2024 Authors and Moderators (A-Z)
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.
Georgia Beers is the Lambda Literary Award, Foreword Book of the Year Award, and Goldie Award winning author of over thirty novels of women-loving-women romance. She resides in Upstate New York where she was born and raised. When not writing, she can usually be found searching for a scary movie, lifting all the weights, sipping a good Pinot, or trying to keep up with little big man Archie, her mix of many tiny dogs. She is currently hard at work on her next book. Find out more at http://georgiabeers.com
Virginia Black (she/her) likes strong whiskey, loud music, and writing, though not necessarily in that order. When not penning dark speculative fiction, she is almost always reading, painting miniatures, or escaping into a role-playing game. Born in California—where even the green is brown—Virginia escaped to the green grass and rain showers of the Pacific Northwest. She lives with her wife of twenty years and their savagely witty teenage daughter. Learn more at virginiablackwrites.com.
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.
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. Jamison is the lead presenter and moderator for the panel, Creating Transgender Men’s Literature.
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.”
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 Authors.
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.
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
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.