Category Archive: News

Alison Todd: Editor


Alison discovered a talent for editing when her health prevented her from working on a regular, scheduled basis. Since May 2010, she has have worked as an Editor, Editor in Chief, and Acquisitions Editor, and currently works as an editor (content/body and line/copy) both for Fireborn Publishing and on a freelance basis. She also write reviews for Top 2 Bottom reviews in an attempt to give back to the industry and lower her monthly expenditure on books, which her sister, who she lives with, thinks is far too high. As well as meeting up regularly with fellow MM readers in Melbourne, she is a semi-active part of AQRM (Australasian Queer Romance Meets).

Her reading habits are extremely varied, although at the moment she is mostly focused on the M/M genre and has recently begun to enjoy F/F and trans*. If you put a book in front of her, no matter the genre, it is almost certain she will at least take a look at the blurb. If pressed for an answer, she would say her favourite genres are science fiction, paranormal, futuristic and fantasy.

Alison will be representing Fireborn Publishing at the Meet the Publishers Afternoon Tea on Sunday.

You can find Alison on Facebook, Twitter @AToddMann, and on LinkedIn.

Mar 18

Jules Wilkinson – Author

Jules Wilkinson

Jules Wilkinson writes everything from essays on pop culture to fanfic, stand-up comedy and perverted porn. Jules’ stand-up comedy has confused, and occasionally amused, audiences at festivals around Australia including the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Midsumma  and Mardi Gras. A fangirl to her core, Jules is the administrator of the Supernatural Wiki which documents everything about the TV series Supernatural and its fandom.

Jules will be hosting our Saturday Writing What You Aren’t panel, and performing at reading at the Sunday Queerbaret.

Mar 18

Louise Bourchier – D.VICE

Sitting on brick path Cropped

Louise Bourchier knows pleasure! She is a sex educator who runs workshops on sexual pleasure, sexual health and sexuality for adult audiences throughout Australia and New Zealand. Since 2011 Louise has also been working with D.VICE, a sex positive adult store in Richmond, where she presents the monthly SexWorx Seminar series. She presents workshops to a variety of different adult groups, with audiences ranging, from university students, to Sexpo attendees, to sexual health professionals. Louise also has her finger on the pulse of sexual health. Prior to joining D.VICE Louise worked in sexual health promotion, and in 2012 she completed her Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne specialising in sexual health.

Louise will be presenting the Sex Toy Workshop on Sunday the 23rd of March.

Twitter: @louiselabouche

Mar 18

Workshop: Sex Toys with D.VICE


2:00 PM Sunday 23rd of March 2014
Mercure on Therry Street

Some people store them under the bed. Some people have a special drawer. Others have a designated toybox. Others don’t know how half of the objects above are used. This workshop is for all those writers who are interested in seeing what’s out there in the world of sex toys! We will look at a wide range of sex toys available, from buttplugs, to vibrators, from strap-ons to nipple clamps.

Toy expert Louise Bourchier will explain how the various toys work, who commonly uses the different types of toys and how to maximise both fun and safety when using them (or writing about using them!). There will also be samples to look at. Possibly handle.

D.VICE Logo for Product Videos


Mar 12

New Workshop: LGBT Sex Toys with D.VICE


It’s been a long time in the making, but we’re very happy to announce that Queermance is partnering with d.vice to bring you a sex toy workshop. We’ll bring you more details once they’re finalised but our workshop will be up and running on Sunday the 23rd of March at 2PM. Stand alone tickets will be available soon, but the entry to the workshop is free with a festival pass, so grab yours today. You can check out d.vice’s webstore here, and find out more about them below.

Mar 11

Luke Miller – Game Developer


Luke Miller is an indie game developer from Melbourne. He is the creator of My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant, a gay-themed adventure game for PC, Mac and Linux featuring character art by award-winning artist Joe Phillips. He is currently working on a sequel, Escape from Pleasure Planet.

Luke will be appearing at the Saturday Night Queering the Text

Mar 10

Nicole Field – Author

Nicole Field

Nicole Field likes to hole up in her room with her laptop lifeline, music and incense. When she dares to step outside into the “real world” she enjoys watching Buffy and other trashy television. Her next aim in life is to create the never ending cup of tea.

Favourite authors include Francesca Lia Block, Joanne Harris and Robin Hobb.

Nicole is a Young Adult author who writes across the spectrum of sexuality. Her most recent novel, Gothic, is out now from Leap of Faith Publishing. Nicole will be appearing on the ABCs of Social Interaction – Writing Relationships panel on Sunday the 23rd of March.

Mar 10

Lamplight Circus – Performers

Lamplight Header

Circus & Sideshow Boylesque homegrown in Melbourne, Lamplight is the brainchild of Sebastian Edwards and Skipp Christiansen. Lamplight Circus will be showcasing their talents at the Sunday Night Queerbaret.

SebSebastian Edwards
Sebastian has spent the past eleven years travelling up and down Australia’s east coast training in the circus. Primarily a character based performer, Sebastian works in clown, MC, boylesque, acrobalance, object manipulation, stilts, sideshow and aerial arts.
He has worked festivals, nightclubs and burlesque houses across the country, and his training includes such illustrious companies as Circus Oz, NICA, C!RCA and Zen Zen Zo.
Sebastian is a consummate entertainer, proven to please crowds with both skill-based wonders and feats of danger.

Skipp Christiansen ‘aka’ The Gravity WarriorSkipp
Skipp has trained as a juggler since the age of 14 developing world class technical and performance abilities. While attending master classes with Marco Poaletti in Sydney he was inspired to specialise in ball juggling and has since created an individual style and flair. He completed his Bachelor of Arts acting for stage and screen at Charles Sturt University where he further explored his love of live entertainment. After working in Sydney as a screen actor he ran away to join the circus and since coming to Melbourne in 2012 has co-founded “Lamplight Circus” with Sebastian Edwards and trained with some of Melbourne most talented circus practitioners, including full time training with the acclaimed Spin Circus Academy. Since coming to Melbourne Skipp has branched out into the specialties of Side show, acro-balance, hand balance and tumbling, working to become a circus unto himself. With acts ranging from high energy juggling and death defying balance to jaw dropping side show stunts and high level acrobatics, whether he is balancing a flaming scythe on his face, supporting himself with one arm, lighting up a room with electricity flowing through his body or keeping 6 objects aloft Skipp is a highly skilled showman and definitely one to watch out for.

Mar 10

Jacob Coates – Publisher

Jacob Coates

Jacob Coates, Publisher at Jaffa Books.

A graduate from QUT in Brisbane, Jacob set up Jaffa Books in 2011 to create a Brisbane-based publishing house that provided an alternative option for local writers to the major publishers.
Jacob has been a very keen reader from a very young age, starting off with books like The Famous Five and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He first read The Hobbit aged 8, and has been hooked on fantasy and science fiction ever since.
His favourite authors include Maggie Furey, Jasper Fforde, JRR Tolkien, and JK Rowling.

Jacob will be appearing on the panel Giving Birth – The Art of Getting Published, and at Queering the Text, both on Saturday the 22nd of March. See our program for full details.

Mar 10

Panel: Writing What You Aren’t

Image by Drew Coffman

Image by Drew Coffman

10:30 AM Saturday 22rd of March 2014
Mercure on Therry Street

Featuring authors Susan Beck (Weekend at Lennox), NM Harris (Walking Shadows, Talbott and Burns) and Isabelle Rowan (A Note in the Margin). Hosted by Jules Wilkinson (Squee! the Book).

One of the first things you’re told is to write what you know. Of course, if this is the writer’s maxim, one has to ask if one needs to be a sorcerer to write about sorcery, a vampire to write about vampires, or even a gay man to write about gay men.

It’s been an open secret that a large portion of queer fiction–especially male/male fiction–is written by women. Often heterosexual women. A lot of the readers are straight women as well, and there’s even been a book written on the subject.

So how do you write about someone when there’s literally no way to walk any distance in their shoes at all? How do you write about a community you aren’t part of and who can take offence if you don’t get the details right? We ask three of our favourite female authors just that–and for any research tips which might be useful regardless of what you’re writing.

Mar 09

Panel: The ABCs of Social Interaction – Writing Relationships


10:30AM Sunday 23rd of March 2014
Mercure on Therry Street

Featuring authors Nicole Field (Gothic), Matthew Lang (The Secret of Talmor Manor), and Lindy Cameron (Thicker than Water, Publisher at Clan Destine Press). Hosted by Lisa-Skye. 

We all have relationships. Some are good, some aren’t. Some last for years, some last hours. Describing even one of them fully would easily take more than the eighty to ninety thousand words of your average novel. So what bits do you put in? How do make it compelling? And do you really need to explain to straight people that gender roles aren’t part of a same sex relationship?

We bring you authors who have first hand experience of types of relationships they write about, and written stories that speak to the communities that are featured in their work. Sometimes they write romance. Sometimes they write crime. Sometimes is speculative fiction. But all the time, it’s the crafting of moments–a touch, a conversation, a look–that progress a relationship through the pages of a novel, often while something else entirely is going on.

Whether they’re explicitly sexual or not, or even if you’re writing a friendship rather than a romance, balancing characters and their connections is crucial to any story. Situations come and go, and more often than not the conclusion to a story is assumed to be know. The telling of the journey is what matters, and what makes each journey different are the people that undertake it–the people you create in the realms of your imagination.

Mar 09

Queermance Opening Night and Anthology Launch


8:00 PM Friday 21st of March 2014
The Hare Hole

Join us for the opening night of the Queermance Literary Festival and the launch of Queermance Volume I. Published by Clan Destine Press, the Anthology features stories from Kerry Greenwood, Matthew Lang and many more. With entertainment from ROCS and readings from the authors, the event is free entry and the Anthology will be available for a gold coin donation.

You can of course, still book tickets to the Queermance Festival below.

Mar 02

Judging a Book by its Cover Art

2:00PM Satruday 23rd of March 2014
Mercure on Therry Street

Presentation by Scarlett Rugers of the Award Winning The Scarlett Rugers Book Design Agency.

Whether you’re a published author or aspiring writer, you’re going to come up against book covers eventually. You may be filling out a brief for your publisher’s cover art, or you might be trying to direct a cover artist. Do you want skin, do you not? Do you have images superimposed over a landscape? What exactly does your font say about your story?

As much as everyone says ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, people do. That’s the entire reason we have the saying in the first place. This unmissable presentation will give you an insight into the most frequently made cover art mistakes, how to create impact in cover design, and what exactly your your font choices say about your book–and you.

Feb 27

Panel: The IKEA of Intercourse – Writing Sex and Erotica


11:45AM Sunday 23rd of March 2014
Mercure on Therry Street

Featuring authors Nicolas G. Frank (Wet Pants and Intermittent Relief from Monkey Mind), NM Harris (Walking Shadows, Talbott and Burns)  and Talia Eilon (Managing Editor at Little Raven). Hosted by Karina Quinn (Joint Managing Editor, Writing from Below, La Trobe University).

Writing sex isn’t hard–which is sometimes the problem. Writing good sex guaranteed to get you going hard (literally or metaphorically speaking) is a bit more tricky.

Whether it’s third arm syndrome, body positions requiring three years of training as a contortionist just to get into, or men who somehow manage to cum bucketloads three times a day for five days straight–or not so straight, there are a lot of things that can throw a reader of their stroke.

Whether you’re writing erotica, romantica, queermantica, or just planning on fading to black, there’s a lot to learn from erotic fiction, which demands its writers hold the attention of their audience. After all, when it comes to reading, there’s not much worse than boring sex.

Feb 27

Panel: Giving Birth – The Art of Getting Published


11:45AM Saturday 22nd March 2014
Mercure on Therry Street

Featuring Lindy Cameron, owner and publisher at Clan Destine Press), Jacob Coates, owner and publisher at Jaffa Books and Alison Todd, editor at Rooster and Pig and former editor in chief and acquisitions editor at Silver Publishing. Hosted by author Nicolas G. Frank.

Publishing it is said (although they never say by whom) is a lot like childbirth. Inspiration is easy to come by, exciting, fun and just like sex, it’s a bit transient. Work takes time to gestate and form, and while you bask in the warm glow of impending artist-hood, you also run around trying to set up the nursery. Do you have an ABN? Do you even need one? What about professional editing? 

Of course, all analogies can only go so far. To even get to childbirth you have to keep working, refining, redrafting and getting past the gatekeepers of taste known as Acquisition Editors. Of course, some people have no problems getting past the slush pile. Some people know how to write a submissions query. And some are on the other end reaching for the wine glass as they wade through yet another letter about someone’s pride and joy and willing the story they’re about to read to be worth risking money on…

We bring together three of the people on the other side of the slush pile to answer your questions on just what it takes to get published, and what publishing houses are actually looking for.

Feb 27


8PM Sunday 23rd March @ The Hare Hole

The closing night Queerbaret brings together some of the best Queer performers and writers in a celebration of GLBT relationships in movement, song and spoken word. It’s saucy, sassy, appropriately inappropriate and guaranteed to make you feel squishy inside. Or possibly make you want to sit down and carefully cross your legs while looking furtively around to make sure no-one’s looking at you. Featuring work and performances from:

  • Isabelle Rowan
  • CC Page
  • Matthew Lang
  • Nicolas G. Frank
  • Lamplight Circus
  • RMIT Occasional Choral Society (ROCS)
  • And many more

Tickets: $20/$15
Book your ticket now at TryBookings.

You can also purchase a Queermance Festival ticket, which includes entry into Queering the Text and all other Queermance events.

Feb 26

Queering the Text

8PM Saturday 22nd March

Can you judge a book by its cover? Do plots really make sense? Do authors really know what that toy is for? Join us as we ask the hard, not so hard, and downright silly questions to authors and publishers of queer work. And can you really sell ‘Queer’ as a commodity? Featuring some of Australia’s best Queer authors and publishers, including Isabelle Rowan (A Note in the Margin, Ink), Matthew Lang (The Way You Are, The Secret of Talmor Manor), Jacob Coates of Jaffa Books and Lindy Cameron of Clan Destine Press.

Queering the text promises to be a night of laughs, authoroke (it’s probably exactly what you think it is), and yes, some of our favourite books.

Tickets: $15/$10
Book your ticket now at TryBookings.

You can also purchase a Queermance Festival ticket, which includes entry into Queering the Text and all other Queermance events.

Feb 26

Sunday Event: Free Books!


We’re less than four weeks away from rolling out Queermance and we’re very proud to provide information on one of our premium events: Blind Book Dates. Previously given the code name Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String, this event put s queer spin on something already being done by readers throughout the world. A number of fantastic queer books will be wrapped up in plain paper, and a few key words will be written on the packaging.

Conference attendees will be able to pick up one book–or more than one book if we have extras–and it’s yours to keep at no additional charge. Please read and enjoy–and you’ll probably find yourself with something you’d never have picked up normally.

All books are being donated by authors and publishers, so if you do like what you read, we do encourage you to support your local queer bookstore, and support the writers who paint word pictures for you to lose yourself in.

If you’re an author or publisher and would like to donate a book or two, please send them to:

Queermance Blind Book Dates
PO Box 121,
Bittern, VIC
Australia, 3918

Please also include a brief note about the author and a few key words you think best describe the work. We will accept ebooks for this event, but all major formats must be included (.mobi, .epub and .pdf) on a USB that should be posted to the same address.

Don’t have a ticket to Queermance yet? Book yours today!

Feb 11

Conference rooms available at the Mercure on Therry



The Mercure on Therry has kindly agreed to provide a discounted room rate to Queermance 2014 conference guests.

Friday 22st March: $195 including breakfast (regular rate $211)

Saturday 23nd March: $195 including breakfast (regular rate $241)

Thursday 21th/Monday 24th: $145 including breakfast (regular rate $181)

To get access to the rates,book your Queermance conference tickets and then call or email the Mercure directly and tell them you need to make a booking for Queermance 2014. The room rates are guaranteed through to the end of February, after that it may not be available. You can call the Mercure on 03 9637 6610 or email them at

We’ve got a number of announcements coming soon with event details and new events, so check back for regular updates and get your ticket today before they all sell out!

Feb 05

Judging a Book by its Cover

Scarlett Rugers of Scarlett Rugers Book Design Agency

We’re pleased to announce that Scarlett Rugers Book Designer extraordinaire, will be presenting our special Saturday afternoon session: Judging a Book by its Cover. Scarlett has works with independent authors, self publishers, traditional publishing presses, and with book selling behemoth Amazon. She is passionate about good book cover design and has won a number of awards for her style and dedication to her clients.

Scarlett will be on hand to explain everything from cover images to fonts, how to fill out that cover image brief if you’re lucky enough to get asked, and what’s the best thing to ask for if you’re organising it all yourself.

We’d tell you more, but that would spoil the surprise, so head over to trybookings and grab your Queermance ticket today!

Judging a Book by it’s Cover Art
2PM, Saturday 22nd of March
The Mercure on Therry
43 Therry Street, Melbourne

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