The Story of the Bad Ugly Monster by May Peterson

Gender in Romance is a series of posts focusing on the various experiences and perspectives of some of the top voices in queer fiction. Read more from the series here.   I learned early that I was bad. This wasn’t taught to me directly, like the ABCs. Of course the adults around me wanted me to be good and to believe I could be good. It wasn’t that I wasn’t loved, or that I didn’t try to behave. It was more like the way I learned that an oven could burn your hand,…

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Writing Your Way Out by Heidi Cullinan

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know, and this generally elicits passionate response, sometimes in defense of the maxim, sometimes against. I’ve always come down in the middle, writing from my experience most definitely, but always with a twist, because being direct too often results in something slightly misshapen, or dough too hot to touch. I’ll parse myself across seven or eight characters, giving one this memory, the other that odd tic, the next that professor from college. I always say the character most like me is a…

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