New Year, New Look!

Hello everyone and happy 2020!

I hope it’s off to a great start for you. Been pretty busy myself getting things set up for the year. Out with the old and in with the new…mostly. I have a new website design (thanks to Tracee Alley- @teamalley678 on Twitter in case you need a designer), a new logo (see above), some new ideas, the same old fitness goals (but this is the year), and an old computer makes that’s been revived after the newer one crapped out. Quite often, older is better, at least that’s what I keep telling myself every time I turn another year older.

I do plan to do some interviews this year, some on here, and others in my monthly newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get all the latest updates as well as a free short story HERE

In case you missed it, Tara Scott and I had a chat about some of my favorite lesfic books on Les Do Books. Find out which one got me hooked on reading the genre.

Doing the podcast was lots of fun. I should do some more often. Or start my own. If only I had more time…

I was also honored to find out that “This Time” was named to Michelle’s best of 2018 list on The Lesbian Review. I truly love that story and I’m so happy others do as well. Thank you!

What’s happening this year? Well, there are more and more cons out there spreading the queer love, from being solely queer content, to having diversity programming in their tracks. I have been to a few and it’s been wonderful. I for one am happy to see the representation growing, especially so close to me. I try to support as many as I can. I hope many of you will do the same.

To kick the year off, since I will be a vendor at the first QFX con in Tampa this May, I wanted to visit with the wonderful crew putting on the event and get the scoop. If you haven’t heard yet, their slogan says it all: Inclusive. Diverse. Accessible. Queer. While their initials stand for Queer Fan Experience, they want everyone to feel comfortable attending and did not want those who were not yet out to have to explain the name. So, without further ado, let’s learn more about the QFX crew.

1. Putting on an event is hard work. What made you all decide to take on starting a con? 

The executive team, myself (Holly), Nikki and Mel, have a lot of experience working fandom based conventions, and being friends, they thought it would be super cool to go in this together and create something great. 

2. I’m a Floridian and thrilled to have this in my backyard. Why did you choose Tampa?

Well, there are a couple of queer-focused conventions on the west coast and New York City has one as well, but the southeast doesn’t really have anything so we thought it could be a good place to start in getting this type of con accesible to those who live in the region. 

3. What do you want to set you apart from other cons?

Our commitment to being accessible, transparent and honest while also putting on an awesome inclusive event for everyone. 

4. I’m hoping this is a con that will have a long, successful life. What are your long term goals to reach?

We want this to be a yearly event while also branching out into other avenues in media. We also have some other ideas in terms of other platforms we want to create for the community.

5. If you could have any guest (or several), who would be your dream guests?

Holly: BILLY PORTER. Nikki: Hailee Steinfeld. Mel: Eliza Dushku

6. Any hopes of getting trans guests?

Yes! We are working with a few folks behind the scenes and hope we are able to bring them on board. 

7. What steps are you taking to help attendees with disabilities be able to enjoy the con? And is there a contact person for those needing special requests?

We have an accessibility coordinator, Declan, who is available now and will be on site for any questions concerns and accessibility needs. We take accessibility very seriously, and already have plans to make sure all our attendees are able to enjoy and access all parts of the convention. For more information, please check out our website at https://www.qfxevents.com/accessibility

8. I know a lot of programming is still being put together, but are there any panels you are excited about (excluding celebrity ones)? 

We definitely have some surprises in-store that are more outside the box than traditional panels. If anyone wants to submit their own panel idea, our submissions are open!

9. When the last event is over and people are home the next day going through the dreaded con-withdrawal, what do you hope they’ll tell their friends about their QFXEast experience?

That they found a place where fandom is family, and they feel like they belong somewhere. 

10. Any fun facts or anecdotes to share regarding the journey of QFXEast so far?

On the first site visit to the Hilton in Tampa, some of our team got adventurous with the Lime Scooters found all over downtown Tampa. We expect them to be popular during the convention, haha!  Also, watch out for the stray chickens in Ybor City!

Too funny! I’d forgotten about the chickens there. Tampa is a great city and very queer friendly. Thank you to Holly, Mel, and Nikki for taking time from their very busy schedules to answer these questions. I hope many of you will be joining in the fun in Tampa May 29-31, 2020. I know I’m not the only one excited for the “Lost Girl” reunion. We’re getting the Faemily back together!

For more info on tickets, guests, and hotel, visit qfxevents.com. I need to get on those photo ops stat!

Before we conclude this edition, here’s a lovely look at our holiday vacation to Bend, Oregon. It is most definitely our happy place.
That’s all for now, but don’t forget to sign up for the monthly newsletter and get a sneak peak at a new steamy scene I’ve worked up next Friday.
There will also be giveaways and contests in the near future.

Until next time, all the best to you,
S.W.

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