13 Hoosier LGBTQ+ Authors to Read This Month 

To celebrate Pride Month, we are highlighting 13 LGBTQ+ Hoosier authors. Read the authors’ bios and visit their websites or social medias to support their writing. 

Sofi Keren

2022 Debut Shortlist, 2020 Emerging and Genre Shortlists

Sofi Keren is a writer in love with romance and her home city of Indianapolis. She writes stories that combine the two. She has published two romance novels: False Starts & Artichoke Hearts and Painted Over. In addition to her romance novels, she writes short speculative fiction under the name Summer Jewel Keown, which has been published in Pulp Literature, Bikes Not Rockets and the forthcoming Taylor Swift-themed anthology Kiss Your Darlings. She co-edited the anthology Non-stalgia with Ryan Everett Felton.

You can find her at sofikeren.com and on Twitter @keren_sofi.

Paul Allor

2022 Genre Winner

Paul Allor is a comic book writer, editor and educator. Their creator-owned books include Hollow Heart for Vault Comics, Monstro Mechanicafor AfterShock Comics, Tet for IDW Publishing and Past the Last Mountainfor CEX Publishing, among others. Paul is also known for their work in increasing queer representation in comics and for co-creating some of the first queer characters in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe franchises. Earlier this year, they received national recognition for their work in developing the Death Ranger, a non-binary villain in the Power Rangers universe.Hollow Heart, which won the 2022 Indiana Authors Award in the genre category, is a gay monster love story and an allegory for queer liberation.

You can find them on Twitter @PaulAllor and on Instagram @paul.allor.

J.R. Jamison 

2022 Debut Shortlist

J.R. Jamison is the award-winning author of the memoir Hillbilly Queer, host of the NPR podcast and radio show The Facing Project (recorded and produced at Indiana Public Radio) and a founder of the national Facing Project network—a nonprofit organization in 18 states and more than 100 communities that creates a more understanding and empathetic world through stories that inspire action. Currently, he is writing his debut young adult novel. J.R. is a two-time graduate of Ball State University with a B.S. in Cultural Geography and Creative Writing and an M.A.Ed. in Higher Education Administration. He lives in Muncie with his husband, Cory, and their dog, J.J. 

You can find him at jrjamison.com, on Twitter @JR_Jamison and on Instagram @jr_jamison.

Steve Schatz

2022 Debut Shortlist

Steve Schatz was born on the East Coast and raised in New Mexico and Texas, landing in San Francisco for many years before settling in Bloomington, Ind. His first book,Adima Rising, was published by a small press. Wanting more control over his work, he founded Any Summer Sunday Books. The first book published was Any Summer Sunday at Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe. The characters and interactions were so enticing that this book was followed by two more Nacho Mama books – Who Plugged the Dykeand Seashell Virgin. He also published a middle grade mystery, Ghost Girl

You can find him at stevewrites.com.

saundra mitchell

Saundra Mitchell

2022 Debut Shortlist, 2020 Young Adult Winner

Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture deliverer and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training and hitch-hiked from Montana to California. The author of twenty books for tweens and teens, her world includes Shadowed Summer,The Vespertine series, the nonfiction They Did What? series and three anthologies for teens, Defy the Dark, All Out, and Out Now. She always picks truth; dares are too easy.

You can find her at saundramitchell.com.

Leah Johnson 

2022 Young Adult Winner

Leah Johnson is an eternal midwesterner and author of award-winning books for children and young adults. She is the author of You Should See Me in a Crown, Ellie Engle Saves Herself and Rise to the Sun. In 2021, TIME named You Should See Me in a Crown one of the 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. Leah’s essays and cultural criticism can be found in Teen Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan, among others.  

You can find her at byleahjohnson.com, on Twitter @byleahjohnson and on Instagram @byleahjohnson.

Rue Sparks 

Rue Sparks is a composite of neurosis and nonsense held together by duct tape and sheer stubbornness. A widow, disabled and queer, they traverse the equally harsh and cathartic landscape where trauma and healing align to create stories that burrow into the hearts and minds of their readers. In addition to the short story collection The Stars Will Guide Us Back, Sparks has authored the novella Daylight Chasers and the magical realism/mystery novel, The Fable of Wren. They create artwork for the indie publisher Lost Boys Press and live in Noblesville, Ind., with their sweet senior support dog and a cantankerous cat. 

You can find them at ruesparks.com, on Twitter @ruesparks and on Instagram @rue.sparks.

M.A. Dubbs

M. A. Dubbs is an award-winning Mexican American and LGBT+ writer who hails from Indiana. Dubbs writes poetry, flash fiction and interactive/visual media. For more than a decade, her writing has been published in literary magazines and anthologies across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. She published her first poetry and short fiction collection, Aerodynamic Drag: Poetry and Short Fiction,in 2021 and released her chapbook, An American Mujer (Bottlecap Press), in 2022. Her poem “A Bi Awakening in a Red State” was longlisted for the 2022 Spectrum Poetry Competition.

You can find her at melindadubbs.wordpress.com and on Instagram @madubbspoetry.

Lily Someson 

Lily (she/they) is a Black and queer poet, activist and essayist from Gary, Ind. She is the author of Mistaken for Loud Comets, a chapbook-length poetry collection that surrounds the themes of prison abolition, fatherhood and the Black American experience. The manuscript was chosen as the Host Publications Spring 2021 Chapbook Prize. She has received a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Vanderbilt University. She also was the founder and editor-in-chief at Ransack Press, an LGBTQIA+-centered literary magazine and project based in Chicago. Lily is currently working on a full-length documentary poetry manuscript centered on midwestern/rust-belt landscapes and haunted houses. 

You can find them at lilysomeson.com, on Twitter @literalily and on Instagram @lily.someson.

D. G. Stephen

D.G. Stephen (Dylan Stephen) is a queer self-published author and poet born in Richmond, Ind. He released his debut poetry anthology, Wilted, which shamelessly delves into profound social issues such as sexual identity, small-town politics, religious trauma, substance abuse and self-acceptance. Currently, he is diligently working on his debut novel, All His Shades of Blue, a brooding M/M coming-of-age YA story. Drawing from his own experiences in rural Indiana, Stephen weaves a narrative that explores the complexities of identity, love and self-discovery in the most unconventional of places.

You can find him on Instagram @dylan_stephen.

Sylvia Thomas

In 2016, Sylvia began performing her spoken word in Indianapolis. In 2018, her words took her to Copenhagen, Denmark, as a poet for Winter Pride. After her trip to Europe, she wrote a collection of poems for her debut chapbook, DIVINE. In August of 2021, she was a headliner for Copenhagen 2021: World Pride and EuroGames. After her World Pride performance, she performed for a collaboration between the Global Queer Youth Network and the United Nations Envoy on Youth. Sylvia released her self-published book, Twirl:  A Collection of Poetry by a Queer and Transgender Hoosier, in November of 2021. Since the release, she has been traveling to promote her latest body of work.

You can find her at sheissylvia.com, on Twitter @sheissylvia and on Instagram @sheissylvia.

Lora Teagarden 

Growing up in Speedway, IN, Lora attended Ball State University for her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Architecture and currently works as an Associate at RATIO. She is the author of The Little Architect’s Alphabet: Learning your letters through design, released in October of 2020. The next book in The Little Architect series is expected spring of 2024. Lora also runs the #ArchitectsTravelingLibrary, which started from conversations with friends about good, energizing books to read about architecture, design, and business. It is a growing “pay it forward”-style lending library, with a new book being released each month. 

You can find her at linktr.ee/L2DesignLLC, on Twitter @L2DesignLLC, and on Instagram @l2designllc