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: Rainbow logos for OutWrite and The DC Center.

April 18, 2022
Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs

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  • We’re seeking unpublished fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.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  • We are seeking original and reprint work; unpublished work is prioritized.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 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:

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 link for the Event Submission form: 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:

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]