Torquere Press Special Calls for Submissions

SEPTEMBER – OUTSERVE CHARITY SIP BLITZ

Every year, the great authors at Torquere Press put their money where their mouth is, donating their time writing stories for our chosen charity. Those same authors donate any royalties earned on their stories to the chosen organization, with Torquere matching those donations 100%. In the past we’ve raised $5000.00 for Lambda Legal, over $3000.00 for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and more than $10000.00 combined for organizations such as NOH8 and Doctors Without Borders.

For the 2013-2014 Charity event, which will premiere in September 2013, we’ve chosen OutServe-SLDN as our donation organization. OutServe is an non-profit that provides legal services and support to LGBT military individuals and families, working toward equal representation and benefits.

This year’s theme for Charity Sips, or short stories, is “In Uniform”. Who doesn’t love a man, or woman, in uniform? While OutServe is primarily a military charity, we want to encourage authors to use their imaginations. Soldiers, sailors, pilots? Absolutely. But we’re also open to stories about first responders like police, firemen and EMTs, as well as security guards, park rangers or anyone else who wears a snappy uniform to work. Give us hot, romantic, fully realized stories with happy endings about all the unsung heroes and heroines in the world.

Word count for Charity Sips ranges from 3000-8000 words. Deadline for submissions is July 1, 2013. Please send stories to submissions@torquerepress.com with OutServe Charity Sip and your story’s title in subject line. Include full manuscript in RTF or Word formats, and in the body of the email include a cover letter with your full legal name and address information, as well as a synopsis of your story. Please our general submissions guidelines for formatting and other information. Feel free to emailkristi@torquerepress.com for more information.


OCTOBER – LIGHTS OUT SIPS!

They say there’s nothing there in the dark that isn’t present in the light. We disagree! Halloween is all about things that go bump in the night, and October is all about Halloween here at Torquere. Give us romantic, fully realized, LGBT tales about Halloween and/or paranormal activity, from ghosts to were-creatures to vamps and everything in between. Give us all the things that only come alive when the lights go out!

Please send your submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Lights Out in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is August 1, 2013. Length, 3000-8000 words.


NOVEMBER – THANKFUL SIPS

We should all stop and be thankful for something. Whether it’s the big things — like love and family — or the little things — like flavored lube — or simply the HOT things, we want to know! For our Thankful sips, we’re looking for fully realized, romantic LGBT stories about love during Thanksgiving holidays. Make us laugh or cry, surprise us and make us glow with happy endings! Length is 3000-8000 words.

Please send your submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Thankful in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is September 1, 2013.


DECEMBER – ALL I WANT SIPS

All I want for Christmas (or Hanukah or Yule) is you. Or you and you… Who doesn’t want to be with someone they love for the holidays? For our All I Want sips, we’re looking for fully realized, romantic LGBT stories about love at the holidays. Make us laugh or cry, surprise us and make us glow with happy endings! Length is 3000-8000 words.

Please send your submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with All I Want in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is September 15, 2013.

A Discussion with Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation

Interview by David De Bacco

Introduction:

The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers. LLF is host to the annual Writers Retreat, the nation’s premier queer writers residency program, and “LGBT Writers in Schools,” where writers are given an opportunity to discuss their work openly with students in high school, colleges and universities in America. LLF also conducts three popular book clubs: LLF’s Online Book Club, the “My Story Book Club,” an online book club for LGBT youth, and the monthly in-person book club held in West Hollywood – billed as, “The gayest book club in town!”

Tony Valenzuela

Tony Valenzuela

Tony Valenzuela is a graduate of the MFA Creative Writing program of the California Institute of the Arts and a longtime community activist and writer in the Southern California area. His writing has focused on LGBT civil rights, sexual liberation, and gay men’s health. Previous positions include Manager of Research and Administration at GLASS (Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services) in Los Angeles, and Administrative Director of the Lesbian and Gay Men’s Community Center in San Diego where he spearheaded campaigns ranging from anti-gay hate crimes awareness to the needs of LGBT youth in schools. Valenzuela has been the head of LLF since 2009, a time when the publishing industry was in the middle of dramatic change with the onset of electronic publishing, self-publishing and the Internet.

David De Bacco

David De Bacco

First time novelist, David De Bacco (The Sushi Chef), introduces Valenzuela to Rainbow Book Reviews in a discussion about such topics as the state of LGBT publishing, guidelines for many of the foundation’s programs and Valenzuela’s future vision for LLF, at a time in history when the LGBT community is becoming more visible and openly discussed in the American political agenda.

Interview:

DD: You became the executive director of LLF four years ago, when electronic formats and self-publishing started to rock the publishing world. Has this allowed LGBT works to flourish? What changes have you noticed in the publication of LGBT materials?

TV:  If annual submissions for Lambda Literary Awards consideration can be seen as one metric in the proliferation of LGBT works then, yes, electronic formats and self-publishing have vastly expanded our community’s literature available to readers. For example, the year that I became Executive Director in 2009 we had about 475 titles submitted for Lammy Awards consideration. This year we had almost 700 titles submitted for Lammy consideration. That’s a nearly 50% increase in four short years in the number of LGBT books submitted. Lammy submissions have to be published in print editions so the numbers are actually much higher if you consider books published only as e-books. As Richard Labonte has commented in the past, we’re again seeing a do-it-yourself ethos in publishing similar to the explosion of LGBT publishing we saw in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

DD: Because of this growth, you’ve been exposed to a vast amount of new LGBT materials. What genres have you noticed are excelling and have become popular with writers and readers? (i:e gay romance, fiction, non-fiction, murder/mystery, etc…)

TV:  Young adult fiction is probably the genre I’ve seen the most growth in. That said, genre fiction of all kinds is very popular: mystery, romance, speculative fiction. I think one of the trends is books that defy categorization and that are mixed genre.

DD: One thing book lovers share in common is how/when they became influenced by the power of books. Do you remember when you personally fell in love with books? Which books/authors were your early influences?

TV:  I personally fell in love with books as a kid reading Judy Blume!  I took “Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret” to class in fifth grade and the girls were scandalized that a boy was reading it.

DD: Occasionally a book comes along that a reader just can’t put it down. What were some of your recent discoveries that kept you awake at night because the author took you on an amazing journey?

TV:  Justin Torres’s “We the Animals,” Justin Spring’s “Secret Historian.”  I loved Eileen Myles’s “Inferno: A Poet’s Novel” and Christopher Bram’s “Eminent Outlaws.”

DD: Me too. I adored “Eminent Outlaws.” It’s such a great source of information for all things LGBT writing. I kept a notepad next to me – writing down book titles – Ones that I forgot or just discovered. I also recently finished “The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers” by Matthew Hays. It reminded me of “Eminent Outlaws” because I also had my notepad nearby so I could add a bounty of films to my Netflix list. Obviously, “The View from Here…” covers the film industry, but one of the overlapping themes in the book was how most of the filmmakers voiced how the Hollywood film business immediately labeled them as gay… “Oh, yeah she/he makes gay films…” They were creating LGBT films and it didn’t necessarily mean that they were gay themselves.  Does this happen in the publishing world? Is an author who writes a LGBT story labeled in the same manner?

TV: The answer to this question depends on who you talk to.  Many authors have successful careers out of the closet and write books with and without LGBT content. The publishing industry is full of LGBT people and I’ve found many publishers — both independent and mainstream, open and supportive of queer authors and content. That being said, we do hear stories from authors who are discouraged to write LGBT content because of the concern that it will limit their careers to a niche audience. We hear enough of these stories that I believe there’s truth to this still to some degree. But like with film, LGBT characters are everywhere in literature now, even young adult literature, and I do believe the culture has changed from the days when writers like Capote, Vidal and Baldwin suffered for being brave enough to pioneer queer work.

DD: The publishing climate has changed. For me, I’m an out and open gay man who is a writer. I’m able to draft a story with heterosexual characters, but that’s not what I’m about. As a writer, I pull from experiences in my own life so all of my writing tends to be gay, gay, gay! I guess I’ve just labeled myself… (laughs) Okay, back to you… Naturally, many of the readers of Rainbow Book Reviews are authors and since you’re the head of the Los Angeles Lambda Lit Book Club – These writers will slap me if I don’t ask – How is a book chosen for your monthly featured read?

TV:  I choose most of the books but our book club members also make suggestions. We tend to read contemporary LGBT literature that’s already been well received in our literary community, including in our own web magazine, the Lambda Literary Review. In other words, if a book has received good buzz among readers and critics, those are the titles our members are interested in reading and discussing in our club. We welcome new members so I hope your readers in LA will join us!

DD: How many books are reviewed each year by LLF? -And the Lambda Literary Awards are the premier platform for LGBT authors — are the nominees pulled from these book reviews or are they chosen by a committee?

TV:  The Lambda Literary Review (our review publication found at www.lambdaliterary.org) reviews over 200 titles each year. But the Lambda Literary Awards process is distinct from how a book is reviewed by us. Authors or publishers submit their books for Lambda Literary Award consideration. Panels of judges in over 20 categories (mystery, fiction, poetry, young adult, etc) read, discuss and choose finalists and winners for the Lammy Awards. The Lambda Literary Review is managed by our editor, William Johnson.  To be considered for review, an author or publisher sends the book to William and he, his editors and writing staff, decide which books will get a review on the site. The awards and the reviews are, by necessity, two separate programs.

DD:   Prior to your position with LLF, you’ve been quite involved with LGBT civil rights, sexual liberation and gay men’s health.  -Especially with LGBT child welfare and abused and neglected LGBT youth. Have you ever written about these experiences?

TV:   Prior to LLF, I’d been most active in gay men’s health and HIV activism and have published many articles and essays about gay men’s complicated sex lives and choices during the HIV epidemic.

DD: The LLF is an historic organization for the LGBT community because of its beginnings in Washington, DC and how the growth and involvement of writers, publishers, readers and media have given it national visibility for our community. In the future, what direction do you see the foundation headed in order to increase this visibility?

TV: Today, LLF does a very good job shining a spotlight on our community’s literature and authors through the Lammy Awards and the Lambda Literary Review, our web magazine. Since 2007, our emerging writers retreat has been incredibly successful helping to foster a new generation of authors, writers like Justin Torres who participated in that inaugural class and recently published the New York Times bestseller, We the Animals. Since then, over 200 up-and-coming writers have gone through the Retreat and I see this program growing in the future. Our newest program which, in some ways, represents one future direction of LLF, is LGBT Writers in Schools. We work with high schools and colleges and arrange classroom visits with notable authors to discuss LGBT literature. It’s our first foray into working with young people and something I’m incredibly excited about.

DD: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and allowing me this moment to introduce you to our readers.

Release Day Giveaway: Isle of Capri by A.J. Llewellyn

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To celebrate the release of the third book in the Relentless series, A.J. Llewellyn is doing a book giveaway for Isle of Capri right here on the Rainbow Book Reviews blog. You can win an e-copy of the book, and all you need to participate is leave a comment right here by next Thursday, February 7, and Lena and I will select a winner by random draw.

Another draw for a print book copy will follow as soon as the book becomes available in print in a few weeks. Watch this space!

Blurb:
British soap star Marius Treadway’s week has gone to hell. Still reeling from a failed romance, he quit his TV show only to learn that his sizable business investments are nothing but scams. Depressed and needing time to rethink his future, he travels to the island of Capri to visit his long-lost Uncle Toppy and twin cousins, Zeca and Alex.

At first, life seems relaxing and enjoyable on the sun-drenched, lemon-scented island, but it soon becomes clear that Alex’s private hotel is being targeted for crime, possibly because it’s gay-owned. Then, one of the oldest gay business owners in Capri Town finds his store trashed.

Determined to help his family, Marius soon meets dazzling Brazilian soccer player Crisanto Alvarez, who makes a play for him. Can it really be that, underneath it all, the isle of Capri is a healer of hearts?

Buy link for Isle of Capri (e-book): http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/IsleCapri.html

Book 1: Relentless Passion

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Book 2: Relentless Love

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Dreamspinner donates to the It Gets Better Project

GUEST POST by DREAMSPINNER PRESS

A few days ago, Becky from mrsconditreadsbooks.com sent us this e-mail:

“We’ve created our first Special Event for this book. One of our reviewers has a teenaged son who was assigned by his teacher a year-long project to study something of concern to society. He chose gay marriage. Part of this assignment was to read a novel on the topic. As you can imagine, his mother had quite a time finding an age-appropriate novel that she felt comfortable letting him read, but another author recommended The British Devil and both of them enjoyed it very much.

I’ve posted the mother’s comments as well as the teenager’s review. It does contain some spoilers but that was part of his assignment so we put a warning on the review. We are donating $50 to the It Gets Better Project in honor of this young man’s hard work, and are encouraging others to donate to the gay rights cause of their choice.

The British Devil by Greg Hogben http://mrsconditreadsbooks.com/index.php/?p=10049
January 31, 2013
This is the only post for that day, as it is a Special Event.”

BritishDevil

We at DSP are extremely humbled and honored that one of our books was chosen for this cause. That is why we are offering 30% off both the e-book and paperback of The British Devil from Jan 31- Feb 3 to encourage people to read it for themselves. All the royalties from this special sale will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.

We want to thank Matthew and mrsconditreadsbooks.com for this special event.

The DSP Team.

The Chosen Blog Tour 10-6 until 10-30

The Chosen  

Love or duty — which would you choose?

Prince Severin has been brought up to put duty before all else. Now, his duty is to marry and produce an heir. He has his choice of princesses. Unfortunately, his passion is for princes.

Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his powers are discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by a Prince and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong. Unfortunately, his passion is for Severin.

With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, and magic in the air, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?

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Welcome to the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog. Today we are participating in a Book Blog Hop for Annette Grisby and her latest book ‘The Chosen‘, by posting the following book review of the story.

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“Seek happiness for its own sake, and you will not find it; seek for duty, and happiness will follow as the shadow comes with the sunshine.” ~ Tryon Edwards

In ‘The Chosen‘ by Annette Gisby, Prince Severin feels trapped between love and duty. Since there is no reasonable way to honor both, he tries to stay on the fence, hoping something will happen to free him from his burden. He embarks on a journey toward what he believes must be his destiny, with a heavy heart It’s only when he gives himself up to his duty that his happiness comes into sight. The thing is, can he  capture it?

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For the rest of the review, please follow the link to the Rainbow Book Reviews website:

http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/book-reviews/the-chosen-by-annette-gisby-at-lyrical-press

Follow the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop

 


WHY:  In celebration of our new book review site we’d like to invite all GLBTQ authors to join us as one of the blogs in our Follow the Rainbow Blog Hop.

WHEN:  The hop will be for three days, Friday, August 24, 2012 from 12:00 am EST– Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST

WHAT:  In order to maintain continuity, we’d appreciate each author to blog on the subject of  ‘What does writing GLBTQ literature mean to me?’

WHO:  We hope that many of you will join in our excitement and help us celebrate.

HOW:  If you’d like to participate, please email Serena Yates and Lena Grey at:  rbrbloghop2012@gmail.com

Please include the following information:  your name, name of your blog, and a link to your blog. The deadline for sign-up is Wednesday, August 22, 2012. Thank you!

GRAND PRIZES:

  • Rainbow Book Reviews will provide 4 Book Gift Vouchers (All Romance or Amazon) of $25.00 each and pick winners at random from comments on the Rainbow Book Reviews blog.
  • Several publishers have already promised prizes in the form of book vouchers and other goodies. They will show up on this blog as we receive updates.
  • We would love authors to also provide one or more prizes with the winner to be chosen from one of the comments made on authors’ blogs.