F177. “Nothing Can Happen Nowhere”: The Craft of Setting in LGBTQ-Themed Fiction

Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


“Nothing can happen nowhere,” Elizabeth Bowen famously wrote about the importance of setting in fiction. But in LGBTQ-themed fiction, “place” is complicated: While many physical settings support queer characters, others feel unwelcoming or dangerous, including familiar ones like home. This panel explores how fiction writers negotiate place for their LGBTQ characters. Is the city a natural refuge? Are rural spaces always inhospitable? Does “home” necessarily render LGBTQ characters strangers?



Paula Martinac is the author of four novels, including The Ada Decades, a novel in stories; and the Lambda Literary Award–winning Out of Time. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is a fiction writing coach at the Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts.

Amy Hoffman is the author of the novel The Off Season and the memoirs Lies About My Family; An Army of Ex-Lovers: My Life at the Gay Community News; and Hospital Time. Editor of Women's Review of Books, she teaches in the Solstice low-residency MFA program.

Cheryl A. Head is the author of Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, a 2015 Next Generation Indie Book finalist for historical fiction and African American literature. Her novel, Bury Me When I’m Dead, the first book in the Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries, was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards finalist.

Serkan Gorkemli is the author of Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey, winner of the 2015 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Book Award. An associate professor of English at UConn Stamford, he is working on a collection of queer short stories set in Turkey.

Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Evening Hour, and the editor of Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity. He is assistant professor of creating writing at Eastern Kentucky University.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center