OutWrite, part of DC Center Arts, is Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ+ literary festival. Events are free and open to the public.
Read about this year’s participating authors, view the schedule, and watch the recorded sessions online here!
OutWrite is made possible thanks to support from our sponsors, AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) and GILEAD, and grants from HumanitiesDC, National Book Foundation’s Literary Arts Emergency Fund, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association’s SFWA Givers Fund.
Learn more about previous OutWrite festivals and former OutWrite leadership.
OutWrite publishes an annual journal around the festival. Our 2022 journal, themed “Pandemic as Portal”, will be published soon!
Read our 2021 journals below:
[View PDF: We Got This-Black Writers on Imagination, Joy and Liberation]
Watch the journal reading below:
[View PDF: Celebrating Ten Years of OutWrite]
Watch the journal reading below:
OUTWRITE CHAPBOOK COMPETITION
OutWrite holds an annual chapbook competition, in partnership with D.C.-based small press Neon Hemlock Press. The winning chapbooks from our 4th Chapbook Competition can be pre-ordered now and will be published by Neon Hemlock Press in December.
Fiction: The End, as Seen from the Tip of the Indian Peninsula by M.L. Krishnan
judged by Brent Lambert
Nonfiction: A Study in Our Selves by Max Pasakorn
judged by Joseph Osmundson
Poetry: Shakespeares in the Ghetto by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola
judged by Saida Agostini
View the winners of our previous chapbook competitions.
FOLLOW OUTWRITE ON SOCIAL
OutWrite is Co-Chaired by local poets Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson.
Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized: Poems (Unnamed Press) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press). She uses her skeletal dysplasia as a bridge to scientific poetry. She is queer, disabled, and a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. Marlena serves as Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ literary festival, and on the Board of Split This Rock, a nonprofit that cultivates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Her poetry and prose has appeared in AWP’s The Writer’s Notebook, Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Lambda Literary Review, Little Patuxent Review, Neon Hemlock Press, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Paper Darts, Paranoid Tree, Plants & Poetry, Rogue Agent, Unheard Poetry, Washington Independent Review of Books, WMN Zine, Wordgathering, and more. Find her at marlenachertock.com and @mchertock.
Malik Thompson is a Black queer man proud to be from D.C. A bookseller, anime fanatic, and workshop facilitator. Malik has worked with Split This Rock, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Moonlit DC as a workshop facilitator. He also organized the Poets In Protest poetry series at the Black queer owned bookstore Loyalty Bookstores. Malik’s work can be found inside of Split This Rock’s Poetry Database as well as the mixed media journal Voicemail Poems. You can find Malik’s thoughts on literature via his Instagram account @negroliterati.
Emily Holland is the Incoming Chair 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.
The 2022 festival journal is edited by Rasha Abdulhadi (Editor) and Dorilyn Toledo (Assistant Editor).
Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner who cut their teeth organizing on the southsides of Chicago and Atlanta. Rasha’s writing has appeared in Mslexia, Strange Horizons, Shade Journal, Plume, Mizna, Room, |tap| magazine, Beltway Poetry, and Lambda Literary. Their work is anthologized in Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology (forthcoming), Unfettered Hexes (2021), Halal if You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019), Stoked Words (Capturing Fire, 2018), and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (Twelfth Planet Press, 2017). A fiber artist, poet, and speculative fiction writer and editor, Rasha is a member of Justice for Muslims Collective, the Radius of Arab American Writers, and Alternate ROOTS. Their new chapbook is who is owed springtime (Neon Hemlock).
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.
View former OutWrite leadership.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
OutWrite is only possible with the dedication and support of our Chairs, Planning Committee, and a team of festival volunteers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to volunteer with our festival.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual exhibiting is limited at this time.