GayRomLit 2013 – Say it isn’t so ….

The first communication for 2013 GRL 2013 was just issued, and it’s a bright light in the dark days of winter. Atlanta can’t come soon enough for GRL_logo M/M enthusiasts. Here’s a link to the newsletter if you haven’t seen it:

The organizers are working very hard on our behalf but have made it clear that they need the participation and financial backing of publishers in order to keep the cost to a reasonable level for everyone. We all appreciate this objective as no one has any spare cash and we (authors, readers and publishers) will have to dig deep once more, but it will be worth it. The publishers did a great job last year and I for one appreciate all of the events they sponsored!! :bravo:

Everything seems to be proceeding as expected. The major change from last year is that the number of authors will be capped at 100 which seems to me about right if the number of registrants for the Retreat is going to remain at around 400. However, there was one sentence in the newsletter that surprised and concerned me and here it is:

“We’ve also taken the list of must-have authors that you the readers have given us and are doing our best to pre-register them before the general author registration begins.”

A select list of authors who will be allowed to pre-register? 😕 This seems to be elitist and I’m sure that the organizers didn’t mean to give that impression. I’m just wondering what message they are sending to those authors who are not on the “approved” pre-registration list? One of the benefits I loved about GRL 2012 was meeting authors at all levels of our genre – well known and well respected to those who had only one book released. I think the newbies were as thrilled as the readers and their enthusiasm showed. I loved meeting them, yes even those authors whose books I had reviewed 🙂 and said that I thought they needed to do a lot more work before their next release.

I know that the organizers have a lot of tough decisions to make which must be balanced between the needs of the readers who are looking forward to meeting their favourite authors and keeping costs in balance. However, I’m not sure that allowing the heavy hitters in our genre to pre-register is the right way to go as I think it will send the wrong message to those up-and-coming newbie writers as well as those not considered to be a “draw”. This is not a criticism, just an observation and I’m just one reader. I’m sure that many of you in GRL land may have a different opinion.

I would like to thank the organizers of GRL 2012 once again for the fantabulous job they did in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I’m sure the 2013 event in Atlanta, Georgia will at least equal if not exceed last year’s event. I don’t believe that the organizers intended to create two classes of authors.

Where is that drink I was promised Ethan? :grumble:champagme flute



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


  • Wow. I just noticed on the GRL website that they say it’s where “the tribe comes together.” As if people who don’t go, aren’t part of the “tribe”, the community? Really? I thought they would have learned from their last communication fiasco, but I guess not. This is even more offensive to me. For writers, they’re horrible with words.

  • Thanks for moderating this forum, Wave. I have no issue with attendance caps. I do worry about the ‘popularity contest’ aspects underscored by the last several days. As a new e-pub author, I should figure out a way to attend as a supporting author. Many of my friends attended the last two retreats, and still rave about them. But 2K to 3K is a huge expense for a social gathering, if I cannot do much active promotion. If I have the finances while registration is still open, I might consider it.

  • Wow! I had to go back and reread the initial grl announcement. I guess I skipped over the controversial part or skimmed it too quickly. I commend the grl organizing committee for their hard work. I sincerely hope that this error in wording won’t ruin grl for too many.

    Personally I’ve enjoyed the last 2 years and am definitely looking forward to Atlanta. If my favorite authors aren’t there, I’ll be sad. I was sad in Albuquerque cause M.L. Rhodes wasn’t able to attend, but the book signing was a blast and I found lots more authors to read.

    And who the HELL is J.R. Ward? Excuse me, but I DON’T read m/f romance. So what if she’s ABOUT to release a m/m book. It might not be any good. Btw, don’t tell me who she is, I’ve read the previous comments and did google her.

    Maybe the retreat organizers should have a preferred list of READERS to invite first, at discounted rates. That would add some fuel to this firestorm. I’ve got my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek here. lol

    Big hug for Wave!!


  • I must ask this, because it’s been sticking in my craw.

    Has any GRL organizer yet copped to the extraordinarily offensive comments s/he made on Facebook? (I mean the ones made under the GRL logo without a specific name attached.) ‘Cause I’ll tell ya, it was that degree of cowardice combined with that degree of denigration that made me see red. Nobody else in that thread hid behind a flippin’ logo.

    At the very least, a sincere apology is in order. But I’ve yet to see one. Geez, people, if you want to be treated like professionals, act like professionals!

    • Here I go again, after saying I’d said my last word.

      K.Z., the place to ask that question, is not here, where the comments were neither made nor have been allowed to be made, but on Facebook. And of course the answer is no. The other organizers themselves may not know, since it is possible they can use the GRL identity independently. I know 2 of the organizers well enough to eliminate them from MY suspicions, and I will not speculate on the others. What’s the point? However, it will be hard if I go to GRL not to wonder which of the people run the show vented them. I may not go because of it, the way I feel now. But who knows how I’ll feel next week?

      Anel Viz (not my real name, but not a logo, either)

  • Everyone seems to be assuming that the 30 “pre-invites” will all accept. It’s pretty likely they won’t. I can’t imagine JR Ward showing up at a 400-person mini-con.

    Like James and Sue, I make my living writing – which means I have to weigh every penny I spend on promotion and business travel. Factor in the membership fee, airline tickets, hotel, meals and swag, and going to GRL this year will cost around $2-3K.

    Attending as a reader is not an option. If I can’t do active promo, I’m not going – period.

  • I’d like to say this will be my final word on GRL, but I promise nothing. Someone may make a point I can’t resist responding to. I’m like that. Aren’t we all?

    Marie Sexton spelled out the decisions on her blog with far greater clarity and less pussyfooting than the newsletters. She says she got her straight answers directly from one of the organizers, and since she’s co-authored 3 books with Heidi, I’m sure the info is accurate.

    30 slots saved for new authors, 30 pre-invites. That’s 60 out of 100 slots. I approve of the 30 reserved for newbies and think a limited number of “celebrity” (a better word than must-haves) spots reasonable, 1/2 dozen or even 10. IMO, the proportions the organizers have settled on commercialize the event and change the nature of the 2 previous GRLs, most of all the 1st in NOLA. It was always a venue for readers and authors to meet, but more of a gathering than a hoopla sales convention.

    • So 30 preinvites number is correct after all. That means that assuming that people will use all preinvites and 30 spots reserved for new authors it would have left 40 spots for the authors who would be allowed to register during the times regular registration begins? 40 as opposed to 130 authors who all had to register during regular registration last year? That feels to me as a very drastic change, not a slight one. For the record – I am a reader who has nothing to do with any authors who may have been contemplating going. Meaning, I have no personal connection, etc, no dog in that fight. But I feel bad that so many authors that may have wanted to go as authors would not be able to do so (if only calculating differences between previous year and this one) and certainly understand why they may have been upset. Maybe I have not read enough – only this thread and couple blogs, I am not on twitter, not on facebook, but I personally have not seen a whining and temper tantrums. I only saw people voicing which I see as legit concerns. JMO.

  • I write to eat. My royalties are my only income. If I choose to go to GRL then something else is sacrificed. GRL is a huge expense but last year, as a writer, it was worth every single penny.

    I’m not ‘whining’ but looking at cold, hard facts. Meeting readers, publishers and other authors (and reviewers, hi Wave) is an experience I will not forget, but it was business. Plus a lot of fun.

    I don’t go to a fan convention and expect to be treated a member of the cast. I do expect to go to my genre convention and be able to act as a writer, and not hang about like a third wheel.


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