GRNW 2015 Registration is now OPEN!

GRNW_300x300AvatarCall us fashionably late (or just call us late!), but attendee registration for the third annual Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up is now OPEN!!! For those wanting to register and save your seat for this year’s conference, please visit our Brown Paper Tickets site!

What’s the scoop about this year’s GRNW?

We got lots to share!

We’re back at the Seattle Public Library!

We love our local library, and they sure do like being invaded by LGBTQ romance fans! We’ll be taking over SPL’s Central Branch once again to hold our main conference programming there, both in the auditorium and in the conference rooms on the fourth floor.

The conference programming will be from 9am-4pm, with a break from 12pm-1pm for attendees to go grab lunch.

We’re keeping that awesomely low early-bird rate!

Registration prices are staying the same this year! That’s right–you can buy a pass at the early-bird rate of just $17.50! (And this includes a pass to the main conference, your swag bag, and access to all those giveaways!)

The early-bird rate ends on August 31. After that, tickets go up to $25.

Panel Programming Created by YOU!

2015 is our first year with panel submissions, and we’re excited to reveal later this summer all the great panels that you contributed! From celebrating heroism to chatting about kink to exploring which publishing path to take, there will be a wide variety of programming to enjoy!

Lots of Returning and New Authors!

GRNW 2015 has a growing list of authors joining the event this year, including con alums Ginn Hale, Radclyffe, and Jordan Castillo Price, and lots of new authors like JK Pendragon, Ethan Day, and Jill Malone. Check out the growing list on our author’s page!

The Return of Character Type Love Match!

Did you attend the GRNW 2014 Reader Meet-Up last year? Then you might have played our first game of Character Type Love Match, a hilarious and interactive game where YOU, yes, YOU vote for the BEST couple.

In 2014, attendees voted for the couple Soldier + Tattoo Artist. (May they forever have their HEA!)

Now who will win 2015??? Will it be your favorite character type? Come and see! (And vote!)

The Book Fair!

Once again, GRNW will be back at the Hotel Monaco for the 2015 GRNW Book Festival, featuring LGBTQ romance authors from around the country, and TONS of free swag! The Book Fest will be held from 4pm-6pm after the main conference and will be free for the public to attend.

OMG! Free Books!

At GRNW 2014, publishers and authors donated HUNDREDS of free books to give away during the main conference at the library, and we look forward to unleashing all the new books for this year! (As well as some cool new giveaways, like a Kindle!)

The Epic After Party – Banned! Books in Drag!

BannedFINALLY! We’re excited to announce GRNW’s partnership with the Seattle Public Library, who is hosting on the evening of September 26 the amazing performance event Banned! Books in Drag 2015! This is a multi-performer event celebrating all that is awesome about drag and banned books. (How could we not join in???)

Banned! Books in Drag will be GRNW 2015’s official After Party, and we will be busing attendees who wish to join to the nightclub Neighbours to participate in this free performance event. It’s going to be Epic!

That’s the news so far, but there will be MORE to come! If you’re curious about our developing schedule, check out our schedule page, and if you’re ready to register, please visit our ticket site.

Questions? Or have any favorite character types to suggest before the conference? Let us know in the comments!

Join us in Portland on February 14 for the Queer Valentine author event!

AnotherReadThroughSave the Date for Valentine’s Day, 2015!

GRNW will be holding our first Oregon LGBTQ romance author reading event on February 14 in Portland at the bookstore Another Read Through. Along with the reading event, we’ll also be holding our next Portland LGBTQ romance readers meet-up that day, which is always a great time to chat about your favorite books with other readers and authors.:D

Come celebrate LGBTQ love stories with readings by five amazing local LGBTQ romance authors!

  • Talya Andor, author of A Cut Above the Rest and Signal to Noise
  • Lori L. Lake, author of Eight Dates, Like Lovers Do, and Gun Shy
  • Cait Spivey, author of I See the Web and A Single Thread
  • Ethan Stone, author of In the Flesh and Wolf Moon
  • Anne Tenino, author of Frat Boy and Toppy and Sweet Young Thang

Event Schedule

  • 12pm-1:15pm: Portland Reader Lunch Meet-Up (Mac!, next to the bookstore, located at 3936 North Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR 97227.)
  • 1:30pm – 3:00pm: Reading Event at Another Read Through! (3932 North Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR 97227)Books will be for sale at the reading event, so it’s an excellent time to pick up a copy and get it signed by one of the attending authors!
  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm+: Post-Event Reader Meet-Up (Location pending, near the bookstore)


Talya Andor lives in the Pacific Northwest with her girlfriend and their girl-kitty who they believe to be cutest cat in the world, and is constantly balancing a busy slate of boylove stories to write with her day job, hobbies to upkeep, and nail polishes to collect. She has been writing fiction since elementary school and progressed to guy on guy erotica during college, honing her chops on fan fiction until original fiction lured her with its siren call. She loves writing and reading, routinely geeks out over gaming and movies, and watches far too many cooking shows. You can find Talya at her WordPress blog, and twitter @TalyaAndor.

Lori L. Lake is the author of ten published novels (so far) and two books of short stories and the editor of two anthologies. She’s known for her enjoyment of teaching and for sharing writing resources with both aspiring and published writers. Her 2013 mystery, Jump the Gun, recently won a Rainbow Award. She received the Ann Bannon Award for Snow Moon Rising, Golden Crown Goldies for Buyer’s Remorse and Snow Moon Rising, and was honored with the Alice B. Reader Appreciation Award. Her work has been a Lambda Literary Finalist in the anthology category. She loves to hear from readers. Her website:

Cait Spivey is a Portland-based freelance editor and author of paranormal romance (I See the Web) and mystery (A Single Thread). She has a penchant for fantasy, horror, and diverse representation, preferably at the same time. When she’s not writing, she’s planning her next tattoo.

Ethan Stone has always loved to write and one point thought journalism was his dream career. He eventually accepted that writing because he had to was nowhere near as much fun doing it because he wanted to.

Stories starring gay men have always been in his head, but he thought they would always be relegated to erotica websites.  And then he discovered the wonderful world of M/M publishing. Visit Ethan’s website.

Anne Tenino: Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.

Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework. Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her website.

We hope you can join us this Valentine’s Day in Portland! <3

Publisher Spotlight: What’s in the works for the new DSP Publications? (Plus Giveaway!)

dsp-twitter-profileThis fall, Dreamspinner Press launched a new imprint DSP Publications, that will focus on LGBTQ genre fiction. This is super exciting news, so we wanted to chat with DSPP and see what their plans are for the coming plans, as well as what does this new imprint mean for books previously published under the Dreamspinner imprint.

(And don’t forget to check out our ebook giveaway at the end!)

GRNW: It’s exciting to see the launch of DSP Publications. Why the new imprint? And how is DSPP different from Dreamspinner Press or Harmony Ink Press?

DSPP: Over time we recognized that some of the stories we’ve published through Dreamspinner Press are more strongly focused in a specific genre than on their romantic elements, and the authors would be better served by our marketing them to the appropriate genre communities. The goal of DSP Publications is to present compelling stories in genres such as mystery and suspense, science fiction, fantasy, historical, horror, and urban fantasy which feature LGBTQ+ characters but do not necessarily focus on a primarily romantic relationship.

What is the initial plans for the next year for DSP Publications?

infected-epitathOur production schedule for the next year is already completely booked. Some of these will be rereleases of previous Dreamspinner Press titles, such as Greenwode and Shirewode by J. Tullos Hennig or the Wolf’s Own series by Carole Cummings. There will be new books in existing series – like Andrea’s Speed’s Infected: Epitaph and Infected: Paris, as well as several more books in the Wode series. We’re also publishing new books such as Rick R. Reed’s Third Eye and John Inman’s Willow Man.

We’ve heard that DSP is targeting a more “mainstream” audience. What does mainstream mean to you?

The marketing focus is not so much mainstream as it is genre-specific. For example, we timed rerelease of the first books in the Wode and Wolf’s Own series to coincide with the 2014 World Fantasy Convention and featured advertisements in the convention materials. Similarly we will be marketing specifically to readers of mystery and suspense, science fiction, and other genres. We want to get DSPP books into the hands of readers within the appropriate genres who are not necessarily looking for romance titles.

Dreamspinner Press has really been leading the way with both translations and converting books to audio. Will we see a similar direction with DSP Publications as well?

We want to establish a base of print and eBook releases first, but yes, we do plan to offer translations and audiobook versions of DSP Publication titles over time.

We won’t lie—we’re nervous romance readers and appreciate that Dreamspinner has often labeled their books, including using the “bittersweet dream” tag to help alert readers that a work may not have an HEA or a Happily Ever After.

Will DSP Publications still be geared towards books with hopeful endings or should readers come in with an understanding that the endings may be more varied?

Because the focus of DSP Publications is not romance, it’s possible not all releases will end with a “happily ever after.” Some will continue to include an element of LGBTQ+ romance, but not necessarily every book will.

ReawakeningIf books previously released by Dreamspinner are now being moved to DSP Publications, will there be a window when they’re not available to purchase? (I’ll use an example of a stellar book that we highly recommend, Amy Rae Durreson’s fantasy Reawakening, which we heard will be moving to DSP.)

As books near their release dates through DSP Publications, any previous Dreamspinner Press versions will be taken out of print. This will usually happen about eight weeks prior to the new release date.

Will DSP Publications be accepting submissions? (If not now, will they in the future?)

As our publication schedule is currently full for at least the next year, we are not currently accepting submissions for new titles, but we will be doing so at some point when we can realistically schedule them for release.

What books can readers get excited about for the DSP Publication’s first year?

the-last-grand-masterWe’ll be continuing a number of existing series, such as the Blessed Epoch by August Li, Champion of the Gods by Andrew Q. Gordon, Desert World by Lyn Gala, Dreamlands by Felicitas Ivey, and Flesh by Ethan Stone.

Readers can also look forward to the Little Goddess series by Amy Lane and new urban fantasy from Rhys Ford (The Four), new horror from Rick R. Reed (A Demon Inside) and John Inman (Boys on the Mountain), a steampunk novel from Carole Cummings (Blue on Black), fantasy from Connie Bailey (The Bastard’s Pearl), and spiritual fiction from Greg Hogben (My Daughter’s Army).

Our website is live at and features new and upcoming releases, author biographies, news, and events. Books purchased on the site can be downloaded directly to readers’ Kindles or smartphones for immediate gratification and enjoyment.

Thank you for stopping by! It sounds like it will be a fantastic first year for DSP Publications! :D

******GIVEAWAY TIME**** :D

DSPPLeave a comment below and  you will be automatically entered into a random drawing to win a “prize pack” of new DSP Publication ebooks written by GRNW 2014 authors J. Tullos Hennig, Rick R. Reed, and Andrea Speed!

The contest will run until December 31! Happy Holidays, and thank you to DSP Publications for their generous gift!

Come Meet Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt on December 5 at Gay City in Seattle!

mta-voinov-wittThis Friday, December 5, come celebrate two of the most dynamic and daring duos of queer fiction, Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt, at Gay City’s latest Meet the Author event!

Witt and Voinov—Lambda Literary finalists, Rainbow Award winners, and possibly secret superheroes–have co-written ten works together, as well as authored enough books on their own to overwhelm a library shelf, from historical fiction to contemporary romance, cyberpunk sci-fi to sexy BDSM club erotica. If you can imagine the genre, Voinov & Witt have conquered it, written it, and are working on the sequel as you read this.

They won a 2014 EPIC ebook award for their short fiction Quid Pro Quo, were 2013 Lambda Literary finalists for their novel Capture & Surrender, and won the 2013 Rainbow Award for the novels If it Flies and If it Fornicates.

This event starts at 7pm at Gay City’s Calamus Auditorium, and is free and open the public!

Meet the Authors: Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt is cohosted by Gay City and Gay Romance Northwest.

Join this event on Facebook! Or visit Gay City to learn more!

??????????????Pre-Reading Meet-Up!

Come join us at the cafe at Gay City for a pre-reading meet-up starting from 5:30pm this Friday!

Just look for the table with the GRNW sign! :D

About the Authors

VoinovWittAleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as a writing coach, complementary therapist and freelance corporate editor. At 39 years of age, Voinov has written more than a dozen novels and commercially published five print books with German publishers. After many years working in the horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy genres, Voinov is now primarily writing contemporary and historical erotic gay fiction.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal gay romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky.

This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha. Gallagher’s latest novel is the lesbian suspense Razor Wire.

Guardians of the Gaylaxy take over the Seattle Public Library on Nov. 17!

GuardiansOfTheGaylaxy_BannerJoin GRNW, Gay City, and the Seattle Public Library on Monday, November 17 as we present a free public reading event highlighting local LGBTQ science fiction and fantasy authors. Authors reading include: Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, Laylah Hunter, Langley Hyde, and Nicole Kimberling.

It’s going to be an out-of-this-world evening of storytelling and discussion! We hope you will join us!

The event starts at 7pm! We hope to see you there!

Visit the Seattle Public Library to learn more!

RSVP on Facebook!

Pre-Reading Meet-Up at Vovito!

For those that want to meet prior to the reading, GRNW will be hanging out at the Vovito cafe across from the library from 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Just look for the table with the GRNW sign! :D

About the Authors:

Astrid Amara, author of the Lambda Literary-nominated fantasy The Archers Heart, and the new fantasy novel set during the Crimean War, The Devil’s Lancer.

Ginn Hale, is a Lambda Literary nominee and Spectrum Award winner for her fantasy/steampunk novel Wicked Gentlemen, and author of the new novel Champion of the Scarlet Wolf.

Laylah Hunter’s first novel, the fantasy Gabriel’s City, releases November 2014. Laylah is also the author of short fiction, including “Safe Harbor.”

Langley Hyde, is a Clarion Writer’s Workshop graduate whose first steampunk fantasy novel Highfell Grimoires was released spring 2014.

Nicole Kimberling, winner of the Lambda Literary award for her speculative fiction novel Turnskin and founder and editor of the LGBTQ speculative fiction press Blind Eye Books.

GRNW 2014 Authors Celebrate Queer Romance Month

QRM_Badge-2-300x300From October 1 – October 31, over 120 authors and readers came together to celebrate a new blog project, Queer Romance Month.

Throughout the entire month, contributors shared 3-4 essays posted daily that celebrated the many facets of queer romance fiction, and the many layers of being queer, of being an ally, of loving romance stories, and highlighting this rising supply of romance stories that represent and celebrate LGBTQIA lives and relationships.

Please go and enjoy the many wonderful and heartfelt posts and stories that share so much about love and desire, about sadness and loneliness, about separation and rejection, and about resilience and realization, hope and triumph.

(Not to mention some hilarious and fantastic posts about writing, about slash fanfiction, and about what it felt like to first discover the existence of queer romance books and their Happily Ever Afters for queer characters.)

Among the many amazing contributors, you will find posts by GRNW 2014 authors as well. Please find them listed below, but please also enjoy the Bounty that is the QRM library. It is reading not to be missed.

GRNW 2014 Authors Writing for QRM 2014

Title Hell by Astrid Amara

“So trying to find a title that’s catchy (UnderWere) , memorable (The Anus of Caesar), but not disturbing (The Anus of Caesar), captures the story (Disenchanted Angel Seeks Revenge on God), but doesn’t reveal the end (Balls No More) is a real challenge.”

Mambo Italiano and My First happy Ending by Heidi Belleau

“Mambo Italiano was my very first queer rom com. My very first queer love story. My very first queer happy ending.”

Shimmer by L.C Chase

“I don’t know how long we stood like that, gazes locked, bodies frozen, with five feet of marbled tile between us. He was the one who decided it had been long enough though.”

Love Is Love Everywhere, Everywhen, Everyhow by Kim Fielding

“Love is love, right? It’s one of the mottos of Queer Romance Month, and it’s a concept that I—and all the other authors featured this month—recognize as a basic tenet of our work. But I want to add three more words to the motto: everywhere, everywhen, everyhow.”

Well now what? by Rhys Ford

“I’d want someone—gay, straight, purple or polka-dotted—to be able to carry themselves through life without having to fight for the right to love or to live.”

9 stories and 10 links by Ginn Hale

“But we writers aren’t the only ones exploring expanding the definitions of romance. Numerous amazing creators are writing, illustrating and producing, (often completely at their own expense) brilliant web comics. And I’d like to share a few that stand out for me.”

What Organizing a Gay Wedding Taught Me About Being a Romance Writer by Nicole Kimberling

“For a lot of readers, venturing through any of the doors marked L, G, B, or T is going to be as confusing as the bride-free wedding was for my previous client. Even readers of G might never try and see what’s behind the door marked T. Does that make them bad people? Not at all. It just means they haven’t found the book that can translate the experience into terms they understand or are able to feel comfortable engaging.”

Why We Need Trans Romance by E.E. Ottoman

“I refuse to believe that I will always be alone, that being trans has doomed me to isolation and unhappiness. I refuse to raise another generation of trans children who believe that is true, that they are fundamentally unlovable because they are trans. Who live without ever seeing people like them portrayed as being in a happy, healthy relationship. Who never get to see themselves as the heroes of a story about love and being loved.”

Components of Gay Romance by Jordan Castillo Price

“I may not consider myself to be a romance writer. But whether the love interest in my stories functions as a contrast to the main character, or a liability, or an ally, I find the relationship subplot to be a critical component of the work I’ve written so far.”

Lesbian Romance — Becoming Visible with a Little Help from our (M/M) Friends by Radclyffe

“While we who write LGBTQ romance may have different audiences, we have a common theme, and what unites us is far more significant than what separates us.”

It’s All About Me by Anne Tenino

“Most of those people who’re freaking out, telling LGBTQ people that they’re going to burn in hell? They aren’t doing it to save you. They’re doing it because they’re afraid of being punished for not saying anything.”

Why Queer Romance Matters by LA Witt

“I would have given my right arm for some believable, realistic queer characters when I was a teenager. Maybe then I would have seen myself and learned that there’s nothing wrong with me. I might’ve even learned what in the world ‘bisexual’ meant before I realized it also meant ‘me’.”

And GRNW lead Tracy contributed an essay prior to QRM’s launch:

Working in your Community to get the Word Out about Queer Romance by Tracy Timmons-Gray

“You may think that building community awareness around queer romance fiction is limited to gaining social media followers or GoodReads friends, but there are actually a lot of ways to build awareness within your *real life* community as well, and in ways that can have a big impact for other local readers and writers.”

Thank you to the organizers and contributors to the Queer Romance Month project.

With still so much celebration to do, where will QRM go next? We look forward to finding out! :D

And please share with us YOUR favorite(s) QRM posts, and what they meant to you!

Help create the 2015 GRNW Program! 2015 Panel Submissions now open!

GRNW_ButtonAvatarIt’s official! the 2015 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up conference will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Seattle Public Library!

And like for 2014, we will also have some activities on the evening before, but the plan is for once again to have the main activities on Saturday.

Submit a Panel for GRNW 2015!

For our third conference and for the first time, we are opening up panel submissions! We would love for authors and attendees to help co-create the programming for next year.

  • Do you have a great idea for a panel?
  • Do you know others who could speak on that topic?
  • Do you share our interest in promoting voices from across the LGBTQ romance writing spectrum?

Then check out our 2015 Panel Submission Guidelines for info on what we’re looking for in a panel and how to apply!

Setting up an event is actually pretty easy! What’s difficult is setting up the foundation for interesting and thoughtful discussions on LGBTQ romance, and we’d appreciate YOUR help!

2014 was a great conference, but we hope 2015 will be even better, and we’d love for you to be a part of creating that program.

Together, we can celebrate the awesomeness of LGBTQ romance and the many writers and readers who love it! :-D


Celebrating Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy at GeekGirlCon 2014 and the next Seattle Reader Meet-Up

We have lots of cool activities going on this weekend here in Seattle. We hope you will come join us!

Next Seattle LGBTQ Romance Reader Group Meeting!

We’ll be having the next LGBTQ Romance Reader Group Meeting at 12pm at the Kaladi Brothers Café at Gay City in Seattle at 517 E Pike Street. (Just look for the GRNW table.) It’s always a fun and relaxed time to talk with other readers about everyone’s fave books and current reads. Come join in!

And curious about our meet-up groups? Come by our GoodReads group to learn more about our activities in Seattle and Portland!

Queer Sci-Fi/Fantasy Panel at GeekGirlCon at Oct. 12!ggc13_logo_375x74

This weekend is GeekGirlCon 2014, an awesome event celebrating the many facets and fantastic features that make up female geekdom, including workshops, panels, and more!

On Sunday, Oct. 12, come join us at GGC at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle for the panel “Gaylaxy Quest: Exploring Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fiction.” This panel will feature six awesome Northwest queer sci-fi and fantasy authors, and is co-hosted by GRNW, Gay City, and Queer Geek.

The panel will start at 2pm and will be in RM303. (See the rest of GGC’s schedule for this weekend.)

About the Panelists

Astrid Amara, author of the Lambda Literary nominated fantasy The Archers Heart, and the new fantasy novel set during the Crimean War, The Devil’s Lancer.

Amber Dawn, Lambda Literary winner for her speculative fiction novel Sub Rosa.

Ginn Hale, Lambda Literary nominee and Spectrum Award winner for her fantasy/steampunk novel Wicked Gentlemen, and the new fantasy novel Champion of the Scarlet Wolf.

J. Tullos Hennig, author of the novels Greenwode and Shirewode, and winner of the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best B/T & LGBT Fantasy, Paranormal Romance & Sci-fi / Futuristic.

Langley Hyde, a Clarion Writer’s Workshop graduate whose first steampunk fantasy novel Highfell Grimoires was released spring 2014

Nicole Kimberling, winner of the Lambda Literary award for her speculate fiction novel Turnskin and founder and editor of the LGBTQ speculative fiction press Blind Eye Books.

We hope to see you there!

Other cool GGC panels

There is a lot of cool programming at this year’s GeekGirlCon, including programming focusing on LGBTQ issues and diversity. Some of these panels include:

  • Double Others (Oct. 11, 12pm)
  • 21st Century Boys: Slash in the Mainstream (Oct. 11, 3pm)
  • Queerbaiting in Genre Television: Representation or Exploitation? (Oct. 11, 4pm)
  • Is the Seme always Taller? (Oct. 11, 5pm
  • Fanfiction: Sharing, Creating, and the Law (Oct. 11, 6pm)
  • Diversity in Young Adult Fiction (Oct. 12, 10am)
  • Gaylaxy Quest: Exploring Queer Fantasy and Science Fiction (Oct. 12, 2pm)

And much much more! See their full schedule for all the awesomeness happening this weekend

We look forward to seeing everyone this weekend for our Saturday Reader Meet-Up at Gay City and for the Gaylaxy Quest panel on Sunday at GGC! :D

GRNW 2014 Wrap-Up and What’s Next??

GRNW_SignWow! It’s been a week since everyone joined us at the Seattle Public Library on Sept. 20 for the 2nd annual Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up conference, but it doesn’t feel that long since we’ve gotten a chance to meet with so many amazing readers, writers, publishers, and fans of LGBTQ romance!

We wanted to say THANK YOU again to everyone who joined us for the event. Whether you were local to Seattle, or you were driving across county or state lines (or country borders, for our Canadian attendees!), we were so happy you were a part of the event, and helping make it a truly awesome day.

With 200 attendees, 8 publishers, and over 50 LGBTQ romance authors at the event, 2014 was definitely bigger than 2013. Programming-wise, it was a full day of writer discussions, panels, pitch sessions, a keynote address, and a boisterous reader meet-up with hundreds of free books and a super-fun game of Character Type Love Match. (We are DEFINITELY playing that again!) And then also the post-conference book festival at the Hotel Monaco (OMG, so much swag!), and the after party at the Rendezvous Bar that featured 10 awesome readings by attending authors. What a day!

GRNW 2014 Attending Authors, Speakers, and Special Guests

GRNW 2014 Attending Authors, Speakers, and Special Guests

And a big THANK YOU to all the publishers and authors who donated hundreds of free books to give away to readers. That was one of our favorite moments about the event—seeing readers go up to the free book table and see that yes, they really can have all these great books!

UBookstore1And we were happy once again to co-host a reading event the night before at the University Book Store, and it was thrilling to see the huge crowd of people that attended. Thank you for coming out and celebrating LGBTQ romance with us! It’s because people come to events that helps show places like bookstores and libraries that MORE events should be happening to highlight these books and their amazing authors.

Write with Pride Keynote Address

Keynote_4For this year’s keynote, we asked five attending writers if they would share a short message with attendees, one that they’d write if they had the chance to send it to their past or future self. The messages were beautiful, funny, bittersweet, inspiring, and honest, and we’re happy to share all of them here.

Unfortunately, Rose Christo had to cancel her Seattle trip a few days before the event due to unforeseen circumstances, but she shared with us her keynote message, and we were grateful to read it at the conference, alongside participating authors E.E. Ottoman, Jordan Castillo Price, Radclyffe, and Rick R. Reed.

A Message from Rose Christo

A Message from E.E. Ottoman

A Message from Jordan Castillo Price

A Message from Radclyffe

A Message from Rick R. Reed

Thank you to all the authors for sharing these messages with us. And our hope is to share more of these “Write with Pride” message as part of GRNW in the future.

GRNW 2014 Call to Action

CalltoActionLike in 2013, this year we also emphasized a call to action, or more simply, a call to “asking”. As we discussed in our conference remarks and in Lambda Literary recently, so much of what we’ve accomplished this year has been because we asked or advocated for things, whether it was asking Jeff Bezos at Amazon to add Gay Romance and Lesbian Romance to their main Romance storefront page, by asking a library to purchase a book, by asking a bookstore to hold a reading, or by asking attendees to come to an event.

We are at a point in our evolution as a genre that we still have to intentionally ask for inclusion, representation, and visibility. Some are happy to oblige our requests and very much see the need to do so, while others do not feel the same. But no matter how discouraging those dismissals are, whether they are based on literary elitism (aka anti-genre fiction) or anti-LGBTQ rhetoric (or both), we still have to keep trying and asking (or demanding) if we think it’s valuable to publicly celebrate these books, authors, and readers, and demonstrate why LGBTQ love stories are an important and necessary part of popular culture and public narrative.

If you also enjoy celebrating these books and authors publicly, and shining a light on how awesome they are, we welcome you to join us in all this asking. It could be asking Jeff Bezos to include LGBTQ books in Amazon email recommendations (something that now is mysteriously absent, even if you purchase many LGBTQ books…) Or it’s something like asking for your local library to add LGBTQ books to their collections. All of these requests have power and can have real, long-term impact.

GRNW Writer Session, "Writing Diverse Characters - What to look for and what to ask?"

GRNW Writer Session, “Writing Diverse Characters – What to look for and what to ask?”

Gay City LGBT Library Book Drive – Thank you!

GayCityBookDriveAnd THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our 2nd annual book drive for the nonprofit Gay City LGBT Library! This year, donors gave over 220 books to the library, which is amazing! (171 books JUST on Saturday, Sept. 20!) Thank you to everyone who donated. Your contributions are helping expand free community collections of LGBTQ romance books!

Seattle Library Collections!

Speaking of expanding library collections, in September, the Seattle Public Library system also add more than 100 new LGBTQ romance books to their collection, including books by many of the 2014 Attending Authors.

For those who are part of the SPL library system, you can now find (and borrow!) books by these authors!

Lynda Aicher, Talya Andor, David-Matthew Barnes, Laura Baumbach, Jay Bell, Jove Belle, Heidi Belleau, Diana Copland, Megan Derr, Charley Descoteaux, Kim Fielding, LE Franks, Stormy Glenn, Amelia Gormley, Cat Grant, Dena Hankins, Daisy Harris, David Holly, Amber Kell, Morticia Knight, Emma Lanner, Pearl Love, Sasha Miller, E.E. Ottoman, Alex Powell, Jordan Castillo Price, Radclyffe, Rick R. Reed, Devon Rhodes, Jeffrey Ricker, Andrea Speed, Ethan Stone, Anne Tenino, Karis Walsh, and L.A. Witt!

Panel_3GRNW Wrap-Up Posts

Looking for more about GRNW 2014? Check out these great wrap-up posts!

GRNW and Beyond by Talya Andor

It’s called Karma by Kim Fielding

Home again, Home again… by Cat Grant

GRNW was Amazing! Can’t wait for 2015! by Morticia Knight

Back from the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up 2014 by E.E. Ottoman

Gay Romance Northwest 2014 by Alex Powell

The Awesomeness of Seattle by Jordan Castillo Price

Finding Happily Ever After in Seattle by Jeffrey Ricker

Have we missed a post? Let us know!

Panel_1_1GRNW 2014 Secret Stories revealed!

For the second year of our Secret Stories event on GoodReads, authors contributed short fiction, but posted them anonymously. And then two days before the conference, we revealed their names!

Three Goats by Megan Derr (2,800 words, fantasy)

Three Wishes by Kim Fielding (5,900 words, fantasy)

Floating in Space by Dena Hankins (1,200 words, sci-fi, explicit content)

Batkyn Brinks by David Holly (3,700 words, historical, explicit content.)

The Darkling’s Kiss by Charlie Richards (4,700 words, fantasy, explicit content)

Sailing the Seas of Stars by Andrea Speed (979 words, sci-fi)

For those who read the stories before, were you able to guess who wrote what???

And THANK YOU to all the authors who participated this year! The Secret Stories event is always a great way to share writings with readers! :-D

GRNW 2014 DropBox of Stories

To continue the theme of free stories, GRNW 2014 attending authors have also contributed stories to our DropBox, all free to download!

And thanks to authors Heidi Belleau, Megan Derr, Charley Descoteaux, Kim Fielding, Lauren Gallagher (otherwise known as L.A. Witt), Amelia Gormley, Laylah Hunter, Jeffrey Ricker, Andrea Speed, and Riptide Publishing for these stories to share!

GRNW 2014 Dropbox

GRNW 2015!

We’re pondering dates for GRNW 2015! What we know now is that it will be back at the Seattle Public Library in September 2015. We’ll let you know once a date is finalized.

What we do know for next year:

  • In order to remain affordable and accessible to attendees, GRNW will be a short event, a day or day-and-a-half at most.
  • We’re going to take panel submissions for 2015, and will release panel submission guidelines later this fall.
  • After panels are submitted and finalized, we will open up attending author slots. This is planned for late 2014.

If you are interested in submitting a panel discussion, you can start pondering now. We recommend looking at our programming and writer sessions for this year to get an idea of what kinds of content we cover. For us, a lot of our mission is to promote dialogue around LGBTQ romance fiction, so we recommend panels that focus on that.

Also, one of our priorities is representing voices from diverse backgrounds and across the queer romance writing spectrum, so panels that reflect that priority will be what we are most looking for.

We will be releasing the panel submission request in mid-October 2014, with a due date of late November 2014.

What’s next for GRNW?

Even though the big event for the year is done, we still have loads of activities coming!

Oct. 11-12, 2014GRNW at GeekGirlCon!

ggc13_logo_375x74Join us at GeekGirlCon 2014! GRNW, Gay City, and Queer Geek have partnered together on the panel “Gaylaxy Quest: Exploring Queer Sci-fi and Fantasy Fiction” that will be held at 2pm on Sunday, Oct. 12 at the Seattle Convention Center.

Authors participating on the panel are: Astrid Amara, Amber Dawn, Ginn Hale, J. Tullos Hennig, Langley Hyde, and Nicole Kimberling.

GeekGirlCon is always a great time, especially for fans of geek culture. Come join us!

Nov. 17, 2014 – Guardians of the Gaylaxy Reading Event

Library_outsideGRNW, Gay City, and the Seattle Public Library are partnering together on a free reading event to highlight queer sci-fi and fantasy fiction at SPL’s Central Branch!

The reading will start at 7pm and will be in the Microsoft Auditorium. Featured authors will be Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, Laylah Hunter, Langley Hyde, and Nicole Kimbelring.

December 5, 2014 – Presenting Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt!

??????????????Join GRNW and Gay City for this free event with LGBTQ romance authors Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt for an evening of readings, Q&A, and book signings! The event will be at Gay City’s Calamus Auditorium at 7pm.

And more events to come, including our first Portland reading event on Feb. 14, 2015!

We hope you will join us at our upcoming events and reader meet-ups and at GRNW 2015!


Thank you again for being a part of this journey with us in helping spread the love about LGBTQ romance stories. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you, and we look forward to seeing how much further we can go, together.


Write with Pride with GRNW 2014 Author Rose Christo

As part of the GRNW 2014 conference keynote on Sept. 20, 2014, we asked five writers to share the messages they would send to their past or future selves. We are happy to share these messages with you.

Below is a message from author Rose Christo. Rose was unfortunately unable to make it to the 2014 conference, but we were grateful to share then the piece that she had written.

Dear Rose,

Lending Light CoverHi.  Remember me?  I know we haven’t kept in contact over the years.  It’s just that we’ve never exactly seen eye-to-eye.  I had the chance to be a physicist.  You stopped me.  I almost ran away with the girl of my dreams.  You stopped me again.  Coexisting with you is like having teeth pulled, only there’s no novacaine, and the dentist is that creepy guy from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Consider this letter a dire warning.  Yes, this is the part in A Christmas Carol where the Ghost of Christmas Future points at Scrooge’s grave, right before she rips off her ragged cloak and ballet dances across the stage.  Catherine Batcheller is so cool.

I want you to realize that you are not the only person who has to live your life.  Everyone around you is living your life, too.  Your cousins.  Your grandparents.  Even that Cliff guy who works the deli with you but doesn’t utter a single word.  What you do or don’t do in other people’s presence will affect each of them for the rest of their lives.  You might never see the impression you’ve left, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

And so when you tell stories, remember that they aren’t just your stories.  Every story you write should be with the intention of making somebody’s life a little bit happier, a little bit easier to live.  I don’t want to meet with you again in another five years and find out you haven’t helped a single person.  I think I will strangle you with my bare hands.

You are lucky to come from a community that celebrates your differences.  You are Two-Spirit, they told you.  You are the Shapeshifter, like Ayas.  Most people are not as fortunate as you are.  Do you even realize that?  When you thought that you were ugly, you were taught that you were beautiful.  Many people have been tricked into thinking they are ugly.  It’s a giant, vicious conspiracy, and that it’s allowed to persist is the most aggravating mystery on this planet.  Show them it’s a conspiracy.  Show them that they’re perfect as they are.  Make them feel it in their bones, in their teeth, in the tips of their fingers and the backs of their skulls until nobody–nothing–can take it away.  If you can’t accomplish something so small, you might as well stop writing.



Read more of the 2014 GRNW Keynote, “Write with Pride.”

A Message from E.E. Ottoman

A Message from Jordan Castillo Price

A Message from Radclyffe

A Message from Rick R. Reed

About the Author

Rose is a Cree from Box Elder, Montana. She majored in agriculture and minored in physics. She dreams of colonizing Europa (the moon, not the continent, yikes). She is the author of multiple novels, including the young adult series Gives Light and the novel The Place Where They Cried. Visit Rose’s website.