Hey, peeps! Special-ness abounds at WaW! Stevie Carroll joins us AGAIN (WOOOO!) with info about an upcoming cool event in the UK for LGBTQ/straight alley readers and writers. What I really enjoyed about this is Stevie’s recounting about how the event has expanded since it first started in 2010. From a dozen authors to a mini-conference that even issues its own anthologies, which are available to YOU, the reading public.
So here you go, Stevie with the 411:
Upcoming: the UK Meet for Readers, Writers and Reviewers of GLBTQ Fiction
By Stevie Carroll
source: UK Meet for Readers, Writers and Reviewers of GLBTQ Fiction
September promises to be an exciting month for me, with one highlight being the third annual UK Meet for Readers, Writers and Reviewers of GLBTQ Fiction. I was there (almost) at the beginning, attending the first Meet in a side-room to Ely library in Cambridgeshire and the impromptu meal that came after. Back then, the Meet consisted of a dozen or so authors (mostly of m/m fiction) sitting around a table talking, and playing the occasional word game.
The following year we had a hotel (or at least one meeting room in a hotel where many of us also stayed overnight) and a pot-luck lunch to which everyone seemed to individually bring enough to feed at least half the delegates for an entire day. There was a meal afterwards again, for those staying overnight, and lots of discussions that continued past breakfast the next morning.
This year, we have two rooms in a different hotel for panels and discussion sessions, plus a chill-out room, and organised entertainment for the Saturday night. I’m taking part in several of the scheduled items: Novel openings – what makes a good start to a story? (a session which may have been inspired by something very similar at last year’s Festival of Romance). We’ve got the gay: what about the other letters? (LBTQ) (well, would you expect me not to be on that one?) and also a Buffet of Banter table called Whose leg is it anyway? The full programme, for anyone who’s interested can be found at the website HERE.
Not only does the Meet have a smashing line-up of authors, and sponsorship by quite a few publishers, there are also fund-raising events happening for the Albert Kennedy Trust, a charity whose mission is to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people are able to live in accepting, supportive and caring homes, by providing a range of services to meet the individual needs of those who would otherwise be homeless or living in a hostile environment.
And there’s even more excitement. Last year’s Meet was accompanied by two anthologies: the freebie British Flash and the fund-raising Tea and Crumpet which was available as an eBook and in print.
source for British Flash: Smashwords.com
source for Tea and Crumpet: UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet, 2011 (re-sized here)
This year, there’s one anthology available now: Lashings of Sauce, as an eBook and in print and there will also be a USB stick packed with free stories and excerpts for every attendee. I can recommend all the anthologies as excellent samplers of what the UK authors (and Anglophiles from further afield) have to offer when writing about the British.
source: UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet (re-sized here)
What I like best about the Meet is its inclusivity. Although a lot of the organisers mostly write m/m, and that tends to be where the attendees’ main interests lie, I’ve never felt excluded for writing mostly the other letters of the rainbow alphabet. And, of course it’s always splendid to brainstorm with other authors in person, and find out what they really look and sound like.
I expect there’ll be a Meet again next year, so don’t fret too much if you’re not coming this year. I’ll tell you all about it afterwards too.
Born in Sheffield, England’s Steel City, and raised in a village on the boundary of the White and Dark Peaks, Stevie Carroll was nourished by a diet of drama and science fiction from the BBC and ITV, and a diverse range of books, most notably Diane Wynne-Jones and The Women’s Press, from the only library in the valley (sadly now closed and replaced by a van). After this came a university education in Scotland, while writing mostly non-fiction for underground bisexual publications under various aliases, before creativity was stifled by a decade of day-jobs.
Now based in Hampshire, Stevie has rediscovered the joys of writing fiction, managing to combine thoughts of science fiction, fantasy and mysteries with a day-job writing medical education materials and far too many voluntary posts working with young people, with animals and in local politics. Stevie’s short story, ‘The Monitors’, in Noble Romance’s Echoes of Possibilities, was longlisted by the 2010 Tiptree Awards jury. Other short stories have appeared in the anthologies British Flash and Tea and Crumpet, while Stevie’s first solo collection A Series of Ordinary Adventures was published by Candlemark and Gleam in May 2012.
Stevie has an LiveJournal for writing updates, and promises to build a website in December if not before.