Four Writers Join Line-up for LGBTQ+ Anthology Book to Share Interpretations of Pride

An upcoming anthology of short stories and poetry for young adults written by LGBTQ+ authors has shared the announcement of four new writers to the project, found through a series of open submissions.

The newest writers to the ‘PRIDE’ anthology, curated by Juno Dawson and to be published by Stripes in 2019, were selected after a panel of editorial consultants read their interpretations of the theme of pride.


The four emerging writers, who are all unpublished and unagented, to be selected are Karen Lawler, Michael Lee Richardson, Cynthia So and Kay Staples. They join an already-impressive line-up of established writers including Dean Atta, Fox Benwell, Caroline Bird, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Simon James Green, David Levithan, and Jess Vallance.

Author, activist and PROUD compiling editor Juno Dawson said:

I think we’ve unearthed four brilliant stories by four brilliant writers. I was blown away by how diverse and imaginative all the submissions were and selecting only four was nearly impossible. I’m so proud of PROUD and can’t want for readers to get their hands on this unique collection.

Uli Lenart of independent bookshop Gay’s The Word and one of the editorial consultants to choose the emerging writers stating that “it was a real privilege to read such a various and richly talented selection of new work,” before adding that “reading these submissions I’m assured that the future of LGBTQ+ publishing looks both bright and deliciously surprising.”


Individual illustrators including Alex Bertie, Kate Alizadeh, Alice Oseman, Saffa Khan, Fatti Burke, Priyanka Meenakshi, Kameron White, David Roberts, Steve Antony, Leo Greenfield, Frank Duffy and Kristen Van Dam have been commissioned to create a piece of art in response to each story.

The stories included are:

‘I Hate Darcy Pemberley’ by Karen Lawler

Karen Lawler is an American living in London with her awesome wife and extremely cute dog Buffy. She loves reading, especially sci fi, fantasy, YA and historical non-fiction, and she funds her book habit by working in children’s publishing. She loves a good teen movie (10 Things I Hate About You is the best and she will fight you on that). This is the first time her writing has appeared in print.

‘The Other Team’ by Michael Lee Richardson

Michael Lee Richardson is a writer and youth worker from Glasgow. As a screenwriter he has written comedy for CBBC and BBC Alba. His original work has been shortlisted for BBC Scotland’s Frank Deasy Award and the BAFTA Rocliffe Comedy Award and his young adult comedy Real Life Experience was ‘highly commended’ for BBC Writersroom’s Trans Comedy Award. His short film My Loneliness is Killing Me – directed by Tim Courtney – will debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2018. In 2015 he won the Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award in the Children and Young Adult category. As a youth worker, he set up and ran Trans Youth Glasgow, a youth group for transgender children and young people, part of LGBT Youth Scotland. He currently work for LEAP Sports Scotland on Trans Team, a project aimed at encouraging transgender young people to engage with sport and outdoor activities.

‘The Phoenix’s Fault’ by Cynthia So

Cynthia So is bisexual and proud to be queer. She is Chinese, born in Hong Kong and now living in London. She studied Classics at university. Her writing has appeared in speculative fiction magazines including Anathema: Spec from the Margins, which publishes work by queer people of colour.

‘On The Run’ by Kay Staples

Kay Staples is a writer from the Midlands. After studying creative writing at the University of Birmingham, Kay now works in marketing as a content writer in London, and listens to an awful lot of alternative music.

Stripes will publish PROUD in paperback in March 2019.

Written by QWEERIST editor

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