UK Meet 2012 – Bigger and Better Than Ever ….. by Josephine Myles

On the 15th September this year, the third annual UK Meet for GLBTQ fiction will be held. From our humble beginnings of twelve people around a table in the back room of Ely Public Library, we’ve grown and grown. This year we’re going to take over the beautiful and vibrant coastal city of Brighton, also known as the gay capital of the UK. In the run up to the Meet I asked some of the attendees—readers, writers and bloggers—what they were hoping to get out of this year’s event.

Jordan Castillo Price

I’m not sure what to expect, but I was utterly floored and flattered by the invitation to be this year’s keynote speaker! Britain is the stuff of fantasy for many Americans. I snarled my way through high school listening to the Sex Pistols and The Damned, so in my mind London was the epitome of cool. I’ll be eager to meet a bunch of friendly, like-minded people, soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the ride. And the beer.


I’m looking forward to people who are active in the same genre as me, be it authors, readers, reviewers or all three and just have a blast in taking over Brighton!

Anne Brooke

It will be really fantastic to be with like-minded people who both read and write gay fiction and gay romance – I’ll really enjoy not having to explain why I write it even though I’m a straight woman! It will also be very exciting to meet face-to-face people I’ve only met online before and also to catch up with those I met at the conference two years back. Plus I’m looking forward to all the sessions, and meeting the publishers who are attending as well. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend and I’m very grateful for the UK MAT team for arranging it.

Lucy Felthouse

I’m looking forward to spending time with other like-minded people, taking part in panels and getting the word out there about my gay, lesbian and bisexual stories.


Brighton Pavilion

Lillian Francis

As a newbie, I’m really looking forward to meeting other authors with a bit more experience and picking their brains. And it will be great to be amongst people who don’t frown when I tell them what I write and then ask why. That’s if I can summon up the courage to speak…I’ll be the one in the corner trying to blend into the flock wallpaper.

Megan Reddaway

I really need a kick up the a*** with my writing sometimes and I know I can rely on my fellow authors for that 😉

But seriously, I went to last year’s meet and found it so energising and inspiring, I was hooked. It’s wonderful to meet other readers and writers who feel the same pull away from straight romance. I’m especially looking for tips on how to make my characters more lovable, but even if I learn nothing, if I enjoy this year’s meet half as much as last year’s I will be happy!

Elin Gregory

Most of my social life is online – oh doesn’t that sound pathetic! What I mean is that all the people with whom I can discuss fabulous books, writing problems and bizarre plot bunnies are online and there’s not a chance I’ll pass up on seeing you lovely ladies again. 🙂 Can’t wait.

Tam Ames

I’m looking forward to seeing some friends I’ve met before, meeting friends I only know on-line and making some new ones. It’s great to be able to discuss common interests with people in real life as no one in my daily life reads m/m.

Sandra Lindsey

The same thing I took from the last two: a good laugh, a nice buzz, reassurance that I’m not completely mad trying to form a career out of something

Brighton Theatre

which languished as a hobby for so many years, and a bundle of good advice! And of course, I’m looking forward to putting even more faces to names and getting my hands on some bargain-tastic books 😀


This can be divided into two areas. Firstly, I’m looking forward to meeting up with friends and having the opportunity to catch up. Online interactions can be so trivial or basic but when you meet someone in person it allows you to discover more about them and I love that. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and authors whose books I may not have read because I love discovering new authors and books.

Secondly, the meet allows an opportunity for civilised discussion of GBLTQ books, themes and ideas. Online interaction allows people to hide behind pseudonyms and discussion can often be heated, insulting and unproductive. To have a room full of people, all on their best behaviour (mostly!) means that we can have constructive and careful discussion. Some of my favourite parts of the Meet last year was when we opened up the floor to discussion or questions and just tossed about ideas. We had some really in-depth discussions on difficult topics but it was all done without people getting defensive or hot under the collar and I’m very much hoping it will be like that this year. I rarely get to discuss my love of this genre away from the Internet and the meet allows me to do that.

Becky Black

To meet up with old and new friends, and to get some face to face time with like-minded people. And to learn, always to learn! About writing in general, about publishing and about this genre in particular.

Zahra Owens

Meeting old friends, making new ones, learning from everyone there.

Last year was a blast and I hope the same for this year!


Brighton pier

Stevie Carroll

What I’m looking forward to about the Meet is the opportunity to talk to people about all aspects of my LGBTQ writing in one place, when so many blogs tend to concentrate on only a part of the continuum. Also the chance to meet everyone face to face and to take a stance at my panel on why lesfic needs more love, why poly doesn’t always equal ménage, and why bi and trans* folk don’t necessarily lose those identities when they enter a relationship with the perceived opposite sex (when mainstream romance starts taking on bi and trans* protagonists in m/f stories as a regular thing, I may have to retire from activism).

JL Merrow

At least as much fun as I had at the last one! 🙂

Mara Ismine

Loads of things! Meeting more wonderful people and catching up with the ones I met last year. Inspiration and a shot of enthusiasm. More tips on how to cope with promo. And whatever we get to discussing that I’d never even thought of before.

Maybe I’ll even get to see something of Brighton.

Clare London

I’m really thrilled at the prospect of meeting people in the flesh (!) who already love our genre, as I often feel isolated as a writer and reader. There’s the joy and support of not having to explain *what* and *why* I write, the excitement of meeting new people, and the fun and reward of exploring the topics

helter skelter

in the panels.

Charlie Cochrane

Being among a group of people to whom you don’t have to explain why you read what you read or write what you write.

Fiona Glass

This will be my first time at the UK Meet so what I’m looking forward to more than anything else is the chance to put faces to names. Although I’ve been involved in the m/m fiction world for more years than I care to remember (or have fingers and toes to count), I’ve not had the chance to meet nearly enough of my fellow writers. It’ll be great finding out who they are and what makes them tick, and swapping anecdotes and tips about the m/m writing world. Of course, listening to some fascinating panels and having the chance to read out the first 150 words of my latest book at the Novel Openings panel is going to be fun, too!

Cameron Lawton

As I’ve never been to one before, I’m open to any and all opportunities. It will be a pleasure to meet other writers of this genre and readers. Living abroad as I do, I sometimes feel rather isolated even though I can chat online with you all. It will be wonderful to put faces to the names I’ve only seen onscreen.

All this AND a goodie bag… what’s not to like?

Josephine Myles

As for myself, I’m really looking forward to meeting for the first time some of the people I’ve been chatting to online, as well as catching up with people who came last year. I’m warning you now: expect hugs, everyone!



Grand Hotel

Although online bookings for the 2012 UK Meet are now officially closed, anyone still wanting to sneak in should contact me immediately to find out about the possibility of a late booking. We have to confirm final numbers with the venue this Friday (24th August), so you’ll have to get in quick, but don’t worry if you can’t. There’s always 2013, when we’ll be bigger and better than ever! Put the 13th and 14th July in your diaries now 🙂




All Brighton photographs courtesy of
Grand Hotel and Helter Skelter courtesy of:


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


I am going! I am going! :bananadancer:

And I understand it will be a dutch invasion so :escape: is too late 😛

Lou Harper

I wish I could go!

Josephine Myles

I wish you could too. Next year, maybe? Or perhaps we’ll be able to meet up at GRL 2013 instead 🙂

Clare London

Yep, I’m a real jet-setter *heh*. But going to Brighton is like popping home for me. I was born and brought up there into my teens (that’s coincidental to choosing it as a good venue!), whereas GRL was a last-minute indulgence decision for me – I’m meant to be cutting down on my travel ^_~

I’m in line for the hugs too! 🙂

Josephine Myles

Clare – I have you down for plenty of hugs – never you fear!


I volunteer to hug anyone who wants one!

Josephine Myles

We’ll just stick you on the door, Charlie, hugging people as they come in 😉


Maybe I could do this next year guys. It was a toss up between GRL in Albuquerque, NM which Clare is also attending – she must be very rich 😀 (looking forward to meeting you Clare) or the UK Meet in Brighton. I couldn’t afford to attend both so I’m going to New Mexico this year.

Can’t wait for the full report Jo with lots of pictures.

Josephine Myles

Clare is a right jet-setter, isn’t she?

I’m planning on getting over to GRL in 2013 myself, so I’m sure we’ll meet in person at some point next year 😀

And yes, I’ll take pictures of everyone who lets me, I promise.

Anne Brooke

I can’t wait for this! And, like Jan, next year’s dates are already in my diary 🙂 🙂


Josephine Myles

You were one of the original twelve, weren’t you, Anne? Great to know you’ll be coming next year too 😀

Anne Brooke

Tee hee, yes, Jo – that was fun wasn’t it! Only sorry I didn’t make last year but I got my dates muddled and ended up at the opera. Watching, not singing!!! I wouldn’t foist that on anyone, oh dear me, no … 🙂 🙂


I wish I could be with you this year. Thanks for giving us next years dates, they are going straight in my diary 🙂

Have a brilliant time everyone.

Josephine Myles

Thanks, Jan! Sorry you won’t be making it this year, but I can promise you things will be even more spectacular next year. Us organisers have been on a learning curve so steep, we’re getting vertigo 🙂

Mara Ismine

Hugs? There wasn’t anything about hugs when I booked…



Sandra Lindsey

Blame me if you want – I seem to recall making mention of them in the feedback questionnaire last year… but there is something very special about walking into a hotel conference room, after driving across the country, and being greeted with a hug 🙂

Josephine Myles

Hugs are great, aren’t they? I was brought up in a very huggy family, so they seem a normal greeting to me – although my dad has now added in the continental three cheek kisses too. Don’t worry – I won’t inflict that on everyone 😉

Josephine Myles

They’re not obligatory, Mara – don’t worry. I’m just warning people I’m a very huggy person, especially when I’ve had a few drinks 😀

Jules Jones

I am sad, because I want to go and can’t. 🙁 A couple of major health problems this year mean that I’m not physically up to going to a con for the next few months. I get to see Stevie most years at an sf con, but haven’t met most of the other UK meet people in meatspace.

I want con reports, people…

Josephine Myles

Aww, that’s a shame – but next year, perhaps? 🙂

I (or some lovely volunteer) will definitely be posting a write-up here, which Wave has kindly agreed to host for us. She’s a real star like that 😀

Jordan Castillo Price

Four weeks! FOUR WEEKS!

Josephine Myles


I’m planning all my outfits now. Should have bought a bigger suitcase… 😀

Jordan Castillo Price

I need to go shopping to find something for the cabaret.

Clare London

Only four weeks to go!! *rolls eyes* It’s very exciting. How lovely to read other people’s excitement and anticipation – and from all over the world! I think that’s been one of the most rewarding things for me 🙂

Josephine Myles

Hehe – and so much left for us organisers to do, eh? 😉

I’m thrilled at how we have people coming from all over, and even more talking about making it from overseas next year!


Really looking forward to going! And seeing the pictures I’m glad I’m flying home on Monday!

Josephine Myles

Brighton is a stunning city, Larissa – I think you’ll really enjoy your weekend there 😀

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