The fourth annual UK Meet for readers, reviewers, writers, publishers and fans of GLBTQ fiction is going to be held from the 12th to the 14th of July 2013 in the British city of Manchester. Completely the wrong side of the Pennines, but I’ll be going there anyway 🙂 since I’ve been to the last three and nothing too awful happened to me over there earlier this month (other than getting up at 5am which was Entirely My Fault).
Since the first meeting of a dozen or so authors and readers in Ely Library one afternoon back in 2010, the event has grown dramatically, to spread over two whole days (plus the Friday evening for those planning to arrive early). The event is not run for profit, but aims to provide support and networking opportunities for all attendees as well as raising awareness and money for the Albert Kennedy Trust. The Meet’s chosen charity supports young LGBT 16-25 year olds who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment.
So what can you expect from the Meet (and you’d better book fast as the last few tickets are expected to sell out soon)?
- Thoroughly British organisers, who’ve put together an appropriately British programme in a northern city with a thriving (and world-famous) gay village (aka Canal Street)
- A small and intimate-feeling event, due to the organisers keeping attendee numbers within limits they are comfortable with
- Social, workshop, discussion panel and speaker-based elements spread across two rooms to provide a range of ways for readers, reviewers and writers to learn more about their favourite brands of fiction
- A wide variety of topics within the programme for both days
- Evening activities to get everyone who wants to get out in Manchester to see the historic city and sample its clubs, pubs and restaurants
- Opportunities to buy/sell books, sign items/have items signed by authors, and maybe even win prizes
- The chance to meet the organisers themselves: Charlie Cochrane, Liam Livings, Clare London, JL Merrow, and Josephine Myles
- An excuse to stay in Manchester before or after the weekend, or better still to visit the nearby Peak District National Park
In keeping with my 2012 photo over to the side there, you can read all about last year’s Meet on the website via this handy link to get an idea of what to expect from the 2013 version.
Back to the programme: I may have mentioned the wide variety of topics, but you probably want to know what’s in there for lesfic readers and writers.
So… I’m involved in two items: moderating the Lesbian Fiction table in the Buffet of Banter (extended edition) on Saturday afternoon and appearing as one of the panellists in The full quilt bag: covering the full gender/sexuality spectrum – can it be done? on the Sunday morning (with L.A. Witt and Beau Schemery). Various of the other panels and workshops will have at least some lesbian content, especially if I’m in the audience, and attending/sponsoring publishers include Bold Strokes Books, Less Than Three Press, Riptide Publishing, Storm Moon Press, and Torquere Press.
The UK Meet Organisers have previously produced three anthologies: Tea and Crumpet and Lashings of Sauce (in print and eBook versions), and the free-to-download British Flash. All three are still available via this link, and will give you an idea of the wide range and variety of fiction produced by the attendees. No new anthology for this year, but there will be a USB Stick provided to all delegates, which will include free short stories along with samples from authors’ longer works.
What more can I say? If you’re interested and haven’t yet registered, then you can sign up over there, and I’ll look forward to meeting some of you in July.