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Read Local – #LoveOzYa

September 1, 2015
created by Trinity Doyle @trinja for #LoveOzYa

#readlocal #LoveOzYa
In May 2015 ALIA published some lists of Australia’s most borrowed library books. Australian authors were represented well in every category except Young Adult Fiction, where only two of the ten authors are Australian. The list is:
1. Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (American/science fiction adventure)
2. Divergent series by Veronica Roth (American/science fiction adventure)
3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green (American/romance)
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Australian/Holocaust)
5. Looking for Alaska by John Green (American/romance)
6. Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (American/fantasy adventure)
7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (American/science fiction)
8. Every Breath by Ellie Marney (Australian/thriller)
9. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (American/romance)
10. Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (American/fantasy adventure)

The lack of local representation on the list was a source of concern to some people in the Australian youth literature community, so they’ve taken inspiration from their UK-counterparts in creating a #LoveOzYA campaign.

In 2013 UK book blogger Lucy Powrie started Project UKYA ‘to raise awareness of UKYA fiction and authors.’ In much the same way, Australian YA (OzYA) authors are using the hashtag to get the conversation started with readers, librarians and teachers who may not be aware of how much OzYA is struggling to stand out even to local readers in the global YA market.

As emerging YA author Danielle Binks writes in a blog post for the Stella Prize, ‘More than anything, we are trying to show young Australian readers that their voices matter – that stories about them and for them are important.’

So what can be done to increase the awareness and visibility of Australian Young Adult titles? Here are a few ideas:
• Buy your books locally, from Australian booksellers, and ask them for recommendations

• Danielle Binks of AlphaReader has compiled a list of Australian read-a-likes for popular American titles– which goes to show it’s not for lack of quality or choice that readers are choosing American over Australian YA

• Aussie YA author Trinity Doyle (A&U, ‘Pieces of Sky’) created a #LoveOzYa poster based on these “read-a-likes”, that can be displayed online, or in your library

Ellie Marney, author of the ‘Every’ trilogy (Allen & Unwin) and one of only two Australian authors on the ALIA most-borrowed list, not to mention the only author on that list that hasn’t been adapted to the big screen, wrote a heartfelt blog after the announcement, in which she also questioned the lack of Australian books, suggesting ways to support Aussie YA

• Check out Readings Books’ recommended reading list of OzYA titles

• Follow the Centre for Youth Literature’s Inky Awards, which has a category for Australian titles

• Keep up with the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s shortlisted and notable books

• ALIA’s Sue McKerracher says, ‘We suggest authors get in touch with their local library. Libraries are always interested in offering author talks and promoting local authors through their websites and social media. It’s a great way for authors to build on their social media following and fan base.’

Read Watch Play have created some lists of Australian YA based on location, to fit in with September’s theme #localread. Follow us on Tumblr, copy and share the lists on Pinterest or join the conversation on Twitter on 29 September starting at 8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time and let us know your favourite #LoveOzYa #localread

• Follow the @LoveOzYA Twitter account, the #LoveOzYA instagram account or the Goodreads group to be part of the discussion.

What’s your favorite book set in your city? Let us know in the comments

This blog post was based on the following articles by Danielle Binks, an emerging YA writer, and book reviewer on her personal blog Alpha Reader:

#LoveOzYa for Kill Your Darlings http://www.killyourdarlingsjournal.com/2015/07/loveozya/
#LoveOzYa and the Stella Prize Schools Program
http://thestellaprize.com.au/2015/07/loveozya-stella-prize-schools-program/
#LoveOzYa is here to Stay for Kids Book Review:
http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2015/07/guest-post-loveozya-is-here-to-stay.html and
How #LoveOzYa is turning teens off The Hunger Games and towards Australian YA fiction by Linda Morris http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/how-loveozya-is-turning-teens-off-the-hunger-games-and-towards-australian-ya-fiction-20150811-gis842.html

Join the #localread discussion for #rwpchat

September 1, 2015

Join the discussion this month about #localread. We will be focussing on all things local, or with a strong sense of place, in this discussion (and it will be great as always to see what surprising ideas people include.) Now, I may be dating myself, but I cannot hear the word ‘local’ without thinking of the 1990s TV show, the League of Gentlemen, which had a ‘local shop for local people’.

Do you feel like a local where you live? The child of a soldier, we never stayed very long in one place and the seemingly simple, “Where do you come from?” was a confusing question for me as a child. Did I say I came from the town we were currently living in England or Germany, or that I came from Scotland where I’d never lived before going to boarding school and university, or from Cyprus where I was born but where I hadn’t lived since I was 18 months? After 22 1/2 years I am just starting to feel like a local where I live now! This month you could be reading about, and then exploring your local area. I’m lucky to live in the Blue Mountains in NSW, Australia. The local geography is stunning, the local community colourful and we have wonderful things to see and do in our area. Many thousands of tourists are attracted to our UNESCO World Heritage listed area every year.

What are your favourite local haunts? Are they world-famous attractions, or secret places you cherish for personal reasons? Are there local foods, local land sharing schemes or ways to find out about local harvests in your area.

Does your local area have a Local Studies or Local History service? You’ll find they are a wonderful local resource, often collecting books, artefacts and ephemera which are unique. They are invaluable resources for authors, film-makers and family historians, among many others. Look up local stories in digitised newspapers (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, England (fees apply) and Denmark)

Has your local area got a ‘What’s on’ page on Facebook, Twitter or another social media site? Mine does and it’s a great source of information and inspiration on local events and local characters. The local newspaper, tourism body, local shops and businesses and local people all post and cross-post and you’re never stuck for somewhere to go or something to do – farmers markets, craft markets, local theatre productions, art gallery exhibitions, book launches and author talks, bush walks, meetings of various local groups, rallies and demonstrations, picnic places, information sessions, sporting events, music performances, poetry slams and so on.

The League of Gentlemen built a whole show around various nutty and slightly disturbing characters in the fictional town of Royston Vasey. Other popular TV shows with disturbing settings include the other great comedy show full of grotesques, Little Britain, and the dangerous town of Midsomer which has way way way more murders than a country town should.

When you need to escape your local place you can borrow someone else’s. Some authors too create strong associations with places, often their local places – Ian Rankin in synonymous with Edinburgh, Tim Winton with Western Australia, the Brontes with northern England, Jane Austen with Bath, Thomas Hardy with the West Country in England, Dickens with London, CS Lewis with Narnia – the places don’t have to be real. Who are the authors associated with your place?

We play a board game called Carcassonne, based on the French walled city (also World Heritage listed). It’s great fun and we should have bought shares in the company because everyone we’ve played it with has gone out and bought their own. Carcassonne locals may not think the game anything like their town, but there are a whole lot of people I know who’d love to visit the town now. What other games are based on a locality? Sim City? World of Warcraft?

A car game we used to play with our children when they were little is “On my holidays I went to . . . “ You start with a place name beginning with A and then the next person has to say that place name and then add their own place name beginning with B and so on all the way through the alphabet. The place name beginning with X was usually the same because so few were known to us.

While you are reading, playing or watching your #localread, you might like to tweet about it using #localread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #localread. You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #localread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

There will be a Twitter discussion on 29 September starting at 11am and 8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6pm Singapore Standard Time, 12 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am and 2pm – 4pm BST. Note : This is a staggered discussion.

catching up on the #watchread discussion for #rwpchat

August 27, 2015

You can still keep tweeting about #watchread for a few more days.  Here is a Storify of the conversation so far looking at time, timing, watching, and reading.

 

 

Next month we will be discussing #localread.

Join the #watchread discussion today for #rwpchat

August 25, 2015

#watchread

There will be a twitter discussion, today, 25 August starting at 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. 9.00pm New Zealand Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 8.00am GMT, 12.00 noon Central European Time. Note: this is a staggered start to the discussion.

Use the tags #watchread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #watchread, so others can join in the conversation too.

"  Children watching a puppet show, 28th & O Street playground" Adolph B. Rice Studio, August 11, 1958

” Children watching a puppet show, 28th & O Street playground” Adolph B. Rice Studio, August 11, 1958

Will you be watching films or television, or will you be watching the clock to make time for your favorite thing to read, watch or play? Have you been watching your to-read pile grow throughout the year? Social reading sites like Goodreads or Shelfari allow you to set up virtual shelves of what you have read, and what you plan to read. You can even set yourself a challenge to read a certain number of books in a year, and watch your progress.

Do you prefer to read, watch or play the original format first? Do you like watching television series live, or do you watch online or DVD catch up so you can choose how and when you watch?  Do you enjoy reality TV, or would you rather read a book that examines its impact on our lives?

Maybe you will be heading outside to try some bird watching, or some stargazing. August is the peak time to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower, particularly in the northern hemisphere.

Organisations like Amnesty International or ICAC watch out for opportunities to advocate for human rights or for the integrity of our public administrators, and groups like CHOICE or The Checkout advocate for consumer rights.

Perhaps you’d rather spend some time learning more about the history of watches and other time-keeping devices, or you might like to read a story about keeping time.

What will your favourite #watchread be this month? Don’ forget…while you are reading, playing or watching your #watchread, you might like to tweet about it using #watchread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #watchread.  You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #watchread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

 

 

The 2016 themes for #rwpchat are available now

August 17, 2015

The themes for 2016 are now live – and they are:

January – #wildread

February – #speedread

March – #redread

April – #bardread

May – #songread

June – #bookclubread

July – #artread

August – #geekread

September – #historyread

October – #bookbitesread

November – #flightread

December – #joyread

Make sure you have a look at each of the descriptions (by clicking on the links) as there are some lovely inclusions in the different months, and you may want to interpret each theme in your own way.

You may want to use these themes to plan your personal reading.  If you work in a library you may like to use these themes for in library reading groups, story times and other library programming.  Please share on social media so we know where these are being used (and how they are being used).

There are still very exciting themes ahead for 2015 – with #watchread this month then:

September – #localread

October – #darkread

November – #technoread

December – #sweetread

Enjoy.

thinking about time and #watchread

August 14, 2015

#watchread is about many things, and time (because of watches and us watching time) is one of them.

In Richard 2, William Shakespeare writes

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours: but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke’s proud joy,

Time is critical in many of Shakepeare’s plays.  If timing had been different in Romeo and Juliet, it would have been a comedy, or Macbeth could have had a happier ending. This thinking also means that, with different timing, A midsummer night’s dream, may have been a nightmare.

This is the same feeling shown by many characters in action novels and films, as countdowns form part of the tension.  Many novels by Matthew Reilly involve countdowns (often multiple ones) to help build the tension as we read, while feeling the time speeding away in the novels.

Science, can also provide us with this tension, as demonstrated through the twitter account of NASA.

Recipes are other reading (and watching) which involve time (and so are #watchread options), as often time is critical so that something is cooked enough and not over cooked.  Depending on what you are making, time can be critical.  If you are making saurkraut, time is the difference between raw cabbage and the fermented end product.

Ellen Forsyth

Join the #watchread discussion on #rwpchat during August

August 1, 2015

#watchread

This month’s theme is #watchread

” Children watching a puppet show, 28th & O Street playground” Adolph B. Rice Studio, August 11, 1958

Will you be watching films or television, or will you be watching the clock to make time for your favorite thing to read, watch or play? Have you been watching your to-read pile grow throughout the year? Social reading sites like Goodreads or Shelfari allow you to set up virtual shelves of what you have read, and what you plan to read. You can even set yourself a challenge to read a certain number of books in a year, and watch your progress.

Do you prefer to read, watch or play the original format first? Do you like watching television series live, or do you watch online or DVD catch up so you can choose how and when you watch?  Do you enjoy reality TV, or would you rather read a book that examines its impact on our lives?

Maybe you will be heading outside to try some bird watching, or some stargazing. August is the peak time to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower, particularly in the northern hemisphere.

Organisations like Amnesty International or ICAC watch out for opportunities to advocate for human rights or for the integrity of our public administrators, and groups like CHOICE or The Checkout advocate for consumer rights.

Perhaps you’d rather spend some time learning more about the history of watches and other time-keeping devices, or you might like to read a story about keeping time.

What will your favourite #watchread be this month? Don’ forget…while you are reading, playing or watching your #watchread, you might like to tweet about it using #watchread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about your #watchread.  You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #watchread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

There will be a twitter discussion on 25 August starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 9am – 11am and 2pm – 4pm BST, 12.00 noon Central European Time. Note: this is a staggered start to the discussion.

Use the tags #watchread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #watchread, so others can join in the conversation too.

 

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