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Point of View: Reaching Your Community

Scott - Milk and Cookies

Hey all,

I’m still a little high after last night’s inaugural Milk and Cookies event in Sacramento. About six months ago, Pat Henshaw, Christopher Koehler and I banded together to create a new local group for writers of queer fiction – The Queer Sacramento Author’s Collective – or QSAC. Our idea was initially just to have a place for local authors to hang out and start building our own version of the Algonquin Round Table – an exchange of ideas over french fries and salad.

But then we started thinking a little bigger. Sacramento’s a fairly small town, but we’re blessed with a relative abundance of queer authors and writers. Our little group now has 13 members, and we realized that most of our local community had no idea that we’re here.

So we started casting our gaze about to look for opportunities to engage the community and make ourselves known.

Out of sheer chance, D.L. Kent connected with someone from the Lavender Library, a nonprofit queer library in midtown. He suggested doing an event there, and they agreed. A board meeting later, we were set.

Pat came up with the Milk and Cookies idea – each of the authors brought cookies, many homemade (but no judgment for those who couldn’t *grin*). And in the end, we had an audience of about 25 people. We ran it very casually, with 2-3 authors at a time, interspersed with cookie breaks. Here’s my little bit, reading from my magical realism story “The River City Chronicles”.

The other author videos (Kim Fielding, Pat Henshaw, Genevieve Wolfe, D.L. Kent, Amy Lane and LE Franks) are on the QueeRomance Ink group here:

All in all, it went very well. We’re already talking about olding a repeat event there in the fall.

In the end, we reached a fairly small segment of the local community, but it’s a start. We also plan to show up for Pride Days in both Davis and Sacramento. We found two new members at the event, and now the community knows we exist.

If you are an author and your own area doesn’t have a group like this, I recommend starting one. It’s fairly easy to do – just find some other authors in the region and invite them to a monthly lunch and see what happens.

We need to get out of our writer caves every now and then, anyhow – why not make some new connections (and readers) at the same time?

Have any of you been part of a group like this? How does it work? What are some of the things your group has tried?

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