You Wrote WHAT? Sex Scenes in GLBTQ YA Literature

The Loft Literary Center Young Adult Literature Conference,

April 26th – 27th, 2014


Description: The times when books featuring GLBTQ protagonists and themes were automatically shelved in the erotica sections of libraries and bookstores are over. But a new controversy has arisen: How do gatekeepers’ views impact our decisions to write sex scenes with same-sex couples? Hear Rachel Gold, Molly Beth Griffin, Dawn Klehr, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Juliann Rich, and Elizabeth Wheeler speak to the challenges facing authors who write GLBTQ YA. Is same sex attraction an automatic increase in perceived heat level? How do we include sex scenes that feel real and are age-appropriate? Given the fact that our readers are usually a year or more younger than our protagonists, what are our responsibilities when writing a sex scene for readers who might be GLBTQ and not have access to many other YA representations of people like them?

The intended levels: All levels


BeautifulMusic-final-coverKirstin Cronn-Mills is the author of two young adult novels, THE SKY ALWAYS HEARS ME AND THE HILLS DON’T MIND (Flux 2009), a Minnesota Book Award finalist, and BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN (Flux 2012), a Lambda Literary Award finalist, a Top Ten pick for YALSA’s 2013 Rainbow List (also listed in YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults), and a silver medal winner in ForeWord’s Book of The Year Award.  She teaches writing, literature, and critical thinking classes at South Central College in North Mankato, MN.


12661444Rachel Gold (Moderator), author of BEING EMILY (Bella Books 2012), winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award in Dramatic / General Fiction, the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. By day, Rachel is a marketing consultant and all- around geek.


Silhouette-of-a-SparrowMolly Beth Griffin is the author of the YA novel SILHOUETTE OF A SPARROW (Milkweed Editions 2012) and the picture book LOON BABY (Houghton Mifflin 2011).  SILHOUETTE OF A SPARROW was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, the MN Book Award, and ForeWord’s Book of the Year. It was on the ALA Rainbow List and the Amelia Bloomer list of feminist literature. Molly Beth Griffin teaches adults and teens at the Loft.


17393014Dawn Klehr is the author of THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR (Flux 2013) and TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE (Flux 2014). She has taught broadcasting and media training in the corporate world and has been a guest speaker at area colleges and high schools.



Caught in the Crossfire 300 DPIJuliann Rich is the author of the YA novels CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE (Bold Strokes Books, June 16th, 2014) and SEARCHING FOR GRACE (Bold Strokes Books, Fall 2014). She works as a PR Specialist at a natural health clinic and teaches classes on health-related issues to adults.



9781602829824_p0_v1_s260x420Elizabeth Wheeler is the author of the YA novel ASHER’S FAULT (Bold Strokes Books 2013). She is a high school English Teacher in rural Illinois.



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