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Ongoing Pre-Order Campaigns: Updates!

Now that we’ve finished our month-long push for our Kickstarter campaign for Aether Beyond the Binary, we have space and time to talk about literally anything else on our social media (lol). We’ve gotten a couple private inquiries about the status of our other projects, so here’s an overview of progress on our current publishing projects (we’ve also got a couple art projects in the works, but that’s a topic for another day).

A graphic featuring book covers over a background with a gradient from dark blue to pink (reminiscent of the bisexual pride flag). Text at the top says "Project Updates from Duck Prints Press," with the "Duck Prints Press" part inserted as the Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints and our Dux mascot standing beside it. There are five book covers shown below this: "To Drive the Hundred Miles" by Alec J. Marsh (depicting two people walking hand-in-hand against a snowy forest background), "Aim For The Heart" (which shows a person in historical Musketeer-esque clothing baring their chest as three swords are aimed at the center), "Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance" by A. L. Heard (which shows two men in hockey helmets and jerseys embracing), "Aether Beyond the Binary: A Duck Prints Press Anthology" (which shows two people of indeterminate gender doing science, studying a floating flower), and "Many Drops Make a Stream" by Adrian Harley (which shows a giant bird carrying a woman high in the sky, a fantasy/historical style city far beneath them.)

To Drive the Hundred Miles by Alec J. Marsh

Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers

  • fulfillment on the crowdfunding campaign for our most recent anthology is complete
  • as of January 20th, the book and leftover merch are now available on our webpage!
  • you can also get the e-book through major retailers and can request it through your library
  • we’re working on reformatting the book to a slightly different size so that we can also offer it print-on-demand to major retailers, local bookstores, and libraries everywhere

Hockey Bois by A. L. Heard

  • all merchandise has been received and prepared for distribution
  • trade paperback books have been received
  • the proof of the hardcover edition has been approved, and the hardcover edition is in production
  • according to our book printer, BookLogix, we should expect delivery of the hardcover edition in roughly a month (around the end of February)
  • once we’ve received all items necessary for fulfillment, we will send out everyone’s orders as quickly as possible

Aether Beyond the Binary

  • the crowdfunding campaign for our next anthology successfully concluded yesterday!
  • we are putting finishing touches on stories
  • we are preparing templates suitable for printing our merchandise
  • we’ve begun to gather information from backers necessary fulfillment
  • most fulfillment activities are on hold until the funds clear and we can actually place orders; this will take roughly three weeks

Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley

Other Projects

  • Many Hands: An Anthology of Polyamorous Erotica: stories for this collection are being edited, with progress ranging from “barely started” to “almost done.” We’re just beginning to discuss the books internal appearance, and are waiting on the final cover from the artist we’re working with. We expect to release the contributor list in the next few weeks and hope to crowdfund the anthology during the spring.
  • Untitled Best Of Anthologies: we’ll be doing two anthologies – one general imprint and one explicit imprint – featuring stories published to our Patreon and webpage before September 31, 2023. Most of the stories have been set, and we’ll beginning work on the cover and campaign features soon. We expect to launch this during the summer of 2024.
  • A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: recruitment for this anthology closed on January 15th, and we will be selecting contributors and notifying them by January 31st. We expect this campaign to be ready for launch in roughly a year (late 2024 or early 2025).
  • Untitled General Imprint Anthology: we’re in the very preliminary stages of discussing a theme for our next general imprint anthology, and we expect to open recruitment for it in the late spring, with an expected publication date of summer, 2025.
  • Scrap Metal Angel by Nicola Kapron: our next novella project, we are working on final editing, and once that’s done we’ll begin work on a cover, artwork, and other campaign aspects. We don’t yet have a time frame on pre-orders, but definitely during 2024, before the fall.
  • The Twinned Trilogy by Tris Lawrence: we still have a great deal of editing to complete on this project, but covers are done and the pre-launch page is on Kickstarter. We’re aiming for spring or summer 2024 for crowdfunding.
  • We have several other novellas and novels in the pipeline, but none that we’re ready to announce yet. Be on the look-out!

Want to always know the latest on what we’re working on? Want a say in what we work on next? Want behind-the-scenes access, more information, awesome extras, free stories, and more? Want exclusive extra merch for supporting our future campaigns? Best yet: want the joy of supporting queer independent publishing? If you said “yes” to any of these, there’s no time like today to become a backer of our Patreon!

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Aether Beyond the Binary: Final 48 Hours

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for our anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 stories of non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, and other outside-the-binary characters living in modern aetherpunk settings, has entered our final two days of funding! And we’ve crossed our funding goal (after a scare with a fake pledge that has made things…uh…interesting)!!

It’s not too late to get your copy of this awesome collection made by our very queer press by our very queer contributors. We wrap on January 25th at 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

Learn more about Aether Beyond the Binary now by visiting the Kickstarter campaign, or read on for more info…

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology (two people of indeterminate gender doing science, one with a flower hovering over their hand, the other holding a tablet), the sky whale enamel pin (a green whale flying through a cloudy purple night sky, the non-binary symbol balancing from its mouth), the aether dux sticker (a duck with a blue mohawk, choker necklace and a harness securing crystal wings to their torso), the plant-watering robot holographic sticker (a cute flying robot watering a tropical potted plant), and the aether musician bookmark (a young white person playing the guitar, magical swirls in the non-binary pride colors dancing around them).

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this oh-so-different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

Aether Beyond the Binary features 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words. We aim to publish it as an e-book (ePub and PDF), and to print it digest size, 5.5 in x 8.5 in (14 cm x 21.5 cm) in both trade paperback and hardcover formats. Aether Beyond the Binary also features a spectacular wrap-around cover by non-binary artist Mar Spragge; this will be printed as a lovely gloss dust jacket for the hardcover edition. 

Curious about the project? You can learn way more by visiting the campaign page or by checking out our other blog posts about it to learn more about our merch and contributors and read excerpts, creator interviews, and more:

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Reminder: “Ask Me Anything” Session with Nicola Kapron TODAY!

Just a reminder that today (January 6th) at 3 p.m. Eastern (timezone converter), novelette, short story author, and Aether Beyond the Binary anthology contributor Nicola Kapron will be taking questions on the Duck Prints Press Book Lover’s Discord server! We’d love to have you join us – don’t forget to bring your curiosity!

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Back the Aether Beyond the Binary Kickstarter Campaign!

The cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Duck Prints Press is thrilled to announce that the crowdfunding campaign for science-fantasy gender-diverse sixth anthology Aether Beyond the Binary is now live on Kickstarter!

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or barely changed, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether. This power source may replace technology, supplement it, or oppose it. These characters may be agender, genderfluid, bigender, or any other non-binary identity. The thread that these tales share is exploration: of the world around them and of the self. We propose no conclusions; instead, we demonstrate how far-reaching the questions are and how expansive the range of possible answers can be, thereby broadening the discussion about the nature of gender and the place of genderqueer characters in science-fantasy fiction. We hope you’ll join us to explore the endless possibilities of these magical worlds.

This anthology includes 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words, by our diverse fancreators-turned-original-fiction-authors, gorgeous artwork by Mar Spragge, Pippin Peacock, Alessa Riel, and Atomic Pixies, amazing merchandise, and awesome add-on extras.

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology, the sky whale enamel pin, the aether dux sticker, the plant-watering robot holographic sticker, and the aether musician bookmark.

Looking for the perfect post-holiday purchase? Look no further! Get awesome, gorgeous stuff, a fantastic, erudite book, and support queer indie publishing – become a backer of the Aether Beyond the Binary crowdfunding campaign TODAY!

Campaign ends January 25th, 2024.

Patreon backers who support the crowdfunding campaign can also get an excellent extra: the adorable plant-watering backer as a key chain! So there’s no time like the present to back us on Patreon, too!

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Get to Know AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY

A graphic entitled "Get to know AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY." In the center, it features the cover of the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Seven arrows point away from this central graphic, aimed at text that reads: 17 stories; queer creators; small press; non-binary and genderqueer main characters; aetherpunk!; modern settings (but magical!), queer relationships.

Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter Launches DECEMBER 26th! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!

We are only ONE WEEK away from the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Duck Prints Press’s sixth anthology, AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY.

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this very different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

What is aetherpunk? Imagine a world where there’s technology not unlike what we have in the modern world, except that instead of that technology operating using the principles that we, now, would call “science,” that technology operates using magic! That’s aetherpunk—the awesome union of technology and complex magical systems in magic-filled worlds to produce unique settings that resemble modern-day Earth but are also very, very different. With aetherpunk stories, the impossible becomes possible, and new solutions to the world’s problems become available! You can learn more about the history of aetherpunk and what aetherpunk is in this blog post!

What is a character outside the gender binary? The gender binary consists of the two most common genders: male and female. Most people, whether they are cisgender or transgender, fall within this binary. Nonetheless, gender is a spectrum, and there are many gender identities that are outside, between, among, or combinations of cis and trans, male and female. One umbrella term for these identities is non-binary, and specific identities include agender (like our lead editor!), genderfluid, bigender, demigender, pangender, and x gender. Every story in Aether Beyond the Binary features at least one non-binary main character, and many stories utilize neopronouns.

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or unchanged, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether.

We have been working on this project for over a year, and are so excited to finally be bringing it to y’all. We launch on December 26th, with a funding goal of $14,250.

Follow our Kickstarter pre-launch page TODAY and make sure you’re among the first to get notified when this super-cool, innovative anthology becomes available!

Love what we do? Want to get an awesome, exclusive bonus merch item when you back this campaign? Become a backer on our Patreon, support Duck Prints Press year-round, and get awesome stuff!

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COVER REVEAL: Aether Beyond the Binary!

The cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Duck Prints Press is over the moon to announce that the crowdfunding campaign for our next anthology, Aether Beyond the Binary, will be launching on Kickstarter on December 26th, 2023. This awesome collection includes 17 stories about characters outside the gender binary – be they non-binary, agender, genderfluid, bigender, or elsewise – exploring, learning, growing, teaching, helping themselves or helping the world in settings like the modern world, but with magical aether powering the technology!

Our spectacular cover, which we are thrilled to reveal today, features art by non-binary artist Mar Spragge. The lead editor, Nina Waters, is agender. Many of our contributors are also trans and/or non-binary. You can see the full list of contributors here.

The crowdfunding campaign for this book will include options to buy the anthology as an e-book, trade paperback, or hard cover, and we’ve also got some gorgeous merchandise, with an enamel pin by Atomic Pixies, a bookmark by Pippin Peacock, a sticker of the back of the book cover (because the book cover is FULL WRAP-AROUND, wut?!), and of course a sticker of our latest Dux, created by Alessa Riel.

The campaign goes live on December 26th, 2023. To get all the details and make sure you don’t miss a thing, follow our Kickstarter Pre-Launch Page NOW!

Signal boosts are extremely appreciated on this post. This is a super cool project and we want to get the word out about it. And I mean, look at the lovely artwork. You know you need that lovely artwork on your blog/page/feed/whatnot. 😀

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DPP Contributor Interview: Nicola Kapron

A photograph of an open hard-cover book resting on a white surface. It's sunny and bright. A blurred-out background suggests the outdoors. Text over the image reads "Author interview! Meet Nicola Kapron"

Author Nicola Kapron has been working with Duck Prints Press for over two years, and in that time she has been one of our most prolific authors. Her work ranges from the sweet and fluffy to the dark and grotesque, with an emphasis on horror elements, trope twisting, love and the monstrous, and cross-genre queer works. We’re thrilled to have Nicola as the debut author in our new Creator Interview series!

A photograph of a plushie in the shape of a chibi duck. It has a white body with large black eyes embroidered on it, an orange beak, two small orange feet, and tiny rainbow wings on each side of it's chunky body.

Author Biography: Nicola Kapron has previously been published by Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine, Rebel Mountain Press, Soteira Press, All Worlds Wayfarer, Mannison Press, and more. Nicola lives in British Columbia with a hoard of books—mostly fantasy and horror—and an extremely fluffy cat.

Links: Personal Website

Nicola works with Duck Prints Press as an author, and is also the crafter whose skilled hands are behind our adorable Dux plushies.

When and why did you being creating?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Most of my work was very small when I was younger because I have dysgraphia and handwriting is physically painful for me. As soon as I learned to use a keyboard, I started working on longer and longer projects. Now there’s no stopping me.


What are your goals as a creator?

I want to write stories that linger.


What do you consider to be your strengths as a creator?

Dialog[ue], genre-blending, worldbuilding, coming up with cool monsters, slow-burn romance (or at least obsession), crafting background lore that is impossible to tag.


What do you consider to be your weaknesses as a creator?

Description, pacing, writing healthy characters with healthy relationships, easy-to-tag stories.


What’s your favorite medium to work in? Why?

Fiction writing, particularly fantasy. I enjoy coming up with the most bizarre situations and then thinking about how people might react to them. After all, mountains may crumble, oceans may rise, but people will stay fundamentally people.


Are you a pantser, a planner, or a planster? What’s your process look like?

A planster. I spend a lot of time coming up with detailed story outlines and summarizing character arcs. Then I start writing and 80% of that goes out the window. I like to say that my first drafts are dedicated to figuring out what the story isn’t about. Unless I’m writing a short story, in which case draft 1 may well be the final draft. I don’t control the process.

I typically write in chronological order from beginning to end, but for a short project I may pause and write the middle bits ahead of time as they drift into my head. This isn’t viable for a longer project because the pacing always begins to confuse me.


What do the phrases “writer’s block” or “art block” mean to you?

Writer’s block comes in two kinds to me. The first kind is the most common: I’m not actually blocked so much as I am swamped. I have too many ideas and too much stuff to do. As a result, I can’t focus on anything and writing words is like pulling teeth. This kind just has to be muscled through until I hit another vein of inspiration. The second kind is the kind where I genuinely run out of writing energy completely, leaving me feeling drained and empty. I only hit this state once. It lasted for about a week. Worst week of my life. The second kind can’t be worked through, only waited out like a sprain. I recommend going outside and finding something else to focus on until your writing muscles recover.


Tell us about a creator who is an inspiration to you. When did you first encounter them? How have they influenced your work?

Charles de Lint. I had the opportunity to do a Co-Op with him in high school. He supervised me writing my first novella, an urban fantasy story about the people whose job it is to keep magic secret. Although our writing styles are rather different – he’s a pioneer of dreamlike mythic fantasy, I prefer to write about the ‘realistic’ consequences of fantastical things existing – I feel I learned a lot from his approach to worldbuilding and character-crafting. There’s nobody who writes flawed, troubled, and incandescently beautiful characters like Charles de Lint.


What book or media franchise or other creator’s work do you always come back to? How many times have you rewatched/reread/reviewed it?

Neil Gaiman’s work has a way of bringing me back in. I don’t think I could tell you how many times I’ve read and re-read his various creations. Just know that it’s a lot.


What’s your favorite part of the creation process?

Daydreaming about writing the story is always the best part. That and reading it after it’s done.


What are your favorite tropes?

Cute monsters, involuntary body modification as trauma metaphor, codependent relationships, coping mechanisms that aren’t good but are at least keeping you alive.


What are your favorite character archetypes?

My favourite character archetypes are anything that is clearly meant to evoke a classic heroic or villainous archetype, but with the alignment swapped. Luminous holy maidens plotting destruction. Ominous armoured overlords trying to bring salvation. Man-eating monsters struggling to live happy, productive lives in the shadow of cities they’ll never truly belong in. Chosen ones choosing to turn their backs on what they were meant to save. It’s the defiance of fate and expectations both.


What motivates you to create?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a clear answer for this one. Just breathing motivates me to create some days. In general, though, I think that the desire to share my thoughts with others is what makes me put my fingers on the keyboard. I can’t chat about my work with people if I don’t write the work.


Which of your own creations is your favorite? Why?

Whichever one I just re-read and got invested in as if someone else wrote it.


Which of your own creations is your least favorite? Why?

Whichever story I just finished always causes me physical pain to think about.


Do you like having background noise when you create? What do you listen to? Does it vary depending on the project, and if so, how?

Rain noises help me think. Music is a very hit or miss addition, because if there are words I’ll end up mentally singing along instead of thinking about writing.


When you look at your “career” as a creator, what achievement would you most like to reach – what, if it happened or has already happened, would/did make you go “now – now I’m a success!”?

I would love to publish a full novel.


What advice were you given as a new creator? Did it help you?

Show, don’t tell. It definitely helped me when I was younger and had a grudge against the entire concept of descriptive language. Now I keep having to remove entire paragraphs of description for word count, though, so it does have an expiration date.


If you could give one piece of advice to a new creator who came to you for help, what would that advice be?

Worldbuilding is your friend, but sooner or later, you have to actually start writing the story.


Short Stories and Novelettes Nicola has published with Duck Prints Press:

Nicola is also a contributor to our upcoming anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. We’ll be launching crowdfunding for this campaign in late December, and we’ve invited Nicola to host an Ask Me Anything session during the campaign! The time and date for the AMA aren’t set yet, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss it, join our Book Lover’s Server.

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25 Book Recommendations for International Pronouns Day

Today is International Pronouns Day, and in honor of the occasion, we’ve put together a rec list, as is our wont. We focused on books that use neopronouns, they/them or it/its characters, and books that did interesting things with pronouns, such as avoiding them completely, changing them between scenes, etc. Basically, if something about the pronouns in the book stood out to us, we considered it for inclusion in this list! Nine Duck Prints Press contributors suggested titles for this blog post. And now…the books!

  1. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  2. In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu
  3. Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee
  4. Translation State by Ann Leckie
  5. The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang
  6. The Black Tides of Heaven by Neon Yang
  7. The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
  8. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  9. Gamechanger by L. X. Beckett
  10. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
  11. What Are Your Words?: A Book About Pronouns by Katherine Locke
  12. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
  13. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
  14. Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
  15. Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
  16. The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzimons
  17. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
  18. The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon
  19. Spell Bound by F. T. Lukens
  20. Your Shadow Remains Half by Sunny Moraine
  21. Lock In by John Scalzi
  22. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
  23. They/Them by Stuart Getty
  24. The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas
  25. The Light of a Thousand Stars and You by Nicola Kapron, published in Bleed Error Issue 1.

Do you have any favorite books that use pronouns other than he or she, and/or that do interesting things with pronouns? Tell us about them!

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14 Books for National Coming Out Day

Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day. No one ever has to come out, of course, but it can be empowering and relieving to read stories about others doing so. Thus, we gathered up fourteen of our favorite stories that include one ore more characters coming out of the closet!

Check Please! by Ngozi Uzaku

Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur p tissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jackhis very attractive but moody captain.


Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Boy meets boy. 
Boys become friends. 
Boys fall in love.

Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance. But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.


People Notice the Rain by Cindy Paul

On the day Silas hears he failed another math test, he meets a boy with a thousand freckles.There’s something strange about the boy. He keeps going on about smell, and he seems strangely attached to Silas. It doesn’t help that whenever he smiles his boy-next-door smile, Silas wants to stare.But that’s not all. During the full moon, the boy warns him to stay inside. Turns out werewolves don’t just exist in D&D.


Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli

Imogen Scott may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.

She’s never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. She knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. There’s Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, who helps keep Imogen’s biases in check. And then there’s Lili—newly out and newly thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.

Imogen’s thrilled for Lili. Any ally would be. And now that she’s finally visiting Lili on campus, she’s bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen’s all in.

Even if that means bending the truth, just a little.

Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she’s told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero—not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.

Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with. . .


I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

It’s just three words: I am nonbinary. But that’s all it takes to change everything.

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. 

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. 


Hockey Bois by A. L. Heard

Nick Porter has always loved hockey. Ever since he can remember, it’s been his favorite thing in the world. It’s too bad he never learned to play, he’d tell himself, but it was too late to do it now. Adults don’t just magically learn to skate and join a hockey team. That’d be ridiculous.

Except maybe they do? On a whim, he decides to sign-up for an adult beginner’s class. He learns to skate, joins a team, and meets a really hot teammate… and it’s pretty much a disaster from there on out.


The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.

As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.


More Than We Deserve by Nicola Kapron

Every year, the employees of The Winterborne Group have to fill out Form 301-A, checking off boxes related to gender and sexuality to enhance the megacorp’s diversity numbers.

This year, Dice uses this opportunity to finally, after years of passing, tell the company he’s trans.

That’s not the problem.

The problem is that Grey, Dice’s favorite company-owned Horizon super soldier, has asked for Dice’s help completing his Form 301-A.


A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall

When Viola Carroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.

Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become.

As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.


Commit to the Kick by Tris Lawrence

For eighteen years, Alaric has lived under the cloying politics of family and his Clan community. His freshman year is supposed to be a chance to explore a world where Clan and his shapeshifting Talent isn’t central to his life. But when his inner bear bursts forth during his first football game, endangering those around him, Alaric realizes that it’s not so easy to ignore his past, or his own internalized anger.

In his quest for anger management, Alaric begins to train in taekwondo, and makes new friends in both sports. He finds that he is creating his own small community, where Clan, Mages, other Talents, and even humans come together and build their own found family.

When Alaric receives news that something has happened to his brother Orson, he must return and deal with his Clan and his place in their world. He discovers that old prejudices are still strong between Clan and Mage communities, but that both may be in danger from a creature long thought to be only a legend. Alaric must figure out how to move forward and prevent a war and protect both his home and newly built communities, his found family with him every step of the way.


Boys Run the Riot by Keito Gaku

High schooler Ryo knows he’s transgender, but he doesn’t have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can’t tell his best friend, who he’s secretly got a crush on, and he can’t tell his mom, who’s constantly asking why Ryo “dresses like a boy.” He certainly can’t tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully… The only time Ryo feels at ease is when he’s wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryo sees someone he didn’t expect: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class has the same taste in fashion as him! At last, Ryo has someone he can open up to—and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to the world.


Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.


D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

D’Vaughn and Kris have six weeks to plan their dream wedding.
Their whole relationship is fake.

Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.

D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.

All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.

But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.


Mou Mou (A Certain Someone) by Mu Su Li

Sheng Wang moved into his ancestral home at White Horse Lane, along with the woman that his father was presently seeing.

His dad pointed at that woman’s son and said to him: Call him ge (older brother).

Unyielding, amenable to coaxing but not coercion cold generator x Regards himself as something precious lazy young master


Have you read any books featuring characters coming out? Or, were there books you read that inspired your own decision to come out (if you’ve done so)?