GRNW 2016 Podcast – Trans Authors on Characters, Stories, and Industry

The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the LGBTQ Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest, held it’s fourth annual conference on September 24, 2016 at the Seattle Public Library.

We are sharing podcasts from several of this year’s panels, including:

Trans Authors on Characters, Stories, and Industry

Trans panelists share their perspectives on writing, from character development to tropes to narratives, as well as our experiences working in the queer romance and publishing industry. We’ll talk about how we want to see trans romance evolve and provide resources for authors who want to write trans characters in their fiction. If you have questions about how to portray transness respectfully in your work, or about trans perspectives on the industry, this is the panel for you!

Panel Resource: Trans Romance Reading Recs

Moderator: Austin Chant, Author (Silver & Gold, Magic & Mayhem)


  • Tobi Hill-Meyer, Author and Filmmaker (Struggling to be Whole: Stories Exploring the Trans Erotic, Doing it Online)
  • Laylah Hunter, Author (Gabriel’s City)
  • EE Ottoman, Author (Documenting Light, Selume Proferre)
  • Alex Powell, Author (Rangers over Regulus, All the King’s Men)
  • J.K. Pendragon, Author (To Summon Nightmares, Witch Cat and Cobb)


Listen to more podcasts from GRNW 2016

GRNW 2016 Opening and Keynote – What is Your Queer Romance Dream?

Queer Swords & Odd Flowers: Sex Scenes in LGBTQ+ Romance

Erased No More: Bisexual Characters in LGBTQ Romance

GRNW 2016 Podcast – Opening and Keynote “What is Your Queer Romance Dream?”

The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up, the LGBTQ Romance Fiction Conference of the Pacific Northwest, held it’s fourth annual conference on September 24, 2016 at the Seattle Public Library.

This year’s opening included a reflection on the year, and the multi-part keynote address, “What is your queer romance dream?”

Opening Remarks: Tracy Timmons-Gray (Gay Romance Northwest)

Keynote Address: “What is your queer romance dream?” with:

  • Richard Compson Sater, Author (Rank)
  • Alex Powell, Author (Rangers over Regulus, All the King’s Men)
  • Tobi Hill-Meyer, Author and Filmmaker (Struggling to be Whole: Stories Exploring the Trans Erotic, Doing it Online)

Listen to the full GRNW 2016 Opening and Keynote Address

Read the GRNW 2016 Keynote Address

My Dream for Queer Romance with Richard Compson Sater

What is Your Queer Romance Dream by Alex Powell

What’s Your Queer Romance Dream by Tobi Hill-Meyer

Listen to more GRNW 2016 Podcasts

Trans Authors on Characters, Stories, and Industry

Queer Swords & Odd Flowers: Sex Scenes in LGBTQ+ Romance

Erased No More: Bisexual Characters in LGBTQ Romance

GRNW 2016 Keynote – What’s Your Queer Romance Dream by Tobi Hill-Meyer

Part of the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up Keynote, “What is your queer romance dream?”

keynote_tobi_hill_meyerI remember the first time I read a novel following a trans character written by a trans author. During a chase scene when she skateboarded down a hill to get away from a team of vigilantes wearing power armor, I had to stop for a moment and try and figure out why my heart was racing.

You see, I had never before really identified with a character that way. Not just empathized – but identified with her. How she talked, what her hobbies were, even how she went to queer sex parties where no one wanted to hook up with her – she seemed just like so many of my friends. She seemed like me. And when she was being chased by jock-ish brutes who wanted to beat her up for their idea of justice – I worried for her the same way I would if I got a text from a friend who was in trouble.

In the decade since I’ve read Supervillainz by Alicia E Goranson, I’ve been searching for more of that, as well as trying to create it myself. In the past few years, we’ve seen a flourishing of media telling trans stories. But the problem is that so much of it, unlike that novel, isn’t actually a trans story. So much out there are actually cis stories about trans topics. Something I often put into the category of “Oh No!” narratives.

These are the stories about a cis character suddenly thrust into a world of trans experiences. Everything from “Oh no, my partner wants to transition!” and “Oh no, my fiancé was secretly trans!” to “Oh no, space aliens have hit me with a gender swapping ray!” and “Oh no, my lover is a fourth dimensional being whose experience of gender is literally incomprehensible.”

It can all be summed up in a succinct tweet by @itsSupecar, “cis TV show about trans topics: my parent is transitioning. trans TV show about trans topics: psychic hacker fights cops.”

But lost in the comparisons between the huge budget projects of Jill Soloway and the Wachowski sisters is the fact that right now, more than any other time, there are low budget or even free options for getting your stories out there; and trans and genderqueer creators are taking advantage of that by the hundreds – perhaps even thousands.

From authors selling smut on amazon kindle or publishing novels on Lulu to webcomic artists and podcasters producing serialized stories that are free to access, there’s a lot out there. But there are two problems.

First, while tens of thousands can debate whether or not Stephen Universe has trans characters and millions will see or hear about Michelle Rodriguez’s upcoming transploitation film, the followers of small time trans creators often number in the hundreds or even just the dozens.

Secondly, without the support of large publishers, trans authors lack the resources to pay themselves, let alone editors, proof-readers, web designers, PR consultants, or all the other roles that go into making a good story better and get it out into the world. After ten years of self-publishing your work you can’t help but improve your craft, but it’s still not the same as ten years of feedback from professional editors.

It’s my dream that one day there will be enough well known trans romance out there that I could focus specifically on this genre for a talk like this  rather than having to draw examples from a variety of other genres and mediums. But for right now, we need to grow trans media as a whole. I want to see websites devoted to cataloging our work and directing readers to the author’s site for purchase. I want to see the handful of small trans focused publishers popping up to grow and multiply and become a resource for trans authors just starting out. But all of that will take something from you: your time, your dedication, and more often then not, your money.

When creating trans work for trans audiences, we know that many of us don’t have money to spend and price accordingly. An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color offers free copies to all trans and non-binary people of color. Torrey Peters has set up her own micropublishing for her amazing novella’s The Masker and Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones, making ebooks available at sliding scale prices – all the way down to zero. Isz Janeway publishes awesome smut simply on tumblr. Fay Onyx is reimagining fairytales following trans, genderqueer, and asexual characters in hir series, Writing Alchemy and even reads the stories with ambient sound to you for free on a podcast.

But that only works if there’s someone paying full price. Seek out these creators on patreon, smashwords, and everywhere else.

I want you to watch Her Story – it’s free on Youtube and the best trans romance I’ve seen or read anywhere. If You Were My Girl is incredible and you can get it as part of a free trial to audible. Read The Black Cube and At Land by Morgan M Page. Read everything by Charlie Jane Anders. Read books from Topside Press, I especially loved A Safe Girl To Love by Casey Plett and if you haven’t read Nevada what are you doing with your life? Go onto patreon and support Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls, Sophie Labelle, Amy Dentata, Kylie Wu, Thirty Helens, and so many more. Pay double the full price if you can, and if you can’t tell all your friends to.

And of course, sign the email list going around or email to get information about my own anthology due out next Valentine’s day. Also, email me there and I’ll get you a list of all the works named in this talk.

Because my dream for queer romance is both incredibly simple and world changing: I want trans creators to get paid – at least enough to be able keep doing this.

GRNW 2016 Keynote

My Dream for Queer Romance with Richard Compson Sater

What is Your Queer Romance Dream by Alex Powell

Listen to the GRNW 2016 Keynote

Podcast: GRNW 2016 Opening and Keynote Address

About Tobi

Tobi Hill-Meyer was named #3 in Velvet Park Media’s list of the 25 Most Significant Queer Women in 2010 and is one of the few people in the world who can claim being both an award winning porn creator and a children’s book author. She is a multiracial trans woman with well over a decade experience working with feminist and LGBTQ organizations and currently serves as board chair at Gender Justice League as well as working as Communications Coordinator at Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center. With her background in activism, she operates her own media production company, Handbasket Productions, creating stories and entertainment that reflect community needs and values, including her erotic documentary series Doing it Online as well as her upcoming anthology – Struggling to be Whole: Stories Exploring the Trans Erotic. Find out more about her at: (adult content)

GRNW 2016 Keynote – What is Your Queer Romance Dream by Alex Powell

Part of the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up Keynote, “What is your queer romance dream?”

keynote_alex_powellHello everyone.

The question was presented to me: What is your queer romance dream?

I have so many dreams for this genre, that I almost didn’t know where to start. Where to begin when you have all of queer romance to dream for? So I decided to start where I started, and where so many of us start dreaming: when we are young.

When I was young, I dreamed of having something to read that truly reflected who I was. Most young kids like me had the same dream, but the search was more difficult for some than others. I didn’t know then that I was genderfluid, but I knew then that I was something different, and I searched for the answer in books. But no matter how much I read, and I read a lot, I never found the answer.

I wonder now how many of us did the very same thing that I did, searched for the answer, only to find that it wasn’t there. How many of us couldn’t find ourselves in the books we read? How many of us found maybe one or two characters to look up to, only to have them murdered later on in the book? I’m sure you remember the feeling that it gave you.

That’s one of my queer romance dreams. I want young adult and teen fiction that has queer characters from across the spectrum, so that young questioning people can find their answer in the books they read. Not only that, but I want those queer characters to be leading exciting, adventure filled lives, just like straight cis characters do. We deserve that, to have our space pirate adventures, to be the main romantic pairing, to live fulfilling lives. I love all of our young queer children, and I want them to grow up knowing that they are accepted.

That leads me to the rest of us, those of us who are no longer children, because we need queer books as well. My next queer romance dream is that our genre grows and flourishes. I want to see our queer romances on the shelves in bookstores and in libraries. I’ve already seen this happen in small independant bookstores, and in tiny libraries dedicated to LGBTQIA fiction, but I want to see it everywhere, from the smallest bookshop to the largest chain. I want to see our fiction on the best sellers list, because I know for a fact that our books are just as good, if not better than mainsteam books.

To be honest, I find most of the mainsteam culture books boring and lacking in imagination. And why is that? Because queer books are so much more fulfilling, with more interesting characters and more imagination put into plotlines. So yes, I want to see our books everywhere. I want to be walking by a big bookstore and I want to see my favourite author’s book on display.

It’s not just for us that I want this. My third queer romance dream is that I want everyone to read our queer romances. I want it to be just as acceptable to have a queer romance in our reads as a straight romance. Not only acceptable, I want it to be normalized. So very often, queer romance is seen as an “adult” genre, not because of the sex, although there may be much love-making going on, but because of the fact the characters are queer. Queerness is seen as inherently sexual, and I want that to stop.

The genre has already changed since I was a young teen who had maybe one queer character to look up to – and they always died or had something tragic happen to them. The genre has already grown and become prevalent in the last few years, more than I had ever dreamed as a young teen. Now I can find books with bisexual protaganists, with genderqueer and trans protaganists, with asexual protaganists, which is amazing, because I couldn’t even find a novel with gay or lesbian protaganists when I needed them so so much in my youth.

That’s not the end. I may be a dreamer, but my ultimate goal is to see all of our queer romance dreams become a reality.

How can we do that?

One of the things that you can do is something that you are already doing. Read queer romances. Read as much as you can and then more. Authors like me need people out there to read our work, because we would be nowhere without our readers. Read things that you love, with tropes that make you smile. And maybe, read something that you haven’t tried before. Read something that makes you just slightly uncomfortable, and maybe you’ll end up loving it.

What else can you do? Review our books! Spread the word of how queer romances have changed your life, or made you smile, laugh, and cry. Tell all your friends to read queer romances, lend them your copy to give them that little push to try more.

Don’t stop there.

We’ve discussed this before at previous conferences, but you need to ask libraries like this one, “Where is your queer romance section?” Ask your local library for more queer romance books, put in requests for your favourite author’s books to be put on the shelves. Ask your favourite bookstore the same questions.

Questions like this might make people uncomfortable, but we need you to be brave and ask, just the same.

You see, we are not powerless! More now than ever before, queer voices have raised up and been heard. People know about queer issues, they see it on TV and read about it in magazines. So what I need all of us to do is raise our voices and let them be heard. All of us are counting on you.

Can you do that for us?

GRNW 2016 Keynote

My Dream for Queer Romance with Richard Compson Sater

What’s Your Queer Romance Dream by Tobi Hill-Meyer

Listen to the GRNW 2016 Keynote

Podcast: GRNW 2016 Opening and Keynote Address

About Alex

Alex Powell is an avid writer and reader of sci-fi and fantasy, but on occasion branches into other genres to keep things interesting. Alex is a genderqueer writer from the wilds of northern Canada who loves exploring other peoples and cultures. Alex is a recent graduate of UNBC with a BA in English, and as a result has an unhealthy obsession with Victorian Gothic literature. Alex has been writing from an early age, but is happy to keep learning to improve on their writing skills. Feedback and comments as well as any questions are appreciated! You can reach Alex at or at their website Alex’s work includes Rangers over Regulus and All the King’s Men.

GRNW 2016 Keynote – My Dream for Queer Romance by Richard Compson Sater

Part of the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up Keynote, “What is your queer romance dream?”

keynote_richard_compson_saterI’ve been an avid reader ever since I learned how, nearly fifty years ago. My favorite stories featured characters I could fall in love with. As a young man, I looked for people like me in the books I read. There weren’t many, and those I could find weren’t very likeable, either – more often the object of pity or ridicule. So I had to make do with characters who merely possessed traits I would seek in a mate – men who were charming, handsome, witty, and smart.

So I fell in love with Hank Morgan in Mark Twain’s CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT, Lord Jim in Joseph Conrad’s novel of the same name, Dick Diver in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s TENDER IS THE NIGHT, and Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND. None of these characters was intended to be gay by the author, perhaps, but in my mind, with the right kind of lighting and a bottle of good wine, they might be persuaded.

My favorite character, the most perfect man in all of literature, for me, is Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which I read for the first time in junior high school. Atticus Finch might not be gay, but he’s not presented as decidedly straight, either. He’s intelligent, generous, compassionate, committed, loving – and single. And he needs eyeglasses, an endearing trait because we all want a weakness or two. I fall in love again with Atticus Finch every time I reread TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

In my mid-twenties, I became aware that books actually existed with same-sex characters who weren’t simply comic relief or lost in the background – the flawless Charlie Mills and Peter Martin in Gordon Merrick’s THE LORD WON’T MIND, for example, or Coach Harlan Brown in Patricia Nell Warren’s THE FRONT RUNNER. Such books were encouraging, but I still hadn’t found what exactly what I wanted – an actual romantic novel with no excess baggage, just two men conquering all for love, a book where the hero could be an average guy like me, and the other hero could be Sam Elliott, and we could live happily ever after.

It didn’t occur to me until the turn of this century that I could actually write such a novel myself. In 2003, I was a major in the U.S. Air Force with 17 years of service (most of it under “don’t ask, don’t tell”), deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. At the end of the long work days, I needed something to take my mind off the war, so I started writing a short story about a closeted young lieutenant who develops a most inconvenient crush on his boss, a brigadier general hiding behind bluster, a magnificent mustache, a pipe, and a big secret. My story grew longer and longer. Thirteen years later, it has become my first novel, RANK, and it will be published in November by Bold Strokes Books. For the present, that’s a dream come true for me. But what about the future?

Everyone has heard of Harlequin Romances. The last time I checked, there were 19 different Harlequin series, over 100 new titles every month. The categories offer a hint as to the content: Intrigue, Historical, Western, Medical Romance, Suspense … some are chaste and heartwarming, others are steamy and suggestive – the heroes and heroines these days are multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, but they’re one thing I’m not: heterosexual.

I dream of a hundred titles a month catering to gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgender readers. I want to grab a gay romance mass-market paperback by the checkout stand at Safeway and RiteAid. I want gay romance novels to be shelved on the same rack as the heterosexual romances in the bookstore, not relegated to the “alternative lifestyle” section (if there IS one).

Most importantly — I’m not 35. I’m 55. The desire for romance doesn’t stop just because you leave your 30s behind. Even in our newly enlightened world, with same-sex marriage legal in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, with military service members permitted to serve openly, and more and more rights guaranteed to non-heterosexuals, even with Amazon and Google – where I can search for (and buy) anything I want – I still have a hard time finding Sam Elliott or any older man in a same-sex romance novel.

I guess I’ll have to keep writing them myself. Thanks.

GRNW 2016 Keynote

What is Your Queer Romance Dream by Alex Powell

What’s Your Queer Romance Dream by Tobi Hill-Meyer

Listen to the GRNW 2016 Keynote

Podcast: GRNW 2016 Opening and Keynote Address

About Richard

Richard Compson Sater retired from the U.S. Air Force after 24 years of Reserve and active-duty service, having attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. He spent most of his career as a photojournalist and public affairs officer under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” directive that kept gay service members in the closet. He is a veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His first novel, Rank, will be published this November by Bold Strokes Books.
Sater earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s in creative writing from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in fine arts from Ohio University. In addition to his military service, he has at various times been a college professor, classical-music radio host, bookkeeper, bartender, and window-shade salesman. He lives in Seattle with his handsome spouse and their dog.

GRNW 2016 – What to Expect and Where to go??

Library_outsideWow! We are two days away from the fourth annual Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up at the Seattle Public Library on September 24!

We want to provide some up-front info for attendees wondering about the event, especially if it’s their first time. Below is some frequently asked questions (and also please feel free to share your own questions in the comments!)

Can I get tickets online still? No, as of yesterday, we are officially sold out of the free passes.

For all those who registered, we’ll have a name tag printed for you at registration. If by chance we don’t have your name (sometimes in group purchases, only one name is given), we will have blank name tags for you.

Can I get a pass at the door? We will have a limited number of passes at the door. Due to the size of the crowd, we may have to ask for those registering on Saturday to come by at 12:45 to see how many seats are left. Because the conference is sold-out though, day-of passes are not guaranteed.

What about later sessions? Can I go to those without a pass? Our most crowded session will most likely be the opening session from 1pm – 2pm in the auditorium on the first floor. If you would like to attend the 2:10-3pm session or the 3:10-4pm session in the auditorium, that should be 100% fine. We don’t expect those sessions to be completely full. Just come on in.

When does the library open? The library opens at 10am. GRNW registration will start at 12pm in the Microsoft Auditorium on the 1st Floor. The GRNW BookFest will start at 12pm also on the 4th Floor, Room 1.

What is the dress code? Seattle is suuuuuuuuper casual, so it’s wear what you want. Most of the conference is in the Seattle Public Library, which is also a pretty casual place.

Are there activities before Saturday? Yes! As listed in our program schedule, we have a couple free reading events the night before on Friday, September 23.

  • 6:30pm – Doors open at Hugo House (1021 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104)
  • 7pm – 8:00pm: TransFics readings at Hugo House with Austin Chant, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Laylah Hunter, EE Ottoman, JK Pendragon, and Alex Powell.
  • 8:00pm – 8:30pm: Break (Go enjoy the Hugo House bar!)
  • 8:30 – 9:30pm: Love Bites reading at Hugo House with authors Jeff Adams, Dev Bentham, CJane Elliott, Isabella, Christopher Moss, Richard Compson Sater, Karelia Stetz-Wates, and Cora Walker

We hope you can join us for these Friday events! They are a great way to kick-off the weekend and to begin meeting attendees and authors.

What times do things start on Saturday?

It depends on what you’re planning on doing:

Registration: This is from 12pm – 1pm, and is the best time to come, grab your name tag, swag bag, and look over the free book table to grab what you want. (First come, first serve at the free book table.)

Conference Programming: This will run from 1pm – 4pm. See schedule.

Book Festival: The bookfest runs from 12pm – 6pm, and is open to everyone. It is located on the 4th Floor, Room 1.

When will the authors be signing books? The author signing period will be from 4pm – 6pm in the bookfest room on the 4th floor, Room 1.

Can I buy books at the BookFest? Yep! There will be a book sale table, hosted by the bookstore Another Read Through, from 12pm – 6pm. Several authors will also be selling their books during the signing period from 4pm – 6pm.

1st Bus going to After Party: 5:45pm in front of the library’s 5th Ave Entrance.

2nd Bus going to the After Party: 6:15pm in front of the library’s 5th Ave Entrance.

After Party: 6:00pm – Midnight – Rendezvous in the Grotto Room downstairs (2322 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121)

Come join us for the free after party at the Rendezvous! (Heads-up—this venue is 21 & up.) Hosted the by queer romance podcast The Hopeless Romantic, the after party will feature games, readings, and will include food & beverages for purchase.

  • First Bus back to the library: 8:30pm
  • Second Bus back to the library: 9:30pm

What should I expect at the book festival?

The book fest will feature:

  • 24 LGBTQ romance authors to meet and chat with (See author list)
  • Both the authors and the bookstore Another Read Through will have lots of LGBTQ romance books for sale.
  • Loads of free author swag!

What can I expect at the After Party?

The after party at Rendezvous will be a very casual setting. Rendezvous is open to the public (although 21+), so there may be more than GRNW attendees there to enjoy the fun of queer romance books. The setting is casual and laid-back, and will include some games and readings.

Where do I pick up my swag bag? You can pick it up at registration.

I hear there will be free books at the conference? Yep! We have loads of free books in the auditorium that you can just grab and take with you. Enjoy!

Is there still a book drive for Gay City going on? Yep! We are also gathering book donations for the Gay City LGBTQ library. Every book donated will get a raffle ticket, and a chance to win some prizes! Books can be donated at the Gay City table at the conference and book festival.

Where can I park? The Seattle Library has parking all day for $8, but it ends at 7pm. Downtown also has some nearby lots. Street parking becomes free after 8pm
What other questions could we answer? Let us know!

What other questions could we answer? Let us know!

Announcing the GRNW 2016 Schedule!

2015Panel_1We’re excited to share the schedule for the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up that will be next weekend here in Seattle!

You can read the detailed schedule here, or check out our schedule snapshot below.

And don’t forget to register for your free GRNW 2016 pass!

What part are YOU most looking forward to?

Conference Snapshot

Friday, September 23, 2016

TransFics + Love Bites
7pm – 9:30pm – Hugo House (1021 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104)

Kick-off the GRNW conference weekend with the free public reading event at Hugo House, featuring GRNW 2016 attending authors!

RSVP on Facebook

Saturday, September 24, 2016

GRNW 2016 Conference
12:00pm – 6:00pm – Seattle Public Library Central Branch (1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104)

  • 12pm – 1pm: Registration, Grab Your Swag, and Meet & Greet (Microsoft Auditorium)*
    * Get there early if you want to first crack at the free book table!
  • 12pm – 6pm: GRNW Book Fair (4th Floor, Room 1)
    The Book Fair will be running throughout the entire event!
  • 1pm – 2pm: Opening Session and Keynote (Microsoft Auditorium)
  • 2pm – 3pm: Panels Series 1: (Multiple Locations)
  • 3pm – 4pm: Panels Series 2 & Character Type Love Match game (Multiple Locations)
  • 4pm – 6pm: Author Meet & Greet and Signing at the Book Fair (4th Floor, Room 1)

See the full Schedule and Panel Session Descriptions

RSVP on Facebook

Buses to After Party

There will be buses leaving from the library to the after party at Rendezvous.

The Hopelessly Romantic GRNW 2016 After Party
6pm – 10pm – Rendezvous (2322 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121)
21+ Only

Join us for the free after-party at the historic Seattle bar/venue Rendezvous! We’ll be downstairs in The Grotto. Food and drink are available for purchase, and the party is hosted by the amazing queer romance podcast The Hopeless Romantic!

RSVP on Facebook

We can’t wait for you to join us! Let us know which parts you’re most looking forward to in the comments! 😀

Magic & Mayhem is now available!

MAndMMagic & Mayhem, GRNW’s first anthology, is ready for download! 

You can grab your copy from Amazon and Smashwords!

What is Magic & Mayhem about?

Everyone deserves to see themselves in stories, to see themselves get a happy ending. For the past few years, Gay Romance Northwest (GRNW) has helped to see those stories reach more of the LGBTQ community, and gain traction in libraries and beyond.

Furthering that goal is this collection of new fiction and essays, including information on how to get LGBT books in libraries, letters from authors sharing their personal reflections on writing, essays about why positive and happy queer books are so important, and short stories about tattooists, soldiers, mages, and cyborgs that span the LGBTQ spectrum and show that love has no bounds.

This anthology includes never-before-published short stories by Josh Lanyon, Karelia Stetz-Waters, Ginn Hale, Megan Derr, Dev Bentham, Alex Powell, EJ Russell and Austin Chant. Contributed essays include works by Radclyffe, Rick R. Reed, Jordan Castillo Price, Rose Christo, and EE Ottoman.

We welcome you to join the celebration and Read with Pride with us!

Our Deep Gratitude

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this book a reality, from Nicole, Sam, and Amanda for leading the charge, to all the wonderful contributors for providing their stories and essays, to all the GRNW attendees who played Character Type Love Match and inspired this volume, and…

To all you readers for reading! Thank you!

The GRNW Anthology Magic & Mayhem now up for Pre-Order!!

MAndMSeats are moving for the upcoming 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up (come grab your free pass!), but in between all this registration madness, we’re delighted to announce that GRNW’s first charity anthology MAGIC & MAYHEM is now up for pre-order!

Set to release on September 6, 2016, MAGIC & MAYHEM is an anthology that is a mix of both fiction and nonfiction. The anthology will feature 8 new stories by a group of amazing LGBTQ romance authors. Along with these stories, the anthology will feature the past keynotes from GRNW 2013-2015, as well as some new essays.

Want to Pre-Order?

Come find M&M on Amazon and Smashwords!

Who is part of MAGIC & MAYHEM? Check out the list below!



“Broken Art,” by Dev Bentham
“Caroline’s Heart,” by Austin Chant
“Demonica,” by Megan Derr
“The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus,” by Ginn Hale
“Fade to Black,” by Josh Lanyon
“Charmed By Chance,” by Alex Powell
“Sun, Moon, and Stars,” by E.J. Russell
“Slack Tide,” by Karelia Stetz-Waters


“Romance for the Rest of Us,” by Jessica Blat
“Sad Queer Characters and the Revolution of Joy,” by Austin Chant
“Dear Rose,” by Rose Christo
“How to Get LGBT Romance Books Into Libraries” by Marlene Harris
“So What is “Character-Type Love Match” Anyway?” by Nicole Kimberling
“My Road to Romance,” by Susan Lee
“To My Future Self,” by E.E. Ottoman
“What I’ve Learned,” by Jordan Castillo Price
“Dear Len,” by Radclyffe
“A Letter to My Former Self,” by Rick R. Reed
“Five Things We Learned Running A Queer Romance Event (and the One Thing We Still Need to Do)” by Tracy Timmons-Gray

Proceeds from the anthology will go to support future GRNW programming, like the GRNW Meet-Up conference and more free public reading events and resources for LGBTQ romance readers, authors, and publishers.\

Pre-Order now: Amazon and Smashwords!

GRNW 2016 Registration Now Open! (And it’s Free!)

GRNW_ButtonAvatar2016Registration for the 2016 Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up that will held at the Seattle Central Library on September 24, 2016 is now open!

And what’s the big change this year? Registration is free!

What do you mean “free”? We mean it costs zero dollars!

Whoa!!!! Yeah, we know!!!

Wait…does this mean I should still register if it’s free? Yes! You need to register. Even if it’s free, we still have limited seating at the Seattle Public Library and will have an attendee cap.

Okay. I have to register still even if it’s free. Got it. But what’s the schedule? Who’s attending?

Great questions! We’ll be announcing panels and attending authors later this month, but for your planning purposes, here is the general schedule.

GRNW 2016 Schedule – September 24, 2016

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Registration, Attendee Meet & Greet, and free swag (Microsoft Auditorium)

Come grab your seat and your nametag/swag bag, and like in previous years, we’ll have some free books out for grabs. (First come, first serve.)

12:00pm – 6:00pm – GRNW 2016 Bookfest (4th Floor, Room 1)

Throughout the conference, the bookfest will be open, including a table hosted by the Portland bookstore Another Read Through that will be selling books by attending authors. Come check it out!

1:00pm – 2:00pm – Opening Plenary Session (Microsoft Auditorium)

Opening session and Keynote for GRNW 2016

2:00pm – 3:00pm – GRNW 2016 Panels (1st Floor and 4th Floor)

Join one of the concurrent panels that will talk about a range of topics related to writing and reading LGBTQ romance fiction.

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Character Type Love Match! (Microsoft Auditorium)

Now back for it’s third year! Join the popular GRNW game Character Type Love Match where everyone has a vote on which character types will move forward to form the ultimate “couple” for GRNW 2016. Who will win??? You decide!

2015 Winning Couple: Mage x Cyborg
2014 Winning Couple: Soldier x Tattoo Artist

4:00pm – 6:00pm – Author Signings at Book Fest (4th Floor, Room 1)

Meet GRNW 2016 Attending Authors, buy books, grab some free swag, and chat with readers.

Will there be other GRNW events that weekend?

Yes! We will have two other events that weekend:

Friday, September 23: 7pm – 9:30pm
(Hugo House, 1021 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104)

Come join for a free reading event at Seattle’s Hugo House that will feature GRNW 2016 attending authors.

Saturday, September 24: 6pm – Midnight: GRNW 2016 After Party
(Venue TBD)

After the conference festivities, come join the GRNW 2016 after-party, hosted by the podcast The Hopeless Romantic! (Food and drink will be available for purchase.)

Sweet! Looking forward to it! We are too! We’ll update soon about the panel schedule and attending authors, but until then, grab your seat! (It’s freeeeeeeeeeee!)