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

Marlena Chertock, Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs

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.