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RainbowCon is Coming in July – Have You Registered Yet?

RainbowCon

RainbowCon is coming to Tampa on 7/16, and they’ve posted their schedule. Here it 0s – are you going? We’ll be having our first annual QSF get together from 4-5 PM Thursday. :)

THURSDAY, 7/16

10:00am – 6:00pm: Registration

1:00pm

(Section I) Alpha, Omega, Beta – This trope has enjoyed a re-emergence in the past few years, but just what is it? Our panel members will discuss this hierarchical structure in GLBTQ fiction, from power play to knotting to dubcon and mpreg.

(Section II) Heroes and Heroines with Disabilities – Do the heroes and heroines of fiction need to always be perfect? How can authors better represent the diversity of disability? Are readers accepting of the imperfect hero or heroine?

(Section IV) Queering Middle-Earth – Tolkien’s world of Middle-Earth leans heavily toward the male persuasion, and so it doesn’t take much to queer it up with the Elves, Dwarves, Ainur, and Men. Drop in and talk about your favorite fan works starring the men and women (what few there were) of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth!

(Section V) GLBTQ Recommendations – Do you have a favorite book, story, or show? Looking for new things to read or watch? Join our panelists to learn some of their favorite works, and possibly add more to the list!

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) Fiction: How Much Sex is Too Much Sex? – Can any erotic story have too much sex? Is there any magic percentage of sex a book should have? Should every sex scene serve a purpose? Join us and find out! [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Peer Critiques Hour 1 – Peer Critiques – Need an honest opinion on a scene or chapter from your latest manuscript? Stop by our peer critique hours to share your concepts or works in progress with other writers. An extra pair of eyes can sometimes make all the difference!

(Captiva) Con Etiquette 101 – When so many strangers come together for a weekend, it’s hard to know just the right way to act sometimes. When are we being friendly, and when are we being inappropriate? What’s healthy excitement, and what’s harassment? This panel will discuss the finer points of con behavior from first encounters to fan interactions.

2:00pm

(Section I) Hard vs Soft Sci-Fi – Our panelists discuss the similarities, differences, challenges, and benefits of writing both hard science fiction (which adheres very closely to scientific theories as understood at the time of writing) and soft science fiction (which spends less time on the details of the advanced technologies presented).

(Section II) Collaborations in Writing – More and more often, writing is becoming a collaborative effort. Co-authored books, world sharing, and fanfiction, join us to chat with authors who share the burden of creation.

(Section IV) Crowdsourcing Yay or Nay – When it comes to writing fiction, producing comics, or branching out into independent television or movie endeavors, crowdsourcing has become incredibly common. Do you support LGBTQ causes that are crowdsourced? Discuss the pros and cons at this panel.

(Section V) Goodreads – This website is large, so large that it can seem intimidating to authors and readers alike. However, given the right primer, both can be successful at connecting and raising awareness about the fiction they love. Join us for some insights and strategies when navigating and promoting through Goodreads.

(King Palm) Activity: Cookie Decorating – Join S.L. Armstrong for a chance to colorfully decorate some awesome sugar cookies! What you decorate you can take and eat!

(Queen Palm) FREE HOUR

(Sanibel) Workshop: Peer Critiques Hour 2 – Peer Critiques – Need an honest opinion on a scene or chapter from your latest manuscript? Stop by our peer critique hours to share your concepts or works in progress with other writers. An extra pair of eyes can sometimes make all the difference!

(Captiva) Dealing with Con Harassment – We don’t like it, but sometimes it happens. What’s the next step? What measures can be taken to prevent con harassment? What universal guidelines would be practical and helpful to put in place? And how should matters be handles after the unfortunate fact? Panelists discuss ways that cons can make themselves safer, healthier, and better for all attendees.

3:00pm

(Section I) Anything With a Post Code: LGBTQ and Torchwood – From the very first episode, it was clear Torchwood embraced a broader spectrum of identity and expression. With so many characters open to various levels of bisexuality, this show gives fandom a lot more wiggle room than most. Celebrate the show with fellow fans at this panel.

(Section II) LGBTQ on Stage – Theatre provides a very unique opportunity for LGBTQ themes to shine. From the political and historical commentaries of Angels in America, The Children’s Hour, and Bent, to the comedy of Jeffrey and long-running RENT, theatre is full of LGBTQ material. Here, you can chat about your all-time faves and discover new-to-you plays! (Singing is optional.)

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction – As a culture, we seem to be obsessed with speculating about the end of the world and what comes next. Every few years, a new batch of stories appear, all centering on apocalypses of various forms or the fight against the oppressive society that invariably seems to crop up in the wake of one. We’ll discuss why this form of literature is so pervasive and popular, and give examples of some of the best and the worst.

(Section V) Censorship in LGBTQ Media – Times are changing, but in some areas, there is still considerable intolerance, leading to censorship, erasure, and book banning. This panel discusses the outrageous lengths the anti-gay activists will go to silence people, and the pushback by the LGBTQ community and its allies.

(King Palm) Game: Lord of the Rings Trivia – What was the name of Gil-Galad’s deadly spear used at the Last Alliance? One thing’s for sure; if you couldn’t make it through the Council of Elrond chapter without falling asleep, beware. Tolkien fans unite to buzz in their answers to common and obscure LotR Trivia!

(Queen Palm) Copyright and Fandom – Fans take a lot of liberties when it comes to creating art and fiction based on canonical sources. How does copyright law impact fandom? What about derivative works and fanfiction? Check out this panel for answers about the relationship between copyrights on original works and the creativity of fandom.

(Sanibel) Workshop: Killer First Lines – From “It was a dark and stormy night” to “Call me Ishmael”, certain first lines are unforgettable. The panelists discuss their favorites and what takes a first line from good to great.

(Captiva) Query Critiques

4:00pm

(TBD) Queer Sci Fi Gathering: we’re holding the first-ever gathering of QSF members at RainbowCon on the first day of the show. Stop by and meet everyone and check out what we’re all about.

(Section I) Does Size Matter? Writing Novels vs. Short Stories – Short stories, novelettes, novels, sagas: how long is too long? Is anything too short to enjoy? In this panel, we’ll discuss the draw of the short and if readers really do prefer the novel.

(Section II) Don’t Quit Your Day Job! – One thing is certain when you start writing: making a living wage is difficult, if next to impossible. Panelists will share their day jobs as well as how to find a balance between writing and working.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) What Authors Want From Bloggers – Thinking of hosting blog tours for authors, promoting giveaways, or accepting review copies for honest reviews? This panel covers the basics of what authors look for in review and promotion blogs, how to effectively approach authors or publishers to get your blog out there, and visibility on social media.

(Section V) Xena: From Subtext to Text – Our panelists discuss the evolution of the Xena/Gabrielle relationship throughout the course of the series and how fandom support helped to bring the unspoken feelings out into the open.

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) Tropes and Stereotypes in LGBTQ Fiction – Fiction is full of stereotypes. They’re the basis for most of the tropes we’ve grown comfortable reading. In this panel we help you strike a balance between pushing the boundaries and embracing the familiarity of tropes and stereotypes.

(Sanibel) Workshop: Plotting Hour 1 – The heart of any story is its plot. Whether you outline your story before writing or fly by the seat of your pants, you should know where you’re starting from, where you’re ending at, and how to get from Point A to Point B.

(Captiva) Query Critiques

5:00pm

(Section I) GLBT Movies That Sucked (And Some That Didn’t) – Let’s face it, no matter how much we’d like to see more LGBTQ movies, there are some we wish had never seen the light of day. This is your chance to warn others about the worst of the worst, and then satisfy with a couple suggestions of great movies that make the others look even worse by comparison.

(Section II) We’re Just Drawn That Way – This panel puts the “strip” in “comic strip” as we take a look at the steamier side of LGBTQ comics and webcomics. We’ll discuss our favorite erotic or otherwise adult-oriented comics, what we look for in an erotic comic, and why we find them so titillating and engaging. [18+ only]

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) World Domination: Slashing Hetalia – When politics meets slash, it makes for an explosive combination filled with historical and sexual subtext alike. Any alliance or betrayal leading to war becomes a lover’s quarrel when the countries are literally personified. Join this panel for a closer look at the anime Hetalia and the prolific slash surrounding the series.

(Section V) The Importance of Cover Art – The old adage ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ has been tossed aside in this modern, digital age. As readers scroll through the online storefronts, covers jump out or are passed over. A cover is an important selling feature of a book, and a good cover can grab readers, entice them to learn more, while a bad cover can lead to a loss of sales or derision. Our panelists discuss the importance of cover art and how to get the best cover out of your artist.

(King Palm) Activity: DIY Pencil Jar – Join S.L. Armstrong for a fun hour of decorating your own glass pencil jar. Supplies provided, and what you make, you take with you!

(Queen Palm) Lesbian Sex 101 – There’s no doubt that the female form is sensual, but put two of them together and some writers stall. Join this late-night discussion to learn the basics of lesbian sex, both with and without the aid of toys. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Plotting Hour 2 – The heart of any story is its plot. Whether you outline your story before writing or fly by the seat of your pants, you should know where you’re starting from, where you’re ending at, and how to get from Point A to Point B.

6:00pm

(Section I) Self Publishing Dos and Don’ts – With the rise of self-publishing, everyone thinks they have the chance to get their book up there and make millions. However, self-publishing is complex, and our panelists are here to help you learn a bit more about the process of getting your work from document to professional ebook or print form.

(Section II) LGBTQ Killers – Popular media often uses non-heterosexual, non-cisgendered as codewords for evil, from the gender-confused Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs to the deviantly bisexual con artists of Wild Things. As LGBTQ issues have gained traction, this trend has not abated. The purpose of this panel is to discuss the more recent examples of killers (Hannibal) and villains (Sherlock’s Moriarty) and what impact that may have on the fandom and popular culture at large.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Bisexual Mythbusters: Dispelling Bisexual Myths – Greedy. On the fence. Indecisive. Chances are you’ve heard the myths about bisexuals. Our panelists will give you their verdicts: confirmed, plausible, or–you guessed it–busted.

(Section V) Repurposing Fanfic – A hot topic for debate is filing off the serial numbers of a fanfiction piece and selling it professionally. Is it right? Wrong? Should authors be able to sell work that was made with the help of free editing and feedback from fandom? Where is the line? And if an author does repurpose their fanfiction, is there a way to do it respectfully?

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) Blurred Lines: Rape and Non-Con in LGBTQ Fiction – Rape has a long history of being used as a cheap and quick route to character development. It’s a trope many authors lean on to give instant angst, used liberally in hurt and comfort fiction, and with the birth of ‘non-con’ and ‘dub con’ categories, it’s become enshrined as a sub-genre in its own right. Our panelists discuss the pros and cons of rape in fiction and fandom, and how readers and authors contribute to rape culture. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Editing – Sometimes, what makes a good book great is the editing phase, yet this is the phase that many writers don’t understand or skip altogether. In this panel, you’ll learn the basics of the hows and whys of editing.

7:00pm – 8:00pm: Dinner Break

8:00pm – 10:00pm

(Section III) Welcome Event – Come join the raffle, meet the staff and volunteers, grab your welcome bags, learn about what we have in store for you, hear from our guests of honor, and stay for refreshments, music, and a chance to socialize with your fellow attendees!

10:00pm

(Section III) Karaoke Hour 1 – Join K. Piet and other attendees for two hours of karaoke fun!

(Section IV) Gameshow: Whose Line – A panel of guests take the stage for the RainbowCon version of the audience-participation, improvisational comedy game.

(King Palm) Game: Adult Scattergories – Name a sexual position, a female porn star, and a euphemism for penis, all starting with the letter L. Think you can do it? Then join us for an adult version of this popular party game. [18+ only]

11:00pm

(Section III) Karaoke Hour 2 – Join K. Piet and other attendees for two hours of karaoke fun!

FRIDAY, 7/17

8:45am

Big Cat Rescue Field Trip – For those who bought tickets at the time of registration, gather in the hotel lobby to board the bus to Big Cat Rescue! Bus heads out at 9am sharp for our tour at 10am. Expected return arrival at hotel is 1pm.

10:00am

(Section I) Wands At the Ready! – Whether the Sorting Hat would have placed them in Hufflepuff or Slytherin, chances are fandom has paired your favorite Harry Potter character with both friend and foe. Join in this panel to chat about LGBTQ themes in Hogwarts and beyond.

(Section II) Confronting Bullying – As LGBTQ youth come of age, bullying greatly impacts their lives, both in the classroom and outside of school. This panel takes a look at preventing and confronting bullying and how to foster a supportive social life for LGBTQ youth.

(Section IV) Why Won’t You Die: Vampires and Zombies – Not Another Zomb-pire movie/book/tv-show! People say they’re sick of vampires and zombies so often their protests have become a mantra, but vampires and zombies still dominate the entertainment industry. What is the allure of the zombie or vampire, and why can’t we seen to quit them?

(Section V) FREE HOUR

(King Palm) Activity: Rainbow Pendants Hour 1 – Join S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet for two hours of crafting your own rainbow glass pendants! We provide the supplies, you provide the inspiration. Everything you make, you get to take with you!

(Queen Palm) BDSM 101 – An introductory primer into the world of BDSM, common terms, practices, and misconceptions, specifically geared toward the writer interested in adding such content into their stories. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) FREE WRITE

(Captiva) Pitch Sessions

11:00am

(Section I) Best of the Worst: Eye-Bleedingly Bad Sex Scenes – Everyone has one: that one scene you’ve read that was so bad that you can’t resist sharing it with everyone. Well, here’s your chance. [18+ only]

(Section II) My God, It’s Full of Gays! – Science fiction tends to be on the forefront of acceptance and tolerance, stretching back long before the controversially multicultural crew of the original Star Trek, and the appearance of LGBTQ characters and themes are merely the next wave. Our panelists will discuss queer elements in science fiction and why this genre in particular seems to be the vanguard of equality.

(Section IV) The Male Perspective – With all the debate about women writing men in QUILTBAG fiction, a panel of our male authors are here to set the record straight and give everyone the 411 on writing books from the male perspective.

(Section V) Foreshadowing, Red Herrings, and Chekhov’s Gun – Being able to not only lead but misdirect a reader is an important literary technique. In this panel, we’ll discuss various ways to insert subtle clues into your writing to hint to your reader or to take them completely by surprise.

(King Palm) Activity: Rainbow Pendants Hour 2 – Join S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet for two hours of crafting your own rainbow glass pendants! We provide the supplies, you provide the inspiration. Everything you make, you get to take with you!

(Queen Palm) Taboos in Fiction and Fandom – From tentacles to incest to slavery. Come discuss your favorite taboos in QUILTBAG fiction and fandom, all our guilty pleasure themes that leave normal far behind. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) FREE HOUR

(Captiva) Pitch Sessions

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm

(Section I) Rise of the Bromance – It’s guy love, between two guys, or is it? What’s so special about the bromance? Does the bromance seek to justify certain bonds between two men that aren’t romantic, or does its very existence somehow attempt to redefine masculinity or male relationships in a different context?

(Section II) Canon vs Fanon – When original source material collides with the imagination of fans, it’s sometimes a toss up which approach to characters, relationships, or themes reigns supreme amongst fans. Join this panel to take a look at instances when concepts created by fanon have divided or united a fanbase.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Oppression Olympics – It’s a common argument among certain members of marginalized groups — who is more oppressed, who should get more attention? Instead of supporting each other, we end up infighting and tearing each other down. Our panelists discuss this phenomenon, and why we can’t all just get along.

(Section V) Crossing Genres in Fiction – Now more than ever, genre streams are crossing, but does that narrow its audience? What makes a successful crossed genre? What is too much? Panelists will discuss the writing movement to intermingle genres, and what might lie ahead.

(King Palm) Activity: Coloring Pages – Take a break and get creative! Come hang out and use colored pencils and crayons to color gorgeous artwork from awesome artists! Anything you color is yours to keep!

(Queen Palm) What Turns You On? – Join our panelists to discuss what turns people on and why, why certain fantasies are more common than others, and how to reconcile why some fantasies are turn ons when the realities aren’t. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Contracts Dos and Don’ts Hour 1 – Contracts can be tricky little buggers. In this workshop, a few of the experts will guide you through what to avoid and what to include when negotiating a contract for your fiction with a small press.

(Captiva) Query Critiques

2:00pm

(Section I) Running a Successful Webcomic – What does it take to get started in the world of webcomics and make your venture a success? From concept to scheduling to finding and funding a team of creators, Guests of Honor Alex Woolfson and Adam DeKraker join other panelists (TBA) to give you the heads up on making your webcomic flourish.

(Section II) Writing Diversity – It’s difficult to find diversity in race, religion, ability, and occupation in a lot of QUILTBAG fiction. Join our panelists to discuss what it takes to bring the brilliant variety of life into fictional worlds.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Warning: Too Many Warnings – Warnings for kink. Warnings for abuse. Warnings for a Mary Sue. Warnings for rape. Warnings for character death. Warnings, warnings, warnings! Sit down with our panelists to discuss the prevalence of warnings in fandom and how that reader expectation is spreading into the professional arena.

(Section V) Between the Lines of Sherlock – Everyone else seems to see that Sherlock and Watson would make a cute couple, so why don’t they? We’ll take a look at the text and subtext of this hit show and discuss the LGBTQ themes, both blatant and subtle.

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) The Squick Factor – Sometimes, the very thought of an act or kink can make you squirm uncomfortably. But one person’s squick can be another’s sexual fantasy. Reveal your personal squicks and commiserate with others in this light-hearted discussion. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Contracts Dos and Don’ts Hour 2 – Contracts can be tricky little buggers. In this workshop, a few of the experts will guide you through what to avoid and what to include when negotiating a contract for your fiction with a small press.

(Captiva) Query Critiques

3:00pm

(Section I) Beyond “Heather Has Two Mommies” – LGBTQ Children’s Books: With a rise in LGBTQ visibility in popular young adult media, some authors are looking to an even younger demographic. This panel will examine the rise in children’s books with LGBTQ themes, and discuss the objections that many have to exposing children to these stories.

(Section II) Celebrity Comings-Out: Helpful or Harmful? – Every other month another celebrity is coming out as LGBTQ, and a 24-hour media cycle plays it for all its worth. Do high profile outings help other non-famous members of our community? What is the point of such high attention? Panelists will discuss the current focus on celebrity outings, and what they mean for the community as a whole.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Queer News: LGBTQ Current Events – A discussion of current and recent events affecting the LGBTQ community, some you may know, and some that may have escaped (or been denied) media coverage.

(Section V) Adult Takeover of Young Adult Media – More and more, it seems that the largest audience of young adult books and movies aren’t young adults at all. Our panelists discuss why that might be, and if it’s a good thing.

(King Palm) Game: Top2Bottom – An Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity-style game with overt, funny, sometimes dirty queer content. Join us for a hilarious round of Top2Bottom!

(Queen Palm) Yaoi – Though it originally was a term for works parodying shonen-ai anime and manga, yaoi has become an umbrella term for most female-oriented manga, anime, novels, and fanfiction showcasing homoerotic men and their relationships. Connect with other yaoi fans and share your favorite offerings from this diverse sect of both visual and written media.

(Sanibel) Workshop: Writing Bad Guys – Crafting a realistic antagonist can be even harder than writing the good guy. Our panelists will help you learn how to craft a believable villain your readers will love to hate.

4:00pm

(Section I) Dude Looks Like a Lady: CD/TV/TS – Despite media conflation, crossdressers, transvestites, transsexuals, and transgender persons are distinct groups. We’ll talk about the similarities and differences, and how to incorporate these types of characters into your fiction respectfully.

(Section II) Reader Etiquette – If you don’t have something nice to say about a book, but you can’t say nothing at all, then it’s time to consider reader etiquette. This panel takes a look at the interaction of readers with those behind the books they love and hate.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Women in Fiction – Women in science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, and other genres are oftentimes overshadowed by the men. Discuss how the landscape was, is, and how it’s changing.

(Section V) Tropes: Subverting, Averting, and Inverting – This panel will focus on why tropes exist, why they aren’t necessarily bad, and ways to bring new life and refreshing spins on some of the more popular (and possibly done-to-death) examples.

(King Palm) Gameshow: Name That Movie – Test your knowledge of movies by naming them based on characters, theme, or dialogue.

(Queen Palm) MPREG: What’s the Fascination With Male Pregnancy? – Slightly taboo and certainly out of the ordinary, male pregnancy has been used primarily in fanfiction spheres. What’s the appeal? When does male pregnancy actually work? How does mpreg find an audience? All that and more at this panel!

(Sanibel) Writing for Anthologies – There is an art to writing for anthologies. Having hard deadlines, short word counts, and themes can either be a blessing or a curse for a writer. Hang out with our panelists and see what it takes to write for these collections!

5:00pm

(Section I) Sex in YA: How Far Is Too Far? – There’s a trend in young adult fiction to show explicit sexual content. Is this a trend that harms children reading such books, or is it simply bringing the reality of teenage sexuality into the light?

(Section II) Marriage Equality: Where Are We, How Far Still to Go? – Our panelists will discuss current events surrounding the fight for marriage equality, our successes and stumbles, and how to get involved in keeping up the momentum toward full acceptance.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Queer As Folk: Lasting Impressions – Despite controversy, this television show was groundbreaking on many levels and has opened doors for the creation of other shows in addition to encouraging inclusion of LGBTQ characters in shows not necessarily focused on LGBTQ themes. Join us for a discussion on how Queer As Folk has shaped the portrayal of LGBTQ characters in television.

(Section V) An Author By Any Other Name – Pen names. Some authors use one; other authors have several. Join our panelists for tips on how to choose a pen name, when to use more than one, and how to handle your multiple marketing platforms.

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) BDSM in Popular Media – Our panelists look at examples of BDSM in books, movies, and television and discuss the good, the bad, and the WTF surrounding these media representations. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Worldbuilding Hour 1 – One of the most important aspects of a book is the world it takes place in. Without a vivid, solid world for the characters to inhabit, a story can fall flat, leaving a reader hungry for more to sink their teeth into. Find out how to create such a world in this workshop!

6:00pm

Panel Rooms Closed

(King Palm) Game: Doctor Who Trivia – Sure you know the names of all the actors who’ve played the Doctor, but can you name the episode that introduced the Silureans or which companion had the longest tenure? Test your knowledge against other superfans and win prizes, too!

(Queen Palm) Kink and Fetishes – This panel will explore the differences between kinks and fetishes and cover several of both that are trending in LGBTQ erotic fiction. Join in and enjoy the edgier side of erotica! [18+ only]

Workshop: Worldbuilding Hour 2 – One of the most important aspects of a book is the world it takes place in. Without a vivid, solid world for the characters to inhabit, a story can fall flat, leaving a reader hungry for more to sink their teeth into. Find out how to create such a world in this workshop!

7:00pm

Panel Rooms Closed

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) FREE HOUR

(Sanibel) FREE HOUR

8:00pm – 10:00pm

(Section III) It’s a Drag! – Join fellow attendees for an awesome night! All you can eat buffet with a drag show to entertain you, plus door prizes! *Ticketed Event, RSVP at time of registration.

10:00pm

(Section II) Kink BINGO – A naughty take on the classic BINGO game. Join us as our caller yells out names of kinks and fetishes until someone scores five in a row! [18+ only]

(Section III) Game Show: Relay Naughty Jeopardy! – The answer is: Punching the starfish. BUZZZ! What is anal fisting? Join us for team naughty Jeopardy! [18+ only]

(King Palm) Game: Adult Loaded Questions – The “adults only” version of the popular party game that has you identify how your friends responded to risqué and revealing questions. Prepare to be shocked! [18+ only]

(Queen Palm) Naughty Bedtime Stories – Who doesn’t enjoy a little naughty reading right before bed? Join a few attending authors for a decidedly smexy reading of adult fiction before retiring for the night. [18+]

SATURDAY, 7/18

10:00am

(Section I) Author Etiquette – From negotiating with publishers to working with cover artists to handling reviews, authors are expected to behave professionally and with poise. This panel discusses what expectations there are of authors, when it’s okay to break convention, and what to do when you type before you think.

(Section II) Cashing in on Queer: LGBTQ in Ads – Despite a decreasing backlash, LGBTQ lifestyles are seen more and more in modern advertising. Is it representative? Exploitative? Pandering? What does advertising get right, and where does it have room for improvement? What would we like to see in the future?

(Section IV) Why Does the Gay Dude Die First? – It’s a common trope in media: a show introduces a gay character and within a few episodes, that gay character is dead. Gay characters are rarely allowed happy, fulfilled lives, and while the trope is not as prevalent in modern media, it’s still there. Still problematic. Join our panelists to discuss the hows and whys of the dead gay character and how we’re combatting it.

(Section V) All About Paranormal Romance – Something about vampires and were-creatures gets characters and readers alike hot under the collar. This panel will focus on the paranormal romance sub-genre, from the panelist’s favorite books/shows/movies to common themes and tropes to discussing overexposure.

(King Palm) Game: Book Title BINGO – A literary take on the classic BINGO game. Join us as our caller yells out LGBTQ book titles until someone scores five in a row!

(Queen Palm) BDSM 202 – So you know the difference between a top and a Dom, the best places on the body to use a flogger, and how to negotiate a scene. Now, it’s time to go deeper. This panel delves beneath the surface to examine the BDSM community and some of its subcultures, discuss various reasons why someone might identify as Dom or sub, and touch on some of the complications and dangers of BDSM relationships.

(Sanibel) FREE WRITE

(Captiva) Pitch Sessions

11:00am

(Section I) LGBTQ in Doctor Who – The revival of Doctor Who has brought with it a casual approach to including LGBTQ secondary characters from time to time. We’ll discuss whether this approach is shameless queerbaiting or a genuine attempt to portray a more tolerant world, as well as talk about how the writers could increase the visibility of queer characters and themes.

(Section II) Dystopian YA Fiction: Are We Oversaturated? – From The Hunger Games and Divergent to City of Bones and The Maze Runner, young adult novels featuring dystopian settings are popping up all over the place. One list on Goodreads has almost 300 titles! What is it about young people at the end of the world that is so appealing, and what will it take for the trend to finally burn itself out?

(Section IV) Selling Yourself: Social Media and the Indie Author – Press and networking, blog tours, tweets, Facebook, etc etc etc… These days, it seems like the opportunities to market one’s work are endless. But what is the most effective way to reach your readers? How do you do it without overextending yourself (or making yourself unwelcome). Panelists will discuss beat practices in effectively managing social media as both an author and as a brand, without burning out.

(Section V) Queer Furries – Whether you’re a lover of anthro fiction and television shows or just curious about the genre, we welcome you to this discussion of GLBTQ themes coupled with furry media and sub-culture.

(King Palm) Activity: Make Your Own Bookmarks – Join S.L. Armstrong for an hour of fun crafting! Come in and grab a couple bookmark blanks and get creative. Markers, pencils, crayons, stickers, and all kinds of fun bits and bobs for you to make an awesome way of keeping your place in a book.

(Queen Palm) When Two Won’t Do: Polyamorous Fiction – Polyamory is gaining in notoriety, slowly becoming a common trope in many erotic romances. But polyamory is about more than sex. Drop by to find out how!

(Sanibel) From Hobby to Career: First Time Authors – Taking the plunge into writing professionally can be frightening and exhilarating all at once. Whether you’re looking to self-publish or send your manuscript out for a publisher’s consideration, there are several things you should know. This panel will focus on advice for those making the transition into writing as a career.

(Captiva) Pitch Sessions

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm

(Section I) Appeal of the Fairy Tale Retelling – Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, Fables, Red Riding Hood, Wicked… the list goes on and on. The reimagining of popular–and some not so popular–fairy tales is big business. Our panelists discuss the appeal of fairy tales, the various ways they are reimagined for various media, and what fairy tales have not been tapped and why.

(Section II) LGBTQ and the School System – This panel will take a look at where LGBTQ students stand with support from teachers, school staff, administrators, and the school district as well as what protections are in place to safeguard against harassment/bullying.

(Section III) See You in the Funny Pages – LGBTQ comics might not be in your major local newspaper, but they’re out and proud online with devoted fanbases. Join Guests of Honor Alex Woolfson and Adam DeKraker along with other panelists for a discussion about the ingenuity of bringing LGBTQ themes into an accessible visual storytelling medium.

(Section IV) Beta Readers Anonymous – Wanna become a beta reader? Be it fanfic or profic, it never hurts to have a second pair of eyes to pick out the major flaws in a story. Here, you’ll learn what goes into being a beta reader, what to look for in the work you beta read, and how to deliver constructive criticism.

(Section V) Anthro Sex – We’ll discuss the finer points of writing sex with anthropomorphic creatures, where to draw the line between realistic and sexy, and why the very idea of half-man, half-animal romance is such a turn-on. [18+ only]

(King Palm) Activity: Masquerade Masks – Prepare for the masquerade tonight! Come make your own wild mask to wear using paint, rhinestones, markers, glue, and other fun crafty supplies! *RSVP at time of registration.

(Queen Palm) Multiple Partner Sex 101 – Wandering limbs? Multiple mouths? Two men, one woman? Three women, one man? This panel covers the basics of writing sex scenes with multiple partners! [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Perspective and POV – Join this workshop to gain a better understanding of the various points of view, when they work, and when they don’t, and how to keep perspective effective to furthering plot and character development in fiction.

(Captiva) Query Critiques

2:00pm

(Section I) Finding Inspiration – Inspiration can be anywhere, but tapping into it can sometimes be problematic. Join these panelists for a few tips on finding inspiration and translating that into words on the page.

(Section II) Get Punked! LGBTQ in -punk – Beginning in the 1980s with the terms cyberpunk and steampunk (though the actual ideas the terms encompass reach back much further), the ‘-punk’ genres have grown to include clockpunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, and others. Along with anachronistic technological advances, these genres also tend to include advanced social development, and as such are ripe for alternative views of how LGBTQ persons could have flourished in normally oppressive time periods. This panel is focused on such depictions, their strengths and weaknesses, and the subcultures that have grown up around them.

(Section III) Guests of Honor Q&A – Join our two Guests of Honor, webcomic creator Alex Woolfson and professional illustrator and penciler Adam DeKraker! In addition to their ongoing mutual project, The Young Protectors, Alex has created the gay sci-fi comic, Artifice, while Adam has years of penciling experience from both DC and Marvel. Ask your questions; get some answers!

(Section IV) LGBTQ on CW – A number of shows on the CW network have dedicated fanbases influenced by the LGBTQ community. So, in this panel, we’ll be discussing the LGBTQ themes, subtext, fan fiction, and fandom of shows like The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, The Tomorrow People, and others.

(Section V) Coming Attractions: Looking Ahead – What’s coming in the fall 2015 television line up? What books are you looking forward to in late 2015 and in 2016? What comics are you eager to see come out? Hang out with the panelists and share your excitement for what’s coming up!

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) Yuri – Romance and sex between women in manga and anime has always been present, but never as prevalent as its male counterpart, yaoi. Our panelists want to talk about the characteristics of yuri, popular works, and why they’re in love with “girl love”.

(Sanibel) Workshop: Writing Dialogue – There are very few successful novels that contain no dialogue, and yet it can be one of the most frustrating parts of being an author. In this workshop, we’ll discuss tips to create gripping and authentic-sounding conversations, and then cap it off with a writing exercise.

(Captiva) Query Critiques

3:00pm

(Section I) This is the Story that Never Ends: Series and Serials – Series that never seems to end, serials that span years. What are the good, bad, and the crazy about serials and series? What drives authors to write them and readers to buy?

(Section II) Tracking the Unicorn – They’re out there; they have to be. The Bisexual Male Protagonist. The FTM Transsexual Friend. The Genderqueer Businessperson. These are the characters no one seems to write, and we want to talk about why.

(Section IV) How to Be an Ally – It’s easy to say you’re an ally, but are you truly? Our panel explains what it takes to be an ally.

(Section V) Fangs, Fur, Guts, and Ghosts: Supernatural LGBTQ – Throughout the history of literature, creatures like vampires, werewolves, zombies, and ghosts have been metaphors for The Other. It is only natural that queer elements would make their way into these genres as well, and this panel will discuss the LGBTQ angle in popular supernatural books, movies, and television series.

(King Palm) Game: Loaded Questions – How well do you know your friends? How well do they know you? Can you pick their answer to revealing questions out of a list? Join us for a fun and potentially enlightening game where you have to match the answers to the player.

(Queen Palm) Sex Slaves and Rentboys – There have always been stories that featured men and women as slaves and whores, used and abused, and sometimes coming out on top. But in the last decade, the instance of this trope has exploded in both fanfiction and professional fiction, with harsher and more extreme erotic tortures for characters to endure. Here, panelists discuss the hows and whys of this trope, what makes a good read, and which authors seem to do it best. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Queries, Synopses, & Blurbs – Okay, so you’ve written an awesome story, but how do you get it published if you can’t get anyone to read it? We’ll give you the tips and tricks to writing strong query letters, eye-catching synopses, and killer blurbs to wow those editors.

4:00pm

(Section I) Between the Lines: Subtext – In many contexts, LGBTQ issues are still not considered “family friendly”, and so writers and showrunners who want to depict queer issues in their works must do so in a much more subtle way. Thus the advent of “subtext”, the unspoken winks and nods that there is something more going on than what’s on screen, and hints at what the characters get up to when the camera turns away. Let’s talk about your favorite uses of subtext, places where the heavy-handedness became too much to bear, and the temptation and dangers of trying to find subtext where it’s not intended.

(Section II) Tools of the Cover Artist – What does it take to be a cover artist? What skills and tools are necessary? And if you have the skills and tools, how do you break into the business of cover art?

(Section III) Author Signings

(Section IV) Trans* in Pop Culture – Of all parts of the spectrum, trans* is one area that often goes unrepresented in pop culture. Join this discussion to celebrate the few, the proud, the trans*.

(Section V) Shifter Sex – Erotic fiction starring sexy shifters skirts the edges of bestiality. It turns us on, gets past the publishers, and misses the censoring arm of the bookstore. What is it about shifter sex that appeals to us? How much is too much? And what recommendations for awesome reads do you have for our panelists and attendees? [18+ only]

(King Palm) Game: QUILTBAG Memory – How well do you know the Pride flags and other symbols of the QUILTBAG community? Test your knowledge and your memory in this game by matching pairs of cards until the board is clear.

(Queen Palm) Gay Sex 101 – When writing erotic gay fiction, it helps to have a good foundation in the basics beyond putting Tab A into Slot B. Learn about the possibilities and how to keep things realistic as well has how to avoid common mistakes. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Writing Believable Sex – Hot and heavy scenes can sometimes read as completely unbelievable. When characters have nine orgasms in two hours and walk straight the next day, it can leave readers rolling their eyes. In this workshop, our experts will show how to write believable–but sexy–sex scenes that will leave the reader panting, not scoffing. [18+ only]

5:00pm

(Section I) What Scares You? Suspense vs Thriller vs Horror – Everyone has their own ideas about what is scary. Our panelists will be talking about what gives them the willies as well as discussing the differences between the suspense, thriller, and horror genres and how each is scary in its own way.

(Section II) What is Genderqueer? – Sometimes the constraints of being ‘male’ or ‘female’ are far too strict. Whether it’s identifying as both, neither, fluid, or flexible, the terms and definitions can get confusing. Join us to learn a bit more about this gray area between our society’s binary gender system.

(Section III) Author Signings

(Section IV) The British Invasion – Now more than ever, British television shows are gathering huge followings in America. We’ll discuss the current craze, dish about our favorites, and talk about why the Brits seem freer in their portrayal of LGBTQ characters and themes.

(Section V) Beyond the Wolf: Non-Canine Shifters – The mostly commonly used shapeshifter is the werewolf, but there’s are so many more options to choose from. Come chat about your favorite leopard, snake, bear, or unicorn shifters!

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) Making Safe Sex Sexy – Safe sex practices are important, but when flow and visual aesthetic take priority, they often get overlooked in fiction. Join in and trade tips on working condoms, dental dams, STI/STD testing into intimate scenes without losing readers along the way. [18+ only]

(Sanibel) Workshop: Writing Action – Writing compelling action sequences is the bane of many a writer. Keeping the momentum of the story going while trying to describe a fight or a chase can be tough, so let our panelists give you some tips and tricks to make those scenes jump off the page.

6:00pm

Panel Rooms Closed

(King Palm) FREE HOUR

(Queen Palm) Handling Criticism – After spending such long hours creating, submitting, editing, and publishing a book, it can be difficult to accept harsh criticism. Join our panelists to discuss how to handle criticism and learn some tips and tricks on how to not make judgments about your book personal.

(Sanibel) Workshop: Integrating Kink – Working kink into erotic fiction sounds easy, but the reality is much more complex. As with many topics, it’s all in the details! Join this workshop for help making kinky fiction believable and weaving it into your story. [18+ only]

7:00pm – 8:00pm: Dinner Break

8:00pm – 10:00pm

(Section III) Call of the Wild Masquerade – Join your fellow attendees for music, face painting, masks, dancing, snacks, and door prizes! *Ticketed Event, RSVP at time of registration.

10:00pm

(Section III) Euphemism BINGO – A hilariously inappropriate take on the classic BINGO game. Join us as our caller yells out euphemisms until someone scores five in a row! [18+ only]

(King Palm) Game: Cards Against Humanity Hour 1 – Marketed as “a card game for horrible people”, Cards Against Humanity is happily irreverent, hilariously obscene, delightfully offensive, and irresistibly enjoyable. Fill in the blanks as inappropriately as possible and let the laughs (and groans) fly! [18+ only]

(Queen Palm) Naughty Bedtime Stories Part 2 – Who doesn’t enjoy a little naughty reading right before bed? Join a few attending authors for a decidedly smexy reading of adult fiction before retiring for the night. [18+ only]

11:00pm

(King Palm) Game: Cards Against Humanity Hour 2 – Marketed as “a card game for horrible people”, Cards Against Humanity is happily irreverent, hilariously obscene, delightfully offensive, and irresistibly enjoyable. Fill in the blanks as inappropriately as possible and let the laughs (and groans) fly! [18+ only]

SUNDAY, 7/19

10:00am

(Section I) Best Femslash – Join our panelists for a lively discussion of what makes superb femslash.

(Section II) Reading Rainbow: Getting Kids Reading – Some kids love reading while others don’t. Getting them to read can be tricky, but it’s an important step in their development and an opportunity to open their minds and engage their imaginations. This panel will discuss ways to get children reading and suggestions for LGBTQ books for various ages. Share your favorites and learn of new ones!

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Writing Alternate Universes – In order to break the rules, you have to know what they are first. Or do you? What makes a universe alternate? And once you have that figured out, where do you go from there? Join panelists to discuss what makes an AU work, and what makes it flop.

(Section V) The Supernatural As LGBTQ Allegory – Supernatural beings are often considered ‘other’. In books, television, and other media, they are the outcasts, often searching for acceptance. This panel looks at the symbolic connection between the supernatural and the LGBTQ community.

(King Palm) Game: That’s So Gay! – Join fellow attendees and play this LGBTQ trivia game that tests your knowledge of LBGTQ history, current events, and pop culture. Awesome prizes for the winners!

(Queen Palm) Porno 411 – Are you new to pornography? An old hand at it? Know all the best studios and stars? Want to know where to look for the best quality? How about gab about what makes a porn flick hot? Come sit with our panelists and get the 411 on porn! [18+ only]

(Sanibel) FREE WRITE

11:00am

(Section I) Fifty Shades of Fantasy – With so many supernatural beings in various media today, it’s a whirlwind of different types of fantasy! This panel will take a look at the differences and strengths of Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fantasy, and Dark Fantasy.

(Section II) When Poly Would Have Solved Everything – All those pesky little love triangles. Or love quadrilaterals. Heck, even love polygons. When characters in fiction and media are forced to choose, some of us wonder why there isn’t an “all of the above” option. Join us to discuss various cases in which polyamory would have solved everything or at least made the most sense for a happily ever after.

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Coming Out – Coming out is an intensely personal choice. This panel is devoted to discussions of how, when, and why, as well as why not, and the consequences and freedoms staying in or leaving the closet.

(Section V) Religion and Fiction – How does religion fit into fiction? How much is too much? Is it one of the topics that should never come into play, or is it a valid part of characterization to be explored? What genres is religion most welcoming to? All these questions and more will be answered here!

(King Palm) A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy: All About the Bad Guys – Why do we love a charismatic villain? Moriarty, Loki, Damon Salvatore… these are the boys we run to when everyone else is running away. These are the baddest of the bad boys, and we can’t get enough.

(Queen Palm) Girls, Girls, Girls: Spotlight on Lesbian Fiction – In a genre still dominated by the guys, it’s time to give the gals their due as well. Our panel of lesbian fiction authors discuss the past, present, and future of F/F fiction.

(Sanibel) Workshop: YA Fiction – Join us for a discussion on the differences between writing fiction for young adults versus writing for adults, and then put those tips to use with a writing exercise and feedback from our panelists.

12:00pm

(Section I) Missing: LGBTQ in YA Genre Fiction – It’s not as if there’s a lack of YA literature in the current market. But where are the LGBTQ characters?

(Section II) What’s Wrong with Amazon.com? – Amazon is the largest provider of digital books, and they are known for censorship and unfairly applying their vague rules. But, are they really the monster people believe, or do they provide something no other company to date can?

(Section III) Author Readings

(Section IV) Classically Queer – Contrary to some people’s beliefs, LGBTQ history stretches back thousands of years. This panel takes a look at some of the earliest examples of queer representation in ancient mythologies and legends.

(Section V) Beyond Romance: LGBTQ Genre Fiction – The romance genre has embraced LGBTQ (mostly) main characters, but what about other genres? How do LGBTQ main characters fare in science fiction or horror or fantasy? Which genres are the most willing, and which are the most resistant? How do we bring more LGBTQ main characters into genre fiction? Our panelists tackle these and other genre-pertinent questions!

(King Palm) Workshop: Gay Sex Card Game – Pick a card, any card… and write a sex scene using every prompt in your hand. This workshop will help spark your spontaneity and is a light-hearted way to end your writing activities at the conference.

(Queen Palm) Fanfiction to Profiction – Many professional writers get their start by playing in other author’s sandboxes, but some take it a step further by repurposing their fanfiction for professional publication. Filing off those serial numbers is a difficult transition we’ll examine at this panel.

(Sanibel) LGBTQ in Videogames – According to the press, video games are slowly introducing gay characters into video games, but some argue it’s not quickly enough. What LGBTQ representation is missing in video games? How are queer characters perceived/represented in video games right now? Panelists will look at games of the past and present, and discuss what the industry needs to do in the future.

1:00pm

(Section I) Writing Historical LGBTQ – Historical LGBTQ fiction flies in the face of the conventional straightwashing of history itself, and writers of this genre have the double task of writing their characters back into periods, as well as representing those periods correctly. Join our panelists for a discussion of the challenges and passions of historical LGBTQ fiction.

(Section II) LGBTQ and Parenting in Pop Culture – Whether it’s a parent dealing with understanding their LGBTQ youth or the perils of parenting as a LGBTQ individual, it’s clear that family dynamics are thrown into a tailspin when queer persons are added to the mix. We want to examine recent pop culture depictions of parent-child relationships with LGBTQ members and how they have changed over the years.

(Section IV) Is Happily Ever After Necessary? – There is one tenant of the romance genre almost no one ignores: the happily ever after ending. But is this an outdated, outmoded ideal that forces authors into a mold or is it truly a necessity for a romance? Is the ending what makes or breaks a romance, or is it merely the romantic plot?

(Section V) Queerbaiting Fandom – A frank discussion on the ways writers and showrunners pay lip service to the idea of queer representation while never taking that final step into true visibility for LGBTQ characters.

(King Palm) Pushing LGBTQ into the Mainstream – More and more LGBTQ characters are making their way into various media, but are those characters still stuck in archaic tropes? Join the discussion of how far LGBTQ characters have come in media and the steps still to be taken to bringing LGBTQ themes fully into the mainstream.

(Queen Palm) LGBTQ Non-Fiction – Essays, anthologies, memoirs, creative and straight up nonfiction—there’s a lot of it out there in the world, and as LGBTQ issues become more visible, the volume is only going to increase. But these titles are rarely discussed in group settings, so this panel is designed to open up the dialogue about nonfiction works, give recommendations (or warnings!), and give tips to authors interested in writing nonfiction.

(Sanibel) FREE HOUR

2:00pm – 4:00pm

(Section III) Closing Ceremonies – Join us one last time in Section III for ice cream, goodbyes, raffle announcements, and to hear all about RainbowCon 2016!

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