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About Mia

Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian (now living in the bay area) with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her stories, which are literary and lyrical and hella quirky, and which have won her some awards and grants, such as:

  • Astraea Foundation Writers Fund Award, 2009
  • Leeway Foundation Transformation Award, 2011

Her first novel, The Summer We Got Free, is the winner of the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for debut fiction and has been described by the Lambda Literary Review as:

“Simultaneously critical social commentary, ghost story, murder mystery, and queer love story…the craft of the writing is deceptively plain, and in that simplicity, achingly poignant, laser-like in its facility and effect… layers on discovery, insularity and secrets with a deft touch.”

Her short stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review (Spring 2013) and make/shift (Spring 2013), the latter earning her a Pushcart Prize nomination.

She has been featured in Bitch Magazine, Elixher Magazine, GO Magazine’s 100 Women We Love, Autostraddle’s Hot 100, Examiner’s 10 Top Blogging Feminists Not To Miss,  For Harriet’s 17 Black Women Bloggers To Know,  and the Huffington Post's 5 Bloggers Who Are Blogging Better Than You (And Me).

She has presented talks and keynotes at Brown University; HBGC LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference at Harvard University; Amherst College; Michigan State University; University of Illinois; University of Michigan; University of Wisconsin; Portland State University; University of California at Berkeley; Penn State; Oberlin College; Reed College; Lawrence University; UC Santa Barbara; University of Washington; and more.

Her work has been published in The Guardian and Colorlines, quoted on The Melissa Harris Perry Show and recommended by The Root, Bitch, Feministing, Angry Asian Man and Crunk Feminist Collective, among others. She is a nerd and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a multi-faceted forum for the literary and artistic expression of queer and trans* people of color that is read by millions of people all over the globe.

To bring Mia McKenzie at your university or other venue, please contact Malc Smith at @ (Questions or feedback about BGD articles will not be forwarded to Ms. McKenzie)