#LoveOzYA campaign gathers momentum
A grassroots campaign to promote Australian YA books in a market dominated by US titles has been gathering momentum.
Book blogger Danielle Binks told Books+Publishing that the #LoveOzYA campaign is inspired by the UK campaign ‘Project UK-YA’, which was created by UK blogger Lucy Powrie and has ‘similar ambitions of pushing back against the flood of American YA’.
The first meeting of #LoveOzYA ‘brain-stormers’—the #LoveOzYA hashtag was coined by YA author Ellie Marney—was held after the Centre for Youth Literature’s Reading Matters Conference in May, and included YA authors Marney, Nicole Hayes, Emily Gale, Fiona Wood, Kim Kane, Simmone Howell, Paula Weston, Vikki Wakefield, Ambelin Kwaymullina and Melissa Keil; teacher-librarians Sue Osborne and Miffy Farquarson; and YA specialist Bec Kavanagh.
The discussion has continued through a private Facebook group with a membership that includes YA authors, bloggers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, editors and publicists, while #LoveOzYA Instagram and Twitter accounts have also been established.
One of the first initiatives to come out of the campaign has been a poster of Aussie readalikes to popular US YA novels, which was based on Binks’ blog post and designed by YA author and graphic designer Trinity Doyle. A high-res poster is available to download here.
An event on the state of Australian YA was recently held at Readings, with other booksellers showing an interest in #LoveOzYA-themed events; and the Centre for Youth Literature, a long-time supporter of Australian YA, is also likely to be involved with the #LoveOzYA campaign in the future, said Binks.
Binks said she is encouraged to see people coming up with their own ideas to promote Australian YA. ‘A big part of establishing a #LoveOzYA hashtag was just to get the conversation started.’