Together with NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, The Curve Foundation recently announced the recipients of the inaugural Curve Award for Emerging Journalists. The award includes a $5,000 cash grant and access to unique professional development opportunities. The awardees will form a cohort and work with mentors to build skills and foster an active support network.
Each awardee was selected based on their fair and accurate coverage that elevates the voices of LGBTQ women.
“Stories in the Curve tradition are stories that compel conversation, tell authentic stories, and nurture a sense of belonging,” says The Curve Foundation Executive Director Jasmine Sudarkasa. “The inaugural cohort of Curve Award winners embody this tradition with journalistic excellence and a commitment to telling our stories on our terms. We are honored to recognize their work, and look forward to getting to know these incredible writers.”
Katie Barnes is a feature writer at ESPN, covering culture, LGBTQ issues, women’s basketball, collegiate softball, and women’s combat sports. Since joining ESPN, Barnes has written on a variety of topics, such as transgender athletes, racial justice and Hollywood stunt doubles. Their articles on high school transgender athletes earned them two GLAAD Award nominations. Barnes holds a B.A. in History, Russian Studies, and American Studies from St. Olaf College, and an M.S. in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Miami University (OH). They were the 2017 NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists “Journalist of the Year.”
Giulia Heyward is a journalist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Miami, Heyward is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She completed a master’s thesis where she reported on LGBTQ rights in North Carolina. Her piece on the state’s bathroom bill, HB2, was published in The Atlantic, while her reportage on hate crime legislation and statewide anti-discrimination legislation was published in local North Carolina publications, such as The Assembly. While at UNC, Heyward was the recipient of the Tom Wicker, and Outstanding M.A. Student, Awards in 2020 and 2021, respectively. This summer, she will begin a reporting fellowship at The New York Times on its national desk.
Shar Jossell is a media personality, journalist, and writer. She focuses on pop culture reporting and writes in the intersections of gender, race, and entertainment. Jossell has been featured on Buzzfeed, HuffPost, GLAAD, TMZ, Into, FOX Soul, That Grape Juice and The Wrap. She’s currently a rotating guest co-host on Channel Q Radio (Audacy.com). Her bylines include ZORA and Bold Culture. She penned the March 2021 International Women’s Day cover story for Cultured Magazine, and she’s currently a contributing culture writer for THEM. Jossell was also named to Obvious Magazine‘s inaugural “Visionaries: People To Watch list in 2020.”
Yvonne Marquez is a freelance journalist, writer, and editor living in Dallas, TX. For the past eight years, Marquez has dedicated her journalism career to telling stories important to LGBTQ people. She began her career in LGBTQ media as an associate editor for a now defunct gay and lesbian magazine based in Austin and is a former senior editor of Autostraddle, a leading digital publication for lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender women and non-binary people. Marquez graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a journalism degree and will be attending the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in the fall.
Helen W. Santoro is a science writer based out of rural Gunnison, Colorado where she covers health, neuroscience, the environment, and LGBTQ communities. Santoro has a B.A. in neuroscience from Hamilton College and an M.S. in Science Communication from UC Santa Cruz. For the past three years, she has dedicated her career to making science accessible and engaging to all. Santoro aims to elevate other LGBTQ voices with her work. She has written about transgender prisoners fighting for gender-affirming surgery in Idaho, nonbinary ornithologists, and a trans doctor who is working to spread knowledge on gender-affirming care to other rural health care providers across the country.
The Curve Award for Emerging Journalists will be presented annually and nominations for the 2022 award will become available next Spring.