’s Extension’s Phyllis Grebur Award for Television Writers. She is currently working on her third TV pilot. RG is grateful to explore her first full-length play at Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat this fall.

Sabrina Sarro (Nonfiction - 2019)

Sabrina Sarro Quick-witted and emotionally investigative, Sabrina can often be found rocking their poly-chromatic flower clogs and utilizing their sharp teeth. They are a fierce person of color who brings an unmatched sense of charisma and curiosity to all situations. They currently live in NYC and work as a program coordinator and psychotherapist. They have been a participant of the Santa Barbara’s Writers’ Conference, the Yale Writer’s Conference, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. They have received scholarships/fellowships from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference.

Scott Broker (Fiction - 2019)

Scott Broker is a queer writer currently based in Columbus, Ohio. His work has been a finalist for the Iowa Review Fiction Prize, an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s “Fiction Open” Contest, and a nominee for two Pushcart Prizes. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Catapult, Hobart, Passages North, The Rumpus, and DIAGRAM, among others. Currently, he is an MFA candidate in fiction at Ohio State University.

Shannon TL Kearns (Playwriting - 2019)

Shannon TL Kearns is a transgender man who’s playwriting is obsessed with big questions told through small stories. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Uprising Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. He was awarded a spot in the HBMG Foundations’ Winter Playwright Retreat in 2018 and 2019. He was a finalist for the Equity Library Theatre of Chicago’s Reading Series, the 2019 TransLab, and the American Stages 2019 New Play Festival. Shannon’s plays include Line of Sight, Twisted Deaths, The Resistance of My Skin, and Who Has Eyes To See.

Sophie Kim (Playwriting - 2019)

Sophie Kim (she/her) is an activist, poet, playwright, and filmmaker from Los Angeles. She will attend Harvard University in fall 2020. Kim is the 2018-2019 Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate, and her debut poetry book, Sing the Birds Home, comes out June 29, 2019. She recently performed for an audience of over 900 at the 2019 Equity Summit, presented by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. She has also performed in support of the California Association of Human Relations Organizations (CAHRO), the LA LGBT Center, and the Los Angeles Public Library. Kim has also had three original 1-act plays produced at the Harvard-Westlake Playwrights Festival, one of which was named a Finalist in the 33rd Annual California Young Playwrights Contest, an award given to 10 out of 432 submissions. She has participated in the Iowa Young Writers Studio and the Winter Tangerine Online Summer Workshop, and competed in the 2018 Get Lit Classic Slam at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Kim has also received multiple awards for her short documentary and experimental films (one of which incorporated original slam poetry).

Syd Westley (Poetry - 2019)

Syd Westley (they/them) is a queer, mixed-race, non-binary poet currently pursuing their BA from Stanford. They are from the Bay Area, have lived on stolen Ohlone land all their life, and are very interested in the trans-generational effects caused and sustained by Japanese American internment. They love lavender and sleep and are (and always will be) mourning the loss of their recently passed grandmother, Edna Mashihara.

Tahirah Alexander Green (Nonfiction - 2019)

Tahirah Alexander Green Living in their hometown of Washington, DC, Tahirah is a literary artist and cultural organizer. As a writer, they’re passionate about celebrating Black queer weirdos in their work. When they’re not creating, Tahirah is binge reading comics and proselytizing about the joys of snuggles.

Thomas Dai (Nonfiction - 2019)

Thomas Dai lives and writes in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is working towards his Ph.D. at Brown. Before moving to the Ocean State, he taught English in China, got his MFA from the University of Arizona, and studied Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. His writing and photography have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, The Southern Review, Lithub, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

Tiff Ferentini (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Tiff Ferentini is an Associate Editor at Penguin Random House, Advocacy Chair of Penguin Random House’s LGBTQ Network ERG, Marketing Manager for Monkey Business: New Writing From Japan, and former President of the LGBTQ Writers Caucus of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). A graduate of Manhattanville College’s MFA Program, their writing has appeared in The Gambler; Off the Rocks: The LGBTQ Anthology of Newtown Writers Press; and Songs of My Selfie: An Anthology of Millennial Writing. They are currently working on their debut novel, the first book in a young adult historical fiction trilogy. They live in New York and on Twitter @Ferenteeny.

Octavia Saenz (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Octavia Saenz I am an author illustrator from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where I went to theatre school and worked at a design agency for three years. I’m currently completing my undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing and Illustration at Ringling College of Art + Design. I write short fiction and games. My literary fiction focuses on LGBTQIA+ life, memory, and being Puerto Rican. I also write speculative fiction and horror, where my themes range from dreams and nature to consciousness and guilt. My short story about a transgender woman re-doing a date, “Overnight,” won the Gold Juror’s Prize in Creative Writing for Best of Ringling, as selected by Todd Pierce. I also received the Trustee Scholarship at Ringling.

Peter Bresnan (Nonfiction - 2018)

Peter Bresnan is a writer and radio journalist. He’s reported stories about space simulations, about the weird underground world of Chicago stand-up comedy, and about the enduring joy and pain of gay heartbreak. His work has been spotlighted in The Atlantic, Vulture, The Guardian, The Financial Times, HuffPost, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a series of essays about the intersection of queerness and clinical depression.

Raf Antonio (Playwriting - 2018)

Raf Antonio is a Latinx, queer, LA born creator based in Toronto. His play Salvador: A Latin-Canadian Fantasia made him the first winner of the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s RBC Emerging Playwright Award. Recently, Raf served as a story consultant on Teletoon series Princess Sparkly Butt and the Hot Dog Kid – available on YouTube – and made his professional debut with the world premiere of Rope Running Out, which was developed at Soulpepper Theatre and Cahoots Theatre, directed by Indrit Kasapi, and presented by lemonTree creations. Raf is now Playwright-in-Residence at Cahoots, developing The Effeminates: A Queer Tale of Bloody Vengeance under the guidance of Artistic Director Marjorie Chan. He is also part of the inaugural Buddies Salon at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, facilitated by company dramaturge Mel Hague.

Rhett Cooper (Nonfiction - 2018)

Rhett Cooper, a gay, has a modular MFA in creative writing & book arts from The University of Utah. He is second of five sons born to celestial procreators in rural Utah. His memoir NOTHING IS PRIVATE is about gay Mormon drug addicts—all of whom were him. Some lucky publisher will make it available for purchase at airports, probably. His work is graphittied on pearly gates, flashing neon on toilet stalls. He lives with his widowed mother on purpose. Together, they devour cakes, watch Gilmore Girls, and he details his sex life to make her blush.

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco (Fiction - 2018)

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco has published in AGNI, Joyland, Post Road, The North American Review and numerous anthologies. In 2013, he was selected as a NYC Emerging Writer Fellow from The Center for Fiction. Ricco received his MFA from Bennington College and has taught at Columbia University, Boston College, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. He works at the Chadwick School in Los Angeles and serves as a board member for Kundiman, a literary nonprofit dedicated to writers and readers of Asian American literature. Ricco’s short story collection, The Foley Artist, is forthcoming from Gaudy Boy in 2019.

Roger Q. Mason (Playwriting - 2018)

Roger Q. Mason’s plays give voice to the silenced through the ritual of performance. His works have played at New Group, McCarter Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, Son of Semele Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and the Kraine Theatre. His play The White Dress was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His piece Hard Palate was a New York Theatre Innovator Award nominee. Mason was a finalist for the Piven Center Lab and Activate: Midwest New Play Festival, semi-finalist for the inaugural Shonda Rhimes Emerging Playwright Award and Theatre Masters, and winner of a Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore Producer’s Award. Mason holds an MFA in Writing from Northwestern University, MA in English from Middlebury College, and BA in English and Theatre from Princeton University. He is currently a writer in residency at Skylight Theatre’s PlayLab.

Ry Szelong (Playwriting - 2018)

Ry Szelong is a playwright/performer/director+ originally from the Bay Area, CA. He’s a 2018 Fellow with University Settlement’s Performance Project and a SPACE @ Ryder Farm Greenhouse Residency Finalist. His own work has been presented at Nuyoricans Poets Cafe, INTAR’s Steep Salons, Triskelion Arts, Ars Nova ANT Fest, Dixon Place HOT Festival, and on Governor’s Island as a 2017 Public Works Department Resident Artist. BFA from NYU Tisch: Playwrights Horizons Theater School where he is an alumni TA and mentor. Artistic Associate of The Parsnip Ship, which turns plays into live podcast recordings.

Ryka Aoki (Poetry - 2018)

Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song) and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. Ryka was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” She worked with the American Association of Hiroshima Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions were adopted as the organization’s official “songs of peace.”

Ryka is a two-time Lambda Award finalist, winner of the Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest and the Corson-Bishop Poetry Prize. She has MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University, and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. Ryka is also a former national judo champion, and the founder of the International Transgender Martial Arts Alliance. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Sacha Mankins (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Sacha Mankins is a part-time writer, part-time librarian, and part-time stepparent to a small herd of small goats. As Sacha Lamb, he writes magical, queer Jewish fiction. Sacha’s publishing debut was Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live (Book Smugglers, 2017). Sacha is currently pursuing master’s degrees in History and Library Sciences from Simmons College in Boston while continuing to write fiction and occasionally contributing to the Jewish Book Council’s Prosen People blog. Sacha can be found online @mosslamb on Twitter.

Sanchari Sur (Fiction - 2018)

Sanchari Sur is a feminist/anti-racist/sex-positive/genderqueer Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. Her work can be found in The Feminist Wire, Matrix, Toronto Lit Up’s The Unpublished City (BookThug, 2017), Arc Poetry Magazine, Humber Literary Review, Prism International, and elsewhere. She is a PhD candidate in English at Wilfrid Laurier University, the curator/host/co-founder of Balderdash Reading Series.

Scott Hunter (Fiction - 2018)

Scott Hunter is the author of 5,000 post cards. His fiction was included in The Writers Studio at 30, released in May 2017, and is forthcoming in the Kyoto Journal. He is working on a collection of stories and a novel. He reads submissions for Epiphany Magazine and Cagibi Lit Online, and is active with Verbal Supply Company, a collective of writers and poets. A graduate of New York University, he studies and teaches at the Writers Studio in New York City.

Serkan Gorkemli (Fiction - 2018)

Serkan Gorkemli is originally from Turkey and has a Ph.D. in English from Purdue University. He is associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Stamford. His non-fiction writing about media and Turkish LGBTQ activism has appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Enculturation, Reflections, and Computers and Composition Online. Serkan is the author of Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey, winner of the 2015 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Book Award. He is working on a short-story collection that explores the themes of identity, masculinity, and sexuality in various contexts in Turkey.

Tia Clark (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Tia Clark’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, The Offing, Day One, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere. She was a 2015-16 fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a 2017-18 fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.

Omotara James (Poetry - 2017)

Omotara James is a British-born American poet and essayist. The daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants, she is an MFA candidate at NYU. She is the Third Place Winner of the 2017 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, the recipient of Slice Literary’s 2016 Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets, as well as the Nancy P. Schnader Academy of American Poets Award. Her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine, The Recluse, Cosmonauts Avenue, Luna Luna Magazine and elsewhere. She has received scholarships from Cave Canem and the Home School.

Phillip Howze (Playwriting - 2017)

Phillip Howze (PLAYWRITING) is a playwright whose work has been developed or produced at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, BRIC Arts-Media, Bushwick Starr, Clubbed Thumb, Cutting Ball Theater, Theater Masters, PRELUDE Festival 2015, San Francisco Playhouse, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Sundance Institute, and Yale Cabaret. A graduate of Yale School of Drama, he is the 2015-16 Artist Fellow at Lincoln Center Education, and a member of the 2016 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. He is currently a Resident Writer at Lincoln Center Theater, and was previously a visiting lecturer in playwriting at Wesleyan University. Prior to attending graduate school he worked in advocacy at the Open Society Foundations.

Quentin Greif (Fiction - 2017)

Quentin Greif is a writer, teacher, and bookseller from San Antonio, Texas. He is working on a novel which focuses on queer communities in central Texas. Currently he studies writing with Catapult Literature in New York City, teaches high-school English, and is a bookseller at Little City Books in Hoboken, New Jersey.

R. Eric Thomas (Playwriting - 2017)

R. Eric Thomas is an award-winning playwright and humorist. His most recent play, Time Is On Our Side, was the recipient of two Barrymore Awards including Best New Play and was named a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. His work has been produced or developed by Simpatico Theatre, PlayPenn, Azuka Theatre, and City Theatre Miami. He has twice been a finalist for the City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting. Eric is the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. He writes a daily humor column for in which he “reads” the news. In addition to and ELLE magazine, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, W Magazine, Man Repeller, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and more.

Rachel Brownson (Poetry - 2017)

Rachel Brownson writes and works as a children’s hospital chaplain in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems and essays have been published in Nimrod, Four Way Review, The Collagist, The Volta, The Toast, and The Christian Century. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College.

Rajat Singh (Nonfiction - 2017)

Rajat Singh lives, works, and writes in New York. He holds an MA in anthropology and is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. His personal essays appear on Catapult and in Papercuts, as well as in two South Asian-American anthologies—Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Writings on Family, and the inaugural issue of Kajal. He has published essays and reviews in The Gay & Lesbian Review, on LSE Review of Books, Literary Hub, Lambda Literary, Kajal Mag, and CFDA.

Ricky Tucker (Nonfiction - 2017)

Ricky Tucker is a North Carolina native, storyteller, essayist, and art critic. His work explores the imprint of art on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He is the former editor of 12th Street journal and has contributed to Big Red and Shiny, The Paris Review Daily, The Tenth Magazine, and Lambda Literary, and has performed for reading series including The Moth Story Slam, Sister Spit, Born: Free, and Spark London, among others. He received his BA from The New School as a Riggio: Writing and Democracy scholar, and a Writer/Teacher MA at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Romana Soutus (Playwriting - 2017)

Romana Soutus is an Ukrainian/Argentinian actress, playwright, and producer based in New York City. They graduated in May 2014 cum laude from Fordham University’s prestigious Theatre Program with a focus on Performance. For the last five years, Romana has performed and produced at the experimental theatre institution La MaMa in New York City. Romana’s plays include Hyena, which they performed at La MaMa, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival and the United Solo festival, and Martyrs, set to premiere in La MaMa’s Spring 2018 season.

s.a.b.u. (Playwriting - 2017)

s.a.b.u. is a genderqueer, mixed race, first generation American playwright, poet, actor, and performance artist. Themes explored have included sex, addiction, race, gender issues, sexual identity, feminism, reproductive rights, ageism, classism, and abuse. When not writing, s.a.b.u. enjoys provocative conversation with family, friends, and strangers. Several of their plays have recently been read and/or produced. They currently split their time between Los Angeles, Maui, and New York City. s.a.b.u. gets into things. (@igetintothings)

Santiago J. Sanchez (Fiction - 2017)

Santiago J. Sanchez is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He studied anthropology and creative writing at Yale University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mask Magazine, The Latent Image, Aint-Bad Magazine, and the Mint Museum.

Sarah M. Bess (Poetry - 2017)

Sarah M. Bess is a neuroqueer transsexual witch/poet grown in the ghostswamps of rural southeast Missouri. She was a 2016 Topside Press Trans Women Writers Workshop fellow. Her writing has appeared in Matrix, The Fem, and The Wanderer and is forthcoming in Resilience, an anthology from Wormbook Press.

Sloka Krishnan (Playwriting - 2017)

Sloka Krishnan is a playwright-lyricist and recent Midwestern transplant to the east coast interested in magic; extravagance; ritual; and the disavowal of moral purity and coherent identity. In the DC area, his plays have received readings by the Rainbow Theatre Project and as a part of Forum Theatre (Re)Acts.

Steffan Triplett (Nonfiction - 2017)

Steffan Triplett is a nonfiction writer interested in the essay, poetry, and hybrid writings. He is an MFA candidate and instructor at the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he was a John B. Ervin scholar. His work has been featured on Essay Daily and appears or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Wildness, The Shade Journal, Foundry, and elsewhere. Steffan is an incoming Callaloo fellow and a VONA alum. He was born and raised in southwest Missouri.

Sun Jones (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Sun Jones is a half-Korean, mostly-lesbian writer who grew up out in the country down South, where she spent most of her adolescent years escaping to the woods so she could write in peace. She writes fiction about queer Asians having adventures in space or in faraway magical lands, because that’s what she wanted to read as a child but could never find in her local library. She also writes confessional poetry because therapy is expensive. She was recently published for the first time in Moon City Review, where she also interns as an assistant poetry editor.

Tanea Lunsford Lynx (Fiction - 2017)

Tanea Lunsford Lynx is a third generation born Black San Franciscan on both sides. Tanea completed her undergraduate study at Columbia University and her Master’s thesis work at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is the child of an incarcerated parent. She is an abolitionist. She is a multi-genre writer currently writing a novel entitled Sanctuary City that provides an in-depth look at life as a Black San Franciscan in the current moment of gentrification and police violence. Tanea has more than 10 years of experience as an artist, activist, and educator in San Francisco.

Taylor Edelhart (Playwriting - 2017)

Taylor Edelhart makes new theatre. Their work deals with the sinister, the power of objects, and the intersection between theatre and games. Proud genderqueer person, they/them pronouns. Honored to currently be developing work with Pipeline Theatre Company, Upstream Artists Collective, Undiscovered Countries, and now Lambda Literary! BFA, NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School.

TC Tolbert (Poetry - 2017)

TC Tolbert (POETRY) often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet but really s/he’s just a human in love with humans doing human things. The author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press 2014), Conditions/Conditioning (a collaborative chapbook with Jen Hofer, New Lights Press 2014) I: Not He: Not I (Pity Milk chapbook 2014), spirare (Belladonna* chaplet 2012), and territories of folding (Kore Press chapbook 2011), TC is also co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books 2013), the first anthology of its kind. S/he is Core Faculty in the low residency MFA program at OSU-Cascades and Arts and Culture co-editor for The Feminist Wire. His favorite thing in the world is Compositional Improvisation (which is another way of saying being alive). Gloria Anzaldúa said, Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks. John Cage said, it’s lighter than you think.

Theodore Kerr (Nonfiction - 2017)

Theodore Kerr is a writer and organizer whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS. He received his BA from The New School, and his MA from Union Theological Seminary. His writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, BOMB, The Advocate, The Body, IndieWire, Cineaste, Hyperallergic as well as in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Drain and Dandelion. He is working on a book about AIDS, culture and history. He is a founding member of What Would an HIV Doula Do? and a member of the New York City Trans Oral History project. He was the 2016 winner of the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine.

Pam Watts (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Pam is an editor in San Francisco for No Starch Press where she hopes to help incite children towards acts of math/science-related mayhem. She was a 2015 fellow, and she is thrilled to be returning! When she is not wrangling hacker chapters, she writes graphic novels, YA, memoir, and the occasional blog post. She holds her MFA in Writing for children & young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in mostly Philosophy from St. John’s College, and a BA in Physics from Wellesley College. Her writing has appeared in Odyssey Magazine and Teaching Tolerance. And her first book (Ocean Ecosystems) came out last fall.

Paul J.S. Oliveria (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Paul J.S. Oliveria has been working in the field of information security for over ten years as a writer, marketer, and public speaker. He tells stories about computer malware, cybercrime, and new technologies by collaborating with cybersecurity researchers and experts. When not developing awareness campaigns on internet safety or uncovering a cybercriminal modus operandi, he binge-watches TV shows, writes reviews in a startup Filipino movie blog he co-founded, and writes snippets of stories that may or may not be based on his life. He lives in the Philippines, and is in constant search for the best pizza, burger, and chocolate.

Peyton Thomas (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Peyton Thomas is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s political science and sexual diversity studies program. They are a recipient of the Norma Epstein Foundation Award in Creative Writing, and their proposal on Weezer’s Pinkerton was recently shortlisted for publication in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series. They are presently writing their first novel, and they aspire to give young queer and trans readers the happy endings they deserve.

Portia Elan (Poetry - 2016)

Portia Elan lives and writes in the East Bay, where she shares a house with one indifferent cat and one whip-smart puppy. She teaches 9th grade English and History in Oakland. Her chapbooks, “To Yield Like Water & Nothing Else,” “Ghazals for the Body,” and “Everything Here is Noise & I” (co-written with Jenny Boychuk) all circle around the intersection between the mystic and the body.

Robert O’Hara (Playwriting - 2016)

Robert O’Hara has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, 2 OBIEs and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the World Premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy as well as his own plays, the Lambda Literary Award winning Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. This year his new plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue, has their world premieres at Woolly Mammoth Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, respectively. He is currently the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theater.

Robert Smith (Fiction - 2016)

Robert Smith has most recently been published in Neutrons Protons, Bird’s Thumb Journal, JONATHAN, Wilde Stories 2014: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction, and Barney Rosset’s Evergreen Review. He was a regular contributor to SPANK Art Mag, and has been featured in several NY based queer journals, including: Ganymede, and Mary Literary, as well as a forthcoming story in the next issue of Spunk.

Rosie Wilby (Nonfiction - 2016)

Rosie Wilby is a London-based comedian, writer and broadcaster who has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and performed at major festivals including Glastonbury. Her solo shows have included The Science Of Sex, which she performed at New York’s Fresh Fruit Festival in 2013. Her articles have been published by The Sunday Times, New Statesman, Time Out and more. She was shortlisted for the 2014 Mslexia memoir prize for her account of 1990s London life, How (not) to make it in Britpop. She presents an award-winning LGBT magazine on Resonance FM where her guests have included Armistead Maupin.

Sally J. Johnson (Poetry - 2016)

Sally J. Johnson received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she served as Managing Editor for the award-winning literary journal Ecotone. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in the Collagist, Bodega, the Pinch, the Manifest-Station, and elsewhere. Recently, she won the 2015 Poetry International Prize judged by Carol Frost, was a finalist for Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize in Nonfiction, and winner of Madison Review’s 2015 Phyllis Smart-Young Prize for Poetry. She works as a freelance publicist and part-time instructor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Find her on twitter: @sallyjayjohnson.

Sam Corfman (Poetry - 2016)

Sam Corfman is a poet who writes plays as well as an MFA candidate and writing instructor at the University of Pittsburgh. Poems (will) appear in Phantom, Prelude, H_NGM_N, 1913: a journal of forms, and Twelfth House, among others, and also in OmniVerse as a finalist for Omnidawn’s chapbook prize.

Sarah Fonseca (2016)

Writer-in-Residence Sarah Fonseca is a nonfictionist living in Brooklyn. Her work has been shared at the Queer Memoir Reading Series, SOLANUS, and in the digital pages of Autostraddle, Medium, and BuzzFeed. She is currently working on a collection of short essays on impostresses throughout history, both personally and culturally known. Fonseca regularly swaps her pen out for an olympic barbell. When she’s not writing for publication or tumblr, she competes in the USAPL.

Sarah Jiménez (2016)

Writer-in-Residence Sarah Jiménez is a fiction writer obsessed with the glory and growing pains of adolescence. The young adult trilogy she is currently working on centers around teen pregnancy, and three cousins’ mutual desire of leaving behind their small suburbia hometown. Sarah received her MFA in Fiction/Creative Writing from Mills College in 2015, and is thrilled to return to Lambda as a Writer in Residence.

Sarah Schulman (Nonfiction - 2016)

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter and AIDS historian. Her most recent books include the novel The Cosmopolitans and the forthcoming Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and The Duty of Repair. Her other nonfiction titles are Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years.

Sophie Gertrude Strohmeier (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Sophie Gertrude Strohmeier is a bilingual writer of Fiction and Non Fiction from Vienna, Austria – or Pennsylvania, depending on how you look at it. She’s the author of one surrealist Lesbian novel in German, Küss Mich, Libussa (2013). Her film reporting has appeared in European media such as FM4, The Gap, and Sissy. One of her short stories has appeared in Broad! zine. Currently she lives in the South with her wife and two cats, where Sophie is an MFA candidate in creative writing and recipient of the University of Alabama’s Alumni Award for Fiction 2016.

Steven Riel (Poetry - 2016)

Steven Riel is the author of one full-length collection of poetry, Fellow Odd Fellow (Trio House, 2014), as well as three chapbooks: How to Dream, The Spirit Can Crest, and most recently, Postcard from P-town, which was selected as runner-up for the inaugural Robin Becker Chapbook Prize and published in 2009 by Seven Kitchens Press. His poems have appeared in several anthologies and numerous periodicals, including The Minnesota Review and International Poetry Review. Christopher Bursk named him the 2005 Robert Fraser Distinguished Visiting Poet at Bucks County Community College. He received an MFA in 2008 from New England College.

Taylor Johnson (Poetry - 2016)

Taylor Johnson is a poet from Washington, DC. They’ve received fellowships from Callaloo, the Vermont Studio Center, and Lambda Literary. Their work appears in the most recent issue of the minnesota review. They are currently working on their first collection of poems.

Tennessee Jones (Nonfiction - 2016)

Tennessee Jones is the author of the Lambda Literary Award nominated collection Deliver Me From Nowhere, a ‘cover’ of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. He is the recipient of awards from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation and Hunter College, where he received his MFA in Fiction in 2010. He was also the George Bennett Fellow (Writer in Residence) at Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University. He grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Pam Watts (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Watts decided to leave behind more than a decade of teaching last Spring to write. So now she splits her time freelancing for educational publishers and slinging cheese & charcuterie around at a small cut-to-order cheese shop in Santa Fe, NM. In her free time she writes graphic novels, teen fantasy, memoir, and the occasional blog post about childhood adversity or the art of open, honest discussion. She holds her MFA in Writing for children & young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MA in old, dead white guys from St. John’s College, and a BA in Physics from Wellesley.

Paul Tran (Poetry - 2015)

Paul Tran is a Vietnamese American historian and poet living in Brooklyn, NY. He won “Best Poet” and “Pushing the Art Forward” at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, as well as awards and fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices. His poems appears in CURA: A Literary Magazine for Art & Activism, Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color, and RHINO, which selected him for the 2015 Editor’s Prize. He currently works at New York University and coaches the Barnard/Columbia University slam team. Visit him at @speakdeadly.

Rahul Kanakia (Fiction - 2015)

Rahul Kanakia’s first book, a contemporary young adult novel called Enter Title Here, is coming out from Disney-Hyperion in August ’16. Additionally, his stories have appeared or are forthcoming Clarkesworld, The Indiana Review, Apex, and Nature. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford, and he used to work in the field of international development. Originally from Washington, D.C., Rahul now lives in Berkeley. Follow him on Twitter at

sam sax (Poetry - 2015)

sam sax is a 2015 NEA Fellow and a Poetry Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he’s the associate poetry editor at Bat City Review. He’s the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion + the author of the chapbooks, A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry, 2014) + sad boy / detective (Winner of the Black Lawrence’s 2014 Black River Chapbook Prize). His poem Kaddish won Red Hen Press + The Los Angeles Review’s 2014 Wild Light Poetry Contest and he has work forthcoming in Boston Review, Minnesota Review, Ninth Letter, Normal School, Rattle, Salt Hill + other journals.

Sara Brickman (Poetry - 2015)

Sara Brickman is a queer Jewess author, performer, and activist from Ann Arbor, MI. The 2014 Ken Warfel Fellow for Poetry in Community, Sara was named the winner of the Split This Rock Poetry Contest by Natalie Diaz. She is the recipient of a grant from 4Culture, and has attended Bread Loaf and the TILL Writers Convergence. An Artist Trust EDGE fellow, her work has been published or is forthcoming in Muzzle, Bestiary, Hoarse, The New, Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls, and more. A teacher with Writers in the Schools and the 2013 Rain City Women of the World Slam Champion, Sara has performed her work at venues across North America. In 2010 she founded a multimedia reading series in her living room called The Hootenanny, to showcase groundbreaking writers and performers. She lives and writes in Seattle, WA.

Sara David (Nonfiction - 2015)

Sara David received her degree in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Brown University, where she wrote a thesis about women of color feminist organizations and social media. Currently, she works in LGBT youth advocacy with the It Gets Better Project. You can find her writing in the Guardian, Autostraddle, Medium, and Thought Catalog.

Sara Ryan (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Sara Ryan is the author of the YA novels Empress of the World (Lambda Literary Award finalist, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Oregon Book Award winner, Booklist Top Ten Teen Romance) and The Rules for Hearts (Oregon Book Award winner, Junior Library Guild selection), and the graphic novel Bad Houses (TIME Magazine Top Ten Graphic Novels & Comics of 2013, USA Today Best of 2013 Comics & Graphic Novels). Her shorter comics include the Eisner Award finalist “Me and Edith Head.” She lives in Portland, Oregon with a cartoonist and a cat, and works as the Teen Services Specialist for Multnomah County Library.

Sarah C. Jiménez (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Sarah C. Jiménez is originally from Chula Vista, San Diego’s border-town to Tijuana, and has lived in San Francisco for the past twelve years. She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing/Fiction Prose at Mills College, and is currently finishing her manuscript – a young adult novel about Latinas in the ’burbs. Jiménez has facilitated several writers workshops with middle school students, and advocates for the educational development of Latino youth in her community. She lives with her partner of ten years (her biggest fan), and their two cats.

Sossity Chiricuzio (Nonfiction - 2015)

Sossity Chiricuzio is a queer femme outlaw poet, a working class sex radical storyteller. What her friends parents often referred to as a bad influence, and possibly still do. Recent publications include: Adrienne Journal, Wilde Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and The Outrider Review. Producer/MC of the X-Rated open mic Dirty Queer for over 8 years, sainted by the Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and all around catalyst. She is currently working on multiple projects including a hybrid memoir, and is a contributing columnist at

Suzanne Rush (Nonfiction - 2015)

Suzanne Rush is a writer and journalist hailing from Los Angeles, California. She has been published in LA Weekly, SF Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Santa Fe Reporter, youtalkingtame? and Record Collector News, as well as the websites After Ellen (Fake Gay News) and Boy are my arms tired. She won a spot in the California Arts Council Working Class Writers workshop at The LAB, San Francisco, taught by Dorothy Allison and is a Recursos de Santa Fe Best New Fiction winner. Suzanne is currently conducting a series of interviews with astrologers — among other things.

Sylvia Sukop (Nonfiction - 2015)

Sylvia Sukop grew up in rural Pennsylvania and lived in Boston and New York City before settling in Los Angeles. In 2009 she received PEN Center USA’s Emerging Voices Fellowship and is now working on her first book. Her personal essay, “Pioneers on the frontier of faith: How a handful of audacious Angelenos sparked the movement for LGBT inclusion in mainstream religion that led to a nationwide civil rights sea change,” was published this spring in LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas (Heyday, 2015). She has a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and a master’s through a joint program of New York University and the International Center of Photography.

Parrish Turner (Nonfiction - 2014)

Parrish Turner is an aspiring essayist and playwright who hails from Georgia. He is pursuing a degree in Writing and Linguistics from Georgia Southern University. When he is not otherwise occupied in the full time job that is being queer, he spends his time camped out in the theater or watching way too many Netflix documentaries about the end of the world. Parrish has participated in the New Horizons Playwright Festival, Georgia Southern’s Ten Minute Play Festival, and, with his fellow playwrights, been honored with the Metro Atlanta Theater award for his work on the musical By Wheel and By Wing. Currently, he is working on a theater adaptation of Frankenstein and a collection of essays. Exploring ideas of family, gender, belief, experience, bodies, identity, and the crucial importance of the oxford comma, Parrish is always up for a late night discussion over tea.

PJ Carlisle (Fiction - 2014)

PJ Carlisle is a queer-masculine-trans-butch Boy (at-heart) who writes mostly prose. He/she: 1.) just packed up a truck and an Alien Green Kia Soul with novels, theory, poetry, and other crucial stuff and drove through wavering heat and rain bursts from Salt Lake City, UT to The U. of Dayton, OH . . . then unpacked and hopped a plane to the L.A. Lambda Workshops; b.) will soon become the next Herbert W. Martin Post-Doc Fellow of Diversity and Creative Writing at the above mentioned U. of Dayton; 3.) has a newly-minted Ph.D. (from the U. of Utah) and professorial dreams.; d.) won the Turow-Kinder Award at the U. of Pitt and the AWP Journals Project Award in Fiction; 5.) just finished a novel that plays with the conventions of postmodernism and pop culture . . . about a humble bunch of trans and butch boys; f.) craves LGBTQ support, can’t do it without You.

Randall Kenan (Nonfiction - 2014)

Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of non-fiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Regina Jamison (Genre Fiction - 2014)

Regina Jamison is a writer, educator, mother, and dreamer who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her poetry has appeared in Promethean eZine and Off the Rocks: An Anthology of GLBT Writing Vols. 14 & 15. Her erotic short stories have appeared in Girls Who Bite: Vampire Lesbian Anthology and Purple Panties: Anthology of Black Lesbian Erotica. She is infatuated with southern settings, dialects, and characters. She is currently working on a YA novel set in. Louisiana.

Ricardo Hernandez (Poetry - 2014)

Ricardo Hernandez is an aspiring poet. A recent CUNY Baruch graduate with a BA in English Literature, he looks forward to having some time to read and write poetry, and hopes to attend graduate school in the near future. He lives in Queens, NY with his parents, his sisters, and two larger-than-life Chihuahuas.

Roberto F. Santiago (Poetry - 2014)

Roberto F. Santiago is a poet, translator, and lead singer in a solo act who produces his own music, and dances rips into his pants. Roberto received an MFA from Rutgers University, BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is the recipient of the 2011 Alfred C. Carey Prize for Poetry. His poetry has been published in such anthologies/journals as Assaracus – Sibling Rivalry (2014), CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art & Action(2014), Hypothetical: A Review of Everything Imaginable(2014), and The Waiting Room Reader: Stories to Keep you Company – CavanKerry (2013). His first full-length collection of poems, Angel Park, will be released April 2015 by Lethe Press.

Seth Fischer (Nonfiction - 2014)

Seth Fischer is a writer, teacher and editor who lives in L.A. His work on bisexuality has appeared in The Rumpus and Buzzfeed, and his Rumpus essay was selected for Best Sex Writing 2013 and as a notable in Best American Essays 2013. His essays and short stories have also appeared in Gertrude, Pank, Guernica, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. He teaches and tutors at Antioch University and Writing Workshops L.A., and he was a Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He’s currently working on a memoir called The Three Year Switch.

Stephen Ira (Poetry - 2014)

Stephen Ira has published poetry and short fiction in Topside Press’s Collection, Spot Literary Magazine, the St. Sebastian Review, and Specter Magazine. He is a returning fellow from the cohort of 2013. In 2014, he was featured as a guest star in LA MAMA’S SQUIRTS: New Voices in Queer Performance. He’s gay. He’s a transsexual.

Theodosia Henney (Poetry - 2014)

Theodosia Henney was born in New York, raised in Utah, and currently resides in Vermont, where she attends circus school and works in a jam factory. When not learning to juggle and stand on her hands she writes reviews for Lambda Literary and is the Poetry Editor for Cactus Heart Literary Magazine. Additionally, she enjoys baking, campy sci-fi shows, lucid dreaming, and throwing knives at her dresser.

Phill Branch (Nonfiction - 2013)

Phill Branch is a graduate of the American Film Institute (MFA, Screenwriting) and most recently served as an Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at his undergraduate alma mater Hampton University. Phill’s creative nonfiction work inspired his live, personal essay showcase dear diary…tales of love, life, pain & stupidity. The showcase ran for two years in L.A. and featured the work of a diverse group of writers and performers. In 2012, Phill’s essay “Chicago,” was published in the anthology For Colored Boys who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out and Coming Home. In recent years he has received fellowships from National Association of Television Program Executives and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications In addition, he created and serves as a writer/producer on the award-winning web series The PuNanny Diaries.

Rebecca Chekouras (Fiction - 2013)

Rebecca Chekouras I am a freelance writer living in Oakland; specifically the Port of Oakland. My backyard is the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Rail Road and behind that vast snarl of tracks are the berths and cranes in whose rough lap I tenderly sit. My stories and essays have been published in Curve Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Narrative Magazine, and the online zine Pure Slush. I have stories in anthologies published by Pure Slush Books and the University of Wisconsin, my alma mater. I have completed a first draft of two novels.

Rebecca Leach (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Rebecca Leach is an information designer and copyeditor from Austin, Texas. By day, she turns charts and data into visually compelling presentations, and by night, she hunts down the grammatical errors and typos that often lurk in manuscripts. In 2011, she received her master’s in writing from the New School University in New York City. She writes whenever she can—in the morning when she wakes up, in the car on the way to work, during lunch, and between turns at flying trapeze classes. Currently, she’s working on three speculative YA novels, which are in varying stages of completion.

Rose Yndigoyen (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Rose Yndigoyen is a freelance writer and archivist from New York City. Her short fiction will be featured in the upcoming Southern Gothic anthology from New Lit Salon Press. She has been a non-fiction contributor to the websites AfterEllen and Biographile and covers queer and feminist issues in pop culture on her blog, Queer for Theory. Rose is also co-host of the podcast Pretty Little Recaps. Basically, Rose cannot stop with the words. She is currently at work on her first YA novel, a queer, girly love story. Rose lives with her wife in northern Manhattan. They are proud foster parents.

Samuel R. Delany (Fiction - 2013)

Samuel Delany’s stories are available in Aye and Gomorrah and other stories and Atlantis: Three Tales. His novels include Nova, Dhalgren, Hogg,The Mad Man, the Stonewall Award-winning Dark Reflections, and-most recently-Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. His nonfiction collections includeSilent Interviews, Longer Views, Shorter Views, andTimes Square Red/Times Square Blue. His award-winning autobiography is The Motion of Light in Water. A judge for the 2010 National Book Awards, he was the subject of a 2007 documentary, The Polymath. He is the author of About Writing and his interview in the Paris Review‘s “Art of Fiction” series appeared in the spring 2012. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Temple University. [Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy]

Sarah Schulman (Nonfiction - 2013)

Sarah Schulman is the author of the novels: The Mere Future, The Child, Shimmer, Empathy, Rat Bohemia, People In Trouble, After Delores, Girls Visions and Everything, The Sophie Horowitz Story and the nonfiction books My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During The Reagan/Bush Years, Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS and the Marketing of Gay America,Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, the plays: Carson McCullers, Manic Flight Reaction and the stage adaptation of IB Singer’s Enemies, a Love Story, and the films The Owls and Mommy is Coming. She is co-producer of UNITED IN ANGER: A History of ACT UP. Her awards include: Guggenheim (Playwrighting), Fulbright (Judaic Studies), 3 NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (Playwrighting and Fiction), 2 American Library Association Book Awards (Fiction and Nonfiction), the Kessler Prize for Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies. She is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University and the Bonham Center for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Sarah organized the first US tour of Queer Palestinian Leaders and the first US LGBT Delegation to Palestine. She is co-founder of the ACT UP Oral History Project and MIX: NY Queer Experimental Film and Video Festival, now in its 25th year.

Sathid Pankaew (Fiction - 2013)

Sathid Pankaew was raised in “Little Manila”, Daly City. He was accepted into 2013 Voices of Our Nation – Writers of Color Retreat. His SFF features strong underdogs in oppressive systems, creation mythology, nature’s ingenuity, non-human intelligent life, and amazing people living with disabilities. He views fiction as a medium for expelling, reformatting and transcending traumatic experience. He’s been a carpenter, phlebotomist, HIV test counselor, biological illustrator, and more “unsavory” forms of employment. He works as a barber, puppy counselor and fitness instructor. He hopes to attend “Chicken school for dog-trainers” and write a blockbuster starring Willow Smith and Quvenzhane Wallis when they’re grown.

Sean Patrick Mulroy (Poetry - 2013)

Born and raised in Southern Virginia, the house where Sean Patrick Mulroy grew up was built in 1801 and was commandeered by the union army during the civil war to serve as a makeshift hospital. As a boy, Sean loved to peel back the carpets to show where the blood from hasty surgeries on wounded soldiers had stained the wooden floorboards. Now he writes poems. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The Bakery, Assaracus, Rua de Baixo, Network Awesome, Moonshot, Side B, Union Station, Tandem, Frigg,Neon, Best Indie Literature of New England, Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, and Ganymede.

SJ Sindu (Nonfiction - 2013)

SJ Sindu is a writer and activist who focuses on traditionally silenced voices—the immigrant, the poor, the queer, the female-bodied, the non-Christian, the non-white. Sindu has an MA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is an incoming Ph.D. student in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sindu is a fan of fluidity, and likes to blend genres and genders. Sindu’s creative writing has appeared in Brevity, Water~Stone Review, Harpur Palate, The MacGuffin, Sinister Wisdom, and elsewhere. Currently Sindu is dividing time between two projects: a novel about a Sri Lankan American lesbian in a marriage of convenience, and a collection of nonfiction essays exploring issues of war and gender.

Stephan Georgiou (Nonfiction - 2013)

Stephan Georgiou is a queer gender questioning faerie writer, organizer, performer and troublemaker with very few answers but oh so many questions. When not dancing naked in congressional offices for HIV/AIDS funding, they can be found eating their way through an existential crisis at a bagel store near you. Stephan seeks to contribute to a collective of voices working to build queer community, emancipation and revolution.

Stephen Ira (Poetry - 2013)

Stephen Ira’s poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, Spot Lit Mag, Specter Magazine, The St. Sebastian Review, LGBTQ Nation, and Original Plumbing’s online edition. He is a rising senior at Sarah Lawrence College where he studies Literature, Queer Studies, and Critical Theory. He lives with his boyfriend in Yonkers, New York, and tweets fitfully at @supermattachine.

Steve Coulter (Fiction - 2013)

Steve Coulter is finishing his second novel, Sodom’s Son, about the libertarian, conservative paradise of America in 2076 and the gay lovers who save democracy. He repeatedly finished his first novel that frightened literary agents across America (Armour of God: a journalist is sucked into a conspiracy to suppress the greatest scientific discovery in history—physical evidence than an intelligent entity created life, but not the god in Genesis or any other religion). He has worked as a hod-carrier, carpenter, journalist, soldier, state assemblyman, corporate executive, library commissioner and pre-published, prefamous but hopeful novelist. He lives in San Francisco with his husband of 36 years, Greg, and Kirby, the Tibetan Terrier.

Steven Sanchez (Poetry - 2013)

Steven Sanchez is working towards his MFA in Creative Writing at CSU, Fresno where he received his degree in Philosophy. Originally planning to attend law school, an undergrad workshop made him realize his passion is for poetry’s vulnerable and emotionally honest analogies usually absent in legal reasoning. At the retreat, he will continue developing his first poetry collection. He works at the smallest Starbucks in Fresno, is an editorial assistant for the Philip Levine Prize, a 2012 Tin House alum, and a managing editor of Flies, Cockroaches, & Poets. His poetry has appeared in Chelsea Station and San Joaquin Review.

Tess Sharpe (Young Adult Fiction - 2013)

Born in a backwoods cabin to a pair of punk rockers, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural Northern California. Following an internship with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she studied theatre and Shakespeare at SOU before abandoning the stage for the professional kitchen. She lives, writes and bakes near the Oregon border. Far From You, her first YA novel, is an LGBT mystery, to be published by Hyperion in Spring of 2014.

Rachel Pepper (Young Adult Fiction - 2012)

Rachel Pepper is the author of several nonfiction books including the recently released anthology, Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children (Cleis, 2012). She is the long standing book editor of Curve magazine and an award winning, widely published journalist. Having recently gone back to school to get her Master’s degree in counseling, Rachel is also an MFT Intern practicing in the Bay Area, specializing in the mental health needs of the transgender, LGB, and transitional age youth communities. Rachel is currently working on her first young adult novel.

Robert Andrew Perez (Poetry - 2012)

Robert Andrew Perez lives in Berkeley, California with two biologists in a regrettably, but predictably, platonic arrangement. Unlike most poets, he is, quite literally, rolling in the dough, working for a deep dish pizza company based in Oakland. In true post-recession fashion, he holds various other odd jobs: teaching ESL, mobile DJing for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and working for the English departments of UC Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College (where he earned his BA and MFA, respectively) in a variety of academic capacities ranging from undergraduate paper scrubber to lecturer. He is also the blog manager for the Underpass Reading Series and—for the sake of alliterative music we’ll call—the “director of design” for speCt!, a chapbook project. His recent work can be found in publications such as The Cortland Review, Writing Without Walls, and The Offending Adam. He apologizes for his aggressively professional bio photo.

Sailor Holladay (Nonfiction - 2012)

Sailor Holladay is a writer, artist, and teacher living in San Francisco while pursuing an MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction degree at Mills College in Oakland. Sailor’s writing and art have appeared in Gay Genius comics anthology, When Language Runs Dry #3, The Encyclopedia Project Vol. F-K, Chronotopia at the 2010 National Queer Arts Festival, Colony Collapse Disorder Radio,, Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing up Working Class, and elsewhere.

Sarah Fonseca (Nonfiction - 2012)

Sarah Fonseca is a blue collar essayist living in south Georgia. While Bible Belt politics are another story, she appreciates the strong women, cheap rent, and stray dogs that come with the territory. Her work has appeared in The Q Review, Off the Rocks 16, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and in the digital pages of Autostraddle. When not working on her memoir, Sarah serves as a Choice USA correspondent and a speechwriter for Marc Silver, a democratic candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives.

Ona Marae (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Ona Marae is a 46-year-old Denver transplant from rural Kansas, a Queer Femme with a disability. When not writing or reading voraciously, she is also a disability rights and LGBTQ rights activist. She has published short stories and poetry, but recently was pleasantly surprised to break into non-fiction with essays in two college textbooks. She is a full time writer and a practicing licensed minister in a progressive mainstream Christian denomination.

Robin Talley (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Robin Talley is a young adult novelist who dreams of being the queer J.K. Rowling, the female John Green, or the slightly cheerier Suzanne Collins, though she’s not picky and would be willing to settle for the combined sales totals of all three. When she’s not writing, Robin spends her days planning online communications strategy for progressive nonprofit organizations. Robin is represented by Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Sara Kate Ellis (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Sara Kate Ellis lives in Tokyo where she is a master of seat nabbing during crowded commutes. Her short fiction has recently appeared in Allegory, Brain Harvest and Electric Spec, with stories forthcoming in The Red Penny Papers and the Rockets, Swords and Rainbows anthology.

Stephanie Glazier (Poetry - 2011)

Stephanie Glazier has poems in various publications based in the Lansing, MI area. Her interviews with poets Billy Collins and Thomas Lynch have been published in MittenLit. She is a MFA candidate at Antioch University LA and assistant director of the RCAH Center for Poetry at Michigan State University. She lives in East Lansing, MI where she loves to write, eat, read, repeat.

Tanya Olson (Poetry - 2011)

Tanya Olson teaches English at Vance-Granville Community College. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Cairn, Main Street Rag, Pedestal, Elysian Fields, Fanzine, and Southern Cultures. She won the 2005 Independent Poetry contest, was a runner-up for the 2009 Rita Dove Award, and received a 2010 “Discovery” Award from the 92nd Street Y and the Boston Review. She is a member of the Black Socks poetry group, and serves on the board of the Carolina Wren Press. (Photo by Derek Anderson.)

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