(Originally written for the CBCA Vic in 2015, but it seems to have “dropped off” the inter webs – so I give myself permission to republish it (and edit it) here!)
At the 2015 Reading Matters conference, in a storm of twitter moments, there was a tiny moment that created a ripple. In the scheme of things, a single tweet over a two-day conference wouldn’t normally create much of a stir beyond the attendees and followers on the day.
The first incidence of the #LoveOzYA hashtag appears to have been in a conversation started in February of 2014 by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria.
So many YA romance lists, so little in the way of Australian titles. Let’s start brainstormin’ using #loveOZYA
There was a bit of interest in the tag, with followers sharing their favourite book titles and photos. But when Emily Gale tweeted out a question about promoting and celebrating Australian YA books at SLV Reading Matters 2015, it hit a nerve with both the attendees and the tweeting public.
In the ensuing discussion, which included input from Nicole Hayes and Anna Burkey, Ellie Marney tweeted this:
By the next day, the #LoveOzYA hashtag was trending in Australia. And it had another surge recently. Link here.
In the months since, Readings has held a #LoveOzYA panel discussion, publishers are using the tag to promote their lists, and a Facebook group has been started to talk about ways that Australian YA novels can be brought to the attention of readers in Australia and around the world. Through the group, Trinity Doyle (author of Pieces of Sky) created a poster based on recommendations that Danielle Binks made in an article for the online journal “Kill Your Darlings”, which then became a series of posts on her blog. And in school libraries, staff are using the hashtag in their displays, both alone and in combination with other initiatives, such as the CBCA Books Light Up Our World.
Regardless of the genesis of the tag, it seems that #LoveOzYA is being embraced by all sectors of the community that brings YA fiction to young people. How will you be celebrating OzYA? For ideas you can ask to join the Facebook group, follow the #LoveOzYA tag on Twitter or Instagram, and try searching on the web. Can’t wait to see your work!
#LoveOzYA on twitter:
Danielle Binks @danielle_binks
Anna Burkey @AnnaNotKarenina
Centre for Youth Literature @CentreYouthLit
Trinity Doyle @trinja
Emily Gale @EmilyGale
Nicole Hayes @nichmelbourne
Ellie Marney @elliemarney
#LoveOzYA on the web:
Kill Your Darlings article link – http://www.killyourdarlingsjournal.com/2015/07/loveozya/
Danielle’s blog “Bookstore Panel recap” – http://alphareader.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/loveozya-readings-bookstore-panel-recap.html
Trending Australia tweet link – https://twitter.com/trendinaliaAU/status/620878419027324928/photo/1
Thanks to CYL, Danielle, Ellie, and Emily for permission to use their tweets and blog posts!