We are counting down! Yes, the time has come to make preparations for the annual conference of the Golden Crown Literary Society – a literary and educational organization for the enjoyment, discussion, and enhancement of lesbian literature (from the mission statement).
This year, the conference is going to be held in Minneapolis, MN from June 13 until June 17 at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minneapolis-South. This is the first time since 2008 that the conference has been held somewhere other than Orlando, FL. We’re pretty happy about that – it’s time to travel to new parts of the country.
What are some of the highlights that we can anticipate this year?
- The Meet-n-Greet! This kicks off the conference and consists of early registration and an ice cream social. Everyone who is able to arrive early enough comes to the meet and greet to see friends – old and new alike. The vendor tables are also open at this time, so people have the opportunity to browse the tables and grab any books they may not have yet.
- This year’s keynote speaker is Lambda Award winning author Jewell Gomez. This should be a fascinating presentation!
- Panels and presentations – these are always fun and always informative. Authors and readers alike participate in these events. They can include authors who discuss their experiences with negative reviews, or authors who provide advise and encouragement, or readers who talk about their own experiences with the literature, or readers who share from some of their favorite books/authors/scenes.
- Karaoke – at least one night of the conference is dedicated to karaoke. Women of all talent levels get up to sing – individually, in pairs, and in groups – to sing old classics, cult classics, and what might be a new classic. This is always a fun night.
- The Silent Auction. “Every year, authors and members of the GCLS offer up various goodies for sale at the Silent Auction at the Con….All proceeds go towards the cost of the Con, thereby keeping our Conference fees affordable.” The call for items to sell during the silent auction has been posted. (Click the link.)
- The Goldies! Every year, GCLS holds awards for lesbian literature that was published the previous year. A group of members serve as judges in a number of different categories. On the night of the awards, anywhere from 1 to 3 awards will be given in each category…depending on the number of nominations. There is one award that is voted on by the entire membership – The Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. Last year, this honor was awarded to Georgia Beers for her book Starting from Scratch. Karin Kallmaker was the recipient of the Trailblazer Award – this is the GCLS lifetime achievement award.
- Pictures, Pictures, Pictures! Everyone has a camera and everyone wants pictures with everyone else. There’s usually a professional photographer floating around, too.
- Friendship – this is the time of year that everyone comes together to see friends from prior conferences and to make new friends. Everyone reaches out to the “Con Virgins” – members who are attending their first conference – to ensure that everyone feels welcome.
This will be my 4th Con. The last three I attended were all in Orlando. I’m happy that we’re going somewhere else. Orlando is pretty and all, but there’s only so much overpriced stuff I can take, you know? Plus, the drive to Minneapolis should only take about 9 hours or so. Driving to Orlando requires overnight stays at hotels on the way. Just an added expense.
So, yes…we’re counting down. At the time of this posting, we’re just 86 days, 18 hours, and 4 minutes from the start of the meet-n-greet.
Have you made your hotel reservation? Have you worked out your travel arrangements? Have you registered for the conference? Have you started packing your suitcases?
What are you waiting for?!