2015 Panel Submissions

GRNW_ButtonAvatarFor the first time, and to celebrate our third GRNW conference on 9/26/15 in Seattle, we are opening up panel submissions.

For our first two years, we put together panels from our GRNW Attending Author group, but this year, we want to have participating authors and other attendees help us create the discussion platform by co-creating the panels.

If you’re interested in submitting a panel, please review the guidelines and FAQ below.

UPDATE: Panel Submissions are due Saturday, January 31, 2015.

2015 Panel Submission Guidelines

The purpose of GRNW is to celebrate the wonderful and amazing genre of LGBTQ romance fiction!

All panel submissions should directly relate to that purpose. This day is all about highlighting queer romance and queer genre fiction with strong romance subplots, so panels and panelists should have a connection to this genre, whether they are writers, working in publishing, or readers.

A couple exceptions are:

  • In 2014, we had a panel of librarians that answered questions related to how to work with libraries. A similar panel about how LGBTQ romance authors can work with the community and resources like libraries is very welcome.
  • Submissions that focus on fandom and fanfiction will also be reviewed as long as the focus ties to LGBTQ romance. Any submission would also have to consider our mission towards representing voices from diverse parts of the queer romance spectrum. (See guidelines below.)
  • Submissions that focus on how to work with organizations like the Romance Writers of America (RWA). We would welcome a panel on this topic, especially if it includes RWA leadership voices. A requirement would be to also include RWA members who write LGBTQ romance as part of the panel.


When submitting your panel, please include:

1- A topic related to LGBTQ romance fiction or a related LGBTQ romance-subgenre, like mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, young adult, comics, historicals, etc. This also includes publishing, editing, cover art, and also LGBTQ fanfiction and fandom.

2- A submission should include 3-5 panelists, plus a moderator. (You must have a designated moderator.) The maximum is 6, including the moderator.

3- Each panelist should be a published author of LGBTQ romance fiction or LGBTQ genre fiction with strong romantic subplots, unless their role is to provide a specific perspective from industry, like publishing LGBTQ romance, or as a blogger or reader of LGBTQ romance. There must be a clear LGBTQ romance connection for all the panelists. (Unless it’s something like our panel of librarians.)

4- All names of the panelists must be included in the submission. (No “TBDs” for panelists or moderators will be accepted.)

5- A part of our mission is to promote engagement and a platform for dialogue across the queer romance spectrum and from various perspectives and backgrounds. Panel submissions that address that part of our mission and include diverse perspectives will be given priority. We strongly encourage when developing your panel to consider the wide range of voices and perspectives that can contribute to your topic.

If you look at our 2014 panels and writer sessions, you will see that writers of gay romance, lesbian romance, trans* romance, and beyond are represented, as well as a diverse groups of writers and speakers, each who bring a different perspective to the genre.

Inclusion and diversity is a major part of our mission and it’s very important to start with those ideals in mind. Considering inclusion of panelists who write from across the LGBTQ romance spectrum will be very appreciated.

6- Panels and topics should focus on being a platform for dialogue. Our panels and sessions are less about teaching a class, but are really about discussion with both the panel and the audience.

7- We will not do panels that only represent authors who exclusively write for one single publisher. We love all the publishers we work with, but for panels, we need to include dialogue from across publishing houses. Please feel free to reach out to authors from across the genre to address your topic. (This relates to your primary or main catalog of books from the last three years and if they are published with one publisher. If you can count multiple publishers as your “main” or primary publisher over the last three years, then that’s fine, and that would count as not being exclusive to a single publisher.)

If you only publish with one publisher, that’s fine. We just can’t do a panel that only represents one publisher.

8- Topics are open to your creativity, as long as they somehow relate to LGBTQ romance writing, publishing, reading, etc., but please note that we won’t be doing any “gendered” panels, such as “A Male View of Writing Sex” or “Women Writing Military Characters.” We encourage all panel submissions to incorporate multiple viewpoints, including different genders or those that are agender or gender queer.

9- Unlike in past years, all GRNW Attending Authors will be asked to purchase a ticket to the 2015 event. (The early bird rate is $17.50.) That will include panelists, so please note that when setting expectations for your panel.

10- Questions are welcome! We welcome you to contact us if you want to bounce ideas off us or if you want to check in about your panel before submitting to see how it fits with our mission.

11- Our expectation for submissions is that you will be submitting the whole panel (topic and panelists names/moderator), and not just an interest in being on a panel.

12- It will be expected that by submitting a panel, you are making a tentative commitment to attend the event in Seattle on Sept. 26, 2015. If your panel is accepted and your panel is on board, at that point at it will be expected that your panel will be making a firm commitment to attend the conference. (Readers get disappointed when authors drop out. Please don’t submit a panel if you’re not sure you will be able to commit.)

When submitting a panel, please include:

  • Panel title and description
  • Names of all panelists and biographies. For writers, please include what LGBTQ romance books they have written.
  • Name of designated moderator
  • Diversity and inclusion is very important to our mission. Please include a brief description of how you feel that your panel is sharing diverse perspectives on this topic.
  • Please submit all this via email to GRNW by the due date.

Panel submissions are due Saturday, January 31, 2015.

Panels will be decided in winter 2015. We will send notifications out at that time, and after that, we will open up the remaining slots for 2015 GRNW Attending Author positions.

2015 Attending Authors will be included in the post-conference book festival, in the conference program, will have the chance to participate in short readings, be able to share swag with attendees, and other opportunities.

Want to discuss your panel ideas with others? Join the conversation in our GoodReads group!


2015 Panel Submissions FAQ

How do I get on a panel? I really want to be on a panel.

Thanks for your interest! Please see the guidelines above. If you really want to be on a panel, we encourage you to reach out to other authors or potential panelists, and work with them on creating a panel submission that aligns with our mission of celebrating LGBTQ romance fiction and the many voices within it.

How many panels can I submit?

You can submit multiple, but please note that a majority of panelists will only be on one panel. We like to provide opportunities for many authors and others to participate in sharing their perspectives.

Hypothetically, if you submit three panels, and all fit really well with our 2015 program, we may go back to you and say, “Which of these panels would you like to be on?” And we would open up your slot on the other panels to another writer who has yet to participate and would be a good fit for that topic.

I see that you really value representing voices from across the queer romance spectrum, but I only know one author who writes trans*/bisexual/asexual/lesbian romance and they are already on a panel submission. What do I do?

You can still ask them, but we would recommend using this opportunity to reach out to other writers who are not yet on a submission. We can promise you there are more authors out there that write across the queer romance spectrum. This is a great opportunity to meet them.

I want to be on a panel to market my new book. Can I?

With our past events, you’ll notice that panelists are focusing on the topic, and less their specific books. We encourage participating authors to save promotions for the book festival and for sharing swag in the attendee bags and other giveaway opportunities.

I don’t want to be on a panel but I do want to be an Attending Author. How do I go about that?

Attending Author slots for 2015 will open up in winter 2015, after panels are accepted. We’re doing it this way so we can open up slots to authors who would be excited to participate in the conference and be part of the book festival.

How many Attending Authors will you have in total for 2015?

We will limit to 60 authors. This limit is set by the amount of slots in our book festival.

Are there any rules to apply to be an Attending Author.

  • To apply to be an Attending Author, you must have published works that qualify as LGBTQ romance fiction or as LGBTQ genre fiction with strong romantic subplots.
  • By accepting an Attending Author slot, you are making a firm commitment to attend the conference on 9/26/15.
  • All GRNW Attending Authors will be expected to purchase a ticket. ($17.50 at the early bird rate.)

Why the focus on romance?

We focus on LGBTQ romance because A) it’s wonderful and should be celebrated and B) it’s often diminished and treated with derision, as if writing a story with a happy ending for LGBTQ main characters is a bad thing. We think it’s an awesome thing, and we created this day and space to highlight it and the writers and readers who love it.

Have further questions? Please ask! We’ll also be happy to update this FAQ with more questions.

We hope you will come celebrate the awesomeness of LGBTQ romance with us at the Seattle Public Library on Sept. 26, 2015!