Meet This Year’s Lambda Fellows, Writers-in-Residence, & Scholarship Recipients

Publicity contact:    Sue Landers, Executive Director                  

Phone: (323) 385-1019                  


62 Emerging LGBTQ Writers to Join Lambda Literary’s 2021 Emerging Writer’s Retreat for LGBTQ Voices

New York, NY—For over 30 years, Lambda Literary has championed LGBTQIA+ books and authors based on its belief that our lives are affirmed and cultures are preserved when our stories are written, published, and read. Since 2007, Lambda Literary has offered the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices—the nation’s premier LGBTQIA+ writing residency, which brings together emerging poets, playwrights, essayists, novelists, and memoirists to study in a safe, welcoming, and love-centered community. Lambda Literary is pleased to announce the 2021 Fellows, Writers-in-Residence, and Scholars to attend its prestigious Writer’s Retreat, which will be held virtually from August 8-14, 2021.

The 2021 Fellows to study fiction under Nicole Dennis-Benn’s tutelage are: Aroh Akunth, Cherri Buijk, Arielle Burgdorf, Erica Frederick, Rose Himber Howse, Marrion Johnson, Jack Kaulfus, Elaine H. Kim, David Paul, A.M. Rosales, Hannah Suchor, Craig Willse

The 2021 Fellows to study nonfiction under Saeed Jones’ tutelage are: Danielle Buckingham, Maria Isabelle Carlos, Celeste Chan, Dale Corvino, Anna Dorn, Ariel Estrella, Benjamin Garcia, D. Nolan Jefferson, Trystan Reese, Court Stroud, Jet Toomer, Kayla Upadhyaya

The 2021 Fellows to study playwriting under Monica Palacios’ tutelage are: Doctora Xingona, Diana Alvarez, Lulu Duffy-Tumasz, Jaime Estepa, Rukmini Girish, Anthony Green, Elliot Joyce, storäe michele, andie millares, Lane Stanley, Camille Washington, Megan Xotchilt, Celeste Yim

The 2021 Fellows to study poetry under Samuel Ace’s tutelage are: Michael Chang, Octavio R. González, Trevor Ketner, Natalie A. Martínez, A.J. McClenon, H. Melt, Chad Morgan, Katie Jean Shinkle, Dior Stephens, Mimi Tempestt, Jesús I. Valles, A. Light Zachary

The 2021 Fellows to study young adult fiction under Robin Talley’s tutelage are: Guthrie Blechman, Erik Brown, Elizabeth Evers, Isaiah Holbrook, C. Julian Jiménez, Leah Johnson, Mary Maxfield, Stephan Nance, Dionne Richardson, Nik Traxler, Joni Whitworth, medina

Once Fellows, the following two literary artists will return to the Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices to work on their respective manuscripts as well as participate in craft talks, panel discussions, the Reading Series, and other events: Jubi Arriola-Headley Nahshon Dion

The following donor-funded scholarships provide Fellows with financial support to attend the Writer’s Retreat without cost. Recipients are selected from myriad Fellows who meet each scholarship’s respective criteria. We are grateful to all of our supporters who make this possible. 

Erica Landis Memorial Fellowship
The Erica Landis Memorial Scholarship supports a Black Fellow in any genre attending the 2021 Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. 

The Erica Landis Memorial Scholarship Fellow is A.J. McClenon, a poet who is passionate about teaching and the art of words and making, with the goal that all the memories and histories that are said to have “too many Black people,” are told and retold again.

The Jeanne Córdova Words Scholarship
The Jeanne Córdova Words Scholarship, in memory of the beloved activist and author, is given annually. The scholarship is awarded to a lesbian-identified queer or trans woman of color working on text with lesbian content in any of the workshop categories excluding poetry. 

The 2021 Jeanne Córdova Words Scholarship Fellow is playwright storäe michele, a black queer, shape-shifting, non-binary femme, afro-futurist performer + storäe-teller. Their creative practice builds a present + embodied archive of black femme futures + aliveness.

The Justin Chin Memorial Scholarship Sponsored by Alexander Chee and Christine Hyung-Oak Lee, The Justin Chin Memorial Scholarship is offered annually in memory of the late author Justin Chin and supports a queer, Asian American Pacific Islander writer who writes with queer content in any genre. 

The 2021 Justin Chin Memorial Scholarship Fellow is Elaine H. Kim, a queer Korean American fiction writer born and raised in the Midwest. When not worrying about her novel and stories, she can be found working in the labor movement or keeping up with her 10-year-old twins.

Lili Elbe Scholarship Honoring the life and legacy of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, the annual Lili Elbe Scholarship recognizes a trans Lambda Literary Fellow in any genre whose work shows considerable talent and promise. A Danish trans woman, Lili Elbe was one of the earliest recipients of gender confirmation surgery. The scholarship is sponsored by David Ebershoff, whose first novel about Elbe, The Danish Girl, won the Lambda Literary Award for transgender fiction and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film.

The 2021 Lili Elbe Scholarship Fellow is H. Melt, the author of The Plural, The Blurring and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Their next book, There Are Trans People Here, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books (fall 2021).

The Nancy Garden Scholarship Sponsored by Sylvia and emily m. danforth, the Nancy Garden Scholarship honors the memory of author and activist Nancy Garden and annually supports a Fellow in the young adult fiction cohort. 
The 2021 Nancy Garden Scholarship Fellow is Leah Johnson, author of award-winning books for children and young adults including her bestselling debut YA novel YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN and her newly published sophomore novel RISE TO THE SUN (Scholastic).

The Stone Soup Community Press ScholarshipSponsored by Stone Soup Community Press, a nonprofit publisher that believes the diversity of the LGBTQ community should be reflected in the stories being published, the Stone Soup Community Press Scholarship supports a lesbian or queer-identified woman in the fiction or young adult fiction cohorts.

The 2021 Stone Soup Community Press Scholarship Fellow is Mary Maxfield, a writer, researcher, and organizer who strives to bridge arts, academics, and social change. A current Dissertation Fellow at St. Louis University, her work explores queer identity and community formation.

The Virtual ScholarshipThe Virtual Scholarship supports a Black trans woman and/or femme who attends the 2021 Writer’s Retreat. 

The Virtual Scholarship recipient is Writer-in-Resident Nahshon Dion, a teaching artist from California. Her literature in anthologies and journals and forthcoming memoir Shootn’ Range shows how youth can reach their full potential and shine when their rainbow is blurred.

Emerge Editorial Scholarship
The Lambda Literary Emerge Editorial Scholarship recognizes a Fellow who has an interest in literary editing and whose past work shows considerable promise. The 2021 Emerge Editorial Scholarship Fellow will edit this year’s Emerge anthology. The Lambda Literary Emerge Editorial Scholarship recognizes that if we want LGBTQIA+ writers to feel at home in the literary landscape and for publishing to be full of our many perspectives, we must provide LGBTQIA+ writers the opportunity to learn about and take part in the editorial process. 

The 2021 winner of the Lambda Literary Emerge Editorial Scholarship is Michael Chang, the author of poetry collections DRAKKAR NOIR (won Bateau Press BOOM Chapbook Contest), BOYFRIEND PERSPECTIVE (Really Serious Literature 2021), and CHINATOWN ROMEO (Ursus Americanus Press, forthcoming).

Additional Scholarships
Lambda Literary received donations from several anonymous donors to cover the full tuition of three 2021 Fellows. The Fellows supported by these donations are Maria Isabelle CarlosMarrion Johnson, and A.M. Rosales.

Maria Isabelle Carlos is a writer and editor from Missouri. Her work has appeared in Passages NorthHyphen Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow her @mariacarlospoet and find her work at

Marrion Johnson is a Black, queer writer based out of Oakland, CA. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Marrion utilizes fiction to examine complex realities facing Black communities including memory, lineage, and freedom.

A.M. Rosales is a writer, artist, and translator originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia. They hold a literature degree from George Mason University and their favorite rodent is the capybara. 

In addition to scholarships provided by the generosity of the donors listed above, thanks to Lambda Literary’s supporters, we were able to provide 24 full or partial scholarships to the following Fellows:

Aroh Akunth
Doctora Xingona
Diana Alvarez
Guthrie Blechman
Danielle Buckingham
Cherri Buijk
Arielle Burgdorf
Jaime Estepa
Elizabeth Evers
Benjamin Garcia
Anthony Green
Isaiah Holbrook
Elliot Joyce
Trevor Ketnermedina
Stephan Nance
Dionne Richardson
Lane Stanley
Hannah Suchor
Mimi Tempestt
Joni Whitworth
Jesús I. Valles
Craig Willse
Megan Xotchilt
A. Light Zachary

To learn more about the Fellows and Writers-in-Residence, visit our website.
In community.

Nicole Shawan Junior Program Manager Lambda Literary