UK MEET – GLBTQ FICTION

20 Feb

UKmeetThe fourth annual UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet  is to be held in the lovely city (okay, so I’m slightly biased!) of Manchester this summer and several lesbian authors are already signed up to attend. We were intrigued, so we asked novelist and organiser Charlie Cochrane to tell us more about it!

Charlie writes:

UK Meet started in 2010 with a dozen authors drinking tea and eating cake above a library. Since then the event has expanded, although the tea and cake and the chat—lashings of all three—still feature.  Now it’s more like a convention, although the social side of the weekend is just as important as the panels and the networking.

The single best thing about UK Meet is you can be yourself and it’s fine. Nobody will make you justify what you read or write, nor will they ask, “Why don’t you stop writing same sex romance and write a proper book, instead?” because we all know that we read and write proper books. Nobody looks down on you because of who you love or what you wear. Even when you’re a fifty something woman wearing a mini skirt that’s far too short for her.

ukmeet20123From that first meet, we’ve had writers of f/f (and transgender) stories involved. The anthologies linked to the event, such as Lashings of Sauce, have always featured contributions which reflect the whole GLBTQ spectrum, although there has always been a higher proportion of “gay”, mirroring pro-rata our delegates’ interests and our authors’ submissions.

That’s something we’d like to redress. Last year we had our first “We’ve got the gay, what about the other letters?” panel, something we’ll repeat this year. We’ll also have a table at the Buffet of Banter (small discussion groups focussing on particular areas of interest) dedicated to lesbian genre fiction and are keeping some tables free so that delegates can decide in advance what they want to focus on.

ukmeet20121Of course, many of our panels have a generic appeal to readers and writers, as they tackle subjects like blogging or self publishing which cross genres and interests. Last year’s “The pitfalls of being published” session would have benefitted aspiring and fledgling authors of any type of fiction (or non-fiction!) One of the keys to representation is participation, so—as head honcho i/c programme—I’d love to have more volunteers to take part on panels from amongst writers/publishers of lesbian/trans/genderqueer stories.  We all have so much to share, so much wisdom and experience and ideas. And nobody understands the whole “whose leg is it anyway?” and she said/she replied problems of writing same sex romance as another author of the same genre!

ukmeet20122But don’t take my word for how good the weekend is. Here’s what one of our new attendees said of their experiences at UK Meet 2012.

“This was the first ‘writerly’ conversation I’d ever had like that, with someone else who understands what you’re talking about, and it was like a whole new world of friends and possibilities had opened up to me.”

And that makes all the hard event-organising work worthwhile.

~ ~ ~

Loads more information about the meet, this year’s location, and ticket prices for authors and readers can be found over on the official site. If you needed any more incentive to go along, Charlie said there were jelly babies last year…

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5 Responses to “UK MEET – GLBTQ FICTION”

  1. charliecochrane February 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Thanks for hosting me. Am looking at those pics and thinking, “Aw, that was such a good weekend…”

    • Cari Hunter February 21, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      You are most welcome 😉 We’re very much looking forward to it (couldn’t have picked a better city for us, either!)

  2. jessielansdel February 21, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    It was brilliant last year (my first) and I’m sooooooo looking forward to July. And….I’m staying for the whole weekend. YAY!! 😎

    • Cari Hunter February 21, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Sounds fabulous! And Manchester’s a brilliant city, so it should be a spankingly good weekend.

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