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2017 Panelist Application
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Golden Crown Literary Society

Panel Descriptions
GCLS Annual Conference
July 5-9, 2017 – Chicago


Applications are no longer being accepted as we are working on the schedule.


The GCLS strives for diversity of viewpoint and experience on panels from both a literary perspective and a societal one. To this end, we will strive to meet these goals on all panels first and foremost.

Secondly, we strive to maximize the number of people with the opportunity to be seen and heard on panels, but not at the expense of the quality of our panels.  We will attempt to find a place for every applicant while retaining our commitment to quality. However, applying doesn’t guarantee selection.

Below are some of the selected panels for the 2017 GCLS Conference. This is not the complete list - these are the panels that are in need of panelists.

Please read these descriptions carefully. You will be asked to choose up to THREE panels on which you would like to serve. This is not a guarantee of being placed on all or any of the panels. Much will depend on the number and qualifications of people who apply to be a panelist for each chosen panel. This is not a guarantee of being placed on all or any of the panels; however, you increase your chances by selecting more than one.

If you have questions, please contact Ann Roberts ( who will share your question with the selection committee and get back to you with an answer.


If you would like to serve on one of these panels, please fill out the application found at the bottom of this page.


Across the Genres: Why I Write the Books I Write

Authors from various genres will discuss what drew them to write in their particular genre(s). Readers could also be invited to discuss why they like what they like. What are the similarities between genres? Where is there overlap? 


When We Collide: The Intersection of Identities

This panel will explore ways to create engaging, nuanced characters and stories that combine themes including gender and identity, mental health, race and more. We’ll discuss the challenges inherent in writing about our own identities and those of others—plus the added layer of difficulty when these intersect. How do we avoid taking the easy way out and make real characters with overlapping identities?


Book Reviews: For What and Whom?

Book reviews matter to readers. They can be powerful, influencing which books readers pick up and the mindset with which they approach what they read. Good reviewers can play an important informational and educational role for readers as they promote, critique, and provide filters. What are the elements of a really good review? How can authors have their book noticed by a reviewer? During this panel, members will discuss reviews from their various roles in the industry: reviewer, publisher, reader and author.


Women in Uniform

What is it about a woman in uniform? Is it power? Confidence? Do you see the woman warrior or the trustworthy authority figure? Is she one who’s happy working within the system or does she prefer coloring outside the lines? Panelists will examine what is compelling about a story featuring a woman who is a part of something bigger than herself, and what role, if any, the larger “organization” plays. Drawing on a wide range of roles—from a Mountie to a paramedic, from a fledgling Air Force pilot to a cop, a World War II WAC, an ER nurse, and more—authors will also discuss the researching and crafting of these characters, and the effect of their duty on potential relationships.


Just a Few Tiny Tweaks…Navigating the Editorial Rapids Without Drowning

Join editor Lynda Sandoval and several authors for an "ask us anything" panel about the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious about the author/editor relationship. This is your chance to ask about some editor pet peeves, some author pet peeves, and anything at all about the way we work together and sometimes, inadvertently, against each other. Part entertaining tell-all, part information, part how-to, the panel will have something for everyone, from readers to authors to others within the publishing world.


Circling the Wagons

Subtitle: Lesbian literature in the time of hate. A discussion of the ways racism, anti-feminism and homophobia under the new government affects us as writers, readers, and lesbians in general. Will we write differently? Choose different subjects and themes? Will we focus on or try to avoid political subjects and themes? Can we write as before, as patriotic supporters of the White House, the military, the American Way of Life? Implications beyond our writing: will the gradual integration of Lesfic into the general literary pool now be reversed? Will we find ourselves fighting the old pre-Ellen battles? Will we need to re-affirm our loyalties to lesbian products and visibility? Youth outreach: will this become more urgent in the government-sanctioned atmosphere of ignorance and homophobia? Should we all just run away to Sweden?


Mystery & Mayhem

Kate Delafield. Jane Lawless. Kinsey Milhone. Whether it’s a whodunit, a police procedural, a cozy, or a thriller, a strong detective is at the center of a mystery. Join this panel of authors as they discuss the most necessary ingredients of a good detective, one who must often thrive and grow throughout a series of novels.


Writing Our Religions: Writers of Faith Speak Out

There has been much work done on LGBT people breaking away from religious communities or creating their own paths, but little work has been done around the people who choose to maintain ties to their formal religious organizations in the hopes of shaping them for the better. In this panel, authors of faith will talk about how their religious communities shape their work as well as the challenges they have faced from publishers, readers, and fellow authors. 


Making Historical Fiction Real

No one wants to read a historical fiction novel that sounds like a textbook, and no one wants to read a historical fiction novel that’s supposed to be based on the “truth” but sounds like it took place a few minutes ago. How do you strike the right balance? How do you keep from being so accurate in your research that your descriptions and dialogue sound like speeches from a professor lecturing in a college classroom? This panel will explore these two opposite poles and ways to overcome them when writing historical fiction.


Juggling Romance With Kids

The widow, the aunt, and the single mom: women with kids want love, too! This panel will explore the specific conflicts that arise when a romance is built around a woman with a child. Panelists will discuss their decision to give a romantic lead a child, how they built the character of the child, and what they most liked about writing a story where the romantic lead is a package deal.


Profanity, Vulgarities and Obscenities, Oh My!

A discussion of the growing and often unnecessary use of profanity in lesbian fiction. Do readers deserve a more intelligent vocabulary? How can non-objectionable words and phrases work to an author's advantage? How much is too much? Is the shock value muted when swearing is over used? When is a carefully placed obscenity absolutely necessary?


The Badass With a Heart of Gold

Take some action, sprinkle in a little mystery, and ice it with a layer of romance and you’ve got a heady mixture that readers love to get lost in. But writing a badass character with a soft, heart-of-gold center can be a challenge. Authors discuss the ins and outs of writing characters who are edgy, singularly focused, and often hard to like—and making readers fall in love with them anyway.


Not Your Mama’s Paranormal Fantasy

Thinking outside the box is what the paranormal and fantasy genres are all about.  But what does it take to stand out in a world already populated with werewolves, shapeshifters, and wizards. What’s next?



Authors discuss tips and tactics to embrace the age-old romance formula, while at the same time putting their unique stamp on its execution. How do we keep the formula fresh in the face of millions of already written books? Is it possible to re-invent the wheel? And what about that happy ending? Is it the only way to make romance readers happy?


Romance Mad Libs

Join us for a new panel game from GCLS! Romance writers test their quick-witted response ability when given some of our most interesting romance vocabulary—submitted by the audience members.


Navigating the Long-Term Career

Listen in as veteran writers offer tales from the trenches and dish on what it takes to keep a writing career on track and fruitful. Learn what pitfalls they’ve experienced and what homeruns have elevated their careers to the next level. Longevity is key. How can we attain it?


Out of This World

Authors discuss the brick-by-brick processes of world building in science fiction. How does a writer go about creating a whole new culture, history, and class system for their characters to make sure the readers are eating out of their hands? 


The Magic Elixir for Creating Unique Characters

Everyone has a favorite literary character, all of who share the distinct trait of uniqueness. How do authors create characters that last generations? Join these authors for a discussion of strategies for making characters unique, memorable and non-traditional. 

2018 Tee Corinne Finalists

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