Guest post: Inside a Dog with Heath Graham

Inside a DogThe Centre for Youth Literature’s (CYLInside a Dog website was launched last night at the Docklands. Heath Graham, the Learning Programs Officer for Online Education at State Library of Victoria, has kindly outlined what students and educators will be getting from the new Inside a Dog. In Heath’s words, “The old dog has learnt a whole bunch of new tricks”.

The new version of Inside a Dog maintains all of the features of the old site, adding new functionality to help readers to share what they love and discover new books. 

Inside a Dog

The biggest new feature on the site is the addition of member-run book clubs. If you are a fan of a particular author, genre, or series, you can now start your own Inside a Dog book club and find other like-minded readers to share ideas, post reviews, or show off your fan art. Book clubs can be either open membership, allowing any of the site’s users from around the world to join and contribute, or closed, requiring permission from the clubs’ creator to join.

Inside a Dog

Each site member will have their own page, listing reviews they have written, their favourite and recommended books, and the book clubs they are members of. “Star reviewers” will earn privileges, ranging from recognition on the site itself to copies of books to review.

In addition to individual pages for members, each book reviewed on the site will have its own page. Book pages will list all reviews of the book, along with any additional content supplied by publishers, including first chapters, book trailers, and audiobook snippets, and a list of recommendations and related titles.

Recognising the popularity of the site with teachers and librarians, the revamped site has curriculum-linked resources supporting the use of book clubs in the classroom, writing book reviews, and exploring the use of new media in creative responses to literature, as well as information for teachers on copyright and using online resources in the classroom.

Inside a Dog will continue to run a news blog, and the popular Writer in Residence feature, allowing readers to interact and join in a discussion with a new YA author every month. The Inky Awards, yearly reader-voted awards for favourite local and overseas book, and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize will also continue.

In addition to this new version of a favourite website, there have been other changes behind the scenes at the Centre for Youth Literature. Adele Walsh (aka blogger Persnickety Snark), has begun as the new CYL Program Coordinator, following Mike Shuttleworth’s resignation for personal reasons. Lili Wilkinson, herself an award-winning YA author, will also be leaving CYL to commence a creative writing PhD at the University of Melbourne. Both Lili and Mike have made enormous contributions to the Centre’s work, and they are wished the very best for their future endeavours. The Centre’s new status as a Key Organisation for the Australia Council for the Arts kicks off a new era for CYL in 2011. For more information please contact the Centre for Youth Literature on 03-86647262, or

Thankyou to Heath and the CYL team for providing such a fantastic website for readers to use, enjoy, and contribute to.

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