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Call for Essay Submissions - PAUSED
We are sorry to announce the this project is PAUSED for the time being. We appreciate all who submitted and will be in touch with you shortly.

Thank You For Coming Out (TYFCO) is going to be a book! 

In partnership with the International Human Rights Arts Festival (IHRAF), we are inviting community members to submit their coming out/coming-into-self stories for a chance to be part of this anthology of essays. True to TYFCO’s ethos, the book will be curated to celebrate writers of all different LGBTQIA+ identities, journeys and writing experience levels. Sharing and celebrating our stories is the foundation of TYFCO. Representation and visibility are crucial to the queer experience and connect us to the world around us. We all have different journeys and stories and there's so much power in sharing our individual experiences. It's important that we are continuously archiving our stories for ourselves and for future generations to learn from and to see our experiences reflected throughout time. We are thrilled to build yet another space of visibility, representation, connection, and community!

TFYCO IHRA_edited.jpg

How to Submit

For your chance to be part of this anthology of essays*, using this Google Form, please submit a 250-word synopsis of the story you would be sharing as an essay. In lieu of a written synopsis, you can submit a video/voice memo (via YouTube or Vimeo) that is 60-120 seconds (up to 2 minutes) telling us your synopsis. Please note that files longer than 120 seconds will not be reviewed. We also ask you to please submit a 500-word writing sample (this can be a sample of anything you’ve written and not necessarily the essay you are sharing). You must be 18 years or older to submit.

Please note you will need a Gmail account to submit a form; this is because we ask you to upload files and therefore it requires you to sign-in. If this is a barrier, please email the TYFCO Team at

A committee of three (3) people will be selecting 15-20 essays to include in the printed book. The committee evaluating and selecting submissions is entirely LGBTQIA+. 


  • The story does not need to be the first time you came out. As queer folks, we all have multiple coming out/coming into self stories. This can also include a meaningful discovery moment – a time when something shifted for you and your identity(ies) became more in focus. Please submit the story/moment you’re most excited to write about. 

  • We encourage folks of all genders, gender expressions, sexualities, races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, and ages (18+) to submit a story.

  • You do not need to be an experienced writer to submit a story. Writers will work with the TYFCO team to craft their stories.

  • Accessibility is important to us and crucial to this project. If you need any accommodations with writing your essay, please reach out to the TYFCO team at

  • TYFCO and IHRAF love and appreciate our non-LGBTQIA+ allies and this project is one for them to support, not participate in. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to the TYFCO team at


All submissions are due March 1, 2023, 2:59am ET. Late submissions will not be reviewed. If you need accommodations or an extension, please email the TYFCO team at

Acceptance/non-acceptance emails will be sent in March/April 2023.

Chosen Essays

If your essay is selected, the Thank You For Coming Out team will be in touch with further information about the process. Authors will have at least 2.5 months to write their essays and work with TYFCO and an editor from IHRAF on their piece. 


Each essay will range from 1,500 to 3,000 words (approx 5-10 pages, 12pt Times Roman, double spaced). 


To be included in the book, authors will be required to: 1) sign a contract confirming the essay has not been published anywhere else 2) provide a headshot and biography for publishing and marketing purposes 3) meet all deadlines or they may forfeit their spot in the book.


Thank You For Coming Out and IHRAF are small organizations operating on small budgets and we acknowledge the importance of compensating folks from historically underrepresented identities for their emotional labor. Each author whose essay is published in the printed book will receive a one-time $100 stipend, paid by Thank You For Coming Out.


Thank You For Coming Out and taking interest in this project! We’re not just a show, we’re a community! 

*TYFCO and IHRAF reserve the right to choose which essays will be included in both print and digital. We reserve the right to add content warnings to any story submitted. TYFCO and IHRAF will not change the content/heart of any piece but may edit for length, flow, and grammar. Authors will have the opportunity to approve the final version. 


Thank You For Coming Out (TYFCO) strives to inspire authenticity and belonging by uplifting and centering LGBTQIA+ stories and identities. Through empowering LGBTQIA+ people and our allies, we are building a strong and interconnected community where every person knows they are an integral part of creating a just world.


The International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF) offers creative programs promoting freedom of expression, human rights, and social justice around the world.

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