Learn About the Lambda Literary Foundation's Writers Retreat

Literary news and notes from Latinidad, 6.08

By Marcela Landres
Published on LatinoLA: June 1, 2008

Learn About the Lambda Literary Foundation's Writers Retreat

June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In honor of the many contributions gay and lesbian writers have made to literature, we highlight the Lambda Literary Foundation's Writers Retreat, a unique program that may very well nurture the next wave of LGBT writers. Check out the Q&A with Executive Director Charles Flowers to learn more.

A fifteen year-plus veteran of publishing and arts administration, Charles Flowers is the Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation. He has served as the co-chair of the Publishing Triangle, was Associate Director of the Academy of American Poets, and is the co-author of Golden Men: The Power of Gay Midlife (with Harold Kooden, Ph.D.). His poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, Indiana Review, and Puerto del Sol. Flowers is also the founding editor of BLOOM, a journal for lesbian and gay writing that Edmund White has called "the most exciting new queer literary publication to emerge in years." For more information
about the Lambda Literary Foundation, visit http://www.lambdaliterary.org/.

Q: What inspired you to create the Lambda Literary Foundation's Writers Retreat?

A: The Writers Retreat has been a long time goal of several board members of the Lambda Literary Foundation, especially Katherine V. Forrest, our Board President, who wanted to create a peer network for emerging writers, one that she didn't have when she started writing in her early 40s. Personally, I had been impressed by the work of Cave Canem, a retreat/workshop for
African American poets at http://www.cavecanempoets.org, and Kundiman, a workshop for Asian American poets at http://www.kundiman.org. From their success, I knew that an identity-based writers retreat could succeed and provide a real service to the community.

Q: Which categories of writing does the Retreat accept and which categories of writing does the Retreat not accept?

A: Currently, we offer workshops in three categories: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. This year, we've expanded to two fiction workshops, one general (taught by Elana Dykewomon) and one more focused on genre fiction (taught by the legendary mystery writer Claire McNab). D.A. Powell will be teaching the poetry workshop, while Rigoberto Gonzalez will be teaching creative nonfiction. We've had requests and are considering some form of dramatic writing (play, screenplay, etc.), perhaps for the future.

Q: Does the Retreat target writers at any level of their career, including beginning writers?

A: The Retreat focuses on "emerging" writers, and by that we mean where they are in their writing career, not their chronological age‘«Ųour students last year ranged from their 20s to their 50s. Some had MFAs, others didn't. Three or four had published first books, or were about to.

A: What will attendees gain from the experience of attending the Retreat?

Q: In addition to workshops with amazing writers, they will have an opportunity to build community with writers at their same level, which will later offer support and strength to them. They'll also have access to a series of craft lectures by Katherine V. Forrest, who, in addition to being an award-winning writer, is a fabulous editor. There will also be readings by the faculty and guest writers, as well as a Fellows reading where they (the students) can share their work with the community.

Q: How can applicants best improve their chances of acceptance?

A: Send in your best work, and if you get wait-listed, please reapply‘«Ųwe have limited space, and we see this retreat as building over time, so if you don't get it the first time, don't despair.


Deadline: June 16
The purpose of the NFA is to provide financial support to Latino working artists‘«Ųincluding writers‘«Ųand small and mid-sized Latino arts organizations in communities across the country. For more information, visit http://www.nalac.org, while interested individuals should email Elisa Gonzales at grantmanager@nalac.org.

Las Comadres in cooperation with the Association of American Publishers and Borders has announced the launch of a book club at select Borders stores around the nation. Membership is open to anyone interested in reading English-language works written by Latina or Latino authors. For more information, visit http://www.lascomadres.org or http://www.bordersstores.com.

Karen Quinones Miller self-published her first novel, Satin Doll, and within eight months sold 28,000 copies on her own before selling the rights to Simon & Schuster. Since then she's become a renown expert on self-publishing, and for the first time her invaluable advice is available in
her Self Publishing Pamphlet. Topics covered include how to: set up your publishing company; obtain ISBNs and barcodes; do your own typesetting; and much more. For more information, visit

Are you passionate about books? Do you dream of becoming a book reviewer? Are you curious about the influence reviews have on readers, booksellers, and librarians? The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing will teach you everything you need to know, from how to write them to understanding
their influence. For more information, visit http://www.mayracalvani.com.

After her husband's infidelity ends their ten-year marriage, Anita Perez is more than happy to take over her late grandfather's flower shop in the Rio Grande valley. However, she doesn't speak Spanish, which is something her grandmother's sexy neighbor, Antonio Hernandez, feels the need to remind her of on a daily basis. Antonio has loved Anita for as long as he can remember and will stop at nothing to win her heart. But his plan may backfire if she finds out his secret. For more information, visit http://www.terrimolina.com.

Inspired by my experience as a former Simon & Schuster editor, How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You reveals what it really takes to get published. If you want to understand why editors choose to publish certain writers and reject the rest, learn how they think. Topics discussed include: the three most common mistakes writers make when trying to get published; the two most important jobs of an editor (editing isn't one of them!); and the
number one quality editors look for in a writer. Available exclusively at: http://www.marcelalandres.com/E-book.html.

Are you ready to submit your work to agents or editors, but want a professional to tell you how to improve it? Have friends and family read your writing, yet you'd like feedback from a pair of fresh eyes? Did you get rejected, and wonder what's wrong and how to fix it? I can help. For more information, visit http://www.marcelalandres.com/services.html .

About Marcela Landres:
Marcela Landres, an Editorial Consultant specializing in helping Latinos get published, was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster and the author of How Editors Think. Info: http://www.marcelalandres.com.

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