Featured Authors 2023

2023 Authors and Moderators (A-Z)

Aaron Aceves Aaron H. Aceves (he/him) is a bisexual, Mexican-American writer born and raised in East L.A. He graduated from Harvard College and received his MFA from Columbia University. His fiction has appeared in Epiphany, The Florida Review, and Passages North, among other places. He currently lives in Texas, where he serves as an Early Career Provost Fellow at UT Austin, and his debut young adult novel, This Is Why They Hate Us, was released by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. It received multiple starred reviews and was named a Best Young Adult Book of 2022 by Kirkus Reviews.

Katharine AndriotisKatharine “Kat” Andriotis is a retired professional photographer who moved to Southwest Florida from New York with her wife Laura and their sweet little dog Bobo in 2017. She continues to shoot for stock photography, and has added creating graphic-rich books to her retirement creative endeavors. Kat is happy and honored that her children’s book Bobo The Beauty Boy has been accepted for ReadOut23. https://katandriotis.smugmug.com

Ann Aptaker
Ann Aptaker

Ann Aptaker is an author of short stories and the award-winning Cantor Gold series. Cantor Gold has been recognized by the Lambda Literary Foundation (Lammy) and the Golden Crown Literary Society (Goldie). Hunter Gold is the available now. A Crime of Secrets is being released this Summer. Visit Ann on Facebook: Ann Aptaker, Author and Instagram: ann_aptaker.

Kristen Arnett at the beach

Kristen Arnett is the queer author of With Teeth: A Novel (Riverhead Books, 2021) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and the New York Times bestselling debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She was awarded a Shearing Fellowship at Black Mountain Institute and was longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize recognizing mid-career writers of fiction. Her work has appeared at The New York Times, TIME, The Cut, Oprah Magazine, Guernica, Buzzfeed, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. Her next book (an untitled collection of short stories) will be published by Riverhead Books (Penguin Random House). She has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and lives in Orlando, Florida.

Becky Bohan

Becky Bohan (she/her) is the author of the 2020 award-winning novel, A Light on Altered Land. Her 2022 novel, The Santorini Setup, has won a Royal Palm Literary Award and Global Book Award. She lives in North Fort Myers, FL, with her wife, Nancy Manahan.

Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers is the Lambda Literary Award, Foreword Book of the Year Award, and Goldie Award winning author of over thirty novels of women-loving-women romance. She resides in Upstate New York where she was born and raised. When not writing, she can usually be found searching for a scary movie, lifting all the weights, sipping a good Pinot, or trying to keep up with little big man Archie, her mix of many tiny dogs. She is currently hard at work on her next book. Find out more at http://georgiabeers.com

Robee Berry (she/her) is a writer, adventurer and activist. For decades the story of The Pink Divide protagonist, Lake Myers, lived rent-free in her head until the auspicious day when Lake’s girl power took root in this book. Berry is the mother to one amazing young adult and lives with her wife, two dogs and one cantankerous cat. The Pink Divide is her first book.

Virginia Black

VIRGINIA BLACK (she/her) likes strong whiskey, loud music, and writing, though not necessarily in that order. When not penning dark speculative fiction, she is almost always reading, painting miniatures, or escaping into a role-playing game. Born in California—where even the green is brown—Virginia escaped to the green grass and rain showers of the Pacific Northwest. She lives with her wife of twenty years and their savagely witty teenage daughter. Learn more at virginiablackwrites.com

Benna BosBenna Bos mixes cozy mystery with engaging love stories. San Francisco is the setting she is most enamored with, and it happens to be her current home. Benna loves to read, write, and go on long walks in the park with her dog.

Jenny BoyarJenny Boyar received her PhD in English, with a focus on early lyric poetry, from the University of Rochester. A Fulbright recipient, her writing has appeared in several scholarly publications and her poetry has been published with Choeofpleirn Press and is forthcoming in FEED lit mag. Through her career in medical writing, she has collaborated on book chapters and coursework with professional organizations like the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society; she has also been a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. She lives in St Petersburg, Florida.

Melissa Brayden Melissa Brayden is the multiple award-winning author of twenty-three contemporary romance novels – and she’s enjoying the ride. Melissa is a dedicated storyteller on both the page and stage with a Master’s Degree in theatrical directing and past studies with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon as well as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Though writing romance is now her full-time job, much of it is spent on donuts, wine, coffee, and staring off into space. Kissing scenes remain her favorite.

Dustin Brookshire

Dustin Brookshire is the author of the forthcoming chapbook, Never Picked First For Playtime (Harbor Editions, March 2023), and the chapbooks Love Most Of You Too (Harbor Editions, 2021) and To The One Who Raped Me (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012).  He is the co-editor of Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology (Madville Publishing, 2023).  Dustin enjoys promoting writers through various projects: curating the Wild & Precious Life Series, founder/editor of Limp Wrist, founding chapter president of the South Florida Poets (a chapter of the Florida State Poetry Association), program director for Reading Queer, and a founding member of FLAWN (Florida Local Artist & Writers Network).Visit him online at www.dustinbrookshire.com.

Brian Broome
Brian Broome

Brian Broome’s debut memoir, Punch Me Up to the Gods, is an NYT Editor’s Pick and the winner of the 2021 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. He is a contributing columnist at The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Hippocampus, Poets and Writers, Medium, and more. Brian was a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and an instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. Brian also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. His film, Garbage, won the Audience Choice Award at the Cortada Short Film Festival and was a semi-finalist in the Portland Short Fest. Brian is a 2022 Writer in Residence at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

Brooke CampbellBrooke Campbell’s paranormal romances are as much about flawed characters finding lasting love as
they are about exploring what strength means. The first two books of The Warrior Series trilogy are
published, and she is working on a spin
off which
connects book 2, A Warrior for Her with the final
book in the series. The Warrior Within was a GCLS Goldie finalist in both Debut Novel and
Paranormal categories. Brooke and her wife live with their two somewhat
- benevolent feline overlords.
When she isn’t
working her day job to feed those cats, or writing, baking is Brooke’s bliss.

Deb Carson Native Baltimorean, now longtime Floridian, Deb Carson entered college in 1973 as a vocal major, transferred to Boston’s Emerson College studying Oral Interpretation of Literature, then embarked on a multi-decade career leading the pr/marketing/communications programs for Johns Hopkins Health System, Virginia’s Ports, Stetson College of Law, Jacksonville’s PBS/NPR stations and recently the Palladium in St. Petersburg.

“A sublime gift” says Carson about re-entering Eckerd College at an age 50. Two years hence, Carson earned her B.A., and at 57, her master’s in Florida Studies from University of Florida St. Petersburg. Ten years from its first iteration as her master’s thesis, Carson’s book Becoming FLO, A Mostly True Story was published, successfully launching her second career (having lost her first to Covid), and since, developed in collaboration with book editor Nanette Wiser, created and performs “The Flo Show" the colorful, emotion-packed multimedia presentation based on her book, to audiences far and wide.

To schedule a book talk/“The Flo Show” contact the author: DebCarsonWrites@gmail.com

Tabitha Rose CervantesTabitha Rose Cervantes (she/they) is a Cuban creative and communication specialist committed to building and uplifting community. Her poetry and art center on mental health, Latinx heritage and the dualities of the human experience. In addition to her role as a Program Officer for Pinellas Community Foundation, Rose serves as a creative writing teacher for Keep St. Pete Lit, the Narrative Lead for the Latinx equity collective, Mi Gente Mi Pueblo (MGMP) and the co-chair for Mi Gente Movida 2022, a collection of activities, events, and opportunities across the Tampa Bay Area during Hispanic Heritage Month. Rose also is one-half of the artist team behind Collect Your Thoughts, a community art journaling program launching this fall.

Felice Cohen

Felice Cohen is an author, motivational speaker and Holocaust educator. Her newly-published memoir, Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love, earned an Outstanding Non-fiction Book Award from the Independent Author Network. Felice’s previous book, 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (...or More) was inspired by the YouTube video of her 90-square-foot New York City studio that went viral with over 25 million views. Felice is also the author of What Papa Told Me, a memoir about her grandfather’s life before, during and after the war. Felice has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, NPR, Time, Globe & Mail, New York Daily News, the Daily Mail and more.

Meredith DoenchMeredith Doench is the author of the Luce Hansen thriller series and Whereabouts Unknown. Her writing has also appeared in many literary journals. She is a board member of Mystery Writers of America, Midwest Chapter, and is a senior lecturer of creative writing, literature, and composition at the University of Dayton in Ohio. For more information about this author and to view book purchase information, visit www.meredithdoench.com

Carol Anne Douglas
Carol Anne Douglas

Carol Anne Douglas worked on off our backs: a feminist news journal for 35 years. Her lesbian novels are Lancelot: Her Story and Lancelot and Guinevere, in which Lancelot is a woman; Sister Matthew and Sister Rose: Novices in Love; and Choosing Yellowstone. She lives in DC and Carefree Community in Florida.

Darlene Duncan

Darlene Duncan grew up wanting to be a published author. From the time she was old enough to read and write, her goal was to publish her stories. The dream of being a published author was delayed by the everyday necessities of life. Things like working so she could have a roof over her head and food. This energy and time drain delayed the dream, though the stories were always there percolating and occasionally bubbling to the surface.

Her favorite books are science fiction and mysteries. So, it was no surprise that her first published novel, The Origin of Deanna Dorak, was a combination of those two elements.

Her most recent publications are the first three books in The Larissa Carpenter Mystery series; A New Beginning in Coventry Beach, Lust & Distrust, and Fatal Misunderstanding. The first two of the series are already available on Audible. Her other recent release is a Dystopian future, action-adventure book titled The Legend of Erin Foster. All her books are available as Kindle books.

Juliette L. Dunn (she/they) is the author of the YA science fantasy series THE MIGAX CYCLE. She mainly writes speculative fiction full of portals, magic, and queerness, with themes of oppression and resistance sprinkled throughout.

Kelsey Dye

Susan Gore

Susan Gore is an author and editor, as well as the full-time volunteer president of the board of the LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport (FL) Public Library. She is proud of her role as editor of A Feminist Mental Health Agenda for the Year 2000 (AWP 1985) and co-editor of Coming Out in Faith: Voices of LGBTQ Unitarian Universalists (Skinner House, 2011) and, as a nonbinary person, of her contributions to equity for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer.

Patricia GrayhallPatricia Grayhall is a retired medical doctor and author of Making the Rounds; Defying Norms in Love and Medicine that garnered a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, as well as feature article in Kirkus Magazine. Her book was a finalist in the American Book Fest “Best Book” Awards and a first place Firebird Award winner.. She’s published articles in Queer Forty, The Gay and Lesbian Review, The Millions, Lesbian Game Changers, The Seattle Lesbian, and Seattle Magazine. NPR recently interviewed her. Patricia lives with the love of her life on an island in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys other people’s dogs, big nature, and her second career as an author.

Jamison Green
Jamison Green
Jamison Green is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, best known for his award-winning, twice-published memoir, Becoming a Visible Man (2020/2004). He hails from Oakland, CA, and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest. He has been a champion for LGBTQ+ civil rights, health, and social safety for 50+ years. After earning an MFA in fiction from the University of Oregon in 1972, he worked in construction and in technical writing, transitioned from female to male in 1988, led the nonprofit educational groups FTM International and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and served on the HRC Business Council. ​Jamison is the lead presenter and moderator for the panel, Creating Transgender Men's Literature.

Sheree L. Greer
Sheree L. Greer

Sheree L. Greer is a writer, artist, teacher, and publisher living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers. She is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. She is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, "Bars," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2019. Her latest essay, "None of this is Bullshit" was published at The Rumpus and featured in "Memoir Mondays.”

Frank B Haddleton Frank B. Haddleton is a graduate of Haverford College, Northeastern University School of Law, and the Graduate Tax Program of Boston University School of Law. He practiced law in Massachusetts for over 30 years, focusing on wills and trusts. One day, while researching family history, Frank stumbled across shocking, long-hidden events in the lives of his great-grandfather, a lightkeeper at Tampa Bay, and his great-great-grandfather, a Tampa Bay ship pilot. These events motivated extensive additional research and inspired Walker’s Key, which Kirkus Reviews calls a “must-read novel … punctuated by thrilling tension and deep emotion.” Frank and his husband, Brian, divide their time between Sarasota and Burlington, Vermont.

Cheryl A Head Cheryl A. Head writes the Anthony Award nominated, Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries. Head is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, two-time Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist, and winner of the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. In 2022, Cheryl was awarded the Alice B. Reader’s Appreciation Medal and a regional Silver Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Her books are included in the Special Collections of the Library of Michigan, and the Detroit Public Library’s African-American Books List. Time’s Undoing, a crime novel based on her family’s personal tragedy, will be published by Dutton Books in February, 2023. Cheryl lives in Washington, DC with her partner, Teresa, and canine supervisors, Abby and Frisby.

Elle E. Ire Elle Ire writes paranormal and science fiction romance featuring kickass women who fall in love with each other. She has released nine novels through DSP Publications including the Goldie Award finalist Reel to Reel Love and the Goldie Award winner Dead Woman’s Pond, which was also first runner-up for the Florida Writers Association Book of the Year and a winner of the gold Royal Palm Literary Award. Her latest release, pitched as Annie Get Your Gun meets Night of the Living Dead meets Survivor is Harsh Reality. Elle is represented by Naomi Davis at BookEnds Literary Agency.

Kelsey Jagneaux
Kelsey Jagneaux (she/her) is a historian turned Events Coordinator and book slinger at Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg, FL. She holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette respectively. After spending six years working in museums in her home state of Louisiana and her adopted state, Florida, Kelsey now curates events at Tombolo with the goal of creating a community space for readers and writers to gather and share their ideas and passion for books together!

Fay Jacobs
Fay Jacobs
Fay Jacobs (she/her) has written five multiple award-winning books of humor, including a Federation of Press Women Book of the Year for Humor, a Golden Crown Literary Society Goldie and an IPPY (Independent Book Award). She also has served as a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Rehoboth Beach Life and LGBTQ publications The Advocate and Curve Magazine. In 2019, Jacobs was named a Champion of Pride by The Advocate Magazine. She currently performs two sit-down comedy shows, Fifty Shades of Fay and Aging Gracelessly: It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.

Tenea D. Johnson
Tenea D. Johnson

Tenea D. Johnson is a multimedia storyteller, musician, editor, arts & empowerment entrepreneur, and award-winning author of 7 speculative fiction works, including 2021’s releases, Frequencies, a Fiction Album, and Broken Fevers, of which Publisher’s Weekly wrote “the 14 hard-hitting, memorable short stories and prose vignettes in this powerhouse collection… are astounding in their originality.” Her virtual home is teneadjohnson.com. Stop by anytime.

Zander Keig is an award-winning licensed clinical social worker, health educator, and anthology editor. He currently serves as Director of the Transgender American Veterans Association Community and Healing Committee as an Advisory Board and Senior Fellow for the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism. Zander brings a unique perspective to all aspects of his work as a trans man and first-generation American of Mexican heritage (Latino) with subject-matter expertise in conflict mitigation, social care and mental well-being. His educational training includes a BA in Interpersonal Communication, MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MTS in Theology, and an MSW in Clinical Social Work.

Sandra LambertSandra Gail Lambert writes fiction and memoir that is often about the body and its relationship to the natural world. She is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated memoir A Certain Loneliness which explores the intersections of disability, queerness and desire, and a novel, The River's Memory. They were published when she was sixty-six and sixty-two respectively. Her first publication, in the eighties, was in Common Lives/Lesbian Lives. Since then her work has been published by the New York Times, The Sun, Orion, and the Paris Review. She is an NEA Creative Writing Fellow. In 2023 (when she is seventy-one) the University of Georgia Press will publish her collection, My Withered Legs and Other Essays. She lives in Gainesville, Florida. www.sandragaillambert.com  

J.E. Leak
J.E. Leak

J.E. Leak is the author of the sapphic noir-inspired Shadow series. An antiques conservator by trade, she has always been fascinated by history and the stories objects could tell if they could speak. When she isn’t bingeing 1940s noir films, she’s writing or photographing nature on the spring-fed azure rivers of Central Florida. She has an Associate of Science degree in graphic design and is a devoted night owl. Find out more at jeleak.com.

Ellen Levy
Ellen Levy
Ellen Levy spends part of everyday living in the 1910’s with her characters, Deborah and Miriam, young Jewish women in love. They are products of the turn-of-the-century values, in a relationship unacceptable in post-Victorian America. Passion pulls them together, yet the world is not ready for them. Ellen spent her early career working with emotionally disturbed children and adults in mental health crisis, and later with both adults and children with medical needs. Her background influenced the many characters in her books with special needs. Later, Ellen worked in volunteer management, with seniors, and in workforce development, frequently working with immigrant populations. Her work with a wide range of people added depth to her life and to her books. Ellen summers in the Boston area and winters in Florida with 500 older women who celebrate the hard-earned freedom to be themselves.

Patti LuciaPatti Lucia is a high school English teacher who spends her days teaching students how to avoid dangling prepositions, get subjects and verbs to agree, and tell the difference between its and it’s. She hales from Massachusetts and lived in New York City in her younger, radical years. Shortly after moving to Florida, she opened a quirky, gay friendly coffeehouse and ran it
for ten years. She wrote her first book, a memoir, Wildflowers and Present Tenses, during the
pandemic in 2020. “Some people had pandemic babies,” she quips. “I had a pandemic book.” Lucia has gathered up the nuggets of gold from her coffeehouse days and sprinkled them into her debut novel, Perilous and Beautiful (March 2023), where the quirky and queer are drawn to a little seaside cafe for reasons as deep and mysterious as the nearby ocean.


KC Luck
KC Luck


Bestselling author KC Luck writes sapphic action-adventure, contemporary romance, and fiction. Writing is her passion, and nothing energizes her more than creating new characters facing trials and tribulations in a complex plot. Whether it is apocalypse, contemporary, or a little naughty, with every story, KC tries to add her own unique twist. She has written eighteen books (which include The Darkness series and Everybody Needs a Hero) and multiple short stories across many genres. KC is active in the LGBT community and is the founder of an indie collective called iReadIndies. Find out more at kc-luck.com.

Racquel Marie grew up in Southern California, where her passion for storytelling of all kinds was encouraged by her friends and big family. She earned a BA in English (creative writing) and a minor in gender and sexuality studies from the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Ophelia After All, You Don’t Have a Shot, and many unfinished first drafts.

JB Marsden

JB “Joey” Marsden wrote her first short story at age ten, but, needing to make a living, spent most of her life writing academic tomes that no one enjoyed reading. Now having published six novels, she has realized her childhood dream.

Joey lives on her family farm in Illinois with her wife. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, and classic movies. Even though she can be found most often basking in the quiet of rural living, she travels for work and fun both in the U.S. and abroad.

Ann McMan
Ann McMan
Ann McMan is the two-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author of twelve novels and two short story collections. She is a four-time Independent Publisher (IPPY) medalist, a Foreword Reviews INDIES medalist, a recipient of multiple Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, and a laureate of the Alice B. Foundation for her outstanding body of work. Ann also is a nationally recognized, career graphic design professional with more than 40 years of experience. She has won numerous national and international design awards and has worked for a wide variety of clients in the public and private sectors. She has also earned acclaim as a premier designer of book covers for small press, indie and mainstream outlets, and was the inaugural recipient of the Tee Corinne Excellence in Cover Design Award from the GCLS. Ann continues to devote many hours to volunteer work within the LGBT community. She resides in Winston-Salem, NC with her wife, Bywater Books publisher, Salem West.

Paula Martinac
ASC 2019 Creative Renewal Fellowship recipient Paula Martinac (literature)

Paula Martinac is the author of the historical novel Dear Miss Cushman (Bywater Books) and six others, including Testimony; Clio Rising, Gold Medalist, Northeast Region, 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards; and The Ada Decades, a finalist for the 2018 Ferro-Grumley Award in LGBTQ Fiction. Out of Time, her debut novel, won a Lambda Literary Award. She has received fellowships to support her writing from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. She lives in Charlotte, NC, with her partner and teaches in the creative writing program at UNC Charlotte.

Penny Mickelbury
Penny Mickelbury

Penny Mickelbury was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents fostered her love of reading, and their interest in The Civil Rights Movement opened the door to her career in journalism as a newspaper, radio and television reporter. Penny’s books reflect her continued interest in History and Mystery. She writes the Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mysteries (Bywater Books), and has authored two historical fiction novels. Her recently published collection of short stories (BLF Press) is a return to her roots. Penny is the recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant and a Residency at the Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat. She was also a 2019 Inductee with the Washington Post Metro Seven into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

Melanie MitznerHer novel Slow Reveal, published by York University's Inanna Publications on May 3, 2022, is a Best of Women’s Fiction Debut 2022 and Fiction Bestseller at Berkeley distributor SPD Books. An excerpt of her novel Too Good To Be True was published in the Harrington Lesbian Quarterly.  An Edward Albee fellow for her screenplay Zero Gravity, she was a finalist in the Writers Guild East Foundation Fellowships for her screenplay Dodge and Burn. Her screenplays In The Name of Love and Out to Lunch were finalists in the Houston Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. She was awarded fiction grants from Vermont Studio Center and Summer Literary Seminars . As a journalist, she covered the tech industry, television production and visual effects.  Her work is published in Wine Spectator, Gay and Lesbian Review,Vol1Brooklyn, Bloom and San Francisco Bay Times. Interviews and excerpts are on Open-Book, the syndicated Rainbow Country radio show, Glad Day Bookshop TV and Hasty Booklist. She’s a member of the Writers Union of Canada, ELAN and Quebec Writers Federation. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Links to all events, excerpts and media can be found on her website: www.melaniemitzner.com.

Maria Ingrande Mora
Maria Ingrande Mora

Maria Ingrande Mora (they/she) is an author whose Young Adult debut novel, Fragile Remedy, was selected as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Her second novel, The
Immeasurable Depth of You, will be released in March, 2023. Maria also leads workshops on
HOW TO: Love your First (Book) Draft, …Get a Literary Agent and …(Do) Self-Care for Aspiring

Gloria Munoz
Gloria Munoz

Gloria Muñoz (she/her) is a Colombian American writer, an advocate for multilingual literacy
and writing and St. Petersburg’s new Poet Laureate. Her poetry collection, Danzirly/Dawn’s
Early, was awarded the Academy of American Poets 2019 Ambroggio Prize and the Gold Medal
Florida Book Award. She has also been honored by the Highlights Foundation’s 2022 Diverse
Verse Fellowship, Lumina’s Multilingual Nonfiction Writing Award, a Las Musas Mentorship for Latine and nonbinary authors, a New York State Summer Writers Institute Fellowship, a St.
Petersburg Arts Alliance Muse Award, a Creative Pinellas Grant, the Estelle J. Zbar Poetry Prize,
the Bettye Newman Poetry Award, a Gen Yes Doris Duke Foundation Artist Award, a Think
Small to Think Big Artist Grant, and a St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Jim Rolston Professional
Development Grant. Muñoz’ writing has appeared in Puerto del Sol, VIDA Review, Acentos
Review, Lumina, the Rumpus, Yes Poetry, Juke Joint, Best New Poets, Sweet, Burrow
Press, Cosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Wildness, Cagibi, and elsewhere. She is also the
author of the chapbook Your Biome Has Found You, co-founder of Pitch Her Productions
and one-half of the songwriting team Moonlit Musíca.

Christie NewportChristie J Newport is an author living in Northumberland but originally from Preston, Lancashire, which is where her debut novel The Raven’s Mark is set. Christie won the inaugural Joffe Books Prize for Crime Writers of Colour in 2021. She was driving to Preston when a call came through her hands-free as she was using google maps. At first Christie assumed it was a cold caller and almost hung up but then the person on the other end excitedly introduced themselves as Emma Grundy-Haigh from Joffe Books. Being the conscientious driver she is Christie quickly asked if she could call back from the next service station. The following 15 miles were the longest 15 miles known to man (and woman)! Since then, Christie’s book has been published and received incredible reviews from readers and authors. The Raven’s Mark was recently listed in Country and Town House’s Great British Brands of 2023 on a list of eight chosen books and authors by Best-selling author Dorothy Koomson. Best-selling author Lisa Jewell called it ‘the most assured crime debut I have ever read.’ New York Times Bestselling author of The Last House on the Street Diane Chamberlain said, ‘the writing is so assured, the characterizations so rich and believable, the twisty storyline so gripping and unexpected. Christie’s wife worries her head won’t fit through the front door if the high praise continues, but Christie asks for you not to worry about that and feel free to leave plenty of 5-star reviews

Lizbette Ocasio-RusseLizbette Ocasio-Russe is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. Lizbette completed her Ph.D. in Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, her MA in English Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, and her BA in Journalism and minor in Creative Writing from New York University. She’s been published in Confluence: Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies, Flash Fiction Magazine, eTropic electronic journal of studies in the tropics, postScriptum: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Literary Studies, Poui: The Cavehill Journal of Creative Writing, Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters, and Tonguas: Student Literary and Artistic Expression Journal. Lizbette also has a short fiction book, Loverbar, coming out this summer distributed by Flashpoint Publications.

Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is the author of four books on LGBTQ+ history for youth. Her young adult book, Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World, received numerous distinctions including three starred reviews and being named a 2017 Best Book for Teens by the New York Public Library and a new expanded edition will be released on June 6, 2023. Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders, and A Child’s Introduction to Pride (to be released on May 2, 2023), each also share the stories of LGBTQ+ historical figures for ages 4-18. Sarah has presented on LGBTQ+ history to over 200 audiences across eight countries, including the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic, HuffPost, NBC News, and other national outlets. Learn more at www.sarahprager.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Radclyffe (she/her) is an eight-time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery, and erotica--winning Lammys in romance and erotica. She is a member of the Saints and Sinners Literary Hall of Fame, and an RWA / FF&P Prism Award winner for Secrets in the Stone, an RWA FTHRW Lories and RWA HODRW winner for Firestorm, an RWA Bean Pot winner for Crossroads, an RWA Laurel Wreath winner for Blood Hunt, and an RWA Book Buyers Best winner for Price of Honor. In 2014, she was awarded the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Award by the Lambda Literary Foundation. She is a featured author in the 2015 documentary film, Love Between the Covers, from Blueberry Hill Productions. In 2022, she was named to the OUT100. Radclyffe is also the president of Bold Strokes Books, one of the world’s largest independent LGBTQ publishing companies.

Kate Rounds

Kate Rounds comes from a deeply rooted feminist journalism background as a Senior Editor at Ms. Magazine and Executive Editor at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Kate also served as Editor in Chief of the Hudson Reporter for 15 years. Catboat Road is her first novel.

Rob Sanders is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He is known for his funny and fierce fiction and nonfiction picture books and is recognized as one of the pioneers in the arena of LGBTQIA+ literary nonfiction picture books. Rob’s nonfiction books continue to break new ground, including the first picture books about the Pride Flag, the Stonewall Uprising, a transgender Civil War soldier, a gay presidential candidate, and the first gay marriage in America. His work also continues to introduce readers to heroes of the LGBTQIA+ community—from Harvey Milk to Gilbert Baker, from Cleve Jones to Bayard Rustin, and more. His fiction explores friendship, relationships, standing up for others, and being allies. Blood Brothers, his first middle grade novel, written in powerful, raw verse released in July 2022. And Rob pays it forward. He serves as co-regional advisor for SCBWI Florida and is a frequent speaker, teacher, mentor, coach, and critiquer. He is also a member of the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund Steering Committee. Rob is represented by Rubin Pfeffer.

Sander Santiago
Sander Santiago

Sander Santiago is a Queer-Trans BIPOC writer bringing LGBTQ+ narratives to the literary world. In addition to his debut book, Best of the Wrong Reasons, Sander is a published poet and academic. Having completed a Master’s of Science degree from Purdue University in 2017, he is featured in several scientific journals and has been a guest speaker for Ignite Talks in Fort Collins, CO. He currently resides in South Florida with his partner, best friend, and their many pets. As a Colorado native, he spends too much time telling Floridians how great the mountains are.

coming soon

coming soon

Stephanie Shea Stephanie Shea is a writer of sapphic contemporary romance and young adult novels. She is currently signed with indie publisher NineStar Press with whom she published her debut contemporary romance Liquid Courage in November 2020. Since then, she has also self-published other novels that have been best-sellers on Amazon’s Lesbian Romance and Lesbian Fiction charts. Two of these books were finalists for the 2022 Goldies, hosted by the Golden Crown Literary Society—Chef’s Kiss in the category of Contemporary Romance: Short Novels, and Whispering Oaks for Romantic Blend. Her favorite things include binging tv shows, creating worlds where no character is too queer, broken, or sensitive and snacks. Lots of snacks.

Eden "Simchah" RobinsonEden "Simchah" Robinson is a body-positive and LGBTQ-inclusive personal trainer based in San Francisco. This is her first book. She's been interviewed on various podcasts, including Coming Out Pod, The Late Bloomers Clvb, The Only One In The Room, and Am I The Crazy One?

To check out more of her writing, follow her on Instagram at @writing.eden
To learn about her fitness training, check out her website www.fangirlfit.com

Elizabeth Sims is the author of the Rita Farmer Mysteries, the Lambda and GCLS Goldie Award-winning Lillian Byrd Crime Series, and other fiction, including the standalone novel Crimes in a Second Language, which won the Florida Book Awards silver medal. An internationally recognized authority on writing, Elizabeth has written dozens of feature articles for Writer's Digest magazine, where she’s a contributing editor. Her instructional title, You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams (Writer's Digest Books) has helped thousands of aspiring authors find their wings.

Tiffany TaylorTiffany E. Taylor lives with her spouse and their daughter in the idyllic little coastal town of Gulfport, Florida where the sapphic invasion is in full force.

When a major stroke felled her in the summer of 2017, causing her to lose complete function in her dominant right side, she thought her budding writing career was over. Through sheer determination and hard work, however, she found a way around those obstacles. Tiffany hopes her journey through the world of stroke survival will serve as an inspiration for disabled people everywhere.

The Taylors belong to the butch/femme community of which she writes about so passionately.

Anne E. Terpstra

Anne E. Terpstra (she/her) writes heartfelt, sex-positive fiction that is grounded in realism and centers LGBTQ+ characters. Beyond Any Experience is her debut novel.

Anne graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has degrees in journalism and technical theater. She has worked as a copy editor and proofreader, and she is a member of the Chicago Writers Association. In addition to being an author, Anne is a potter and photographer. In all of her pursuits, she enjoys exploring the unexpected angle or unappreciated detail.

Anne and her wife live in Chicago with their son. When she isn’t writing, throwing pots, or taking photos, she procrastinates by baking and gardening.

Kayla Upadhyaya
Kayla Upadhyaya
Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the author of Helen House, a queer horror novelette. She is the managing editor of Autostraddle and the assistant managing editor at TriQuarterly. Her short stories appear/are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Catapult, The Offing, Joyland, and others

Ryan Williams-Jent

Ryan Williams-Jent (He/Him/His) is a husband, dog dad, Cheez-It connoisseur and comic book superfan. He and his husband live in St. Petersburg where he’s the proud Managing Editor for Watermark, the LGBTQ news source that’s served Central Florida and Tampa Bay since 1994. Learn more at WatermarkOnline.com. 

Audrey WilsonAudrey Wilson is an award-winning writer and the author of Only Human and Wrong Girl Gone. She has a BA from Columbia College Chicago, and has written over a dozen award-winning short and feature screenplays in addition to her novels. As a screenwriter, she is represented by Aligned Talent Group. Her career in film, radio, and television also earned her a regional Emmy nomination in 2018. Audrey lives in the Chicago suburbs with her partner and their rescued cats and dog, and is currently working on her next project. Learn more by following Audrey on social media at @dreamerbyday91 and visiting AudreyWilsonAuthor.com

Sara Yager
Sara Yager

Sara Yager feels fortunate to have found the Carefree community since it inspired her to make films and also begin writing. She writes short pieces and haiku, taking common experiences and everyday events and trying to find some humor in them. Her short films have won several People’s Choice awards at Carefree film festivals.

Angela Yarber is the award-winning author of eight books, including her recent memoir, Queering the American Dream. With a Ph.D. in Art and Religion, five of her books have been listed among the Top LGBTQ Religion Books by QSpirit. She is the Executive Director of the Tehom Center, a non-profit teaching about revolutionary women through art, writing, retreats, and academic courses. Her work has been featured in Ms. Magazine, Forbes, Maya Angelou’s memorial celebration, NPR’s Progressive Spirit, and the television show Tiny House Nation. For more, visit www.tehomcenter.org

Erin Zak resides near the Gulf Coast of Florida where she spends a lot of her time with her wife
and their two cocker spaniels, Hanna and Eleanor. When she’s not writing, she’s feeling bad
about not writing, obsessively collecting Star Wars memorabilia, and planning the next trip to
Disney World. Falling into Her, Erin’s first book, was a Goldie finalist. Breaking Down Her Walls and Create a Life to Love were both Lammy finalists. Find Erin online at www.erinzak.com.

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