INTRODUCING OUR 2020 MENTORSHIP PARTICIPANTS
inQluded Debuts QTBIPOC Writers and Illustrators Mentorship Program: a mentorship that lends itself to ‘group mentoring’. putting group discussions, group check ins, and collaborative initiatives to the forefront. at the end of the mentorship mentors and mentees will collaborate together to produce a digital magazine.
INQLUDED CLASS OF 2020 MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Alexis Aceves Garcia
Alexis Aceves Garcia (they/she) is a first-generation genderqueer Latinx and Indochinese poet from San Diego, CA. They are a 2020 Brooklyn Poets Fellow and in 2019, they were awarded a full fellowship as the Teaching Assistant for Catapult’s inaugural 12-month Poetry Generator Workshop with Angel Nafis and the Cisneros Poetry Fellowship from the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. You can find their poems in the June Jordan Poetry & Protest Anthology, Como Maracuya, Peptalk, and Cipactli with poems forthcoming in The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT, Apogee Journal, and Selfish Magazine. They are currently working on their first book and living in Queens, NY. You can find them on Instagram and Twitter.
Gabrielle Lawrence (she/they) is a writer, editor, and narrative designer from Southern California. Her writing has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal and her work can be found in Another Chicago Magazine, Rising Phoenix Review, The Squawk Back, Gravel Magazine, Sundog Lit, and others. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Yessica Avila (she/her) is a poet and creator who was born in Veracruz, MX and raised in Los Angeles. She enjoys exploring themes of migration and sexuality through various mediums. Their early introduction to the arts has influenced their experimentation in storytelling, digital media, and writing. In addition, Yessica’s background in design is an inspiration for the formatting of their poetry. She is currently working as a Communications and Knowledge, Associate and holds a B.F.A in Graphic Design from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Ashia Ajani (she/they) is a Black storyteller hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains. Her work confronts Black environmental imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance within the diaspora. They have been published in Them, Sierra Magazine, Sage Magazine, and the Hopper Literary Magazine, among others. They are a 2019 PEN America Writing for Justice Finalist. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October 2017. Follow her on twitter and instagram: @ashiainbloom
Denisse Cotto Reyes
Denisse Cotto Reyes (she/her) is a writer, born in Puerto Rico. She started writing at the age of 10 and has competed in multiple poetry slams, from urban word to Bronx writes slams. Denisse was a finalist in the Urban word poetry competition of 2009 and has since performed for people like Georgia Armani, has been published in Caroline Kennedy’s anthology book Poems To Learn By Heart. Denisse lives in NYC with infant daughter, her greatest masterpiece. Follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.
Efren Castro (they/them) and is a queer Latinx writer and designer. They write, design, publish, and sell zines with their poetry. They design all of their zines on PowerPoint and their aesthetics range from black and white emo to retro bright colors. Their poems are very nostalgic to him. They talk about family life, queer hookup culture, homophobia, men being trash, and whatever they’re feeling at the time. They love telling a good story or describing an emotion and it comes out in his poetry. Follow them on Instagram and onTwitter.
Lauran Jones is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina Wilmington pursuing a B.F.A in Creative Writing and a minor in Digital Arts. While she’s a prominent spoken word poet in Durham, she’s excited for the opportunity to work on her written craft with her mentor. Her goal is to be published in a literary magazine before she graduates college.
Ashanti Fortson (they/them) is a cartoonist, illustrator, editor, and educator with a deep love for kind stories with fantastical settings. Their work explores transience and reflection through a tenderhearted lens, and a good comic essay will always brighten their day. They’ve done comics for publications such as ZEAL and The Nib, as well as comics for various anthologies. Their illustration clients include Abrams Books, Medium, and My Kid Is Gay, and they were assistant editor on TO Comix Press’ Wayward Kindred comics anthology. Their debut graphic novel, CRESS & PETRA, will be published by HarperCollins in 2022. They’re the spider-saving sort. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
J Yang (he/they) is a trans illustrator in a penguin onesie for the duration of winter. They work in a children’s field. Published work—Our Rainbow, Spirit Day, the interior illustrations in Craftily Book 6; Portrait of a Tyrant (interactive historical game); illustrations for bilingual children’s short stories for Amplify. Illustration for most innovative gameplay for Valve 2019. The content J aims to put out in the world normalizes the existence of queer people, people of color, and disabled people by not making their differences the focal point of the story. J occasionally project manages 30+ artist charity artbooks—for more details, check out the projects tab! Based in New York. BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
PD Loupee (they/them) is a queer non-binary comics creator based in Brazil. Their prose has been published in Editora Draco’s Meu Amor é Um Sobrevivente, and in AmazonBR’s national short story contest, with the tale entitled Vazio, both under the pen name of Patricia Loupee. As a comic book editor and writer, they have been featured in six successfully funded Kickstarters, including the Prism Awards nominated anthology Being True: LGBTQ+ Comics from the Boston Comics Roundtable. Follow them on Twitter.
Apolonia “Apple” Nunez (she/her) is a digital artist/illustrator and native New Yorker of Polish-Peruvian descent. Her parents are both immigrants and she is a first generation American. Although she has a background in traditional art, her main focus is digital art and illustration. She currently illustrates work that reflects her love for comics and video game culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Amy Truong (she/her) is an illustrator based in South Florida. She primarily works digitally in Clip Studio Paint, but also enjoys traditional drawing and painting. She loves drawing about the everyday moments in life and is inspired by stories about friendships and found families. Follow her on Tumblr and Instagram.
Elijah Forbes (he/him) is a transmasc Two-Spirit artist from the Waganakising Odawa band. He works in illustration and comics, using sequential art and community outreach to reach a larger audience for Indigenous comic artists across Turtle Island. His work focuses on trans bodies and Indigenous sovereignty. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
Pamela Buchunan is an artist based out of Dallas Texas who works freelance. They mainly focus on doing pre production for animation (character designs, storyboards, etc) and illustrating. They co-run a queer book club and enjoy reading genre fiction with queer characters, watching cartoons, playing video games, listening to various podcasts, and reading about ancient history. Visit them at www.pamelabuchunam.com and their social media handle across the board is: princecurryy.
Moses Nyuiadzi is a black, nonbinary illustrator, tiny zine maker, and wannabe comic artist from the Silicon Valley. Their illustrations focus on existing as a queer black person and occasionally play in the fantasy of luxury. When not working, watching cartoons or playing video games. They never go outside. Follow them on Twitter.
Fanfi (Javiera Campos)
Fanfi (Javiera Campos) is a queer artist from Chile. She’s been featured twice on DATES (2017 & 2019), Lilies Anthology (2019) and the upcoming comic anthologies: Power&Magic II (2019) as well as MAÑANA (2020). Her passions include queer fantasy, oversaturated palettes, monstrous women, nuanced eroticism and coming-of-age narratives. Her strongest ambition is compatibilizing her love for conceptual fine arts and comics. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
G Romero-Johnson is a Minneapolis based Latina lesbian cartoonist. She loves exploring fantasy, sci-fi and horror genres through the lens of LGBTQ experiences. G can usually be found at a local bookstore sitting on the floor reading manga, or listening to podcasts analyzing horror movies. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Victoria Jackman is an artist, writer, and a college junior who is majoring in Studio Art. She’s currently attending Columbia College, where she’s studying to get her undergraduate degree. Her interests include art, specifically comics, film and animation, which is what she wants to pursue in terms of a career. Prior to and during her time at college, Victoria has had her artwork featured in local events such as Kids In Print(an anthology published by Richland Library) and in Art of Recovery at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. In her free time, Victoria indulges in reading books and watching animated shows and movies, some of which she considers to be a great influence on her creative works. Follow her on Twitter.
Pilot Viruet is a television critic, essayist, and screenwriter living in Queens, New York. Previously, they were the Television Editor at Flavorwire and the Culture Editor at VICE. Pilot’s work has appeared in The New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, Vulture, and more. Their screenwriting, which focuses on stories about queer and trans people of color, awarded them a spot in two highly-competitive fellowships: the 2019 Sesame Street Writers Workshop and the 2019 WGAE: Made In New York Fellowship. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez
Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez is a Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College in New York City. She is an immigrant of Juarez, Mexico and raised in Cicero, IL. Her creative work has been published in Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature, Hispanecdotes, Everyday Fiction, Acentos Review, Newtown Literary, So to Speak A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, and No Tender Fences: Anthology of Immigrant and First-Generation American Poetry, and Longreads. Follow Sonia on Twitter.
Carolina Batista is a queer, Dominican-American mujer passionate about healing and mental health in the Latinx community, period justice, and radical visual art. In their undergraduate studies, they majored in sociology focusing on immigration, media, and social movements. Since then she has professionally worked at a civil rights organization and as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In 2019, she created the Period Collective to uplift the experiences of marginalized menstruators through zines, resource sharing, and community. For Carolina, reading and writing have always been tools for healing, release, and connection; through the inQluded mentorship, she hopes to find their public voice to fight for social justice and uplift queer communities of color. Follow her Instagram.
Audrey Olivero is a Puerto Rican writer and editor from the South Bronx. Her work has appeared in Longreads, Carve, and Dovecoat Magazine. She has named every pigeon she’s ever met. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Monnaa Hassan is a writer based in Los Angeles, California. Her work centers womanhood, collective identity and storytelling in post-war healing. Monnaa holds a Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from the American University in Washington, D.C. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Japanese Language from California State University Long Beach. Follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.
Celeste Castro, she/her, is an American Mexican from small-town, rural Idaho, where most of her stories take place. She grew up with learning disabilities, though she always kept a journal. When she was a young adult, court-ordered volunteer work helped her find her way— community outreach. In 2009, she graduated from Seattle University with a Master of Public Administration. She began writing fiction in 2015. She’s a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) and is a 2019 GCLS finalist for paranormal fiction. Her writing credits include Homecoming, Bella Books, 2017. Lex Files, Bella Books, 2018. We’ve Got the Power, Brisk Press, 2018. The Taking, Bella Books, 2019. In addition to fiction, she’s a staff writer with Hispanecdotes, an online magazine for LatinX writers, where she publishes essays and poetry. Follow her on Twitter.
Sara Sirk Morató
Sara Sirk is a scientist and a writer. In the field, they focus on public outreach, field journaling, and bird conservation; in their art, they use fiction and essays to explore trauma and the fluid confusion of existence. When they are not on Twitter on Instagram, they can be found birding and watching horror movies. They are thrilled to be part of inQluded’s mentorship program. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
Young Adult Mentors
Born and raised in Arizona, Sonora Reyes (they/them) is the author of the forthcoming contemporary young adult novel: THE LESBIANA’S GUIDE TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL. They write fiction full of queer and Latinx characters in a variety of genres, with current projects in both kidlit and adult categories. Sonora is also the creator and host of the Twitter chat #QPOCChat, a monthly community-building chat for queer writers of color. Follow Sonora on Twitter.
Aaron H. Aceves
Aaron H. Aceves (he/him) is a Mexican-American writer born and raised in East L.A. He graduated from Harvard College in 2015, where he received the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Award after being nominated by Jamaica Kincaid. His fiction has appeared in Germ Magazine, as well as Raspa Magazine, a literary magazine focusing on the queer Latinx experience. He currently lives in New York, where he is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Columbia University, and is represented by Tina Dubois of ICM Partners. Follow Aaron on Twitter and Instagram.
Ciera Burch (she/her) is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College in Boston and a bookseller at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. Her fiction has appeared in American Literary Magazine, American University’s literary magazine, Underground, the art and literary journal of Georgia State University, and Blackbird. Her work was also chosen as the 2019 One City One Story read for the Boston Book Festival. When she’s not reading or baking, she can be found listening to true crime podcasts and eating ice cream. Find her on Twitter and on Instagram.
YOUNG ADULT MENTEES
Jasmine (she/her) is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY.
Ella P. Nguyen
Ella P. Nguyen (she/they) is a queer Vietnamese immigrant who is currently pursuing a BA in Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. They interns for juice journal, a student-led literary magazine funded by their university and writes book reviews for their local bookstore, the beloved Mcnally Robinson. They too much during their free time (as they should) and loves to write about characters who are as disastrously queer as themselves. Ella is currently working on her debut novel.
Felix Long (he/him) is a 22 year old trans chinese adoptee living in upstate New York. He is a pre-published Young Adult Fiction writer. He is currently writing a novella that retells the story of Cinderella, through alternating points of view of a genderqueer youth and his disapproving mother. Follow him on Instagram.