Today I am so pleased to welcome Morgan Brice (aka Gail Z. Martin) to Joyfully Jay. Morgan has come to talk to us about a very special project, #HoldOnToTheLight. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

#HoldOnToTheLight Blog Campaign: Authors Standing in Solidarity With Readers on Mental Wellness

By Morgan Brice/Gail Z. Martin

You’ve heard the story about the boy throwing starfish back into the ocean at low tide. A man chides him, saying that the boy can’t save them all, and what difference does such a futile gesture make? “It makes a difference to this one,” the boy replies, tossing another starfish into the sea.

The power of one. Refusing to go gently into the dark night.

Defiance is one of the human race’s better attributes.

#HoldOnToTheLight is about throwing starfish and lighting candles. And giving a one-finger salute to the darkness.

#HoldOnToTheLight is a three year-old blogging campaign encompassing blog posts by fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness about treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

The more than 150 authors in a variety of genres (romance, fantasy, science fiction, horror and more) who agreed to write for #HoldOnToTheLight range from NYT bestsellers to mid-listers and newly-minted indie authors. But all of us have fans and readers, Facebook friends and Twitter followers, people who hold us and our books in some regard. And to those people, however many they might be, our opinion matters. Our stories matter—and they can make a difference.

#HoldOnToTheLight grew out of two things—a packed-to-capacity panel about depression at a genre convention, and the #AlwaysKeepFighting campaign in Supernatural fandom. The panel showed people were hungry to make a connection, as did the response to the Supernatural actors talking candidly about their own struggles. I was impressed by #AKF and how the show’s stars used their fame and their connection to fans to do something really good.

And I wondered—what would happen if the authors whose books create the genres our readers love spoke out with their own stories about the impact of mental health issues on them, their characters and their books? So I reached out to author friends…and #HoldOnToTheLight was born.

We might not have the reach or following TV stars have, but we have some following. And when people in the public eye speak out and own taboo issues, the stigma lessens. We want to encourage fans and stand in solidarity with the ones who are struggling and let them know that they are not alone.

The truth is: we’re all we’ve got. You, me, us. If we don’t hang together, as the saying goes, we shall surely all hang separately. So let’s hold on to each other, and hold on to the light.

To find the ever-growing list of blog posts by #HoldOnToTheLight authors, visit The links are provided in cut-and-paste-ready format for easy sharing. Read the posts. Share the posts. Tell a friend.

If you’re a published author and you’d like to write a post, contact me at I’m really hoping that we can add more posts by LGBTQA authors and authors who write LGBTQA fiction.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, go to and join us on Facebook

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