Andrew Holleran (pictured), Karin Kallmaker and Felice Picano are featured among the dozens of gay and lesbian authors who will be participating in the first annual Gay and Lesbian Literary Arts (GALLA) Festival, April 24 and 25, 2009, in Fort Lauderdale. The two-day festival will include free workshops, seminars, panels, presentations and a book fair at the new Stonewall Library & Archives and ArtServe facilities.
Andrew Holleran is one of the most preeminent writers of post-Stonewall gay literature, who along with Felice Picano and Edmond White, founded the influential Violet Quill, a gay writers’ group that first met in 1980. Holleran is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking novel Dancer from the Dance. Picano founded two publishing companies, the Seahorse Press and Gay Presses of New York, and is the author of numerous short stories, memoirs, non-fiction works and novels, including the award-winning Like People in History. Karin Kallmaker, a renowned author of lesbian romance novels, has published over two dozen books, including the Lammy and Goldie Award winning 18th & Castro. Additional gay and lesbian authors include Jeffery Beam, Johnny Diaz, E. Robert Dunn, G. Winston James, Paul Lisicky, KG MacGregor, Philip Smith, and Linda Villarosa just to name a few.
Festival goers will also have two opportunities to socialize with their favorite authors. The GALLA Festival Committee will host a Cocktail Reception with the Authors on Friday, April 25th at the Embassy Suites host hotel in Fort Lauderdale. An exclusive Dinner with the Authors will be held Saturday night at the Embassy Suites. Space is limited, and tickets are required.
The GALLA Festival is not just for fans of non-fiction and poetry. The schedule includes presentations on a wide variety of topics such as writing memoirs, writing for teens, and writing for the stage and screen. Editor and Publisher of Alyson Books, Don Weise will discuss the current state of gay and lesbian publishing and will offer tips on how to edit your book. John Cloud, staff writer of Time magazine will be featured on a panel about gay journalism. Chris Whitesell, winner of four daytime Emmy Awards, will discuss his work on “General Hospital” and as Head Writer on “Days of Our Lives” and reality television writer/editor Keith Hoffman will discuss his work in that emergent genre.
The GALLA Festival is produced by ArtsUnited and Stonewall Library & Archives. Funding for the festival has been provided in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council, the John C. Graves Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, and the Broward County Library Division with support from the Broward Library Foundation. The Festival is also sponsored by the South Florida Blade and 411 Magazine. The Embassy Suites is the Host Hotel. Room reservations may be made by calling (954) 527-2700.
The GALLA Festival workshops, presentations and book fair are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and pre-registration is recommended. Tickets for the Cocktail Reception with the Authors on Friday, April 24 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, are $25. An Unabridged Festival Pass, which includes priority registration, the Cocktail Reception, and Dinner with the Authors, is $125. Registration and tickets are available at www.GALLAfestival.org or by calling Stonewall Library at 954-763-8565.