OutWrite 2023 Chapbook Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 30, 2023
MEDIA CONTACTS: outwritedc@gmail.com

Submissions Opening for OutWrite’s 2023 Chapbook Competition 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OutWrite is pleased to announce its fifth Chapbook Competition, running from June 1st to June 30th. The winning chapbooks will be celebrated at the 2023 OutWrite LGBTQ literary festival.

Each winner will receive 25 copies of their winning chapbook, an offer of print publication from Neon Hemlock Press, and an opportunity to read from their work at OutWrite 2024.

Winning chapbooks will be selected in three categories by the competition judges:

Poetry: Rasha Abdulhadi

Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner disabled by Long Covid. They grew up between Damascus and rural Georgia and cut their teeth organizing on the southsides of Chicago and Atlanta. Rasha’s writing appears in Kweli, Poem-a-Day, Electric Lit, carte blanche, Anathema, Shade Journal, FIYAH, Mizna, ROOM, Strange Horizons, and Lambda Literary. Their work is anthologized in Snaring New Suns, Unfettered Hexes, Halal if You Hear Me, and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler. Rasha’s recent chapbook is who is owed springtime.

Nonfiction: Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is the author of the novel Big Girl, The Poetics of Difference, and Blue Talk and Love, winner of the Judith A. Markowitz Award from Lambda Literary. Sullivan is an associate professor of English at Georgetown University. A native of Harlem, she lives in Washington, DC. Her writing has appeared in Best New Writing, Kenyon Review, American Fiction, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, The Cut, American Literary History, Black Futures, American Quarterly, GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies Quarterly, Ebony, The Root, and others, and has earned honors from the Center for Fiction, the American Association of University Women, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Fiction: K.M. Szpara

K.M. Szpara is a queer and trans author who lives in Baltimore, MD, with his small dog and large cat. He is the author of speculative novels such as First, Become Ashes (2021) and Docile (2020), and a third forthcoming that follows up on his Hugo and Nebula nominated novelette, “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time.” They’re about cults and trauma, consent and debt, and a horny trans vampire, respectively. His short fiction appears in Tor.com, Uncanny, Lightspeed, and more. You can find himme on the Internet at kmszpara.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @kmszpara.

There is no fee to enter this contest.

Please follow these guidelines in preparing your submission:

  • Chapbooks may be submitted in three categories: poetry, nonfiction and fiction
  • We will accept submissions in all three categories in English.
  • OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature; entries that explore aspects of LGBTQ culture or identity are encouraged.
  • Thematically-linked works are encouraged, but not required. There are no limitations regarding genre.
  • Manuscripts should be no shorter than 20 pages and no longer than 40 pages. This does not include the table of contents or title page.
  • Submissions are open from June 1 to June 30th, 2023.
  • Each writer may only submit one entry per category.
  • Your manuscript should be in a standard size 12 font. Please single-space poetry and double-space prose/nonfiction. Please include a title page and a table of contents; you may include acknowledgements etc. if you like, but winning entries will also be given the opportunity to adjust front and back matter before publication.
  • The collection as a whole must be unpublished, but individual poems/stories/essays may be previously published (as long as relevant rights have reverted to you).
  • We will be accepting simultaneously submitted work. 
  • Winners will be announced in August 2023. Publication will be in mid-2024.

Entries must be submitted no earlier than June 1 to June 30th 2023. The submission window closes at 11:59pm EST on June 30th.

Submit all entries via Submittable. Queries can be made to admin@neonhemlock.com. If Submittable is inaccessible to you for any reason, please email your submission to the email above with all of the information requested by the form.

Any updates to these guidelines will be posted here.

About OutWrite
OutWrite is a celebration of LGBT literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About Neon Hemlock Press
Neon Hemlock is a purveyor of queer chapbooks and speculative fiction based in Washington, DC. More information at www.neonhemlock.com.

About the DC Center
The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

 

Our OutWrite 2023 Call for Proposals is open!

OutWrite 2023, Washington, D.C’s annual free LGBTQ Literary Festival, will be August 11th – 13th, and we’re looking forward to a combination of virtual and hybrid events showcasing LGBTQ+ literary excellence this Summer! OutWrite is accepting event submissions for the 2023 festival and are seeking readings, panels, and workshops exploring and celebrating all aspects of the LGBTQIA+ identity and literary space.

The deadline to submit is May 15th: Submit your proposal here.

Please note:
• Deadline to submit your event is May 15th, 2023.
• We encourage diverse panels and readings.
• Submit your event with as full a lineup of readers or panelists as you can. We cannot feature readings with one individual author.
• The event coordinator refers to the person who submits the event idea.
• We are looking forward to bringing OutWrite 2023 back with in-person events as well as virtual offerings.

We look forward to reviewing your ideas! Responses will be sent by May 31st.

Find out more about the festival here!

We Are Moving!!! Read Our Press Release About Our New LGBTQ+ Community Center

Street view of the outside of the DC Center's New Space

We’re so excited to share the big news!

We’re Moving!

Check out all the details about our new location in our press release and watch this space for more details to come!

This amazing next chapter in our LGBTQ+ community members lives needs your support!

Please click here and donate what you can to help support the creation of our new space!

Click here to read our press release

 

  • thumbnail of the press release

 

 

Rendition/Photo Credit: Hickok Cole, our architects on this project

OutWrite, Washington D.C.’s LGBTQ Literary Festival, Welcomes its Next Chairperson

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlena Chertock, Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs
outwritedc@gmail.com

OutWrite DC is welcoming a new Chairperson on board, local poet Emily Holland. After 2 years of service, Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson are stepping down as Co-Chairs after the 2022 festival. They are thrilled to be passing the baton to Emily.

“As a queer writer who largely came-of-age here in DC, I am immensely excited to be the next Chairperson of OutWrite,” says Emily. “Under the expert guidance of Marlena and Malik, and also of Chair Emeritus dave ring, OutWrite has thrived as a literary festival created by — and for — the trans/queer community.”

“Malik and Marlena had the daunting task of adapting the festival during the ongoing pandemic, and their leadership was instrumental in not only shifting to an accessible virtual festival, but also championing Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers of color, and disabled writers. I have forged so many nurturing connections at past OutWrite festivals and hope to use my time as Chairperson to support trans/queer writers in the same way.”

“We are extremely excited to pass the torch to Emily!” said Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, the current Co-Chairs of OutWrite. “Our tenure has been a huge learning experience and it would not have been possible without the support of Kimberley Bush, Executive Director of the DC Center, dave ring, OutWrite’s chair prior to our tenure, Justin Johns, DC Center Office Administrator, Tahirah A. G., editor of our 2021 journal, as well as our Volunteer Coordinators Derrick Brown, Jacob Budenz, and John Copenhaver.”

“We chose Emily to take up the mantle of Chair because of her impressive, years-long commitment to D.C.’s LGBTQ+ literary community. We are excited to experience the future of OutWrite with Emily at the wheel,” Marlena and Malik said.

Mark your calendars for this year’s festival, which will be held August 5-7, 2022. Currently, all events are virtual; we will release more information on whether any events will be held in person or hybrid as soon as possible. Please visit outwritedc.org for more information.

More about the new Chairperson of OutWrite

Emily Holland (she/they) is a genderqueer lesbian writer living in Washington, D.C. She received her MFA from American University, where she won the Myra Sklarew Award for outstanding thesis and was the Editor-In-Chief of FOLIO. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications including Shenandoah, Black Warrior Review, Nat. Brut, DIALOGIST, Homology Lit, and Wussy. Her chapbook Lineage was published by dancing girl press in 2019. Their work has been supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Currently, she is the Editor of Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry magazine published by The Writer’s Center.

 

 

 

 

 

About OutWrite

OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. The 2021 festival will be August 6-8, 2021. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About the DC Center

The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

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Submissions Open for OutWrite’s 2022 Journal

Light blue background with a typewriter graphic on the left with paper trailing out of it. Headline: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS. Text: This year's OutWrite festival journal theme is "Pandemic as Portal". We're seeking fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. No fee. Word count: 1500 words for fiction, up to 3 poems, no more than 6 pages total. $150 honorariums. Submit: bit.ly/outwrite2022journal. Rainbow logos for OutWrite and The DC Center.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 18, 2022
MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs
outwritedc@gmail.com

Submissions Opening for OutWrite’s 2022 Festival Journal

OutWrite LGBTQ Literary Festival is pleased to announce submissions are now open for our annual literary journal. The “Pandemic as Portal” Issue seeks to explore the tumultuous interconnectedness of injustices that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated. We want this journal to serve as a space to document and process pain, the cognitive dissonance of just being told to continue on as normal, as well as the inherent resilience, its manifestations through queer joy, love, and other emotions you’d like to share with us.

The journal will be distributed ahead of the OutWrite 2022 literary festival and celebrated with a reading from contributors during the festival.

Rasha Abdulhadi is this year’s journal editor and Dorilyn Toledo, our OutWrite intern, is the assistant editor.

There is no fee to enter.

Please follow these guidelines in preparing your submission:

  • Submissions are open from April 15 to May 15, 2022. The submission window closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on May 15.
  • We’re seeking unpublished fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We will accept submissions in English.
  • We are seeking original and reprint work; unpublished work is prioritized. We will be accepting simultaneously submitted work. Individual poems/stories/essays may be previously published (as long as relevant rights have reverted to you).
  • Your submission should be in a standard size 12 font. Single-space poetry and double-space prose/nonfiction. Prose submissions should be no more than 1,500 words. We will prioritize work that is 1,000 words and under. Poetry submissions can include up to 3 poems and no more than 6 pages total.
  • OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature; entries that explore aspects of LGBTQ culture or identity are encouraged. Submissions must explore this year’s theme of “Pandemic as Portal”.
  • We will not consider work with sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, or ableist themes.
  • We are providing a $150 honorarium via PayPal for accepted contributors. Please include your PayPal information when submitting, and indicate on the form if PayPal payment does NOT work for you.
  • If your work is accepted, we may extend an invitation for you to join a virtual reading at the OutWrite 2022 festival, taking place on August 5-7, 2022.

Submit all entries via our Google Form. If the Google Form is inaccessible to you for any reason, please email your submission to outwritedc@gmail.com with all of the information requested by the form.

Editor Bios

In this painted portrait, the author, a genderqueer Palestinian person with long wavy black hair with a pale streak in front, is staring directly at the viewer from against a fiery orange background. They are wearing large horn-rimmed glasses and a grey and black rippled scarf. Their turquoise stud earring is visible on the right ear.Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner and the author of WHO IS OWED SPRINGTIME (Neon Hemlock, 2021) and Shell Houses (The Head & The Hand Press, 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

Brown woman smiling and wearing a textured white tank blouse with gold earrings and a dark bob haircut with bangs slicked back, in front of grass, trees, and housing spaces.Dorilyn Toledo is a Guatemalan-Filipina editor and educator from California. She is a graduating senior at UC Irvine where she studies Political Science and Social Ecology, focusing on law/race and social behavior. They can be found on Her Campus Media and on Twitter @dorilyntoledo.

 

 

 

 

About OutWrite
OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ+ literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About the DC Center
The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

Submissions Open for OutWrite’s 2022 Chapbook Competition

info about Outwrite 2022 Chapbook Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 8, 2022
MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs
outwritedc@gmail.com

Submissions Opening for OutWrite’s 2022 Chapbook Competition 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OutWrite is pleased to announce its fourth Chapbook Competition, running from March 15th to May 15th. The winning chapbooks will be celebrated at the 2022 OutWrite LGBTQ literary festival.

Each winner will receive 25 copies of their winning chapbook, an offer of print publication from Neon Hemlock Press, and an opportunity to read from their work at OutWrite 2022.

Winning chapbooks will be selected in three categories by the competition judges:

Nonfiction: Joseph Osmundson

Joe Osmundson is a scientist and writer based in New York City.  He has a PhD from The Rockefeller University in Molecular Biophysics. His book of essays, VIROLOGY, is forthcoming in 2022 from W.W. Norton. His writing has appeared in The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Gawker, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, The Lambda Literary Review, and The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere, too. He is also the author of Capsid: A Love Song and INSIDE/OUT.  With three other queer writers, he co-hosts a podcast, Food 4 Thot, covering dicks, drama, and discourse. You can find his sad tweets on Twitter @reluctantlyjoe.

Fiction: Brent Lambert

Brent Lambert is a Black, queer man who heavily believes in the transformative power of speculative fiction across media formats. He resides in San Diego but spent a lot of time moving around as a military brat. His family roots are in the Cajun country of Louisiana. Currently, he manages the social media for FIYAH Literary Magazine and just had an anthology produced with Tor.com titled Breathe FIYAH. He has work published with FIYAH, Anathema Magazine, Cotton Xenomorph, Baffling Magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. His novella A Necessary Chaos is forthcoming in 2022 from Neon Hemlock. He can be found on Twitter @brentclambert talking about the weird and the fantastic. 

Poetry: Saida Agostini

Saida is a queer Afro-Guyanese poet whose work explores the ways that Black folks harness mythology to enter the fantastic. Saida’s first collection of poems, the critically acclaimed let the dead in, is forthcoming from Alan Squire Publishing. She is the author of STUNT (Neon Hemlock), a chapbook exploring the history of Nellie Jackson, a Black woman entrepreneur who operated a brothel for sixty years in Natchez, Mississippi. Her poetry can also be found in the Black Ladies Brunch Collective’s anthology Not Without Our Laughter, Barrelhouse Magazine, Hobart Pulp, Plume, and other publications. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, Saida has been awarded honors and support for her work by the Watering Hole and Blue Mountain Center, as well as a 2018 Rubys Grant. Find her online at saidaagostini.com.

There is no fee to enter this contest.

Please follow these guidelines in preparing your submission:

  • Chapbooks may be submitted in three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
  • We will accept submissions in all three categories in English.
  • OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature; entries that explore aspects of LGBTQ culture or identity are encouraged.
  • Thematically-linked works are encouraged, but not required. There are no limitations regarding genre.
  • Manuscripts should be no shorter than 20 pages and no longer than 40 pages. This does not include the table of contents or title page.
  • Submissions are open from March 15th to May 15th, 2022.
  • Each writer may only submit one entry per category.
  • Your manuscript should be in a standard size 12 font. Please single-space poetry and double-space prose/nonfiction. Please include a title page and a table of contents; you may include acknowledgements etc. if you like, but winning entries will also be given the opportunity to adjust front and back matter before publication.
  • The collection as a whole must be unpublished, but individual poems/stories/essays may be previously published (as long as relevant rights have reverted to you).
  • We will be accepting simultaneously submitted work. 
  • Winners will be announced in July. Publication will be in late 2022.

Entries must be submitted no earlier than March 15th, 2022 and no later than May 15th, 2022. The submission window closes at 11:59pm EST on May 15th.

Submit all entries via Submittable. Queries can be made to outwritecontest@gmail.com. If Submittable is inaccessible to you for any reason, please email your submission to the email above with all of the information requested by the form.

Any updates to these guidelines will be posted here.

About OutWrite
OutWrite is a celebration of LGBT literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About Neon Hemlock Press
Neon Hemlock is a purveyor of queer chapbooks and speculative fiction based in Washington, DC. More information at www.neonhemlock.com.

About the DC Center
The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

OutWrite 2022 Call For Events

A pink graphic with "CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS" in white. On a navy blue rectangle, there's font that says "OUTWRITE 2022" and in hot pink underneath it says "AUGUST 5-7, 2022, WASHINGTON, D.C.'S LGBTQ+ LITERARY FESTIVAL". There is a bit.ly link for the Event Submission form: https://bit.ly/Call4OutWrite2022. There are navy blue circles with "SUBMIT NOW" and "DUE MARCH 15!" in them.OutWrite, Washington, D.C’s annual free LGBTQ Literary Festival, is seeking reading, panel, and workshop submissions for our 2022 festival, which will be held August 5-7, 2022. We’re seeking readings, panels, and workshops exploring and celebrating all aspects of the LGBTQ+ identity and literary space! The deadline to submit is March 15, 2022. Submit your event here: https://bit.ly/Call4OutWrite2022.

Washington City Paper Names OutWrite the ‘Best Place to Connect With Queer Writers’

The Washington City Paper named OutWrite the “Best Place to Connect With Queer Writers”! Thank you for this incredible recognition, it’s an honor to create and build a space for LGBTQ+ writers and readers in the DC area and beyond!

Stay tuned for our call for panels, readings, and workshops for OutWrite 2022, which will take place on August 5-7, 2022.

The Washington City Paper declared OutWrite the Best Place to Connect With Queer Writers“For 11 years—and 11 festivals—OutWrite has built a thriving space for queer and trans writers to connect and grow among colleagues, peers, and mentors. Taking place in August, D.C’s annual LGBTQ literary festival showcases and promotes writers from the District and well beyond. In 2021, OutWrite united more than 80 queer authors for two dozen readings, panels, and workshops. But what truly makes OutWrite stand out is the festival’s ongoing effort to include writers of all experience levels, from fledgling poets to best-selling authors. The melding of experiences among participants (and attendees) does away with typical lit-world gatekeeping, where only published writers are welcome or respected. Run almost exclusively by volunteers, the multiday festival, which has put on not one but two of its annual events virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remains free and open to anyone who wishes to attend. By removing barriers such as cost, status, and, recently, location requirements, OutWrite aims to make participants feel welcome, seen, and respected as queer writers. In doing so, the festival has created an enviroment where LGBTQ poets, authors, and memoirists can find a community that inspires and supports them as creators. D.C. is lucky we can call it ours.”
—SARAH MARLOFF

DC Center Reopening FAQ

As we reopen, the DC Center is doing our best to meet the needs of our community while creating a safe environment for our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Please see below some of the information available about our space, our meetings, and other questions. We will update this information as necessary as the situation changes or we understand better what information people are looking for.

 

What are The DC Center’s hours of operation?

  • Mondays through Fridays from 12pm to 6pm
  • Saturdays from 11am to 3pm
  • Sundays are closed

 

Are support groups/meetings meeting in-person, virtually or hybrid?

Based on surveys and conversations with peer group facilitators and participants and abiding by social distancing guidelines, we are offering a hybrid (physical with webstation for Zoom) option for some while a completely virtual option for others, at each groups’ discretion. The information is available on the event sign-up for each group (easily found via: thedccenter.org/calendar

 

Which groups/meetings, and when, are offering a hybrid (in-person with webstation) meeting option? (This list subject to change as groups choose to return to the DC Center’s offices)

Fridays: Tea Time from 2 – 4 pm.

2nd Tuesday: Coming Out Group from 7 to 8:30pm.

2nd & 4th Wednesdays: Job Club from 6 – 7 pm.

3rd Saturdays: KhushDC from 1:30 to 2:30pm.

4th Saturdays: Black Lesbian Peer Support Group from 11 am – 1 pm

 

Which groups/meetings, and when, are offering a virtual (Zoom) only meeting option?

Any groups not listed above are meeting virtually.

Can I just walk-in to participate in a hybrid support group/meeting?

Currently, the Center is unable to accommodate walk-ups for peer support groups. Registration in advance will be required for peer support group meetings. Information in this regard will be circulated among peer support group leaders and participants as well as be listed on the Center’s website.

 

Are therapy meetings still being offered at the Center?

At this time all mental health therapy groups and sessions are remaining virtual via HIPAA compliant Zoom due to the continuing rates of COVID-19. A hybrid model of virtual and in person therapy services will be re-evaluated once the pandemic conditions permit safe in-person meeting.

 

When is the Center expected to open back up and what are some of the processes?

  • Monday October 4th; Monday through Friday 12 to 6pm; Saturday 11 to 3pm.
  • CyberStation social distance with three separate computers.
  • Peer and Support groups able to offer hybrid options depending on the comfort level of members and facilitators STARTING on Oct 13th. Option to sign up and come to join the Zoom meeting.
  • Mental Health services are to remain virtual at this time.
  • The Library and Lounge will have social distancing with fewer seats available to accommodate social distancing.
  • New and expanding clothing closet and food pantry for those in need of clothes and food.
  • The Art Gallery is opening up Saturday October 2nd with new artists. Art will be up for the next three months so it can be seen.

 

Now that the Center is reopening again, what kind of opportunities are available for those in the community who would like to get involved?

  • The best way to stay current with the Center’s activities is to subscribe to our newsletter via our website which comes out every week. This includes volunteer opportunities, information about art installation, monthly programs, and all different social media accounts to get news updates.
  • Volunteers wanting to become a support group facilitator are provided with the necessary training.
  • Joining a support group is the best way to stay connected to the Center and others in the community.
  • There is an events volunteer list to help in events like help preparing to open before events.
  • Members of the community can also join a board committee to help and learn how the Center works.

 

What will be the mitigation efforts to reopen the Center back safely?

  • Self-screenings will ask questions with regards to health symptoms.
  • Per DC law all staff are required to be vaccinated. However, proof of vaccinations or recent test are not going to be asked from community members.
  • In the center social distance practices and mask wearing will be mandated.
  • Peer support groups are being offered in hybrid format so those who are not feeling well do not feel obligated to come into the Center.
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines contact-tracing will be implemented so signup sheets will be mandatory for all who visit the center with their name, phone number and email address.
  • 2 portable air filters have been purchased for the DC Center’s meeting space. They are rated to filter down to .01 microns in size.

 

Are masks required at the Center?

Per CDC guidelines all staff/participants (2yrs or older) physically at the building are required to always wear masks to stop the spreading of COVID-19.

 

What will happen if either staff or participants test positive for COVID-19?

  • The Center will be closed until a full deep cleaning is completed.
  • Staff present/exposed will be asked to quarantine and work remotely until such time as they can provide a negative non-rapid COVID test, per CDC guidelines.
  • Participants/guests who visited 3-4 days prior will be notified of the potential exposure and be asked to contact the DC Center if they are showing symptoms.

 

Will social distancing be enforced at the Center?

The maximum number of people in the DC Center at one time has been adjusted to a maximum of 25 to 30 to accommodate enough space for social distancing.

 

What kind of sanitation procedures will be implemented to prevent the spread of the COVID-19?

  • Sneeze Guards will be installed at the Cyber Center and front desk, as well as 6-foot distance floor markers.
  • A sanitation station will be set up outside the Center that includes wipes/sanitizer, gloves, mask and health self-assessment.
  • Using a clean pen and used pen system, all who enter the Center will need to fill out a log for contact tracing purposes with information such as name, phone number and email address.
  • Cleaning and sanitation procedures will be implemented more frequently throughout the day.
  • Air purification system will be provided for various spaces within the Center.

 

If I am unwilling or unable to comply with mask mandates, will I be turned away from the Center?

To enter the DC Center, you will be asked to wear a mask. If someone is unwilling or unable to wear a mask and/or mentions health issues, assistance will be provided to them outside the DC Center in the Atrium to the best of our staff’s ability. We ask that everyone consider that many people come through the DC Center on a regular basis, so it’s important to make sure everyone is protecting the community by doing what we can. 

 

If rates of COVID continue to rise in DC will the Center remain open?

Federal and local guidelines will be closely monitored and adhered to, up to and including closing the Center due to an increase in COVID cases in the DC area to ensure the safety of our employees and constituents.

Celebrating Ten Years of OutWrite

These past two years have been unlike any other. With the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives became smaller, closer-to-home. We went into quarantine, isolation, social distancing from each other to keep each other safe. Our libraries shuttered, bookstores closed, open mics ceased, writing workshops and festivals were postponed.

In a time of uncertainty, grief, and fear, we witnessed and experienced increased police brutality, historic protests affirming the Black Lives Matter movement, staggering increases in anti-Asian violence, work-from-home situations provided to maintain social distancing measures, decades after disabled activists called for this same accessibility. We’ve seen communities come together for mutual aid and support.

During all of this, we held the 2020 festival virtually, for the first time. Writers from around the country and world joined us. They read from books debuting during a pandemic, shared work written in response to the events from the past year, spread joy and a love of queer literature, and we all joined from our laptops and phones. Our community found a way to keep literature — especially queer, trans, and BIPOC literature — alive and thriving. The 2020 festival was even nominated for the 35th Annual Mayor’s Arts Award. The 2021 festival is starting this weekend, and it’s again a virtual affair. But we now know the possibilities available to us via virtual programming, the increased accessibility, and that our LGBTQ community of writers and readers will be there with us.

OutWrite wouldn’t exist without you. We wanted to create this journal to uplift, to celebrate, to honor your writing, your perseverance, your diversity, your strength, your beauty. The stories and poems inside pay homage to OutWrite writers from the past 10 years. As we enter a new epoch of the OutWrite literary festival, we, as Co-Chairs, will do all we can to further the mission of this festival: to create a home for the literature of our trans/queer community, to honor our vast diversity, and to connect readers craving LGBTQ work with those bravely writing it.

We hope this journal helps you celebrate the existence of the OutWrite D.C. LGBTQ literary festival. We’re so excited for the next 10 years, and more!

—Marlena Chertock & Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs

[View PDF: Celebrating Ten Years of OutWrite]