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Saturday, 30 April 2016 21:57

Introducing Lambda Literary's 2016 Emerging Writers Retreat Fellows (Part 1: Fiction - Nonfiction)

Written by  Lambda Literary

2016 writers retreat

The 2016 class of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices will spend a week in Los Angeles this summer, July 24-31, working on their books, collections and plays in workshops led by some of our community's leading LGBT authors/mentors. Read about these talented up-and-coming writers and, please, consider donating to their individual fundraising campaigns to attend the Retreat (links in bios), or to the general scholarship fund. Congratulations to our outstanding incoming students!

Help bring these Emerging Writers to Los Angeles! Donate to the Retreat Scholarship Fund today:


andrew holleran

caitlin bagwell

Caitlin Bagwell is a substitute teacher whose seen everything, man, seen everything, and still loves it. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch LA. You can find her work at Jaded Ibis and Lunch Ticket. She lives in Portland Oregon with her two cats Freddy and Mercury.

carson bekerCarson Beker is a writer, playwright, and storyteller with an MFA and MA from SFSU. They are the co-founder of The Escapery, an SF Bay Writing Unschool, and the former Fiction Editor of Fourteen Hills. Their work has appeared in Gigantic Sequins, Sparkle + Blink, Transfer Magazine, and Bourbon Penn.Their plays have been at the San Francisco Olympians Festival and at Z Space, and they are proud to have performed for Radar Literary Series. They have two cats, one living and one ghost. They are so excited to be a 2016 Lambda fellow in Fiction!

marcus tran degnan

Marcus Tran Degnan is a current graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Asian American Studies Department. He is relatively new to the West Coast, having grown up in the swamplands of Central Florida. He attended and graduated from the University of Florida in 2015, where he was engaged with social activism around Asian American issues, as well as contributed to various social justice-oriented literary outlets. He identifies as a gay, Catholic, mixed race Vietnamese American, as much as it is a mouthful to say.

daphne gottlieb

Daphne Gottlieb stitches together the ivory tower and the gutter just using her tongue. She is the author of 10 books including the short stories Pretty Much Dead. Other works include Dear Dawn, letters by the "first female serial killer", Aileen Wuornos. She is also the author of 5 books of poetry, a graphic novel, and the editor of 2 anthologies. Daphne is the winner of the Acker, the Audre Lorde, and the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards, and is a 5-time Lammy finalist. She lives in San Francisco, where she saves the world with her 3-lb toothless dog, Doomsday.

cary alan johnson

Cary Alan Johnson writes. Working from bases in Brooklyn and various cities in Africa. He was an original member of the Blackheart Collective and Other Countries: Black Gay Voices. (Yes, an O.G.) He has recently connected with brilliant brothers at the Tenth Magazine and his essay, "Mo(u)rning in America: Confessions of a Black Gay Baby Boomer" appeared in their sophomore issue. He has published poetry, fiction, and works for the stage as well as non-fiction in various anthologies including Changing Men, RFD, Go the Way Your Blood Beats, E. Lynn Harris's In this Village, and Assoto Saint's the Road Before Us. He is currently working on something that feels like a novel.

juliana delgado lopera

Juliana Delgado Lopera is an award-winning Colombian writer/educator/oral-historian based in San Francisco. The recipient of the 2014 Jackson Literary award, and a finalist of the Clark-Gross Novel award, she's the author of ¡Cuéntamelo! an illustrated bilingual collection of oral histories by LGBT [email protected] immigrants awarded the Regen Gina Grant from Galería de la Raza and a 2014 National Queer Arts Festival Grant from the Queer Cultural Center and the 2016 Jeanne R. Cordova Words Scholarship for Emerging Writers. She's the executive director of RADAR Productions.

jonathan mack

Jonathan Mack grew up on a family farm in NH, but has spent most of his adult life in India and Japan. He studied writing at Naropa and the School of the Art Institute. His story "The Right Way to Be Crippled & Naked" is the title story of an anthology of fiction about disability forthcoming from Cinco Puntos Press. Other stories and essays have appeared in Quarter After Eight, Green Mountains Review, Eleven Eleven, Epiphany, Zymbol, Gargoyle, Mary, Jonathan, Japanzine, The Tokyo Advocate, and elsewhere. He blogs at Guttersnipe Das.

frederick mckindra

Frederick McKindra, a fiction writer living in Brooklyn, NY, is working to complete his first novel on the lotto, ill-fated love, and the Great Recession in NYC. He intends this project to serve as the definitive survival guide for black Snow Qweens who look for advice on love in the works of Baldwin, the gospel powerhouses known as the Clark Sisters, and 90s RnB trio SWV. He attended Howard University in DC, received an MFA in Fiction from the New School, and regularly contributes to the Lambda Literary blog. Donate to Frederick Here!

mike miksche

Mike Miksche is a writer and journalist based in Toronto, Canada. He's written for Slate, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Lambda Literary, The Quietus and Daily Xtra. His first novel Paris Demands was released last year. He's working on his second novel based on his column, "Hole and Corner," for Daily Xtra.

whitney porter

Whitney Porter is a teacher at the Writer's Studio in New York where she is also student in the master class taught by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schultz. Her work has appeared in Ping Pong Literary Magazine, Battered Suitcase and Metazen. Originally from Houston, Texas, she now calls Brooklyn, New York her home. She holds a BA in journalism from Empire State College SUNY.

robert smith

Robert Smith has most recently been published in Neutrons Protons, Bird's Thumb Journal, JONATHAN, Wilde Stories 2014: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction, and Barney Rosset's Evergreen Review. He was a regular contributor to SPANK Art Mag, and has been featured in several NY based queer journals, including: Ganymede, and Mary Literary, as well as a forthcoming story in the next issue of Spunk. Donate to Robert Here!


sarah schulman

Katherine Agard grew up in Trinidad listening to the stories of her mother growing up in Ghana. She studied Visual and Environmental Studies and Social Anthropology at Harvard, where she focused on some mixture of post-colonial theory, queer studies, religion, painting and filmmaking. Her work moves between fiction, non-fiction, image-making and social practice. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices and Callaloo Writer's workshops.

cooper lee bombardier

Cooper Lee Bombardier is a writer and visual artist based in Portland, Oregon. His work appears in many publications and anthologies, most recently in CutBank, Nailed Magazine, Original Plumbing, and is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review and MATRIX, as well as the anthology The Remedy-Essays on Queer Health Issues, (ed. Zena Sharman) from Arsenal Pulp Press. He teaches writing at Portland State University, the University of Portland, at Grant High School through Writers in the Schools, and online at LitReactor. Learn more at at

clayton delery edwards

Clayton Delery-Edwards is best known for his book, The Up Stairs Lounge Arson (McFarland 2014), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Nonfiction, and which was named Book of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities-the first time an LGBT-themed book has been given this award. His work has appeared in such scholarly and popular journals as TEXT, The James White Review, The Xavier Review, and Garden Deck and Landscape Magazine. He lives in New Orleans with his husband, Aaron, and is currently working on another nonfiction book about LGBT history in New Orleans.

candace eros diaz

Candace Eros Díaz is a 2015-16 Steinbeck Fellow out of The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University. She is a former San Francisco Writer's Grotto Fellow and a proud VONA/Voices alum. She is the Coordinator for the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California where she received a dual-concentration MFA in creative nonfiction and fiction. She writes in the dreamy space where fact and fiction collide and is currently at work on a historical creative nonfiction novel about her women ancestors. She lives in Oakland, CA and can be found at

kai m green

Kai M. Green is a writer, scholar, poet, filmmaker, abolitionist, feminist, and whatever else it takes to make a new and more just world. He is invested in the work of healing and loving Black: he is particularly interested in helping to develop healthy Black masculinities. His work and thinking on queer and trans issues within communities of color has been published widely in prominent journals and anthologies such as TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies, and many others. Dr. Green is a regular contributor to activist and grassroots publications such as the, He is also a member of BYP100, Chicago where he sits on the the healing and safety council. Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2014.

tennessee jones

Tennessee Jones is the author of the Lambda Literary Award nominated collection Deliver Me From Nowhere, a 'cover' of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska. He is the recipient of awards from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation and Hunter College, where he received his MFA in Fiction in 2010. He was also the George Bennett Fellow (Writer in Residence) at Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University. He grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Kathleen Nacozy is a writer who focuses on justice. She began working as a journalist while attending law school in small-town Texas. Earning her law degree spurred her to write about criminal justice for dozens of media outlets. She also works as a storyteller and stand-up comedian. Kathleen has performed for Bumbershoot, Gay City, Hella Much, Hollow Earth Radio, the Links and Alliances Conference, and the Northwest Folklife Festival. She is an impassioned student and teacher of improv through a social justice framework.

nahshon anderson

Nahshon Anderson is an Afro-Indian and Latin writer with roots in East Texas where family members served in WW I & II. A Californian, Nahshon's family was close to Rodney King. Nahshon attended California State University Los Angeles. At age 19, Nahshon survived an attempted murder, inspiring the short story "Shooting Range," which won a 2014 BRIO Award from Bronx Council on Arts. A recipient of grants from the California Arts Council and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Nahshon has studied with writer Andrew X. Pham. A member of SAG-AFTRA, Pen America and a 2015 VONA fellow, Nahshon is currently writing a memoir.

daniel shannonDaniel Shannon is an essayist, editor, and software developer living and working in New York City. In addition to publishing essays on cocktail culture and LGBTQ community, he previously served as the founder and nonfiction editor of one online queer literary magazine, quee/r, and is currently working to found another, Ignota. He harbors an Indy-and-snakes-grade fear of forks with wacky tines.

natalia vigil

Natalia Vigil was born and raised in San Francisco, the city that inspires her everyday. Her writing arises from the voices and stories of the people around her and deals in themes of loss, family, sexuality, race, and class. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and on many Bay Area stages including Curbside Splendor Press,, VONA, SOMArts, Mission Cultural Center and more. She has an MFA from Mills College and is the proud co-founder of Still Here San Francisco. You can find her curating shows in S.F. and enjoying life with her 5 younger siblings. Donate to Natalia Here!

rosie wilby

Rosie Wilby is a London-based comedian, writer and broadcaster who has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and performed at major festivals including Glastonbury. Her solo shows have included The Science Of Sex, which she performed at New York's Fresh Fruit Festival in 2013. Her articles have been published by The Sunday Times, New Statesman, Time Out and more. She was shortlisted for the 2014 Mslexia memoir prize for her account of 1990s London life, How (not) to make it in Britpop. She presents an award-winning LGBT magazine on Resonance FM where her guests have included Armistead Maupin.

ashley young

Ashley Young is a Queer feminist poet, author and teacher. Her work has been published in three anthologies, Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press), All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin Press) and Glitter and Grit: Queer Performance from the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy (Portland Studio). She a contributor at Elixher magazine and has been featured in various online magazines, such as Rvkvry Journal and more. She is a 2010 Voices of Our Nation's Foundation Poetry Fellow and a 2011 Lambda Literary Nonfiction Fellow. She taught her biomythography workshop at the Fire and Ink Conference in 2015 and performs her work at various readings throughout the country. She is currently working on a collection of poetry and prose entitled Chronicles of Bipolar Living and is completing her first novel, a biomythography entitled The Liberation of the Black Unicorn. Ashley lives in New York City with her wife, four wild cats and her sweet service dog. Donate to Ashley Here!


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