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Writer’s Retreat

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Applications for the 2022 Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Are Open!

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. The Retreat is an unparalleled opportunity to develop one’s craft and find community.

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. In 2022, the Writer’s Retreat will expand to include instruction in screenwriting and speculative fiction.

Faculty: The 2022 Writer’s Retreat will be held online, in virtual space. Faculty include Jewelle Gomez (playwriting), torrin a. greathouse (poetry), Zeyn Joukhadar (fiction), Larissa Lai (speculative fiction), Alex Marzano-Lesnevich (nonfiction), Amos Mac (screenwriting), and Mark Oshiro (young adult fiction).

Location: Virtual

Tuition: The cost to attend the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices is $950.00. Full and partial scholarships are available.

Application Dates: Applications open on Monday, November 29th, 2021 and close on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, 5pm ET.

2022 Writer’s Retreat Accessibility Strategy: Throughout the virtual retreat, Fellows will have multiple breaks each day, at least two breaks during each workshop session, the option to turn their cameras on or off during workshops and events, the option to watch craft talk and panel discussion recordings at a later time, ASL interpretation and human captioning at nightly readings, as well as real-time AI captioning during all workshops and events.

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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

Applications for the 2022 Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices are now open. Apply here.

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Fellows & Faculty Directory


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Jubi Arriola-Headley (Writers in Residence - 2021)

JUBI ARRIOLA-HEADLEY is a Blacqueer poet, storyteller, & first-generation United Statesian who lives with his husband in South Florida & whose work explores themes of masculinity, vulnerability, rage, tenderness & joy. He’s a 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, holds an MFA from the University of Miami, & his poems have been published with Ambit, Beloit Poetry Journal, Literary Hub, Nimrod, Southern Humanities Review, The Nervous Breakdown, & elsewhere. Jubi’s debut collection of poems, original kink, is available now from Sibling Rivalry Press. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. Stop Asian Hate. Art is Labor. Eat the Rich. Free Palestine.

Katie Jean Shinkle (Poetry - 2021)

Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of three novellas and six chapbooks, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018), Rat Queen (Bloof Books, 2019), and Will You Kiss Me Goodnight? (The Offending Adam, forthcoming). Her creative work and criticism has appeared in Flaunt Magazine, The Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, Fugue, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Denver, and serves as co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM. Currently living in Texas, she teaches at Sam Houston State University in the MFA program in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing. You can find her on Instagram @katiejeanshinkle.

Kayla Kumari (Nonfiction - 2021)

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is a fiction editor at TriQuarterly and a writer for Autostraddle. Her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Catapult, The Offing, Joyland, and others. Her pop culture writing—which usually focuses on queer film and TV—is published in The Cut, The A.V. Club, Vulture, Refinery29, Vice, and more. When she gets stuck while writing, she turns to cooking for a distraction, and she previously worked as a restaurant reporter for Eater NY. She attended the 2020 Tin House Summer Workshop for short fiction. Find her on social media @KaylaKumari

Lane Michael Stanley (Playwriting - 2021)

Lane Michael Stanley is a transgender director, playwright, filmmaker, and producer. Lane has won Best Director from City Paper’s Best of Baltimore 2016, The Bad Oracle, and DC Metro Theatre Arts, and received the Mayor’s Individual Artist Award. Their first feature film ADDICT NAMED HAL premiered at the 2021 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Their films have shown at festivals including Toronto Short Film Festival and Big Apple Film Festival. Their plays have been produced and developed by 19 theaters in 8 states. They completed their MFA in Directing at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit and

Leah Johnson (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Leah Johnson is a writer, educator, and author of award-winning books for children and young adults. Her bestselling debut YA novel, You Should See Me in a Crown was the inaugural Reese’s Book Club YA pick, a 2021 Stonewall Honor Book, a Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2021 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten selection, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ young adult literature. It was featured on a number of Best of the Year lists including: Cosmopolitan, Amazon, Kirkus, Marie Claire, Publishers Weekly, and New York Public Library. Her sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun is due out from Scholastic in July 2021, and the first installment of her debut middle grade series, Ellie Engle Saves Herself is slated for publication from Disney-Hyperion in spring 2023. In 2020, Leah was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, and her debut novel named an Indies Introduce pick by the American Booksellers Association. Leah is a 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published or is forthcoming in BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar among others. When she’s not writing or ranting about pop culture and politics on Twitter, Leah is a professor of creative writing and composition.

Lulu Duffy-Tumasz (Playwriting - 2021)

Lulu is a queer playwright raised and based in Philly. Their current plays (under development) explore modern sexuality and gender identity, hoping to engage with messiness and ambiguity. Main goal though is a good joke. Lulu studied playwriting and queer theory at Bard College, and is currently in graduate school to become a psychotherapist. Lulu is passionate about fighting for the autonomy of sex workers who use drugs through their 5+ years helping run a mutual-aid based harm reduction group. When not too burnt out and cranky, Lulu can be found watching a 76ers game while contemplating going to a queer dance party. They can also be found ranting on twitter: @queerwhosneers.

Maria Isabelle Carlos (Nonfiction - 2021)

Maria Isabelle Carlos is a writer from Missouri. Winner of the 2021 Academy of American Poets Prize from Vanderbilt University, the 2021 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Contest, and the 2020 Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Passages North, Hyphen Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net. After receiving her B.A. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill as the Thomas Wolfe Scholar, Maria bartended in New Orleans for a few years before attending the M.F.A. program at Vanderbilt University. She is the editor of Inch, a quarterly series of micro-chapbooks from Bull City Press. Follow her on social media @mariacarlospoet and find more of her work at

Marrion Johnson (Fiction - 2021)

Marrion Johnson is a Black, queer writer based out of Oakland, California. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Marrion utilizes fiction to examine the complex realities facing Black communities including memory, lineage, and freedom. Most recently, Marrion earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in Fiction from Saint Mary’s College of California. During his time at Saint Mary’s, Marrion advocated for the centering of Black students, Black writing, and Black professors. He is both a Lambda Literary and Risk Press Fellow. Marrion is currently working on his first novel. Twitter: @marrrjjj Instagram: @_marrrrjjj

Mary Maxfield (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

Mary Maxfield is a writer, researcher, and organizer who strives to bridge creative arts, academic inquiry, and social change. Her work includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and explores queer experience and community formation, as well as the intersections of illness, trauma, and identity. (Bonus points for monsters or magic). Mary’s writing has appeared online at Scarleteen and in print in Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology from Middle America. Currently, Mary is a Ph.D. candidate and Dissertation Fellow in American Studies at St. Louis University, where her research examines the use of arts media—including literature—to form queer community. Find her online at

medina (Young Adult Fiction - 2021)

medina is a Honduran-American, nonbinary, demisexual lesbian. They hold a dual MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults and Nonfiction from The New School. They’ve written for Self Magazine, HelloGiggles, Bustle, Electric Literature, Them., and more. They are a 2019 SCBWI Emerging Voices Winner and former We Need Diverse Books mentee. They’re represented by Verve Talent LA and Avalon. Their debut queer contemporary middle-grade book, THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU THE MOST, comes out in the Spring of 2022 via Levine Querido.

Kay Gabriel (Poetry - 2019)

Kay Gabriel is a poet and essayist. She’s the author of Elegy Department Spring / Candy Sonnets 1 (BOAAT Press, 2017), the finalist for the 2016 BOAAT Chapbook Prize selected by Richard Siken. She’s also a 2018-19 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow at the Poetry Project and a PhD Candidate at Princeton University. With Andrea Abi-Karam she’s co-editing an anthology of radical trans poetics, forthcoming in 2020 from Nightboat Books. Find her recent work in The Brooklyn Rail, Salvage, The Believer, and Social Text.

Khaliah Peterson-Reed (Young Adult Fiction - 2019)

Khaliah Peterson-Reed is from Newark, New Jersey. She lived in Washington D.C. while she earned her B.A. in English at Howard University. She currently lives in Los Angeles and is a PhD student in English Literature at the University of Southern California. Her work has focused on mental health, specifically the mental health of African American teens and young adults including but not limited to depression, anorexia, and PTSD. In 2016 she won first place in the Tuckson Health Connections 2016 Healing Stories contest for her short story “Jagged Little Girl.” When she isn’t writing, she’s handmaking journals that she’ll never have the time to write in.

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!

Kat Evasco (Playwriting - 2018)

Kat Evasco is a theatermaker, writer, and stand up comedian. As a queer Filipina immigrant, Evasco’s work primarily reflects and celebrates the experiences QTPOC and immigrant communities. Evasco is best known for her autobiographical one-woman show, Mommy Queerest, co-written and directed by John Caldon. She has performed at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bovard Auditorium, Logan Center, Annenberg Center, and FringeArts. Evasco’s current projects include developing and directing Prieto by written and performed by Yosimar Reyes and directing Locus of Control, a one man show by Jason Bayani. Evasco serves as the Co-Director for Resilience Archives.

Kate Bove (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Kate Bove is a New Englander living in the Bay Area, where she completed the University of San Francisco’s MFA program and received the school’s Zivic Fellowship in 2016. Her work has appeared in Exposition Review, Concrete Literary, Emerson Review, and plain china. When not writing, Kate can be found adding another flannel shirt to her closet—or exploring the city, the woods, and everywhere in between.

Kay Ulanday Barrett (2018)

Writer-in-Residence Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi, is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. K. has featured globally: Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, The Chicago Historical Society, NY Poetry Festival, Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & National Queer Arts Festival. They are a 3x Pushcart Prize nominee and has received fellowships from Lambda Literary Review, VONA/Voices, The Home School, and Drunken Boat. Their contributions are found in Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, NYLON, The Margins, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine,, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Apogee, Entropy, Colorlines, Everyday Feminism, Them., The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. They are currently a Guest Editor at Nat.Brut and 2018 Guest Faculty for The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary. When The Chant Comes (Topside Press, 2016) is their first collection of poetry.

Kirt Ethridge (Young Adult Fiction - 2018)

Kirt Ethridge is a genderqueer/transmasculine writer and science educator living in Southern Indiana. They received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville (Indiana) in 2016. They are currently working on a YA novel about trans kids growing up in their hometown of Evansville. Their writing has been published in apt literary magazine, Paper Darts, the Heavy Feather Review’s #notmypresident, and Crab Fat Magazine. When Kirt isn’t writing, they are probably cuddling snakes or helping with their local Trans Support Group.

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.

Jubi Arriola-Headley (Poetry - 2017)

Jubi Arriola-Headley is a writer, editor, storyteller, and first-generation American born to Bajan (Barbadian) parents. He’s currently working on his first collection of poems. Jubi and his husband divide their time between South Florida and Guatemala, where Jubi hopes to pick up enough Spanish to figure out what his in-laws are saying about him.

Karina Vahitova (Poetry - 2017)

Karina Vahitova is a post-Soviet queer poet and movement artist from Kiev, Ukraine living in New York. She has previously worked with Opportunity Project helping to develop healing art therapy programs for individuals with brain damage. She led and managed the global research and performance art archive project at Marina Abramovic Institute. Currently, she volunteers as a rape and domestic violence crisis counselor with Crime Victims Treatment Center. She is a co-founder of The Void Academy and is working on her first book of lyrical theory about female queerness, totalitarianism, violence, and women in the Soviet Union.

Kate Cochrane (Young Adult Fiction - 2017)

Kate Cochrane lives outside Boston with her wife, two daughters, and badly-behaved chocolate lab. Before becoming a law librarian at one of Boston’s many law schools, Kate was a Division I ice hockey player, a lawyer, and a stay-at-home mom. In the time she can steal from her family, she’s a writer. She was a contributing writer to for over four years before moving to Her short story, Dragon Slayer, was published in the Torqued Tales Anthology.

Kay Ulanday Barrett (Poetry - 2017)

Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi, is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. K. has featured globally; Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, The Chicago Historical Society, The Guild Complex, The Hemispheric Institute, & The White House. They have received fellowships from The Home School, and Drunken Boat. Contributions are in PBS News Hour, The Margins, Lambda Literary, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine,, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Make/Shift, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. When The Chant Comes is their first collection.

Kayleb Rae Candrilli (Poetry - 2017)

Kayleb Rae Candrilli is author of What Runs Over, forthcoming with YesYes Books and winner of the 2016 Pamet River Prize. They are published or forthcoming in BOAAT Press, Puerto del Sol, Booth, Vinyl, Muzzle, Cream City Review, and others. Candrilli is a Best of the Net winner and a Pushcart Prize nominated poet. They serve as an assistant poetry editor for BOAAT Press and they hold an MFA and an MLIS from the University of Alabama. Candrilli now lives in Philadelphia with their partner.

Kenan Ince (Poetry - 2017)

Kenan Ince is a mathematician, poet, and musician from Denton, TX, living on occupied Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute territory (so-called Salt Lake City). Their work has appeared in Word Riot, Duende, and Permafrost, among others, and won first prize in the Utah Pride Center Poetry & Prose Writing Contest. They are the recipient of scholarships to the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and Lambda Literary Writers’ Retreat.

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

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.

Joy Ladin (Poetry - 2016)

Joy Ladin is the author of seven books of poetry, including recently-published Impersonation, Lambda Literary Award finalist Transmigration, and Forward Fives award winner Coming to Life. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life, was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her poetry has appeared in many publications, including American Poetry Review and she has spoken about gender identity issues around the country, and was featured on NPR’s “On Being” with Krista Tippett and other NPR programs. She holds the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College of Yeshiva University, and has also taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Massachusetts (Amherst).

Julia Tranchina (Poetry - 2016)

Julia Tranchina is a writer, poet, and municipal employee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in places like The Rusty Toque, Bone Bouquet, Monkeybicycle, Permafrost and Juked. She was born, raised, and lives still, in San Jose, California (before it was never cool) with her wife and four-year-old twins.

Juliana Delgado Lopera (Fiction - 2016)

Juliana Delgado Lopera is an award-winning Colombian writer/educator/oral-historian based in San Francisco. The recipient of the 2014 Jackson Literary award, and a finalist of the Clark-Gross Novel award, she’s the author of ¡Cuéntamelo! an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBT Latin@ immigrants awarded the Regen Ginaa Grant from Galería de la Raza and a 2014 National Queer Arts Festival Grant from theQueer Cultural Center. She’s the executive director of RADAR Productions.

Kai M. Green (Nonfiction - 2016)

Kai M. Green is a writer, scholar, poet, filmmaker, abolitionist, feminist, and whatever else it takes to make a new and more just world. He is invested in the work of healing and loving Black: he is particularly interested in helping to develop healthy Black masculinities. His work and thinking on queer and trans issues within communities of color has been published widely in prominent journals and anthologies such as TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies, and many others. Dr. Green is a regular contributor to activist and grassroots publications such as the, He is also a member of BYP100, Chicago where he sits on the the healing and safety council. Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2014.

Karen Yin (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Karen Yin is a peace-loving, riot-inciting middle child with one eyebrow permanently arched. An award-winning writer, she alternates between several writing projects about unothering: a fantasy novel from a troll’s point of view, a graphic novel about person-based love, and a collection of short tales about collapsing identities. She received a grant from Table 4 Writers Foundation in 2014 and was a Lambda Literary Foundation fellow in 2015 and 2016. A longtime editor, Karen is the creator of Conscious Style Guide, “the place to go for people words.” She also writes about language style on her oddly popular blog, AP vs. Chicago.

Kate Goka (Young Adult Fiction - 2016)

Kate Goka is a returning Lambda and VONA/ Voices fellow writing YA fiction and graphic novels. A life-long education nerd, Kate was a founding member of June Jordan School for Equity. She lives in Brisbane, California with her wife and three kids.

Katherine Agard (Nonfiction - 2016)

Katherine Agard grew up in Trinidad listening to the stories of her mother growing up in Ghana. She studied Visual and Environmental Studies and Social Anthropology at Harvard, where she focused on some mixture of post-colonial theory, queer studies, religion, painting and filmmaking. Her work moves between fiction, non-fiction, image-making and social practice. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices and Callaloo Writer’s workshops.

Kathleen Nacozy (Nonfiction - 2016)

Kathleen Nacozy is a writer who focuses on justice. She began working as a journalist while attending law school in small-town Texas. Earning her law degree spurred her to write about criminal justice for dozens of media outlets. She also works as a storyteller and stand-up comedian. Kathleen has performed for Bumbershoot, Gay City, Hella Much, Hollow Earth Radio, the Links and Alliances Conference, and the Northwest Folklife Festival. She is an impassioned student and teacher of improv through a social justice framework.

Keelay Gipson (Playwriting - 2016)

Keelay Gipson is a multi-disciplinary artist including work as an actor, filmmaker, director and award-winning playwright. His play What I Tell You in the Dark was recently selected as a Premiere Stages Playwriting Festival Finalist. His work as a playwright has been seen at the Wild Project, HERE Arts Center, Loft227, 133rd Street Arts Center, The Theater at Alvin Ailey, Tom Noonan’s Paradise Factory, Pace University, SCENE, The University of Houston, The National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theater and New York Theatre Workshop. He is a playwriting fellow with The Amoralists Theater Company’s ‘Wright Club, a Rising Circle Theater Collective INKTank Semi-Finalist, and a finalist for NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and NYC Administration for Children’s Services Artist in Residence Program. As Co-Artistic Director of The Oneness Project he means to explore questions focusing on social injustice through various performance based mediums.

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.

Justin Torres (Fiction - 2015)

Justin Torres is author of the best-selling novel We the Animals, which won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and has been translated into fifteen languages. He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a Lambda Literary Fellow, and most recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 Under 35. He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists. He has taught at Columbia University, Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA Program, and The Writers’ Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s College. Justin is currently a 2014-2015 Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library.

Karen Yin (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Karen Yin is a peace-loving, riot-inciting middle child with one eyebrow permanently arched. An award-winning writer of short tales and a novel about person-based love, she considers the boxes drawn around us to be curious fictions. Karen received a writing grant from Table 4 Writers Foundation last year and is a 2015 Lambda Literary Foundation fellow. In her life as an editor, she is the creator of Conscious Style Guide, an online resource for kind, empowering, and inclusive language. She writes about language style on AP vs. Chicago and is a columnist for Copyediting newsletter.

Kate Goka (Genre Fiction - 2015)

Kate Goka is a writer and VONA fellow currently working on The Infinity of You, a math-infused, Cyrano de Bergerac-inspired graphic novel love story between two high school girls. Kate is also a married, Queer Asian mom living in the suburbs of San Francisco and can parallel park her old-skool minivan like nobody’s business. If there’s anything she hates with a passion, it’s all those newfangled minivans with their slow-ass automatic doors.

Kayla Rae Candrilli (Nonfiction - 2015)

Kayla Rae Candrilli received a Bachelors and Masters in Creative Writing from Penn State University and is a current MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. Candrilli was awarded first place in Vela Magazine’s non-fiction contest and is featured or forthcoming in the Chattahoochee Review, Puerto del Sol, Dogwood, Pacifica Literary, and others.

Kazim Ali (Poetry - 2015)

Kazim Ali is currently on the faculty of Oberlin College where he is associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature and the Director of the Creative Writing Program. His volumes of poetry include Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, The Far Mosque, The Fortieth Day, and the poetic memoir Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities which was finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, the Lantern Award in Memoir and the Asian American Literary Award. He has also published the novels Quinn’s Passage, named one of the Best Books of 2005 by Chronogram, The Disappearance of Seth and Wind Instrument. He is the author of three collections of essays, Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence, Resident Alien: On Border Crossing and the Undocumented Divine, and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is the translator of Water’s Footfall and Oasis of Now: Selected Poems, both by Sohrab Sepehri, as well as the novel L’Amour by Marguerite Duras. He is the founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books as well as the Series Editor for the Poets on Poetry Series from the University of Michigan Press.

Keith Jarrett (Fiction - 2015)

Keith Jarrett lives in London, UK. Former UK poetry slam champion and Rio de Janeiro International Poetry Slam Winner 2014, he writes performance poetry and short fiction and teaches as part of a pioneering Spoken Word Educator programme. He is now working on his first novel, a tale written partly in verse.

Kelly McQuain (Poetry - 2015)

Kelly McQuain’s poems and stories have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Redivider, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kestrel, The Pinch, Asssaracus, A&U, Kin and Mead, as well as in numerous anthologies: The Queer South, Between: New Gay Poetry, Best American Erotica, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, and Skin & Ink. His chapbook, VELVET RODEO (2014), won Bloom magazine’s poetry prize and went on to receive two Rainbow Award citations. He has twice received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A former comics illustrator, he now hosts Poetdelphia, a literary salon in the City of Brotherly Love where he teaches at Community College of Philadelphia.

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.

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).

Kristen Arnett (Fiction - 2013)

Kristen Arnett is a Florida native who has spent the past nine years working in libraries. She is a fiction writer with interest in short stories and southern regionalism, female storytelling and new media. Her work on Flannery O’Connor won her the 2012 Howard Fox Senior Thesis award and she was also the recipient of the Barbara Harrell Carson award for English Literature. She interned for Winter With the Writers Literary Festival in 2012, and worked on short fiction with Paula McLain. She has been published in the Rollins Undergraduate Research Journal and in Brushing magazine. She lives in Winter Park, FL with her partner, Emily, and their son, Matthew.

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.

JP Howard (Poetry - 2012)

JP Howard (Juliet P. Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow and native New Yorker. JP was a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a finalist in the 2009-2010 Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund poetry category. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine’s “Best of the First Year” print edition, The Mom Egg 2012, Cave Canem Anthology XII: Poems 2008-2009, Connotation Press and OF FIRE, OF IRON by The Hot Poets Collective. She co-founded and runs Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS) and blog. WWBPS’ debut poetry Anthology is forthcoming. [Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffith.]

Julian Shendelman (Nonfiction - 2012)

Julian Shendelman is an aspiring memoirist who spends most of his time talking about food, having existential crises, and fixing his hair. Having graduated from Mills College with a degree in Queer Studies in 2011, he now spends his days assembling sandwiches in Philadelphia, journaling extensively, and plotting his return to Oakland to pursue an M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies at SFSU. Julian has published poems in The Walrus, displayed photographs in San Francisco, and screened videos in The Netherlands, Germany, and of course, the Bay Area.

Karman Johnson-Vega (Nonfiction - 2012)

Karman Johnson-Vega is a credentialled Teacher Librarian serving two high schools in California. She spent three decades instructing an award-winning Fine Art and Graphic Design program for high school and college students. She is also a survivor of a violent crime, an experience which informs both her art and her writing. Karman believes she lived in order to tell her story to help others facing similar challenges. She is a recipient of the Wayne Thiebauld Undergraduate Fellowship in Art at University of California Riverside, where she earned a Bachelors degree in studio art and art history. She also holds a Masters Degree in Library Information Science from San Jose State University. She owns a home with her partner, Roz, that they share with a Rottweiller, and three tiny toy poodles.

Kenny Kruse (Fiction - 2012)

Kenny Kruse is a first-generation Utahn from Park City. He is currently getting his MFA at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where drivers do not use blinkers. He is a classical pianist and avid swimmer and has a rare condition in which his body is unable to conserve water. When not writing postcards, he might be working on his novel, essays, fictions, or poems. His work can be found in Neon, SOFTBLOW, and Artichoke Haircut.

Kevin Brannon (Fiction - 2012)

Kevin Brannon is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. He moved to New York City in 2002 following two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Estonia. His experiences writing about LGBT communities of faith in Manhattan and the Bronx as a student at the Columbia Journalism School have informed his interest in the intersection of race, religion and sexuality in American culture. These themes have also provided the focus for his studies as an MA candidate in English, also at Columbia. Kevin began work on his first novel in the winter of 2011 after a long hiatus from fiction writing. He is also an avid movie-goer and an unrepentant consumer of crime and suspense fiction.

Kima Jones (Poetry - 2012)

Kima Jones is a poet and writer. Born and raised in Harlem, she writes to honor her grandmothers. Kima is at work on a first collection that is poetry but also fiction, family history and geography. It is a matriarchal line and a witness. Kima is concerned with mother/daughter relationships, the black female body, the family as body, women as a united body, anatomical and spiritual bodies, the ability and disability of the corporeal body and how those bodies inform relationships. Kima is an Afrofuturist and is interested in the body on this planet, in the sea, out to space, other realms, the possibilities of the black female body on other Earths.

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.

Juliet P. Howard (Poetry - 2011)

Juliet P. Howard (JP Howard) is a poet, lawyer, Cave Canem fellow & native New Yorker. JP has been selected as a 2011 Cave Canem Fellow in Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and was a finalist in the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund 2009-2010 poetry category. Her poems are published in Muzzle Magazine, TORCH, Queer Convention: A Chapbook of Fierce and Cave Canem XI 2007 Anthology. She is co-founder of Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon & Blog.

July Westhale (Poetry - 2011)

July Westhale is a femme shark/radical-archivist with a weakness for botany & hot air balloons. An archive enthusiast, she has published with academic conferences around the world, focusing on queering normative forms of record keeping. Her poetry has most recently been published in A Sharp Piece of Awesome and Bang Out!. She has forthcoming publications in 580 Split and Generations. A graduate of Mills College, she is currently an MFA candidate at Lesley University. She believes that her story should be told the way she wants it to be, and yours should too.

Katherine V. Forrest (Genre Fiction - 2011)

Katherine V. Forrest, a recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award, is the internationally recognized author of 15 works of fiction including, Curious Wine, Daughters of a Coral Dawn, and the Kate Delafield mystery series–which has won three Lambda Literary Awards. She has edited numerous anthologies, and her stories, articles and reviews have appeared in publications worldwide. Senior editor at the storied Naiad Press for a decade, she is supervising editor at Spinsters Ink and editor at large at Bella Books. She lives with her partner in the Southern California desert.

Kathy Bougher (Nonfiction - 2011)

Kathy Bougher is an educator, progressive lesbian feminist activist and writer living in Denver, Colorado. She taught immigrant student in public schools for thirty years, and now teaches at the University of Colorado Denver. She is active in the immigrant rights movement in Denver, and travels to Mexico and Central America frequently where she writes about immigration and collaborates with feminist and lesbian groups in El Salvador. Her writing appears in off our backs: feminist newsjournal, Poetalk, and make/shift.

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.

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