Visiting Assistant Professor, English
Fiction writing: especially young adult and middlegrade; LGBTQ+ Literature, comic book literature, game narratives

Old Main 217

they/them/theirs or she/her/hers

Raised on world mythology, fantasy novels, comic books and magic, Rachel Gold is the author of five queer and trans young adult novels. Their debut novel, Being Emily, was the first young adult novel to tell the story of a transgender girl from her perspective. Their latest novel tells the story of two teens who unravel gender identity and confront racism using their love of comic book superheroes.

Rachel’s diverse writing career includes seven years as a reporter for a regional LGBTQ newspaper and fifteen years in corporate marketing. They teach classes (that are also games) for teens at the Loft Literary Center. As a marketing strategist, they have developed brands and messaging for businesses across the U.S. and has won awards for their writing, ideas and “genius marketing.”

Areas of Study

  • Fiction writing: especially young adult and middlegrade
  • LGBTQ+ Literature
  • Comic book literature
  • Game narratives

Fall 2023 Course

  • ENGL 105-01: Identities and Differences in US Literature: LGBTQ2S+ Literature in America

Awards and Honors

Winner 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award silver medal in Pre-Teen Fiction – Mature Issues

The Best Transgender Books for Kids, Em & Lo, 2019

Winner 2016 Golden Crown Literary Award in Young Adult

Winner 2015 Golden Crown Literary Award in Young Adult

Huffington Post: The 21 Best Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Books for Kids

Winner 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues

Winner 2013 Golden Crown Literary Award in Dramatic / General Fiction

Finalist 2013 Lambda Literary Award


Curious Minds. Bella Books, 2023.

Synclair. Bella Books, 2020.

In the Silences. Bella Books, 2019.

Being Emily (2nd Ed). Bella Books, 2018.

Nico & Tucker. Bella Books, 2017.

My Year Zero. Bella Books, 2015.

Just Girls. Bella Books, 2014.

Being Emily. Bella Books, 2012.

Interviews and Articles

“Kissing Kate Bornstein,” in Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride, ed. Andrea Jenkins, John Medeiros, Lisa Marie Brimmer. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019.

“Refreshing a pioneering transgender YA novel,” by Kate Tuttle, Globe Correspondent. Boston Globe, August, 2018.

“The Importance of Transgender Literature,” interview by Michele Karlsberg for SF Bay Times, July 2018.

“#SJYALit: The X-Men and the social justice of diverse brains (Or, Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a hero), a guest post by Rachel Gold,” School Library Journal, June 2017.

“Rachel Gold On Her New YA Book About A Non-Binary Teen: Nico And Tucker,” by Nell Minow, Contributor, HuffPost, May 2017.


“Creating Diverse Stories Without Tokenism” and “Breaking into Book Publishing for Aspiring Writers,” panels at Clexacon. Las Vegas, NV, April 2019.

“Sex and Gender: Past, Present, Future,” St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud, MN, April 2019.

“Get a Grip! Minding Your Mind in Teen Literature,” panel at Trinity Episcopal Church. Excelsior, MN, Nov. 2018.

“Trans Representation in Media” panel with Kate Bornstein, Andrea Jenkins, and Quinn Villagomez. Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, Oct. 2018.

“The Evolution of LGBTQ+ Young Adult Lit: From Sad-Eyed Loners to Superheroes,” with Christine Jenkins, Quatrefoil Library, Minneapolis, MN, Oct. 2018.

“Gender in 50 Minutes or Less,” keynote presentation at the Golden Crown Literary Society annual conference, Las Vegas, NV, July 2018.

“Astonishingly Beautiful: Descriptions that Reveal Character,” class with Anna Villeneuve at the Golden Crown Literary Society annual conference, Washington, DC, July 2017.

“Trans Stories in Science Fiction & Fantasy” with Stephanie Burt, Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 2014.

“The Digital Gender Frontier: Trans Experiences in Computer and Video Games,” presented with Lydia Neon. Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 2013.


BA: Macalester College

MFA: Hamline University