The Sapphic Reading Group has been meeting continuously since the spring of 2005. It began as a spin-off from SapphFire, a lesbian social group in Austin, Texas, which hosted monthly luncheons and recreation nights. Several members of SapphFire, who were avid LesFic readers, decided to form a group to discuss their favorite lesbian novels.
Initially, the SRG convened in the homes of members. Later, the meetings were held at local retail sites. Since 2007, the Genuine Joe Coffeehouse has been home to the Group. The original participants were readers of lesbian fiction; however, over time, local authors, editors, and publishers also joined.
Several years after its inception, the SRG became involved in promotional activities. Several authors were recognized for their work: K.I. Thompson for House of Clouds, 2008; Erin O’ Reilly for Deception, 2009; and Kristin Marra for Wind and Bones, 2010.
Promotional activities expanded when interested members of the SRG formed a task group, the Lone Star Literary Society, to create a forum where readers, authors, and other women active in lesfic publishing could interact. These efforts culminated in the Lone Star LesFic Festival. The first Festival, in January, 2007, involved 8 Texas authors. These annual festivals grew both in the numbers of authors and fans. The 10th Lone Star LesFic Festival in April, 2018 featured over two dozen authors and attracted fans from all over Texas and out-of-state.
In addition to the festivals, the SRG also organizes local meet & greet events where authors and readers can interact in a close, informal setting. All events are free to the public and open to everyone who loves lesbian fiction.
Another ongoing activity to promote lesbian fiction involves sharing books. The SRG maintains a library donated by fans and publishers. Various community groups are the recipients of these tomes such as public schools, university student groups, senior citizen centers, cancer outpatient libraries, hospice programs, and neighborhood mailbox libraries.
Yvette Murray, Phd.