Sunday, February 4, 2018

The LGBTQ + Allies Social

An intimate circle, the group included conference faculty guests Laurent Linn, Emma Dryden, Ellen Hopkins, Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Jeffrey West, Arthur Levine, and Erika Turner.

We went around the circle, everyone introducing themselves and sharing what they're working on that has LGBTQ characters and themes, sparking lots of discussion.

Standout moments:

Ellen Hopkins on why she includes LGBTQ characters in her novels: "I write the teen landscape." And how the current political and cultural climate makes it "more important than ever" that we're here talking about LGBTQ characters and themes in books for young people.

Emma Dryden on how agents are telling her that they're looking for manuscripts in which gay is incidental...

Which lead to a broad discussion on how we need all kinds of books on the LGBTQ experience, books that star the LGBTQ character and books where they're part of the ensemble, books where it's about the LGBTQ experience, and books where it's about something else entirely and the characters' identity is incidental.

Laurent Lin spoke about visiting schools via the Lambda Literary Foundations Authors in Schools program,

The conversation covered controversy and backlash, the responsibility we have to our readers, and so much more!

Jane Yolen speaking with attendee David Daniel after the circle opened to more informal discussion 

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