ReadOut Lesbian Literary Event Debuts in February

gulfport library
Gulfport Library

A new literary event featuring 15 lesbian authors will debut at the Gulfport Library in Gulfport, Florida on the weekend of February 16 through 18.  “ReadOut: Books For Lesbians” will include a Friday night reception; author readings, book sales and signings, and keynote address by award-winning author Elizabeth Sims on Saturday; and a writer’s workshop led by Sims, followed by a panel discussion on Sunday.

Activities will take place at the Gulfport Public Library, 5501 28th Avenue South in Gulfport.  All events are free and open to all genders and members of the public, except the writer’s workshop which requires a nominal fee and advanced registration.

The waterfront town of Gulfport in Tampa Bay has been called the “Provincetown of Florida” for its richly diverse community and large proportion of LGBTQ residents.  The event is expected to draw a large crowd excited to meet and hear authors and buy their books.

Participating authors from around the country include: S.W. Anderson, Lila Bruce, Giovanna Capone, CD Cain, Stefani Deoul, Meredith Doench, Eunice Fisher, Susan Gore, Mercedes Lewis, Renee MacKenzie, Patty G. Henderson, Fay Jacobs, J.B. Marsden, RJ Samuel, and Alison R. Solomon.  Genres represented by these authors include: Romance, Mystery, Literary Fiction, Young Adult, Gothic Historical, Suspense, Dramatic Fiction, Paranormal, Humor, Poetry and Memoir.

Keynote speaker and workshop leader Elizabeth Sims’ novels include the Lambda Award-winning Lillian Byrd crime series and the Rita Farmer mystery series. She is a Contributing Editor for Writer’s Digest magazine, and author of You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams.  Her keynote address on Saturday morning is entitled “Perils and Payoffs: The Risky Business of Researching for Fiction.”  The theme of her Sunday morning writer’s workshop will be “Fearless Writing.”

All Friday and Saturday events, as well as the Sunday panel discussion, are free and open to the public. Advanced registration and payment of a $15 fee are required for the Sunday writer’s workshop.  Workshop registration forms can be downloaded at www.mygulfport.us/lgbtq-resources.  Spaces are limited.  Only cash, checks or money orders will be accepted.

The full weekend schedule is as follows:

Friday Feb 16:

7:00-8:00pm      Wine and Cheese Meet and Greet

Saturday Feb 17:

10:00-4:00        Vendor room open

10:30-11:30       Keynote and Q&A with Elizabeth Sims

11:40-12:30       Author readers

12:30-1:30         Lunch break

1:30-3:30           Author readers

Sunday Feb 18:

9:00am             Breakfast for workshop participants

9:30-11:00         Workshop with Elizabeth Sims: “Fearless Writing”

11:15-12:30       Panel discussion: “Why Write for Lesbians?”

ReadOut event sponsors include: Golden Crown Literary Society, ProSuzy, Sinister Wisdom and SWIMWomen.

ReadOut is produced by the LGBTQ Resource Center, a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library.

The Resource Center provides collections, services and events throughout the year to the local LGBTQ community, its friends and family.  For more information about the Resource Center, the Circle of Friends and ReadOut, go to www.mygulfport.us/lgbtq-resources.  Visit the ReadOut event page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/173597636714684 or email questions to ReadOut2018@gmail.com

Radiant Child

Written by Rachel Covello

Rachel Covello is an award-winning speaker, writer, diversity consultant, and LGBT advocate. She is the Founder of LGBT Equality Alliance, a Chester County, PA nonprofit organization, and CEO of OUTCOAST, an online marketing and concierge platform marketing the Gulf Coast as an LGBTQ-inclusive place to VISIT, CELEBRATE, and LIVE.

Rachel is also an avid event photographer and has captured photos for LGBT organizations around the world, including the IGLTA, NGLCC, NLGJA, and Out & Equal.

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