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This September, fans of LGBTQ love stories can come together to celebrate at the first conference in the Pacific Northwest on LGBTQ romance fiction. The Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up will convene in the main auditorium of the downtown branch of Seattle Public Library on Saturday, September 14, for a half-day conference featuring panel discussions and Q&A with writers and publishers of LGBT romance fiction from around the region. Pride Foundation is excited to be a Community Partner for this conference.

The conference is hosted by Old Growth Northwest, a Seattle nonprofit dedicated to fostering community and building resources for local writers. Old Growth’s mission for the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up is to provide an opportunity for writers and readers of LGBTQ romance fiction to meet and mingle around the genre, and to have a safe, open, and welcoming environment that celebrates the universality of these stories and their characters, and the triumph of love over adversity.

More than 30 LGBTQ romance writers, editors, publishers, and cover artists are attending the conference, including 22 from Washington and Oregon. Local authors include Lambda Literary winner Nicole Kimberling, owner of the Bellingham LGBTQ independent press Blind Eye Books, Lambda Literary finalists Astrid Amara and Ginn Hale, Epic eBook winner Rick R. Reed, Rainbow Award winner Andrea Speed, and Editor-in-Chief of Total E-Bound Publishing Devon Rhodes.

The conference will also feature a keynote address by the Seattle Public Library’s Marlene A. Harris, who will discuss how writers, publishers, and readers can connect to libraries and utilize library spaces to build awareness of LGBT fiction and expand LGBT library collections. Following the keynote address, panel discussions will focus on different facets of LGBT romance fiction, including genre tropes, working with publishers, how the genre is evolving, and the increasing expansion of LGBT romance into mainstream publishing.

Immediately following the conference, the Meet-Up will migrate just across the street to the Hotel Monaco, where attendees will enjoy a “Happy Hour” book festival featuring author signings, author readings, book giveaways, light appetizers, and a book drive for the Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library at Gay City.

Tickets to the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up are $25. The price of admission includes both the conference at the Library, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm, and the book festival at the Hotel Monaco, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

To gear up for the main event, Old Growth Northwest and Seattle’s University Book Store are hosting free public reading events with conference authors. The first event is “Love is Love: Four Authors who celebrate Gay Romance,” and will be held on Thursday, September 5, at 7pm at the University Book Store’s University District location. The event will feature four Washington LGBT romance writers—Kade Boehme, Daisy Harris, Rick R. Reed, and Lou Sylvre.

The second free reading event, “A Happily Ever After for All: Presenting Four Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up Authors,” will be held the night before the conference, on Friday, September 13, at 7pm at the University Book Store. The reading will feature authors Megan Derr, Andrea Speed, Ethan Stone, and Anne Tenino.

Along with celebrating LGBTQ romance fiction, its authors, and its readers, Old Growth Northwest’s mission is also to connect attendees to local and national LGBTQ, arts, and writing organizations, so that they can learn more about supportive community resources available to them. In service to this mission, Old Growth Northwest is excited to welcome a number of important Community Partners.

Serving as Community Partners on the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up is the Seattle health and literary nonprofit Gay City and its Gay City LGBT Library, GeekGirlCon, Hedgebrook, Lambda Literary Foundation, Pride Foundation, Queer Geek!, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter for LGBT romance writers Rainbow Romance Writers, the RWA Portland chapter Rose City Romance Writers, The Seattle Lesbian, and the University Book Store.

The inaugural Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up is open to the public and welcomes anyone interested in celebrating the rising genre of LGBT romance fiction or is interested in learning more about the genre.

On Saturday, September 14, come join us at the Seattle Central Public Library to celebrate love and its many stories!

To learn more, please visit: http://gayromancenorthwest.wordpress.com/

Posted In: Blog, Building Organizations, Blog, Washington