ReadOut 2023 Featured Authors (A-Z)
Aaron H. Aceves (he/him) is a bisexual, Mexican-American writer born and raised in East L.A. He graduated from Harvard College and received his MFA from Columbia University. His fiction has appeared in Epiphany, The Florida Review, and Passages North, among other places. He currently lives in Texas, where he serves as an Early Career Provost Fellow at UT Austin, and his debut young adult novel, This Is Why They Hate Us, was released by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. It received multiple starred reviews and was named a Best Young Adult Book of 2022 by Kirkus Reviews.
Kristen Arnett is the queer author of With Teeth: A Novel (Riverhead Books, 2021) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and the New York Times bestselling debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She was awarded a Shearing Fellowship at Black Mountain Institute and was longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize recognizing mid-career writers of fiction. Her work has appeared at The New York Times, TIME, The Cut, Oprah Magazine, Guernica, Buzzfeed, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. Her next book (an untitled collection of short stories) will be published by Riverhead Books (Penguin Random House). She has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and lives in Orlando, Florida.
Robee Berry (she/her) is a writer, adventurer and activist. For decades the story of The Pink Divide protagonist, Lake Myers, lived rent-free in her head until the auspicious day when Lake’s girl power took root in this book. Berry is the mother to one amazing young adult and lives with her wife, two dogs and one cantankerous cat. The Pink Divide is her first book.
Becky Bohan (she/her) is the author of the 2020 award-winning novel, A Light on Altered Land. Her 2022 novel, The Santorini Setup, has won a Royal Palm Literary Award and Global Book Award. She lives in North Fort Myers, FL, with her wife, Nancy Manahan.
Melissa Brayden is the multiple award-winning author of twenty-three contemporary romance novels – and she’s enjoying the ride. Melissa is a dedicated storyteller on both the page and stage with a Master’s Degree in theatrical directing and past studies with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon as well as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Though writing romance is now her full-time job, much of it is spent on donuts, wine, coffee, and staring off into space. Kissing scenes remain her favorite.
Brian Broome’s debut memoir, Punch Me Up to the Gods, is an NYT Editor’s Pick and the winner of the 2021 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. He is a contributing columnist at The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Hippocampus, Poets and Writers, Medium, and more. Brian was a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and an instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. Brian also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. His film, Garbage, won the Audience Choice Award at the Cortada Short Film Festival and was a semi-finalist in the Portland Short Fest. Brian is a 2022 Writer in Residence at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
Tabitha Rose Cervantes (she/they) is a Cuban creative and communication specialist committed to building and uplifting community. Her poetry and art center on mental health, Latinx heritage and the dualities of the human experience. In addition to her role as a Program Officer for Pinellas Community Foundation, Rose serves as a creative writing teacher for Keep St. Pete Lit, the Narrative Lead for the Latinx equity collective, Mi Gente Mi Pueblo (MGMP) and the co-chair for Mi Gente Movida 2022, a collection of activities, events, and opportunities across the Tampa Bay Area during Hispanic Heritage Month. Rose also is one-half of the artist team behind Collect Your Thoughts, a community art journaling program launching this fall.
Felice Cohen is an author, motivational speaker and Holocaust educator. Her newly-published memoir, Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love, earned an Outstanding Non-fiction Book Award from the Independent Author Network. Felice’s previous book, 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (...or More) was inspired by the YouTube video of her 90-square-foot New York City studio that went viral with over 25 million views. Felice is also the author of What Papa Told Me, a memoir about her grandfather’s life before, during and after the war. Felice has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, NPR, Time, Globe & Mail, New York Daily News, the Daily Mail and more.
Carol Anne Douglas worked on off our backs: a feminist news journal for 35 years. Her lesbian novels are Lancelot: Her Story and Lancelot and Guinevere, in which Lancelot is a woman; Sister Matthew and Sister Rose: Novices in Love; and Choosing Yellowstone. She lives in DC and Carefree Community in Florida.
Jamison Green is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, best known for his award-winning, twice-published memoir, Becoming a Visible Man (2020/2004). He hails from Oakland, CA, and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest. He has been a champion for LGBTQ+ civil rights, health, and social safety for 50+ years. After earning an MFA in fiction from the University of Oregon in 1972, he worked in construction and in technical writing, transitioned from female to male in 1988, led the nonprofit educational groups FTM International and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and served on the HRC Business Council.
Sheree L. Greer is a writer, artist, teacher, and publisher living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers. She is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. She is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, "Bars," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2019. Her latest essay, "None of this is Bullshit" was published at The Rumpus and featured in "Memoir Mondays.”
Cheryl A. Head writes the Anthony Award nominated, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries. Head is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, two-time Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist, and winner of the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. In 2022, Cheryl was awarded the Alice B. Reader’s Appreciation Medal and a regional Silver Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Her books are included in the Special Collections of the Library of Michigan, and the Detroit Public Library’s African-American Books List. Time’s Undoing, a crime novel based on her family’s personal tragedy, will be published by Dutton Books in February, 2023. Cheryl lives in Washington, DC with her partner, Teresa, and canine supervisors, Abby and Frisby.
Elle Ire writes paranormal and science fiction romance featuring kickass women who fall in love with each other. She has released nine novels through DSP Publications including the Goldie Award finalist Reel to Reel Love and the Goldie Award winner Dead Woman’s Pond, which was also first runner-up for the Florida Writers Association Book of the Year and a winner of the gold Royal Palm Literary Award. Her latest release, pitched as Annie Get Your Gun meets Night of the Living Dead meets Survivor is Harsh Reality. Elle is represented by Naomi Davis at BookEnds Literary Agency.
Fay Jacobs (she/her) has written five multiple award-winning books of humor, including a Federation of Press Women Book of the Year for Humor, a Golden Crown Literary Society Goldie and an IPPY (Independent Book Award). She also has served as a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Rehoboth Beach Life and LGBTQ publications The Advocate and Curve Magazine. In 2019, Jacobs was named a Champion of Pride by The Advocate Magazine. She currently performs two sit-down comedy shows, Fifty Shades of Fay and Aging Gracelessly: It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.
Zander Keig is an award-winning licensed clinical social worker, health educator, and anthology editor. He currently serves as Director of the Transgender American Veterans Association Community and Healing Committee as an Advisory Board and Senior Fellow for the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism. Zander brings a unique perspective to all aspects of his work as a trans man and first-generation American of Mexican heritage (Latino) with subject-matter expertise in conflict mitigation, social care and mental well-being. His educational training includes a BA in Interpersonal Communication, MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MTS in Theology, and an MSW in Clinical Social Work.
J.E. Leak is the author of the sapphic noir-inspired Shadow series. An antiques conservator by trade, she has always been fascinated by history and the stories objects could tell if they could speak. When she isn’t bingeing 1940s noir films, she’s writing or photographing nature on the spring-fed azure rivers of Central Florida. She has an Associate of Science degree in graphic design and is a devoted night owl. Find out more at jeleak.com.
Ellen Levy spends part of everyday living in the 1910’s with her characters, Deborah and Miriam, young Jewish women in love. They are products of the turn-of-the-century values, in a relationship unacceptable in post-Victorian America. Passion pulls them together, yet the world is not ready for them. Ellen spent her early career working with emotionally disturbed children and adults in mental health crisis, and later with both adults and children with medical needs. Her background influenced the many characters in her books with special needs. Later, Ellen worked in volunteer management, with seniors, and in workforce development, frequently working with immigrant populations. Her work with a wide range of people added depth to her life and to her books. Ellen summers in the Boston area and winters in Florida with 500 older women who celebrate the hard-earned freedom to be themselves.
Bestselling author KC Luck writes sapphic action-adventure, contemporary romance, and fiction. Writing is her passion, and nothing energizes her more than creating new characters facing trials and tribulations in a complex plot. Whether it is apocalypse, contemporary, or a little naughty, with every story, KC tries to add her own unique twist. She has written eighteen books (which include The Darkness series and Everybody Needs a Hero) and multiple short stories across many genres. KC is active in the LGBT community and is the founder of an indie collective called iReadIndies. Find out more at kc-luck.com.
Racquel Marie grew up in Southern California, where her passion for storytelling of all kinds was encouraged by her friends and big family. She earned a BA in English (creative writing) and a minor in gender and sexuality studies from the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Ophelia After All, You Don’t Have a Shot, and many unfinished first drafts.
Ann McMan is the two-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author of twelve novels and two short story collections. She is a four-time Independent Publisher (IPPY) medalist, a Foreword Reviews INDIES medalist, a recipient of multiple Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, and a laureate of the Alice B. Foundation for her outstanding body of work. Ann also is a nationally recognized, career graphic design professional with more than 40 years of experience. She has won numerous national and international design awards and has worked for a wide variety of clients in the public and private sectors. She has also earned acclaim as a premier designer of book covers for small press, indie and mainstream outlets, and was the inaugural recipient of the Tee Corinne Excellence in Cover Design Award from the GCLS. Ann continues to devote many hours to volunteer work within the LGBT community. She resides in Winston-Salem, NC with her wife, Bywater Books publisher, Salem West.
Maria Ingrande Mora (they/she) is an author whose Young Adult debut novel, Fragile Remedy, was selected as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Her second novel, The
Immeasurable Depth of You, will be released in March, 2023. Maria also leads workshops on
HOW TO: Love your First (Book) Draft, …Get a Literary Agent and …(Do) Self-Care for Aspiring
Gloria Muñoz (she/her) is a Colombian American writer, an advocate for multilingual literacy
and writing and St. Petersburg’s new Poet Laureate. Her poetry collection, Danzirly/Dawn’s
Early, was awarded the Academy of American Poets 2019 Ambroggio Prize and the Gold Medal
Florida Book Award. She has also been honored by the Highlights Foundation’s 2022 Diverse
Verse Fellowship, Lumina’s Multilingual Nonfiction Writing Award, a Las Musas Mentorship for Latine and nonbinary authors, a New York State Summer Writers Institute Fellowship, a St.
Petersburg Arts Alliance Muse Award, a Creative Pinellas Grant, the Estelle J. Zbar Poetry Prize,
the Bettye Newman Poetry Award, a Gen Yes Doris Duke Foundation Artist Award, a Think
Small to Think Big Artist Grant, and a St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Jim Rolston Professional
Development Grant. Muñoz’ writing has appeared in Puerto del Sol, VIDA Review, Acentos
Review, Lumina, the Rumpus, Yes Poetry, Juke Joint, Best New Poets, Sweet, Burrow
Press, Cosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Wildness, Cagibi, and elsewhere. She is also the
author of the chapbook Your Biome Has Found You, co-founder of Pitch Her Productions
and one-half of the songwriting team Moonlit Musíca.
Sarah Prager is dedicated to raising awareness of LGBTQ+ history through writing, speaking,
and her app, Quist which brings LGBTQ history to life for more than 35,000 followers. Her first book, Queer, There and Everywhere, published by HarperCollins Children’s in May 2017. The book tells the stories of 23 individuals from queer history for a young adult audience. It earned critical praise, including three starred reviews and five award nominations. Her second book, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, is an official selection of the Junior Library Guild. Her third is titled Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders and her fourth book will be out in 2023. Cornell University Library named Prager a Zwickler Fellow in 2015. She received “The Future Is Now” award in 2017 from the Connecticut Women’s
Education and Legal Fund for “exemplary leadership” in her community. GO Magazine named
her part of the 2020 class of 100 Women We Love. In 2021 she was a research consultant for
the Discovery+ show Book of Queer. She has also been the Assistant Editor for Tagg Magazine
since 2021. Sarah is a participant in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program and
has been a guest on many radio shows and podcasts.
Radclyffe (she/her) is an eight-time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery, and erotica--winning Lammys in romance and erotica. She is a member of the Saints and Sinners Literary Hall of Fame, and an RWA / FF&P Prism Award winner for Secrets in the Stone, an RWA FTHRW Lories and RWA HODRW winner for Firestorm, an RWA Bean Pot winner for Crossroads, an RWA Laurel Wreath winner for Blood Hunt, and an RWA Book Buyers Best winner for Price of Honor. In 2014, she was awarded the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Award by the Lambda Literary Foundation. She is a featured author in the 2015 documentary film, Love Between the Covers, from Blueberry Hill Productions. In 2022, she was named to the OUT100. Radclyffe is also the president of Bold Strokes Books, one of the world’s largest independent LGBTQ publishing companies.
Rob Sanders is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He is known for his funny and fierce fiction and nonfiction picture books and is recognized as one of the pioneers in the arena of LGBTQIA+ literary nonfiction picture books. Rob’s nonfiction books continue to break new ground, including the first picture books about the Pride Flag, the Stonewall Uprising, a transgender Civil War soldier, a gay presidential candidate, and the first gay marriage in America. His work also continues to introduce readers to heroes of the LGBTQIA+ community—from Harvey Milk to Gilbert Baker, from Cleve Jones to Bayard Rustin, and more. His fiction explores friendship, relationships, standing up for others, and being allies. Blood Brothers, his first middle grade novel, written in powerful, raw verse released in July 2022. And Rob pays it forward. He serves as co-regional advisor for SCBWI Florida and is a frequent speaker, teacher, mentor, coach, and critiquer. He is also a member of the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund Steering Committee. Rob is represented by Rubin Pfeffer.
Sander Santiago is a Queer-Trans BIPOC writer bringing LGBTQ+ narratives to the literary world. In addition to his debut book, Best of the Wrong Reasons, Sander is a published poet and academic. Having completed a Master’s of Science degree from Purdue University in 2017, he is featured in several scientific journals and has been a guest speaker for Ignite Talks in Fort Collins, CO. He currently resides in South Florida with his partner, best friend, and their many pets. As a Colorado native, he spends too much time telling Floridians how great the mountains are.
Stephanie Shea is a writer of sapphic contemporary romance and young adult novels. She is currently signed with indie publisher NineStar Press with whom she published her debut contemporary romance Liquid Courage in November 2020. Since then, she has also self-published other novels that have been best-sellers on Amazon’s Lesbian Romance and Lesbian Fiction charts. Two of these books were finalists for the 2022 Goldies, hosted by the Golden Crown Literary Society—Chef’s Kiss in the category of Contemporary Romance: Short Novels, and Whispering Oaks for Romantic Blend. Her favorite things include binging tv shows, creating worlds where no character is too queer, broken, or sensitive and snacks. Lots of snacks.
Elizabeth Sims is the author of the Rita Farmer Mysteries, the Lambda and GCLS Goldie Award-winning Lillian Byrd Crime Series, and other fiction, including the standalone novel Crimes in a Second Language, which won the Florida Book Awards silver medal. An internationally recognized authority on writing, Elizabeth has written dozens of feature articles for Writer's Digest magazine, where she’s a contributing editor. Her instructional title, You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams (Writer's Digest Books) has helped thousands of aspiring authors find their wings.
Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the author of Helen House, a queer horror novelette. She is the managing editor of Autostraddle and the assistant managing editor at TriQuarterly. Her short stories appear/are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Catapult, The Offing, Joyland, and others
Angela Yarber is the award-winning author of eight books, including her recent memoir, Queering the American Dream. With a Ph.D. in Art and Religion, five of her books have been listed among the Top LGBTQ Religion Books by QSpirit. She is the Executive Director of the Tehom Center, a non-profit teaching about revolutionary women through art, writing, retreats, and academic courses. Her work has been featured in Ms. Magazine, Forbes, Maya Angelou’s memorial celebration, NPR’s Progressive Spirit, and the television show Tiny House Nation. For more, visit www.tehomcenter.org
Erin Zak resides near the Gulf Coast of Florida where she spends a lot of her time with her wife
and their two cocker spaniels, Hanna and Eleanor. When she’s not writing, she’s feeling bad
about not writing, obsessively collecting Star Wars memorabilia, and planning the next trip to
Disney World. Falling into Her, Erin’s first book, was a Goldie finalist. Breaking Down Her Walls and Create a Life to Love were both Lammy finalists. Find Erin online at www.erinzak.com.