About the Book

We are excited to invite adolescent LGBTQ writers to submit their best creative writing to Writing Out of the Closet: LGBTQ Voices from High School. The first work of its kind, Writing Out of the Closet will feature short stories, poetry, personal narratives, and other creative writing solely from LGBTQ teens. We hope to provide a home for works that might, in some cases, not otherwise have one and an opportunity for young LGBTQ writers to share their stories and passion with the world.

Who can submit?

Any person ages 14-19 who identifies as LGBTQ is welcome to send us their work. While we recognize the importance of allies, whose support is often crucial in a young LGBTQ person’s life, we are solely looking for works by LGBTQ writers. If chosen for publication, those under 18 years old will need to submit a parent consent form. While we prefer to name and celebrate the authors of these pieces, we would consider anonymous publication in the case of truly exceptional works.


We are most interested in writing that highlights and explores topics of gender, sexuality, and youth, but we are open to works of any topic or genre. We will consider any type of creative writing, including short stories, poetry, and personal narratives, but we ask that you submit only your best, most polished work. Work must be original and previously unpublished, including any school publications (e.g. literary magazines, newspapers, etc.). Finally, all pieces must be “clean”: that is, you should avoid excessive profanity and graphic sexual content. We encourage you to be open and honest in these pieces, but as a general rule, follow your best judgement of what your school would consider appropriate for publication.

Number of submissions and length 

While we are excited to read all of the work submitted, we are limited in space for the book, and we want to publish works from a variety of writers. As a result, individuals may submit up to five pieces, up to two of which may be selected for publication. While we will accept submissions of any length, prose five pages or under and poems two pages or under are more likely to be published. We also welcome excerpts of longer works.


  • Each submission should be a separate Microsoft Word document that is titled “Last Name, First Name, Title of Piece.” If you have five submissions, then, you should attach five documents. 
  • Include a title page with your full name, age, email address, and the title of your piece. 
  • Use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font with standard 1” margins.

How to Submit

Email all submissions as attachments to [email protected] by 11:59 PM on 9/30/19. Though this is the deadline, we encourage early submissions if your work is ready.

Selection Process

Submission does not guarantee acceptance or publication. The editors will review and evaluate your submissions based on content and style. Publication of your piece may be contingent upon completing requested revisions. You will be notified of acceptance or denial by 11/30/19.


Kyle O’Daniel is a teacher of English at Mahomet-Seymour High School, where he also co-sponsors the school’s literary magazine, Sonder, and the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. 

Dr. Erin Mikulec is Professor of Secondary Education at Illinois State University. Dr. Mikulec has taught middle and high school foreign language and is an ally of the LGBTQ youth community. Her research interests include LGBTQ youth in schools.


The book will be published through DIO Press, Inc in the series Literacies as Resistance. You can find out more about the series at: https://tinyurl.com/literaciesasresistance or https://www.facebook.com/DIOPressinc


Contact us at [email protected] if you have questions about Writing Out of the Closet or about the submission process. You can also find us on Faceboook (facebook.com/writingoutofthecloset) and Instagram (@writingoutofthecloset). 

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