2024 Authors and Moderators (A-Z)
Jillian Abby’s debut memoir, Perfectly Queer, was selected as a global contest winner by Hay House Publishing and released worldwide for Lesbian Visibility Week in 2023. Perfectly Queer hit #1 on Amazon’s list of New Releases for LGBTQ Biographies and Memoirs, was featured by Good Morning America on their list of 2023 spring reading recommendations, and won Creative Loafing’s “2023 – Best Book by a Local Author” in her hometown of Tampa Bay. Jillian’s mission is to bring more love and understanding to this world by highlighting untold stories with humor and heart. She shares her storytelling through her blog, QueerAbby.com, her TikTok @AskQueerAbby, and her podcast Life and Love in the Q. Jillian supports other business owners in their professional messaging through her company Storyteller Soul, LLC and is a founding member of the 501©3 non-profit, Tampa Bay Homeschool Inclusive Events. And she still can’t believe that this is her life.
Lynn Ames is our ReadOUT 2024 keynote speaker. Lynn has penned sixteen genre bestsellers. Her biography of the greatest catcher ever to play women’s softball, Out at the Plate: The Dot Wilkinson Story, was released in October 2023. She is a six-time Goldie Award winner, winner of the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award, a two-time Lammy Award finalist, a Foreword Indies Book of the Year finalist, and a Writers’ Digest Self-Publishing Award finalist. Her thriller, The Value of Valor, received the 2007 Arizona Book Award from the Arizona Book Publishing Association. In 2010,Lynn created her own publishing imprint: Phoenix Rising Press.
From Old West gunslingers to a love that transcends time and space, S.W. Andersen writes sapphic romances where love knows no bounds. S.W. is the author of seven books, including the best-selling romances, Love By Design and Switchback. She and her wife and best friend of twenty-six years share ten acres in rural Florida with a rambunctious crew of dogs, cats and horses.
Native New Yorker Ann Aptaker’s Cantor Gold novels have won the Lambda Literary and multiple Goldie awards. Her short stories have appeared in the Fedora II and III anthologies, the Mickey Finn: 21 st Century Noir anthology Volumes 1, 3, and 4, Switchblade Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, the upcoming Private Dicks & Disco Balls anthology, and the online zine Punk Soul Poet. Her novella, A Taco, A T-Bird, A Beretta and One Furious Night, is featured in season two of the Guns & Tacos crime fiction series. Her latest book, A Crime of Secrets, is an historical mystery set in the dark streets of New York in 1899. After a thirty year career as an art curator and exhibition specialist for museums and galleries, Ann was a professor of art history at the New York Institute of Technology. In between, Ann did a stint as an investigative report writer for a private investigations firm in the San Francisco Bay Area of California before returning home to New York.
JJ Arias, an Amazon best-selling author and proud Cuban-American from Miami, infuses her narratives with the vibrancy of her heritage and the warmth of her home city. Originally a fan fiction writer, JJ transitioned to original stories to better represent the LGBTQ+ community. Known for her humorous dialogue and palpable tension, she brings life to her works with a style as lively as Miami itself. Her writing is a celebration of diversity, humor, and the depth of everyday experiences. JJ and her wife live in South Florida with too many cats, a melancholy pitbull, and a parakeet that chooses violence at every opportunity.
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.
Award-winning author and Michigan native, K. Aten brings heroines to life in a variety of blended LGBTQ fiction genres. She specializes in romantic speculative fiction, focusing on extra-ordinary women who are as flawed as they are compelling. Kelly published her 15th novel in 2023 with Flashpoint Publications.
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
By day, David Berger works as a mild-mannered English teacher and role model, but by night he’s a fantasy author creating new worlds with relatable, authentic heroes based in modern myth. His passion for writing LGBTQ+ characters stems from his desire to create stories that his younger self needed but never had—he wants readers today to have that need met.
Find out more at davidbergerbooks.com.
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.
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.
Jacob Budenz is a queer author, multi-disciplinary performer, college educator, and witch with an MFA from University of New Orleans and a BA from Johns Hopkins. Jake’s debut collection of queer magic realist short stories, Tea Leaves (Bywater Books 2023), was heralded as “funny, queer, and full of life” (M.M. Carrigan, author of forthcoming JUNK) and “fabulous, in every sense… quick and sharp, full of charms that whisk us into the darkest forests of the human experience” (Baynard Woods, author of Inheritance: an Autobiography of Whiteness). Budenz has fiction and poetry in print journals including Assaracus and Slipstream, zeitgeisty online journals including Taco Bell Quarterly and Wussy Mag, and anthologies by Mason Jar Press, Unbound Edition, and more. After teaching college writing for 6 years, Jake currently serves as the Assistant Director of Fellowships Advising and Success Coaching at Goucher College. Follow @dreambabyjake or visit www.jakebeearts.com for more.
Nan Campbell’s debut novel, The Rules of Forever, is a Lambda Literary Award winner for Lesbian Romance. She grew up on the Jersey Shore, where she first discovered her love of romance novels as a kid, spending her summers at the beach reading stories that were wholly inappropriate for her age. She was, and continues to be, a sucker for a happy ending. Learn more at nancampbellwrites.com.
Kate Castle is the author of the Amazon.com best-selling novella Born of the Sea and the best-selling adventure novel Girl Island – winner of two 2022 Golden Crown Literary Society ‘Goldie’ Awards (Debut Novel and Young Adult Fiction). Her next novel, The Coven – a New Adult dystopian thriller – will be released soon. Kate’s books fall into the Young Adult and New Adult adventure and romance categories. Kate is passionate about representing young LGBTQ+ females in mainstream fiction and writes immersive, fast-paced stories populated with fierce, independent, queer young women – the kind of characters she wished she could have read more about growing up.
Florida is ground zero in attempts to erase books with LGBTQ+ and BIPOC content. Public school educators walk a tightrope between risking their jobs and self-censorship. Former school library media specialist, Erin Decker, forged a different path, opening White Rose Books & More in Kissimmee, FL with business partner Tania Galinanes. Listen in as ReadOUT keynoter and journalist Lynn Ames interviews Erin about the lessons learned from taking a stand. Discover what you can do individually and as part of grassroots organizations that have emerged to protect the most basic of American values, freedom of speech.
Carol Anne Douglas lives in Washington DC and at the Carefree Community in North Fort Myers, Florida. She worked on the feminist news journal off our backs for 35 years. She has published six lesbian novels. The Florida Writers’ Association gave her novel Choosing Yellowstone its 2023 Royal Palm Award for an LGBTQ+ novel.
Luc Dreamer (He/Him) started his indie writing career in 2020 and has since self-published eight novels including the much-loved Heart Series, a sapphic historical fiction trilogy filled with adventure, romance, heartbreak, and triumph. One of his latest books is a trans man/cis woman novel called Crush: A Sweet, Full-Bodied Queer Romance. He is a wanderer at heart but has made Denver his home base. He loves getting out in his self-built campervan and enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, and building things.
Darlene Duncan’s most recent books include The Larissa Carpenter Mystery series and a dystopian novel, The Legend of Erin Foster. Darlene loves to read a broad range of books, which is probably why she writes in a variety of genres. A native Floridian, she’s moved away a couple of times but always seems to return to the sun and sand that is Florida. Currently, she, her spouse, Charlotte, and their rescue cat, Keke, live on Florida’s east coast.
Carolyn Elizabeth (often confused for K. Aten) is a Goldie Award winning author of sapphic stories where serious camp meets upbeat macabre. A proud Canadian living in London, Ontario, Carolyn has enjoyed blending thriller, mystery, adventure, and paranormal elements with romance into seven novels for Bella Books. When not working in tissue banking for cancer research and parenting her two ridiculous school-age boys, she can be found heavily investing in tattoo therapy. For her next trick, she’s co-authoring a bonkers but classy, queer RomZomCom. www.carolynelizabethfiction.com
Lauren Eve is a British writer who released her first two volumes of poetry in 2023. She always has several projects on the go and will be debuting her first novel this year, an age gap sapphic romance. When her world isn’t focused on books she can be found crafting or living out of a suitcase.
Alicia Gael (she/her) has a Creative Writing Certificate from UC San Diego Extension, a masters in criminology from CSU Fresno, is a graduate of the Golden Crown Literary Society’s writing academy, and is a member of the Coastal Dunes chapter of the California Writers Club. She is also a retired probation officer and criminal justice professor. Her short stories have been published in The Bangalore Review (Deception) and The Quiet Reader (No Time For Stories.) The first chapter of her yet-to-be-completed historical fiction novel, The Journey, was published in the 2022 CA Writer’s Literary Review anthology. When not writing, you’ll find her reading, kayaking, or playing the ukulele. She lives near the California central coast with her wife, Donna.
Tyler Gillespie is an award-winning educator and writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, GQ, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Playboy, and elsewhere. He’s the author of the nonfiction collection The Thing about Florida: Exploring a Misunderstood State (University Press of Florida, 2021) and two poetry collections Florida Man: Poems (Red Flag Poetry, 2018) and the nature machine! (Autofocus, 2023). He’s a fifth-generation Floridian who teaches writing at Ringling College of Art and Design. Follow him on Instagram (@tyler_gills).
Patricia Grayhall is a medical doctor and author of Making the Rounds; Defying Norms in Love and Medicine. The memoir has won many awards, including Best Indie Book of 2023 in LBBTQ Memoir. She is a co-author of a second-chance lesbian romance, Golden Years and Silver Linings, and her second novel is currently with a publisher. Her essays and articles have appeared in Queer Forty and The Gay and Lesbian Review, The Millions, Lesbian Game Changers, The Seattle Lesbian, and Seattle Magazine. She lives with the love of her life on an island in the Pacific Northwest.
Born in Oakland, CA, in 1948, Jamison Green always knew he would be a writer, a career goal that led to many adventures. He earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon in 1972, and since then, he has taught legal writing, skiing, and gender studies; performed in rock bands, percussion ensembles, and musical theater; worked as the first woman construction cable splicer for Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company; and has written for, and managed writers and artists within, major high-tech design and manufacturing corporations. He transitioned medically and legally from female to male from 1988-1991 and has led nonprofit organizations, changed anti-discrimination laws, reformed insurance exclusions and diagnostic protocols, earned a Ph.D. in Equalities Law (2011), and published numerous articles and books on many aspects of transgender health and rights. His best-known book is the award-winning memoir Becoming a Visible Man. Learn more at jamisongreen.com.
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.”
Ana Hartnett is an award-winning author of Sapphic romance with Bold Strokes Books. She lives in Atlanta where she heroically fights her writer’s block with long walks through the neighborhood and local brews. She is currently writing her seventh novel.
Lyn Hemphill was born and raised on the coast of Kenya and now lives in rural Oxfordshire with her partner and two brilliant kids. Drifting is her most recent novel and draws on her work assisting on SCUBA diving tours in Kenya… although she never did meet a mermaid there!
Dominic Howarth (he/him) has been a bookseller for three years but an avid reader his entire life. As the head book buyer for Book + Bottle, he wishes to represent the values of the establishment, which is to have Book + Bottle represent the diverse city it lives in. Being a woman owned business, he prioritizes representing female and female-presenting authors, along with a wide range of BIPOC voices. He truly believes that bookstores can save the world, one story at a time.
Jose is a Cuban-American nonbinary author of short fiction published in major magazines including Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Uncanny, and an upcoming middle grade novel from Penguin/Random House. Many of Jose’s stories feature lesbian and transgender characters. Jose has been a finalist for the Hugo award, the Nebula award, the Sturgeon award, and the Locus award.
Fay Jacobs has authored 5 award-winning collections of humorous/activist essays with Bywater Books, and was named a 2019 Champion of Pride by The Advocate Magazine. She’s written for The Washington Post, The Advocate, Philadelphia Gay News, Washington Blade, curve magazine and more. Known as the last comic sitting, she’s been performing her solo sit-down comedy show Aging Gracelessly:50 Shades of Fay nation-wide for the past nine years. Her motto is “nothing is so bad if it’s worth the story you can tell.” Her new book Big Girls Don’t Fry will be published in April.
Kat Jackson resides in Pennsylvania and is the author of sapphic fiction with a romantic slant. While she wishes she could write full time, her days are spent working in public education. Kat is an over-thinker, an over-feeler, and loves to diffuse awkward moments with humor.
Renee James is a confessed English major and transgender author who is also a spouse, parent, grandparent and Vietnam veteran. She took up fiction writing after a career in magazines as a writer, editor, and owner. She has published six novels and several short stories under various bylines. Her seventh novel, BeatNikki’s Café, was released by Amble Press in June. Her Renee James bylined novels include the Bobbi Logan trilogy (Coming Out Can Be Murder, A Kind of Justice, and Seven Suspects) which depicts the life and times of a Chicago woman after gender transition in the early 2000s.
Troy D. Johnson is the President of the African American Literature Book Club (AALBC). His primary platform, AALBC.com, is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books by people of African descent. Through AALBC.com, Johnson sells, reviews, discusses, and publishes books. AALBC.com is also a major platform for publishers to advertise and promote books. He is also a recognized thought leader in the “Black Book Ecosystem.”
Johnson has 20 years of corporate experience in roles ranging from designing wide area networks to managing international projects for major corporations, including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. As an educator, he taught information systems and web design at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. Mr. Johnson holds a BS and MS degrees in engineering and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has three daughters and lives in Tampa, FL.
Anna is an English Literature and museum studies graduate with a passion for LGBT heritage. Her debut novel, Highland Fling, was a finalist in the 2018 Golden Crown Literary Society Awards. Her second novel, Love’s Portrait, was a finalist in the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Her third novel, Highland Whirl, featured in ‘Lambda Literary December’s 2021 Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books’. Her latest release, Invisible, which is a New Adult lesbian romance set in a fancy dress costume shop, featured in DIVA Magazine’s ‘December’s 2023 Hottest Queer Releases’. Her poems have been published with Paradise Press and the University of Leicester’s Centre for New Writing.
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.
Macon Leigh is a romance evangelist, writer, co-host of Strictly Sapphic, and person who is usually reading. She lives in Arkansas where she runs a summer camp when she isn’t reading, writing, or playing outside. You can find her on Twitter, Substack, Bluesky and Instagram – probably (okay, definitely) talking about books she thinks you’ll like. Say hi.
Suzanne Lenoir is originally from the East Coast (USA) and is currently a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her Valmoran fantasy series novels, A Talent Within and A Talent Ignited, combine her love of fantasy with her interest in medieval history. Suzanne is a technophile, video gamer, history buff, and avid reader, who loves EDM, and builds model siege engines. She lives with her adventurous, spreadsheet-loving wife, and her blind, toothless Chihuahua.
Mercedes Lewis is a poet and writer. She is retired from the military, the government, the private sector, and corporate America. The only thing she has not figured out how to retire from is volunteerism! Golden Crown Literary Society, Lambda Literary, ReadOUT, food pantries, and the list goes on. She remembers when intelligence, and kindness meant so much more on so many levels. Mercedes writes short stories and poetry. Her body of work includes: Our Happy Hours, Roses Read, Women in Uniform, and a complete book of poetry Glimpses of a Fractured Soul.
Reach Mercedes at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeffrey Dale Lofton hails from Warm Springs, Georgia, best known as the home of Roosevelt’s Little White House. He calls the nation’s capital home now and has for over three decades. He is a senior advisor at the Library of Congress where he is surrounded by books and people who love books—in short, paradise. He is a contributing editor for WELL READ Magazine and co-host of the Inside Voices podcast alongside author Robert Gwaltney.
Red Clay Suzie is his first novel, a fictionalized memoir written through his personal lens as an outsider—gay and living with a disability in a conservative family and community in the Deep South.
It was Longlisted for The Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize and was awarded the Seven Hills Literary Prize for Fiction. It will be available in paperback for the first time on March 5, 2024.
You can learn more about Jeffrey at JeffreyDLofton.com
Marianne K. Martin is one of the best-selling lesbian romance authors in the history of the genre, and her books have gained a wide international readership. She is the author of eleven novels. Her highly successful novels include the Lambda Literary Award finalists Tangled Roots, Under the Witness Tree, Mirrors, and For Now, For Always. In 2012, she was honored with the Trailblazer Award from the Golden Crown Literary Society and in 2013 she was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame. Marianne is also one of the founding partners of Bywater Books. Her responsibilities include managing general operations, as well as the Bywater Prize for Fiction, and working with Bywater’s new writers.
Milena McKay is a Lambda Literary and Golden Crown Literary Society award-winning sapphic fiction author. Milena is a romance fanatic, currently splitting her time between trying to write a novel and succumbing to the temptation of reading another fanfic story. She runs and used to practice international human rights law. Would live on blueberries and lattes if she could. Her love for Cate Blanchett knows no bounds.
Ann McMan is the author of thirteen novels and two collections of short stories. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Award winner, an eleven-time winner of Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, a five-time IPPY medalist, a Foreword Reviews INDIES medalist, and a recipient of the Alice B. Medal for her body of work. She divides her time between Winston-Salem, NC and Grand Isle, Vermont. She can be found at: www.annmcman.com; www.bywaterbooks.com/ann-mcman/; and https://www.facebook.com/ann.mcman/.
Barbara Mellen has been involved in public education advocacy since late 2020 when she started attending Pinellas County School Board meetings. She became involved in Florida Freedom to Read Project in mid-2022 as she learned more about the efforts to ban books in Florida Public Schools. Started in January of 2022, the Florida Freedom to Read Project connects parent organizations across the state of Florida and focuses our energy on defending every student’s right to access information and ideas while at school. She loves her public libraries, most recently fighting an effort to cut funding to the Palm Harbor library. She is passionate about spreading the power of books and reading, and ensuring access for all. In her professional life she is in medical sales. In her free time, she loves spending time with her 8 year old son Alex and her partner Matt. She is involved in her local and state PTA, leads a Navigators USA scouting troop (a secular, inclusive, all gender scouting organization), and she and Matt host a series free of “Banned Book Movie Nights” at the UU church in Tarpon Springs, next one is “A Wrinkle in Time” on Feb 24.
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
Barbara Lynn Murphy is originally from Long Island, New York, but currently lives in suburban Atlanta, Georgia with her wife and four dogs. Always an avid reader, she is a late bloomer to writing, having only started doing so in earnest during the Covid years. What was once a passing fancy has morphed into a second chapter in her professional life. She has published two novels with Desert Palm Press. Her debut was “Two Lives, One Heart,” followed by her sophomore effort, “When It’s True.”
Rose Norman (1949- ) is a retired college professor who taught English at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for twenty-seven years. She directed the Business and Technical Writing Program, co-founded and was first Director of Women’s Studies, and for her last four years chaired the English Department. She taught graduate and undergraduate classes in women writers, women’s autobiography, and technical writing, and for four years was regional coordinator of a national high school poetry competition, Poetry Out Loud. Her work as general editor of the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project (slfaherstoryproject.org) led her to over ten years’ research on the Pagoda residential community and cultural center. During that time, she has interviewed over a hundred lesbian feminist activists and co-edited six special issues of Sinister Wisdom. The Pagoda: A Lesbian Community by the Sea (2024) is her first book.
Cathy Pegau (she/her) is an award-winning author who dabbles in a range of genres, and you can always find women who are strong, determined, and vulnerable-for-the-right-person starring in her stories, as well as queer characters finding love and family. Cathy’s novel THE DEMON EQUILIBRIUM (Bywater Books, 2021) dialed her into a love of writing historical paranormal romances that will next be seen in her book BLOOD REMAINS (Bywater Books, May 2024). In 2025, Cathy will have a non-spec fic historical cozy with queer characters hit the shelves with A MUDEROUS BUSINESS (Minotaur). Cathy lives in a small fishing town in Alaska with her spouse, dogs, and cats, not to mention the occasional bear through the yard. Find her at https://cathypegau.com as well as on BlueSky or Twitter (if it’s still working).
Naomi Rivers writes sapphic romance and women’s fiction. Her first book, THIS: A Simple, Complex Love Story, was written while traveling on four continents and her work has appeared in I Heart SapphFic’s anthology Favorite Scenes from Favorite Authors. She is a retired U.S. military veteran and resides with her wife and rescue dog on the east coast. Learn more at Naomi Rivers Books.
Ruth Rouff is a freelance educational writer living in Collingswood, NJ. Her literary work has appeared in various journals, including New World Writing, Philadelphia Poets, Parhelion, and the International Quarterly. In 2016, Bedazzled Ink published her collection of poetry and prose entitled Pagan Heaven. In 2022, the same company published her novel, Lone Star, which is based on the life of famed athlete and closeted lesbian Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
Ginny Myers Sain is the author of DARK AND SHALLOW LIES (2021), SECRETS SO DEEP (2022), and ONE LAST BREATH (2024), all from Penguin Teen. Her debut novel, DARK AND SHALLOW LIES, is a New York Times bestseller, an Indie Bookstore Bestseller, a Barnes & Noble YA Pick of the Month, an Amazon Editor’s Pick, and the 2022 CRYSTAL KITE award winner from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Ginny’s books are available world-wide in eight countries and counting! Although she comes from a long line of writers, Ginny’s first love has always been the theatre. She has a degree in theatre and has spent most of her career teaching acting and directing plays and musicals. Ginny currently lives in St. Cloud, Florida, with her college-age son and a wild goldendoodle named Magnolia. When she is not working in the theatre or writing, you’re likely to find her listening to true crime podcasts, taking pictures of alligators, eating tacos, traveling to spooky places, or hanging out at Walt Disney World.
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.
The Price of a Small Hot Fire (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2023) is E.F. Schraeder’s first full length poetry collection. Schraeder is also the author the Imadjinn Award finalist Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021), a story collection, and several poetry chapbooks. Recent work has appeared in Lost Contact, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Moonflowers and Nightshade: an Anthology of Sapphic Horror, Lavender Review, and other journals and anthologies. Schraeder’s nonfiction has appeared in Vastarien: A Literary Journal; Radical Teacher; the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom blog, and elsewhere. Schraeder believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs.
Tagan Shepard (she/her) is the author of ten books of sapphic fiction, including the 2019 Goldie Winner Bird on a Wire. When not writing about extraordinary women loving other extraordinary women, she can be found playing video games, reading, or sitting in DC Metro traffic. She lives in Virginia with her wife and two ridiculous cats.
David R. Slayton (He/Him) grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where finding fantasy novels was pretty challenging and finding fantasy novels with diverse characters was downright impossible. Now he lives in Denver and writes the books he always wanted to read. His debut, White Trash Warlock, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. In 2015, David founded Trick or Read, an initiative to give out books along with candy to children on Halloween as well as uplift lesser-known authors or those from marginalized backgrounds. His latest release is Dark Moon, Shallow Sea, an epic fantasy. Find him online at www.DavidRSlayton.com.
Batya Weinbaum is a prolific author who teaches writing at University of Maryland Global Campus and American Public University System. She is a member of Lesbianswrite-on and founded and edits the journal Femspec.
Alexis Westmore is an author of literary fiction who resides in the Washington DC region. As a women’s literature and diversity advocate, she is eager to see the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community presented broadly. She is a science lover and her 2024 release The Hidden Relic Hunter combines epic science fiction and fantasy to structure a world as familiar as Earth and as unique as the human imagination. She is a plant lover, wine admirer, and ice cream devotee.
Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels starring LGBTQIA characters. She’s won six Rainbow Awards, two Golden Crown Literary Awards, and has been shortlisted in the Foreword Review Book of the Year Awards, and the Lambda Awards. She’s also made must-read lists on Tor.com, BookRiot and Syfy.com. Her newest book, Haunted by Myth, is a modern-day romantic comedy starring Helen of Troy.
Lara Zielinsky is a longtime sapphic writer and reader, beginning as a bard in the Xena fandom. With 5 published novels and contributions to several anthologies, she has been sharing stories for more than 25 years. Her latest title, Turning In, is a collection of short stories featuring the couple she brought together in her very first novel, Turning Point. Lara is bisexual and polyamorous, and lives in Orlando, Florida, working as a book editor while continuing to write her own stories. www.larazbooks.com
Kristen Zimmer is the international best-selling author of new adult sapphic fiction titles The Gravity Between Us and When Sparks Fly. When not writing, she can be found yelling about the Boston Red Sox and stressing out her two cats at her home in Salem, MA.