The panel discussed some of their favorite books with LGBTQ themes or characters. They also had a candid discussion about the lack of submissions with diversity. TS, Alvina and Jen all said they would LOVE to see more submissions with LGBTQ characters and themes. Although any book has to be well-written, having diverse characters could only add to their interest level.
(Some of their favorites)
Ellen Hopkins spoke to the group about the responsibility she feels as an author to the teens she writes for. She said that we're all here together--not as gay or straight--but as human beings. She urged authors to "write bravely."
The session ended with a great mixer as attendees began to discuss their own favorite books, and the lively conversation really topped off the evening. The first time conference goers were excited about the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with such a respected panel, and with each other.
Be sure to join the next LGBTQ session in LA at the annual summer conference!