Access & Inclusion,  People

Queer Adventurers LGBTQ Writing Contest 2022: Shelter

Historically, the outdoors haven’t been welcoming of queer people. Too many LGBTQIA folks have held back from having big outdoor adventures from beliefs they would not be welcome or it would not be safe.

While there is still work to do to ensure that everyone has outdoor access – and is free from harassment while they’re outdoors – Queer Adventurers would like to kickstart our first-ever LGBTQ writing contest by focusing on how the outdoors sustains and supports queer folks. This year’s theme is SHELTER:

Read on to discover what we’re looking for, how to submit, and prizes.

Submission Guidelines

Queer Adventurers is looking for 1,000 to 1,500 word personal essays on the theme of Shelter.

Specifically, we’re looking to hear a first-person story that happened to you about a time you found shelter in the outdoors. Feel free to take this literally and share a trip-gone-wrong tale where you had to get to shelter for your own safety. Or show how an outdoor activity or a favorite place acted as your emotional shelter during a turbulent time.

However you interpret the theme, your story must connect to the theme of shelter, outdoor adventures, and to your LGBTQ+ identity.

What does “outdoor adventures” mean to us? At its simplest, we’re talking about spending time in nature. This can be active or contemplative, on land or on water, as hardcore or as gentle as you see fit. From backcountry camping to backyard birding and everything in between. We’re equally interested in stories about backcountry camping and stories about birding. Since this is a queer travel publication, we request that every submission come from an LGBTQIA author.

Eligibility: Any writer 18+ from anywhere in the world who identifies as LGBTQ+ is eligible.

For this contest, we are only accepting previously unpublished stories. We cannot accept stories that were previously published to your personal blog, shared on Medium, etc.

Since we are looking to elevate LGBTQ+ experiences, we are not able to accept submissions from parents/spouses/other relatives of LGBTQ+ people for this contest.

If you have any questions about the contest, including eligibility questions, email us.

2022 LGBTQ Writing Contest Deadline

Queer Adventurers Writing Contest 2022 is accepting submissions from October 1, 2022 to December 15, 2022.

Submissions are accepted via this Google Form. You’ll be asked to upload your essay as a Google Doc, provide a brief bio, and complete a demographic survey so we can continue our work of broadening representation.

It’s free to submit!

One submission per writer is allowed, thanks!

Submissions must fit within the 1,000-to-1,500 word count range. Submissions that exceed this work count will be deemed ineligible, as will multiple submissions from a single writer.

Note: All writers who enter will be added to an email list for communication purposes. That’s where I’ll announce the winners.


The winning writer will receive a $150 cash prize and their essay will be published in Queer Adventurers.
One runner-up will receive a $50 cash prize and their essay will be published in Queer Adventurers.
Longlisted writers will have their essay published in Queer Adventurers and receive a free writing class on building a lit mag submissions strategy.

Note, cash prize is paid via PayPal or Venmo only.

How to Submit

  • Create a Google Doc. Make sure to change the permissions to anyone on the internet with this link can view, so we can read your submission.
  • Complete the submission form, bio, and demographic survey.
  • Reward yourself for submitting! I aways do.

Next Steps

We are so excited to read your submissions!

Submissions will be reviewed by our team in the order they are received. A longlist will be announced via email. Longlisted writers will have the opportunity to have their work published. The winner and runner-up will receive a cash prize, as mentioned, and their essays will be published.

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