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GRL Writers Workshop


GayRomLit Registration is coming soon!

We’ve received your emails, your Facebook messages, your tweets--everyone wants to know when registration for GayRomLit 2013 in Atlanta will open. The answer: soon! Within the next thirty days, GRL will open registration to authors, publishers, and readers. Initial publisher registration is already underway. The new website is being pushed through its final paces so it’s ready for your credit cards and detailed information--and that those cards and that information will be properly secured and cared for. Parties are being ironed out, meals arranged. All the little nuts and bolts that go into making GRL the beloved event that it is have been going strong almost since the moment we closed the taxi door to the Albuquerque airport. We’ve worked hard to make this year even better than last year, and we’re confident that once we open our doors, you’ll feel the same.

The following are a few advance details we can share with you to explain some of the changes we’ve had to implement this year. Please feel free to share this link far and wide, and consider signing up for the GRL newsletter to be the first informed of all GRL developments. (In fact, this very letter went first to those already signed up.) You may also follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well as, once it’s fully up and running, the new website. Links for the website and social media can be found in the left sidebar of this message.

GayRomLit is an annual reader-focused retreat dedicated to the celebration and advancement of LGBT romance. Designed by authors for readers, GRL’s mission is to connect readers to the authors they love and the ones they have yet to fall for within a safe, supportive, affordable, and fabulous environment. Our motto is that GayRomLIt is where romance comes out and the tribe comes together.

What GRL is, in essence, is a very large, very complicated (and very fun) party. The greatest challenges with parties are making sure everything is properly set up and arranged, that the guest list works well, that the hosts can pull the party off without killing themselves. The other thing about parties--the thing we don’t try to talk about during the party but is not just a reality but the bedrock of the festivities--is that they cost  money. Maybe in heaven or some other dimension we’ll be able to attend a GRL retreat for free, but unfortunately it isn’t this one.

The GRL organizers are united in our insistence this cost fall as little as possible as the true stars of our show: the readers. We want readers to spend their money on books, not airfare, hotels, and registrations. We never want to see readers turned away because of the event's cost. Your comments on surveys and to organizers have echoed this, and your conviction furthers our own as we strive to make GRL the event that any reader can afford.

The very real truth is that without publisher support, there is no GayRomLit -- authors alone can never carry it, not with our genre’s current numbers. Publishing is a fluid business, however, and the GRL team wishes to respect this. We’ve retooled our system to support publishers at whatever level they can commit to--we’re hoping so many publishers will sign on to support GRL that we have to keep inventing more parties to give them their money’s worth. Several publishers have already committed and at levels that have raised the bar significantly for GRL 2013, and for that we’re very grateful. 

Authors cannot be the main anchor for the conference, but they too must bear their share of support if this is truly to be a reader-focused event. Since one of the most overwhelming comments in the surveys was that readers (and authors) would like to see the author number capped, we’ve had to redesign what being a featured author means at GRL and make sure that the increased fee is worth paying by customizing spotlights more mindfully. 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. 

We’ve done what we can, too, to make spaces for emerging authors and publishers who don’t yet have the resources for full sponsorships or featured author fees--ours is an inclusive community, and we’re excited to host LGBT romance’s rising stars in a way that allows them a foot in the door. We've also reduced the number of spotlights each hour, tightening the focus to elevate each author's profile during the Retreat. This in turn allows readers to enjoy more events without the stress of deciding between too many conflicting events too attend. We believe all these changes make GRL sponsorship more of a value than ever before and will enrich the GRL experience.

Soon the website will be open, and you’ll be able to peruse the finer details at length, and shortly after that, you’ll be able to register. Pre-invited authors will be receiving their links to early registration, and every day more publishers’ names will go up on our wall of sponsors.

The GRL team is as eager to share our plans for 2013 as you are to hear them. As you go through the details, you may of course ask us questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them. Our one request is this: we work hard for GRL, we are a team of professionals, but we are, above all, volunteers. Even if GRL is able to someday compensate us in some kind of honorarium for our service, we can say with certainty there’s no way the retreat will ever make enough money to pay for the hours we literally put in--and we’d have it no other way. We do this for love of the genre and you, our fabulous tribe.

GRL 2013 will be unforgettable. We hope to see you all in Atlanta!

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