|J. Rachel Clay|
Their presentation will cover the need for authentic representation in fictional LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual/Allied) characters, as well as the benefits for the author and work in pursuing that authenticity. Examples and tropes will be explored, with time for questions.
Julia Rachel Clay is the Director of Communications for Pride St. Louis and the chapter lead for pride@KPMG (a local employer pride group). They hold a Master's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and write about LGBTQIA issues. In their personal life they enjoy spending time with their partner and writing poetry and fiction.
Kathleen Kayembe’s work has appeared in Lightspeed and Nightmare, the Hugo-nominated anthology Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, and been reprinted in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 12, and Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 5. She attended Clarion in 2016 as its Octavia E. Butler Scholar. In addition to writing speculative fiction and nonfiction, she also writes queer romance under the pen name Kaseka Nvita. A longtime member of the St. Louis Writers Guild, she has been known to organize write-ins and run Amherst Writers and Artists writing workshops for her fellows. You can find her on Twitter as @mkkayembe, online at KathleenKayembe.com, or in the flesh falling in love with the world every time she writes with a fountain pen.
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org.