Please note: all times are Eastern; end times are approximate

All sessions can be viewed at the times indicated below, or for 3 months following the conference

All times and sessions are subject to change

Book discussions with each author are an opportunity for you to learn more about our speakers’ books and to ask them questions.

Monday February 8 

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Eastern: Worship – Rev. Jen Adams – learn more about Rev. Jen here
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Jonathan Merritt presentation: “The Parable of the Whistleblower” – learn more about Jonathan here
    • The way we understand a story is shaped by where we’re standing when we hear it. In this talk, Jonathan exposes the weakness in the traditional capitalist-consumerist interpretation of the “parable of the talents” and explores an alternate way of understanding it. What if this parable is a subversive call for marginalized voices to speak truth to power? How would that change the way we think about the written word today?
  • Unfortunately our Q&R with Jonathan has been cancelled due to illness. Please wish Jonathan well!!
  • 12:15 – 1:30 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 1:30 – 2:15 Eastern: Deborah Arca (Chalice Press) presentation: “Best Practices for Pitching and Promoting Your Book” – learn more about Deborah here
  • 2:15 – 3:15 Eastern: Deborah Arca (Chalice Press) Q&R and book discussion
  • 3:15 – 4:00 Eastern: Interview and Q&R with Mel White – learn more about Mel here
  • 4:15 – 5:00 Eastern: Bishop Karen Oliveto presentation: “Speaking Up So Others Can Speak Out: Why Your Experience Matters” – learn more about Bishop Karen here
    • Books are powerful tools to shape and change another’s experience of the world AND themselves. By telling your own story and journey as an LGBTQIA+ person of faith, you help create a safe space for those who are closeted to explore their identity more fully.  In this way, your narrative holds up a mirror to those who are struggling with self-acceptance and assists them as they claim their LGBTQIA+ identity as one who possesses the image of God.
  • 5:00 – 6:00 Eastern: Bishop Karen Oliveto Q&R and book discussion

Tuesday February 9

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Eastern: Emerging writers series: Shannon Kearns Q&R – learn more about about Shannon here
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Brandan Robertson presentation: “Giving the Voiceless A Voice: My Experience In Publishing As A Queer Christian” – learn more about Brandan here
    • In this session, author and theologian Brandan Robertson will share his journey as a queer Christian writer within the religious publishing world, offering candid insights and advice to aspiring LGBTQ+ religion and spirituality authors as they seek to build their ministry through publishing.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Brandan Robertson Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:30 Eastern: Break
  • 1:30 – 2:15 Eastern: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew presentation: “Queering the Launch:  A Bi Vision for Releasing Work” – learn more about Elizabeth here
    • Many of us write because the creative process brings us alive.  But when the project is complete, we assume that the dynamic, revelatory part of writing is done and what’s left is all business-driven.  What might it take to continue playing, growing, and delighting post-completion?  How can we approach the choices and tasks of the launch with hearts open to the Spirit’s movement?  Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew will discuss the two products writers launch into the world—the book and the new self formed through writing—and how conscious choices regarding both can support our wellbeing, serve readers, tend our communities, and nourish the planet.
  • 2:15 – 3:15 Eastern: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew Q&R and book discussion
  • 3:15 – 4:15 Eastern: Panel 1: “What does the future hold for LGBTQ+ writing?”
  • 4:15 – 5:00 Eastern: Lenny Duncan presentation “Queer Liberation isn’t Affirmation” – learn more about Lenny here
  • 5:00 – 6:00 Eastern: Lenny Duncan Q&R and book discussion

Wednesday February 10

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Eastern: Emerging writers series: Clarissa Wilson Q&R
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Jessica Miller Kelley (Westminster John Knox Press) presentation: “Lessons from the Slush Pile” – learn more about Jessica here
    • Having an agent or a direct connection to an editor is a great way to get a leg up toward publication. But many small and midsize presses do consider proposals that come unsolicited—AKA the slush pile. The tips I’ll offer in this session can help you put your best foot forward when submitting your proposal through a general submissions inbox, or when you send it directly to an editor or an agent. Learn how to avoid some of the common blunders as well as the things that might seem positive but actually send the wrong message to prospective publishers. Unpacking potential pitfalls, we will explore many more things to know about making the right first impression for yourself and your book.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Jessica Miller Kelley (Westminster John Knox Press) Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:30 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 1:30 – 2:15 Eastern: Cathleen Falsani (literary agent) presentation: “Be Who You Are: Navigating the Spiritual Marketplace” – learn more about Cathleen here
    • Author and literary consultant Cathleen Falsani urges her LGBTQI+ clients to be exactly who they are when it comes to creating and selling a book project. You have to be you. You can’t be anyone else. And you never should feel like you have to apologize for or somehow legitimize your identity, voice, story, or faith. The most powerful thing you have going for you as a writer is … YOU.
  • 2:15 – 3:15 Eastern: Cathleen Falsani (literary agent) Q&R and book discussion
  • 3:15 – 4:15 Eastern: Open mic
  • 4:15 – 5:15 Eastern: Rev. Adam Thomas presentation: ​“Self-Publishing Your Book” – learn more about Adam here
  • 5:30 – 6:00 Eastern: “How to Heal Our Divides” – book introduction
    • If we didn’t recognize it already, 2020 put a spotlight on several serious, deep divides that have had strong negative impacts on our society. Many good books have been written describing these divides and how they came about, or encouraging us to look deeply inside ourselves to discover our own flaws. But there is a lack of illumination on role model organizations demonstrating what to do about it. “How to Heal Our Divides” is a book that lifts up and builds awareness of organizations that are taking real action to heal serious divides – particularly racial and political divides. The book is not an attempt at glossing them over or “making happy” but instead highlights tangible efforts that are actually decreasing divides in practical ways.

Thursday February 11

  • 9:30 – 10:30 Eastern: Interview and Q&R with Matthew Paul Turner – learn more about Matthew here
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons presentation: “Why Clarity Matters for LGBTQ+ Dignity: What does it mean to love LGBTQ+ people and honor our God-given dignity?” – learn more about Guthrie here
    • “Love” looks different in many faith contexts. This session will explore the different understandings of welcome and affirmation that are often difficult to understand. As I began to explore writing about religion and then publishing a book, I found it confusing to know where I could publish as an openly gay (now married) man. This session will equip writers, readers, agents, publishers, faith groups, and everyone invested in the publishing process to understand policies related to LGBTQ dignity.
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:30 Eastern: Break
  • 1:30 – 2:15 Eastern: Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza presentation: “Transcending Gender and Writing for Your Life” – learn more about Dr. Robyn here
    • With a move to the South, I began reclaiming my roots as a storyteller, and this led to a shift in my writing. Now, with Activist Theology out in the world, in my first ever book that is part story and part critical theory, I am writing for my life, instead of the academy or a committee. When we write for our life, we create conditions for freedom for ourselves and for one another. The Trans and Queer communities have so much to offer when it comes to wisdom in the form of story. This session will unmask the process of writing for self and community and bridging genre for a book that is designed to be an impact book.
  • 2:15 – 3:15 Eastern: Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza Q&R and book discussion
  • 3:15 – 4:15 Eastern: Panel 2: “Publishing house perspectives on LGBTQ+ writing”
  • 4:30 – 5:00 Eastern: Emerging writers series: April Stace Q&R – learn more about about April here

Friday February 12

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Eastern: Laura Beth Buchleiter Q&R – learn more about Laura Beth here
  • 10:30 – 11:15 Eastern: Leigh Finke presentation: “Writing Queer Advocacy” – learn more about Leigh here
  • 11:15 – 12:15 Eastern: Leigh Finke Q&R and book discussion
  • 12:15 – 1:30 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 1:30 – 2:15 Eastern: Lil Copan (Broadleaf Books) presentation: “LGBTQ Books | Next Gen” – learn more about Lil here
    • There are many faith books on LGBTQ issues and/or by LGBTQ authors on the market now. Cause for celebration. And acquiring editors and publishers are understanding that the kinds of materials readers are looking for is shifting and will keep expanding. We’re moving into Next Gen books: new topics, widened conversations. This short session will offer insights into what some publishers of LGBTQ books are hoping to see in the upcoming years.
  • 2:15 – 3:15 Eastern: Lil Copan (Broadleaf Books) Q&R and book discussion
  • 3:15 – 4:15 Eastern: Panel 3: “Roadblocks to getting published”

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