What is Project Unicorn?
Project Unicorn: A Lesbian YA Extravaganza! is a fiction project created by lesbian YA authors S.E. Diemer and Jennifer Diemer. It was created because of the obvious lack of lesbian heroines in the Young Adult genre, and the critical need for them.
Project Unicorn was updated twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays with a free, original, never-before-published YA short story featuring a lesbian heroine. Also, every story is a work of genre fiction (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic, etc.).
The project has been put on pause while we work on other things, but we promise that it will get finished over time–but until then, there are 51 free genre YA stories below with lesbian protagonists!
As of 3/07/2016, we’ve started up again!
(Read a dialogue between the authors here, where they explore their reasons behind creating Project Unicorn, and why it’s important!)
Why Project “Unicorn?”
Because, like unicorns, lesbians in YA literature are almost mythical, nonexistent creatures. Our aim with this project is to simply bring greater visibility to girls who love girls in the YA genre. Also, we both just really love unicorns. 😀
This is awesome! How can I support the project?
At the end of each month, Project Unicorn has eight new short stories that have been posted for free. At the end of each quarter, we gather the three month’s set of short stories, and publish them in a volume, including two extra, never-before-published short stories per month (so that’s six extra short stories that haven’t been published or read!) in each volume.
If you love what we’re doing with Project Unicorn, the two greatest things you can do to support it is to talk about it on your social network, blog or web site, and purchase each volume as it comes out. Project Unicorn is a very large undertaking, but we’re deeply dedicated to giving lesbian and queer girls stories they can identify with. Thank you so much for being supportive, and please consider purchasing a volume to help us continue with this project! ❤ (You can also show your support by buying our other books or asking your library to get in copies!)
Project Unicorn launched on August 3, 2012. Here is a complete list of the stories posted, to date!
A Word About Unhappy Endings: As a trigger warning, those Project Unicorn stories that end unhappily have been marked with the “unhappy ending” tag. If you feel that you would be triggered by an unhappy ending, please avoid those stories marked with this tag.
August: The Dark Woods
1. Witch Girls by S.E. Diemer (Dark Fantasy)
The wild witch girls lurk at the edge of the woods, waiting to snatch away any girl who’s less than good. Gran’s warnings are the same every day: be good, or the witch girls will take you. But what if you want to be taken?
2. Surfacing by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
When Alice’s brother John takes a mermaid out of the sea and drags her into the woods to die, Alice must find the courage to stand up to the worst bully she’s ever known in order to save a life.
3. Curse Cabin Confession by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
When Robin invites her girlfriend, Malinda, up to her family cabin for the weekend, it’s not just for a romantic time. Robin has a confession to make: she’s not exactly human.
4. Wolves of Leaving by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
After challenging the Alpha–and losing–Cadie begs the girl she loves to forsake all they’ve ever known and escape the tyranny of the pack.
5. A Craving by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
Snow knows little of the world, having spent most of her life within the safe confines of the cottage she shares with seven little men, her protectors. But every day, a young girl comes to the door, offering her an apple, and every day brings Snow one step closer to taking a bite.
6. Natural by Jennifer Diemer (Paranormal)
Terra feels confused and alone–until she meets a mysterious girl in the forest, standing next to her favorite tree…
7. Haunt by Jennifer Diemer (Paranormal)
Every moonrise, Tam and Ailsa defy the laws of time and space to meet in the forest and kiss beneath the stars.
8. Dreaming Green by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Mirelle catches a mysterious seed during a spacewalk, and, though it is forbidden, she dares to plant it, nurture it, and let it grow.
September/October/November: The Monstrous Sea
1. Bluebottles by Jennifer Diemer (Magic Realism)
After spending several heartbroken, landlocked months away, Ramie returns to the sea and is inspired to follow a trail of bioluminescent creatures.
2. A History of Drowning by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
A girl with dark eyes and a strange, white dress follows Carrie over a series of small tragedies.
3. Melusine by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
Melusine bears an ancestral curse–when water touches her, she becomes a monster that no one must ever see…but when Mel risks everything to rescue a girl from drowning, the family’s dark secret changes her forever.
4. No Bigger Than the Moon by S.E. Diemer (Horror)
Anne would do anything for Kylie. But when Kylie’s brother changes into a bloodthirsty monster, she goes too far in asking Anne for help…
5. Pearls Enough by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
Portia, recently orphaned, feels constrained in her older sister’s house and finds herself longing for a sea-change…and a mermaid’s kiss.
6. In the Garden I Did Not Sin by S.E. Diemer (Dark Fantasy)
When Meno, the daughter of Eve, watches her mother–the first woman–die, she journeys back to that thing which Eve loved most, the Garden of Eden. But she didn’t expect to meet a stranger there…
7. Two Salt Feet by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
You can buy anything at the meat market…even a mermaid. Sam’s errand for her mom takes a turn for the strange when she accidentally rescues a mermaid who would rather not end up on someone’s plate.
8. Daughter of Blue by S.E. Diemer (Magic Realism)
At the urging of her friend Jess, Leila–a Wiccan–casts a spell to attract love into her life. A strange dream involving a being from the sea then seems to seal the spell…
December: Uncharted Sky
1. Falling Home by S.E. Diemer (Dark Fantasy)
The angel Silver, and her brother Det, race through the many levels of hell, trying to find the soul of Silver’s dead girlfriend before the host of devils track and devour them.
2. Nike by S.E. Diemer (Magic Realism)
Bullied to the breaking point, Beth wonders if suicide is the answer, but a call to a suicide hotline and memories of a story begin a strange change within her.
3. A Bit of Space by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Every night, Molly waits helplessly for Cel to return to her from another world. But now Cel has forged a gift to bridge the billions of miles between them.
4. Finding Mars by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Tab and Diana end their summer tour of all things UFO in Mars, Pennsylvania…and share an out-of-this-world experience.
5. The Gargoyle Maker by S.E. Diemer (Dark Fantasy)
Rose falls in love with the gargoyle maker, a wandering girl who keeps her village safe by creating hideous monsters. But the gargoyle maker cannot remain in one place for long…will Rose’s heart be broken?
6. Poppy and Salt by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
Celia and Alice are young vampire hunters who are falling in love with each other. But a vampire’s upsetting curse reminds them that their time together might be short.
7. Bone Ship by S.E. Diemer (Science Fiction)
Ellie is stationed with her dad on the Bone Ship–a graveyard floating in space. When her old girlfriend comes to visit, Ellie shows her around the ship, disturbing the strange, ghostly presence that haunts it.
8. The Girl on the Mountain by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
The girl on the mountain keeps Kivrin’s village safe, and the village, in turn, makes offerings to her every summer. But Kivrin harbors a years-old secret, one she hopes she will be brave enough to speak aloud.
The first three months were gathered into one volume that includes a print edition!
January: Artificial Hearts
1. Nickel Pony by S.E. Diemer (Magic Realism)
As a little girl, Helena thought the nickel pony outside of the dollar store gave her good luck: then it went away, and took her good luck with it. Now, when her world is slowly crumbling again, a girl in an arcade brings back unexpected magic.
2. The Ember Heart by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
At the Festival of Stars, Alethia carries a heart in a lantern, moving with the others in an ancient ritual of love.
3. Flotsam by S.E. Diemer (Science Fiction)
Chris, and her little brother Raz, live in the Broken Streets down by the dock–where the dead bodies of Chematech’s imperfect clones are flushed out. Every day, Chris and Raz pick over the bodies for parts they can sell…until Chris finds a body unlike the others. A girl who’s alive.
4. For I am Fearless by Jennifer Diemer (Horror)
An orphan girl wakes to find she is no longer herself but a stitched-together monster. As she remembers the events that brought her to this moment, she fans a flame of courage within her new heart.
5. Anchor Me by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy [Steampunk])
Isadora has the extreme fortune of inheriting her grandfather’s airship containing an automaton navigation system named Rosie, who happens to be much more to Isadora than a Steampunk GPS.
6. Perfect by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Bonnie has everything a modern girl could ask for: a nice house, friends, and genetically engineered perfection. But then she meets Sylvia, and she begins to realize that perfect is only ever an illusion. Love, though, is always real.
7. Lullaby by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Buried far beneath the earth, a mechanical girl struggles to hold onto the memories of her years in the sun–and of the young woman she loved more than words, Milla.
8. Mary A Through Z by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Mary Q has grown up on a scientific compound surrounded by twenty-five girls who look exactly like her. They may share her face, but Mary Q isn’t certain that they all share her secret longing to escape and experience the strangeness of the world.
March: Myth, Magic and Glitter
1. A Myth of Ashes by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
The nameless, gold-haired girl feeds a fire in a cave and awaits the time when she will share her story with the world.
2. The Edge of Day by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
Punished and cursed by Zeus for nothing, Hemera–goddess of the day–is sentenced to the pit of Tartarus each night, while her beloved, the goddess Nyx, is sentenced to Tartarus in the day, so they will never be together again. An evil, twisted monster lurks in Tartarus, but Hemera and Nyx hatch a plan to be together regardless of darkness.
3. Speak of the Devil by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
Savannah and her mother have a strange obsession with the old folk tale of the Jersey Devil, and–at night–Savannah dreams of the monster. Told in verse, this is the story of an awakening.
4. True if by Sea by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
Born into a body that doesn’t reflect her true self, the mermaid Meloa seeks the sea priestess to trade her inheritance for truth.
5. Flowers for Clouds by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
Harumi’s love, a tennyo named Shizuka, vanished months ago when the sakura was in bloom. Now the sakura flourishes again, and the petals guide Harumi to the missing Shizuka–and to her own unexpected truth.
6. The Underwater Girl by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
Disowned by her mother for coming out, Mara joins her estranged father at his scientific compound up north and discovers something sacred beneath the ice.
7. Phasma by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
Molly encounters a ghost from her past while trying to deal with the aftermath of her girlfriend’s suicide.
8. When Thou Wakest by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
Drawn to the new girl at school, Felice finds out that she and quiet, gold-eyed Greta share the same dreams–and, perhaps, a past thousands of years and millions of miles away.
April: Winged Things
1. The Gray Road by Jennifer Diemer (Magic Realism)
Ever since her brother left, Gillian’s avoided the road they used to walk on together, the dead, eerie, whispering road that finally took him away from her. But when her dog gets loose and runs away, Gillian has no choice but to return to that road and begrudgingly confront the past–and herself.
2. Solitary Birds by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Lonely and depressed, Juliet ran millions of miles away from home: she signed up for a lifetime contract on another planet. Unfortunately, her loneliness traveled with her. But then a mysterious girl gives her a silver kiss beneath the Quipa trees…
3. Buffalo Girls by S.E. Diemer (Magic Realism)
Stevie and her father are the last people to live on their street in Buffalo, NY. Stevie thinks the city is dying and can’t wait to leave. But, one night, she sees something very strange in the middle of the street: a buffalo with wings.
4. The Bee Telling by S.E. Diemer (Magic Realism)
When Melissa’s mother passes away, her girlfriend Tammie goes with her to tell the bees she’s gone.
5. Don’t Eat the Bluebird by S.E. Diemer (Paranormal)
Kate’s girlfriend, Amy, tested positive for “the virus,” and her first change is tonight.
6. The Sign of Sapphire by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
Adrift on an ark in a drowned world, Hesta waits for her blue jay to return with proof of land. But what she discovers when the earth dries up is a promise that is nothing less than a miracle.
7. When We Flew by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
The violet-eyed girl falls from the sky, bypassing the village’s heavily guarded gate, and Ola knows, as if by a sixth sense, that her life will never be the same again.
8. Aphrodite Has a Daughter by Jennifer Diemer (Fantasy)
The jaded goddess Eros, archer of love, finds herself enamored with a mortal girl, though she has never before spoken with her or even glimpsed her face.
The second three months were gathered into one volume that includes a print edition!
May: Swords and Spaceships
1. The Mermaid Rib by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
A swordmaker’s daughter is given the task to retrieve a mermaid’s rib from a nighttime beach–but things don’t go exactly as planned when a stranger rises from the depths to challenge her taking the bone.
2. Dragon Star by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
It’s said that the universe is held in the belly of a dragon. Told in verse, “Dragon Star” wonders about that universe, a drowning girl and first love.
3. Curiosity’s Cabinet by Jennifer Diemer (Science Fiction)
Dawn, an orphan Erther aboard the spaceship Curiosity, plots to break into the mysterious vault that preserves billions of relics from all over the universe–and possibly the secret of her own forgotten beginning.
4. The Princess Sword by S.E. Diemer (Fantasy)
Princess Lexandra is frustrated with the gender roles that have been assigned to her from birth. But a meddling goddess–and a lady in waiting–are about to change her life.
5. Mightier by S.E. Diemer (Dark Fantasy)
Cleo is one of the Mightier, a mysterious group of people who can change the world with the stroke of a pen. But, one night, her new powers are tested when an angel-like creature needs her help to prevent a massive disaster from happening.
Each month, the stories are themed–here are the (possible, possibly subject to change) upcoming themes:
The Hero is a Lady
The Unhistory of Girls
In Fractured Worlds
A Grave Matter