Thursday, September 10, 2015

Obsessed with Writer Activism

This week the New Zealand book world was rocked when there was a decision to ban an award winning Young Adult book pending a fourth review of it’s classification. (They have been arguing whether its 14+ or not for two years.) New Zealand has never had a novel banned in this way before and certainly not a Young Adult novel. As of Tuesday this week it is forbidden to share the book, have it on a library bookshelf or sell it in a bookshop. Today there was a silent reading protest throughout the country as writers and booksellers, librarians and teachers gathered in groups to publically read Into The River by Ted Dawe.
The chief judge who awarded this book the NZ Book of the Year in 2013 has written of his reasons to support the book. The book community is left shaking its head over the decision and the damage it has done to our international reputation. We wish Ted many happy sales as this decision has raised the profile of the book and now everybody will want to read the two small sex scenes and 17 f-words for themselves and wonder as we do... how something so trivial could be blown out of proportion and obscure the real message that racial intolerance and bullying can permanently damage a boys self esteem.

Another Author standing up for injustice this week was Patrick Ness. He started a small fundraising campaign for refugees. He just asked a few children’s writer friends to join him... and raise £10, 000 and then it snowballed....

Maggie Stiefvater has been having a tough week. This week she made a plea on Tumblr about being misreported and taken out of context and she also explained about her inclusion on a panel that she didn’t know was on writing about race. Can white writers write about POC in their books? Can we represent the world as it is? Maggie asks these important questions and makes some decisions.

Kristine Rusch has a great article on Obsession, Delusion and writing. Are you obsessed enough about writing to keep learning.

Porter Anderson comments on the Author Guild campaign of revising publishing contracts especially where it relates to back lists. The Novelists group report that two of their 900 members have been stopped in their tracks trying to get their back list back with over 150 titles between them..

In the Craft Section.
Quick and Dirty editing tips – Pub Hub(Bookmark)

In the Marketing Section,

Website of The Week
Feather Stone reviews One Stop For Writers software, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s latest project. This new software is coming soon.

To Finish,
Chuck has some pertinent things to say about authors being on Social Media. (warning it is Chuck!)

Social Media can be used as a force for good. Todays protest was organised on Social Media in under two days...

Maureen Crisp

Pics taken by me today at the protest when I wasn’t reading...


Angela Ackerman said...

I had not heard this about the River, but you can bet that i will now seek out this book and read it. I don't understand censorship, especially over what you've described here. Thanks for writing about it and raising awareness about it!

And as always, thanks for the mention--YOU are the rock star, Maureen! :)

Maureen said...

Hi Angela,
The publisher has withdrawn all books for sale here. Amazon are taking down their copies as well. Its a hard hitting book written for a specific demographic of boys who don't read and was in its first year the most requested book in the library system. This hi jacking of the censorship board by a small minority group is causing real concern here in NZ. The International Children's Writers community is standing behind Ted (who is a multi published award winning writer) and so his International profile is soaring with the publicity. The whole banning saga has backfired hugely on this minority group. As one of our writers have said… they have more problem with Ted's book aimed at 14+ than the fact that kids are reading 50 Shades of Grey which is on constant rotation at her sons high school library… and many other high schools across the country and that doesn't come with a reading age restriction imposed by the censors office.

Angela Ackerman said...

I am glad that people are rallying, and in this way, the small-mindedness of a single group might mean that more of the people who need to read this book will.

Anne R. Allen said...

Great links! Thanks for the shout-out.

This book banning thing is so insane. At least it's going to make him a lot of sales!

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