GCLS Official Historical Timeline


The Golden Crown Literary Society was established in 2004 as a response to lesbian presses and authors being ignored by other awarding agencies. The GCLS membership has grown in size and purpose while holding strong to the mission of supporting and strengthening quality lesbian-themed literature. We provide a place for readers and writers to interact, to encourage and assist new writers and established authors, and to recognize and promote lesbian themed work.

Since its inception the GCLS has continued to grow and in 2019 it celebrates its fifteenth year in operation. Our Membership has experienced significant growth annually, as has our literary conference.

Our mission of education, promotion and recognition of lesbian themed literature has not changed over the years. All of our programs have evolved over the years to where we now offer multiple educational programs, multiple promotional opportunities for authors and a growing recognition program through our Golden Crown Literary Awards (aka The Goldies). In addition, we have recognized the pivotal role of readers of lesbian themed literature and, as such, we have developed programs of interest to our member readers.

We look forward to an organization that will continue for many decades to come.



  • GCLS was officially created on February 29, 2004
  • The GCLS Yahoo group created
  • An advisory board was organized
  • In December 2004, the first call for submissions for the first Golden Crown Literary Society Awards (aka The Goldies) was sent
  • GCLS website created


  • Total number of registered dues paying members - 144
  • Dues of $10 were collected.
  • First annual conference held in New Orleans
  • First literary awards presented in person at the annual conference
  • First annual Trailblazer of lesbian literature presented


  • Organizers create an official board of directors
  • Cathy Lenoir Bryerose first Executive Director
  • A Mission Statement is codified
  • Conference in Phoenix, AZ


  • Kathy L. Smith becomes new Executive Director
  • Organization is moved to Florida where Kathy Smith establishes it as a nonprofit corporation.
  • Website developed
  • Conference in Atlanta, GA


  • First board of directors appointed
  • Official board meetings via teleconference begin in February
  • The Board starts recording meeting minutes
  • Board explores applying for nonprofit status.
  • Conference in Phoenix, AZ


  • Patty Schramm becomes Executive Director
  • Two At-Large Board Members elected by membership which expands Board to nine
  • Bylaws are created and codified
  • Mission statement is created
  • Conference in Orlando, FL


  • Bylaws revised to reflect organization changes
  • Articles of Incorporation created and codified
  • Nonprofit application submitted to IRS
  • Board establishes roles and responsibilities for specified functional areas such as Director of Education, Finance, Membership, Outreach & Technology
  • Conference in Orlando, FL


  • Conference in Orlando, FL


  • The organization received 501c3 status in 2012 retroactive to 2007
  • Conference in Minneapolis, MN


  • In July, Patty Schramm transitions out as Executive Director and Liz Gibson becomes the new Executive Director
  • Conference in Dallas, TX


  • The Writing Academy kicks off with 6 students
  • Strategic plan developed that identified four (4) strategic directions:

1. Long term financial stability

2. Expand and promote our educational programs

3. Increasing diversity in all aspects of the organization and in lesbian literature

4. Establish processes and procedures that would promote longevity for the organization

  • Conference in Portland, OR


  • First Writing Academy graduating class – 6 students
  • Conference in New Orleans, LA


  • Liz Gibson steps down as Executive Director in July
  • Mary Phillips becomes new Executive Director
  • Developed a tiered mentoring program as part of the Writing Academy
  • Increased the number of volunteer faculty and content experts
  • Reached an all-time high in recruiting students
  • Conference in Washington, D.C.


  • The GCLS Goldie Awards underwent extensive review
  • A new full scholarship program began for the Writing Academy – Bridge Builder Scholarship
  • Added a Director of Inclusion to assist the organization to become a model of inclusivity and diversity within the community
  • Added a Director of Business Development to help expand our outreach to the community locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Accomplished 50% of the 2016 strategic plan
  • Conference in Chicago, IL


  • Strategic Plan reviewed and revised for years 2018-2020
  • Added a Director of Marketing and Marketing team.
  • Kicked off the re-branding campaign with the unveiling of our new logo at 2018 Conference
  • New website development began, with the launch planned for the second quarter of 2019
  • Expanded utilization of social media platforms
  • Held first regional group literary fair in Dallas, TX
  • Developed a comprehensive Policies & Procedures manual
  • Added 2 new categories to the Awards – New Adult & Humor
  • Purchased a comprehensive event app for use with the 2019 conference
  • Conference in Las Vegas, NV

2020 Goldie Winners

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Golden Crown Literary Society
P.O. Box 720154
Dallas, TX 75372

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