The Queer Writer: June 2024

Happy Pride Month! If you're reading this early enough, here is a reminder that the next Transcestors session is starting in a few hours. Come learn all about where Pride Month began with a talk on the Stonewall Rebellion! (Please note that I'll stop checking the signup form by 20 minutes before the session starts so I have time to set up.)

Have you heard? There's a Montessori high school that nurtures its queer students and the kids appear to be thriving; queer, cishet, or otherwise. It's nice to know that something like this is not only quite possible, but already exists. To quote the article, "RHMS is transforming the model around what a school can and should be." Here's hoping this becomes the standard for schooling.

June is peak queer publication time and we've got so many wonderful books coming up this month, including a queer pirate fantasy, a conversion camp from hell, lucha burlesque shows, a rambunctious group of elders, a collection of essays for dumpster-fire millennials, a horror twist on the "bury your gays" trope, a young immigrant's complex relationships with his mother and his motherland, a bisexual nun fighting against colonization, a teenager with IBS trying to solve the murder of her math teacher, ex-best friends trying to save their Islamic Center from demolition, a romance between a queer female race car driver and a "Motorcycle Girl," 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.

Genre-Queer: Narrative Structures for the Other

  • 6 Mondays starting June 17th, 2024 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm ET (6:00pm to 8:00pm CT)
  • Virtual via Zoom
  • $222, funds available for individuals on public assistance
  • 17 students maximum

Throughout our history of marginalization and oppression, queer voices have created our own ways of speaking and expressing ourselves. But with us so Othered in queer tongues, how do we tell our stories to the mainstream authentically? In this queer-focused course, we’ll look at several literary tactics for expressing ourselves—such as Fracturing, Modulating, Fabulism, and Spiraling—as well as finding our voices as queer people and tackling such conundrums as slang and cultural references. We’ll look at examples of such writers as Carmen Maria Machado, Jordy Rosenberg, Akwaeke Emezi, and more to help us assert our stories in ways that demand us to be heard without compromising our queerness. This course includes weekly opportunities to have short stories of given experimental narratives verbally workshopped.

*Cisgender/heterosexual people are welcome to attend this course if they're eager to learn about storytelling methods beyond the traditional narrative arc.

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.

Writing Messy Queer Characters

  • Saturday, July 27th, 2024 from 10:30am to 1:30pm ET
  • Virtual via Zoom
  • $85, scholarships available
  • 12 students maximum

Disney villains, disaster lesbians, and hot trans messes, oh my! In this 3-hour class, we’ll look at “good” messy queers, “bad” messy queers, stereotypes, redemption, interiority, and mainstream media representations. Along with a lecture segment, we’ll also take time to discuss some common anxieties when writing a complex queer character, brainstorm craft elements for your story, and engage in a writing exercise.

*While this class is designed with queer writers in mind, cisgender/heterosexual writers are welcome to attend and learn. However, please know we won’t be discussing introductory levels of queer representation or community, nor the do’s and don’ts of writing outside of one’s lane.

Queery-ing: Navigating Agents and Publishers While Queer

  • Saturday, August 24th, 2024 from 10:30am to 1:30pm ET
  • Virtual via Zoom
  • $85, scholarships available
  • 12 students maximum

What does a “very nice deal” mean in a publishing contract announcement? What’s a pre-empt? How does the trajectory from query to book deal normally work? Navigating the publishing industry is confusing at the best of times, but when you’re also a marginalized writer, it can feel overwhelming. In this 3-hour crash course, we’ll spend the first half in lecture and information—including query letters, industry language, standard agent contract rates, the differences of publishing houses, and more—and the second half in a mix of Q&A and beginning to build our query letters, all while centering queer writers and the particular challenges they may face.

*This class is intended only for LGBTQ+ writers.

Anticipated Books

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

Wish You Weren't Here by Erin Baldwin

All's fair in love and Color War. Juliette doesn't hate Priya Pendley. At least, not in the way teen movies say she should hate the hot popular girl. They don't do cat fights, love triangles, or betrayal. To survive their intertwined small town lives, they've agreed to a truce. They complete group projects without fighting, never gossip to mutual friends, and stand on opposite sides of photos so it's easy to crop each other out. Priya seems to have everything during the school year--social media stardom, the handsome track captain boyfriend, and millions of adoring fans--and Juliette is at peace with that. Because Juliette has the summer, and the one place she never feels like "too much" Fogridge Sleepaway Camp. But her hopes for a few Priya-free weeks are shattered when her rival shows up at Fogridge on move-in her cabinmate, no less. Juliette is determined to enjoy her final summer, even if it means (gag) tolerating her childhood rival, but everything that can go wrong, does. If Juliette can't find something to like about her situation--and about Priya--she risks hating the only home she's ever had, right before she says goodbye to it forever.

Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous by Mae Marvel

Katie Price is known in every living room in America. A small-town Wisconsin girl who became an A-list star, she rarely makes it home, but this year is different... Little does she know it will lead her straight into the piercing blue-eyed gaze of Wil Greene. A lot has happened in the decade since those cold Wisconsin nights when Wil and Katie drove around in Wil's Bronco senior year. Since then, Wil's law career hasn't taken off. Her father passed away. And what started as a personal challenge--kissing a new person twice a week, every week--has made her a growing sensation, but her life is still stuck in phase one. Through the years, the two have never left each other's thoughts and desires, but now suddenly, they are back in each other's lives. Their reconnection is instantaneous, and the passion is palpable...but can it stand the test of time?

Running Close to the Wind by Alexandra Rowland

Avra Helvaçi, former field agent of the Araşti Ministry of Intelligence, has accidentally stolen the single most expensive secret in the world--and the only place to flee with a secret that big is the open sea. To find a buyer with deep enough pockets, Avra must ask for help from his on-again, off-again ex, the pirate Captain Teveri az-Ḥaffār. They are far from happy to see him, but together, they hatch a plan: take the information to the isolated pirate republic of the Isles of Lost Souls, fence it, profit. The only things in their way? A calculating new Araşti ambassador to the Isles of Lost Souls who's got his eyes on Avra's every move; Brother Julian, a beautiful, mysterious new member of the crew with secrets of his own and a frankly inconvenient vow of celibacy; the fact that they're sailing straight into sea serpent breeding season and almost certain doom. But if they can find a way to survive and sell the secret on the black market, they'll all be as wealthy as kings--and, more important, they'll be legends.

Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin

Something evil is buried deep in the desert. It wants your body. It wears your skin. In the summer of 1995, seven queer kids abandoned by their parents at a remote conversion camp came face to face with it. They survived--but at Camp Resolution, everybody leaves a different person. Sixteen years later, only the scarred and broken survivors of that terrible summer can put an end to the horror before it's too late. The fate of the world depends on it.

The Sons of El Rey by Alex Espinoza

Ernesto Vega has lived many lives, from pig farmer to construction worker to famed luchador El Rey Coyote, yet he has always worn a mask. He was discovered by a local lucha libre trainer at a time when luchadores--Mexican wrestlers donning flamboyant masks and capes--were treated as daredevils or rock stars. Ernesto found fame, rapidly gaining name rec-ognition across Mexico, but at great expense, nearly costing him his marriage to his wife Elena. Years later, in East Los Angeles, his son, Freddy Vega, is struggling to save his father's gym while Freddy's own son, Julian, is searching for professional and romantic fulfillment as a Mexican American gay man refusing to be defined by stereotypes. With alternating perspectives, Ernesto and Elena take you from the ranches of Michoacán to the makeshift colonias of Mexico City. Freddy describes life in the suburban streets of 1980s Los Angeles and the community their family built, as Julian descends deep into our present-day culture of hook-up apps, lucha burlesque shows, and the dark underbelly of West Hollywood.

Lockjaw by Matteo L. Cerilli

Chuck Warren died tragically at the old abandoned mill, but Paz Espino knows it was no accident -- there's a monster under the town, and she's determined to kill it before anyone else gets hurt. She'll need the help of her crew -- inseparable friends, bound by a childhood pact stronger than diamonds, distance or death -- to hunt it down. But she's up against a greater force of evil than she ever could have imagined.

London on My Mind by Clara Alves (author) and Nina Perrotta (translator)

Sixteen-year-old Dayana has always dreamed of visiting London -- to walk along the Thames, take pictures outside Buckingham Palace, and maybe even get a glimpse of Arthur, Prince of Wales, whose marriage has been all over tabloids. But the trip of her dreams turns into a royal nightmare when her mother passes away. Now, Day must leave Rio de Janeiro to live with her estranged father and his new family in London. As it turns out, the U.K. isn't exactly Day's cup of tea. She struggles to forgive her father for walking out on her and her mom all those years ago; fights with her stepsister constantly; detests her stepmother; and she can't even see One Direction in concert because they've been broken up for ages. All she wants to do is trade the rainy skies of London for the sun and beaches of Rio. That's when she runs into the girl of her dreams -- literally: The coincidentally named Diana, a witty, funny, redhead who was in the middle of...escaping Buckingham Palace? Something isn't right here, but it makes Diana all the more alluring. As time passes, and the two girls grow closer, Day can't help but wonder if there is more than a little truth to the rumors surrounding Prince Arthur -- and if Diana might be involved somehow. Is it all in her head, or could Day be caught up in a real-life royal scandal?

Four Squares by Bobby Finger

In 1992, on his thirtieth birthday, Artie Anderson meets the man who will change his life. Artie spends his days at a tedious advertising job, finding relief in the corner of New York City he can call his own, even as the queer community is still being ravaged by HIV. But when his birthday celebration brings Artie and his friends to his favorite bar, a chance encounter with Abe, an uptight lawyer and Artie's opposite in almost every way, pushes Artie to want, and to ask for, more for himself. Thirty years later, Artie is stunned when Halle and Vanessa, Abe's daughter and ex-wife, announce they are moving across the country. Artie has built a lovely, if small, life, but their departure makes Artie realize that he might be lonelier than he previously thought. When a surprising injury pushes Artie into the hands of GALS, the local center for queer seniors, a rambunctious group of elders insist on taking him under their wing.

A Product of Genetics (and Day Drinking): A Never-Coming-Of-Age Story by Jess H. Gutierrez

This is a perfect book for a very imperfect generation. Millennials were the kids who wore slap bracelets and jeans so low rise they could see one another's colons, and they are now adults wondering, Is everyone else as messed up as I am? In her book, Jess shares relatable tales of a woman who feels like a dumpster fire even with a seemingly ideal set up with a fire-captain wife, three kids, and a mortgage. Highlights include roller-derby catastrophes, a disastrous first night on the job at a lesbian bar, narrow escapes from wild animals, and fond memories of sending printed thirst-trap photos via mail to the lover in Australia she met on the early Internet. Readers will soon cheerfully discover that Jess's voice is infectious, her stories are off-the-wall, and her references are deeply and delightfully millennial.

Take All of Us by Natalie Leif

Five years ago, a parasite poisoned the water of Ian's West Virginia hometown, turning dozens of locals into dark-eyed, oil-dripping shells of their former selves. With chronic migraines and seizures limiting his physical abilities, Ian relies on his best friend and secret love Eric to mercy-kill any infected people they come across. Until a new health report about the contamination triggers a mandatory government evacuation, and Ian cracks his head in the rush. Used to hospitals and health scares, Ian always thought he'd die young...but he wasn't planning on coming back. Much less face the slow, painful realization that Eric left him behind to die. Desperate to find Eric and the truth before the parasite takes over him, Ian along with two others left behind--his old childhood rival Monica and the jaded prepper Angel--journey to track down Eric. What they don't know is that Eric is also looking for Ian, and he's determined to mercy-kill him.

Hombrecito by Santiago Jose Sanchez

In this groundbreaking novel, Santiago Jose Sanchez plunges us into the heart of one boy's life. His mother takes him and his brother from Colombia to America, leaving their absent father behind but essentially disappearing herself once they get to Miami. In America, his mother works as a waitress when she was once a doctor. The boy embraces his queer identity as wholeheartedly as he embraces his new home, but not without a sense of loss. As he grows, his relationship with his mother becomes fraught, tangled, a love so intense that it borders on vivid pain but is also the axis around which his every decision revolves. She may have once forgotten him, disappeared, but she is always on his mind. He moves to New York, ducking in and out of bed with different men as he seeks out something, someone, to make him whole again. When his mother invites him to visit family in Colombia with her, he returns to the country as a young man, trying to find peace with his father, with his homeland, with who he's become since he left, and with who his mother is: finally we come to know her and her secrets, her complex ambivalence and fierce love.

Saints of Storm and Sorrow by Gabriella Buba

María Lunurin has been living a double life for as long as she can remember. To the world, she is Sister María, dutiful nun and devoted servant of Aynila's Codicían colonizers. But behind closed doors, she is a stormcaller, chosen daughter of the Aynilan goddess Anitun Tabu. In hiding not only from the Codicíans and their witch hunts, but also from the vengeful eye of her slighted goddess, Lunurin does what she can to protect her fellow Aynilans and the small family she has created in the convent: her lover Catalina, and Cat's younger sister Inez. Lunurin is determined to keep her head down--until one day she makes a devastating discovery, which threatens to tear her family apart. In desperation, she turns for help to Alon Dakila, heir to Aynila's most powerful family, who has been ardently in love with her for years. But this choice sets in motion a chain of events beyond her control, awakening Anitun Tabu's rage and putting everyone Lunurin loves in terrible danger. Torn between the call of Alon's magic and Catalina's jealousy, her duty to her family and to her people, Lunurin can no longer keep Anitun Tabu's fury at bay. The goddess of storms demands vengeance. And she will sweep aside anyone who stands in her way.

The Stars Too Fondly by Emily Hamilton

So, here's the thing: Cleo and her friends really, truly didn't mean to steal this spaceship. They just wanted to know why, twenty years ago, the entire Providence crew vanished without a trace. But then the stupid dark matter engine started all on its own, and now these four twenty-somethings are en route to Proxima Centauri, unable to turn around, and being harangued by a snarky hologram that has the face and attitude of the ship's missing captain, Billie. Cleo has dreamt of being an astronaut all her life, and Earth is kind of a lost cause at this point, so this should be one of those blessings in disguise that people talk about. But as the ship gets deeper into space, the laws of physics start twisting, old mysteries come crawling back to life, and Cleo's initially combative relationship with Billie turns into something deeper and more desperate than either woman was prepared for.

Asking for a Friend by Ronnie Riley

Why go through the stress of making friends when you can just pretend? It works for Eden and their social anxiety...until their mom announces she's throwing them a birthday party and all their friends are invited. Eden's "friends," Duke, Ramona, and Tabitha, are all real kids from school...but Eden's never actually spoken to them before. Now Eden will do whatever it takes to convince them to be their friends -- at least until the party is over. When things start to go better than Eden expects, and the group starts to bond, Eden finds themselves trapped in a lie that gets worse the longer they keep it up. What happens if their now sort-of-real friends discover that Eden hasn't been honest with them from the very beginning?

Digging for Destiny by Jenna Jarvis

Kella Mabaki, dragon slayer extraordinaire, devoted sister, and celebrity hero of Jeenobi, has become a nobody by choice. Unable to continue hunting the dragons still tormenting her people and distanced from a brother she no longer understands, Kella is adrift in the city that was once her home. When she's captivated by a rumor that could mean the end to the dragon sickness plaguing her land, she becomes obsessed with learning the truth of it. Nobody or not, she's never been one for standing still. Dragonrider Litz is torn when Kella reappears in her life, devoted to a quest she appears to have invented. Despite her beloved cousin's disappearance and her growing doubts toward the empire she serves, Litz is experiencing an unexpected period of stability in her life. Kella's arrival and the brewing war between their nations forces Litz to make a choice. Her country, career, and family, or the chance of making a better world with the woman she hasn't been able to forget?

One Killer Problem by Justine Pucella Winans

When Gianna "Gigi" Ricci lands in detention again, she doesn't expect the glorified study hall to be her alibi. But when she and her friends receive a mysterious email directing them to her favorite teacher, Mr. Ford's, room, they find him lying in a pool of blood. But calling the math teacher's death an accident doesn't add up, and Gigi needs all the help she can get to find the truth. Luckily, she's friends with her high school's Mystery Club, and so with her best friend, Sean, and longtime crush, Mari, Gigi sets out to solve a murder. But it turns out that murderers are extremely unwilling to be caught, and the deeper Gigi gets in this mystery, the more dangerous things become. Between fending off a murderer, continual flare-ups of her IBS, and her archnemesis turning flirtatious, making it out of junior year is going to be one killer problem.

Four Eids and a Funeral by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and Adiba Jaigirdar

These days, Said Hossain spends most of his time away at boarding school. But when his favorite hometown librarian, Ms. Barnes, dies, he must return to New Crosshaven for her funeral and for the summer. Too bad being home makes it a lot harder to avoid facing his ex-best friend, Tiwa Olatunji, or facing the daunting task of telling his Bangladeshi parents that he would rather be an artist than a doctor. Tiwa doesn't understand what made Said start ignoring her, but it's probably that fancy boarding school of his. Though he's unexpectedly staying at home through the summer, she's determined to take a page from him and pretend he doesn't exist. Besides, she has more than enough going on anyway, between grieving her broken family and helping her mother throw the upcoming Eid celebration at the Islamic Center--a place that means so much to Tiwa. But when the Islamic Center accidentally catches fire, it turns out the mayor plans to demolish the center entirely. Things are still tense between the ex-friends, but Tiwa needs Said's help if there's any hope of changing the mayor's mind, and on top of everything, Said needs a project to submit to art school (unbeknownst to anyone). Will all their efforts be enough to save the Islamic Center, save Eid, and maybe even save their relationship?

Furious by Jamie Pacton and Rebecca Podos

Jojo Emerson-Boyd should be on the fast track to her own wildly successful racing career. Instead, she's spending the seemingly endless summer working at her grandmother's auto shop in the small town of Dell's Hollow. Everything changed when Jojo lost her mom, a celebrity NASCAR racer, in a tragic racing accident. Now, according to her dad, even getting her license is out of the question, so she might as well forget about racing. For the first time, her future seems foggy. But something comes into focus when Eliana "El" Blum turns up at the shop with an adorable scowl, a tough-girl vibe, and a mystery to solve. A Motorcyle Girl(TM) at heart, El grew up on the sidelines of the motocross circuit, watching Maxine, her idol of an older sister, compete. When she suddenly loses all contact with Max, El won't give up until she's found. She's determined to follow Max's trail of clues, the first of which leads straight to the auto shop and to Jojo. Jojo and El form a quick bond, and their relationship only deepens as they investigate Max's disappearance together. Falling for each other feels effortless--El the steady, measured pace to Jojo's fast lane. Impromptu road trips, heists, street races, and ever heightening stakes that feel ripped from a Fast & Furious movie test their resolve and the strength of their relationship. When the final laps of their search reveal surprising emotional truths, they'll have to trust each other and confront the grief woven into their complicated families if they hope to chase down their dreams.

The Future Was Color by Patrick Nathan

As a Hungarian immigrant working as a studio hack writing monster movies in 1950s Hollywood, George Curtis must navigate the McCarthy-era studio system filled with possible communists and spies, the life of closeted men along Sunset Boulevard, and the inability of the era to cleave love from persecution and guilt. But when Madeline, a famous actress, offers George a writing residency at her estate in Malibu to work on the political writing he cares most deeply about, his world is blown open. Soon Madeline is carrying George like an ornament into a class of postwar L.A. society ordinarily hidden from men like him. What this lifestyle hides behind, aside from the monsters on the screen, are the monsters dwelling closer to home: this bacchanalia covers a gnawing hole shelled wide by the horror of the war they thought they'd left behind and the glimpse of an atomic future. It's here that George understands he can never escape his past as György, the queer Jew who fled Budapest before the war and landed in New York, all alone, a decade prior.


Want a previously published book showcased? Let me know! The given work must: 1) be written by a self-identified member of the LGBTQ+ community, 2) be published within the last five years, 3) has not yet appeared on the ICYMI list, and 4) wasn't included in the Anticipated Books section within the last three months. All genres and independently-published works welcome.

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

Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives, edited by Tiff Joshua Tj Ferentini, Miguel M. Morales, and Bruce Owens Grimm

We're here. We're queer. We're fat. This one-of-a-kind collection of prose and poetry radically explores the intersection of fat and queer identities, showcasing new, emerging and established queer and trans writers from around the world. Celebrating fat and queer bodies and lives, this book challenges negative and damaging representations of queer and fat bodies and offers readers ways to reclaim their bodies, providing stories of support, inspiration and empowerment. In writing that is intimate, luminous and emotionally raw, this anthology is a testament to the diversity and power of fat queer voices and experiences, and they deserve to be heard.

Sugar Twink by Kai Parker

**For a limited time in June, get it for only $1.99!**

Not all twinks need sugar, but even a king needs a daddy. Gay romance with a heavy slathering of kink, genderfuckery, and all the queer. Skylar Scott has everything any twenty-something queer boi could want. Friends, money, alcohol, and sex on tap. Oh, and Tantalize, his queer nightclub baby he nurtured into the safe space for every flavor that it is today. But it can get boring at the top, or on the bottom, depending on how you look at it. Tom has nothing any thirty-something gay divorcee should have. No friends, no money, he can't even afford to drink himself stupid and forget how pathetic he is. And when was the last time he had sex with anyone other than himself? Might as well drink his paycheck! It doesn't take long for Skylar to notice a Tantalize virgin at the bar. He finds Tom intriguing, in that don't-speak-to-me-but-I'm-desperate-for-any-kind-of-connection kind of way. A challenge is exactly what Skylar needs, and Tom may just be the answer. Or, perhaps he is just the question neither of them saw coming. Gay romance, aged difference, daddy/little kink, brat, rich/poor. Contains explicit sex with HIGH-LEVEL CONSENT!

Some Strange Music Draws Me In by Griffin Hansbury

It's the summer of 1984 in Swaffham, Massachusetts, when Mel (short for Melanie) meets Sylvia, a tough-as-nails trans woman whose shameless swagger inspires Mel's dawning self-awareness. But Sylvia's presence sparks fury among her neighbors and throws Mel into conflict with her mother and best friend. Decades later, in 2019, Max (formerly Mel) is on probation from his teaching job for, ironically, defying speech codes around trans identity. Back in Swaffham, he must navigate life as part of a fractured family and face his own role in the disasters of the past. Populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Some Strange Music Draws Me In is a propulsive page turner about multiple electrifying relationships--between a working-class mother and her queer child, between a trans man and his right-wing sister, and between a teenager and her troubled best friend.


Plantin Issue 4: All My Love

  • What: "A call for BLACK IMMIGRANT WRITERS ONLY. If you are a 1st or 2nd generation Black Immigrant and you have a short story (1000-3000 words), flash fiction (250-500 words), or a creative memoir/hybrid piece (3000 words max) please share with us. Hablamos español. Non-english or bilingual entries welcome. At this time, we are especially looking for work relating to queer/trans/non-binary expressions of love and romance or navigating queer dating and partnership."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $25
  • Deadline: June 5th, 2024

WILDsound Writing Festival: Diversity Screenplay Festival

  • What: "To provide filmmakers & screenplay writers of diverse backgrounds and/or with diverse stories a place to showcase their voice to a large audience and help further their careers as an artist! Free of stereotypes and degradation. We will bring a true multicultural experience represented for the artist and for the audience who attends the festival. We support the following topics, filmmakers and communities: LGBT, Disability Culture, Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Religious Diversity, Family structures, as well as other social diversities including the aging population and youth in cinema. DIVERSITY FESTIVAL takes place every single month. At least 2-4 winning screenplays. Winners get their script performed by professional actors and then made into a promotional best scene video."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: "What this festival does is give the writer exposure. With our best scene video reading, plus the 2 interviews, this festival simply makes the screenwriter’s name and script searchable and out there to the world. Plus, submissions receive full feedback on their script no matter what."
  • Deadline: June 5th, 2024

Mizna: The Futurities Issue

  • What: "In approaching the subject of SWANA futurities, we face the very real question: In a moment when the present is so urgent, why bother discussing or imagining any future at all? Our short answer is: Because apathy is an intended effect of the forces who want to eradicate our Palestinian kin and exhaust our efforts of resistance and solidarity....We seek work that writes with the gravity of the fact that our present moment is the projected and sought future of the status quo. We seek work that takes seriously the need to intervene with agency and take action in the present if we ever wish to see a freer, alterable future....Submitters do not need to be SWANA- or Arab-identifying, but work submitted should be mindful of Mizna’s aesthetic and the social realities of our audiences, as well as be a contribution to ongoing conversations in and beyond our communities."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $200
  • Deadline: June 6th, 2024

The Disruptors Fellowship

  • What: "The Disruptors Fellowship is an annual program for emerging television writers of color who identify as trans, nonbinary, disabled or undocumented/formerly undocumented immigrants."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $10,000 stipend
  • Deadline: June 7th, 2024

new words { press }: Issue 4

  • 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. we publish work from emerging and established trans* poets all over the world. we want polished work that makes us stop mid-poem to catch our breath and linger. we want words that surprise us; words that make us catch fire. in addition to more traditional forms of poetry, nw{p} is a place for experimentation and hybrid process– work that mainstream journals won’t publish. ultimately we want nw{p} to reside in the spectrum of life."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $15
  • Deadline: June 10th, 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

OFIC Magazine: Issue 9

  • What: "Send us your dead doves, your blorbos, your plinkos, your wretched meow meows yearning to be free; that thing you wrote that made you think, “I don’t know where this belongs”; the stuff you’d never show anyone you know IRL. Give us your shameless, self-indulgent smut; the manuscript to the video essay you dictated to your YouTube subscribers in your head; your thoughtful explorations of trauma and identity; your Pepe Silvia wall; your sci-fi, your fantasy, your romance, your realism. We want anything and everything. As long as you identify as a fan, we want to read your work."
  • Fee: $3
  • Pay: "small honorarium in USD and a free copy of the issue"
  • Deadline: June 30th, 2024

Sinister Wisdom: Mad Dykes, Queer Worlds

  • What: "What is Madness, and how do we, as lesbian/queer creatives, wield it? Amid much feminist discourse around the figure of the 'madwoman,' mostly as an archetype to be avoided or, in some instances, appropriated, in reaction to rational distress under violently cisheteropatriarchal conditions, comparatively little discussion has focused on the lived experience of psychiatric survivorship, iatrogenic harm, and abuse under the sign of 'mental illness' or psychiatric disability. Behind and beyond the figure of the madwoman, or the specter of 'hysteria,' are the lived (sur)realities of Madpeople of all marginalized genders."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • 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

The Ex-Puritan: Essays - Summer 2024

  • What: "Please include a succinct description of no more than 250 words in the Cover Letter field, along with a full working draft of your essay as a Word doc. The essays should compel us with daring ideas and urgent, captivating writing. Submissions should not exceed 5000 words. We are especially interested in work by LGBTQ2S+ writers, BIPOC writers, and writing from other marginalized folks."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: dependent on category
  • Deadline: July 15th, 2024

Ode To Dionysus: The Field of Enna

  • What: "To us, Dionysus is a symbol of freedom, acceptance, and creativity. We wish to reflect these themes in our literary journal, and create a safe space where creative individuals can share their work and thrive! The title [of the current call] is inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘Demeter and Persephone’ (1889). We would like to see works that are influenced by the mother of nature, Demeter, and her experiences with love, loss, and heartache."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: July 31st, 2024

Bi Women Quarterly Fall 2024: Child Free

  • What: "In this very complex world we live in, there are so many reasons one might decide not to procreate. Would you like to share yours? Motherhood and womanhood are too often conflated, and choosing not to parent can carry stigma, no matter your gender. How has this decision affected the way you see your gender, your sexuality, yourself?"
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: August 1st, 2024

SCAB Magazine: Issue 15

  • What: "SCAB is a transgressive online magazine aiming to represent these very principles in the realm of visual arts and literature. The motto might be something like this: the worse the better."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $0
  • Deadline: August 1st, 2024

PRISM International Issue 63.1: Spells

  • What: "Consider words as 'performative utterances.' They do not just describe, they do things ー they perform actions....We invite you to share these spells with us and to consider what effects the order of your language might elicit. Send us poetry, prose, and hybrid works that contemplate the meaning and impact of 'spell' in any or all of its manifestations. If you wish, we invite you to weave in traditions associated with spell, drawing on the dialectic between the literary and the magical. Or leave such traditions behind altogether. Go as wide or as narrow with the definition as you wish. We encourage submissions that play with the ordinary expectations of the form and that bring a heartbeat to it....We strongly encourage submissions from Black and Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, LGBTQIA2S+ writers, and writers from other intersectional and marginalized groups, including low-income earners. If you identify as one or more of the above and would like to let us know, please mention it in your cover letter."
  • Fee: $3
  • Pay: $40/printed page for prose and $45/printed page for poetry
  • Deadline: August 2nd, 2024

Sinister Wisdom: Gender Diverse Lesbians

  • What: "Gender nonconformity has long, thick, roots in Lesbianism, but the coexistence of being other gendered and Lesbianism is as varied in its narrative as what is meant by 'gender diverse,' 'nonbinary,' and/or 'other gendered.' The controversy surrounding French Lesbian philosopher Monique Wittig’s statement, 'Lesbians are not women,' provides a snapshot into this tension. This conclusion stemmed from her broader argument that woman is a social and political class defined by the patriarchal heterosexual contract; that man and woman are categories of dominance. Conceptualizing Lesbianism as resistance to the patriarchy-as freedom to be and love whoever despite the existing man-made binaries of humanity’s social roles, places Lesbians outside of 'man' and 'woman.'"
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: August 31st, 2024

North Carolina Literary Review 2025 Special Feature Section: NC LGBTQIA+ Literature

  • What: "Randall Kenan. Bertha Harris. David Sedaris. Allan Gurganus. Jim Grimsley. These are just a handful of North Carolina authors who write openly and passionately about queer identities, issues, and joy. Whether explored through characters, journalism, memoir, poetry, drama, or other genres, these writers – along with other emerging or overlooked NC artists we hope to learn more about – offer us clear-eyed and profoundly enriching narratives about what it means to be queer in the South. This special feature section of NCLR focuses on NC LGBTQIA+ Literature and its impact on literary and cultural studies."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: August 31st, 2024

Sinister Wisdom: Barbie: the Movie

  • What: "In this special issue, Sinister Wisdom will explore lesbians' reactions to Barbie: The Movie. How do we voice the joy and gratitude of this cultural moment where lesbian lives and lesbian culture is expressed in the movie with a major musical plotline from the Indigo Girls and two out dykes with major roles in this movie, now the highest grossing movie in Warner Brothers' history? What else do we think and feel about this cultural moment? Were you expecting to feel deeply personally touched by Barbie? What was a special scene that reflects your dyke life? Were you surprised or shocked by your reaction to the film? How do we understand Barbie's continuing life and its relationship to lesbians and lesbian culture?"
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: N/A
  • Deadline: TBD

The Bitchin' Kitsch

  • What: "The B’K is a quarterly art and lit, online and printed magazine prioritizing traditionally marginalized creators, but open to all."
  • Fee: $0
  • Pay: $10
  • Deadline: rolling

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: Summer 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

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


Not Lost in a Book

by Dan Kois

But others also pointed to the way reading is being taught to young children in an educational environment that gets more and more test-focused all the time. “I do not blame teachers for this,” said [Joanne] O’Sullivan, but the transformation of the reading curriculum means “there’s not a lot of time for discovery and enjoyment in reading.” She noted a change I, too, had noticed: Reading in the classroom has moved away from encouraging students to dive into a whole book and moved toward students reading excerpts and responding to them. “Even in elementary school, you read, you take a quiz, you get the points. You do a reading log, and you have to read so many minutes a day. It’s really taking a lot of the joy out of reading.”

Of course, even many teachers and librarians who buck the curricular pressure—who dream of fostering a love of aimless, testless reading in their young charges—are finding that substantially more difficult in 2024. “Libraries are getting defunded,” said O’Sullivan. “Librarians are being let go. In some states, teachers can’t even keep a classroom library because they have to protect themselves from book bans.” As [Karen] Jensen wrote in a recent blog post, it sure doesn’t help the children’s book industry when “chat rooms and library board meetings fill up with a small handful of people calling librarians Marxist communist groomers.”

Minnesota Just Passed a Law Making It Illegal for Libraries to Ban LGBTQ+ Books

by Nico Lang

As states across the country attempt to prevent students from accessing LGBTQ+ literature, a new law in Minnesota will keep queer books on the shelves.

Last week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed a new law banning K-12 schools, colleges, and public libraries from complying with removal requests “based solely on the viewpoint, content, message, idea, or opinion conveyed,” per its text. State File 3567, requires that all decisions regarding what materials to stock be overseen by “a licensed library media specialist, an individual with a master’s degree in library sciences or library and information sciences, or a professional librarian or person with extensive library collection management experience,” according to the state House website.

Upon approving SF 3567, Walz affirmed that “censorship has no place in our libraries.” “As a former teacher, I’m clear: We need to remember our history, not erase it,” the Democrat said in a May 17 post on X.

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!