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Thursday, 17 August 2017 22:21

2017 Amazon Literary Partnership Awards $30,000 grant to Lambda Literary's Writers Retreat for emerging LGBTQ voices

Written by  Lambda Literary

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Lambda Literary, the nation's leading nonprofit organization advancing LGBTQ literature, is pleased to announce a grant of $30,000 from the Amazon Literary Partnership for a eighth year in a row, a continuation of's support for the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. This year's Retreat was held August 5th through August 12th, 2017 on the campus of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Lambda Literary's Writers Retreat is the only residency in the world established specifically for talented, emerging LGBTQ writers. Since 2007 when the program began, Lambda has graduated over 400 Fellows from its summer Retreat. For one rigorous, immersive week, Retreat students in fiction, genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and playwriting work on their manuscripts or plays in small, individualized classes, gain mentorships, forge critical connections to publishing industry professionals, and build a community of peers on whom they'll depend for years of encouragement, inspiration and friendship.

"Amazon Literary Partnership's generous grants have helped to support a generation of emerging LGBTQ writers," said Tony Valenzuela, Lambda Literary's Executive Director. "Amazon's funding has played a direct role in helping Lambda Fellows publish some of the most exciting debut novels of the past decade."

"Amazon is thrilled to continue its support for Lambda's one-of-a-kind retreat, which offers talented LGBTQ writers a rare opportunity to receive rigorous mentoring from some of the finest writers working today," said Neal Thompson, Amazon's director of Author and Publishing Relations. "It's vital these days to make sure literary LGBTQ voices get heard. And the Lambda retreat does more than help emerging writers tell their stories, it develops writers' careers."'s $30,000 grant is a significant contribution to the mission of Lambda Literary. As in years past, the grant will enable promising emerging writers to participate through scholarship funds. Without a scholarship, many students would not otherwise be able to attend the Retreat in Los Angeles.'s support ensures that these talented writers can take their spot in a workshop.

The Writers Retreat provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the very best writers in the LGBTQ community. This year's main faculty:

Garth Greenwell (FICTION) is the author of What Belongs to You, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A NYT Book Review Editors' Choice, it is being translated into ten languages, and has been named one of the best books of 2016 by Publishers Weekly, Esquire, Slate, Vulture, and the New Republic, among others. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, and for the New Yorker and the Atlantic online. A native of Louisville, KY, he holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He lives in Iowa City.

Diana Cage (NONFICTION) is an author, performer, essayist, and editor. She is the author of six books and editor of two anthologies of fiction and essays. Diana's most recent book, Lesbian Sex Bible won a 2015 Lambda Literary Award. Her other nonfiction books include Mind Blowing Sex: A Woman's Guide, Girl Meets Girl: A Dating Survival Guide, Threeways, Bottoms Up: Writing About Sex and the chapbook The Husbands. Diana's nonfiction writing blends essay, memoir, and nonfiction prose to look intimately at sex, sexuality, bodies, relationships, and queerness. She is also a member of the feminist avant-garde literary collective Belladonna*, promoting and publishing critical, political poetry and prose. Diana was formerly editor of the historic lesbian magazine On Our Backs, and host of The Diana Cage Show on SiriusXM. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing at Pratt Institute.

Phillip Howze (PLAYWRITING) is a playwright whose work has been developed or produced at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, BRIC Arts-Media, Bushwick Starr, Clubbed Thumb, Cutting Ball Theater, Theater Masters, PRELUDE Festival 2015, San Francisco Playhouse, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Sundance Institute, and Yale Cabaret. A graduate of Yale School of Drama, he is the 2015-16 Artist Fellow at Lincoln Center Education, and a member of the 2016 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. He is currently a Resident Writer at Lincoln Center Theater, and was previously a visiting lecturer in playwriting at Wesleyan University. Prior to attending graduate school he worked in advocacy at the Open Society Foundations.

Malinda Lo (YOUNG ADULT FICTION) is the author of the young adult novels Ash, Huntress, Adaptation, and Inheritance. Ash was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda's nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast and The Horn Book. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog.

TC Tolbert (POETRY) often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet but really s/he's just a human in love with humans doing human things. The author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press 2014), Conditions/Conditioning (a collaborative chapbook with Jen Hofer, New Lights Press 2014) I: Not He: Not I (Pity Milk chapbook 2014), spirare (Belladonna* chaplet 2012), and territories of folding (Kore Press chapbook 2011), TC is also co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books 2013), the first anthology of its kind. S/he is Core Faculty in the low residency MFA program at OSU-Cascades and Arts and Culture co-editor for The Feminist Wire. His favorite thing in the world is Compositional Improvisation (which is another way of saying being alive). Gloria AnzaldĂșa said, Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks. John Cage said, it's lighter than you think.

Distinguished guest faculty include Semiotexte co-editor, Hedi El Kholti; Counterpoint Press VP/Executive Editor Daniel Smetanka; and author Ryka Aoki.

Lambda Literary is one of a diverse range of not-for-profit organizations receiving support from the Amazon Literary Partnership, whose goal is to help writers tell their stories and find their readers. Other recipients include One Story, WriteGirl, Narrative Magazine, Copper Canyon Press, The Loft Literary Center, Seattle Arts & Lectures,PEN American Center, theNY Writers Coalition, National Novel Writing Month, Hedgebrook, 826 Seattle, Girls Write Now, Slice, Brooklyn Book Festival, Words Without Borders, The Moth, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, Clarion West, Shared Worlds, the Center for Fiction, Archipelago Books, the Asian American Writers Workshop, and more. All of these organizations share the Amazon Literary Partnership's obsession with empowering writers to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive.

Learn more at For additional information, visit Lambda Literary's website at


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