Three LGBTQ+ Publishers to Check Out During Pride Month
By Billi Jones, Jess Emery and Sofia Brizio
It’s our favourite time of the year again! Pride Month is the perfect opportunity to dive into the lesser-known corners of the LGBTQ+ publishing community, so today we are recommending three publishers that are all about that rainbow flag. Make sure to check them out and support them!
Founded in 2001 by author Steve Berman, Lethe Press is one of the larger gay presses specialising in gay romance/fiction, and transgender and genderqueer fiction.
“We’re queer and you better be okay with that!” screams their website, and that alone is pretty promising if you ask us. Named after the Greek river of memory and forgetfulness, Lethe Press is devoted to ideas that are often neglected or forgotten by mainstream publishers.
They publish a variety of historical fiction, science fiction, horror and dark fantasy books, including their award-winning series of anthologies, titled Transcendent, which showcases their wonderful transgender and genderqueer speculative fiction. Their imprint Tincture provides an outlet for the voices of LGBTQ+ authors of colour, publishing books like Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ+ writers from Africa. There truly is something for everyone!
Their books are available in libraries and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but can also be found and browsed by category on their website. If you’re a writer looking to publish with an inclusive publisher, Lethe Press are open to submissions until 1 November 2021. Follow them on Twitter @lethepress.
We at The Publishing Post could not be more excited about Cipher Press, an independent publisher dedicated solely to queer and trans writing. Launched in August 2020 by co-founders Ellis and Jenn, Cipher was something truly spectacular to be born out of the mayhem of the pandemic.
Cipher Press set the tone for success with Jess Arndt’s spectacular short story collection, Large Animals, and have since published an array of gripping work. Other highly acclaimed titles to have been printed in less than one exciting year include Sara Jaffe’s Dryland and Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends, both laden with the transgressive, hilarious and heart-wrenching storylines and characters typical of queer literature.
We briefly spoke to Jenn at Cipher Press, who said:
“Our mission with Cipher was to create a dedicated publishing platform for queer and trans writers, and to publish the kind of stories we – as queer people – felt were still missing from bookshops. We're still a very new press but over the past year we've had the absolute pleasure to work with some incredible authors. We feel very lucky to have brought Jess Arndt, Sara Jaffe and Brontez Purnell to UK readers,and are excited to be publishing debut trans author Alison Rumfitt this October. We've also been so privileged to work with some amazing UK queer writers via our Cipher Shorts series, from Shola von Reinhold to Isabel Waidner to So Mayer and Huw Lemmey. And so many others! One of the best things about Cipher so far has been the fact we feel part of the growing, evolving and massively creative queer lit scene that's emerging in the UK, and we're really excited to see where that takes us as publishers and about the writers we'll come across as we go along.”
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
“We believe in the importance of promoting diversity, which is why we publish authors who have lived experiences of the topics we cover.”
While not exclusively focused on publishing LGBTQ+ titles, it is impossible to deny the importance of Jessica Kingsley Publishers’ catalogue. This multinational publishing house began in 1987 with a focus on books on autism, social work and arts therapies. Since then, they have expanded their catalogue to include an even wider range of topics, including an extensive range of works focused on gender diversity.
Publishing works by the likes of Juno Roche, Meg-John Barker and Alex Iantaffi, Jessica Kingsley Publishers platforms the voices of those who have first-hand experience relating to the topic of gender diversity. Furthermore, they publish children's books across all of their diverse categories, which benefits the representation of all children and cultivates empathy and understanding through education.