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Class, Presentation, and Panel Descriptions
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CLASSES/PRESENTATIONS

WEDNESDAY

 2:00 - 3:00

Working from Home: Way to Help You Stay on Track in a World Full of Distractions

Whether you're a full-time writer or you only have a few hours a week, this class will give you some tips on different ways to increase your productivity and get the most you can out of the time you have to write at home.

Presenter: Georgia Beers

 

Sidekicks I: All Across the Rainbow

The second fiddle. The neighbor. The best friend. The comic relief. Come hear about the diverse choices of sidekicks these authors have included in their works. Learn about the role of a sidekick and how these characters move a story forward.

3:10 - 4:00 

Lesbians ARE Funny!

Fay will debunk the stereotype of humor-challenged lesbians and teach the basics of writing humor. We will bring out the "funny" for all writers and make people laugh in the process. This will be a hands-on opportunity to learn how to bring humor to the page and laughter to your readers.

Presenter: Fay Jacobs

 

Women of Color I

We’ll discuss the presence of women of color in lesbian fiction. Do we feel there has been an increase in women of color in lesbian fiction, as either authors or characters? Is there a market for books featuring women of color in lesbian fiction? What obligation, if any, does an author of color have to represent women of color in her work? What are some of the stereotypes that we see represented in fiction? Are they good or bad? What can we do, as authors, to ensure accurate representation beyond the stereotypes? What does white privilege mean to you? Does it change based on setting? Discuss representation and agency.

4:10 - 5:00 

How to Be a Great Moderator & Panelist

Author and conference veteran Jessie Chandler will give you the lowdown on how to skillfully moderate the panel or Author Spotlight you’ve been assigned. Anyone scheduled to be a moderator or interested in being a moderator at future conferences is welcomed to attend. All new moderators are required to attend this session.

Presenter: Jessie Chandler

  Sacred Sex

 

Erotica and the presence of the Ephemeral within it; sex scenes that are more than "just sex" and why they're just as (and perhaps even more) important; and how they CAN be representative of that most divine quality: LOVE.

 THURSDAY

8:30 - 9:20  Boring to Besting Selling: How to Take Your Author Readings to the Next Level

This one-hour session will focus on the practical steps needed to sculpt your author readings into the most valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. Learn how to select, edit, practice, and deliver a compelling reading from your current work in progress sure to wow readers, stand out from the crowd, and sell more books.

Presenters: Carleen Spry & Melissa Brayden

What Messages are we Getting From Lesfic Covers?

We’ll discuss some trends in cover design in lesbian fiction: Most lesfic covers feature a woman. How are these women presented on covers? What types of women are presented on covers? What message might we get from covers and how do these messages compare to what messages authors/publishers might intend for us? Who or what is missing from covers and, by extension, the stories within? Where’s the line between empowered and objectified? 

Love Laced With Danger: The Allure of Romantic Intrigue

Not all romances are sweet and light.  Some keep you up at night turning pages because they are fraught with danger and suspense.  Maybe a serial killer is out there or the bad guys are close to unmasking a lesbian spy or someone's been kidnapped.  Not only must our heroines find true love, they must also emerge victorious...and alive.  Come find out more about a genre that is growing in popularity and meet four of the best authors who write romantic intrigue.

9:30 - 10:20 

Technology Can Be Your Friend: Writing, Research & Productivity Tools

In this session, we will examine some of the ways in which writers can use tech tools for writing, research and all around productivity. We'll take a close look at the inner workings of Scrivener, one of the most popular programs for novel writing and peek at a few other options, including the ubiquitous MS Word. Using specific situations a writer might encounter in conducting, saving and organizing research, we'll take a look at some of the online tools available that can be helpful. Finally, the session will help participants see how they can increase their productivity overall, especially as they try to tame email as well as the information overload otherwise known at the Internet. Takeaway materials will help attendees use information from the session when they get back in front of their own computers, tablets and phones.

Presenter: Cindy 

Title: Self Care for Writers (and those who love them)

A workshop designed to help writers overcome self-doubt and fear of rejection and to stop sabotaging their success. Whether you are a published author, hoping to become a published author, or you just want to support your writer friends and loved ones, Karen and Beth will offer tools and tips to reset your internal monologue and to help you become the best version of yourself that you can be.

Presenters: Beth Burnett & Karen Richard

 

Science Fiction & Social Justice

Speculative fiction allows a reimagining of the universe, so what is the writer's responsibility for creating diverse, inclusive, and just worlds? How can we as readers and writers use science fiction to organize social change? This panel discussion will explore the connections between science fiction as a practice ground for social justice.

10:40 - 11:30  Cultural Competence in Lesbian Literature

 

Join DeAngela Cooks and Cheryl Head in a conversation about diversity and why mindful social awareness, operative listening and talking, and cultural humility can help writers execute richer prose, and cultivate a broader following of readers. Bring your curiosity, humor, notepads and smartphones to this interactive session which will include literary references, practical techniques and audience engagement.

 

Weirdly Queer

Writers and readers who love Lesbian Paranormal, Fantasy, and that falls in between share their out-of-this world thoughts and ideas.


11:40 - 12:30 

 


YA v. NA: What’s the Diff

Writers of Young Adult and New Adult define, explain and discuss two of the newest frontiers in lesbian literature.


2:30 - 3:20

Secrets of Social Media Mastery 1 & 2

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, oh, my! There are so many social media sites out there. Which ones are best suited for business? For raising my profile as an author (or to promote any other type of business)? How the heck do I use these things effectively? ARE any of these platforms good for my image? Will they help me to promote myself? My work? Can I tap my heels three times and say, "There's no place like my home page?" And if I build it, will they come? Learn the answers to these secrets and more (and we promise that no classic movie endings will be spoiled in the making of this curriculum).

Presenter: Lynn Ames

Sacred Words: The Art Of Working With An Editor To Get The Most Out Of Your Manuscript

Having your manuscript professionally edited is one of the most important, yet least understood and most ambiguous steps in publishing. If you’re novice author, what are the things you need to know to navigate the editing process so that both you and your manuscript emerge better and stronger for it? In this panel, some of the top editors in our industry share their tricks of the trade and hard-earned wisdom to help you get the most out your manuscript by improving its clarity, readability, and structure.

 


What’s So Funny?

This panel of authors will discuss the extremely serious topic of injecting humor in various genres. The art of crafting humorous characters, delightful dialogue and rip-roaring plots will be explored.

3:40 - 4:30

Judging a Book by its Contents: The GCLS Judging and Awards Process

Ever wondered what it takes to be a judge for the Goldies? Come spend some time with the Awards team and find out. We’ll take a “big picture” look at the Awards process and then focus more specifically on what is expected of our judges. Theresa Delgado from OpenWater will join us to discuss the Awards platform we use for nominations and judging.


Sidekicks I & II: All Across the Rainbow

The second fiddle. The neighbor. The best friend. The comic relief. Come hear about the diverse choices of sidekicks these authors have included in their works. Learn about the role of a sidekick and how these characters move a story forward.


4:40 - 5:30 

More Engaging Dialogue: How to use electronic media to write conversations

There are more ways for characters to communicate these days: using texting, tweeting, blogging and other forms can enhance your novels and engage your readers in different ways.

Presenters: Erica Abbott & Pol Robinson


 

FRIDAY

8:30 - 9:20

Introduction to StoryStylus: Turning your Books into Interactive Apps and Online Games     

Bring Your Characters To Life!  With the One More Story Games authoring tool, writers may now take their adventures and mysteries and create rich and compelling game apps. StoryStylus is a publishing platform designed for writers, screenwriters, and game developers to create interactive story games for the web or tablet!

Presenter: Sheryl Wright

Blood and Gore I & II: Death and Violence in the Lesbian Novel

Do all lesfic readers want escapism or are some happy to have a dose of realism too? Depicting lesbians in a positive or heroic light has been the status quo, but Lesfic writing is shifting. Many writers are starting to include different forms of violence (intimate, natural disaster, warfare) once considered taboo, sometimes with lesbians as perpetrators. This panel will explore how much violence, if any, is appropriate, in what subgenres of Lesfic, and under what circumstances.

 

Where am I?

Readers of Lesbian Fiction come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. We have varied physical abilities. We have varied occupations and life experiences. In what ways do we "find ourselves" within the novels we read? Or, perhaps, we don't find ourselves in these stories.   Do we want to see ourselves, or those similar to us, in Lesbian Fiction? Or are we content with escaping that reality and reading about the 25-40 year old, highly attractive, mostly Caucasian, very fit, financially stable protagonists? 

9:30 - 10:20 

Whaddya Know?

"Write what you know!" The advice every writer hears. But it can be a writer's worst enemy. Veteran novelist Karin Kallmaker explains the WWYK trap and how to escape it, and offers research tips to increase the range and diversity of your storytelling.

Presenter: Karin Kallmaker


Women of Color I & II

We’ll discuss the presence of women of color in lesbian fiction. Do we feel there has been an increase in women of color in lesbian fiction, as either authors or characters? Is there a market for books featuring women of color in lesbian fiction? What obligation, if any, does an author of color have to represent women of color in her work? What are some of the stereotypes that we see represented in fiction? Are they good or bad? What can we do, as authors, to ensure accurate representation beyond the stereotypes? What does white privilege mean to you? Does it change based on setting? Discuss representation and agency.

 

Tension, Friction, and Chemistry

Tension, friction, and chemistry. They are what keeps romance readers awake until two a.m. Will the main characters find each other? Will they know bliss? At the heart of every romance is the path of joy and despair two characters traverse on their way to love.  When it is well written, readers cannot put the book down. This panel of romance writers will share their thoughts about the necessary ingredients for great romantic tension.

11:40 - 12:30 

So You Want to be an Author: Learning Opportunities with the GCLS

The Director of Education will explain the GCLS Writing Academy and discuss how the GCLS can support your writing and help you launch your career.

Presenters: Beth Burnett, Liz McMullen, & Cd Cain


Legacies of Lesbian Literature

The Legacies of Lesbian Literature project examines not just the history of lesbian literature, but also what world events helped shape those stories and to what extent the stories were reflections of the authors' own lives as they looked for affirmation and their place in the world. The fully-realized project will culminate in a comprehensive documentary examining the history of lesbian literature, and how key authors' work significantly influenced not only the genre, but also society at large.

 
1:20 - 2:10 

What to Know Before, During, and After Writing a Book

Carren Strock’s exciting talk, A Writer’ Journey: What to Know Before, During and After Writing a Book, based on her book of the same name, is practical and informative. It is also replete with amusing anecdotes, inspirational stories, and astonishing rejections of famous authors. Be careful or her enthusiasm and candor may just inspire you to write a book of your own. From being told by her college professor that she was not a writer, to selling her first book to a major publishing house for six figures, to turning down an offer to be on the Oprah show, Carren Strock will share it all. With candid honesty, she will talk about the mistakes she made so you will be able to avoid them. With clear and concise tips, she will demystify the entire writing process and tell you how to navigate the world of publishing. So whether you have dreamed of writing a book, are in the process, have a manuscript languishing in a drawer, or are just curious as to what goes on behind the scenes in the publishing world, this is the workshop for you.

Presenter: Carren Strock


Murder is Everywhere

It’s always one body at a time. Whatever the label, true crime, thriller, or mystery, somewhere there’s a corpse. Join us for a discussion of murder and how it moves our stories forward. 

 

What’s Past is Prologue: Making Your Historical Fiction Real

When you write a story that takes place in a different time period you want your reader to feel like they are actually walking the same streets that your characters walk, seeing the same sights, hearing the same sounds, and even smelling the same smells.  One false modern move and you kick your reader right out of that world. But how do you write a story that is true to its historical context, without sounding like an academic treatise?  This panel will explore this. 

2:20 - 3:10 

Differently Able

A frank discussion regarding the need for more disabled main characters in lesbian literature, suggestions for writing these characters accurately, and more." People with Disabilities in LGBT Fiction.


How Washington Really Works: An Insider Perspective on D.C.

Washington, DC is our nation's capital and the center of the free world but few people really understand how this "big small town" actually works.  From politics to foreign policy Washington is a city that operates at a frenetic pace.  This panel will examine the inner workings of Washington, DC from the perspective of an insider.  The panel will discuss the fiction versus reality of our capital city and how to better understand the way in which politics, policy and intrigue come together in this fascinating city.

SATURDAY

8:30 - 9:20 

Traditional, Indie or Hybrid: What Kind of Publishing is Right for You?

The publishing world has changed dramatically over the past decade. The option of indie publishing has opened doors never before available, but indie publishing isn't for everyone. This seminar will cover the basics of traditional and indie publishing, and will help participants understand the pros and cons of each, or whether a mix of both is an option.

Presenter: Caren Werlinger


Blood and Gore I & II: Death and Violence in the Lesbian Novel

Do all lesfic readers want escapism or are some happy to have a dose of realism too? Depicting lesbians in a positive or heroic light has been the status quo, but Lesfic writing is shifting. Many writers are starting to include different forms of violence (intimate, natural disaster, warfare) once considered taboo, sometimes with lesbians as perpetrators. This panel will explore how much violence, if any, is appropriate, in what subgenres of Lesfic, and under what circumstances.

Just One More Chapter: the art of keeping a book in a reader's hands

As writers, we want to craft a book that will be difficult to put down. Authors, editors and readers will discuss the elements of plot and how they come together to create a page-turner. Explore how to weave a delightedly intricate plot, create an antagonist the audience loves to hate and the importance of dilemma and dramatic tension.

9:30 - 10:20

Show and Tell

Visual sequential story telling: attendees will learn how to tell a short story in one to three panels, regardless of drawing ability (stick figures are fun!).

Presenter: JD Glass & Kris Dresen


Research and How to Use it 

A discussion of both research "how-tos" and good decision making about how and when to use research in your books to engage the reader without boring or confusing them.


The Politics of Poetry

Poetry, like the idea of fiction, can have a variety of meanings/interpretations, depending upon the writer. One significant issue for poetry, and becomes a barrier for bringing in new readers, is the preconception that poetry is a specific species of a thing -- often elitist, obscure, and difficult to fathom (although easily mocked).  Many reasons exist for such preconceptions, one may be the vast white, male, hegemonic co-option of poetry in the academy.  In this way, a very small circle decides what ought to be tauted as "good," "innovative," and publishable in literary journals.  However, poetry, like music, has served as a means of political expression since the time of the bards and through to the current day with the popularity of slam poetry and spoken word poems.  

1:00 - 1:50 

Make Your Editor Love You

We’ll discuss some simple things to look for in a manuscript before submitting it to your editor/publisher. Chart your names and places. Verify accuracy and look for trends – everything you should do to make your editor love you.

Presenters: Jove Belle & Andi Marquette


Our Generation: A Cold, Hard Look Back

The LGBT civil rights movement has made amazing strides in the last few decades, but in all of our sense of accomplishment and acceptance by society, it is all too easy for us to forget the very beginnings of our struggle and what it originally stood for and hoped to get changed. Those under forty years old in the LGBT community have little or no idea of our literary history. But some of our top writers were around and active during those years following Stonewall, helping to build the LGBT culture that now exists. Please join these panelists as they discuss what it was that compelled them to write, what they felt they and others got right, the unintended consequences, and how the publishing landscape was forever changed by their literature.

I Wish I'd Written That 

Bringing back a rousing panel from GCLS in Portland, this time with four new authors talking about the ideas they covet from other writers. Who wrote the cleverest twist, the most unique setting, the character that stayed with you, the hottest chemistry, the most imaginative world.

2:00 - 2:50    So, I Had This Idea: How Inspirations Became Realities

There is no right way to transform an idea into a finished book. Proof of this can be found in this diverse group of panelists who will describe where they got their initial inspiration for a story and how they ultimately wrote and published their first work.

It Just Got Real: An In-depth Exploration of Non-fiction and Memoir Writing

You’ve lived a fascinating life or you’ve researched a unique topic and you want to share your knowledge and insights with the world. This panel, packed with veteran voices in the world of non-fiction and memoir writing, will offer valuable insights to help you apply creative story-telling techniques to the craft of writing personal memoir and non-fiction. Panel members will discuss research methods, structural concerns, point of view, path to publication insights, and the art of adding color and depth to your work without crossing the fine line from fact into fiction

2017 Tee Corinne Nominees

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