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Since 2015, Lambda Literary's LGBTQ Writers in Schools program and the NYC Department of Education have worked together to bring award-winning LGBTQ writers into schools to discuss LGBTQ life and literature. This virtual program brings reading to life by connecting students with working LGBTQ authors and creates a safer space for all students by building empathy for the LGBTQ experience. This program offers LGBTQ students the rare opportunity to see their identity reflected in the books they read at school and offers non-LGBTQ students insight into the beauty, complexity, and humanity of the LGBTQ experience.

The Writers in Schools Program pairs an LGBTQ author with students to discuss an author’s book assigned by the teacher. Classroom teachers, school librarians, and school leaders who apply for the program will be awarded a class set of books and an in-person/virtual visit from the author for up to 35 students. Once admitted to the program, participants will be given a list of the catalog of authors and books to choose from. All costs for the author and the books are covered by the NYC Department of Education/Office of Library Services and Lambda Literary.  The program is administered by Lambda Literary, entering its 35th year as a global leader advancing LGBTQ+ literature, through generous support from the New York City Council.

How does the program work?

The program is a two-part process: the first part is from August to November/Early December which includes the application and acceptance process, the professional development workshop, and the author selection and scheduling process, and the second part runs from January 2, 2023, to June 27, 2023, which is when the visits occur.

Teachers apply for the program through a competitive process designed to gauge interest, ability, and capacity to offer LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum to their students. Lambda Literary works with staff from the Department of Education to evaluate and adjudicate applications.  Educators expanding interest and ability to offer this program reflects their commitment to providing a safe and validating environment for all students. Lambda Literary provides accepted teachers with a well-curated catalog of age and culturally-appropriate LGBTQ+ titles. Teachers then select which author and book to bring to their school and Lambda Literary arranges and supports all aspects of the visit and post-visit evaluation.

What We Offer

Author visits

Lambda Literary's LGBTQ Writers in Schools program brings LGBTQ authors and their books into classrooms, book clubs, and schools virtually and in person. The experience creates critically necessary, safe spaces for students to talk about great books and how to thrive as an LGBTQ person. Your admission will include professional development, a real-time virtual/in-person visit from an author, and a classroom set of your chosen LGBTQ+ title. A standard visit accommodates up to 35 students and 2 educators. We have large group visits available (2-4 classes; one visit with one author). There are limited openings for all-school visits. You may apply for a visit and a workshop.

1 Hour Mini poetry workshop

One-hour poetry workshops are available to grades K-12 NYC public schools focusing on what a poem is and poem generation.

High School LGBTQ+ Writing Workshops (open to grades 9-12)

The writing workshop residency is open to NYC public school LGBTQ+ students to learn the craft and technique of creative writing. The workshop is an open and safe atmosphere where they can discover their queer voice through creative expression. A queer-identified writing mentor will lead in-school queer-centered writing workshops in a specific genre including fiction, poetry, personal narrative, and speculative fiction. The workshops will run for 6 consecutive weeks from Feb-March 2023 with each session lasting one hour. No more than 10 students per writing workshop. The end goal for each in-school residency is to produce a professionally designed ebook anthology of student writing. Must be held during school hours [as part of library programming].

What does this program provide?

As part of the program, before author visits begin, Lambda provides Professional Development training for participating teachers, librarians, and other educators. Co-led by Lambda Literary and Department of Education staff, the training is focused on best practices for LGBTQ+ curricular content inclusion in the classroom. Every participating student receives a free copy of an LGBTQ+ book to read in advance of the author’s visit. Authors' visits take place during a teacher's class period or in an extra-curricular group and last up to 1 hour.

Educators expanding interest and ability to offer this program reflects their commitment to providing a safe and validating environment for all students.

The Professional Development training will be virtual and hosted by the DOE. It will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 10 am - 12 pm.


  • Only K-12 New York City Department of Education schools are eligible.
  • Classroom Teacher/School Librarian should have experience delivering curriculum and instruction with diverse themes
  • Classroom Teacher/School Librarian should have knowledge of LGBTQ issues
  • Classroom Teacher/School Librarian should have the approval to attend virtual professional development sessions
  • Participants must commit to the program including reading the book with students, preparing for the visit, and helping to facilitate and guide discussion during the visit.
  • Classroom Teacher/School Librarian should have the school leader's approval

Please Note:

  • This form will autosave every few seconds.
  • This form will take approximately 7 minutes to fill out.
  • You may only submit one application, but multiple educators from the same school can apply.
  • Please have your DBN ready. This consists of your school's geographic district, borough letter, and school number (03M333 - Geographic district is 03, Borough is Manhattan, School number is 333). Find your school's geographic district and school number here: https://teachnyc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360053601831-What-is-a-DBN-District-Borough-Number-
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