The Legend of QSAC, an origin story

by J. Scott Coatsworth

It was a dark and stormy night in the heart of winter…

Scratch that.

Actually, it was a pleasant afternoon in mid-October in 2016. Three of us – me, Pat Henshaw, and Christopher Koehler – met at the Tower Café for a spot of lunch and a plan for world domination. That was the day that the Queer Sacramento Authors’ Collective was born.

We were in the middle of our meal – I’m going to say I was having a roast beef sandwich on sourdough with a side of fries, but the truth is that I don’t remember exactly what I had. It’s not important.

What is important is the topic of discussion – that we didn’t have a queer literary organization here in Sacramento. Sacramento has a large queer community, one that has only grown as folks have moved up here from the Bay Area. We have queer bars, a great LGBTQ+ community center, and we’ve even had two separate gay theaters. But no author groups.

 So why not start one?

Within a few days, we had a name, and then a logo, and shortly after that we launched a website and started looking for authors. At first ,we started with folks we knew, inviting them into the group. Then as our web of influence efforts expanded, we started attending local pride events, and our membership quadrupled.

Eight years later, QSAC has evolved into a hundred member organization with volunteer newsletter and event coordinators that tables at all the local pride events, at Sac ComiCon, and hosts readings at the Lavender Library and local bookstores throughout the year. We also support young authors and share knowledge and support among our members at our bimonthly author lunches.

Not bad for an organization that started over a sandwich, huh?

If you are a local queer author or author of queer fiction, poetry or non-fiction and want to join us – it’s free – contact for more info.

 Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.
 He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, Liminal Fiction and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

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