|2019 Conference Sponsors|
2019 Conference Sponsors
As the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women and allies, ClexaCon brings together thousands of diverse LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world to celebrate positive representation for LGBTQ women in the media.
ClexaCon provides a platform to build community, bringing together a diverse group of LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world. Networking events connect filmmakers, actors and industry professionals while panels, workshops, and autograph sessions connect creators with fans.
ClexaCon aims to empower media creators to produce and distribute more positive LGBTQ content, providing educational resources for the community to aid in the push for better representation. ClexaCon strive to lay the foundation for improved visibility within the media while encouraging more LGBTQ women to participate in creating the stories they desire.
Clothing is intimate. We wear it every day. We want it to look good, feel comfortable – and, if we’re lucky, for it to say something about who we are and what we love. We want our clothing to reflect our values. At Fangirl Shirts, one of our values is that women and girls should be full and equal participants in all areas of life – including fandom.
We make awesome shirts by, for and about awesome women.
Stories help shape our imaginations around what’s possible, and women characters help girls and women to visualize what they could do and be. We think every person should have an equal playing field to be able to achieve their dreams.
Mission and Vision
The mission of Fangirl Shirts is to provide quality shirts by, for and about awesome women. We envision a world where girls and women are full and equal participants in all areas of their lives.
Fangirl Shirts was founded by Rebecca and Sally out of a mutual love for genre television, strong women characters, equality for girls and women, and cool T-shirts. We both grew up being encouraged to believe that we could do anything. And we each have families and want our kids to grow up in a world where they think they can do anything, too.
Equality for Girls and Women
A portion of every shirt sale is donated to a nonprofit organization that is working to make the world a better and more equal place for girls and women in all areas of life.
Lynne Pierce/Lesfic Unbound
Lynne Pierce is a long-time member and supporter of Golden Crown Literary Society.
Lesfic Unbound is a Yahoo Group that was started in 2006. This group is about discussing lesbian fiction in all of its aspects. Members are encouraged to post reviews of lesbian novels or stories they have read, comments or suggestions they may have about the reviews or the writing in general, or to ask any questions they may have about the authors, publishers, awards or anything that pertains to the literature.
Bold Strokes Books offers a diverse collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer general and genre fiction. Our fiction includes romance, mystery/intrigue, crime, erotica, speculative fic (sci-fi/fantasy/horror), general fiction, and young adult. Since its inception in 2004, our mission has remained unchanged: to bring quality queer fiction to readers worldwide and to support committed authors in developing their craft and reaching an ever-growing community of readers via print, digital, and audio formats.
Bywater Books represents the coming of age of lesbian fiction. We’re committed to bringing the best of contemporary lesbian writing to a discerning readership. Our editorial team is dedicated to finding and developing outstanding voices who deliver stories you won’t want to put down. That’s why we sponsor the annual Bywater Prize for Fiction. We love good books, just like you do.
Bella Books is the premiere publisher of vibrant and irresistible fiction for and about women-loving-women. From heart-pounding romance to mystery, erotica and thriller, Bella Books embraces and celebrates the worldwide community of our lesbian, queer, non-binary readers and authors of all ages, cultures and colors.
The acclaimed authors at Bella are committed to telling contemporary and universal stories that capture our struggles and complexity, and ultimately honor our dreams and our hopes. With hundreds of titles in print, Bella Books is proud to be the largest lesbian-owned press devoted to the publication of books written for, by and about women-loving-women.
Through print, eBooks, translations and distribution, Bella’s award-winning books reach the worldwide community of readers with an unparalleled catalog of genre and general fiction. In keeping with our commitment to provide access to great fiction for readers everywhere, Bella Books now partners with a number of other publishers and independent authors to offer an unparalleled range of reading choices all at one website—BellaBooks.com.
Olivia has been serving the lesbian community since 1973, both as a groundbreaking independent women’s record label and as THE travel company for lesbians.
Founded by Judy Dlugacz and nine of her friends, Olivia Records produced some 40 albums and sold more than one million records, tapes and CDs by artists such as Christian and Williamson, Teresa Trull and Linda Tillery.
Since 1990, when the company shifted its focus toward travel, Olivia has taken nearly 300,000 women on cruise, resort, adventure and riverboat vacations all over the world, including Antarctica. We always charter entire ships or buy out whole resorts to provide a safe space for women to be out and feel free. Women of every ethnicity, nationality, age, ability, relationship status and profession travel with us for an extraordinarily unique experience – to have an all-woman, all-lesbian vacation.
We also tailor specific programs to different types of travelers. Single travelers meet up at onboard mixers, dances and port excursions, where solos coordinators are there to facilitate friendships for those who are a little shy. For women of color, the Sisters at Sea (on cruises) and Sisters at Play (at resorts) programs bring women together to mingle and participate in special activities. Sisters’ coordinators organize casual meet-and-greets, film screenings and entertainment that celebrates diversity.
We always bring you the best in lesbian entertainment! Our big-ship cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska have featured artists such as Olivia Newton-John, Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge and Indigo Girls, comedians Wanda Sykes, Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg, world-class athletes Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, influential voices such as Dr. Maya Angelou and Edie Windsor, and even financial expert, Suze Orman. Our trips also feature entertainers such as Vickie Shaw, Karen Williams, Gina Yashere, Elvira Kurt, Dana Goldberg, Roxanna War, Lisa Koch and Julie Goldman, as well incredible DJs such as DJ Rockaway, DJ Asha, DJ Lisa Pittman and DJ Citizen Jane.
Whether it’s an intimate riverboat cruise from Switzerland to Amsterdam, an African Safari adventure, an all-inclusive resort vacation in Puerto Vallarta, or a cruise with 1,900 lesbians to Australia and New Zealand, you are sure to find an Olivia vacation that’s perfect for you.
Carsen Taite’s goal as an author is to spin tales with plot lines as interesting as the cases she encountered in her career as a criminal defense lawyer. She is the award-winning author of over twenty novels of romance and romantic intrigue, including the Luca Bennett Bounty Hunter series and the Lone Star Law series. Her latest novel, Practice Makes Perfect, is the first of her Legal Affairs Romances and it’s available for sale here at the conference. .
Regal Crest Book Imprints
Melissa Brayden is a multi-award winning romance author with thirteen novels published with Bold Strokes Books. She is currently hard at work on her fourteenth and embracing the full-time writer’s life in San Antonio, Texas.
Having always enjoyed storytelling in any capacity, Melissa holds an MFA in directing, moonlights as a freelance director, and has spent time studying with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon, as well as The Globe Theatre in London.
She enjoys spending time with her family and works really hard at remembering to do the dishes. For personal enjoyment, she throws balls incessantly for her Jack Russell Terriers and checks out the NYC theater scene several times a year. She considers herself a reluctant patron of spin class, but would much rather be sipping wine and staring off into space. Coffee (and donuts) are her very best friends.
Lynn Ames is the best-selling author of The Price of Fame, The Cost of Commitment, The Value of Valor, One ~ Love, Heartsong, Eyes on the Stars, Beyond Instinct, Above Reproach, All That Lies Within, Bright Lights of Summer, Final Cut, Great Bones, Chain Reactions, and one of five authors of the collection Outsiders. She also is the writer/director/producer of the history-making documentary, “Extra Innings: The Real Story Behind the Bright Lights of Summer.” This historically important documentary chronicles, for the first time ever in her own words, the real-life story of Hall-of-Famer Dot Wilkinson and the heyday of women's softball.
Lynn’s fiction has garnered her a multitude of awards and honors, including five Goldie awards, the coveted Ann Bannon Popular Fiction Award, and the Arizona Book Award for Best Gay/Lesbian book. Lynn is a two-time Lambda Literary Award (Lammy) Finalist.
Ms. Ames is the founder of Phoenix Rising Press. She is also a former press secretary to the New York state senate minority leader and spokesperson for the nation’s third-largest prison system. For more than half a decade, she was an award-winning broadcast journalist. She has been editor of a critically acclaimed national magazine and a nationally recognized speaker and public relations professional with a particular expertise in image, crisis communications planning, and crisis management.
Lynn, her wife, Cheryl Pletcher, and their various fur kids reside in Asheville, North Carolina.
Rosa Moran, a GCLS member since its inception in 2004, has attended all conferences and awards ceremonies since they started in 2005. She loves to read, served as an awards judge for four years early on, sponsored the conference over the last nine years, and has volunteered many times as well. Her friendly smile and easy going personality is welcoming to all who she meets, new friends and old. Rosa, the 2010 Director’s Award recipient, loves to travel but calls Stafford County, VA home, and works in the IT department of Prince William County, VA where she’s worked for the last 30(+) years.
Elana Dykewomon is the award-winning author of eight books foregrounding lesbian heroism, including the novels Riverfinger Women, Beyond the Pale and Risk. Her most recent, What Can I Ask – New & Selected Poems 1975-2014, was published as a Sapphic Classic by Sinister Wisdom/Midsummer Night's Press. Elana is a long-time social justice activist, editor & teacher. She lives in Oakland, stirring up trouble whenever she can. See: www.dykewomon.org for info on her writing classes, editing & current publications.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Georgia still lives there. While she could do without temperatures below 30 degrees or above 80, she loves her little section of Upstate. Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, wine country…it’s lush and beautiful and home. The change of seasons makes her happy and fall is her very favorite.
Georgia has written all her life. Short stories. Journals. Newspaper articles. Words have always been an important part of her world. Numbers hate her and high school math made her cry, but words have always come easy. Her mother still has a second grade report card that states, “Georgia likes to tell stories,” as well as, “Georgia spells above her grade level.” While she never considered writing fiction as a career, looking back, it kind of makes sense.
Suspense novels and thrillers are Georgia’s go-to reading material, so maybe the most surprising thing about her writing career is the genre she writes. She’s a late-comer to romance in general, but lesbian romance won her heart immediately. She loves writing about love, about the journey of falling in love, and about all the obstacles along the way. Her first book, Turning the Page, was published in 2000, and she has published romance novels steadily ever since. When people ask if she’d ever write anything else (and they ask often), she shrugs, smiles, and says, “I love romance.”
When not writing, Georgia watches tons of TV (where she often finds inspiration for her novels), has found unexpected enjoyment in going to the gym, and constantly gushes all over her miniature Australian Shepherd, Finley, who is her love and her heart. She enjoys movies and volunteers on the programming committee for ImageOut, Rochester’s annual LGBTQ film festival. Lately, she has begun taking classes to learn about her newfound passion for wine. She loves the theatre—on Broadway and locally, and baking makes her happy.
KG MacGregor & Jenny Fielder
As a pollster and market research consultant, KG MacGregor’s workday was filled with statistical and qualitative analysis. Evenings brought out her creative side, all rising from her infatuation with Xena: Warrior Princess fan fiction. In 2005, she signed with Bella Books, which published the Golden Crown finalist Just This Once. Her sixth Bella novel, Out of Love, won the Lambda Literary Award for Women’s Romance and the Golden Crown Award in Lesbian Romance. She picked up Goldies also for Without Warning, Worth Every Step and Photographs of Claudia (Contemporary Romance), along with Secrets So Deep, Playing with Fuego and T-Minus Two (Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure), and Trial by Fury (Dramatic Fiction).
Other honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal Academy of Bards, the Alice B. Readers Appreciation Medal, and several Readers Choice Awards.
An avid supporter of queer literature, KG served six years on the Board of Trustees for Lambda Literary, including two as president. She makes her home in Nashville with partner Jenny and cat Roz.
Karin Kallmaker’s devotion to lesbian fiction began after the film Desert Hearts led her to the library and onward to the women-in-print network of publishers and bookstores. Her lesbian fiction novels include multiple Goldie and Lammy award-winners. Best-selling works include 18th & Castro, Captain of Industry, The Kiss that Counted, Maybe Next Time, and Sugar and span lesbian romance, lesbian erotica and lesbian science-fiction/fantasy.
Translations of her novels include Spanish, French, German and Czech. More than five dozen short stories have appeared in anthologies from publishers like Alyson, Circlet, Cleis, Bold Strokes, Yellow Rose and Haworth.
Her writing career began in 1989 with the storied Naiad Press where she was fortunate to work with Barbara Grier and Donna McBride. Katherine V. Forrest was her first editor and continues to edit her recent works as well. She has also worked with numerous other editors as a writer and during her tenure as editorial director for Bella Books.
Current novels are published with Bella Books and her bibliography includes nearly thirty novels in print and dozens of short stories and novellas. She is a Stonewall Library and Archives Distinguished Author and a Golden Crown Literary Society Trailblazer.
The California native lives near San Francisco. She and her partner are the mothers of two. She blogs regularly at Romance and Chocolate and is quite pleased to be descended from Lady Godiva.
KC Luck is the pseudonym for author Kathy Chance. KC Luck is a bestselling indie author of multiple lesbian fiction novels to include The Darkness Trilogy (self-published, 2018), the Welcome to Ruby’s series (self-published, 2018), and many short stories. Her books cross multiple genres and she has been an Amazon bestseller in lesbian romance, lesbian erotica, LGBT horror, LGBT science fiction, and LGBT action/adventure. She is currently working on a new adult lesbian romance novel.
Cheryl Head spent twenty years in public television and radio before turning to fiction writing. Her first book, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, is a story of black soldiers’ experience in America’s segregated army. It was a 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in the African American Literature, and Historical Fiction categories.
Head writes the Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries, published by Bywater Books. The first in the series, Bury Me When I’m Dead was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards finalist. The other books in the series are: Ann Bannon Popular Choice finalist, Wake Me When It’s Over (2018); Catch Me When I’m Falling (2019); and Judge Me When I’m Wrong (2019).
Head is Director of Inclusion at the Golden Crown Literary Society. She was named to the 2019 Hall of Fame of the Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival. She resides in an 1870 rowhouse on a diverse street in Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill.
Carleen Spry (she/her) holds BS and MS degrees in Communication from Texas Christian University as well as an MA in Theatre from Bowling Green State University. She also attended Southern Illinois University - Carbondale doctoral studies in Communication with emphases in Performance Studies and Gender Studies. She chose to leave the program ABD (All But Dissertation).
She spent 12 years teaching Communication and Theatre at TCU, SIUC, Ashland University, and Central Michigan University. After leaving academia, Carleen worked for one of the top Recruitment Process Outsourcing firms in the world as both in both recruiting and account managing roles.
Originally from Chicago, Carleen grew up in San Diego, CA and then proceeded to live in Texas, Ohio, Southern Illinois, and Michigan before eventually returning to the Chicagoland area to be with her family. She now resides in the suburbs of Chicago.
Lucy Piper has been a valued member of GCLS since 2005. Since that time, she has been a staunch supporter of the organization.
Mary Hettel has been with the GCLS since 2008. She has volunteered in many capacities and enjoys meeting new people and making friends. She is an avid reader and works on the editorial team for two lesbian publishers.
The GCLS Writing Academy is a yearlong intensive program for new or relatively new writers who have written at least part of a novel. In this course, students will learn the critical components of quality writing. The Writing Academy goes beyond craft of writing and takes students through all aspects of writing and publishing a novel.
Badger Bliss Books
BADGER BLISS BOOKS – Books for people who believe love is love, regardless of how it's packaged!
Badger Bliss Books is an Indy Publishing house co-owned by Karen D. Badger and Barbara L. Sawyer. Currently featured, are the works of Karen D. Badger. Karen is the
Karen is also in her 41st year as a semiconductor engineer and is the author of many technical papers and holds several technical patents. Barb was a Lt. Col. in the USAF and retired in 2008 after almost 21 years of service. Thank you, Barb for your service to our country! Karen and Barb live in Vermont and are looking forward to snow-birding between Vermont and their second home in New Mexico when Karen retires in the next few years
I've been a member of the GCLS from the beginning, I think, but the first conference I attended was in Atlanta and have managed to attend them all since then. I've served as a Goldie judge in the past and have worked on the Independent Review Committee since it's inception. I have found my family of choice at the GCLS and have made friends that will endure forever. I recently retired from the Hampden County Sheriff's Department after 27 years of service and I'm looking forward to traveling and visiting with friends in the future.
Sallyanne Monti, Director of Marketing for the GCLS, is a published author, editor, and storyteller. Her memoir Light at the End of the Tunnel, a suspenseful, page-turning, true love story, for all people, released to rave reviews in 2018! Her fiction and non-fiction short stories, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous LGBTQ, lesbian and mainstream anthologies, magazines, and newspapers. Sallyanne and her wife Mickey have four adult children and three grandchildren. They live in Palm Springs, California and Sedona, Arizona. Sallyanne enjoys composing music and playing guitar.
Anne Geary is the Director of Business Development. Anne became a member of GCLS in 2015 and a board member in 2017. Being a lifelong advocate for Inclusion & Diversity, arts programs and an extensive reader is what Anne credits as her motivation for supporting several local and national LGBTQ organizations, including GCLS.
Anne is currently establishing a Project Management Office for a world class Research Institute in Philadelphia. She holds an MBA and Project Management certification, along with a variety of certificates in finance and Lean/ Six Sigma. One of her more notable achievements was serving as the Global Lead for the LGBTQ Employee Resource Group at her former company, Eaton. During her tenure, Anne supported the introduction of Equality legislation for the state of Ohio and was instrumental in securing the 2017 Corporate Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign.
After living on both coasts and the mid-west, Anne is enjoying being back in her hometown of Philadelphia, PA where she spends time with family, friends, her dog, watching sports, listening to Lesbian literature while walking the streets of downtown Philly and most recently taking an oil painting class at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.