It can be lonely to be an LGBTQ teenager. Because of the stigma associated with being queer, many kids don't come out and thus face isolation. Even for those that do, there's no guarantee of finding a large or positive community upon leaving the closet.
Having a creative outlet and sense of community can help counteract these dangers. Seeking to aid in providing queer kids with such an opportunity, Harmony Ink Press has begun holding Young Author Challenges, inviting queer teens to write positive short stories about LGBTQ characters with the possibility of their stories being published in an anthology. The first such anthology, Harmonious Hearts, was released July 31 and features a collection of stories written by authors from ages 16 to 21 and starring characters from all over the LGBTQ spectrum.
The publisher is holding another Young Author Challenge is now asking talented young adults to submit their stories to be considered for the next volume. Additional guidelines details can be found on their website.