We are honored to feature this incredible lineup of LGBTQ+ writers for OutWrite 2021.
Currently, Aisis (they/he) is enrolled at Goucher College, a private liberal arts college. In December 2018, they joined the poetry club at Western High School. Aisis began to be an admirer of DewMore Poetry, a community-based organization dedicated to art and civic engagement in Baltimore, Maryland; they started writing poetry themself and have not looked back ever since.
Omari Akil (he/him/his) is a queer game designer, content creator, and community advocate. He co-founded Board Game Brothas, a publishing company focused on developing games that celebrate Hip Hop and Black History and Culture. Omari is passionate about building more representative and inclusive gaming communities and lifting up marginalized designers in the industry, leading and working with multiple organizations to support that vision.
Rahne Alexander (she/her) is an intermedia artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. She performs music with several bands, including Santa Librada, 50’♀, White Wing Dove, and Flaming Creatures, and previously with Guided By Wire and The Degenerettes. Rahne is an essayist, contributing to anthologies such as the Lambda Literary Award-winning Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, the Lammy-nominated Resilience Anthology, and the forthcoming Love, You. Her first book of collected essays, Heretic to Housewife, was published by Neon Hemlock in 2019. Her video art has been screened in galleries and festivals across the country, and she is an alumna of Signal Culture and the Experimental Television Center. Queer Interiors, a year-long collaborative multimedia installation was commissioned by the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2016. A component of this installation, The Baltimore LGBTQI+ Home Movie Quilt, was awarded a Saul Zaentz Innovation in Film and Media Fund fellowship. She has appeared in numerous films and videos, including Hit and Stay, Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance, Milo & Misfits, and Her Room. Rahne is currently a graduate student in the Intermedia+Digital Arts MFA program at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Amy M. Alvarez (she/her) writes poetry focusing on race, ethnicity, gender, regionality, nationality, borderless-ness, systemic injustice, and social equity. She has been awarded fellowships from CantoMundo, VONA, Macondo, and The Furious Flower Poetry Center. Her poetry has appeared in nationally and internationally recognized literary journals including Crazyhorse, The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, PRISM international, Rattle, Sugar 2 House Review, The Acentos Review, and Black Renaissance Noire. Her work has also been anthologized in literary anthologies and textbooks. Currently, she is an editor for the upcoming COVID-centered anthology Essential: Vulnerable Voices, which is under contract with West Virginia University Press.
Charlie Jane Anders is the author of Victories Greater Than Death, the first book in a new young-adult trilogy, which came out in April 2021. Up next: Never Say You Can’t Survive, a book about how to use creative writing to get through hard times; and a short story collection called Even Greater Mistakes. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky. Her fiction and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, McSweeney’s, Mother Jones, the Boston Review, Tor.com, Tin House, Teen Vogue, Conjunctions, Wired Magazine, and other places. Her TED Talk, “Go Ahead, Dream About the Future” got 700,000 views in its first week. With Annalee Newitz, she co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct.
Ryka Aoki (www.rykaryka.com) is a poet, composer, and author. Her latest novel, Light From Uncommon Stars, is forthcoming from Tor Books in Fall 2021. Ryka’s work has appeared or been recognized in publications including Vogue, Elle, Bustle, Autostraddle, PopSugar, and Buzzfeed. Her latest poetry has appeared at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Ryka has been honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.”
KB is a Black queer genderless poet, educator, organizer, and student affairs professional. They have earned many fellowships and publications, most notably from Lambda Literary, African American Leadership Institute – Austin, Cincinnati Review, The Offing, and Equality Texas. They are the author of the forthcoming chapbook How to Identify Yourself With a Wound, winner of the 2020 Kallisto Gaia Press Saguaro Poetry Prize. Catch them talking sweetness and other (non)human things online @earthtokb.
Hamour Baika (he/him) was born in Iran and lived in Ahwaz during his teen years. He wrote his first novella, a fan fiction piece about the alien creature E.T., at age 12. Baika has a master’s degree in human rights. A painter and classical pianist, he now lives in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. On the Enemy’s Side is his debut novel.
Steve Bellin-Oka’s (he/him) first book of poems, Instructions for Seeing a Ghost, won the 2019 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and was published by the University of North Texas Press in 2020. He is also the winner of the Blue Mountain Review/Southern Collective Experience LGBQT Poetry Prize for his forthcoming chapbook, Tell Me Exactly What You Saw and What You Think It Means, and of the Antenna/Paper Machine Press for another forthcoming chapbook, Proviso, a collaboration with the painter Kristen Tomecek. His two other chapbooks are Dead Letter Office at North Atlantic Station (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017) and Out of the Frame (Walls Divide Press, 2019). He earned his M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. He is currently a Tulsa Artist Fellow and Research Fellow at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities. His other honors include the Eli Cantor Fellowship from Yaddo and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He was the 2019 recipient of the Poets-in-the-Parks fellowship from the National Parks Arts Foundation. He lives in Tulsa with his husband, their dog, and three cats. He can be found at www.stevebellinoka.com.
Mahari Bennett (she/they) is a 15-year-old Indian American poet from Raleigh, North Carolina who’s been writing since she was 8. Their poetry is often inspired by social justice issues they see in the world around them, and her stories are related to her experiences as a queer POC in America. They attended the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop in 2019, and have been active in the writing community ever since! Mahari loves to discuss writing with her peers and exchange slam poetry. She’s also performed spoken word at the Black Curtain Coffee House in Raleigh and is currently a co-leader of their school’s writing club.
Sharang Biswas (he/him) is a writer, artist, and award-winning game designer. He has won IndieCade and IGDN awards for his games and has showcased interactive works at numerous galleries, museums, and festivals, including Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. His nonfiction writing has appeared in publications such as Eurogamer, Dicebreaker, & Unwinnable, while his fiction has been published by Fantasy Magazine and Sub-Q Magazine. He is the co-editor of Honey & Hot Wax: An Anthology of Erotic Art Games (Pelgrane Press, 2020) and Strange Lusts / Strange Loves: An Anthology of Erotic Interactive Fiction (Strange Horizons, 2021). He is currently in the Faculty of Computer Science at Fordham University and is the Game Artist in Residence with the Education Department at the Museum of the Moving Image. Find him on Twitter at @SharangBiswas.
Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco (He/Him/His) is the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry: How To Love a Country, City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. And his latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.
Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris. She has won three Nebula Awards, a Locus Award, a British Fantasy Award and four British Science Fiction Association Awards, and was a double Hugo finalist for 2019 (Best Series and Best Novella). Her most recent book is Fireheart Tiger (Tor.com), a sapphic romantic fantasy inspired by pre colonial Vietnam, where a diplomat princess must decide the fate of her country, and her own. She also wrote Seven of Infinities (Subterranean Press), a space opera where a sentient spaceship and an upright scholar join forces to investigate a murder, and find themselves falling for each other. Other books include Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders, (JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.), a fantasy of manners and murders set in an alternate 19th Century Vietnamese court. She lives in Paris.
Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán (he/him) is a Tulsa Artist Fellow and National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. He is the author of Archipiélagos; Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking; and South Bronx Breathing Lessons; editor of the international queer/trans Indigenous issue of Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought; and co-editor of the international Native dance/movement/performance issue of Movement Research Performance Journal. He has received scholarships/fellowships from the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation; CantoMundo; Radius of Arab American Writers; Macondo Foundation; and Lambda Literary. His writing appears in 200 publications in 23 nations.
Christopher Bram is the author of nine novels, including Gods and Monsters, which was made into the movie starring Ian McKellen and Lynn Redgrave. Bram’s book of essays, Mapping the Territory, and his books Surprising Myself, Hold Tight, In Memory of Angel Clare, and Gossip were reissued by Open Road Books in 2013. He was a 2001 Guggenheim fellow and winner of the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. His books include Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America (Twelve, 2012) and The Art of History: Unlocking the Past in Fiction and Nonfiction (Graywolf, 2016).
Jacob Budenz is a Baltimore-based writer, actor, director, musician, and performance artist with an MFA in Creative Writing from University of New Orleans and a BA in Writing Seminars and Spanish from Johns Hopkins University. As a resident actor with the Baltimore Annex Theater from 2012-2017, Jacob was involved in several acclaimed productions, including his original adaptation of The Master and Margarita which appeared on Baltimore City Paper’s Top Ten Staged Productions of 2016. His poetry chapbook, Pastel Witcheries, debuted in 2018 with Seven Kitchens Press, and an extended edition called Spellwork for the Modern Pastel Witch was one of the winners of the Hard to Swallow Chapbook Contest at Birds Piled Loosely Press.
Brenda Buchanan (she/her) brings years of experience as a journalist and a lawyer to her crime fiction. The three books in her Joe Gale mystery series—Quick Pivot, Cover Story and Truth Beat—feature a Maine newspaper reporter on the crime and courts beat. Brenda serves on the organizing committee of the New England Crime Bake and is a longtime contributor to the Maine Crime Writers blog. She is currently hard at work on new projects. You can find Brenda on the web at https://brendabuchananwrites.com.
Destinae Butler (she/they) is a senior at Western School for Girls in Baltimore City, Baltimore, Maryland. Despite some self-doubt, her desire to to build new goals and relationships lead her to pursue poetry. In 2020 she was declared Baltimore’s Youth Poet Laureate in recognition of her talents.
Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and taking top prizes in three National Poetry Slams. Television credits include HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, Tedx Talk, NPR’s Snap Judgement. He is publisher of Capturing Fire Press and resides in Washington, DC.
Matt Caprioli is a Lecturer in Professional Writing at Lehman College. Matt started his career as an Arts and Culture Reporter for The Anchorage Press, Alaska’s largest weekly newspaper, and has since contributed to dozens of media outlets, including The Anchorage Daily News, The Paris Review, HuffPost, and The Red Hook Star-Revue, where he was the Arts Editor. He has written forewords for the classics imprint of Shakespeare & Co. and summaries of business books for SuperSummary. He has also published fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in several anthologies and literary journals, including Best Gay Stories 2017, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Newtown Literary, Best Emerging Poets, and Worn in New York, which will be featured in the Netflix docuseries Worn Stories. His memoir, One Headlight, is forthcoming from Cirque Press. He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Hunter College, a BA in English literature and psychology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a certificate in publishing from Columbia University. He can be reached at mattcap.com.
Alexander Casey (He/Him) is a third year Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa whose research focuses on queer identities in children’s literature. His previous publications can be found in the Indiana Review, Steam Ticket Literary Magazine, NineStar Press, and the Hawai’i Review, and are upcoming in the Sonora Review and UH Press.
Celeste Castro, she/her, is an American Mexican, Own Voices author from small-town, rural Idaho, where most of her stories take place. She grew up with learning disabilities, though she always kept a journal. When she was a young adult, court-ordered volunteer work helped her find her way — community outreach. In 2009, she graduated from Seattle University with a Master of Public Administration. She began writing fiction in 2015. Her writing credits include Homecoming, Bella Books, 2017. Lex Files, Bella Books, 2018. The Taking, Bella Books, 2019, Save The Date, Bella Books 2021 and Prize Money, Interlude Press, 2021. In addition to fiction, she is a staff writer with Hispanecdotes, an online magazine for Latinx writers, where she publishes essays and poetry.
Cathleen Chambless (She/Her/Hers) is a poet, visual artist and activist. Her work has appeared in Grabbed: Poets & Writers Respond to Sexual Assault, Empowerment & Healing (Beacon Press 2020),The Electronic Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature, Jai-Alai, Fjords Review, Grief Diaries, and Wussy Mag. Her debut collection of poetry, Nec(Romantic), was a finalist for the Bisexual Book Awards in 2016.
Nino Cipri is a science fiction writer, editor, and educator. Their works have been nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy, and Shirley Jackson Awards.
Kai Coggin (She/Her/Hers) is the author of Periscope Heart (Swimming with Elephants 2014), Wingspan (Golden Dragonfly Press 2016), and Incandescent (Sibling Rivalry Press 2019), as well as a spoken word album Silhouette (2017). She is a queer woman of color who thinks Black Lives Matter, a teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council, and the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country — Wednesday Night Poetry. Recently awarded the 2021 Governor’s Arts Award and named “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, her fierce and powerful poetry has been nominated four times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in SOLSTICE, Cultural Weekly, Bellevue Literary Review, Entropy, SWWIM, Sinister Wisdom, Calamus Journal, Lavender Review, Luna Luna, Blue Heron Review, Yes, Poetry and elsewhere. Coggin is Associate Editor at The Rise Up Review. She lives with her wife and their two adorable dogs in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.
Merrill Cole’s poems have appeared in such venues as Cutbank Literary Journal, Bellevue Literary Review, The Main Street Rag, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. He is Professor of English and Queer Studies at Western Illinois University. He is the author of The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality; Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy; and Quertext: An Anthology of Queer Voices from German-Speaking Europe.
Jona Colson’s poetry collection, Said Through Glass, won the 2018 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. He is also the co-editor of This Is What America Looks Like: Poetry and Fiction from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (2021). His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review and elsewhere. His translations and interviews can be found in Prairie Schooner, Tupelo Quarterly, and The Writer’s Chronicle. He has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He is an associate professor of ESL at Montgomery College in Maryland and lives in Washington, DC.
John Copenhaver’s historical crime novel, Dodging and Burning, won the 2019 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel and garnered Anthony, Strand Critics, Barry, and Lambda Award nominations. His second novel, The Savage Kind, will be published in October 2021. He writes a crime fiction review column for Lambda called “Blacklight,” and cohosts on the House of Mystery Radio Show. He lives in Richmond, VA. www.jcopenhaver.com
Madeleine Corley (she/her) is a writer by internal monologue and tries to stay curious. Her work has been nominated for Best of Net and the Pushcart Prize. You can find her poems and more on her website wrotemadeleine.com or on Twitter @madelinksi.
Jason B. Crawford (They/He) was born in Washington DC, raised in Lansing, MI. Their debut chapbook collection Summertime Fine is out through Variant Lit. Their second chapbook Twerkable Moments is due from Paper Nautilus Press in 2021. Their debut Full Length Year of the Unicorn Kidz will be out in 2022 from Sundress Publications.
Stephanie Davies (she/her) is a writer who worked for many years in communications for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States. A UK native, Stephanie moved to New York in 1991, where she taught English Composition at Long Island University in Brooklyn and led research trips to Cuba. Before moving to New York, she co-founded a grassroots LGBTQ magazine in Brighton called A Queer Tribe. In the early 1980s, Stephanie joined a women’s peace camp outside a U.S. military base at Greenham Common in the south of England, a life-changing experience that is at the heart of her first book Other Girls Like Me, which was published in September 2020 to critical acclaim and has been optioned for TV. She earned a teaching degree from Aberystwyth University in Wales and a BA in European Studies from Bath University, England. Today, Stephanie divides her time between Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley, New York where she lives with her wife, Bea, and rescue dog, Pongo. She is currently at work on a sequel, Other Queers Like Me.
Clio Yun-su Davis (she/they) is a game designer and writer who has contributed to tabletop RPGs such as Kids on Bikes, Magical Kitties Save the Day, and Hearts of Wulin. Their interactive horror novel The Fog Knows Your Name was published by Choice of Games in 2019. In addition to writing interactive fiction and RPGs, Clio has designed LARPs such as Pass the Sugar, Please and the card game Battle of the Boybands.
Matthew Clark Davison’s (he/him) debut novel, Doubting Thomas, was published by Amble Press in June. Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Michael Cunningham said of the novel, “Doubting Thomas moves compellingly and compassionately among races, genders, sexual identities and other human conditions” and is a “novel of depth and vigor.” Matthew is a full-time faculty in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and the creator of The Lab: Writing Classes with MCD. His textbook, The Lab, Experiments in Writing Across Genre, co-authored by best-selling writer Alice LaPlante, will be published by W.W. Norton in 2022. He lives in Oakland, California.
Nicolas DiDomizio (he/him) holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Connecticut State University and a master’s degree from NYU. Prior to his career in fiction, he wrote for the internet for several years while also working in corporate roles at Condé Nast, MTV, and more. He lives in upstate New York with his partner Graig and their adorably grumpy bulldog, Tank. Burn It All Down is his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter (@ctnicolas) and Instagram (@nicdidomiziobooks).
Christopher DiRaddo (he/him) is the author of the novels The Family Way and The Geography of Pluto. He lives in Montreal where he is the founder and host of the Violet Hour reading series and book club.
Kellie Doherty (she/her) is a queer science fiction and fantasy author who lives in Eagle River, Alaska. When she noticed that there wasn’t much positive queer representation in the science fiction and fantasy realms, she decided to create her own! Her adult sci-fi duology — Finding Hekate and Losing Hold — came out in April 2016 and April 2017 from Desert Palm Press. She’s currently working on a five-book fantasy series. The first book Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties (Desert Palm Press 2019) won a 2019 Rainbow Award. The second book Curling Vines & Crimson Trades (Desert Palm Press 2020) is a recent finalist in the Imaginarium Imadjinn 2021 Award. Find more information on kelliedoherty.com.
Toni Draper, she/her, is a former educator who calls home a two-acre sprawl that she shares with her wife and four dogs in South Texas. Although no longer in the classroom, she now spends her days in the Regional Office of a charter school district in San Antonio. A lifelong reader and writer with an unquenchable passion for the rescue of senior and special needs canines, she has been a staff writer and columnist for several small-town newspapers and Texas Dogs & Cats Magazine. Wildfire (Interlude Press, July 2021) is her debut novel.
Michael Dumlao is an artist, author and activist equipped with twenty years advancing diversity, equity and social justice through award-winning brand management, digital marketing and creative storytelling in corporate, federal, academic and non-profit environments. He recently led the rebrand of a Fortune 500 as its first global Director of Brand, has designed digital user experiences for large government, defense and intelligence agencies, and defined firm-wide creative, business, and diversity transformations. He offers a proven record of helping large organizations undergo transformations in their brand, creative direction, and marketing operations while continuously building the business of equality. A sought after speaker on audacious authenticity, brand elevation, and social equity, he is the author of Wisdom of Guncles: Living Life from a Queer Perspective, to be published in August, 2021.
Eboni J Dunbar (She/her) is a queer, black woman who writes queer and black speculative fiction. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner. She received her BA from Macalester College in English and her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. She is a VONA Alum, and the managing editor for FIYAH Literary Magazine. Her work can be found in Stellium Literary Magazine, FIYAH Literary Magazine, Drabblecast, Anathema: Spec from the margins and Nightlight Podcast. She also has a novella out now from Neon Hemlock, Stone and Steel. She can be found on Twitter: @sugoionna87 and IG: ej_beezington. Her website is ebonidunbar.com.
Francesca Ekwuyasi (she/her) is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness, and belonging. Her debut novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread, was longlisted for the 2020 Giller Prize, was a finalist for CBC’s 2021 Canada Reads competition, and is a finalist for a 2021 Lambda Literary Award.
Kennedy Engasser (she/her) is a sophomore at Land O’ Lakes High School in Lutz, Florida. She’s engaged in a wide variety of art forms, including acting, fiction writing, poetry, songwriting, and digital art. She has competed in a number of artistic competitions, including the largest youth poetry festival in the world, Brave New Voices, as well as Florida State Thespian Individual Events competitions.
Sofia Fey is a Lesbian and Non-Binary writer living in LA. Currently, they are the founder of the Luminaries Poetry workshop, poetry editor at Hooligan Magazine, and a reader for Stone of Madness Press and Kissing Dynamite. Their poems have appeared in CP Quarterly, indigo literary, Rejection Letters, and others. They tweet @sofiafeycreates.
Omar Figueras (he/his) is a Professor of English and Literature at the Eduardo J. Padrón Campus of Miami-Dade College. His work has appeared in Penumbra Literary Magazine, Composite Arts Magazine, Candlewick Press and others. He is the former fiction co-editor for Blood Lotus, and current Co-Faculty Advisor to Urbana, Padrón Campus’s literary magazine. He is the recipient of the Key West Literary Seminar’s Teacher & Librarian Scholarship and sits on the Advisory Board of Reading Queer. He is working on a collection of short stories and poetry based on his experience of growing up in South Florida and Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Travon Free (he/him) is an Academy Award-winning and 2-time Emmy award-winning writer and stand-up comedian. Most recently, Travon wrote and co-directed his first film Two Distant Strangers, which won him the Oscar for Best Live Action Short. Travon is currently writing a feature script starring Idris Elba for Apple+. Before that, Travon was a supervising producer on Wilmore for Peacock, supervised on Harlem, the Tracy Oliver project for Amazon Studios, executive produced by Amy Poehler, was a writer on the HBO series SHOWTIME about the LA Lakers in the 1980s, was a Producer on Black Monday for Showtime, and was a Producer on Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s HBO series Camping. Travon got his start on staff at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, followed by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Jill Fredenburg (she/her) is an author and filmmaker based in Memphis, Tennessee. Her work explores the relationship between social technologies and identity formation. Her book, LGBTQ+ Revolution 2.0: A Celebratory Collection of LGBTQ+ Narratives, serves as one example of spacemaking for underrepresented queer stories. She is a Communication Ph.D. student at the University of Memphis and runs A Sign on the Door, a Medium publication for the sides of ourselves we often leave undiscovered.
Robyn Gigl (she/her) is an attorney, speaker and activist who has been honored by the ACLU-NJ and the NJ Pride Network for her work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. She is a partner at Gluck Walrath, LLP in Freehold, NJ and has been selected as a NJ Super Lawyer since 2010 and as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in NJ in 2020 & 2021. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Garden State Equality, NJ’s largest LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Organization. She is also a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. Her first novel, By Way of Sorrow, was published by Kensington Books in March 2021. Her second novel, Survivor’s Guilt, will be released on January 25, 2022.
Casey Hamilton’s (he/him) debut novel MENAFTER10 is a September release from Amble Press. Larry Duplechan, the author of Blackbird, wrote that Casey and his novel are “important additions to the canon of Black queer men’s’ literature.” Casey describes himself as a writer with his roots in raw, fictional storytelling. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and graduate of Southern University and A&M College, he now writes from Atlanta, Georgia. After briefly working as a freelance copywriter, Hamilton followed his passion for creative writing with his 2013 amateur debut as a YouTube content creator and star of the gay web series Judys.
Courtney Harler (she/her) is a freelance writer, editor, and educator. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Sierra Nevada University (2017) and an MA in English (Literature) from Eastern Washington University (2013). Courtney reads and writes literary fiction, and currently lends her editorial eye to Project Write Now, Scarsdale Publishing, The Masters Review, and Funicular Magazine. Her written work — which includes poems, flash fictions, short stories, hybrid pieces, literary criticisms, personal and craft essays, author interviews, as well as book and film reviews — has appeared worldwide, and a full list of her publications and other qualifications can be found online at https://harlerliterary.llc. Overall, Courtney’s favorite form to write is the flash story, particularly for its unique blend of poetic lyricism and prosaic power.
Paulina Harrison has a B.A in Creative Writing, a B.A. in French, and an M.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis. They currently work as an Urban Ed Tutor for Outside In in Portland, Oregon. They have written two books and have won several awards for their writing and have been published thrice. They write in a variety of genres, always with a protagonist of color.
A Detroit Native, Cheryl A. Head (she/her) lives and writes in Washington, D.C. Head is the twice-Lammy nominated author of the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series which features a black, cis, lesbian, private investigator. Books in her series have won the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award; have been short-listed for the Goldie and Next Generation Indie Book Awards; and included in the Detroit Public Library’s African American Booklist. In 2019, Head was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame. She currently serves as a national board member for Bouchercon. www.cherylhead.com.
Scott Alexander Hess is the author of five novels, including Skyscraper, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and The Butcher’s Sons, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015. His writing has appeared in HuffPost, Genre Magazine, The Fix, Thema Literary Review, and elsewhere. Hess co-wrote “Tom in America,” an award-winning short film, starring Sally Kirkland and Burt Young. He teaches fiction writing at Gotham Writers Workshop and curates Hot Lit, an LGBTQ+ themed monthly newsletter. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Hess lives in New York City with his husband.
Edwin Hill’s (he/him) critically-acclaimed crime novels include Watch Her, The Missing Ones, and Little Comfort. He has been nominated for Edgar and Agatha Awards, featured in Us Magazine, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal, and was recognized as one of “Six Crime Writers to Watch” in Mystery Scene magazine. His latest novel, The Secrets We Share, will be available in April of 2022. He lives in Roslindale, Massachusetts with his partner Michael and his favorite reviewer, their lab Edith Ann, who likes his first drafts enough to eat them. edwin-hill.com.
Emily Holland is a lesbian writer with poems appearing in publications including Nat. Brut, homology lit, bedfellows, and Wussy. She is the author of the chapbook Lineage (dancing girl press 2019). Currently, she is the Managing Editor of Poet Lore and the Editor-in-Chief of FOLIO at American University.
Natalie E. Illum is a poet, disability activist and singer living in Washington DC. She is a three-time recipient of the DCCAH fellowship, and a 2019 Pushcart prize, Best of the Net, and Best New Poet nominee. She was a founding board member of mothertongue, a LGBTQA open mic that lasted 15 years. She has an MFA from American University. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @poetryrox, and as one half of All Her Muses.
Renee James (she/her) has authored a half-dozen novels under various pen names, including a series of literary thrillers that document the life and times of Bobbi Logan, a transgender woman with body issues and a penchant for stirring up trouble with bad people. The novels are set at five-year intervals in Chicago, starting in 2003 and they illustrate the changing landscape for transgender people as well as Bobbi’s own story. In addition to her novels, James has written a script for a training video for health care providers working with LGBTQ people, and she recently conceived and edited the anthology Turning Points to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Off Campus Writers Workshop. Renee James is a retired magazine editor, a Vietnam veteran, a spouse, and a grandparent. She lives in the Chicago area with her spouse and a small dog.
Charles Jensen (he/him) is the author of the poetry collection Nanopedia and six chapbooks of poems. His third collection, Instructions Between Takeoff and Landing, will be published by the University of Akron Press in 2021. He received the 2020 Outwrite Nonfiction Chapbook Award for Cross-Cutting, a diptych of essays that hybridize memoir and film criticism. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner, and essays have appeared in 45th Parallel, American Literary Review, and The Florida Review.
I.S. Jones is a queer American/Nigerian poet and music journalist. She is a Graduate Fellow with The Watering Hole and holds fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT Writer’s Retreat, and Brooklyn Poets. I.S. hosts a month-long workshop every April called The Singing Bullet. I.S. co-edited The Young African Poets Anthology: The Fire That Is Dreamed Of (Agbowó, 2020). She is an Editor at 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, Washington Square Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Rumpus, Shade Literary Arts, and elsewhere. Her work was chosen by Khadijah Queen as a finalist for the 2020 Sublingua Prize for Poetry. She received her MFA in Poetry at UW-Madison, where the Inaugural 2019-2020 Kemper K. Knapp University Fellowship and the Hoffman Hall Emerging Artist Fellowship recipient. Her chapbook Spells Of My Name is forthcoming with Newfound in 2021.
Anya Josephs was raised in North Carolina and is now pursuing a career in social work in New York City. When not working or writing, Anya can be found seeing a lot of plays, reading doorstopper fantasy novels, or worshipping their cat, Sycorax. Anya’s writing can be found in Fantasy Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, and Mythaxis, among many others. Queen of All, a fantasy for young adults, is Anya’s first novel, forthcoming from Zenith Press.
Zeyn Joukhadar (he/him) is the author of the Stonewall Book Award-winning novel The Thirty Names of Night, which is also a 2021 Lambda Literary Awards finalist in Transgender Fiction, and The Map of Salt and Stars, which won the 2018 Middle East Book Award and was translated into twenty languages. His work has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review, the Kink anthology, and elsewhere, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), a Periplus Collective mentor, and guest edited the 2020 Queer + Trans Voices issue of Mizna.
Lucian Kahn (he/him) is the game designer of Visigoths vs Mall Goths and Dead Friend: A Game of Necromancy, and co-editor of Honey & Hot Wax: An Anthology of Erotic Art Games. His awards and honors include IGDN Indie Groundbreaker Awards winner for Most Innovative, IndieCade nominee for Live Action, and ENnies nominee for Best Writing. He is trans, Jewish, and a gay-coded villain. Follow his game design updates at bit.ly/luciangames and his twitter at @oh_theogony.
Jonaya Kemper (She/they) is a game designer and academic, educator and activist who specializes in transformative games within marginalized populations. As a lecturer, Jonaya speaks at conventions, conferences, and holds workshops internationally. As an academic, Jonaya coined the term emancipatory bleed, to describe the ability to recognize and break cycles of internalized oppression through embodied play. Working across game design mediums, Jonaya’s work is elastic, spanning analog, digital, and embodied games. Their current design work has recently been seen in The Ultimate Micro-RPG Book distributed by Simon and Schuster, Honey and Hot Wax: An Anthology of Erotic Art Games distributed by Pelgrane Press. In addition, Jonaya is the Lead Game Designer of the P3G project at Carnegie Mellon University and teaches game design through IDeATe.
Dharma Kelleher (she/her) writes action-driven thrillers that explore the complexities of social and criminal justice in a world that favors the privileged. She is one of the only openly transgender authors in the crime fiction genre. Dharma lives in Arizona with her wife and a black cat named Mouse.
L. Krishnan originally hails from the coastal shores of Tamil Nadu. She writes about queer love and desire in the Subcontinent; about blurred realities; about the messy emotional and speculative landscapes of human beings, demigods, and the itinerant ghosts of South India. She is currently the Marketing Director of khōréō, a quarterly magazine of speculative fiction and migration. She lives in the Midwest, and wages a losing battle with tenacious squirrels in her downtime.
Taylor Lewis is a queer Black educator, poet, and activist from Maryland. While at the University of Maryland, she started The Writer’s Bloc out of the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House. In 2019, she received a Master’s degree for her research on the intersections of Blackness, gender and language learning in the African diaspora from the University of Hawaiʻi. In 2016, her poem “we and the metro” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her creative work can be found under the name V. Saunders in Inkwell Black, HerStry, The Potomac, District Lit, with more coming in Hawaiʻi Review. Find more about her at thealvearie.com and @nomadblaque on Instagram and Twitter.
Kristin Lueke (she/her) is a Virgo, chingona, and author of the chapbook (in)different math, published by Dancing Girl Press. Her work has appeared in Hooligan, Witch Craft, Kissing Dynamite, Untoward, the Acentos Review, and elsewhere. She holds an AB from Princeton and MA from the University of Chicago, and one time, she was nominated for a Pushcart for a poem about revenge. (It didn’t win). She runs a small design studio in Chicago, reads for Knights Library Magazine, tweets when she feels like it @klooky and writes a weekly newsletter called The Animal Eats.
Catherine Lundoff (she/her) is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis. She is the author of Silver Moon, Blood Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and Unfinished Business: Tales of the Dark Fantastic and editor of the fantastical pirate anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). Her short fiction has appeared in such venues as Fireside Magazine, The Book of Extraordinary New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Haunting Shadows: A Wraith 20th Anniversary Anthology and American Monsters Part 2. She is also the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world.
Charlotte Maleski (she/her) is a writer, musician, and filmmaker attending high school in Arlington, VA. Her first spoken word performance was in an open mic at her middle school; since then, she has been invited back to this school and others across the county to lead poetry workshops. In 2019, she qualified at the countywide level for the Optimist International Oratorical contest. She is an alumna of the University of Virginia’s Young Writers’ Workshop, and her poetry was recognized at the regional level of the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Currently, she is serving as Arlington’s Youth Poet Laureate of 2021. She was also a member of Split This Rock’s 2020 DC Youth Slam Team.
Brian Malloy’s new novel, After Francesco (Kensington, 2021), is an exploration of grief, recovery and activism, and one of Oprah Magazine’s highly anticipated LGBTQ books of 2021. He is the author of The Year of Ice (St. Martin’s Press, 2002), Brendan Wolf (St. Martin’s Press, 2007), and the young adult novel Twelve Long Months (Scholastic, 2009). Honors include the Minnesota Book Award and the American Library Association’s Alex Award. www.malloywriter.com.
Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and certified book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture. Her debut novel, ARSENIC AND ADOBO, is out now, and the sequel, HOMICIDE AND HALO-HALO comes out February 8, 2022. A lover of all things geeky, Mia spends her days procrasti-baking, playing JRPGs and dating sims, reading cozy mysteries and diverse romance, and cuddling her dogs Gumiho and Max Power. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MPMtheWriter Or check out her website: www.miapmanansala.com.
Anne Marie (she | her) graduated with a Masters degree from the Universdade de Coimbra in Portugal where she published her children’s book, Mamã, porque sou uma ave?/Mommy, Why Am I a Bird? Since then she has spent a large part of her time as an educator and writer. In 2019, her plays Miss Snicklefritz’ Murder Mystery and The Door were blindly selected for The Wrights of Wyoming statewide play festival. The Door was selected for publication by The Progenitor Art & Literary Journal (2020). Her short play, Strangers, or Les Inconnus, was published by Masque & Spectacle (2020), and her short play The Leaf Whisperer: A Work in Progress was selected as part of the 2020 Wrights of Wyoming play festival. An avid storyteller, she performed in and won several Cabin Fever Story Slams and was selected by The Moth to perform in a “Main Stage” event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 2019. In 2020, she was featured on Wyoming PBS’s “Storytime with Wyoming Authors” series. She was selected as a 2020 and 2021 Brain Mill Press National Poetry Month Contest Editors’ Pick poet. She earned the 2020 Milestone Award presented by Wyoming Writers, Inc and the 2020 Rising Star Award presented by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. She is a proud queer woman navigating the world with a chronic illness.
Aurielle Marie (they/she) is a Black, Atlanta-born, Queer poet, essayist, and social strategist. She was selected by Fatimah Asghar as the 2019 winner of the Ploughshares Emerging Writer Award. Aurielle has received invitations to fellowships from Tin House, The Watering Hole, Pink Door, and served as the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for Lambda Literary. Aurielle’s essays and poems have been featured in or are forthcoming from The Guardian, TriQuarterly, Adroit Journal, Teen Vogue, BOAAT Magazine, Essence, and many other platforms. Their poetry debut, Gumbo Ya Ya, won the 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press in the Fall of 2021.
John Medeiros is the author of Self, Divided (Howling Bird Press, 2021), a memoir that details, from a firsthand, HIV+ perspective, a time in our recent history when the world had to reckon with the emergence of a seemingly undefeatable virus. Self, Divided is the 2020 winner of the Howling Bird Press Nonfiction Prize. Honors include the Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize, and grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. www.jmedeiros.net.
Janet McAdams (she/her) is the author of the poetry collections, The Island of Lost Luggage, which won the American Book Award, and Feral; the novel, Red Weather; and a chapbook of speculative prose poems, Seven Boxes for the Country After. Her poems have appeared recently in Poetry, Spoon River Poetry Review, LitHub, Shenandoah, and the anthology, New Poets from Native Nations. Co-editor of the anthology, The People Who Stayed: Southeastern Indian Writing after Removal, she is the founding editor of Salt Publishing’s Earthworks Series of Indigenous Poets and an Editor at Large at the Kenyon Review.
Maria Ingrande Mora is a content designer and a brunch enthusiast. Her love languages are snacks, queer joy, and live music. A graduate of the University of Florida, Maria lives near a wetlands preserve with two dogs, two cats, two children, and two billion mosquitoes. She can often be found writing at her stand-up desk, surrounded by house plants. Unless the cats have already destroyed them. Fragile Remedy is her debut.
Caridad Moro-Gronlier (she/her) is the author of Tortillera, winner of The TRP Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series: Florida (Texas Review Press 2021) and of the chapbook Visionware (Finishing Line Press 2009). She is a Contributing Editor of Grabbed: Writers Respond to Sexual Assault (Beacon Press 2020) and Associate Editor for SWWIM Every Day. Moro-Gronlier is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant and a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry. Her work has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, The Best of the Net and two Lambda Literary Awards. Her recent work can be found at The Best American Poetry Blog, West Trestle Review, Literary Mama, The Sextant Review, Limp Wrist Review and others. A career educator, she is an English professor at FIU and MDC in Miami, FL where she resides with her family.
Gugulethu Mpofu (she/her) is a Zimibabwean poet and songwriter. She is currently studying International law in the Netherlands and a joyful participant of the Luminaries workshop. Her work has appeared in Brown Sugar Lit.
Belinda Munyeza is a Zimbabwean poet living in Navarra, Spain. Currently, they are a reader at Kissing Dynamite. Their poems have appeared/are forthcoming in Pigeonholes, Twin Pies Literary, Hooligan Magazine and others. They tweet @MdnightIsAplace.
Leiana San Agustin Naholowaʻa (she/her) was a literary arts delegate representing Guam at the Festival of Pacific Arts and is a founding member of Ta Tuge’ Mo’na, a nonprofit supporting literary communities in Guam. Her writing appears in Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia, Pacific Asia Inquiry, Guampedia, Local Voices: An Anthology, and Yellow Medicine Review. Producer and director of the documentary, Mothering Guahan, she co-edited Kinalamten gi Pasifiku: Insights from Oceania and Storyboard: A Journal of Pacific Imagery, and was managing editor of FlawLes magazine and film reviewer for Lesbianation.com. She is co-editing Queernesia: An Anthology of Indigenous Queer Oceania and Reflections on the In-Between: Life in Lockdown/Life in Community.
Michael Nava (he/him) is the managing editor of Amble Press. He is also the author of an acclaimed series of eight novels featuring gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios who The New Yorker, called “a detective unlike any previous protagonist in American noir.” He is the recipient of seven Lambda Literary Awards in the gay mystery category and the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime. His most recent Rios novel, Lies With Man, was published by Amble Press in April.
Robyn Ochs (she/they) is an educator, speaker, grassroots activist, and editor of Bi Women Quarterly and two anthologies: the 42-country collection Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World and Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men. An advocate for the rights of people of ALL orientations and genders to live safely, openly and with full access and opportunity, Robyn’s work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements. Robyn was named by Teen Vogue as one of “9 Bisexual Women Who are Making History.”
Joe Okonkwo’s (he/him) short story collection, Kiss the Scars on the Back of My Neck, is an August release from Amble Press. His debut novel, Jazz Moon, won the Publishing Triangle’s prestigious Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His short stories have been widely published and his short story “Cleo” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He served as Prose Editor for Newtown Literary and edited Best Gay Stories 2017. He is currently at work on a new novel titled King Gladys. He lives and writes in Queens, New York.
Maddox Pennington (they/them) is a nonbinary writer, professor, and stand-up comic originally from the Cherokee Nation; they received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, and their debut bibliomemoir, A Girl Walks Into a Book: What the Brontes Taught Me About Life, Love, and Women’s Work was published by Hachette Books in 2017. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, they performed comedy all over Washington DC, including the DC Drafthouse, Joe’s Movement Emporium, DC LGBTQ Comedy Fest, and almost every Busboys and Poets back room. Their play, Love Chicken, had its virtual debut with the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival in May.
Brontez Purnel (he/him) is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down, and the collection 100 Boyfriends. Recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award for Fiction, he was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers for Our Time by T: New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for over 19 years.
Khalisa Rae is an award-winning poet, essayist, and journalist in Durham, NC that speaks with furious rebellion. Her debut poetry collection, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat, released (Red Hen Press 2021). Her essays and articles are featured in Autostraddle, Catapult, LitHub, B*tch Media, NBC-BLK, and others. Her poetry appears in Carousel, Art Lab Lit, Hooligan, Frontier Poetry, Tishman and Florida Review, Rust & Moth, PANK, HOBART, among countless others. She is the winner of the Bright Wings Poetry contest, the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, among other prizes. Currently, she is the newest columnist for Palette Poetry and serves as Assistant Editor for Glass Poetry. She is the co-founder of Think in Ink and the Women Speak reading series. Her second collection, Unlearning Eden, is forthcoming from White Stag Publishing in 2022. Follow here at @k_lisarae on Twitter. Find more information here: khalisarae.com.
Catherine Ramen (she/her) is a writer and game designer who lives in New York City. She is the author of Red Carnations on a Black Grave, a story game about the Paris Commune of 1871. She is also the author of Midnight at the Oasis, a game of a queer subculture in the 1990s and the space opera romp Rovers. Twitter: @AviatrixGames.
Morgan Ridgway is a queer Black/Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape writer and historian from Philadelphia, PA. Currently, they read for Kissing Dynamite and are completing a Ph.D. in history. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in CP Quarterly, Horse Egg Literary, Indigo Literary Journal, among others. They tweet @morgan_ridgway.
Kim Roberts is the author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC (University of Virginia Press, 2018), and five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). She is the editor of By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital (University of Virginia Press, 2020).
Karlié Rodríguez (she/they) is a writer, translator, and teacher from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. They currently split their time between Puerto Rico, Florida, and Georgia. You can find them on Instagram @kingcito_official.
Patrick Earl Ryan was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a family spanning 5 continents and 7 generations in the city. His debut short story collection, “If We Were Electric”, was chosen by Roxane Gay as the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and published in 2020 by University of Georgia Press. His stories have appeared in Ontario Review, Pleiades, Best New American Voices, Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction for the Millennium, Cairn, James White Review, and Gertrude; and he was the founder and editor-in-chief of the LGBTQ+ literary journal Lodestar Quarterly.
Nemat Sadat (he/him) is a prominent activist, journalist, and novelist currently based in San Diego. He is the first native from Afghanistan to have publicly come out as gay and campaign for LGBTQIA rights in Muslim communities worldwide. While teaching at the American University of Afghanistan, he secretly mobilized a gay movement off campus but was then persecuted by the Afghan authorities and deemed a national security threat for allegedly subverting Islam. Sadat has previously worked at UN Chronicle, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, and ABC News Nightline, and has earned seven university degrees, including graduate degrees from Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins. His debut novel, The Carpet Weaver, was published in South Asia by Penguin Random House India in June 2019 and opened to wide acclaim and became a breakout bestseller. Sadat is currently working on his second novel Keeping Up with The Hepburns. He has five more novels and a memoir in the pipeline and is excited to share these stories with the world.
Zak Salih (he/him) lives in Washington, D.C. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Foglifter, Epiphany, Crazyhorse, The Millions, Apogee Journal, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. Let’s Get Back to the Party is his debut novel.
Steven Salvatore is a gay, genderqueer author, writing professor, Mariah Carey lamb, and Star Wars fanatic. They hold an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. They currently live in Peekskill, New York, with their amazingly patient husband, whose name is also Steve. They are the author of Can’t Take That Away. stevensalvatore.com • @StevenSSWrites on Twitter • @StevenSalvatoreBooks on Instagram.
Zora Satchell is a Black queer poet and editor who writes about mental illness, family, and friendship. She believes that poetry creates space to explore and heal from trauma as well as allow us to imagine new worlds. She is a founding member of the Estuary Collective and holds a degree in Ethnic Studies from Colorado State University. She was recently awarded the Brooklyn Poets fellowship for winter/spring 2021. She writes about film shorts for Drunk Monkeys Literary Magazine, where she was also the featured poet for the August 2020 issue. Currently she serves as the managing editor for Kissing Dynamite Poetry. When she is not writing she is obsessively consuming pop culture. Look for her forthcoming column with the Poetry Question. You can find her on Twitter @thecasualrevolt where she lets her typos run wild.
Tagan Shepard (she/her) is the author of six novels of sapphic fiction, including the 2019 Goldie winner, Bird on a Wire. When not writing about extraordinary women loving other extraordinary women, she can be found playing video games, reading, or sitting in DC Metro Traffic. She lives in Northern Virginia with her wife and two cats.
Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, is the winner of OutWrite’s 2020 Chapbook Competition in Poetry; the winning chapbook, Strange Furniture, is out with Neon Hemlock Press. She is a back-to-back finalist for the Glass Chapbook Series and back-to-back semifinalist for the Button Poetry Chapbook Contest. Lannie currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Barren Magazine and is a member of the MMPR Collective. She was named a 2020 Best of the Net finalist. Her debut full-length, Good Morning to Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus, is out now with Cephalo Press. Find her on Twitter @LannieStabile.
Pamela Sumners’ (she/her) work has been published or recognized by about 50 journals or publishing houses in the U.S. and abroad since 2018. She was a 2018 Pushcart nominee and was selected by Halcyone/Black Mountain Press for inclusion in 64 Best Poets of 2018 and 2019. Her first poetry collection, Ragpicking Ezekiel’s Bones, was published by UnCollected Press in December 2020. Finding Helen, winner of the Rane Arroyo Prize from Seven Kitchens Press, will be released in 2021. Sumners is well known for her constitutional and civil rights legal work, including cases opposing Jay Sekulow, Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore, Supreme Court wannabe Bill Pryor, and an Alabama governor who argued that the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to Alabama. A native Alabamian, she now lives in St. Louis with her wife, son, and rescue dogs. A list of publications, honors and recognitions can be found at www.pamelalsumners.com.
Eddy Boudel Tan (he/him) was selected as a 2021 Rising Star by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. His debut novel After Elias was a finalist for the Edmund White Award, and his second novel The Rebellious Tide arrives this summer. His stories can also be found in Joyland, Yolk, Gertrude Press, and the G&LR. He lives with his husband in Vancouver. Follow Eddy on Twitter (@eddyautomatic) and online (eddyboudeltan.com).
Kristina R. Togafau is a Ph.D. at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a current editor of Hawaiʻi Review, UHM’s literary journal. Their field of study is Queer BIPOC Science Fiction, hauntology, and posthumanism.
John Whittier Treat (he/him) has lived in the Pacific Northwest for forty years. He has published numerous short stories, one of which won the Christopher Hewitt Prize and another nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His first novel, The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House, was a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Foundation for Best Gay Fiction. His novella, Maid Service, was published in 2020 by JMS Books, and he was a finalist for both the fiction and poetry prizes in the 2021 Saints & Sinners competition. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Out magazine; and his new novel, about a stutterer who saves the world, First Consonants, is seeking a publisher. His website is www.johnwhittiertreat.com.
Anna De Vaul (she/her) was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She currently lives in Wenzhou, China, where she is a lecturer in literature and writing. Anna is an editor working with both Lighthouse literary journal in the UK and Nimrod International Journal in the USA. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (fiction) and the Forward Prize (Best Single Poem), and her poem “Broken Up” won Eyewear Publishing’s Fortnight Prize. Her chapbook Cosmonaut (Valley Press UK, August 2021) was shortlisted in several competitions. Her first collection Volcano (2019) was published by Unsolicited Press under the heteronym Elosham Vog.
KD Williamson, she/her, is a Southerner and a former nomad, taking up residence in the Mid-West, east coast, and New Orleans over the years. She was a Hurricane Katrina survivor displaced to the mountains of North Carolina but has since found her way back to Louisiana where she lives with her wife and the most horribly spoiled pets in history. She enjoys all things geek from video games to superheroes. KD is a veteran in the mental health field where she works with children and their families. She discovered writing as a teenager with the help of her English teacher, whom she had a huge crush on. With her teacher’s help, KD wrote her first short story but afterward had a hard time finding inspiration. Years later, writing fanfic became her gateway into lesbian fiction and she hasn’t looked back. She’s written five books with Ylva Publishing and one, her most recent, Big Girl Pill, with Dirt Road Books.
P. J. Vernon (he/him) was born in South Carolina. Called a “rising star thriller writer” by Library Journal, Vernon’s debut, When You Find Me, was both an Audible Plus #1 Listen and an Associated Press Top Ten U.S. Audiobook. His next novel, Bath Haus, pitched as “Gone Girl with gays and Grindr” and has been praised as “a nightmarish white-knuckler” by O, The Oprah Magazine and called “[an] adrenaline-spiked pulse-pounder” by The New York Times. He lives in Calgary with his husband and two wily dogs.
Hari Ziyad (they/them) is a screenwriter, the bestselling author of Black Boy Out of Time (Little A, 2021) and the Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitr. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated in Film and Television and Psychology. They are a 2021 Lambda Literary Fellow, and their writing has been featured in Gawker, Out, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Ebony, Mic, Paste Magazine, AFROPUNK, in the peer-reviewed academic journal Critical Ethnic Studies, and in the anthology co–edited by Michael Dumas, Ashley Woodson and Carl Grant entitled The Future is Black: Afropessimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education, among other publications. They are also a script consultant on the drama series David Makes Man (OWN), a columnist (and the former Managing Editor) of Black Youth Project, and an Assistant Editor of Vinyl Poetry & Prose.