2020 Panelist Application - Due February 28

Commitment to Diversity and Opportunity

The GCLS strives for diverse viewpoints, membership, and experience on all panels. All of the panels listed could be filled by readers, editors, publishers, reviewers or authors. Anyone may apply and will be given full consideration.

Panelist Expectations

  • Respond to emails from the moderator in a timely manner
  • Participate in pre-conference planning conference calls or emails
  • Show up and come to the panel prepared with opinions, answers, and information
  • Be involved and engaged during the panel
  • Be considerate of fellow panelists by sharing time equitably
  • Be respectful of other panelists, audience members, and the moderator

General Information

  • Only people who have not yet been placed on a 2020 panel OR people whose panel was not selected should apply. If you’ve already received notification that you will be on one or more panels, you’re covered.
  • Your application will only be considered if you have registered for the conference. If you haven’t registered but intend to register, you’ll need to email the scheduling chair, Ann Roberts, at ann.roberts@goldencrown.org and explain the situation.
  • Application doesn’t guarantee a slot. We strive for inclusion and diversity, maintaining quality programming in the process. We will undoubtedly have more applicants than spots, but we appreciate everyone’s interest!
  • You can apply for a maximum of three panels.
  • You will be notified either way if you apply. If selected, you’ll receive an email connecting you with your moderator, or, if you’re not selected, you’ll receive an email from Ann Roberts, Scheduling Chair.

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

Due February 28

Panel Titles & Descriptions


Authors who write series fiction discuss their use of prequel and/or sequel conventions to craft their stories. What makes them choose one over the other? What are the benefits and drawbacks to each?

I’m Out, So What?
Writing lesbian fiction for a new generation of readers. A discussion of the new themes that drive lesbian fiction. What do younger readers want to read about, and how does that inform the ways we approach crafting stories? Lesbian fiction now includes a broader spectrum of relationship-based issues that transcend traditional coming out stories: marriage and divorce, raising children, aging, diverse explorations of gender identity and other less lesbian and more queer-focused themes. How has the genre adapted to accommodate books that do not follow the traditional formulas?

From SciFi to CliFi: Writers of the Apocalypse
Writers of the apocalypse sound off on the themes that drive their work. How CliFi fiction and other cautionary tales inform the lives we live and the stories we tell.

Once Upon A Time: Reclaiming Our Myths and Legends
A discussion by authors who write stories that retell fairy tales and/or myths that inform our shared experiences. A look at why it matters that we see ourselves reflected in these iconic tales, and how these authors choose to reinterpret the stories that have sought to define us, and our roles, for generations. 

What’s the Good Word
Word up! The best part of being an author is finding the perfect word or turn of phrase that transfers the pictures from our heads to the page. Where do authors come up with this stuff? What are our favorite catch phrases? What words do we try and sneak past our editors into every manuscript? What words and phrases resonate with readers? Get ready for a tell-all from these authors and readers.

GCLS Fanfic 201: Expanding your Fanfic Reach
We'll look how writers and readers can enhance their participation in the wonderful world of fan fiction. How do you build an audience as a writer or a reputation as a reader? What are some ways to move from fanfic to published author? How do readers move between fanfic and lesfic? What attracts them from one to the other? Is the diversity of fanfic pushing diversity in lesfic? What is the etiquette of moving between the two communities? When should you link your fanfic to your published works? When and why do published authors keep their fanfic secret?

Creating Our Culture
Books have the power to inform and even define culture. Yet the mainstream depiction of WLW (women-loving-women) culture is often skewed and/or unrealistic. What do we as writers choose to define lesfic culture? How are we creating works for readers that represent us more accurately? A panel of writers and readers will discuss their views on creating lesfic culture and what gaps still exist.

Stepping Outside the Box
Are you a romance writer who would like to dabble in a different genre? Are you a reader who can't get into anything other than science fiction and fantasy? Are you searching for new authors to read? This panel will discuss the potential benefits and difficulties of stepping outside your own personal box and taking the leap of faith.

Queer Books are Lit: A Millennial Perspective on Media
As millennial queers, we came of age when positive(ish) queer representation was suddenly present in movies, television, and music. Why did we choose literature and how did the broader media landscape influence our novels? Join this group of young authors as we discuss ever expanding queer media and why we chose traditional publishing to tell non-traditional stories.

The Culturally Infused Story as Lifeline
The balancing act of embracing our queer identities while retaining membership in our culture of origin can be deeply challenging, especially when we don't see our experiences reflected in our community, literature, or popular culture. Providing representation for those who are intersectionally oppressed can be a lifeline and a salve for our community members who are struggling to find balance and acceptance within and between cultures. Our panelists will explore these issues of diversity and inclusion/exclusion in literature, and why supporting the stories of intersectional authors is so critically important.

Invisible Disabilities in Lesfic

Chronic pain. Sleep disorders. PTSD. All can be “invisible disabilities” that intersect physical and mental health issues and permeate every part of society. Creating characters who possess invisible disabilities can be tricky, as these complex issues cross class, race, and sexuality. Join these authors for a conversation about navigating the world of invisible disabilities in lesfic and creating characters who adapt and cope within a larger and often unsympathetic society.


The popular game show from the 1970s returns, “GCLS style.” Join these six authors as they put their vocabularies to the test. Who knows? Maybe Betty White will make a guest appearance!




2020 Goldie Winners

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