Call for Artists

We Can Be Heroes

FREE Youth Workshops

We Can Be Heroes Youth Workshops
Mondays, Feb 25 – Mar 25, 5:30-7pm at MACLA’s DMC Studio with the LGBTQ Youth Space
Create your own Latinx superhero with Baruch Porras Hernandez and Roberto Santiago at these FREE workshops for youth! As part of the We Can Be Heroes project, MACLA, Baruch Porras Hernandez, and the LGBTQ Youth Space invite youth ages 13-25 to participate in these FREE workshops where students will learn to develop their own superhero stories and contribute to the larger commissioned We Can Be Heroes project. Students will also have the opportunity to present their pieces at MACLA’s In the Works night on Fri, Mar 22, 2019.
Open to ages 13-25, all backgrounds and experiences welcome. Questions? Write to
Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a writer, performer and standup comedian, named one of the 13 Bay Area Writers to Watch in 2016 by 7×7 Magazine.  You can find his writing published with Sibling Rivalry Press, The Tusk, Foglifter and many more. He was named a Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow in 2014, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow in 2016. He’s been featured in Writers with Drinks, Radar Productions, LitQuake, is a two-time winner of Literary Death Match, winner of SF Write Club, The Moth, BawdyStorytelling, Muni Diaries and is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize.  As a comic he’s featured at Tourettes Without Regrets, ManHaters, Marga Gomez’s NYE Comedy Fiesta and all over the Bay Area. He is a recipient of grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission, REGEN Artist Fund, and the Creative Work Fund. He is The Voice of Shipwreck SFmonthly Fan Fiction Competition and Podcast and regularly hosts live shows with KQED. He is the founder and head organizer for ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente?. He is originally from Toluca, Mexico and lives in San Francisco. MACLA and Baruch Porras Hernandez recently put out a call to creators for a new Latinx Super Hero project We Can Be Heroes — spotlighting 5 brand-new LGBTQ Latinx superheroes
Roberto F. Santiago received his MFA from Rutgers University, BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is an MSW candidate at UC Berkeley. His poetry has been published in Apogee, Foglifter, Assaracus, CURA, The Waiting Room Reader, Me No Habla With Acento, and other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Sarah Lawrence College, and Lambda Literary Foundation​. Roberto is​ the recipient of the Alfred C. Carey Poetry Prize and his debut book of poetry, Angel Park (Tincture, 2015), was a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. Roberto writes and produces his own music, ​and likens himself to Tennessee Williams in a poodle skirt, ​Gloria Anzaldúa in culottes​, and/or ​​James Merrill in ​short-shorts.​ Currently, he works as​ an educator​ in San Francisco where he also lives with a fiction writer.
The LGBTQ Youth Space is a Program of Family & Children Services and Caminar for Mental Health. We are a community drop-in center and mental health program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally youth and young adults ages 13-25 who live in Santa Clara County. Our space is open 3pm-9pm Monday through Friday.

Our staff and participant advisors offer a safe and confidential space to hang out with:

support groups
art workshops
activism and leadership opportunities
movie nights
field trips
open mic nights
volunteer opportunities
free snacks
internet access
video games
safe sex supplies/condoms
connections to any resources you might need
monthly health van visits
Playing clue
Our Mental Health Services are available to 13-25 year olds and are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Services include:

Drop-In Peer Counseling
Individual Counseling
Case Management

FREE Youth Workshops

MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana and Baruch Porras Hernandez, (writer, performer, gay Mexican comic book nerd) are putting out a call to creators for a new Latinx Super Hero project We Can Be Heroes

We Can Be Heroes will spotlight 5 brand-new LGBTQ Latinx superheroes and YOU have a chance to be one of the creators! We are calling on all queer Latinx folks who identify as comic book nerds to enter!

We invite you to submit your original Latinx queer superhero creation for a chance to be a participating artist on this project. Winning artists get to create a brand-new queer Latinx superhero with us, become part of the We Can Be Heroes project, and receive an honorarium. Winning short stories get published with us and designed by a real comic book artist! All of this will culminate into a large comic book anthology/graphic novel with your character’s story, in which all new queer, Latinx superheroes meet at the end, and save the day!

To submit, simply write a 4-6 page, double-space, prose short story featuring your own superhero creation, along with a character description of that hero. The winning writers’ short stories will be published and be used as inspiration to introduce your character into a team comic book illustrated by a talented artist to be published by MACLA. We will check in with you twice and ask for your input: once with your character’s design and once with your character’s storyline in the graphic novel. Finally, excerpts from the final product will be read out loud, narrated to a live audience at MACLA in San José.  

This new project at MACLA is made possible with support from the Creative Work Fund, the Fleishacker Foundation, and the Horizons Foundation and MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana.


Who is eligible?

In order for you to enter for this section you must identify as queer, this includes, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and genderqueer Latinos. You must be Latino, or Latinx, which includes people from Panama, Dominicanos, Mexicanos, PuertoRiquenos, Cubanos, Chicanos, Salvadorenos, Gutemalans, Chilenos, etc.


What we need from you:

  1. YOUR BIO, or ORIGIN STORY: Who are you? Please tell us as much as you can about yourself as a writer, person, and as a superhero comic book nerd. Not a comic book nerd, but love super heroes? That’s fine! This contest is open for all queer Latinos, so hey, go read a comic book, challenge yourself, you might write a story with a Latinx character so good, we will have to choose you!
  2. STATS: Your writer’s resume, or C.V., if you got it. Or just a list of publications with links will also work. Being previously published is not a requirement, but if you have been published, tell us about it! Please also include links to your website if you have one, or Instagram page, or blog if you happen to have a superhero blog, or a social media space where you nerd out with other fellow comic book super hero nerds.
  3. CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: Describe your character as much as you can. Height, appearance, hair, attitude, costume, superpowers, how do their superpowers work, what they do, do they have a catchphrase? Do they fly? How do they identify in the queer spectrum? Bi, queer, lesbian, pansexual, trans, non-binary, etc.?
  4. SHORT STORY: Submit a 4 to 6 page (double-spaced) short story about your brand new original queer Latinx superhero. The main focus of this contest is the writing (aside from the art, the colors, and the fancy and/or sexy costumes). Great writing/storytelling is what has carried comic books as far as they’ve come, into our souls, into the mainstream, and even onto the Broadway stage. Make this story as creative as you want. We want to push the boundaries, we want you to have fun, and we want a new hero to inspire us all. Show us the action shots, bring us right to the splash page of this new hero’s story, show us the queer Latinx superhero we need.


  • Origin Story must be included somewhere in the narrative. Does not have to be the main part of the story. How did this character get their powers? Was it cool? Was it an accident? Okay to make your character just be born with their powers, but tell us about it.
  • Character must speak about their Latinindad at one point in the story, or throughout the whole story. Totally okay to make your character monolingual Spanish speaker, or a Latina American who does not speak Spanish, immigrant, undocumented immigrant, third or sixth generation, etc.
  • Character must have a super power. We challenge you to create something new! Or adapt/innovate an already existing superpower to make it more interesting. We just want a good story. If you write a character who can control the weather (That’s Storm, she’s African, already exists, already world famous) or a Latina who has metal claws and is short and grumpy (that’s Wolverine, he’s Canadian, and says he’s good at what he does and like most white men won’t shut up about it) it might not catch our eye.
  • Character’s queerness must be present in the story and their actions. Pero, like, they don’t have to fly around with the rainbow flag, but also we’re interested in out loud and proud queer characters. There are not enough queer superheroes out there, especially not Latinx ones, (go read America Chavez, it’s GREAT!). Help us bring a new Latinx queer superhero to the world. This is a sex positive project, though the comic book will not be able to be too sexual, or show naughty scenes, show us some queer love, how do two queer superheroes find the time to make out, hold hands while they are flying, or how does our hero hold sit next to her girlfriend or partner to watch “One Day at a Time” on Netflix after saving the world?
  • Winner must either live in the San José/San Francisco Bay Area or be able to travel to MACLA to work on the project throughout 2018/2019 and be present at all three performances Aug 16-18, 2019 at MACLA.
  • Winner understands that their short story is just the beginning part of the project and will work with Baruch Porras Hernandez on edits and rewrites to come up with a finished story together before it is published and handed over to the artist.
  • Participating creators understand that we are not adapting your character from your short story into a comic book of their own, we are including your short story as inspiration to introduce your character to the other heroes when they meet in the final graphic novel. Participating artist will have input in how their character appears, is designed, and drawn, but the participating artist understands that the final decisions on the characters will be made by the lead writer Baruch Porras Hernandez and MACLA.

Submission deadline is on FEB 11, 2019  

All submission must be entered via Google Form by clicking the Apply Here button below.

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