The Queer Writer: April 2024

The next Transcestors session is open for registration! It'll take place on Saturday, June 1st and focus on the Stonewall Rebellion. What happened during the multi-night rebellion around the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York? What was the first thing thrown and who threw it? Who took part and who stayed away? Hear the details of what happened when (predominantly) impoverished, BIPOC gender nonconforming people decided they'd had enough of police brutality, and how this ultimately led to the creation of Pride Month. Note: This session includes mentions of queer/transphobia, racism, police brutality, slurs, murder, sexual assault, and misgendering/deadnaming. As always, this session is free and available to anyone with any subscription tier of The Queer Writer, paid or free. Remember to register with your subscriber email address!

GrubStreet has secured more funding and will open a new block of spots for their Mentorship Program this month! If you're a current or former student of mine from any GrubStreet class, you're eligible for a free 25-minute talk with me on anything you'd like to discuss. Last time, my available spots filled up within 24 hours after the announcement, so if you'd like to receive an email as soon as the Mentorship Program reopens, please fill out this form.

Plenty of new, fabulous books are coming out this month, including Mariachi enemies-to-lovers, the daughter of a pirate queen, a trans boy who wants a successful rock band, a translated story about Arab masculinity and homoeroticism, a Korean-inspired Alice in Wonderland retelling, an ode to country idols and queer love, a girls-only fight club, and more!

Is there an upcoming queer book you’re excited about? Know of a great opportunity for queer writers? Read an awesome article about the (marginalized) writing world? Let me know! And as always, please share this newsletter with people you think might be interested.

Upcoming Classes

**FREE!** Transcestors Series: The Stonewall Rebellion

  • Saturday, June 1st, 2024 from 11:00am to 12:00pm ET
  • Virtual via Zoom
  • Free!

What happened during the multi-night rebellion around the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York? What was the first thing thrown and who threw it? Who took part and who stayed away? Hear the details of what happened when (predominantly) impoverished, BIPOC gender nonconforming people decided they'd had enough of police brutality, and how this ultimately led to the creation of Pride Month. There will be opportunity for Q&A at the end of the talk. Note: This session includes mentions of queer/transphobia, racism, police brutality, slurs, murder, sexual assault, and misgendering/deadnaming.

Transcestors is a series of free 1-hour sessions focused on trans and queer (but mostly trans) history based on Milo Todd's research for his historical fiction. Those interested must have any subscription tier of The Queer Writer, paid or free, and must use their subscriber email to register for sessions. For safety reasons, sessions will NOT be recorded. A Zoom link will be sent to registered attendees ~15 minutes before a session starts.

*Sessions are open to all identities, but please know Transcestors centers trans and/or nonbinary attendees.

Writing Outside of Your Lane

  • Friday, June 21st, 2024 from 10:30am to 1:30pm ET
  • Virtual via Zoom
  • $85, scholarships available
  • 12 students maximum

Over the past several years, the publishing world (and its readers) have thankfully demanded more diversity within stories. But as welcoming as this change is, it can leave many non-marginalized writers with anxiety. How are you supposed to go about it? What if you mess up? Are you allowed to write about marginalized people at all? This 3-hour course provides mainstream writers with the basics of how to write a marginalized character with which they don’t have a lived experience, breaking the process down into the bare bones of Self-Reflection, Research, Craft, Editing, and How to Handle Backlash. With pragmatic and clear-cut information—as well as the wisdom from such writers as Alexander Chee, Peter Ho Davies, and Stella Young—writers will leave this course with significantly more insight, awareness, and confidence to produce the most accurate and empathetic work they can.

*This class is open to all identities.

Novel in Progress

  • 8 Thursdays starting July 11th, 2024 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm ET
  • Virtual via Zoom
  • $540, scholarships available
  • 12 students maximum

First drafts of novels can be messy, amorphous, and daunting. Sometimes, extensive critical feedback can be counterproductive before the first draft is finished, yet writers often find themselves losing focus without support and guidance. In class, we will do exercises, discuss craft issues—characterization, the protagonist's desire, plot and outlining, endings—and read short scenes from each other's work, providing feedback in an environment that recognizes the specific challenges of the novel in progress. Novels of all genres are welcome. Please bring the first page (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins) of your novel to the first class.

*This class is open to all identities.

Anticipated Books

Disclosure: I'm an affiliate of Any purchase through my storefront supports local bookstores and earns me a commission. Win-win!

In Universes by Emet North

Raffi works in an observational cosmology lab, searching for dark matter and trying to hide how little they understand their own research. Every chance they get, they escape to see Britt, a queer sculptor who fascinates them for reasons they also don't--or won't--understand. As Raffi's carefully constructed life begins to collapse, they become increasingly fixated on the multiverse and the idea that somewhere, there might be a universe where they mean as much to Britt as she does to them...and just like that, Raffi and Britt are thirteen years old, best friends and maybe something more. In Universes is a mind-bending tour across parallel worlds, each an answer to the question of what life would be like if events had played out just a little differently. The universes grow increasingly strange: women fracture into hordes of animals, alien-infested bears prowl apocalyptic landscapes. But across them all, Raffi--alongside their sometimes-friends, sometimes-lovers Britt, Kay, and Graham--reaches for a life that feels authentically their own.

The Skin and Its Girl by Sarah Cypher

In a Pacific Northwest hospital far from the Rummani family's ancestral home in Palestine, the heart of a stillborn baby begins to beat and her skin turns vibrantly, permanently cobalt blue. On the same day, the Rummanis' centuries-old soap factory in Nablus is destroyed in an air strike. The family matriarch and keeper of their lore, Aunt Nuha, believes that the blue girl embodies their sacred history, harkening back to a time when the Rummanis were among the wealthiest soap-makers and their blue soap was a symbol of a legendary love. Decades later, Betty returns to Aunt Nuha's gravestone, faced with a difficult decision: Should she stay in the only country she's ever known, or should she follow her heart and the woman she loves, perpetuating her family's cycle of exile? Betty finds her answer in partially translated notebooks that reveal her aunt's complex life and struggle with her own sexuality, which Nuha hid to help the family immigrate to the United States. But, as Betty soon discovers, her aunt hid much more than that.

Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao

Sophie Chi is in her first year of college (though her parents wish she'd attend a "real" university rather than a liberal arts school) and has long accepted her aroace (aromantic and asexual) identity. She knows she'll never fall in love, but she enjoys running an Instagram account that offers relationship advice to students at her school. No one except her roommate can know that she's behind the incredibly popular "Dear Wendy" account. When Joanna "Jo" Ephron (also a first-year aroace college student) created their "Sincerely Wanda" account, it wasn't at all meant to take off or be taken seriously--not like Wendy's. But now they might have a rivalry of sorts with Wendy's account? Oops. As if Jo's not busy enough having existential crises over gender identity, whether she'll ever truly be loved, and the possibility of her few friends finding The One then forgetting her! While tensions are rising online, Sophie and Jo grow closer in real life, especially once they realize their shared aroace identity and start a campus organization for other a-spec students. Will their friendship survive if they learn just who's behind the Wendy and Wanda accounts?

Off with Their Heads by Zoe Hana Mikuta

In a world where Saints are monsters and Wonderland is the dark forest where they lurk, it's been five years since young witches and lovers Caro Rabbit and Iccadora Alice Sickle were both sentenced to that forest for a crime they didn't commit--and four years since they shattered one another's hearts, each willing to sacrifice the other for a chance at freedom. Now, Caro is a successful royal Saint-harvester, living the high life in the glittering capital and pretending not to know of the twisted monster experiments that her beloved Red Queen hides deep in the bowels of the palace. But for Icca, the memory of Caro's betrayal has hardened her from timid girl to ruthless hunter. A hunter who will stop at nothing to exact her vengeance: On Caro. On the queen. On the throne itself. But there's a secret about the Saints the Queen's been guarding, and a volatile magic at play even more dangerous to Icca and Caro than they are to each other...

Girls Night by I. S. Belle

Gossip queen Alex longs to be seen. Cheerleader Tulsi is sick of cutting people on her sharp heart. New kid Clementine can't escape the violence inside. And wallflower Sunju is tired of keeping quiet. When a twist of fate brings this unlikely quartet together, sparks and punches fly. They call it 'Girls Night,' an underground fight club that's girls only. Soon every girl at Sterling High is showing up to class with bruised knuckles and split lips. Alex, Tulsi, Clementine, and Sun have never felt more alive. Until demonic head cheerleader, Quentin Scarhill, steps in the ring with her eyes on Alex. As Quentin's hold over Alex tightens, Girls Night spirals out of control. Can they take back the reins before things turn deadly? And if Girls Night ends will they throw in the towel on their newfound friendships?

Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun

A long time ago, Logan Maletis and Rosemary Hale used to be friends. They spent their childhood summers running through the woods, rebelling against their conservative small town, and dreaming of escaping. But then an incident the summer before high school turned them into bitter rivals. After graduation, they went ten years without speaking. Now in their thirties, Logan and Rosemary find they aren't quite living the lives of adventure they imagined for themselves. Still in their small town and working as teachers at their alma mater, they're both stuck in old patterns. Uptight Rosemary chooses security and stability over all else, working constantly, and her most stable relationship is with her label maker. Chaotic and impulsive Logan has a long list of misguided ex-lovers and an apathetic shrug she uses to protect herself from anything real. And as hard as they try to avoid each other--and their complicated past--they keep crashing into each other. Including with their cars. But when their beloved former English teacher and lifelong mentor tells them he has only a few months to live, they're forced together once and for all to fulfill his last wish: a cross-country road trip. Stuffed into the gayest van west of the Mississippi, the three embark on a life-changing summer trip--from Washington state to the Grand Canyon, from the Gulf Coast to coastal Maine--that will chart a new future and perhaps lead them back to one another.

Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings

Winning the lottery has ruined Opal Devlin's life. After quitting her dead-end job where she'd earned minimum wage and even less respect, she's bombarded by people knocking at her door for a handout the second they found out her bank account was overflowing with cash. And Opal can't seem to stop saying yes. With her tender heart thoroughly abused, Opal decides to protect herself by any means necessary, which to her translates to putting almost all her new money to buying a failing flower farm in Asheville, North Carolina to let the flowers live out their plant destiny while she uses the cabin on the property to start her painting business. But her plans for isolation and self-preservation go hopelessly awry when an angry (albeit gorgeous) Pepper Boden is waiting for her at her new farm. Pepper states she's the rightful owner of Thistle and Bloom Farms, and isn't moving out. The unlikely pair strike up an agreement of co-habitation, and butt heads at every turn. Can these opposites both live out their dreams and plant roots? Or will their combustible arguing (and growing attraction) burn the whole place down?

A Good Happy Girl by Marissa Higgins

Helen, a jittery attorney with a self-destructive streak, is secretly reeling from a disturbing crime of neglect that her parents recently committed. Historically happy to compartmentalize--distracting herself by hooking up with lesbian couples, doting on her grandmother, and flirting with a young administrative assistant--Helen finally meets her match with Catherine and Katrina, a married couple who startle and intrigue her with their ever-increasing sexual and emotional intensity. Perceptive and attentive, Catherine and Katrina prod at Helen's life, revealing a childhood tragedy she's been repressing. When her father begs her yet again for help getting parole, she realizes that she has a bargaining chip to get answers to her past.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell

Shesheshen has made a mistake fatal to all monsters: she's fallen in love. Shesheshen is a shapeshifter, who happily resides as an amorphous lump at the bottom of a ruined manor. When her rest is interrupted by hunters intent on murdering her, she constructs a body from the remains of past meals: a metal chain for a backbone, borrowed bones for limbs, and a bear trap as an extra mouth. However, the hunters chase Shesheshen out of her home and off a cliff. Badly hurt, she's found and nursed back to health by Homily, a warm-hearted human, who has mistaken Shesheshen as a fellow human. Homily is kind and nurturing and would make an excellent co-parent: an ideal place to lay Shesheshen's eggs so their young could devour Homily from the inside out. But as they grow close, she realizes humans don't think about love that way. Shesheshen hates keeping her identity secret from Homily, but just as she's about to confess, Homily reveals why she's in the area: she's hunting a shapeshifting monster that supposedly cursed her family. Has Shesheshen seen it anywhere? Eating her girlfriend isn't an option. Shesheshen didn't curse anyone, but to give herself and Homily a chance at happiness, she has to figure out why Homily's twisted family thinks she did. As the hunt for the monster becomes increasingly deadly, Shesheshen must unearth the truth quickly, or soon both of their lives will be at risk. And the bigger challenge remains: surviving her toxic in-laws long enough to learn to build a life with, rather than in, the love of her life.

Canto Contigo by Jonny Garza Villa

In a twenty-four-hour span, Rafael Alvarez led North Amistad High School's Mariachi Alma de la Frontera to their eleventh consecutive first-place win in the Mariachi Extravaganza de Nacional; and met, made out with, and almost hooked up with one of the cutest guys he's ever met. Now eight months later, Rafie's ready for one final win. What he didn't plan for is his family moving to San Antonio before his senior year, forcing him to leave behind his group while dealing with the loss of the most important person in his life--his beloved abuelo. Another hitch in his plan: The Selena Quintanilla-Perez Academy's Mariachi Todos Colores already has a lead vocalist, Rey Chavez--the boy Rafie made out with--who now stands between him winning and being the great Mariachi Rafie's abuelo always believed him to be. Despite their newfound rivalry for center stage, Rafie can't squash his feelings for Rey. Now he must decide between the people he's known his entire life or the one just starting to get to know the real him.

Every Time You Hear That Song by Jenna Voris

Seventeen-year-old aspiring journalist Darren Purchase has been a lifelong fan of country music legend Decklee Cassel, who's as famous for her classic hits as she is for her partnership with songwriter Mickenlee Hooper. The same Mickenlee who mysteriously backed out of the limelight at the height of their careers, never to be heard from again. Now Decklee's televised funeral marks the unveiling of her long-awaited time capsule. But when it's revealed to be empty, a trail of scavenger-hunt clues unfolds, leading to a whopping cash prize for whoever finds the real capsule. Darren knows there's a story there--and she's going to be the one to break it. Even if it means a spontaneous road trip with her coworker Kendall. Flashback to 1963, when a young runaway Decklee has her sights set on fame and glory. As she claws her way to the top over the years that follow, it's Mickenlee's lyrics that help rocket her to stardom. But as their relationship evolves beyond the professional, it threatens everything Decklee has worked for. What else will she sacrifice to hold on to her dreams?

The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge by Matthew Hubbard

Ezra Hayes has always felt like a background character compared to BFFs Lucas and Finley. He would do anything to be seen as a romantic lead, even if it means keeping his boyfriend, Presley, a secret. But when he discovers that Presley is a lying cheater, and his best friends are having boy problems of their own, they want revenge. Their plans to get even involve sabotaging the largest party of the year, entering a drag competition, and even having Ezra run against his ex for Winter Formal King. Then the school district starts to actively censor queer voices with their Watch What You Say initiative. Taking to TikTok to vent frustrations, Ezra begins "The Last Boyfriends Student Rebellion." Between ex-boyfriend drama and navigating viral TikTok fame, Ezra realizes this rebellion is about something more important than revenge. It's a battle cry to fight back against outdated opinions and redefine what it means to be queer in small town Alabama.

Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael (Author) and Leri Price (Translator)

Furat, a Syrian in his early 20s, visits Sibki Park in Damascus, one of the city's most popular cruising areas. There he learns about the hammams, secret meeting places for gay men located throughout the old city. Inside these public baths, the air is thick with the scent of bay laurel soap, and naked men hide in the steam. Furat faces sometimes violent disapproval from all levels of society-regime, religion, the man in the street--and yet he manages to find the love he's been seeking just before his world collapses and he's forced to flee. Selamlik is the story of Furat's journey, along with that of other refugees. It's a journey in which they face physical and economic hardship, draconian migration laws, and the unwelcome grief, shame, and hatred they've carried with them from their ever more distant
pasts. Despite everything, Furat remains steadfast in his pursuit of passion, pleasure, and love.

Hearts Still Beating by Brooke Archer

Seventeen-year-old Mara is dead--mostly. Infected with a virus that brought the dead back to life and the world to its knees, she wakes up in a facility to learn a treatment for the disease has been found. No longer a Tick, Mara is placed in an experimental resettlement program. But her recovery is complicated by her destination: she's sent to live with the best friend she hasn't seen since the world ended--and since their first and only kiss. Seventeen-year-old Rory is alive--barely. With impaired mobility from an injury and a dead sister, Rory's nightmares are just as monstrous as the Ticks that turned her former best friend. Even after the Island--one of a handful of surviving communities--rebuilds itself, Rory is prepared for the Ticks to return at any time. She never expected them to come in the form of the only girl she's ever loved. As the girls struggle with their pasts and the people they've become, and with the Island's fragile peace in the balance, Rory and Mara must lean on each other to survive--or risk losing the girl they love all over again.

A Sweet Sting of Salt by Rose Sutherland

When a sharp cry wakes Jean in the middle of the night during a terrible tempest, she's convinced it must have been a dream. But when the cry comes again, Jean ventures outside and is shocked by what she discovers--a young woman in labor, drenched to the bone in the bitter cold and able to speak barely a word of English. Although Jean is the only midwife for miles around, she's at a loss for who this woman is or where she's from; Jean can only assume that she must be the new wife of the neighbor up the road, Tobias. And when Tobias does indeed arrive at her cabin in search of his wife, Muirin, Jean's questions continue to multiply. Why has he kept his wife's pregnancy a secret? And why does Muirin's open demeanor change completely the moment she's in his presence? Though Jean learned long ago that she should stay out of other people's business, her growing concern--and growing feelings--for Muirin mean that she can't simply set her worries aside. But when the answers she finds are more harrowing than she ever could have imagined, she fears she may have endangered herself, Muirin, and the baby. Will she be able to put things right and save the woman she loves before it's too late, or will someone have to pay for Jean's actions with their life?

Call Forth a Fox by Markelle Grabo

The western wood is where Ro's father built their garden, taught her to forage, and told her tales of the faeries who live there--how to summon them, how to protect herself, and warnings of what they are capable of. Now, her father is gone, the garden has withered, and their family is struggling. Her mother and sister want to move into town, but Ro doesn't want to give up the memories of her father and his stories--or the charming village girl who shares Ro's love of the trees. The forest isn't ready to let Ro go either. One winter night, on her way home from foraging, Ro encounters a bear attacking a fox. She fights the bear to save the fox's life, only to see the bear turn into a boy after her sister shoots him with an arrow. When the boy wakes, he has no memory of who he is--all he knows is Ro's name and that he has to kill the fox. Ro never believed in the faeries from her father's stories, but she can't deny the magic surrounding her and that both the boy and the fox are victims of a faerie curse. She'll have to remember everything her father taught her in order to extract herself from this deadly game and keep her precious fox out of harm's way.

Out of Blue Comes Green by M. E. Corey

After a killer school talent show performance in full masculine presentation, trans boy Kinkade is quickly knocked back down to earth when his crush rejects him, and the whole school sees him in the dress his mother forced him to wear for a family photo. So, when the new girl Madi assumes he is cis and asks him out, he accepts without correcting her. After years of being ignored by his old crush and bullied by other boys, Kinkade just wants to convince Madi that he's a regular guy's guy. To impress her and finally win the approval of his peers, Kinkade agrees to his best friend Libby's suggestion that they enter a competition to become the band for prom despite his misgivings. In between band practice, weightlifting, and dates, Kinkade accidentally becomes an animal shelter volunteer under an assumed name--and it's there among the unconditional acceptance of dogs that he finally receives the affirmation he's been longing for. But it's going to be harder than he thought to play the show, get the girl, and become the man he's meant to be.

All Things Seen and Unseen by Rj McDaniel

All Things Seen and Unseen follows Alex Nguyen, an isolated, chronically ill university student in her early 20s. After a suicide attempt and subsequent lengthy hospitalization, she finds herself without a job, kicked out of campus housing, unable to afford school, and still struggling in the aftermath of a relationship's dissolution. Hope comes in the form of a rich high school friend who offers Alex a job housesitting at her family's empty summer mansion on a gulf island. Surrounded by dense forest and ocean, in the increasingly oppressive heat of a 2010s summer, Alex must try to survive as an outsider in a remote, insular community; to navigate the awkward, unexpected beginnings of a possible new romance; and to live through the trauma she has repressed to survive, even as the memories -- and a series of increasingly unnerving events -- threaten to pull her back under the surface.

The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

After a lifetime of abuse at the hands of superstitious townsfolk, Ophelia Young, a bastard child of the notorious pirate queen, is tired of paying for the sins of her mother. Despite playing by the rules her whole life, she's earned nothing but spite and suspicion. So when a naval officer saves her from the jeering crowd at her mother's hanging, Ophelia hatches a new hope of enlisting in the navy to escape her mother's legacy and redeem her own reputation for good. But Ophelia soon discovers that a life at sea isn't as honorable as she hoped. Betsy Young is as different as she could be from her half-sister Ophelia. She's a nervous homebody who wants to keep her family safe and longs to be in love. So naturally, she's devastated when the son of their family's business partner rejects her hand in marriage and her sister joins the navy. But when her father contracts a life-threatening illness as well, Betsy has to bring Ophelia home to save the family business. Unfortunately for the Young sisters, Betsy trying to get Ophelia recalled reveals that Ophelia enlisted fraudulently under Betsy's name, a secret which Ophelia struggles to keep from crewmates who would kill her if they knew she was the pirate queen's daughter. To save Ophelia from the naval authorities, Betsy will have to board a ship during hurricane season and brave all the dangers of the sea to get them both home safe.

To a Darker Shore by Leanne Schwartz

Plain, poor, plus-size, and autistic, Alesta grew up trying to convince her beauty-obsessed kingdom that she's too useful to be sacrificed. Their god blessed their island Soladisa as a haven for his followers, but to keep the devil at bay, the church sends a child sacrifice to hell's entrance every season--often poor or plain girls just like Alesta. With a head full of ideas for inventions, Alesta knows her best shot at making it to adulthood is to design something impressive for the festival exhibition so she might win a spot in the university--acceptance could guarantee her safety. But Alesta's flying machine demonstration goes awry, a failure that will surely mean death. What happens is worse: Her best friend and heir to the throne, Kyrian, takes the blame expecting leniency but ends up sacrificed in her place. To stop the sacrifices forever, Alesta plans to kill the monster that killed her friend. Prepared to save her kingdom or die trying, she travels to the depths of hell only to find Kyrian--alive, but monstrously transformed. There is no escaping hell or their growing feelings for one another, and the deeper they descend into hell, the closer they come to uncovering a truth about the sacrifices that threatens to invoke the wrath of not only monsters but the gods as well.


The Ana: Issue #15

  • What: "The Ana is a quarterly arts magazine. We are a collection and celebration of humanity. Founded and run by QBIPOC. All are welcome. Hate speech not tolerated. (We mean it.)"
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: April 1st, 2024

Creative Capital Awards 2025 Open Call

  • What: "For our 25th Anniversary in 2025, Creative Capital welcomes innovative and original new project proposals in visual arts, performing arts, film/moving image, technology, literature, multidisciplinary, and socially engaged forms."
  • Fee: N/A
  • Pay: $50,000
  • Deadline: April 4th, 2024

new words { press } Young Poets Issue (Ages 14-19)

  • What: "nw{p} is a trans and gender-expansive poetry and hybrid journal, but that doesn’t mean work must be related to those topics. Our Spring goal is to create a sibling journal of only young poets. As such, we'll continue to keep submissions open until we receive enough submissions. So, get your submission in early. Send us your most polished work for consideration. Besides more traditional forms of poetry (which we welcome), nw{p} is a place for experimentation and hybrid process. Ultimately we want nw{p} to reside in the spectrum of life."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $15 per poem
  • Deadline: April 5th, 2024

Meet Me There, Another Time: Letters To Places Queer and Trans People Left Behind

  • What: "Queer and trans people are invited to share a letter to a place you had to leave behind to preserve your own safety or parts of yourself. Nobody's pieces will be turned away....Meet Me There, Another Time responds to the rise of fascist thinking and forced alienation of our community members while centering on our voices and healing process as we seek to belong where we can. Queer and trans people always have a way of making our world bigger while others try to make our world smaller. These reconnections with the places we’ve left offer a reminder that we are always here and, in a way, always there."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $0
  • Deadline: April 15th, 2024

WNDB Internship Grant Program

  • What: "The Internship Grant Program's purpose is to award supplemental grants to applicants from diverse backgrounds to help further their goals of pursuing a career in children’s and adult publishing. In 2024, we will award sixteen grants of $3,000, expanding WNDB's efforts to diversify the publishing industry—there will be grants focused on both children's publishing and adult publishing. Internship positions must take place over the summer between June 1st and August 31st."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $3,000
  • Deadline: April 30th, 2024

Foglifter Journal: Issue 9, Volume 2

  • What: "Foglifter welcomes daring and thoughtful work by queer and trans writers in all forms, and we are especially interested in cross-genre, intersectional, marginal, and transgressive work. We want the pieces that challenged you as a writer, what you poured yourself into and risked the most to make. But we also want your tenderest, gentlest work, what you hold closest to your heart. Whatever you're working on now that's keeping you alive and writing, Foglifter wants to read it."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $50
  • Deadline: May 1st, 2024

Bi Women Quarterly Summer 2024: More Than One Letter

  • What: "'B' isn’t the only identity in our yummy alphabet soup. To those of you who identify as bi+ and also as asexual, trans, intersex, or anything else under the rainbow: tell us what it’s like to be you! We want to hear about how your identities intersect, what challenges you’ve faced, or what opportunities you’ve been given. And most importantly, we want to know what it would take to be able to bring your whole self comfortably and proudly into these bi+ spaces."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $0
  • Deadline: May 1st, 2024

Joy! A Celebration of Queer Happiness: A National Juried Exhibition

  • What: "We don’t want to candy coat anything, or be toxically positive, but it seems like everything that everyone is working toward with Pride is about the basic right to be safe and happy. But while that’s simple in concept, it’s not so simple to achieve with all the hate that still poisons the well. That’s what makes Pride so moving for us. It’s an expression of effervescent joy; the kind of joy that only comes from emerging or being released from oppression. Joy in the face of oppression is defiant. It is protest. And we feel like that’s the core of contemporary Pride. We invite you to show us your art that celebrates that defiant JOY, be it in the smallest moments of domesticity or the larger expressions of breaking free. All mediums are welcome."
  • Fee: $25
  • Pay: $400 (1st Place); $200 (2nd Place); $100 (3rd Place)
  • Deadline: May 20th, 2024

GrubStreet Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers

  • What: "GrubStreet’s Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers provides financial and professional development support to two self-identified Black writers interested in teaching classes, participating in events, and working with our instructors and staff to deepen our curriculum. The fellowship includes compensation of $25,000, artistic mentorship, a showcase of the Fellows’ work, and access to the GrubStreet community and the Muse and the Marketplace conference. In time, the program aims to offer sustainable support to Black Writers and create a cohort of fellows who have direct access to GrubStreet resources, classes, and events. We also hope the fellows can influence GrubStreet’s pedagogy and cultural vision based on their experience and feedback."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $25,000
  • Deadline: May 30th, 2024

Wayfarer Books: Radical Authenticity Prize for Trans & Non-binary Writers

  • What: "At Wayfarer Books, we believe poetry is the language of the earth. We believe words, shaped like rivers through wild places, can change the shape of the world. We publish poets and writers and renegades who stand outside of mainstream culture—poets, essayists, and storytellers whose work might withstand the scrutiny of crows and coyotes, those who are cryptic and floral, the crepuscular, and the queer-at-heart. We are more than just a publisher but a community of writers. Our mission is to produce books that can serve as a compass and map to all wayfarers through wild terrain. This prize is open to works of poetry, creative nonfiction, memoirs, and essay collections. (No fiction, please.)"
  • Fee: $15
  • Pay: Hybrid publisher; please see website
  • Deadline: June 30th, 2024

Let's Say Gay!: A Queer Youth Literary Journal

  • What: "Let’s Say Gay is open to queer artists between the ages of 13 and 18, and is currently accepting short fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. We only accept one entry per category, but welcome submissions in multiple genres (you may submit one entry for both poetry and visual arts). Selections are broken into two age-based categories: 13-15 and 16-18. Proof of age will be required for applicants whose work is chosen. Your piece will be published with your age and your first name, or the penname you choose. Your submission can be printed with full anonymity. Safety is paramount."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: July 1st, 2024

Bella Books Call for Submissions

  • What: "At Bella Books, we believe stories about women-loving-women are essential to our lives—and so do our readers. We are interested in acquiring manuscripts that tell captivating and unique stories across all genres—including romance, mystery, thriller, paranormal, etc. We want our books to reflect and celebrate the diversity of our lesbian, sapphic, queer, bisexual, and gender non-conforming community—in all our glorious shapes, sizes and colors. Our desire to publish diverse voices is perennial. We don’t want to tell your stories for you—we want to amplify your voices....We publish romance, mystery, action/thriller, science-fiction, fantasy, erotica and general fiction. At this time, we are particularly interested in acquiring romance manuscripts."
  • Fee: N/A
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: rolling

Rebel Satori Press: LGBTQIA+ Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Manuscripts

  • What: "Rebel Satori Press is pleased to announce the start of our new imprint for LGBTQ+ speculative fiction, Queer Space. The new imprint is now open to submissions of queer positive science fiction right on the bleeding edge of what is possible. We’re looking for all subgenres of speculative fiction involving LGBTQ+ characters written by LGBTQ+ authors, including but not limited to: sci-fi, interstitial, slipstream, horror, and supernatural fictional manuscripts."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: rolling

Homebound Publications: LGBTQIA+ Writers (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction)

  • What: "Homebound Publications is a Trans/Queer Owned publishing house based in the Berkshire Mountains. Across all our imprints, we are deeply invested in reading and publishing diverse voices spanning across different religions, ethnicities, and marginalized communities. We strongly welcome submissions from of writers within the BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities, writers living with a disability, writers living with refugee status. . . to name a few. Writers from all backgrounds and communities should consider our press a safe space."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: Hybrid publisher; please see website
  • Deadline: rolling

Prismatica: Spring 2024

  • What: "Prismatica Magazine is a quarterly LGBTQ fantasy & science fiction magazine. Prismatica features short fiction and poetry from emerging and established LGBTQ authors. In the magazine’s stories and poems, readers can find fantasy and science-fiction of all sub-genres and cross-genres. We happily include magical realism, contemporary science-fiction, urban fantasy, and more."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $0
  • Deadline: rolling

The Afterpast Review

  • What: "The Afterpast Review is a feminist literary magazine dedicated to uplifting underrepresented voices. We accept poetry, prose, and dramatic writing from all writers. ​Submissions do not have to fit into a specific category nor do they have to be about feminism. All accepted submissions will be published in the magazine."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $0
  • Deadline: rolling

Baest Journal

  • What: Baest Journal, "a journal of queer forms and affects," seeks to publish work by queer writers and artists.
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $0
  • Deadline: rolling


Where is the Diversity in Publishing? The 2023 Diversity Baseline Survey Results

by Lee & Low Books

91.9% of publishing staff identify as cis men or women, meaning they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. The small number of genderfluid, nonbinary, genderqueer people in publishing points to the need for publishers to take extra care with stories about this community, especially if they are written from outside the lived reality of these identities. Accuracy is of the utmost importance when considering how gender identity and sexual orientation have become lightning rods for politicized bias.

… As LGBTQ+ civil rights have become more at risk from targeted attacks, the inclusion of this segment of the workforce is more critical than ever. According to the Human Rights Campaign, employees are almost five times more likely to want to work at a company if it publicly supports and demonstrates a commitment to expanding and protecting LGBTQ+ rights.

… Efforts to increase diversity in the publishing workforce will always involve serious work and commitment. The net gain of a more inclusive workforce benefits us all. It lessens the tendency for staff to gravitate toward siloed interactions and increases the likelihood that we will get to know people outside our comfort zone. For the book industry, more diverse representation behind the scenes leads to better books. While the word authenticity has been thrown around over the last few years, the underlying goal should always be to publish books that are genuine and true, and that represent the lived experiences of a wide range of people.

If the publishing industry is sincere about achieving an inclusive workforce, then the people tasked with implementing DEI initiatives should be from a mix of intersecting identities and backgrounds, including those from the majority demographics.

Tools for Thinking About Censorship

by Ada Palmer

  • The majority of censorship is self-censorship or middleman-censorship, but the majority of that is deliberately cultivated by an outside power.
  • For this reason, we cannot consider state and non-state censorship separate things. State censorship systems work dominantly via shaping and causing private censorship.
  • No real censoring body has ever had the resources of Orwell’s fictitious Ministries—not even the Inquisition or the great totalitarian powers of modernity like the USSR, but they want us to think they do. Real censorship regimes tend to see themselves as constantly underfunded and understaffed, racing to grapple overwhelming crises, while attempting to seem all-reaching and all-knowing as a part of their own propaganda. We must analyze their actions remembering that the need to conserve resources and seem stronger than they are shapes everything they do.
  • Censorship aims to be visible, talked about, seen, feared. This increases its power.
  • Censors’ projection of fear and power is a form of deliberate psychological manipulation which can outsource censorship far beyond the censor’s sphere of control, even to citizens of other nations. We can only combat it if we work hard to cut through the Orwellian illusion and remember the realities of how censorship works.

Milo Todd's logo of a simple, geometric fox head. It has a black nose, white cheeks, and a reddish-orange face and ears.
Until next time, foxies! Be queer, write books!