Our poetry section aims to represent the best LGBTQ voices in poetry today. We’re open to high quality work of any style and subject to be featured on our site each week—poems need not have queer content, but we ask that all submitting authors self-identity as queer. We no longer consider previously published material for our web feature, but simultaneous submissions of unpublished work are welcome as long as you notify us immediately of their acceptance elsewhere. Please submit up to 5 poems (not exceeding 10 pages) in a single document. We are able to offer contributors a small honorarium for their work. 

Lambda LitFest 2019

All the Feelings: A Celebration of Queer Emotion

In  a world that values logic and rationality, those who feel are frequently marginalized.  Throughout Western history, people of color,  women, and LGBTQ+ people have been reviled or worse for our ability to  feel and express our emotions. Many of us have pushed ourselves to hide  how much we feel, to perform the constant drag of hyper-rationality to  survive. But what gets lost when we shirk from emotion? For this year's  Lambda LitFest, we are creating a week-long celebration of feeling: we  welcome your queer joy, your breakup tears, your anger at our political  situations, your grief over the many we've lost, and all the feelings.  We invite your excavations and evocations. As people and writers who've  been accused of feeling too much, let's gather and listen to LGBTQ+ voices that  report back from places of feeling.


LA's first and only LGBTQ+ literary festival

Call for Proposals 

Deadline May 15, 2019 

Lambda Literary is seeking literary programming proposals (readings, workshops, events) for the 3rd Annual Lambda LitFest. This week-long literary festival will take place September 22 - 28, 2019 at venues around Los Angeles. The week will culminate with a performance/party hosted by Lambda Literary on Saturday, September 28 at the Pico Union Project. 

Successful proposals will embrace the racial, ethnic, gender,  dis/ability,  socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of our LGBTQ+ community. We hope  to reflect as many Los Angeles communities as possible, and to welcome queer writing communities from outside Los Angeles. Propose a reading or literary performance event that reflects your community, your neighborhood, or your area of interest. It could be a group reading in a gallery, bar, or historic venue, a Moth-style storytelling challenge, a slam poetry hour, a panel discussion, a celebration of new LGBTQ+ books, a remembrance of a moment in LGBTQ+ history, or any other innovative addition to a week-long literary festival. Non-reading events are also welcome--you might want to host a workshop, a panel, or something relaxing-yet-literary like a queer coloring book or literary trivia night. Be creative and imaginative!

If your proposal is accepted, you will be paired with a LitFest Community Ambassador and your event will be posted on the Lambda LitFest website, with links on social media. Lambda Literary can also provide you with a letter on letterhead to use when getting permission from venues, confirming that your event is part ofthe 3rd Annual Lambda LitFest.

Instructions & Guidelines

Please note: You may propose a programming idea without yet having confirmed a venue or all participants. You will have time to finalize your program this summer.  


As a community curator, please note the following when submitting a proposal:

  • Event Description - Please be as detailed as possible and include names of participating authors, readers, workshop leaders, etc. 
  • Date & Time – Week of LitFest events will take place across the week of September 22 - 28, 2019 and should last approximately 1–1 1/2 hours. While some events may run longer, please be respectful of attendees’ time as some may be planning on attending multiple events per day.
  • Location – Although not required, we encourage proposals in locations significant to LA’s LGBTQ and literary history as well as locations near public transportation. Accepted proposals will be paired with a Lambda LitFest LA Community Ambassador who can provide advice and answer questions. Community curators are ultimately responsible for securing a venue for their proposed event, though we are also in the process of finding community partners around LA who might be willing to host community curated LitFest events. Historical locations might include events held at existing venues (e.g.ONE Archives, Wall Las Memorias, Mattachine Steps, June Mazer Lesbian Archives, MCC Church, Tom of Finland House) or at/near historical landmarks that no longer exists (e.g., A Different Light, Jewel’s Catch One, Sisterhood Bookstore, The Women’s Building, etc.). The following venues have hosted previous Lambda LitFest events and may be open to doing so again: Stories Bookstore, Human Resources, The Virgil, Black Cat, Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library, Otis College of Art and Design, Poetic Research Bureau, West Hollywood Library Community Room, Studio C Artists, Avenue 50 Studio, Chinese American Museum, Muse Winebar & Bookstore, Chevalier's Bookstore, Beyond Baroque, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, The Abbey, Book Show, Book Soup, Skylight Books, and Akbar
  • Accessibility Statement – LitFest LA seeks programming that is original, unique, thoughtful, and places value on accessibility and diversity. The festival welcomes and encourages events that reflect the racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, and geographic diversity of Los Angeles. The festival also seeks programming that reaches out to youth and the dis/abled community. This year all events that are selected will be asked to have an accessibility statement in order to help the community better plan for the festival. Topics such as transportation options (public transit, parking), physical accessibility (ramps, handicap and gender neutral restrooms, stairs, scent-free), emotional accessibility (size of room, capacity, smoking/non-smoking, does the space have alcohol), and overall community accessibility (who runs the space and where is the space situated in LA) should be considered when submitting a proposal. 
  • LitFest will not accept commercial proposals designed to sell a product or service.
     

Frequently Asked Questions


Are curators expected to secure venues?  
Yes, though we are in the process of partnering with venues who may want to host community curated events. In other words, we may be able to offer you a venue, but we can't promise anything! As the curator it is ultimately your responsibility to secure a venue for the event that you are proposing. Accepted proposals will be paired with a LitFest Community Ambassador who can provide any needed assistance you may have with venue introductions or ancillary festival materials (LitFest letterhead, etc) to help you secure your venue.

What if I don't have the artists/writers confirmed yet? Can I still apply?
Yes! Try to secure as much as possible before pitching, but if there's still a participant that hasn't committed or a venue that hasn't confirmed, submit anyway. We understand that sometimes it's difficult to get everything locked up ahead of time.

When is LitFest?
Community-curated events will take place across the week of September 22 - 28, 2019 . They will occur throughout the greater Los Angeles area at venues secured by proposed parties. All programming should embrace the racial, ethnic, gender, dis/ability, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of our LGBTQ LA communities.

Does the program we suggest have to be a physical one or can it be virtual/online/live feed?
We welcome all types of events-virtual, physical, or otherwise. Proposals will first and foremost be evaluated on how well they fit with the themes and mission of LitFest.

What exactly is Lambda offering as far as resources?
Accepted proposals will be paired with a LitFest Community Ambassador who can assist with venue introductions and provide any necessary ancillary festival materials (LitFest letterhead, etc.). The Community Ambassador will be your main contact for any question you may have about the festival in general and your event in specific.  

Can I submit a workshop?
Absolutely! We love workshops.

Are curators allowed to create events only for LGBTQPOC people, including audience attendance (POC-only audience)?
While we welcome proposals that are tailored to LGBTQPOC members of our community, all LitFest programming must be inclusive of all audience members. If you have concerns about safe spaces for your programming, your LitFest Community Ambassador will work with you to ensure that your needs are met while respecting the inclusive mission of the festival.

What exactly am I responsible for as a curator?
Lambda LitFest is designed to be a showcase for the LA literary community. As a community curator, it is your job to organize, plan, and promote your event. This means securing a venue and participants, as well as spreading the word. LitFest is happy to assist when possible, but the ultimate responsibility for ensuring a successful event rests with you, the community curator. Tap into your networks, call your friends, bribe your favorite authors...okay, maybe don't bribe anybody...but you get the idea.

Is LitFest looking for any kind of programming in specific?
The only requirement is that it embrace the full, diverse spectrum of literary LA. Your proposal can be for a reading, a workshop, a Literary Death Match type competition, etc. Get creative with it and have fun! To see a list of last year's LitFest events click here.

Does programming have to be strictly "literary" or can it include other artistic expressions?
This is a literary festival, so the focus is going to be on the literary arts. That said we're open-minded. If you have a fantastic idea that you think would be a good fit, by all means pitch it! We'd love to take a look.

Do curators and artists have to be from LA?
Neither curators nor artists have to be from LA. However, the focus of LitFest is celebrating the queer Los Angeles literary scene. Successful events must have some significant connection to the Southland.

Do curators and artists have to be LGBTQ or are allies welcome to apply or be in the Festival?
LitFest LA welcomes everyone to join us in celebrating the full diversity of queer LA literature. Your submission for A Week of LitFest programming should have a strong connection to LGBTQ letters, but individual artists or curators do not necessarily have to be LGBTQ themselves.

May I suggest a program but not be the curator?
While we love hearing pitches for awesome programming, if you're submitting an idea, we ask that you also be willing to curate it. If for whatever reason you feel that you cannot commit to that responsibility, we suggest partnering up with a friend or community organization who is willing to take ownership of the event.

Are we allowed to pay our artists or charge a ticket price?
LitFest community programming must be free and open to the public. You may accept donations. You may also charge for merchandise or drinks. Please check with your venue if you plan on offering anything for sale, as policies may vary from venue to venue.

How many programs may I submit?
There is no limit. But, keep in mind, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring the success of each of your accepted proposals. Make sure you have the bandwidth to commit to whatever you are pitching.

Is Lambda open to programming from youth, possibly under 18?
Absolutely! Youth programming is encouraged!

Lambda Literary