We have a full team of Bywater authors descending on New Orleans, Louisiana this month. Why go to New Orleans in July, you ask? The Golden Crown Literary Society is hosting their annual conference in the Big Easy this year, and instead of telling you why that’s important, we wanted to let our writers explain in their own words. We asked each of our attending authors why she is going to the GCLS conference and why she is looking forward to while there.
Here are their answers:
Wynn Malone – I’m really looking forward to attending the GCLS conference this year. I’ve come to enjoy this conference more and more each time I attend. The conference is a great way to meet both avid readers and fellow writers, and I find the fellowship to be very energizing. Readings, panels, meeting new and old friends during breaks or in the evenings – what’s not to like? As an added bonus, I get to spend a bit of time with the always fabulous Kelly, Marianne, and Salem. Then there is the fact that we will be in New Orleans. Yes, it will be hotter than three hells in August, but the food, ah, the food! That alone is worth the trip. I hope to see you there!
Marianne K. Martin – As an author and small press owner, attending the GCLS conference is a must. It is the largest conference in the US dedicated exclusively to lesbian literature and is a once-a-year opportunity to meet face to face with readers, writers, publishers and reviewers. I look forward to three wonderful days of sharing and talking about our literature.
Baxter Clare Trautman – My first GCLS con was in Dallas two years ago. My wife and I had so much fun meeting people we “knew” on Facebook that we reserved spaces for the 2014 con the day it was announced. Unfortunately, our house burned down a couple weeks before the con, so we had to cancel our trip. This year, however, the house is being rebuilt, and we have our tickets to New Orleans. We’re so looking forward to all the wonderful writers, readers, and publishers that helped make this last year a joy instead of a horror. All that, plus a fascinating variety of panels, workshops and readings with the best lesfic authors on the planet. Why wouldn’t we go?
Georgia Beers – I have attended the GCLS conference every year since its inception. I believe this makes for my eleventh year. While I very much enjoy the panels, readings, and speakers, I really attend for the readers. So many of them spend their hard-earned money each year to come see us, hear us read, listen to us talk about our work, and it blows me away every time. I’m thrilled when I get the chance to shake a hand or sign a book…makes me feel like I’m giving a little something back. It’s definitely a favorite event.
Carol Rosenfeld – Why am I attending the GCLS conference? New Orleans in July! I love humidity! Seriously–New Orleans is a great town, and I love visiting there. I’m really excited about Dorothy Allison’s keynote, and meeting some of the writers I’ve become Facebook friends with. And I’m excited about meeting readers! (Maybe a little nervous, too.) I went to the GCLS conference in Arizona a couple of years ago, and I know GCLS members are passionate about books.
Let’s see. I am going because I love the opportunity GCLS provides for meaningful interaction with readers and other authors. Nothing beats the chance to have real, one-on-one face time with other people who are active and engaged in the advancement of lesbian literature—or any kind of literature, for that matter. I work as a mentor in the Writing Academy, and as a volunteer by doing much of the organization’s graphic design support. And I’m the co-emcee of this year’s awards ceremony. Plus I’ll be looking forward to connecting with other members of our Bywater family. Except for Kelly Smith…I’ll be avoiding her as much as possible.
Fay Jacobs – I’m looking forward to GCLS again this year, as I have been involved since the beginning. Although my work is not fiction, GCLS has made a home for me with my humor and memoir books. I’m thrilled to be going again this year, especially since GCLS has invited me to do my reading, Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay! , sponsored by Bywater Books on Friday night of the conference. Nothing is ever so horrible if it’s worth a good story – and I will be telling some of the weird ones! See you in NOLA!”