Having just returned from my three week holiday in sunny Florida my first thought was obviously to… book more travel!
Not because I am home in the middle of a storm and miserable at the low temperatures and lack of sunlight but because 2020 is looking like a fabulous year for WLW literary events and it’s time to get organised.
I kicked off the year by (briefly) attending the Gulfport ReadOut which is in its third year. By happy chance, I just happened to be in Florida at the same time as this event and just had to drive 1.5 hours to check it out.
And am I glad I did!
Gulfport Library is truly amazing when it comes to LGBTQ+ literature, I even saw a copy of my own Lambda award winner Huntress on the shelf. The keynote by Sheree L Greer was thought-provoking, hilarious, and poignant and the readings were diverse and engaging. The vendor room was packed and I met some fantastic authors and readers even though I was just passing through.
Starting the year with such a wonderful event has obviously led me to think about the other events I’m attending this year, let’s run through them!
South Coast Lesfic Hang-out (SCLHO)
SCLHO will be in its second year in 2020 and I’m really looking forward to this casual, free event taking place in Crawley, West Sussex. Authors, narrators, designers, actresses, and more are constantly being added to the lineup so keep up to date by joining the Facebook Group. Also, there’s a chance to win some amazing prizes including a one night stay in a hotel, dinner with the authors, signed books, merch, and more! To be in with a chance of winning, sign up to the SCLHO Mailing List but be quick because winners will be announced April 1st.
SCLHO 2020 takes place on Saturday, May 2nd 2020.
Waterstones LGBTQ Literary Festival
Waterstones in Nottingham is the place to be in June if you want to get your fill of WLW literary events, starting on Friday 5th June with the Waterstones LGBTQ Literary Festival. A schedule is still in the works, but with tickets being a low £3 it’s worthwhile getting in quick before they are all snapped up.
Check out the Facebook page to stay in the loop and to buy your tickets.
11th Annual Bold Strokes Books Festival UK
Don’t even think about leaving Nottingham after the Waterstones LGBTQ Literary Festival, because Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th brings the 11th BSB UK Festival, also taking place in the gorgeous Waterstones building in Nottingham. While I’m not a BSB author and won’t be an official attendee, I’m still excited to be in the crowd for this event. Again, tickets are cheap as chips at £3 per day, so check out the Facebook event pages for the Saturday and the Sunday and secure your place now.
16th Annual Conference Golden Crown Literary Society
Next, I’m heading across the pond to the USA, Albuquerque New Mexico to be exact, for the 16th Annual GCLS Conference taking place from Wednesday July 8 through until Sunday July 12. This event is huge, the biggest WLW fiction event of the year. It will be my first year attending and I’m very excited to see all the panels and meet lots of people. I’ve recently booked my flights and if you’re interested in attending then you might want to think about booking hotel and travel arrangements soon as things are already getting booked up. Check out the GCLS dedicated conference page to find out more.
For anyone worried about the environmental impact of all this travel, I understand. I hesitate every time I book a flight or take a long car trip, I’m aware of the damage that travel does to our planet and that’s why I offset my travel through Offset Earth. As at writing this blog post I’ve planted nearly 400 trees through Offset Earth and have offset nearly 35 tonnes of CO2. It’s not enough, but it’s a start and I will continue to offset all of my travel. If you want to assist then you can donate trees to my forest, every little helps!