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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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Tim Murphy (Fiction - 2019)

Tim Murphy is the author of the novels Getting Off Clean, The Breeders Box, Christodora, and Correspondents. He is also a longtime journalist on HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues for places including The New York Times, New York magazine, The Nation, Poz, and the magazines of the ACLU and Lambda Legal. His novel Christodora was longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He has once won and another time been nominated for Best Magazine Article by the GLAAD Media Awards. He has taught journalism at City College in Harlem and both journalism and fiction at Arts and Letters middle school in Brooklyn. He was an early organizer of the activist groups Gays Against Guns and Rise and Resist. He lives in Brooklyn and is at work on a new novel.

Todd Wellman (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Todd Wellman received his MA in writing from UW-Milwaukee and served as fiction editor for cream city review. Current manuscripts: a middle-grade fantasy that reveals where flight really comes from; several picture books that celebrate quirks; a young-adult novel that may or may not feature real magic spells; and a horror screenplay buzzing with some nasty toxic masculinity. Writing has appeared in The James Franco Review, Lunch Ticket, Indie Next Lists, The Missouri Review blog, and more. By day, Todd supports a Milwaukee-area nonprofit leadership program; and implores people to shop at independent bookstores. Twitter: @toddwe

Tovah Leibowitz (Nonfiction - 2019)

Tovah Leibowitz is a film and television editor, essayist, and screenwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked with legendary producers Spike Lee, James Cameron, Amy Schumer and his most recent editorial credits include Comedy Central’s Broad City and tbs’ Search Party. His essays have been featured on Autostraddle, Harlot Magazine, and Fist Zine. Tovah is currently working on a forthcoming memoir on trans-sexuality, pornography and pleasure, and new modes of sexual emancipation that do not demand redemption or redress.

Vero González (Nonfiction - 2019)

Vero González is a queer femme-inist writer and translator from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has a MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (Dean’s Graduate Fellow) and a BFA from Pratt Institute (Thesis Prize in Fiction). She has received support from A Room of Her Own Foundation (Touching Lives Fellow, 2015) as well as Hedgebrook and the Rona Jaffe Foundation (Hedgebrook/Rona Jaffe Inaugural Fellow, 2018). Vero is currently a Neighborhood Programs Fellow for GrubStreet. She lives in Boston, where she is working on a hybrid book about intergenerational trauma, colonialism, and healing.

Waverly SM (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Waverly SM is a queer, agender, autistic writer living in Oxford, England. They studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where they worked on martyrdom in medieval saints’ lives and on madness in the works of Tennessee Williams. Their work can be found all over the internet, and will appear in Stim: An Autism Anthology in 2020. They’re currently working on a YA novel about queer kids fighting a god at the end of days, in which the real cosmic horror is the ambient trauma of living in the world.

Zach Shultz (Nonfiction - 2019)

Zach Shultz is a higher education administrator in New York City and a freelance writer. His work has appeared in the Rumpus, Brevity, Entropy, Huffington Post, INTO, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and more. He received a master’s in Latin American Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans and a bachelor’s in Spanish and Sociology from the University of Kentucky. He’s currently working on a book-length project about AIDS and gentrification in New York City told through the story of one almost famous playwright and historical preservationist who died in the 90s.

Victoria Newton Ford (Poetry - 2018)

Victoria Newton Ford is a poet and essayist from two Southern cities: Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, South Carolina. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a recipient of the 2016 Deacon Maccubbin Young Writer Poetry Award from the DC Center for the LGBT Community. Her writing has appeared in Sojourners, Connotations Press: An Online Artifact, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She is currently working on her first manuscript about black girlhood, mental illness, incarceration, and the South.

Wryly T. McCutchen (Poetry - 2018)

Wryly T. McCutchen is a poet, hybrid writer and community educator teaching, writing, and surviving in the Pacific Northwest. Their poetry and nonfiction has appeared in Foglifter, Lady/Liberty/Lit, Tiferet Journal, Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, and Raven Chronicles. They were awarded an MFA in creative writing with dual concentration in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University. Their first poetry manuscript, My Ugly and Other Love Snarls, is available from University of Hell Press. Their first memoir is in progress.

Yosimar Reyes (Playwriting - 2018)

Yosimar Reyes is a nationally-acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerreo, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.” His first collection of poetry, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly… was self published after a collaboration with the legendary Carlos Santana. His work has also been published in various online journals and books including Mariposas: An Anthology of Queer Modern Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press), Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella Press), and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press). Reyes was featured in the documentary 2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry.

Tom Ryan (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Tom Ryan is a Canadian author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections. His young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. Tom currently lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his husband and their dog.

Tori Truscheit (Nonfiction - 2017)

Tori Truscheit is a community organizer based in San Jose, CA, where she’s a regular contributor for the alternative weekly newspaper. Her essays have appeared in The Establishment, Everyday Feminism, and The Cut at New York Magazine, and she’s reported stories for Civil Eats, Extra Crispy, and Mic. She’s working on longer pieces about misogyny in millennial relationships, queer cheerleaders, and disco.

Wendy Judith Cutler (Nonfiction - 2017)

Wendy Judith Cutler, passionately committed to social transformation, is a longtime radical teacher, writer, jewish lesbian feminist activist. She co-authored Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection (2014). Her Memoir of an Undutiful Daughter about Lesbian Feminism in the 1970s is her current obsession. Her coming out letter, “Dear Mom and Dad,” was published in The Coming Out Stories (1980). She lives on magical Salt Spring Island (B.C.: unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples) with her lovergirl of thirty years where she creates sacred circles of women writing together and communes within a circle of queers.

Whitney Porter (Fiction - 2017)

Whitney Porter has published fiction in Battered Suitcase, Metazen and Ping Pong Literary Journal. Additionally her work was in included in the Writer’s Studio at 30 Anthology. She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and has a degree in Journalism from SUNY Empire State.

William Lung (Fiction - 2017)

William Lung is an adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York, and received the 2016 Norman Kelvin Teacher-Writer Award. He also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CCNY, and is a two-time recipient of The Stark Short Fiction Prize.

Wayne Bund (Playwriting - 2016)

Wayne Bund was born in Portland Oregon, and raised on a small farm in Boring. He is an interdisciplinary artist working in photography, performance, painting, and writing. He created the word Lumbertwink, which is a quarterly dance party for lovers of plaid and beards. He holds an MFA in Visual Studies from PNCA, and an MS in Teaching from Pace University. He has exhibited and performed internationally and locally. He is currently working on a full length solo performance called Sass Manifesto, about his drag persona Feyonce, Tina Turner, and Judith Butler. He currently works as a Kindergarten Teacher.

Whitney Porter (Fiction - 2016)

Whitney Porter is a teacher at the Writer’s Studio in New York where she is also student in the master class taught by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schultz. Her work has appeared in Ping Pong Literary Magazine, Battered Suitcase and Metazen. Originally from Houston, Texas, she now calls Brooklyn, New York her home. She holds a BA in journalism from Empire State College SUNY.

Todd Gastelum (Nonfiction - 2015)

Todd Gastelum is a California-born writer and editor living in Mexico City. A lifelong scribbler, his only paid work to appear in print is gay erotica, which he peddled to smut mags before the internet killed them off. He has recently overcome his animosity toward digital media and publishes regularly on Todd writes non-fiction about identity, ethnicity, sexuality, class, cities, and food. A former teenage gay rights activist, he never thought he’d live to see same-sex marriage legalized in the US. A half-breed Mexican-American, he has lived in Mexico as an ambivalent immigrant for the past decade. Todd has a degree in geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He’s a recovering misanthrope who longs for the burritos and bánh mì of his homeland.

Twig Delujé (2015)

Writer-in-Residence Twig Delujé is a trans* identified fiction writer with a blue-collar, Midwestern/Ozarkian upbringing. His stories revolve around the topics of class, gender, and queer survival while broadening the dialogue around the rural queer experience. He currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

William Lung (Fiction - 2015)

William Lung is an MFA student and adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York where he’s been a recipient of the Stark Short Fiction Prize. He is a returning fiction fellow and his work is forthcoming in Gaslight, the LLF’s inaugural anthology of work from the retreat.

Zavé Martohardjono (Playwriting - 2015)

Zavé Martohardjono is a multidisciplinary Brooklyn-based artist who calls New York City, Indonesia, and Canada home. Zavé makes performance, video, installations and also curates. His work centers on fractured and liminal experiences of borderland identities, exploring mixed-race, multi-national, queer, and trans subjectivity. He’s shown at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Bowery Poetry Club, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Bronx River Art Center Gallery, Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Chashama 540, Dixon Place, La MaMa E.T.C., Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, Rats 9 Gallery, SOMArts, and the Wild Project. His videos have screened at film festivals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Montréal, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Jakarta. In collaboration, he’s had the pleasure of performing for Lawrence Weiner, Mariangela Lopez/Accidental Movement, Ximena Garnica, Vanessa Anspaugh, Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade, devynn emory, and J. Dellecave. In ocmmunity, he’s collaborated with MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival, Helix Queer Performance Network + Brooklyn Arts Exchange, FIERCE, Theater Transgression, Into the Neon, and New Children/New York. Zavé works in civil rights advocacy and digital media. He received his B.A. from Brown University (2006), his M.F.A. in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York (2009), and participated in the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics’ EMERGENYC Program (2011).

Timothy Carrier (Nonfiction - 2014)

Timothy Carrier is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and lives in New York City. Currently he’s a candidate in the low residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is active in the field of art & social justice.

Victor Vazquez (Poetry - 2014)

Victor Vazquez is a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, and holds two playwriting commissions with 24th Street Theatre’s Teatro del Pueblo Initiative working with the community of University Park in South Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund McNamara Creative Arts Grant, a graduate of UC Irvine’s undergraduate creative writing emphasis program, and currently works as a Community Organizer in the Artistic Department at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA. Spanish is his native language. He is writing a book of poems titled MEN, and a novel titled, Us, Boys. He lives in Los Angeles.

Wayne Johns (Fiction - 2014)

Wayne Johns has published work in New England Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Image, court green, and elsewhere. His poetry manuscript, Words Without Songs, has been a finalist for the Wick Poetry Prize and the National Poetry Series, among others. His first published fiction was a short story selected by Scott Heim as runner-up for the 2013 Bloom Fiction Chapbook Prize. He has been a recent resident at the Vermont Studio Center and also began taking courses at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. He’s currently working on a novel (tentatively titled Where Your Children Are) set in his hometown of Atlanta, GA.

William Lung (Fiction - 2014)

William Lung is an MFA student and adjunct instructor at the City College of New York, where he’s been the recipient of the Stark Short Fiction Prize and a Sydney Jacoff Graduate Scholarship. His fiction is often inspired by true stories and a love of travel, and while his writing hasn’t really appeared anywhere yet, he hopes that will change soon. Also, he admits to being overly fond of ellipses…

Wo Chan (Poetry - 2014)

Wo Chan is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Creative Writing as an undergrad. There he received the Rachel St. Paul Poetry Award for his work. He has received fellowships from Poets House, Kundiman, and Lambda Literary. Wo plans to pursue an MFA (eventually). He currently resides in Brooklyn, where he works as a makeup artist by day and performs as a standing member of the New York drag alliance, Switch N’ Play, by night.

Yana Calou (Nonfiction - 2014)

Yana Calou is a genderqueer Brazilian-American writer, performance artist and media activist on economic, racial and gender justice issues. Yana has performed at the Pop-up Museum of Queer History, La MaMa, Dixon Place, and BAX. Yana lives in Brooklyn and is currently working on a master’s degree in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, and works at the Retail Action Project. In a past life, they led communications for the Utah Pride Center, GLAAD, and the Women’s Media Center.

Yuska Lutfi (Nonfiction - 2014)

Yuska Lutfi earned MFA degrees in fiction and nonfiction writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. His peers described his pieces as “sartorially delicious, peppered with just enough snark, wit, and charm.” In spring 2014, he facilitated the memoir writing workshop for Lafayette Seniors Citizens, and curated the blog ( and its anthology. He is working on his book that explores issues of drag performers, gender, and religion in his home country Indonesia. Yuska is an American Tribal Style belly dancer, photographer, and collector of antique fabrics and jewelry. He loves cats, cheesecakes, beefcakes, and dancing in his tiny kitchen.

Tommy Pico (Poetry - 2013)

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is the driving force behind birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press and zine that publishes art and writing. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn and is working on his first collection of poetry. He’s been published in BOMB, [PANK] and THEthe poetry blog.

Twig Deluje’ (Fiction - 2013)

Twig Deluje’ is a trans* identified fiction writer with a blue-collar, Midwestern/Ozarkian upbringing. A creative writing & queer literature instructor at SFCC, Deluje’ devotes his professional career to broadening the dialogue around the rural queer experience. His stories revolve around the topics of class, gender, and queer survival, while always finding a place for humor as part of that survival. Currently, Deluje’ resides in Madrid, New Mexico with his two beastly dogs. There he thrives as a ranch hand, throws hatchets in his free time, continues to work on his collection of short stories, and produces The Queer Country Roadshow.

Vanesa Evers (Poetry - 2012)

Vanesa Evers is currently an MFA Poetry Candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, Class of 2013. Her writing challenges stagnant and “conservative” paradigms. Through her poetry, she frees her readers/listeners. There is nothing that can’t be written.

Tommy Theollyn (Nonfiction - 2011)

Tommy Theollyn lives with his family and an eclectic mix of neurotic animals off the coast of Georgia. Through the alchemy of social services, crap jobs, and a certain creative tenacity, Tommy builds magical castles, magnificent artwork, and family memories out of spray paint and thrift store finds. Although active in social justice communities, Tommy is recently drawn more towards contemplation of universal transformation and belly button lint. He is working on his first novel.

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal (Poetry - 2011)

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is an NYC traitor to LA, who lowercase identifies as a poet, playwright, essayist, and lyricist. She earned a BA from Vassar College and is working on an MFA in Writing at CalArts. She likes: rubbernecking American culture, contemporary critical theory, mid-century modern furniture, and her grandfather. Her work has been published in Work Magazine, is forthcoming in PANK Magazine, and will be presented at the 2011 &Now Festival of New Writing.

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