Persnickety Snark – YA book blog

Bright Ideas met YA blogger Adele Walsh at the Inkys virtual longlist announcement. Adele has been selected as a judge for the Inkys and she explains more about her blog: 


Can you tell our readers a little about how your blog came to be?

I am a teacher at a poorly resourced school, specifically in our book area, so I thought I might be able to blog in order to receive books for the students.  I have blogged here and there previously but in Persnickety Snark, I had a specific goal and I was determined.  During the summer break, I reviewed everything in my YA collection and then contacted Australian publishers and they happily helped me out by sending me review copies.  The school’s collection has grown and now I am reading a book a day.

 I am now nine months into the YA blogging biz and I have received so much more than books for my class.  I have been able to interview many YA authors, meet a range of fantastic readers from across the globe, attended Reading Matters, been invited to be part of the Inkys judging panel and written a blurb for a book.  More importantly, I have deepened my knowledge and appreciation for Australia YA and now I have the pleasure of highlighting it on Persnickety Snark.

 Do you market your site at all?

In terms of marketing, I am not all that active.  Word of mouth with the authors and Reading Matter seemed to have raised my profile somewhat. My reviews (or quotes from them) occasionally turn up on websites and blogs with a lovely hyperlink. Twitter has been amazing in that it allows people to follow the link to my newest review.   I have noticed that I have become more frequented of late as authors have mentioned me on their blogs.  I am also getting some great feedback about my reviews so I think more people are returning as they like my review style and they trust that I will be honest in my regard for a book.

Where do you work/go to school?

I am a Year 8 English, Studies of Society and the Environment and Information Communication Technology teacher at Burc College.  It’s a small independent school in the North-East suburbs of Adelaide.  It’s lovely as I can switch the class from reading Hunger Games, to editing podcasts to making World War 1 trench models. My class is relatively small and largely ESL as they are from a whole host of countries – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia, Iraq, etc  I am also the curriculum and behaviour management coordinator so my days can be rather hectic!   

How did you get involved in the Inkys?

Lili Wilkinson asked if I would like to be a judge a few months prior to the announcement.  My answer was a emphatic YES.  I have been reviewing and interviewing a whole host of Australian YA authors since January and am one of the few Australian YA review bloggers.  I guess my work on the blog and with publishers/authors brought me to her attention as a possible candidate.  Meanwhile, I was just flabbergasted that I was asked and continue to be honoured that they thought of me. 

 Any other information you’d like to add?

One of my favourite aspects of YA reviewing is that I have come across authors I might otherwise been unaware of.  Julie Gittus is one that has made a particular impact.  Her novel, Saltwater Moons, was released last year and because of the blog I was able to review her book and email with her.  I think it’s a fabulous book that should have been recognised more.   I love stumbling over Australian YA authors accidentally and getting caught up in their stories – Mo Johnson’s Boofheads was a novel I bought as the title tickled my fancy and it ended up really striking a chord with me.  It’s the debut authors like Julie and Mo that make reviewing really exciting.  

 A big thanks to Adele for taking the time to inform us about her wonderful blog. It is an excellent model for any students or even teachers wishing to begin their own blog.

Hey! Teenager of the year

When attending the virtual release of the Inkys longlist, Bright Ideas met an excpetional teenager with a brillant blog. Focussing on books for teenagers, Steph Bowe’s blog Hey! Teenager of the Year is both informative and inspiring. Steph has agreed to let the readers of Bright Ideas know a little bit more about her blog.

About me: I’m a fifteen-year-old aspiring author who lives in Victoria, Australia. At the moment I’m finishing high school by correspondence, because it allows for a lot more freedom with my education and I have more time for reading and writing. 

Earlier this year, I interviewed YA author and the manager of insideadog Lili Wilkinson on my blog. She invited me to be an Inkys judge, along with blogger Adele Walsh, three other teenage judges and last year’s golden Inky winning author James Roy. It’s been a lot of fun to be a part of.

 About my blog: I started Hey, Teenager of the Year in April as a way to talk about books for teenagers. My aims for the blog were mainly to talk about the books I love and get to know other YA readers and writers. I emailed authors whose books I love and asked if they’d be interested in being interviewed, read and commented on the blogs of other teen bloggers and gradually I got more and more readers – something that when I had started, I didn’t expect at all. Now, I regularly receive books for review, and through commenting on blogs and writing guest posts more and more people discover my blog. Because of my blog, I was asked to be an Inkys 2009 judge and I was invited by author Susanne Gervay to the NSW Writer’s Centre Kids & YA Festival.

 Hey! Teenager of the year is a fabulous resource as well as an exceptional model for other inspiring bloggers and writers, both young and not so young alike. Thanks to Steph for taking the time to speak to Bright Ideas. You can find out more information and contact Steph here.

2009 Inkys longlist

Here are the books that have made the 2009 Inkys longlist. Information from Insideadog website:

The 2009 Inkys Longlist


Broken Glass by Adrian Stirling 

Something happened when I was fifteen, something that made me invisible to everyone in Broken Glass.



I believe in Chloe and chocolate.

I believe the best part is always before.

I believe that most girls are shifty and most guys are dumb.


The boy with all the dreadlocks had two line of business: cars and the patio trade.

Ollie was in aisle five of Galaxy Art Supply stocking oil paints when Clio Ford emerged from the manager’s office.

Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

The SS Loongana steamed slowly up the Derwent River towards it’s berth at Salamanca Warf…

I tend to worry, I know I do, but only because I think there is lots of things to worry about.

It was fun at first, playing house. I made all my own meals. Crackers and cheese, three times a day.

I am a reading girl, with a pale face, and glasses.

The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.

Chelsea Dean opened the front door to her parents’ substantial riverside residence and was assulted by booming reception-centre music.

I had a dream
I put my hands
inside my chest
and held my heart

Ray was bigger but José was boss. They were fourteen and fifteen, on their own and on the run.

Tuesday the fourteenth of February began badly for Frankie Parsons.

I was born with water on the brain. Okay, so that’s not exactly true.

She looks good for a corpse.

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress.

I let the tips of both by swords dig into the sandy arena floor. It was the wrong move, but the dragging pain in my gut was pulling me into a crouch.

It’s six-thirty in the morning. I stumble out of bed and splash cold water in my flushed face.

A sound brought Col out of a deep sleep. Something was happening out in the corridor.