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Embodying Queer Stories with Jenni Milton

Informed by the blueprint set forth in Felicia Rose Chavez’s The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop, this eight-week course is open to 13 LGBTQIA+ writers who seek to center the embodied experience of their characters, regardless of the genre of their work.* The world is shaped by patriarchal white supremacist power structures, and the traditional workshop table is no different. It’s time to change that. It’s time to write our stories in our voices. Writing through the body is key. When we write through the body, we pay attention to what happens inside of us when we experience trauma and its aftershocks. When we write through the body, we pick up a pen and paper and let our words pour out, unfiltered. Writing through the body is an act of resistance. Let’s build a collaborative and supportive community of LGBTQIA+ writers. Our stories are life-giving and life-saving, but, unfortunately, even as Pride has been co-opted by rainbow capitalism, our stories are still marginalized. Whether you are a seasoned workshop participant or have never attended a workshop before, all are welcome. Together, we will create a space to share our work that is safe, constructive and inspiring. 


Lambda Literary is offering this 8-week workshop on a sliding scale model with three tiers of payment. This is based on an honor system, please use your discretion and consider what you can pay. 

Sliding Scale Tier 1: $500

Sliding Scale Tier 2: $600

Sliding Scale Tier 3: $695

If you require a payment plan, please reach out to learnwithlambda@lambdaliterary.org.

Lambda Literary is offering two full scholarships for Queer or Trans folks who are Black, Indigenous, and/or Persons of Color (QTBIPOC), and those who identify as such. To apply for a scholarship, fill out the application and provide a scholarship statement.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and all emerging identities

***Applications are capped at 50 applicants. 


The workshop will take place over the course of 8 weeks in 2023. 

Week 1: Wednesday, July 12 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 2: Wednesday, July 19 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 3: Wednesday, July 26 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 4: Wednesday, August 2 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 5: Wednesday, August 9 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 6: Wednesday, August 16 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 7: Wednesday, August 23 from 7-9 PM EST

Week 8: Wednesday, August 30 from 7-9 PM EST

What Makes This Workshop Different? 

  1. No gag rule. Traditional workshops implement what’s often called the “gag rule,” where a writer whose work is being discussed must stay silent for the duration of that discussion. This is detrimental to the writer and to the workshop as a whole. Instead, writers will meet briefly with Jenni prior to having their piece workshopped. Together, we will come up with a list of questions you’d like to pose to the workshop table, bringing in other creative modalities as you see fit. You will lead the workshop discussion and I will support you. If, for instance, you feel the discussion is becoming unhelpful, I want you to say so, and I will help you steer the conversation in another direction. Remember: You know your work better than anyone, and we are here to help you more fully realize your vision.
  2. You write the syllabus. Seriously. As part of your application, you will be asked to name three writers or artists of any kind that inspire you. I’ll compile these, along with some of my own favorite pieces of art and literature, into a shared document that we can all refer to during the course.
  3. Freewriting. We’ll do as much freewriting as possible, typically at the beginning of class depending on how many folks are up in workshop each day. In encourage you to take home any freewriting exercises that we don’t get to during class time and use them to help you in your writing practice!
  4. Applying critique to your own work. It is very easy to find fault with someone else’s work. It is far more difficult and more useful—for both you and your peers—when you strive to imagine your way into their mind, to think deeply about the intention behind their words and provide feedback in a way that helps them accomplish their goals. Rather than writing critique letters of one another’s work, I’ll ask you to write one critique letter to yourself before the course is over. This letter can be a critique of one of your submissions, a list of things you love about your work and elements of craft that you want to continue honing, a culmination of everything you’ve learned, a revision plan. It can be anything you want it to be, but the goal is to practice examining your work with a generous but critical eye.

**While all genres are welcome, Jenni’s writing, editing and teaching experience is primarily in fiction and creative nonfiction. 

About the Instructor:

Jenni Milton is a writer whose fiction aims to center the embodied experience of queer people. Her work is as much focused on how we navigate trauma and mental illness as it is on how we insist on love and joy in a world that is increasingly hostile toward us. Born in Rochester, NY, she studied at Connecticut College, Oxford University and the Columbia Publishing Course. After graduating, she worked in book and magazine publishing at One Story, Oxford University Press, and Grove Atlantic. She earned her MFA at the Programs in Writing at UC Irvine, where she taught composition, fiction writing and literary journalism. In her final year of the program, she was Fiction Editor of the Pushcart Prize-winning journal Faultline. She now works as a copywriter, teaches for Blue Stoop, volunteers at H&H Books, and plays violin with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra and the Roxborough Orchestra. She has published work in Juked and A Distant Memory Zine, has a story forthcoming with RipRap Journal, and is working on a novel.

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