February 3rd, 2013

andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards: Call for Judges

Dear friends, as I anticipated some weeks ago, the Rainbow Awards have changed a little. Please read carefully, I will post guidelines on February 15, what is important now is that, due to the new process, with 2 reading period, I need to recruit some more judges. I'm hoping many will join, above all considering that we will help two worthy charities.

The 2013 Rainbow Awards:

The 2013 Elisa Rolle Rainbow Awards are an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction. Hosted and owned by blogger Elisa Rolle, the contest is open to all authors of work containing LGBT fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBT persons. For this the contest’s fifth year, some new rules have been instigated, and a new partner has emerged to assist Elisa. The Rainbow Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, will partner with Elisa in the management and coordination of this contest. Despite RRW’s status as a chapter for romance writers, their participation in no way changes the Rainbow Awards and do not make them exclusively a romance contest. One need not be a member of RRW or RWA to participate in this contest.

A 25$ fee will be charged for each submission. Once administrative and other organization expenses (there will be a live Awards Ceremony) will be covered, all remaining collected fees will be given to a selected LGBT non-profit charitable organization. The selected charity will be presented during the Rainbow Awards Ceremony. Our intent is to preserve the majority of fees to this purpose. The selected charities for 2013 are:
- Ali Forney Center in NYC which provides homeless LGBT youth with shelter, food, and counseling. Sandy left their offices underwater and they are in desperate need of donations to continue their important work (www.aliforneycenter.org).
- COLORS is a free LGBTQ Youth & Counseling Center serving the needs of Los Angeles-area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) youth 24 and under. COLORS opened its doors in January 2012 in Downtown Los Angeles, providing free therapy and support to LGBTQ youth and their families. (www.colorsyouth.org)

Authors/publishers/editors in the Jury can submit books in Categories they are not reading for. If an author/publisher/editor is also in the Jury they can submit 1 book free of charge (see above submission fee of $25)


- Judges will start to read books in March; reading period will finish in September (included).
- There will be two separate reading periods:
First period: from 1 March 2013 to 15 July 2012; each book will be read and scored by 5 different judges. At the end of this period, a shortlist of up to five finalists for each category will be announced on 31 July 2013.
Second period: from 1 August 2013 to 30 September 2013; all five finalists for each category will be read by the same 5 judges. Winners will be announced in October 2013.
- Each judge will read a minimum of 5 books. Authors/Publishers/Editors will not read books in categories where a their own book is submitted.
- Each book will be judge using 4 different criteria: Plot Development, Setting Development, Characters Development and Writing Style. Judges will rate entries in a range of 1 to 10 points for each criteria.
- Judges will receive only the ebooks they have to read. (PDF files)
- Judges will have to indicate what categories they are not comfortable reading.
- To be a judge, please contact Elisa Rolle at rainbowawards.submission@gmail.com
- Authors/Publishers/Editors/Reviewers/Readers are welcomed. If you have not judged for this contest before, please give a short introduction explaining why you wish to participate in the jury for this contest.

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andrew potter

The Sound of Your Voice by David Sullivan

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book; while I enjoy Torquere Press’s production, I’m used to consider it an Erotic Romance publisher and consequently I’m expecting all the novel to be more about the sex (not that this is bad, on the contrary). The Sound of Your Voice is a romance, no doubt about that, but it’s leaning more on the Contemporary General Fiction than the Erotic Romance, and there are various reasons to lead me to this idea.

First of all the period: it’s set during the ‘90s, when the LGBT community is more heavily impacted by the AIDS plague, and the young gay men are starting to realize they need to fight back since no one will fight for them. John is one of those men, always ready to go to a meeting against, pro, it really doesn’t matter, the important thing is that John is proving who he is… also since he didn’t have the chance to do that inside his family. I had the feeling that John is searching in the community the sense of being part of something he has lost in his own family.

Through a community service, he meets Steve, a deaf man who graduated at the University where John and Steve’s mother are volunteering. Steve is even more committed to being a useful social being that John, but Steve is devoting his fighting to the deaf community; being gay is maybe another obstacle for Steve, but truth be told he feels more ostracized for being deaf than being gay. And so the struggling Steve and John will face to build their relationship is not in them being gays, but for being different, Steve is deaf and John is not.

If I have to be sincere, I didn’t like so much John, and maybe he saved his character for me in the end, but it was a last call. I had the feeling that John is a little bit self-centered, and even a little spoiled brat. From big to little signs during all the novel, I really wanted for him to receive a close call to wake him up to reality: when he kicked a puppy who hadn’t done anything to him if not showing love, I really wanted to be there and kick him instead. Now if you know me, you will understand that I’m making a compliment to the author, since I prefer my characters to not being ordinary, and if they make me feel real emotions, good or bad, it means they are good.

I highly recommend this novel both for being a very good example of romance dealing with disability, and also for the reason that, despite the important matter, the story itself is managed with a light hand that makes the novel developing smoothly.

Amazon Kindle: The Sound of Your Voice
Publisher: Torquere Press (March 4, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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