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NU Press book series celebrates LGBTQ+ literature
The University of Nebraska Press is organizing a new book series that will highlight LGBTQ+ authors.
The Zero Street Fiction series will invite submissions of novels and short story collections from new and established LGBTQ+ authors that feature LGBTQ+ characters and/or themes. The series editors are Timothy Schaffert, Susan Rosowski Professor of English and bestselling author of “The Perfume Thief,” and SJ Sindu, author of “Blue-Skinned Gods.”
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln holds the distinction of offering the longest continuous LGBTQ+ programming of any institution of higher education in the nation. The Department of English offered the university’s first LGBTQ+ course in 1970 — also the he first LGBTQ+ class to be taught at a university by an openly gay scholar.
The co-editors of the series are two alumni of the university’s LGBTQ+ programming, who have become established authors themselves.
“We’re excited to join those editors and publishers who have been giving voice to queer authors, especially as the demand and interest in their stories has grown and flourished in recent years,” Schaffert said. “I’m interested in fiction that invites the reader into richly imagined worlds, whether a modern-day portrait of a well-known city or a complete invention of a fictional universe.”
Zero Street Fiction emerges from the university’s decades of commitment to LGBTQ+ literature. “Zero Street” is how Allen Ginsberg referenced Lincoln’s O Street in a poem he composed in 1966 while traveling to Nebraska for a reading on campus.
“Zero Street is not only exciting, but also important. I’m interested in fiction that transports me on a language level, wrapping me up in scene and story so that I’m no longer aware that I’m reading,” Sindu said. “We want to encourage fiction from authors with intersecting marginalized identities, especially those who speak to and illustrate diversity within queer communities.”
Zero Street will be committed to literary fiction with commercial potential, and to providing marginalized authors opportunities for a wide readership in the trade fiction market. The series editors are seeking literary fiction of all kinds, from stories of modern life to innovations on traditions of genre and are particularly interested in Black, indigenous and people of color authors, trans authors, and queer authors over 50 years of age.