#SPFBO 5 and LGBTQ+ Characters

Happy SPFBO 5! Today officially marks the start of the fifth annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off, and the first reviews are already being posted! There’s so much excitement going on, it’s hard to keep track of. But I’m here to tell you about my favorite event so far: combining SPFBO with Gay Pride!

What’s that? You think just because June is over, Gay Pride ended? Nope! We celebrate it year ’round in my house. And I’m so proud to say that I’m not the only author in the competition who loves to celebrate LGBTQIA+ characters. Andrew Butcher took a little survey and found that a number of this year’s entries have at least one LGBTQIA character. We made a list on Goodreads, but I’m also sharing it here!

SPFBO 5 – LGBTQIA / LGBT-Friendly Books

  1. Seraphina’s Lament by Sarah Chorn
  2. River of Thieves by Clayton Snider
  3. Riwenne & the Mechanical Beasts by Kristen S. Walker: Character interview
  4. Fear the Wolf by Andrew Butcher: My review, Judge’s review
  5. The Lord of Stariel by A.J. Lancaster
  6. The Brightest Light by Scott J. Robinson
  7. The Gates of Golorath by R.M. Garino: My review
  8. A Triad in Three Acts by Blaine D. Arden
  9. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgess
  10. Catalyst Moon: Incursion by Lauren L. Garcia
  11. Klone’s Stronghold by Joyce Reynolds-Ward
  12. The Narrows by Travis M. Riddle
  13. Dissident by Nikki McCormack
  14. Hound and Key by Rhiannon Held
  15. Blade’s Edge by Virginia McClain
  16. Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn: Judge’s review
  17. Torn Apart by J.M. Riddles
  18. Gloomwalker by Alex Lang
  19. The Eldritch Heart by Matthew S. Cox: Judge’s review

Books entered into SPFBO 5 which have LGBTQIA+ characters. Book links on Goodreads. Reviews are on individual blogs.

Wow, that’s 19 books right now, which is over 6% of the total entries! That’s a fabulous showing. I don’t know of any lists for previous years, but it’s rare to see LGBT+ characters featured in any books.

Since I plan to participate in reading and reviewing other entries from the competition, I decided to start with this list. So I will keep it updated as I write my personal reviews for each one. I’m not an official judge, so my reviews won’t count towards any book’s score; I’m just doing this for fun, and to highlight the queer representation.

One more thing if you want to read along. SPFBO can be hard on my wallet because only the official judges get these books for free; I have to pay for the ones I want to read. Except I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and I can borrow some of the books from that program. Do you also borrow books in KU? Here’s some of the SPFBO books in KU right now! I just got my first book from the LGBT list…


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.
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