Magic & Mayhem is now available!

MAndMMagic & Mayhem, GRNW’s first anthology, is ready for download! 

You can grab your copy from Amazon and Smashwords!

What is Magic & Mayhem about?

Everyone deserves to see themselves in stories, to see themselves get a happy ending. For the past few years, Gay Romance Northwest (GRNW) has helped to see those stories reach more of the LGBTQ community, and gain traction in libraries and beyond.

Furthering that goal is this collection of new fiction and essays, including information on how to get LGBT books in libraries, letters from authors sharing their personal reflections on writing, essays about why positive and happy queer books are so important, and short stories about tattooists, soldiers, mages, and cyborgs that span the LGBTQ spectrum and show that love has no bounds.

This anthology includes never-before-published short stories by Josh Lanyon, Karelia Stetz-Waters, Ginn Hale, Megan Derr, Dev Bentham, Alex Powell, EJ Russell and Austin Chant. Contributed essays include works by Radclyffe, Rick R. Reed, Jordan Castillo Price, Rose Christo, and EE Ottoman.

We welcome you to join the celebration and Read with Pride with us!

Our Deep Gratitude

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this book a reality, from Nicole, Sam, and Amanda for leading the charge, to all the wonderful contributors for providing their stories and essays, to all the GRNW attendees who played Character Type Love Match and inspired this volume, and…

To all you readers for reading! Thank you!

The GRNW Anthology Magic & Mayhem now up for Pre-Order!!

MAndMSeats are moving for the upcoming 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up (come grab your free pass!), but in between all this registration madness, we’re delighted to announce that GRNW’s first charity anthology MAGIC & MAYHEM is now up for pre-order!

Set to release on September 6, 2016, MAGIC & MAYHEM is an anthology that is a mix of both fiction and nonfiction. The anthology will feature 8 new stories by a group of amazing LGBTQ romance authors. Along with these stories, the anthology will feature the past keynotes from GRNW 2013-2015, as well as some new essays.

Want to Pre-Order?

Come find M&M on Amazon and Smashwords!

Who is part of MAGIC & MAYHEM? Check out the list below!



“Broken Art,” by Dev Bentham
“Caroline’s Heart,” by Austin Chant
“Demonica,” by Megan Derr
“The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus,” by Ginn Hale
“Fade to Black,” by Josh Lanyon
“Charmed By Chance,” by Alex Powell
“Sun, Moon, and Stars,” by E.J. Russell
“Slack Tide,” by Karelia Stetz-Waters


“Romance for the Rest of Us,” by Jessica Blat
“Sad Queer Characters and the Revolution of Joy,” by Austin Chant
“Dear Rose,” by Rose Christo
“How to Get LGBT Romance Books Into Libraries” by Marlene Harris
“So What is “Character-Type Love Match” Anyway?” by Nicole Kimberling
“My Road to Romance,” by Susan Lee
“To My Future Self,” by E.E. Ottoman
“What I’ve Learned,” by Jordan Castillo Price
“Dear Len,” by Radclyffe
“A Letter to My Former Self,” by Rick R. Reed
“Five Things We Learned Running A Queer Romance Event (and the One Thing We Still Need to Do)” by Tracy Timmons-Gray

Proceeds from the anthology will go to support future GRNW programming, like the GRNW Meet-Up conference and more free public reading events and resources for LGBTQ romance readers, authors, and publishers.\

Pre-Order now: Amazon and Smashwords!

GRNW 2016 Registration Now Open! (And it’s Free!)

GRNW_ButtonAvatar2016Registration for the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up that will held at the Seattle Central Library on September 24, 2016 is now open!

And what’s the big change this year? Registration is free!

What do you mean “free”? We mean it costs zero dollars!

Whoa!!!! Yeah, we know!!!

Wait…does this mean I should still register if it’s free? Yes! You need to register. Even if it’s free, we still have limited seating at the Seattle Public Library and will have an attendee cap.

Okay. I have to register still even if it’s free. Got it. But what’s the schedule? Who’s attending?

Great questions! We’ll be announcing panels and attending authors later this month, but for your planning purposes, here is the general schedule.

GRNW 2016 Schedule – September 24, 2016

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Registration, Attendee Meet & Greet, and free swag (Microsoft Auditorium)

Come grab your seat and your nametag/swag bag, and like in previous years, we’ll have some free books out for grabs. (First come, first serve.)

12:00pm – 6:00pm – GRNW 2016 Bookfest (4th Floor, Room 1)

Throughout the conference, the bookfest will be open, including a table hosted by the Portland bookstore Another Read Through that will be selling books by attending authors. Come check it out!

1:00pm – 2:00pm – Opening Plenary Session (Microsoft Auditorium)

Opening session and Keynote for GRNW 2016

2:00pm – 3:00pm – GRNW 2016 Panels (1st Floor and 4th Floor)

Join one of the concurrent panels that will talk about a range of topics related to writing and reading LGBTQ romance fiction.

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Character Type Love Match! (Microsoft Auditorium)

Now back for it’s third year! Join the popular GRNW game Character Type Love Match where everyone has a vote on which character types will move forward to form the ultimate “couple” for GRNW 2016. Who will win??? You decide!

2015 Winning Couple: Mage x Cyborg
2014 Winning Couple: Soldier x Tattoo Artist

4:00pm – 6:00pm – Author Signings at Book Fest (4th Floor, Room 1)

Meet GRNW 2016 Attending Authors, buy books, grab some free swag, and chat with readers.

Will there be other GRNW events that weekend?

Yes! We will have two other events that weekend:

Friday, September 23: 7pm – 9:30pm
(Hugo House, 1021 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104)

Come join for a free reading event at Seattle’s Hugo House that will feature GRNW 2016 attending authors.

Saturday, September 24: 6pm – Midnight: GRNW 2016 After Party
(Venue TBD)

After the conference festivities, come join the GRNW 2016 after-party, hosted by the podcast The Hopeless Romantic! (Food and drink will be available for purchase.)

Sweet! Looking forward to it! We are too! We’ll update soon about the panel schedule and attending authors, but until then, grab your seat! (It’s freeeeeeeeeeee!)

2016 Panel Submissions Now Open! Help Create the Program for GRNW 2016!

2015Panel_1The 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up conference will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Seattle Public Library, and the big news this year is that the conference will be FREE to attend!

Submit a Panel for GRNW 2016!

For our fourth annual conference, and like last year, we are opening up panel submissions! We would love for authors and attendees to help co-create the programming for 2016.

  • 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 2016 Panel Submission Guidelines for info on what we’re looking for in a panel and how to apply!

Setting up a conference 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!

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

Due Date: Panel submissions are due by Sunday, June 26, 2016. Read the panel submission guidelines.

Call for Story Submissions: Magic and Mayhem GRNW Charity Anthology

CallForSubmissionsGRNW is excited to share the below announcement–a call for submissions for a new project, a charity story anthology based on the prompts from the Character Type Love Match game held at the 2014 and 2015 GRNW Meet-Up conferences.

If you’re loving the prompts, “Soldier x Tattoo Artist” and/or “Mage & Cyborg,” we hope you will consider submitting a LGBTQIA romance story for the anthology. We’d love to build a magical experience that shares the awesomeness of queer romance to GRNW readers and beyond in 2016!

MAGIC AND MAYHEM: A GRNW Charity Anthology

Now Accepting Submissions!

For the past three years, Old Growth Northwest’s Gay Romance Northwest initiative has brought LGBTQ romance authors and readers to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate the genre. Panels, discussions, and books abound—as well as Character Type Love Match. Character Type Love Match is an interactive crowd favorite where attendees vote to advance their favorite character type, and the two left standing form a happily-ever-after pairing. In 2014, the winners were Tattoo Artist and Soldier. At 2015’s conference, the winners were Mage and Cyborg. Magic and Mayhem: A GRNW Anthology is taking those pairings out of GRNW attendees’ fertile imaginations and letting them run wild on the page.

GRNW enthusiasts and authors of queer romance in general are invited to submit their stories about mage/cyborg or tattoo artist/soldier in love for publication in Magic and Mayhem. Proceeds from the anthology will benefit the nonprofit and volunteer-run Gay Romance Northwest initiative so that they can continue to put on excellent programming, facilitate hundreds of book donations to the Seattle area, and keep being awesome without a profit margin.

As this is a charity anthology, contributors will not retain any money from the sale of Magic and Mayhem. Potential authors should keep this in mind when submitting.

Free Entry into GRNW 2016 AND 2017 as an Attending Author: All authors whose works are part of the published anthology will receive a free registration to the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up conference on 9/24/16 in Seattle, WA, and will be included in the conference program as an official GRNW 2016 Attending Author. Anthology authors will ALSO be included in GRNW 2017 as an attending author. That’s right! The next TWO years of conferences.

Story guidelines:

  • Stories should be 2,500 to 20,000 words in length.
  • Stories must be LGBTQIA. We encourage authors to submit stories from all over the QUILTBAG spectrum: trans (including genderqueer), asexual, bi romance, and beyond.
  • Any sub-genre is accepted, but it must suit the pairing of either mage/cyborg OR tattoo artist/soldier.
  • As this is a romance genre anthology, a happy ending for the couple, whether it’s HEA or HFN, is strongly preferred.
  • Any heat level is accepted, but as this is a charity anthology for a nonprofit organization, please avoid instances of rape and non-consent for these stories.

Submission guidelines:

  • Deadline is March 31, 2016.
  • The anthology publisher will retain the rights to the stories for two [2] years.
  • Send your submissions to with MAGIC AND MAYHEM – SUBMISSION in the subject line.
  • The file must be attached in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format.
  • Include a short (no longer than 200 words) summary of the story in the body of the email, as well as the pairing.
  • Stories should be formatted as follows: Times New Roman size 12, double-spaced, paragraphs indented (.25″). Include a cover page with the title, author name, and word count.

Anthology Organizers – Who we are:

  • Nicole Kimberling, Amanda Jean, and Samantha M. Derr are editors brought together in support of GRNW. We’re the organizers and editors of this anthology. Please contact us at if you have questions (or contact Amanda on twitter: @amandahjean and Samantha: @rykaine).
  • To read more about Old Growth Northwest, please visit

Thank you for your support!

GRNW offers our deepest heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Nicole, Amanda, and Samantha for leading this amazing project, and thank you to all the authors who are interested in submitting a story to this anthology and who wish to help support Gay Romance Northwest activities.

Thank you so much! We can’t wait to unveil all the magic (and mahem) next year!

GRNW 2015 Podcast: The Evolving LGBTQ Romance Genre – Where Do You Want the Genre to Go?

The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the LGBTQ Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest, held it’s third annual conference on September 26, 2015 at the Seattle Public Library.

We are sharing podcasts from several of this year’s panels, including:

The Evolving LGBTQ Romance Genre – Where do you want the genre to go?

In the past, GRNW’s last panel of its annual conference examined diversity and how the genre is growing, and this year, we’re “evolving” the evolving panel, keeping the theme around where *you* want the genre to go, but taking it in new directions, and the content will be built by the audience during the opening session. Come find out what everyone voted on, and see how you want the genre to grow and prosper!


Gunner Scott (Program Director, Pride Foundation)


  • Austin Chant: (Author, Silver and Gold)
  • Laylah Hunter (Author, Gabriel’s City, Resurrection Man)
  • Alex Powell (Author, Rangers Over Regulus, Sky Knights)
  • Karelia Stetz-Waters (Author, Something True, Forgive Me if I’ve Told You This Before)

Panelists (Left to Right): Austin Chant, Laylah Hunter, Alex Powell, and Karelia Stetz-Waters


The GRNW 2015 Wall, made up of attendees responses to questions posed earlier in the day, including “Where do you want to see the genre grow?”

Listen to more podcasts from GRNW 2015

GRNW 2015 Keynote “Read with Pride”

Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance

Traditional or Self-Publishing? Which Route to Choose?

GRNW 2015 Podcast: Traditional or Self-Publishing? Which Route to Choose?

The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the LGBTQ Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest, held it’s third annual conference on September 26, 2015 at the Seattle Public Library.

We are sharing podcasts from several of this year’s panels, including:

Traditional or Self-Publishing? Which Route to Choose?

Self-publishing is the latest gold rush but is everything that shines gold? Especially, within the narrower market of LGBTQ romance it’s vital for authors to make the right choices when publishing their work. This panel will discuss the pros and cons of various modes of publishing.


Susan Lee (Blogger, Boys in Our Books)


  • Lou Harper (Author: Spirit Sanguine, Dead in L.A.)
  • Nicole Kimberling (Editor-in-Chief, Blind Eye Books, and author, Turnskin, Primal Red)
  • Sandy Lowe (Senior Editor, Bold Strokes Books)
  • Jordan Castillo Price (Owner, JCP Books and author, Among the Living, The Persistence of Memory)

(Left to Right) Moderator Susan lee and Panelists Lou Harper, Nicole Kimberling, Sandy Lowe and Jordan Castillo Price

Listen to more podcasts from GRNW 2015

GRNW 2015 Keynote “Read with Pride”

Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance

GRNW 2015 Podcast: Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance

The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the LGBTQ Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest, held it’s third annual conference on September 26, 2015 at the Seattle Public Library.

We are sharing podcasts from several of this year’s panels, including:

Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance Fiction

The focus on this panel is to highlight and celebrate underrepresented main characters in LGBTQ romance fiction, whether it is characters of color, and/or of diverse abilities, religions, sexuality, gender, gender identity, economic background, etc. This panel discussion will examine, both amongst the panel members and with the audience, the different ways to authentically represent underrepresented characters and to elevate their stories within the genre.


Tracy Timmons-Gray (Gay Romance Northwest)


  • CJane Elliot (Author, Serpentine Walls, Sex, Lies, and Video Games)
  • Lane Hayes (Author, The Right Words, Better Than Good)
  • Chris Muldoon (Acquisitions Editor, Riptide Publishing)
  • J. K. Pendragon (Author, To Summon Nightmares, Ink & Flowers)
  • Yolanda Wallace (Author, Murphy’s Law, Month of Sundays)


Listen to more podcasts from GRNW 2015

GRNW 2015 Keynote “Read with Pride”

Traditional or Self-Publishing? Which Route to Choose?

GRNW 2015 Keynote Podcast – Read with Pride

The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the LGBTQ Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest, held it’s third annual conference on September 26, 2015 at the Seattle Public Library.

The 2015 Keynote, “Read with Pride,” explores the impact of reading LGBTQ love stories. We hear from readers Jessica Blat, Susan Lee, and Austin Chant, with opening remarks by GRNW director Tracy Timmons-Gray.

Listen to the full keynote address

(If for some reason the podcast player isn’t showing up, just hit refresh on your browser.)

Read 2015 GRNW Keynote Remarks

Read with Pride by Jessica Blat

Read with Pride by Austin Chant

Read with Pride by Susan Lee

Listen to more podcasts from GRNW 2015

Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance

Traditional or Self-Publishing? Which Route to Choose?

GRNW 2015 Keynote: Read with Pride by Susan Lee

Part of the 2015 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up Keynote, “Read with Pride”.

j-r-ward-lover-at-lastI grew up in a very religious home. When I say this, I mean Pentecostal, hands-in-the-air, “holy spirit come”, type church. I’m finding that this is not in and of itself an original story. But what was a bit different for me was where the church hurt a lot of people by telling them what they could and could not do or be…my experience was being the one pointing the finger, heading up the lynchmob-exoricism-prayer meeting. I was preaching by the time I was 16 and a missionary by the time I was 20. I hated anything “of the world”…and everything that wasn’t considered holy was leading you, yes you (whoever my finger point could reach), to hell.

But deep down, I hated myself the most. I lived in constant judgment of myself. I was a sinner when I masturbated. I was a sinner when I thought of any romance/relationships outside of marriage. And I was a sinner because I was not saving enough people.

My journey led me to San Francisco…for a job that I couldn’t refuse. I didn’t know a single soul. But, I was giddy…because SF was a den of sinners, gay sinners, and I had all this opportunity to save them. And then one night on a prayer walk in the Castro district with my new church, I witnessed two of our church members, one a pastor, physically beating up a gay couple they were trying to preach to. There was blood everywhere, there were cries for help, and I turned tail and ran.

I got back to my apartment, completely in shock, fell to my knees and for the first time, had no idea what to say…what to pray. And I had one of those epiphanies…one of those life-altering moments. It was clear as day, something settled in my heart. God is not about judgment. God is not about doing right. God is love. Period. I’m not here to preach, but I wanted to share that in that moment, this message changed my life…saved my life even.

I started opening myself up to people. Talking to anyone and everyone about stuff not bible-related. I started experimenting with living. I started forgiving myself. And I started reading romance novels. Well, chick lit at first, then romance, then full-on erotica. And at some point, I stumbled upon a Black Dagger Brotherhood fanfic which opened up my world of reading to m/m romance, and then more.

What has reading done for me? I’m learning every day…with each new book, with each new conversation within the community, with each new interaction with someone I would have completely shunned years ago. I used to think drag/cross-dressing/and trans were all the same thing. The concept of asexuality I would have declared “a blessing from god” to avoid temptation. I cringe at my small-mindedness in the past. But the fervor with which I hated so many years ago, I use to try and learn, to grow, to experience, to do better, to be better.

Romance opened up my world. LGBTQ romance broadened my horizons. Reading was my portal to exposure and learning. I read with pride because reading is who I am.

Quick story: I recently interviewed for a new job. In every interview, the question is asked: “What are you reading?” Here I am, interviewing for the VP of Human Resources role. I should say something important. I should say something meaningful. I should say something that would show exactly the kind of HR executive I could be for them. So I did. I replied, “I am a voracious reader of romance books. I particularly read mostly LGBTQ romance.” The CEO looked at me, smiled, and said “Unexpected, but I love the honesty”. I got the job.

GRNW 2015 Keynote

Read with Pride by Jessica Blat

Read with Pride by Austin Chant

Listen to Read with Pride

Podcast: GRNW 2015 Keynote “Read with Pride”

About Susan

Susan is a Human Resources executive by day and a voracious romance reader by night (and any other free minute she can get to read!) Having made the journey from “chick-lit” to erotica to m/m and finally getting more and more exposure to ANY book about LOVE, her life has literally and quite drastically been changed through reading. She loves to talk about books, may become a little too attached to characters, and wants every book she reads to have a happy ending. Susan is a member of the Boys in our Books blog team, where she was able to publish last year’s anthology, ”Another Place in Time” which raised over $10k for charity, and this year’s upcoming charity anthology “Wish Come True”, releasing December 1, 2015.