It’s A Contest!

We are so excited today to announce our very first writing contest and our call for entries!  Starting now until November 30, 2014, you can send your entry to with the subject “Dear Danny”.

Peter Monn’s The Before Now and After Then has been striking up some great conversations.  Some have called it The Fault In Our Stars for the LGBT generation.  Others have said Peter “deftly shows the range of emotions involved with grief.”  One thing we noticed was that many people wanted to go back and talk to their younger self, tell them it gets better, or give them some advice.

Some of the most fun blogs and conversations we’ve seen center around this very idea.  It got our brains thinking and we really wanted to share these stories, and your stories, and also use it as an opportunity to give back to organizations who strive to strengthen the experience for LGBT youth in our reader areas.

The Before Now and After Then is LGBT YA and has a main character (Danny) that is struggling to find himself after the death of his identical twin, struggling with finding himself and coming to terms with his sexuality, and experiencing the whirlwind that is your first love when you finally find where you’re accepted.

The differences in the coming out experiences between Danny and his first love, Rusty, are extremely different.  Danny’s parents already knew and in a way, tried to coax it out.  In contrast, Rusty’s mother eventually came to accept him but his father completely cut him out.  It’s painful to think about but it’s also reality for many people.

Our goal with “Dear Danny” is for our readers to send us a letter to themselves, their younger selves, their current selves, whatever self they wish to encourage.  We want to compile an anthology full of uplifting pieces that tell young people struggling with either their LGBT identity or their coming out period, that others have felt the same way…and are okay.

There isn’t a necessarily broad spectrum of LGBT YA pieces that just say, “Hey, I get it, trust me.”  Often times, LGBT YA feel ostracized, alone, and confused when in reality, they are surrounded by people who love and support them.  Struggles can come from school, from administration, from peers, or from the home.

Or, things might just be great and someone wants to share an uplifting story.

Even though you are writing the entry to yourself, all pieces will be titled “Dear Danny.”

We will pick three Grand Prize Winners and the final selection of essays to be included in the book will be decided based on entries.

The Grand Prize Winners will all get a skype call from Peter Monn, signed Hardbacks of The Before Now and After Then, and the final anthology, AND, we will donate a portion of the royalties to the three winner’s favorite LGBT charity for the life of the anthology.

All essays included in the final anthology will recieve an eBook of the final anthology and a special thank you from Peter Monn himself.

So what are you waiting for?

Email your essay to

Rules and regulations as well as the entry form can be downloaded here: Dear Danny


4 thoughts on “It’s A Contest!

  1. Sounds like a really great idea – just want to clarify though, obviously as it’s a Dear Danny piece, does the letter to your former self have to revolve around LGBT and coming out? Or can it be based on your younger self’s struggles?

    • Hi Rachel,

      Great question! The book will be marketed to the YA and LGBT readers of TBNAT and our goal is to target those who find themselves in Danny or Rusty’s shoes with their journey. However, we also feel that everyone has great advice for their former self, so any entry is more than welcome regardless of sexual orientation.


  2. *Phew* I thought the closing date was October 30th, I’m so relived because I really wanted to do something for it, but the last week of the month went a bit crazy! Time to get my thinking hat on! R x

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