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A. J. Betts' Text Prize-winning YA novel, Zac & Mia, has been shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature in the in the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

‘The voices of Zac and Mia are distinctive, real, raw, unsentimental, empathetic and completely believable,’ said the judges in their report.

The winners will be announced on 19 May.


Today, Elsewhere

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Buy a copy of Darrell Pitt’s The Firebird Mystery at any Readings shop or online in March and you could win a Yarra Valley hot air balloon ride for three children and one adult, valued at $1250!

Competition entry forms are available in all shops and online purchases are automatically entered into the draw.

All are also welcome at the launch of The Firebird Mystery at Readings Carlton on Thursday 20 March.




Literary Valentines for the romantic reader.

Great historical slang from the Oxford English Dictionary. I for one have been doing my darnedest to bring ‘snoot’ and all its derivatives back.

Why yes, I would like to watch David Lynch’s ads for perfume based on the works of Lawrence, Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

The weird handwriting of famous authors.

Classic novels are brought to life through book sculptures. One could argue that the novels might also be brought to life by reading them, but these are kind of cute, so.

10 great films and their literary counterparts.

Author would call publicist in the middle of the night complaining about the “hard sheets,” demand a room upgrade, and then apologize and inquire about her “soft skin”. Things publishers say in their promotional material, and things publishers should say in their promotional material.

All the times poetry is mentioned on The Simpsons.

This is exquisite: nail art inspired by children’s books.

The 10 worst relationships in literature.

Another theory [of Hemingway’s] was that, if you had sex often enough, you could eat all the strawberries you wanted without contracting hives, even if you were allergic to the fruit. The secret sex lives of famous authors.


Today, Elsewhere

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‘I choose areas I’d quite like to explore and then the novel’s an excuse for exploring it.’ Margaret Drabble interviewed in the Australian. Margaret Drabble will be a guest of the Perth Writers Festival (February 20-23) and Adelaide Writers' Week (March 1-6).

Our Young-Adult Dystopia: taking issue with dystopian book series and cynical publishing.

A great piece on Beethoven and experimental literature.


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We’ll be accepting entries for the 2014 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing from Monday 3 March until Friday 4 April.

Awarded annually to the best manuscript written for young adults and children, the Text Prize has unearthed extraordinary, multi-award-winning novels and launched international publishing careers. The winner receives a publishing contract with Text Publishing worth $10,000.

Last year’s winner, Diana Sweeney’s The Minnow, will be released on 22 May 2014.

For more details and to download an entry form, click here.


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Laurie Halse Anderson’s latest novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory, is ‘a riveting study of a psychologically scarred teenager, peeling back layers of internal defenses to reveal a girl’s deepest wounds,’ says Publishers Weekly.

‘Laughter through tears and all manner of matters of the heart make this novel a standout for any reader 15 and up,’ says Galley Talk.

You can read a Q&A with Laurie here.

The Impossible Knife of Memory is available now in bookshops and online.


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Vikki Wakefield’s Friday Brown and Alyssa Brugman’s Alex As Well have both been shortlisted in the Young Adult Fiction category of the 2014 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

One of the category winners will also be awarded the overall Premier’s Award, worth $25,000.

The winners will be announced in March 2014 during Adelaide Writers’ Week. See the full shortlist here.


Today, Elsewhere

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‘The most serendipitous moment was the night I went outside of a nightclub to get some air and found a brochure for a regional writers’ festival stuck to my shoe.’ Vikki Wakefield, author of the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards-shortlisted Friday Brown, interviewed by the Wheeler Centre.

Women writers are far outnumbered by men in magazines and book reviews, but why? Part of the answer lies in book publishing.

Should we be using the ‘-ize’ suffix?


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Vikki Wakefield’s Friday Brown and Helen Trinca’s Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John have been shortlisted in the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, in the YA and Non-fiction categories respectively.

The stage adaptation of Kate Grenville’s The Secret River has also been shortlisted in the Drama category.

The winners will be announced in January.


Other YA sites to visit:

Inside A Dog

Centre for Youth Literature website

Kathy Charles

Kathy's interactive website

Persnickety Snark

YA blog full of reviews and interviews

Kelly Link

Discover Kelly here

Rebecca Stead
Laurie Halse Anderson
Prince of Mist facebook
Hey! Teenager of the Year

Steph Bowe’s blog

The Long Blinks

Leanne Hall’s blog

Thunder Road

Tim Pegler’s blog

The Billionare's Curse

Richard Newsome’s website

The Text Prize

The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing is an annual prize awarded to an outstanding unpublished manuscript. It aims to discover more wonderful new books for young readers, by Australian and New Zealand writers.


Teaching Notes

For a complete list of teaching notes and resources, visit our teaching notes page.

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