2014 Writer Sessions

What’s new for the 2014 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up? The conference this year was a full day of programming, including author pitch sessions with publishers and a reader meet-up with games and giveaways in the morning on September 20. (View the full 2014 Programming.).

Also in the morning, we held writing discussions on different topics geared towards those interested in writing queer romance fiction.

Below is the schedule for the 2014 GRNW Writing Panels, as well as photos from the day.

GRNW Writing Discussions Set 1 – 10:15am – 11:00am

(Seattle Central Public Library, 4th Floor)

1- Ask a Librarian! (Room 2)

Librarians_1Northwest librarians share their expertise on how to work with libraries, including book purchasing, events, content for YA readers, and more!


L.E. Franks (Author, Prodigal Wolf, Can This Be Real)


  • Marlene Harris, Technical Services Manager, Seattle Public Library
  • Misha Stone, Reader Services Librarian, Seattle Public Library
  • Aarene Storms, Youth Services Librarian, King County Library System and coauthor, Sex in the Library
  • Shannon Wallace, Teen Services Librarian, Seattle Public Library

2- The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing and Author Persona (Room 5)

Marketing1Marketing and building an author persona can be a minefield at times. What’s too much? When is it okay to respond to a review? How do you maintain an author persona consistently? This panel will explore tips and recommendations on what things authors can do to market their work.


Morticia Knight (Author, Secret Fire, Hollywood Bound)


  • Jove Belle (Author, Love and Devotion, The Job)
  • LC Chase (Author, Pickup Men, Riding with Heaven)
  • Daisy Harris (Author, From the Ashes, After the Rain)
  • M.J. O’Shea (Author, Catch My Breath, Coming Home)

3- The Wonders of World-Building! (Room 6)

Worldbuilding3Designing worlds is a big part of writing, especially with fantasy, sci-fi, and historicals. Creating a believable setting and maintaining consistent rules for a world can be a challenge though. This discussion will focus on recommendations on how to build believable, complex worlds and settings for your stories.


J. Tullos Hennig (Author, Greenwode, Shirewode)


  • Talya Andor (Author, Signal to Noise, Klaxon at the Core)
  • Astrid Amara (Author, The Devil’s Lancer, The Archer’s Heart)
  • Ginn Hale (Author, The Rifter, Lord of the White Hell)
  • Laylah Hunter (Author, Gabriel’s City, Ground Mission)
  • Belinda McBride (Author, An Uncommon Whore, Blacque/Bleu)

GRNW Writing Discussions Set 2 – 11:10am – 11:55am

(Seattle Central Public Library, 4th Floor)

1- Writing Diversity – What to Look for and What to Ask? (Room 5)

WritingDiversityThere has been a call within LGBTQ romance fiction for more visibility around diverse characters. This discussion will examine the topic of writing diverse characters, including characters of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and characters from across the queer spectrum.


Marites Mendoza (Marketing and Online Services Coordinator, Seattle Public Library)


  • Heidi Belleau (Author, Apple Polisher, Wallflower)
  • Dena Hankins (Author, Blue Water Dreams)
  • Pearl Love (Author, The Uncertain Customer, ‘Til Darkness Falls)
  • Alex Powell (Author, Rangers Over Regulus)

2- All the things you wanted to ask an Editor (but were afraid to ask) (Room 5)

Editor_2Editing! So vitally important, but can also be criminally overlooked or undervalued (and can make-or-break a release.) This discussion will examine topics related to editing, including preparing submissions, the editing problems that are most repeated, and how to work with an editor and what to expect.


Kim Fielding (Author, Brute, Good Bones)


  • Samantha Derr (Editor-in-Chief, Less Than Three Press)
  • Nicole Kimberling (Editor, Blind Eye Books and Author, Turnskin)
  • Devon Rhodes (Editor-in-Chief, Totally Bound and Author, A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood)

3- The Mystery Panel! Writing Mysteries and Suspense (Room 2)

MysterySessionSome readers may be able to guess the culprit before the reveal, but what goes into constructing a good mystery in the first place? If you’re writing a mystery, should you automatically be thinking about a series? Is romance always necessary? This panel will explore mysteries, and how one can write a suspenseful read.


David-Matthew Barnes (Author, The Jetsetters, Swimming to Chicago)


  • Rhys Ford (Author, Dirty Kiss, Sinner’s Gin)
  • Lori L. Lake (Author, Gun Shy, Under the Gun)
  • Andrea Speed (Author, Infected: Prey, The Little Death)

Interested in seeing what else is happening at GRNW 2014? Check out our 2014 Programming Schedule.