In late March, the first Queermance writers festival was held in Melbourne, celebrating queer relationships in fiction. Attendance was relatively small but very keen.
Panels included Writing What you Aren’t (in part about straight writers who write queer fiction – like me), The Art of Getting Published, and Writing Sex and Erotica (and how to do it well). The talented Scarlett Rugers taught us about good cover design, while Louise Bourchier of D.Vice talked us through a lot of sex toys and their uses. (I have ideas for at least two stories as a result of that session!)
The festival had enjoyable festivities in the evenings as well, all held in the Hare Hole at Hares and Hyenas – the launch on Friday night, the Queering the Text quiz on Saturday night and Sunday’s Queerbaret, involving dance, juggling, comedy and saucy readings! (I read from the unpublished F/F erotic romance, Birds of a Feather: in the course of the reading, I was required to fake two orgasms onstage. That was new…)
Overall, Queermance 2014 was both fun and educational, and a terrific opportunity to meet other writers and publishers of LGBT fiction. I’m hoping to soon have some guest posts by Scarlett, and host of the Getting Published panel, Nicolas Frank.
One exciting outcome of the festival was the Queermance Anthology. I have a story in it, Late Bloomer, about a rather melancholy judge named Harcourt and his relationship with his gardener, Jake. I did a reading from that story on the Friday night at the launch of the festival/anthology. The e-book also contains stories by Mary Borsellino, Kerry Greenwood, Matthew Lang and Kristen Henry.
Huge thanks and congratulations to the Queermance crew, especially Matthew Lang who kept things moving and kept the attendees more or less in line. When he’s recovered, I hope he takes up the challenge of doing this again next year!
Buy the Queermance Anthology Vol 1 (it’s only $2.80):