Below is the list of panels for the 8th Annual New York Rainbow Book Fair, taking place Saturday, April 9, 2016 at John Jay College, NYC.

All panels will take place in room 1.82

12:15–1:30pm: “Lesbians in the House”, organized by Charles Rice-Gonzalez
1:45–3:00pm: “Building a Sustainable LGBTQ Book Culture”, organized by David Groff
1:45–3:00pm: “Sex Writing in a Time of Global Censorship”, organized by Perry Brass
3:15–4:30pm: “Queer Zines and Social Media”, organized by Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum

Lesbians in the House

This is a panel of Latina lesbian writers who will read from their work and discuss their paths to publishing and how they traverse the literary and publishing fields with Nivea Castro, Gabby Rivera, Meriam Rodríguez, moderated by Alicia Anabel Santos of the New York Latina Writers Group who will also read a statement by Mariana Romo-Carmona.

Panelist Bios:

Nivea Castro, J.D., is the curator of Sinister Wisdom: Out Latina Lesbians, published July 2015. A Nuyorican lesbiana activist, Nívea is also a writer, photographer, social justice attorney, martial artist, and educator.  A Marge Percy Poetry Workshop participant and a VONA alum, her poems and writings have been published in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently in Word, a Cave Canem chapbook, And Then, Kalyani, Best of Panic, and Stand our Ground. She has appeared and been featured in various venues, including NYC and Brooklyn Lit Crawl, Listen to Your Mother, a national series of live readings by local writers, Crack the Mic, Camaradas, Soul Sister Revue, BAAD!ASS Women Festival, La Pluma y Tinta, New Voices Reading Series, Canvas of Words, and Michfest.  She is a member of the New York City Latinas Writers Group.  Nívea lives in the Bronx and is completing a poetry manuscript and an essay/photo chapbook on her recent travels to Cuba.  She is working on her upcoming book, Coquito Man.  You may read her work and view her photography at

Gabby Rivera, is a writer, youth mentor, and editor of QTPOC content for  Her first novel, Juliet Takes a Breath was published by Riverdale Avenue Books in January 2016.  Her short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies and journals such as Aster(ix), and the the Lambda-Award-winning Portland Queer: Tales from the Rose CityOMG I’m Gay, a ‘zine for queer youth, and The Best of Panic! En Vivo from the East Village.  Gabby is the Youth Programs Manager at GLSEN.  She has worked as a film and multi-media teaching artist for social justice organizations, such as DreamYard Project, Inc.  She’s been a featured panelist and counselor at the annual Autostraddle’s Queer Women’s Conference and has presented at the Allied Media and Digital Media and Learning Conferences.

Born in New York City, Meriam Rodriguez is an activist, writer, poet, performer, humanitarian and self-proclaimed revolutionary. Rodriguez is the author of the independently published book Adelina’s Perfect Girl; a rare story of young, raw, gut-wrenching, blinding love. This coming-of-age novel takes place on the gritty streets of New York City at the dawn of the 21st century.  She is working on edits for When She Was My King, the follow-up to her début novel, and on the blueprint for her third work titled, Chocolate Saved My Life. Rodriguez has performed at State and City Colleges throughout the country with Latino Flavored Productions in the plays Jose Can Speak and Pink: The Chronicles of BC Jenny.  She was a co-writer, co-producer and one of five performers in the highly successful production of Soledad Speaks

Alicia Anabel Santos is a proud New York born Dominican Writer who is passionate about creating works that empower and inspire writers to find their voices.  A self-identified Latina Lesbian Writer, Performance Artist, Producer, Playwright, Activist, and Writing Coach who after reading one too many stories about women she could not wholly relate to, decided to write her own tales.  She recently published her memoir, Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love,which was listed The Advocate August 2012 article “21 LGBT Biographies or Memoirs You Should Read Now.”  She is currently completing a historical fiction novel and is the Founder of the New York City Latina Writers Group.  She has also worked at magazines, in film and theater.  She studied Creative Writing at NYU. 

Building a Sustainable LGBTQ Book Culture

How can the LGBTQ publishing community help readers find books they love and writers find, maintain, and expand their audience?  How can we get more attention for LGBTQ books, support LGBTQ authors, and create a business model that would keep us from being marginalized and put books more in the center of LGBTQ culture?


David Groff, Writer and Book Editor

William Johnson, Program Director for Lambda Literary

Shannon Keating, LGBT Editor at BuzzFeed

Rakesh Satyal, Senior Editor, Atria Books

Liz Scheier, Editor and Digital Strategist


David Groff is a writer, independent book editor, and publishing consultant, teaches poetry, nonfiction, and publishing in the City College of New York MFA Program, and is a cofounder of the Publishing Triangle, the association of LGBTQ people in books.

William Johnson is the Program Director of Lambda Literary. He is also the editor and publisher of Mary Literary, a literary journal dedicated to showcasing queer/gay writings of artistic merit.

Shannon Keating is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. Her essays, reporting, and cultural criticism have appeared on, Jezebel, Bitch, Salon, The Toast, and The Rumpus, among others. She is currently the LGBT Editor at BuzzFeed.

Rakesh Satyal is a Senior Editor at Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. He has worked with such authors as Armistead Maupin, Paul Rudnick, Vestal McIntyre, and Rahul Mehta. He is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Blue Boy. His second novel will be published by Picador in 2017.

Liz Scheier is a publishing lifer; she has worked all the way from acquisitions and development (Random House, Penguin) to ebook marketing ( to product development (Brilliance Publishing/ A native Manhattanite, she now lives in Brooklyn with her fiancée and two dubiously behaved cats.

Sex Writing in a Time of Global Censorship

“SEX WRITING IN AN AGE OF GLOBAL CENSORSHIP,” discusses the next level of LGBT writing and the next level of censorship many writers will be facing. Moderated by Facebook-banned author Perry Brass, with Lori Perkins publisher of Riverdale Avenue Books, Donna Minkowitz (NY Times Book Review writer and author of Growing UP Golem), Debra Hyde (winner 2011 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Erotica), and Divya Sood, from Kolata, India, author of Nights Like This.

Perry Brass has published 19 books, including How to Survive Your Own Gay Life, The Manly Art of Seduction, The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, and his recent novel King of Angels, a gay Jewish, Southern coming-of-age novel set in Savannah, GA, in 1963, the year of J.F.K.’s murder.  In 1969, he co-edited Come Out!, the world’s first gay liberation newspaper published by New York’s Gay Liberation Front.  In 1972, with two friends he co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Project Clinic, New York’s first clinic for gay men, still operating as the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, that strongly advocated for the use of condoms by gay men a decade before the advent of the AIDS crisis.  He is a founding coordinator of the Rainbow Book Fair.

Debra Hyde’s work has appeared in several Lambda-winning anthologies and her novel, Story of L, won the 2011 Lambda for lesbian erotica.  This year, she’s a Lambda finalist with her historical mystery novel, The Tattered Heiress, from her ongoing lesbian Sherlock Holmes series, The Charlotte Olmes Mystery Series.

Donna Minkowitz‘s magical realist memoir, Growing Up Golem: How I Survived My Mother, Brooklyn, and Some Really Bad Dates, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award.  Her first memoir, Ferocious Romance: What My Encounters with the Right Taught Me about Sex, God, and Fury, won a Lammy.  She has also written for the New York Times Book Review, Salon, and the Village Voice.  She is the restaurant critic for Gay City News.

Lori Perkins is the Publisher of Riverdale Avenue Books, and was a founding partner and Editorial Director of Ravenous Romance, and a literary agent for 25 years.  She’s a published author, and has been an adjunct professor at N.Y.U.’s Center for Publishing.Riverdale Avenue Books has published 100 titles in the categories of pop culture, erotic romance, erotica, LGBT, horror, science fiction and fantasy, sports , gaming and mysteries a year.  She is president of the L. Perkins Agency, which has 5 agents on staff and foreign agents in 11 countries and its own film agent in L.A.  She is the author of FIFTY WRITERS ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, and has also written numerous articles on publishing for Writer’s Digest and Publisher’s Weekly.  She has also edited twenty erotica anthologies, including HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE, a Zombie Romance anthology, which was published by St. Martin’s Press.

Divya Sood was born in Kolkata, India.  She attended Rutgers University for her undergraduate work with a major in English and a concentration in Creative Writing.  Divya holds a Master of Arts in English from New York University.  In her short stories and also in her novel Nights Like This, Divya seamlessly infuses sex and sexuality.  Being of South Asian origin, sex, especially when it comes to women, has been taboo in most of the conversations surrounding her.  She believes it is time to shatter the silence and not be ashamed of female sexuality and desire.  In her writing, she is intrigued by the female heart, its capacity to love, and expressions of sex and sexuality.

 Queer Zines and Social Media

Presented by the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division

Moderated by Jason Haaf, volunteer at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division

Panelists: Anne Alex Hays (Alex), Winter Mendelson (Posture), Billy Miller (Straight to Hell), and Paul Moreno (Knowsgay)

Panelist Bios:

Anne Alex Hays is the author of Alex, a zine loosely themed around the lived experience of gender.  S/he’s published fiction and essays in PANK, Ms. Magazine blog, Brooklyn Rail, and others.  S/he runs a zine distro called Sleeping Creatures, and works as a Librarian at CUNY.

Winter Mendelson is the Founding Editor of Posture, an arts and fashion magazine that is dedicated to the creative exploration of identity.  After graduating with a B.A. in Art History in 2012,  she moved to NYC to immerse herself in  non binary and feminist discourse.  From that passion Posture developed and officially launched in Fall 2013 as a platform to support creatives and further feminist and lgbtqi+allied visibility.  When she is not writing or editing, she enjoys going on personal photo shoots around the city and taking in as much art as possible.

Billy Miller is an artist/curator/publisher/musician/bad-ass based in NYC.  His writing has appeared in publications such as BUTT, Index, VICE, Little Joe, Revel, and others.  His artwork has been exhibited internationally at galleries and cultural institutions such as PS1 MoMA, Andrew Edlin Gallery, Team Gallery, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and others, and he has curated numerous exhibitions and film screenings at venues such as The Mix Festival, The Fringe Festival and the White Cubicle Gallery London, Exile Gallery Berlin, Invisible Exports Gallery NYC, 80WSE, the Queer Biennial LA, and many others.  And he is the publisher of several independent publications including the infamous chapbook series Straight To Hell, aka, The Manhattan Review of Unnatural Acts.

Paul Moreno, originally from Sparks, NV, is a Brooklyn based visual artist.  He is the co-creater of the queer art zine Knowsgay; and has made a number of other art based zines.  Paul has most recently been writing semi-fiction which he has been sharing through events organized by Paper Cuts.  Paul also works as a prop-stylist and decorating consultant.

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is a queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.  We aim to foster a community invested in the values of mindfulness, intellectual curiosity, justice, compassion, and playfulness.  The Bureau seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting readings, performances, film screenings, book discussion groups, and workshops.  We provide local and visiting queers and friends with an open and inclusive space for dialogue and socializing.