Slightly addicted to fiction

Judi Jagger, the current Western Australian Children’s Book Council judge, has developed her own blog. It is a must read for anyone interested in children’s and YA literature. Judi explains how her blog came to be:

Slightly Addicted to Fiction was born on a wet Saturday afternoon in mid November. It has sprung from the Fiction Focus blog that I started while working in Western Australia’s CMIS as joint editor of the print journal Fiction Focus. When I moved away from the city, the late and much-missed Jill Midolo arranged for me to maintain the blog from home; a dream job.

Although I always knew it was too good to last, the sudden loss of funding for the FF blog still came as a shock. One minute I was maintaining a blog that had secured a global readership, the next minute I wasn’t.

The blog itself hadn’t ceased, just my role. The many comments of support that flowed in were both affirming and humbling.

For a day or two, I did nothing. Then I put my toe in the Twitter water and hastily withdrew. Too ephemeral. Tweeting the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards was fine, but I longed to set them in the context of other awards on the blogging record. So an impulsive decision on that wet Saturday afternoon saw me set up my own forum. Once a blogger…

On Slightly Addicted to Fiction, I will continue what had been a successful formula: news about literature-related matters. I will continue the weekly links, expanding them into a broader context to encompass news about literary and children’s and Young Adult fiction.

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I have also ventured back on to Twitter with a new identity (@readingjay) and am loving the cleverness of that publishes a daily newspaper that magically selects interesting posts from the people I follow. Each day it produces an attractive publication that regularly surprises me with its useful content. Blogging and Twitter: the ideal couple.

Readership of Slightly Addicted to Fiction is building slowly but it is something I feel compelled to do, with or without a large audience.

My former CMIS colleagues have a heavy workload and are doing a great job maintaining the first blog. I see the two as complementary and together will provide a useful resource for schools to keep their finger on the pulse of the literary world.

What was a job has become a hobby, but remains my passion. Slightly addicted to fiction – it’s an understatement.

Congratulations to Judi on her past and present contribution to Australian and global children’s and YA literature. And may we all be “slightly addicted to fiction”!

Feature blog – Girton Grammar School

Girton Grammar School Head of Library (and immediate past Children’s Book Council Victorian Judge) Miffy Farquharson has developed two book blogs for her school. Miffy explains how they came about:

The student blog has been in place for about a term now. It is supposed to be by and for secondary students, but I am having trouble getting students to contribute. I think that this is because the students don’t actually do much blogging themselves. So you will see that most of the entries are by me.

Student book blog

Student book blog

I have set in place some protocols to keep the identity of our students anonymous, which includes only using their initials, and I edit out any mention of their age. I have tried to create enough categories to that when the blog starts getting really long readers will be able to sort through the entries to find age appropriate books easily.

I have also learned how to add tags, and create a cluster map. I have an accompanying Blog roll for my favourite bookish websites, which is slowly being added to. Crash Solo is one of my favourites.

This blog has been a huge learning curve for me, as I had only used a blog to record Hockey news and results in the past, and hadn’t got into any of the fun stuff like feeds and blogrolls in the Hockey blog.

 I have also started a ‘grown-up’ book review blog which was prompted by the submission of a review of Tim Winton’s ‘Breath’ by a colleague. The review was very obviously for an ‘adult’ book, which was not appropriate for the student blog, so a new site was created.

Teacher book blog

Teacher book blog

 Thanks to Miffy for sharing her efforts in getting students and teachers to read and blog. Well done.