QUILTBAG Compendium

(This was originally published as a post with still-relevant comments here.)

***Please note that this page is going to be minimally updated, now that LGBTQReads.com exists. Please see that site for more on published and upcoming books.***

If you follow me on Twitter, or listen to me babble anywhere else, there’s a good chance you know I’m a pretty massive advocate of QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA. Since I’m always kinda going on about it in a lot of random places, I wanted that info in one spot, which also has a comments section, since obviously I’m far from the be-all and end-all of knowledge on the subject.

Table of Contents

Publishers, Book Blogs, Rec Lists, and Resources
Agents/Editors seeking QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA
Published QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA
Upcoming QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA

A note on using “QUILTBAG”: Yes, it’s kind of a dumb word (for the unfamiliar, it stands for Queer/Questioning Undecided Intersex Lesbian Transgender Bisexual Asexual Gay), and I do sincerely apologize to anyone for whom this is not the preferred term, but I’ve chosen it for being the most outwardly inclusive and pronounceable option.

Publishers, Book Blogs, Rec Lists, and Resources

Publishers

Harmony Ink – the YA imprint of Dreamspinner Press

Bold Strokes Books – a publisher of LGBTQ YA/NA

Less Than Three Press – a publisher of queer NA

Triton Books – the YA imprint of Riptide Books

Bella Books – a lesbian publisher with a Young Adult category

Duet Books

Sites/Blogs/Reviewers

Lee Wind’s review site

Gay YA – A site dedicated to LGBTQIA+ characters in and authors of YA fiction

Queer YA – A site dedicated to highlighting sexuality and gender identity diversity in youth culture

DiversifYA – all posts under their QUILTBAG tag, including their DiversiTheme Roundtable on Diversity and Sexuality

Diversity in YA, which emphasizes both racial and sexual diversity and often includes specific rec lists

Ace Literature – not specifically about Kidlit, but with Asexuality so underrepresented, it’s worth checking out

True Colorz

A feed of LGBTQIA+ Booktubers, compiled by Jeanne

A list of Queer and Queer-Friendly Bloggers, almost entirely compiled by Patrice Caldwell

Bisexual Books, which reviews books of all categories from the bisexual perspective

The Lesbrary

Posts/Rec Lists

I’m Emily Quinn, and I’m Intersex, by Emily Quinn via MTVAct

2015 Rainbow List

Asexuality in YA Books, by Kelly Jensen for Bookriot

Top 10 LGBT Books for Pre-Teens, by Susie Day for The Guardian

YA Books About LGBT Characters of Color and More YA and YA-Friendly Books about LGBT Characters of Color, by Malinda Lo

8 LGBTQ Canadian YA Novels You Might Have Missed and Should Read, by Robin Stevenson

YA LGBTQ Novels Where the Focus Isn’t Coming Out, by Nita Tyndall

An Alternative School Reading List: Here is Every YA Ever with Lesbians, by Jill Guccini on AfterEllen

LGBTQ & You: How to Support Your Students, by Lauren Barack in School Library Journal

Graphic Guide to YA Novels with LGBTQ Characters, by Molly of Molly is Wrapped Up in Books, as part of this post for YALSA

25 Must Read Books Featuring Gay Protagonists, by Epic Reads

8 Great LGBTQ Characters in YA Lit, by Me, via Barnes & Noble Blog

12 Must-Read LGBTQ YAs of 2014, by Me, via Barnes & Noble Blog

13 Under-the-Radar LGBTQ YA Must-Reads, by Me, via Barnes & Noble Teen Blog

A 2015 LGBTQI YA Preview, by Me, via Barnes & Noble Teen Blog

15 of Our Most Anticipated 2016 LGBTQ YAs of 2016, by Me, via Barnes & Noble Teen Blog

Along those lines, here are some agents who have stated they are actively seeking QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA:

(Please note, I’d venture to say most, if not all, are! I just didn’t want to list anyone here without consent. Everyone here has specifically responded to this post. Also please note that A) submission guidelines are still to be followed as stated on each individual agent’s site, and B) inclusion here is not an endorsement by me of any given agent or agency.)

*Editor who accepts unagented submissions. NOT an agent.

Next up, a not-at-all comprehensive list of published QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA.

Requirements for being on this list are:

1) The main* character and/or love interest has to be QUILTBAG

and

2) If I haven’t read it, at least one QUILTBAG person whose opinion I respect has to have loved it and confirmed good representation of all QUILTBAG characters. (So, no gay books with biphobia, for example.) Authors are welcome to mention their own books in the comments, but I will not be adding more to the published list unless I’ve personally read and loved them, though exceptions may be made for books in highly underrepresented categories.

*Multi-POVs in which at least one narrator is QUILTBAG have been included

If a book is bolded, it means I’ve read it. If it isn’t, it means it was recommended by people I trust.

If a book is in blue, it means it’s intersectional in that the main character who is QUILTBAG is also a Person of Color. (For more intersectional titles, check out my Resources for Writing Marginalized Perspectives.)

Books are tagged for the identities they encapsulate in the main characters and love interests. If you are the author of the book, please tell me if you feel that is not the correct label and I will happily change it. I’m not trying to force anything; I just want people to more easily be able to find the books they’re looking for, particularly the ones dedicated to less frequently represented members of the community. (Please note that in sometimes I just use Q in lieu of not knowing.)

I’ve also coded gender for B, Q, and T characters: the letter in orange means that character identifies as male; in green as female; in purple as a non-binary identity.

If you see a + after a title, it means there are at least two characters on the queer and/or gender spectrum in the book in addition to the main character and any love interests. (A set of parents counts as one.) Again, I can only put in what I know/remember, so please feel free to let me know if something should be modified.)

*Technically published as Adult, but reportedly very YA-appropriate, and obviously Intersex is a rare enough category

**LGBTQ romance is secondary in the novel, but primary in the associated novella

And finally, a list of upcoming* QUILTBAG MG/YA/NA:

2017

2018

2019

  • When We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

TBA

Non-Fiction

*In order to be listed, the book must be contracted (if being traditionally published) or completed (if self-published) and on Goodreads with a release date.

If you’ve got a book rec, or read a blog post on the subject that meant a lot to you, or are an author of QUILTBAG YA whose book isn’t listed here, or you’re an agent who wants to be added to the list – whatever – please drop a note in the comments! (Please note I won’t be adding any books to the list I haven’t read.)

35 thoughts on “QUILTBAG Compendium”

  1. If you’re still updating publishers, I’d like to add Less Than Three Press to your list! http://www.lessthanthrepress.com – queer spectrum publisher! Thank you so much for this incredible list ♥

  2. My book This is Not a Love Story is LGBT, with emphasis on the B, and features british Jewish characters, and PoC. Set in Amsterdam. Discussion of diversity issues. Also (hopefully) funny and sad and sweet.

  3. My NA LGBT fantasy in a tropical Jewish setting (with dragons!) and focusing on family-of-choice is published by Prizm Books.
    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7234426.Shira_Glassman

    The latest one is A Harvest of Ripe Figs, where the queen solves mysteries and raises the baby princess with her partner. This one features a trans boy who gets a happy ending with a new family.
    The other ones are:
    Climbing the Date Palm (worker’s rights, bisexuality, and shapeshifters)
    The Second Mango (tiny lesbian becomes queen, makes friends, goes on quest to find girlfriend)
    Tales from Outer Lands (the short stories) – bi woman outwits aliens, warrior woman rescues aro-ace damsel in distress

    Book 4, The Olive Conspiracy is due out in 2016.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  4. I’d be in your debt if DAYBREAK RISING (LGBTQAP+ characters, F/F romance, NA SFF) was added to the 2016 list, along with my publisher Oktopus Ink. I’m an agender autistic author, myself.

    http://oktopusink.com/books/

    [GoodReads is forthcoming, though someone has already added it, I would prefer to list the official GR listing from my publisher when it goes live]

    😀

  5. Great list!
    I’m a YA author signed with Glass House Press, and I have two series under contract, both of which have a variety of QUILTBAG characters. My YA Sci Fi series, The Psionics, is half narrated by a genderfluid character, and also prominently features other LGBTQ individuals. My second series, Warp Weavers, is a YA urban fantasy narrated by a POC whose closest friend is bisexual.
    I am queer, and it is very important to me to have positive and varied representation within my writing, even though I don’t write -about- being lgbtq (more about telepaths being systematically eradicated/ turned into tools by goverments, and interdimensional warfare).

    I am providing links here to the two series prequels that are already out.
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22742319-slam (protagonist is a lesbian, although not out within this particular short, is allied with a trans guy who becomes a major series character by book 2)
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24717719-blood-in-the-water (narrated by ADHD bisexual teen with the power to open and close dimensional doorways)
    I’d love to send you a copy of either, or if you’d prefer to wait for the full length follow ups, that’s great too.

    Thanks for your time!

  6. Unsure if you want to include us on your list, but Vitality Magazine publishes LGBTQ speculative fiction and our target audience is teens/20’s. We’re not opn for submissions until May, but our first issue and free minizine are both out already. 🙂

  7. My novel, CHICKEN, comes out July 28, 2015. It’s a m/m love story set in a small Arkansas town during a controversy over fast food chicken in the summer of 2012.

  8. If you wanted to list Unicorn Tracks for upcoming, that would be amazing ❤

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25231892-unicorn-tracks

  9. You should check out Interlude Press, a few of their titles might count as NA, and they have YA titles coming including a summer short story collection.

  10. James Dawson’s This Book Is Gay, a brilliant non-fiction guide for LGBTQIA teens, comes out in the US from Sourcebooks Fire in June. Has been much loved by UK readers.

  11. My YA Promposal comes out in Feb 2015, and it features a gay protag. 😀

  12. I haven’t read it yet, but hearing tons of good things about Holly Black’s Darkest Part of the Forest (G). Others coming out next year that I’m aware of – Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskovitz (B, I believe.) The Malorie Blackman anthology Love Hurts has a (T) story from Laura Dockrill and I think has other QUILTBAG stories in, but not 100% sure. Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On (G). Masquerade by Laura Lam (I). All of the Above by James Dawson (not 100% sure which letters it would fit under, described as ‘a love story that explores sexual fluidity’, I THINK from what I’ve heard it would be GF/GQ, but possibly others as well.)

  13. Thank you for adding WE ARE THE ANTS to this amazing list! I’ve also got a book out January 20, 2015 called THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY that features a gay narrator in a story that’s not about coming out.

  14. Thanks for putting this together! My 2014 book “Red Devil” was a runner-up for the Best Gay YA Novel in the Rainbow Awards, and the whole list of Rainbow Awards winners might be good to look at (http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4485333.html). Elisa, who manages the awards, also lists “Honorable Mentions,” where she excerpts comments from judges who loved the books they reviewed, so you can see specific thoughts on them (http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4476619.html is the one that includes “Red Devil” if you would like to see mini-reviews of it :).

    The follow-up to “Red Devil,” titled “Black Angel,” will be out in 2015.

  15. Any chance you could add Lisa Williamson’s astonishingly wonderful The Art of Being Normal (T)? Out in UK Jan 1st 2015 and US spring 2016 according to this – http://www.yainterrobang.com/recent-book-deals-june-29/ – Farrar, Straus & Giroux publishing in the US, while David Fickling has it in the UK. I wrote a little bit about it here – http://www.yayeahyeah.com/2014/10/the-art-of-being-normal-by-lisa.html – but will have a fuller review nearer the time.

  16. The sequel to “The Culling,” called “The Sowing” features new lesbian and bisexual characters in addition to the returning gay protagonist. Thanks!

  17. Hi Dahlia,
    Thanks for the list and for including my RAINBOW TRILOGY. Also, I would like to recommend my most recent novel about bisexual teens, BOYFRIENDS WITH GIRLFRIENDS. Thanks!
    Warmest wishes, Alex
    http://www.AlexSanchez.com

  18. I did not see any books by Cheryl Rainfield. I’m thinking of SCARS (L) and STAINED (L). They both feature lesbian relationships, and are powerful stories. Great list, Dahlia.

  19. Thanks for the Love Lessons nod. Its sequel, Fever Pitch, is out September 30. It will eventually have a lesbian story, a trans female story, and next year another gay. Also, in April 2015 Samhain will publish Carry the Ocean, a gay NA with autistic and MDD protagonists.

    • Dahlia Adler said:

      Great! Thanks for the updates, Heidi! Please keep me posted as the future books go up on Goodreads!

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