Wrap Up of the 2015 UK Meet

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Better late than never, right? 🙂

Here’s a brief report that I recently posted at the Rainbow Romance Writers Chapter of RWA (are you a member/would like to be? contact me if you want any more details).

The whole joy of the UK MEET for me is the opportunity to meet other fans of LGBT fiction. It doesn’t matter in what capacity you attend – ANYone is welcome, and we operate a strict first come-first served basis for allocating tickets. This year, most of our active waiting list managed to get tickets in the end, as well.

Our attendees generously give their time for the panels, and for helping with the organisation of the weekend. I love the relaxed, “village” atmosphere! We also made sure there was plenty of break-out space and time for attendees just to chat.

The weekend started on Friday afternoon at the Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel, right in the centre of the lovely city, with registration. Attendees are offered a choice of lanyards, to identify whether they’re happy for their photo to be taken and potentially featured on social media or not. Registration is run by new and “old” attendees and it’s a great way to meet people and ease yourself into the event.

That was followed up by a guided Pirate Walk around Bristol, then an evening welcome event at the local Queenshilling bar/club. We had exclusive use of the venue up until 10pm, with buffet food and a visit from our special guest – our HRH Queen Elizabeth lookalike! This month, our Queen became the longest serving monarch ever, so we thought we’d celebrate that.

Panels on Day #1 included a chance for readers to read and discuss their favourite book openings, the use of tropes in writing, mystery myth and magic, and then open “zones” where up to 7 topics were hosted for both readers and authors. Examples included YA, creative writing, cover art, worldbuilding, menages and building author voice. At the same time, TJ Masters ran a BDSM workshop for those who were interested – totally non-threatening, and very interesting to all.

Panels on Day #2 included more entertainment and useful guidance on writing humour, writing sex scenes, character-building, writing dark fiction, and how to write romance *without* explicit sex (my panel, for which I drew deeply on my inner resources…. *g*).

Saturday night’s dinner in the fabulous Palm Court restaurant included entertainment from the superb Sing Out Bristol Choir (still wiping away a tear…), the drag act Cherry Poppins, and a return visit by the (in)famous Butlers in the Buff. We awarded prizes to some attendees, thanked all those who attended and contributed to the organisation, and praised the fact this is the 6th annual Meet!

In other news? The swag bags this year were eagerly appreciated. Also, throughout the event, publishers kindly took pitches from authors, Temple Dragon offered photography services, RRW badges and leaflets were available to all, mini/fun contests were run for attendees, and a raffle raised nearly £500 from our generous attendees for the Albert Kennedy Trust for homeless GLBT young people.

Our keynote speakers were Elizabeth North who gave a very inspiring talk on our responsibility to take our writing out into the world, and the many individuals she’s connected with who have thanked Dreamspinner – plus other publishers – for providing more romance fiction for and about them.

KJ Charles spoke entertainingly and frankly about her work experiences in the publishing industry, and the progress of her career, both as a best-selling author and a freelance editor – with some useful tips on how/how not to get noticed in the slush pile!

At the end of the event, we held a get-together to discuss what had gone well, and what could be improved for next year. We can’t announce the venue yet but it’s likely to be held in Sept again. Follow the newsletter – you’ll hear it there first! There’s a subscribe button in the sidebar of the website.

We could never have done so much without the generous help of our sponsors. A list can be found herehttp://ukglbtfictionmeet.co.uk/2015-event/2015-sponsors/ and a special thanks goes to Riptide Publishing for the swag bags, Dreamspinner Press for the folders, Pride Publishing for the ID lanyards, and Manifold Press for sponsoring the programme.

Now I just need to grab a few weeks’ rest until the next year’s planning starts! And I’m still populating the photos page on the website here http://ukglbtfictionmeet.co.uk/2015-event/2015-photos/.

~Clare

UK Meet 2016 – Important news from the team

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There’s been some confusion regarding our mailing lists so we’re clarifying things – we will say this only once!
Check your latest newsletters from us if you’re on the 2015 DELEGATE mailing list.
However, this is NOT our main Information newsletter list i.e. the one that will tell you all about 2016 and when tickets are available! 
We used to be able to migrate details across but have had issues with data protection/spamming so now you have to sign up for that main newsletter yourselves.

You can find a link on any page of our website, on the right hand side. The system will tell you if you’re already signed up.
 

Not even saying nuffink about whether it’s 2016 yet…

From the UK Meet team – Charlie, Clare, JamieElin, Liam and Cathy

UK Meet 2016 – info about tickets

UKmeetSquare_LGNo, they’re not on sale yet! DON’T PANIC 🙂

But if you want to benefit from the chance to book them before they go on general sale you MUST be on the main newsletter list. You can find a link on any page of our website, on the right hand side. You’ll need to actively sign up rather than assume you’re on it.

Not even saying nuffink about whether it’s 2016 yet…

From the UK Meet team – Charlie, Clare, JamieElin, Liam and Cathy

Thanks from the 2015 UK Meet team!

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Just a few words to finish off, before we get into UK Meet 2016.

Thank you

Thanks to everyone who stuffed bags, helped on the desk, did panels, said hello to newbies and made them welcome and generally made the weekend go smoothly. What a fantastic atmosphere you created; we couldn’t do this without any of you. Also, a heartfelt “well done” to all who bought raffle tickets – we raised £494 for Albert Kennedy Trust.

Thinking ahead

We’re collating all your feedback on the world’s biggest spreadsheet; that really clarifies what we need to tinker with. We’re aware we need to revisit quality control for panels to ensure they’re all up to the standard you expect and we’ll need to do a bit of work about better embedding our event values, but all of this is eminently doable.

Make sure you’re on our big newsletter list (sign-up linked from any page of our website) if you’re interested in next year’s event.

Not even saying nuffink about whether it’s 2016 yet…

From the UK Meet team – Charlie, Clare, JamieElin, Liam and Cathy

Featured author at Elisa Rolle’s + Giveaway!

Elisa Rolle is featuring many authors who’ll be at the UK Meet – and here’s ME!! Comment on HER BLOG (i.e. not here on mine *g*) and you may win a free copy of Flying Colors :).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally posted by elisa_rolle at UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet: Clare London

Starting from March up until June I will feature authors attending the UK GLBTQ Meet in Bristol (June 7 & 8, 2014: ukglbtfictionmeet.co.uk/2014-registration/2014-attendees/).Today author is Clare London: Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters. Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
Website: http://www.clarelondon.com

Clare London is offering a copy of Flying Colors to one commenter on this blog. You can comment on LJ or DW if you have an account (I will send a PM to the winner), if you don’t have an account, please leave a comment on DW with a contact email.

Flying Colors (True Colors) by Clare London
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627981985
ISBN-13: 978-1627981989
Amazon: Flying Colors (True Colors)
Amazon Kindle: Flying Colors (True Colors)

True Colors: Book Five

Red De Vere appears to have everything-good looks, a prestigious job, attention from the paparazzi, and a choice of lovers. But one day he takes an outrageous step too far at a formal embassy dinner, and the press turns on him. Shocked, he realizes it’s time to find something better in life than partying. He envies the love that his friends Miles and Zeke have, and when he dares to consider that possibility for himself, his hopes and desires rest in his quiet, serious friend Carter Davison.

Carter loved a man who cheated on him, then died violently, and he refuses to make himself vulnerable again. He knows Red is interested; Red has been supportive and admiring since they met. And Carter’s honest enough to admit he’s attracted to Red. But Carter can also think of nothing worse than being the lover of someone in the public eye. Playboy Red must stay an attractive friend, that’s all.

While Red yearns for something real, Carter has some sweet, sexy secrets that might surprise even Red. If Carter dares emerge from his shell, and Red pursues a more rewarding path, romance could spark. Then there’s no telling what might happen.

The UK Meet soap opera climax … almost!

PART FIVE – brassier and better 🙂

Who loves a good story? We all do, of course! And the UK Meet Spice Girls(+ Guy) team are here to provide that for you 🙂

Here’s Liam’s introduction to it all:

This is a blog story the five Spice Girls organisers of UK Meet are writing together. I shamelessly stole this idea from the Festival of Romance where they explained it was taken from the tradition of telling stories around a camp fire. This may be a mess as we all write very differently, but I’m hoping it’s a bit of fun. Do please share this by RTing, facebooking, blogging to spread the word to other writers and readers about UK Meet 2014 in Bristol.”

There are still some places left, come on over to the website and join in the fun!

And in the meantime, here’s the Story So Far – and the LATEST INSTALMENT from Elin Gregory :).

As Liam says: *opens first page of book*

Part 1 by Liam Livings

I stumbled back through the unfamiliar roads of Canal Street in Manchester. I leant against a lamp post while a drag queen handed me a light for the pink pastel gold tipped cigarette I’d just begged off her. I raised my eyebrows as I cupped my hand around the cigarette…

Part 2 by Charlie Cochrane

“I did my adductor last season. Bloody painful,” he said, running his finger down from his groin, as if I didn’t know where the adductor was. And hadn’t already noticed his groin.
“They can be awful. Better now?” I had no idea whether—or how—it might affect somebody’s off pitch performance, but it was a worry…

Part 3 by Clare London

The tequila was warm and smooth, and not remotely like sambuca. Maybe because we were already half-pissed. Maybe because we were drinking it out of tooth mugs. Maybe because when Rob leaned across the bed and filled up my mug for the who’s counting-est time, he planted his soft, sticky lips on mine and kissed me very soundly…

Part 4 by J.L. Merrow

I cowered under my entirely too flimsy half-a-sheet as fists the size of York Minster clenched by his sides. The only plus point was that if he was planning to rip my balls off for my sins, he’d have a bugger of a job finding them. They’d just shrivelled to the approximate dimensions of sambuca coffee beans….

Part 5 by Elin Gregory

I drank some water, clinked the tea cups, boiled the kettle, checked my phone for texts [nothing from Nigel but I could get laser eye surgery for a very decent price] and tried to ignore the running water, the sounds of movement beyond the bathroom door.
I should go back to my room. I should get a good night’s sleep and try to put this evening behind me. I shouldn’t tempt fate by staying here….

part5 … TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT WEEK … !!

june

UK Meet nearing capacity

There are fewer than 10 spaces left for UK Meet 2014 – no wonder, given the programme of events, the optional entertainment events, the extras (bag of goodies, USB stick, spot prizes).

Once we hit capacity, we’ll set up a waiting list – people do sometimes drop out at the last minute but we can’t guarantee that. Please make sure you don’t miss out!

From the UK Meet team – Charlie, Clare, Jamie, Jo and Liam

UK Meet-ers chatting at Love Romances Cafe TODAY!

june

Come on over to LOVE ROMANCES CAFE Yahoo Group and meet the UK Meet team TODAY!

Ask Clare, Charlie, Jo, Liam and Jamie all those burning questions!

What’s the UK Meet? Who are you all? Can I come?

What are you working on? What’s your latest / sexiest / spookiest / most loved release?

And when you run out of questions – our fabulous hostess Dawn will have a few more to keep us occupied and you entertained!

The Perfect Swag – a step too far?!

I found the most perfect item of swag recently, JUST what I’d love to bring along to UK Meet, GRL, and/or wherever else I may join in this year. It’s cute, light, relatively inexpensive, declares a love for London (i.e. me!) – and fits my personality (and desires) very well.

BUT…..

I can only get hold of 8 of them! *arrgghhhh*

LondonShoe1 LondonShoe2

Back to the quest on Ebay, I suppose …. 🙂

The UK Meet soap opera continues …

flagPART FOUR – hot off the press 🙂

Who loves a good story? We all do, of course! And the UK Meet Spice Girls(+ Guy) team are here to provide that for you 🙂

Here’s Liam’s introduction to it all:

This is a blog story the five Spice Girls organisers of UK Meet are writing together. I shamelessly stole this idea from the Festival of Romance where they explained it was taken from the tradition of telling stories around a camp fire. This may be a mess as we all write very differently, but I’m hoping it’s a bit of fun. Do please share this by RTing, facebooking, blogging to spread the word to other writers and readers about UK Meet 2014 in Bristol.”

There are still some places left, come on over to the website and join in the fun!

And in the meantime, here’s the Story So Far – and the LATEST INSTALMENT from JL Merrow :).

As Liam says: *opens first page of book*

Part 1 by Liam Livings

I stumbled back through the unfamiliar roads of Canal Street in Manchester. I leant against a lamp post while a drag queen handed me a light for the pink pastel gold tipped cigarette I’d just begged off her. I raised my eyebrows as I cupped my hand around the cigarette…

Part 2 by Charlie Cochrane

“I did my adductor last season. Bloody painful,” he said, running his finger down from his groin, as if I didn’t know where the adductor was. And hadn’t already noticed his groin.
“They can be awful. Better now?” I had no idea whether—or how—it might affect somebody’s off pitch performance, but it was a worry…

Part 3 by Clare London

The tequila was warm and smooth, and not remotely like sambuca. Maybe because we were already half-pissed. Maybe because we were drinking it out of tooth mugs. Maybe because when Rob leaned across the bed and filled up my mug for the who’s counting-est time, he planted his soft, sticky lips on mine and kissed me very soundly…

Part 4 by J.L. Merrow

I cowered under my entirely too flimsy half-a-sheet as fists the size of York Minster clenched by his sides. The only plus point was that if he was planning to rip my balls off for my sins, he’d have a bugger of a job finding them. They’d just shrivelled to the approximate dimensions of sambuca coffee beans….

part5 … TO BE CONTINUED … !!

june