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Layla Reyne, R. L. Merrill, & Sue Brown-Moore - Writing LGBTQ+ Romance

  • Willow Glen Community Center 1275 Lincoln Avenue San Jose, CA, 95125 United States (map)

How do you define 'romance'? 'Happily Ever After'? Do you consider LGBTQ+ romance its own trope or a genre? You shouldn’t. Is it okay to write what you don’t know? Yes, carefully. Everyone deserves a happily ever after, and in LGBTQ+ romance, the opportunities are boundless. Join us as we discuss:

Writing and Editing LGBTQ+ Romance

  •  Broadening your definition of romance and your perception of happily ever after

  • Opportunities for your characters and for you as a writer

  • Writing what you do and don’t know, authentically and sensitively

  • Approach to challenges and pitfalls to avoid (Where’s the lube?!)

  • Tropes and themes: the good, the bad, and the ugly

 Pitching and Publishing LGBTQ+ Romance

  • Who’s publishing LGBTQ+ Romance and what they’re looking for

  • How to get your story noticed by a publisher

  • Romancing your house editor for long-term success

  • Taking the self-publishing road

  • Marketing tips and tricks for LGBTQ+ Romance

Layla Reyne Bio:

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. Layla is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. She is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

You can find Layla at, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as @laylareyne, and in her reader group on Facebook—Layla’s Lushes (

R.L. Merrill Bio:

Once upon a time... A teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock 'n' roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut from Dreamspinner Press later, with more tucked away in her evil lair, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, being a mom-taxi to two brilliant and busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance.

Sue Brown-Moore Bio:

Sue Brown-Moore is a developmental editor who specializes in romance and works with Dreamspinner Press, as well as self-published authors, to craft stories of love and passion and hope for every body [this is intentionally left as two words]. As the Acquisitions Editor for the Dreamspun Desires and Dreamspun Beyond gay category romance lines, she partners with authors to publish light-hearted, guaranteed-HEA stories that celebrate her belief that love is love is love. She is a lifelong romance and sci-fi addict and believes that magical, mushy Happily Ever Afters are just about the best thing ever. Sue is also a veteran romance influencer and the creative voice behind the romance podcast Infatuated . She founded GraveTells Romance in 2010 as a way to promote and encourage sex positivity for women and has enabled thousands of reader–book boyfriend hook-ups in the years since. If wine, books, jewelry, and girl time are your things, you’ll probably be fast friends, so give Sue a shout-out to say hi! You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @davincikittie or visit her online at

Earlier Event: September 28
Melinda Curtis - Conflict Hurts