Thursday, January 14, 2010

the LLF has a web producer!

Okay, here's what I've been working on for LLF. The official press release:

Antonio Gonzalez Named Web Producer for


January 13, 2010 - The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) is delighted to announce the appointment of Antonio Gonzalez to the new position of Web Producer.

"Antonio Gonzalez brings an impressive background of building and managing community-based websites from the ground up," says LLF Executive Director Tony Valenzuela. "With his tech savvy, editorial experience and publishing industry background, he's exactly who we need to usher in a new era of the Lambda Literary Foundation online. I'm thrilled to welcome him aboard."

Over the last few months we at LLF have been raising money from our membership to create an online presence which will celebrate, support, serve, inform, entertain, and connect the whole of the brilliantly diverse community that creates and supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans literature. Our new website will offer content of interest to readers, writers, agents, booksellers, editors, educators, distributors, bloggers, and more.

"The literary landscape is changing," says LLF board member Nicola Griffith. "To a degree we would have found unbelievable ten years ago, book commerce is moving online. But LGBT bookstores were and are the incubators of thriving local culture. They function/ed as de facto community centers, places for us to meet others like ourselves, to know--by seeing real live writers and readers, by touching actual books, by laughing and crying in recognition at authors' stories--that we aren't alone. So at LLF we asked ourselves: As the number of bookstores shrink, how will LGBT book lovers find each other, how will our books find their readers? The answer is a website. A website for all of us."

As Antonio Gonzalez points out, "LGBT affairs have taken a front-row seat in American culture from marriage equality, to hate crimes, to high school suicide rates, to banned books. A communications team that can better leverage web technology is critical in order for the Lambda Literary Foundation to take part in that conversation. As the web producer, I look forward to introducing to a new audience as well as positioning the organization for another 22 years of success."

The board and staff of LLF are determined that, as we head into a more inclusive future, our website will reflect our real world community--and vice versa. We intend to be the place you can post your news, and the place to turn to when you want authoritative news and opinion on anything concerning LGBT literature. We will rely on everyone who loves LGBT literature to keep us on our toes.

More information:
Tony Valenzuela

Antonio Gonzalez ( is a freelance reporter and web producer. The former Managing Editor, SVP of, Antonio began his publishing career at Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing) as a publicity assistant, eventually moving on to manage advertising campaigns for 7 imprints at Penguin Group (USA). He has always maintained a strong commitment to the LGBT community from volunteering with The Publishing Triangle to interviewing notables like Perez Hilton, Jarrett Barrios, and Alan Cumming for the New York Press. As the editor and founder of (hN), Antonio tracks and reports on pop culture, style, photography, and literature. He lives in New York City.

I'm really excited about this. For more on what Antonio will be doing, take a look at this job description.

I've written before about our bookstores closing and how this will affect our community. But the more time I've spent pulling together the team that will work on, the more convinced I become that online community must mirror and support and help create real world community. That's the point.

This already happens in many ways. Take, for example, Twitter, and conventions, and this blog. The word 'Tweetup' has made it into the language: a meetup in the real world of people who have got to know each other on Twitter. Conventions and conferences come from the same impulse. Communities of interest--science fiction fans, or medieval scholars, or dentists--come together to pool information, meet their through-the-fanzines friends, share best practices and so on. And this blog--and the Yahoo group I run--have led to many real world friendships: readers in the same city meeting up for a drink or a meal.

I think this is what will do, only on a much bigger scale. It will bring together small groups--trans performance poets, queer SF fans, lesbian romance readers, gay journalists, editorial directors of imprints (queer focused and not), critics, librarian, YA and middle-grade lit afficionados, digital press founders, trade press wholesalers, bloggers, bisexual academics--under one umbrella. We'll see that together we are strong and fine and ready to step into the spotlight. As one women I spoke to recently said: visibility equals prestige. Trust me, we are going to be visible.

You can help with that, of course. Please spread the word. Our time really is almost here. Just weeks away. Oh, it's going to be good!

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