Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lis reports: UK Meet 2012 in Brighton

The Hotel
Fantastic, brilliant, fabulous, fun, thoughtful, thought-provoking, intense, interesting, wicked awesome, cool, marvelous, terrific, sweet, mind blowing and phenomenal. Those are just some of the words that come to mind when I think back to the [fill in all of the above] weekend at the UK Meet in Brighton.

Now sitting on my comfy couch with good country music and sipping a cup of tea, it’s not easy just what to put in this post without it filling ten pages.

The Meet

The UK Meet 2012 was the third in an annual meet for readers, writers, reviewers and fans of GLBTQ fiction. This year it was set in Brighton, a very gay friendly city on the coast of Britain (you should have seen all the pride flags!) and organized by Clare London, Charlie Cochrane, J.L. Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Alex Beecroft.

All I can say is that they did a fabulous job. As someone who organizes or helps organize events, I know the amount of work that goes into setting up these events and I can appreciate the attention to detail that went into organizing the UK Meet. Well done everyone! You rock!

Old friends and New Friends

It was great finally putting faces to (longtime) online friends and authors. I was very happy to meet up with
Jenre & Jordan at one of the panels
Tam again. We last met when I was in Canada, three years ago and that was not nearly enough so this weekend I got all the Tam-filled time I needed. In addition to meeting old friends I also made a ton of new friends. Oh I finally met Ingrid, the other Dutch reader! It was lovely and we have to meet again soon! There were a lot of people from the online community I hadn’t met before and I left with lots of e-mails and friends to add on GoodReads.

So…how did it go?

While I’m not a big fan of rising early, I was wide awake on Friday morning when the alarm clock went off at 6 AM and by 6.30 I was on my way to the airport. Surprisingly, the journey was fast and without any problems or delays and by 11.30 UK time I was in Brighton at the hostel I was staying at.

While the check-in didn’t go so much as planned, meeting up with people did. I met people for coffee and later-on I met most of the gang at the hotel. By that time I was fairly bouncy and buzzing with energy and very wide eyed at finally meeting people I have known online only for so long. It’s weird how you sometimes make up images of people in your head and then when you do meet them you go: ah, this is even better!

After a meet-up in the hotel bar we went out for dinner in two groups. One group went for Chinese and another for traditional British fare: fish ‘n chips. I choose the latter and we ended up almost overtaking the restaurant where we talked about everything and anything: from books to cats to kids to work to more books and hot nekkid men.

Back at the hotel we got a sneak peak as to what went into the goodies bags as many of us helped fill them and oh oh oh what cool stuff went in there. And yummie. Most not forget yummie. Literally and figuratively.

All the while I kept Janna updated and jealous on everything that went on.

The Big Day 

Novel Openings
After a few hours of sleep (I picked a hostel that was party central and the bed bounced along with the bass even though I was on the second floor!) the big day was there!

Words don’t do justice as to how much fun it was. The day was filled with several panels on a variety of subjects: publishing, tropes, fan fiction, online marketing and my personal favorite: buffet or banter where you could discuss several different subjects. There was talk of shifters, BDSM, self-publishing, US settings and what not. It was also possible to do a ‘One to Ones’ with authors.

Jordan Castillo Price was a keynote speaker and she delivered a killer talk that was both funny and very creative on her history with the genre and publishing (who knew books were published on CD-ROM and you were expected to print it yourself or read on your computer) and the pros and cons she experienced.

For some the day was concluded after the charity raffle draw. Throughout the day you could buy tickets and the money raised goes to the Albert Kennedy Trust (link here). Others went on to the tapas dinner at Ole Ole and oh what good food and company we had!

Then, for those who still had energy left, there was the cabaret and the boogy on down in Brighton. Those who were running low on energy went back to the hotel for drinks and more talk. I opted for the second and had lots of fun talking to people about everything and anything. 

To Conclude

It was an [fill in all of the opening words] weekend. There is no other way to describe it and I really hope I have a chance to go next year. That is if the knights don’t plan the annual Summer Course at the same time. For everyone who didn’t go: you absolutely have to go next year.

Oh and I didn’t buy any books at all *cough*


P.s. I took tons of pictures, but the lighting in the hostel was dreadful and not all turned out well! 

Brighton from the Pier


  1. I'm sure you had more than you're fill of me. :-) it was a womderful weekend. It was womderful to put faces to names and everyone was friendly and warm. I have been a bad blogger. Between jet lag and edits I haven't even downloaded my pictures. Today hopefully. So glad I got to see you again. Hopefully it won't be so long before next time.

    1. Nooooo One can never get enough Tam!

      That's understandable. I'm still recuperating myself and I didn't even fly across the ocean, though it was a late night cowboyfest last night ;-)

  2. This is a great report, Larissa and I agree the weekend was really fun & friendly with a wonderful mix of formal stuff with lots of informal time to chat. It was lovely to meet you and I do hope you can make it to Manchester next year :).

    1. Thanks Jen! And it was great to meet you too! Yeah I really do hope so too!

  3. We had a fabulous time - it was so wonderful to meet people I've known online for ages at last!! Here's to next year! :))


    1. Hear hear! And it was lovely to meet you! :D

  4. Great report :)
    and I had an absolute BLAST!!!

    (can we go back yet?)

    1. Mmm my timemachine seems brokie! But it rocked :D

  5. Thanks for the fabulous post, Lis! Like I told you before, I'm so happy that you had a great time and I wish I could've been there too! I hope to join you all next year. :D

    1. I'll drag you if you don't :P Thanks, hon!

  6. I''m getting all bouncy just by reading your fantastic report!!! I really hope to pull it off next year!!

    1. Like I said to J. I'm dragging you if I have too!

  7. So you'll not be staying at that hostel ever again, hmm? :) Great photo of the pier! And it sounds like an absolute blast.


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