Little Tiger imprint Stripes has chosen stories by four unpublished writers to feature in its upcoming Proud anthology by LGBTQ+ authors.
The winning writers - Karen Lawler, Michael Lee Richardson, Cynthia So and Kay Staples - will be published alongside contributions from established writers: Dean Atta, Fox Benwell, Caroline Bird, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Simon James Green, David Levithan and Jess Vallance.
Lawler works in children’s publishing at Hachette Children’s Group and has written a story entitled "I Hate Darcy Pemberley". Richardson, a youth worker from Glasgow, has written "The Other Team" and the entry from classics graduate So is "The Phoenix’s Fault". The fourth story, from content writer Kay Staples, is entitled "On the Run".
The author Juno Dawson, who chose the winning entries alongside Uli Lenart of independent bookshop Gay’s The Word and Stripes staff, 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.”
Editorial director Rachel Boden added: “We were thrilled with the response to our call for stories. The quality of writing was impressively high. These four stories explore experiences that are unique, but will still resonate with every reader.”
Proud will be published in March 2019. As previously announced, each of the stories will be illustrated by art from 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.
Stripes also hired an LGBTQ+ editorial mentee, Lucinda Tomlinson, to shadow Boden.