Who We Are

Iris is a new literary magazine that launched in January 2014. Iris features new fiction for teens (roughly, ages 14-17) with an LGBTQAI slant. Iris is a safe place for young adults – a magazine which features engaging, transporting, challenging stories that offer a breath of fresh air in the young adult literary market. 

Why “Iris”?

Iris was a Greek messenger goddess, and the goddess of the rainbow. We chose Iris for our namesake because we wanted to emphasize inclusion – we want Iris to be a magazine of choice for all teens, whether gay or straight, trans or cis, decidedly queer or newly questioning, advocate or ally.


Creating Iris

'Creating Iris' emphasizes that many  voices write our LGBTQAI+ rainbow. We're excited to feature more of those voices on the site. 

It became apparent from our conversations with our Tumblr and Twitter followers that future readers of Iris hoped that we'd publish more frequently than quarterly. Creating Iris was born when we decided to expand our focus to include literary criticism and feature essays for (and by!) young adults. 


You can read more about the people behind Creating Iris here

Want to write for us? We're always looking for new voices to feature on the site. Just send us an email. Thank you!

It takes courage to grow up and become who you truly are.
— ee cummings



Amanda Civitello (Executive Director) is co-founder and co-editor of Iris. A writer and editor based in the US, her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Review 31Autostraddle and Bitch Flicks. She studied art history and political science at Northwestern University. She loves Virginia Woolf, photography, and knitting. Find her on the web or say hi on twitter!

Rebecca Bennett (Creative Director) is co-founder and co-editor of Iris. A writer and graphic designer based in the UK, her work has appeared in Bitch Flicks. She studied history at King’s College London. She loves Daphne du Maurier, exotic teas, awesome historical ladies, and doing jigsaw puzzles. Find her on the web or say hi on twitter!


Elis Lui
Poetry Editor

Elis is a US-based blogger. She studies Religion at New College of Florida. She reads a lot and writes poetry sometimes. She loves cats and honey and baking cakes. She's still figuring out the intersections of her identities.

Maria Civitello
Contributing Editor

Maria is a US-based classical guitarist who loves Bach, Beethoven, and the Beatles. She maintains an inspiration blog for aspiring girl guitarists. Learn more at her website.

Jay Dresden
Fiction Editor

Jay is an English teacher from Mississippi. She is currently working on her first novel and other projects. 


Amanda Meltsner

Amanda is based in the United States. When she isn't busy doing the college thing, she can be found knitting, coxing, or attending concerts for bands she's never heard of. 

Tamara Reisdorf

Tamara is a social worker based in Germany. She tries to advocate helpfulness in her daily life and can be found writing and listening to music most of the time.

Andrea Felber Seligman
Contributing Writer

Andrea is based in the United States. When she’s not busy finishing her graduate degree, she loves reading science fiction, gardening, hiking, and training her cats.

Editorial Team

Marylou Mao

Marylou Mao is a French artist who has recently finished her postgraduate certification in animation at The Animation Workshop (Viborg, Denmark). Visit her portfolio to learn more about her work.

Roseann Civitello
Editorial Board Advisor

Roseann is a parent and youth advocate with a background in psychology. She advises the Creating Iris team in the event that issues beyond the staff's expertise arise. She also maintains our list of resources for LGBTQ+ youth in need.

Julie Ann Pope
Staff Reader

Julie is a writer and civil servant based in the United Kingdom. She is an ardent advocate for equality.

The first step to getting help is knowing where to go. We hope this list helps! You can always reach out to Team Iris. We'll help you find the best resource for you.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255

The Trevor Project: 1 (866) 488-7386

Outside the United States

The Forty to None Project to End LBGTQ Youth Homelessness (includes links to local resources)

The National Runaway Safeline: 1 (800) RUNAWAY (They can help if you are kicked out or in need of shelter)

Lambda Legal Resources By State

Suicide & Crisis