Sharon Wachsler has been a writer and disability rights activist since the early 1990s. Her work spans many genres and forms and has been published in Canada, India, Austrlia, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands (in the latter two cases, translated into German and Dutch).
New! You can read read some of my poetry, fiction, and essays published online by checking out the links and “about” pages at my writing-related blog, Bed, Body & Beyond.
Sharon is most well known for her participation in, and promotion of, disability humor and culture literature. This began with her “Sick Humor” cartoon series on the absurdities of life with chronic illness, which led to her long-running humor column of the same name. The fan base for that humor column encouraged her, as did her mentor and colleague, Norman Meldrum (1950-2009), to become the founder and editor of Breath & Shadow, the first literary journal entirely written, edited, and produced by people with disabilities. Although Sharon no longer works on the journal, it is still produced quarterly online, and was the forerunner to a number of other disability-focused and/or -managed literary publications.
Sharon’s poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and cartoons on disability culture, disability rights, and related topics have been published in over 100 publications, both disability-focused and mainstream. She has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize for poetry and has won numerous awards for her poetry, cartoons, and nonfiction, as well as receiving a grant in 2006 from the Astraea Foundation, which named her an “emerging lesbian fiction writer.”
Outside the disability sphere, Sharon’s erotic fiction has been published in a couple dozen anthologies and various magazines. Some of her favorite pieces appear in Best Lesbian Erotica 2003 and 2009, Best American Erotica 2004 and 2005, Periphery, Bed, and Lipstick on Her Collar (most of which either won or were nominated for Lambda awards). A pioneer in consistently publishing erotic stories with disabled protagonists, Sharon believes that — rather than presenting a contradiction — the terms “disabled,” “lesbian,” and “erotic” fit hand-in-glove. (Pun intended.)
Sharon’s also published poetry on a range of topics, and dabbles in occasional flash fiction, speculative fiction, and “non-genre” fiction. She enjoys penning satirical or analytical essays on politics and pop culture and loves to interview artists, activists, and members of her local community. She’s received several awards for articles on service dog training and gear.