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UK GLBTQ Fiction Meetup 2014 – Roundup

This is my second year attending the UK Meet. Last year’s was my first con experience, actually, and I had such a wonderful time, I knew I had to come back no matter what.

This year’s con was in Bristol and it’s a really lovely town. I flew in to Heathrow, grabbed a bus to Bristol and was ready to go. Too bad I mistakenly thought the meetup started Friday morning. So, when I realized I was the only one here on Thursday, um, I decided to do some sightseeing. :) It’s quite gorgeous here! This cathedral was right next door to our hotel…

church

Before I jump in to the roundup, I want to give a BIG shout-out and thanks to the organizers Charlie Cochrane, Liam Livings, Clare London, JL Merrow, and Josephine Myles. I’ve been a self-admitted “con whore” this year, going to as many as I can get to (RainbowCon, RT, UK Meet, GRL…) and each is very different from the other.

I think what the UK Meet manages to do is really generate an environment of comfort and inclusiveness. Introverts and extroverts, authors and readers, Brits and non-Brits alike all gather and pretty much all differences are left at the door. For meals, for coffee breaks, for panels, for events, everyone does it all together. And there’s something really cool about that “shared experience”.  You can’t go through the whole con and miss meeting someone. It’s almost impossible really. And I love that. Plus, it’s just FUN but in a way that everyone, again, feels included in that good time. A big celebration! I left with a smile on my face and lots of new contacts/friends in the genre!

Ok, on to the roundup…

Friday people started arriving in the afternoon and for hours we all just hung out at the hotel bar, drank coffee, drank ciders, drank wine, drank pink champagne (and that’s all just ME! :) ) and caught up with old friends and met new ones. I put together some gift packs for some of the blog’s favorite authors and friends of the blog….

giftbags

And before heading out to dinner caught up with these two… (yes, Aleksandr Voinov & LA Witt…)

vwit

Passed up on the Friday night activities (though I heard they were quite impressive…I think cabaret performers, a unicycle daredevil and a pole dancer might have been involved!) to have a yummy Italian dinner with Anna Martin, MJ O’Shea, Daniel Kaine, Poppy Dennison, and KJ Charles! Later came back and talked the night away with two of my favorite authors and people, KJ Charles and Joanna Chambers.

Saturday started the actual content portion of the meetup and it was a PACKED schedule. We all got to hear “Novel Openings”…the first 150 words of selected authors’ novels. It was a great experience and discussion. It was also a fun introduction to Tab Kimpton, an artist and writer of LGBT graphic novels!

2008-06-01-tom's-story-cover

I had the GREAT privilege to be on a Marketing panel with KJ Charles and Monique from Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews. They both were amazing and had great insight. The feedback about the content was really really positive and I’m hoping everyone got some helpful tips!

A few more panels, a really fun “buffet of banter” session (round tables all in a room each assigned a different topic and you can go and just sit and discuss!) a keynote address by Belinda McBride, and even a hands-on demonstration of some BDSM elements by some of the authors in the lifestyle!

The afternoon ended with the book signing event. I love how they set it up on round tables with a couple authors at each. You could sit and chat, have your book signed, and it was really casual and interactive!

Me & Rachel from Totally Booked Blog at Garrett Leigh’s signing. 

rachel

A prized new possession! David & Murdo…GAH!!!!!

provoked

…and then LOOK WHO I FOUND!!!! Yup, my beloved Jordan Castillo Price hanging out with the adorable Clare London!

jcp

Saturday night’s entertainment was the Gala Dinner. It was a great meal with some amazing company! And the showstoppers? Eddie the fantastic drag singer (this was lots of fun! Singing along…), the Songbirds Choir Cardiff (lovely), and some “butlers” showed up to help distribute the raffle prizes!

Eddie…how gorgeous is he? Hysterical and charming too!!! :)

drag

The party continued on to the bar where I got to have some fun chatting with Garrett Leigh, Jay Northcote, Annabelle Jacobs, Joanna Chambers, and so many others!

(L-R) JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Mark from Sinfully Sexy blog, Jay Northcote

sofa

Sunday’s program had some really FANTASTIC panels! Great ones for writers and readers alike! I particularly really enjoyed the YA panel with Matthew J. Metzger, author of “Vivaldi in the Dark”.  The contracts panel with Clare London, KJ Charles, and Jo Myles was also really informative and entertaining (wow…authors have got so much to consider besides, ya know, just writing their books!). The conference ended with a keynote by Aleksandr Voinov and wrapped up with lots of hugs and see-ya-next-year’s.

Some more photos…

  anyta  ka  london  grcharlie  kj  garrett  goodies

(L-R) Me with Anyta Sunday; KA (Kat & Agnes) Merikan; duckfacing with Clare London; GR readers Hanne, me, Mandy, Anke; Charlie Cochran the charming MC; KJ Charles and Harper Fox; the only picture Garrett Leigh would allow me to take; AWESOME goodies in the swag bag…

There were SO many more people I’d like to mention but not enough space. So here’s the list of attendees this year, and I just have to say that it was GREAT to be here and meet you all! My TBR list has grown like crazy!!!!

11 comments on “UK GLBTQ Fiction Meetup 2014 – Roundup

  1. charliecochrane
    June 9, 2014

    “I think what the UK Meet manages to do is really generate an environment of comfort and inclusiveness. Introverts and extroverts, authors and readers, Brits and non-Brits alike all gather and pretty much all differences are left at the door. For meals, for coffee breaks, for panels, for events, everyone does it all together. And there’s something really cool about that “shared experience”.

    That’s exactly what we’re trying to create. So glad it worked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ingrid2009
    June 9, 2014

    I am sitting here in the airport waiting for my flight home and I am just coming down firm from a very good high.
    As you I had so much fun and it was great to meet so many people who like the same thing.
    The UK meet is, things willing, definitely on the agenda for next year.

    Like

  3. xlorix
    June 9, 2014

    A lovely summary of the meet Susan. I am going to try my hardest to get there next year – as well as sounding like a real hoot, it also seems interesting, educational and most importantly it sounds really welcoming. :)

    Like

    • charliecochrane
      June 9, 2014

      We try to be Xlorix. Our worst nightmare would be for people not to feel at ease. :)

      Like

  4. jenhuff03
    June 9, 2014

    Love, love, love! Glad you had fun, Susan! <3

    Like

  5. Kaje Harper
    June 9, 2014

    Sounds like a lot of fun and a great group of people :) Maybe someday…

    Liked by 1 person

    • ingrid2009
      June 9, 2014

      I, we, would love to see you there Kaje :)

      Like

      • Kaje Harper
        June 9, 2014

        It would be fun. Someday when life settles down a bit more. I haven’t been to the UK in 25 years, but I’d like to.

        Like

  6. Daniel Kaine
    June 9, 2014

    Didn’t you spell my name wrong last year as well? Lol. Great to see you again.

    Like

    • boysinourbooks
      June 9, 2014

      YES!!!! It’s tradition! :) hee… (it’s also 3am blog formatting…) ALL FIXED!

      Like

  7. Mandy
    June 11, 2014

    Great post Susan! :)

    Like

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2014 by in News, Reviewer: Susan and tagged .

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