ReadOut 2018

The first ReadOut was held on February 16-18, 2018 in Gulfport, Florida at the Gulfport Library. Below is a picture from the event, media mentions, and the event description and schedule.

Festival Photo
ReadOut 2018 Media Mentions

"ReadOut Event to Feature 16 Women Speakers, Authors" - The Gabber

"ReadOut Event Draws Diverse Crowd" - The Gabber

"ReadOut 2018: Book for Lesbians A Resounding Success" - ProSisters

"ReadOut Lesbian Literary Event Debuts in February" - Out Coast

"ReadOut Lesbian Literary Event Debuts in February" - Visit Gulfport

Festival Description & Schedule


Gulfport Public Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center announces the first annual ReadOut event, a weekend of lesbian literature, headlined by Keynote Speaker Elizabeth Sims. Sims’ novels include the Lambda Award-winning Lillian Byrd crime series and the Rita Farmer mystery series. She is a Contributing Editor for Writer's Digest magazine, and author of You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams.

ReadOut will take place the weekend of February 17, 2018 along with other lesbian events taking place during the week leading up to it.

The waterfront town of Gulfport in Tampa Bay has been called the “Provincetown of Florida” for its richly diverse community and plethora of lesbians. This event will be free to the entire community and we expect to draw a large crowd excited to meet authors and buy their books! There will be a vendor room for authors to sell books. Following the keynote presentation, 15 authors will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to the community and read from their work. Because we expect to receive more than 15 applications, we are asking all published authors who wish to read from their work to include a sample reading. (“Indie” and self-published authors are welcome.) The fee for vendors will be $25 and there is no additional fee to do a reading.

All applications must be received by November 10. We will notify authors of acceptance no later than November 30. Find the application online at For more information, contact Alison Solomon by email to

Below is a tentative ReadOut 2018 schedule:

Friday February 16 evening: Wine and Cheese Meet & Greet

Saturday February 17:
10:30-3:30 Vendor room open for books sales/signings
11.00am Keynote speaker: Elizabeth Sims
12-3pm Readings by 15 authors + Q&A
6pm No-host dinner event for writers and readers

Sunday February 18:

9.00am Breakfast for workshop participants
9:30-11.00am Workshop with Elizabeth Sims
(separate advance registration required)
11am-12.30pm Panel discussion

For those who wish to make a week of it, come early for the annual Lady in Red Ball (benefitting the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund) which takes place Saturday February 10 and attracts 400 lesbians. Check for Lady in Red announcements. There will also be additional social events throughout the week leading up to ReadOut. Check out the following organizations which also do events throughout the year:, and

The LGBTQ Resource Center is a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library. The Resource Center provides collections, services and events throughout the year to the local LGBTQ community, its friends and family. Find out more about the Resource Center, the Circle of Friends and the Library on the web at or on Facebook at