Little Tiger imprint Stripes is launching a new YA anthology of short stories and poetry by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer plus (LGBTQ+) authors.
Set for publication in March 2019, Proud will be curated by author Juno Dawson and, like Stripes’ previous anthologies I’ll Be Home For Christmas and A Change is Gonna Come, it will include stories by both published and unpublished writers.
The authors, which include Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Simon James Green, David Levithan and Jess Vallance, are being asked to interpret the theme of “pride” however they are inspired to do so, but the overall tone of the book will be one of celebration, said Stripes.
“Teenagers deserve to have more LGBTQ+ visibility in YA - and next March they will have this to add to the mix,” said editorial director Rachel Boden. “The stories will celebrate protagonists’ proud moments - whether it’s being proud of who they are or being proud of something they’ve achieved, no matter how small. Every teen has something to be proud of.”
The anthology will be illustrated by artists such as Alex Bertie, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan and David Roberts.
Dawson said: "When Stripes asked me to curate this collection, I instantly started to put together my squad-goals dream-team of talented, diverse, eclectic writers. What was even more amazing was that they said yes so enthusiastically. I think we all share a common theme in our childhoods: we didn’t see many characters at all who were like us. Now we get to fix that and unearth some new voices too. What a time to be alive.”
The company is also putting out a call for stories from unpublished and unagented writers who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as an aspiring editor to shadow Boden during the editorial process. Any interested writers can apply via the Stripes website and the closing date for the writing applications the 30th March and for the editorial position is 1st March.
Stripes published its first anthology, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, in 2016, with a story by a new writer Tracy Darnton, who has since published a YA novel with the company. Stripes’ second anthology, A Change is Gonna Come, celebrated BAME YA authors. Contributors Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy have since then signed with agents and editorial mentee Aa’Ishah Hawton has begun working at Canongate.