LoveOzYA is, at its heart, a way to focus the discussions around young adult (YA) fiction in Australia and by doing so, promote local content to local readers. The movement began – as all important conversations do nowadays – online, and rapidly garnered the attention of writers, readers, publishers, booksellers and so many more invested in our national youth literature. We all want the same thing – to draw the attention of Australian teens to Australian books that speak to their experience, and unite the youth-lit community by:
- promoting a united message
- centralising information
- raising the profile of local content.
The LoveOzYA community is represented by an elected committee who can facilitate discussion, speak to the media, and carry out actions on behalf of the group.
You can find the full history behind the movement, and the stats that inspired it, here: http://www.killyourdarlingsjournal.com/2015/07/loveozya/ & here: http://www.wheelercentre.com/notes/young-love-australian-YA
If you’re a #LoveOzYA creator, and would like to request a letter of support from the Committee, please give us at least one full week’s notice ahead of your desired deadline.
Meet the LoveOzYA Committee
Kate Eltham – Chair
Kate has been reading Australian YA since she fell in love with the books of Ivan Southall and Gary Crew at age 11. Kate’s previous roles have included CEO of Queensland Writers Centre, Manager of Reading and Writing at the State Library of Queensland and Festival Director of Brisbane Writers Festival, where she established LoveYA!, a free all-day celebration of YA fiction. She is currently Business Development Manager for the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT.
Alice Boer-Endacott – Secretary (author representative)
Alice has independently published five young adult fantasy books under the name A B Endacott. When not reading or writing, she is contributing to The Nerd Daily (http://www.thenerddaily.com/) about all things pop culture or spending time with her cats (and thus slowly morphing into a crazy cat lady). She passionately believes that books have the capacity to change people for the better.
Renee Fletcher – Deputy Chair (publishing representative)
Renee is completing a Bachelor in Professional Writing and Publishing and is currently working as a marketing associate. When she’s not studying, working or reading she’s helping the community with her local SES Unit by climbing on roofs, wrangling trees and helping the public prepare for storms and other natural disasters. She has a dog named Frank and spends more time at the beach than might be considered necessary.
Jasmin McGaughey is a Torres Strait Islander and African American. She is currently in the midst of a Master of Philosophy in creative writing, looking into Torres Strait Islander representation in YA.
She is lucky enough to work at the Queensland State Library in the black&write! team as a Junior Editor. She is also a recipient of the Wheeler Centre’s 2019 Next Chapter Fellowship.
She has been able to write for Overland, Kill Your Darlings, Voiceworks, and Hot Chicks with Big Brains. Jasmin’s passions have always been writing and reading and she is proud to be able to work and learn in this field with excellent First Nations work.
Allanah Hunt is a Junior Editor in the black&write! team at the State Library of Queensland. She loves writing, reading, cats and Marvel, not necessarily in that order.
She is a PhD student in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University, England.
Her PhD involves the production and analysis of fan fiction set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her previous writing has concentrated on realistic and literary fiction, exploring sensitive contemporary issues such as Aboriginal deaths in custody.
She has had several short stories published and two of her novels placing Highly Commended in the black&write! Fellowship. She is a winner of the inaugural Boundless mentorship. She won the 2019 Nakata Brophy Fiction Prize and is one of the novella winners for Griffith Review as well as a Griffith Review Fellowship.
Meg Kennedy – Communications Director
Meg Kennedy is a writer and journalist living on Wathaurong Country in regional Victoria. She is passionate about young people in regional and rural Australia seeing themselves in Aussie stories.
When she’s not fangirling over a book, film or television show, she can usually be found taking pictures of her two Labradors.
Alexandra Patrikios – Communications Director
Alexandra Patrikios is a former news journalist who spent five years covering everything from gripping High Court challenges, to the high-stakes world of Commonwealth Games table tennis, in Australia and the UK.
She now works in health communications in nipaluna/Hobart (where the long winters provide ample time to stay indoors and indulge her love of young adult literature) and has a particular passion for stories ethically explore the issue of mental health.
Alex Wharton serves as a Head of Middle/Senior School on Kamilaroi Country lands in Gunnedah, rural north west NSW. He has been an English Teacher and Head Teacher for over 10 years and is an advocate for reading and literacy in his local and professional community.
Alex is a curriculum resource writer and his work includes writing for the Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia project which provides teaching resources for Australia’s best young adult literature. Alex has been a judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Red Room Poetry and is a text reviewer for the English Teachers Association of NSW.
Dayna Smith is a children and young people’s librarian at a public library in Queensland, a job that perfectly combines her previous roles as a child and youth psychologist and bookseller.
Her favourite YA genres are LGBTIQA+ contemporary and magical realism because she loves stories about people figuring out who they are. When she’s not reading, Dayna loves to bake and carve wood.
If you’re interested in volunteering your time to the #LoveOzYA Committee we’d love you to nominate yourself. We encourage you to read through our Charter to get a clearer picture of how we operate, along with the posts that are listed above. Self-nomination does not guarantee you a place on the committee, but as places become available, we will approach individuals from our list of potential committee members. In order to put your hand up, head over to our CONTACT US page and use the subject ‘Committee Nomination’. Within the message, please tell us about yourself. We specifically would like to know the state you live in, your profession and your age. We’d also encourage you to self-identify any other aspect of your life which you feel will add to your contribution to the committee. Everyone is welcome! It’s a passion for Australian YA that we share.
Similarly, if you ever have any feedback for the committee, we welcome it. We are here to service you, the community. We are just a merry band of volunteers trying to spread the love so if you see ways that could make that more effective or wide reaching, we’d love to hear it. Just make use of the CONTACT US page.
The #LoveOzYa logo was designed by author Trinity Doyle!