Top Ten Things I Learned at GCLS

Last week, several hundred lesbian readers, writers, and publishers descended on New Orleans for the Golden Crown Literary Society annual conference. With that many lesbians in town, I think NOLA was even rowdier than usual. And that’s saying something.

It was my first time at a lesbian literary event, so even though I’m a Louisiana native, I knew I’d learn a lot. And boy did I. Here’s my top ten list:

10. Free writing is a great way to get unstuck.

9. Lesbians love karaoke.

8. Submitting a lesbian romance set in Provincetown to Bold Strokes Books (home of Radclyffe’s Provincetown Tales) will earn you a reputation.

7. You should always double check the schedule to see if you’re doing a reading that you don’t remember signing up for. (Right, Missouri Vaun?)

6. A shucker at an upscale oyster bar will do upwards of 2000 oysters a night. (Research for the next book, I swear.)

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5. You get to bond over your editor’s “parenting style” with other writers who work with her.

4. It’s okay to write out of order. (Melissa Brayden said so.)

3. Algiers is both a short ferry ride away and a delightful neighborhood. (More research, especially the pint of Abita Andygator at the Old Point Bar.)

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2. Dorothy Allison is a master. I already knew this, but getting to hear her in person was life-changing.

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1. Our stories matter.