... and I'm going to be editing it!
I am delighted and excited to be working with HarperCollins on this anthology of Aussie YA short stories! This is definitely a “pinch me” moment, because I still can’t quite believe that having enough love and respect for something could land me in this position – about to embark on a passion project that lets me work with Australian YA authors I’ve so long admired, contributing to our national youth literature that’s always been my reading-lodestone.
This project was borne out of bad news, in a way – the #LoveOzYA hashtag was created in response to The Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) list of the most borrowed books from libraries for the first quarter of 2015. Libraries provided their top ten most-borrowed books in four categories: adult non-fiction, adult fiction, YA fiction and children’s books. And in all but one of these categories, Australian writers accounted for half of the most popular books – except in the YA category, which was largely dominated by American authors.
As a result – a group of nearly 300 authors, editors, reviewers, industry workers and enthusiastic readers banded together to change the conversation around the poor showing of Australian YA, using the term “LoveOzYA” to frame the discussion.
The term is now a celebration of our youth literature, as I wrote for Kill Your Darlings Literary Journal back in July: ‘We all need to celebrate and #LoveOzYA more. We need to celebrate the enormous talent within Australian Young Adult literature – founded by literary legends like Ruth Park, Robin Klein, Victor Kelleher, Nan Chauncy, Patricia Wrightson and so many more who helped shape our national identity. We need to make sure we continue to give that same gift of recognition and connection to a young reader today, by putting an OzYA book in their hands.’
And now I can’t think of a better way to continue the celebration of our youth literature, than with this anthology of short stories featuring some of its most remarkable authors!