Announcements

Queer YA Scrabble

I'm proud to announce that I am one of the hosts for Queer YA Scrabble, an event which aims to increase awareness of LGBTQ-positive YA, taking place from 6-8 June, in support of Stonewall UK.

Want to learn more about Stonewall UK? They have a campaign tackling homophobic bullying in schools and colleges: Stonewall Education for All. They also have a website specifically aimed at young people for them to learn more about LGBTQ issues and get support if they need: Young Stonewall.

As for the Queer YA Scrabble event, participants will hunt for letters concealed in blog posts featuring queer YA books and then solve anagrams allowing them to compete for a chance to win a box full of great titles. Following the promotional game, another set of book boxes will be up for bid with 100% of proceeds donated to Stonewall.

This event is organised by Julia Ember (Twitter, website), an author of queer YA herself. She's created a blog especially for the event, where you can find more info and weekly updates! Check out the blog and stay updated: Queer YA Scrabble blog.

We already have over 30 authors who have signed up to take part in this event and send in their books for the giveaway! It's shaping up to be an amazing event.

If you're an author who writes queer YA or identifies as queer, then please do consider signing up for this event via the author registration page!

I am one of six blogs helping to host this event. You should check out the other awesome blog hosts as well!

GayYA.org | YA Highway | Writability | YA Interrobang | The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh

There's already an Indiegogo page to raise money for Stonewall UK: you can start donating now!

Do help to promote this event on Twitter and on your blog if you can! We want lots of people participating so we can raise as much money for Stonewall as possible and so that more people can learn about these queer YA books!

Now mark the dates on your calendar (6-8 June), get excited and spread the word!

This month, I'll be taking part in the Book Blogger Love-a-Thon, hosted by Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, which takes place over two days on 21-22 February. In March, I'll be taking part in Contemporary Conversations, hosted by Kayla @ The Thousand Lives and Veronica @ Talking Bookworm.

loveathon2015

The Book Blogger Love-a-Thon is a chance for bloggers to share their love and explore the blogging community, making some new friends along the way. It takes place over a two-day weekend, and includes an introduction post, mini challenges, Twitter chats, and a giveaway. You can sign up to the event here!


Contemporary Conversations

Contemporary Conversations takes place over the whole of March and celebrates all things contemporary. You can sign up to the event here!

The official schedule goes like this:

  • Week One (1st-7th): Coming of Age tales.
  • Week Two (8th-14th): The Hard Stuff.
  • Week Three (15th-21st): Rereads.
  • Week Four (22nd-28th): Conspiracies/Dramas.

I'm going to try to follow this schedule! I was gonna just do fluffy romances for Week Three since I don't really do rereads normally but my last Top Ten Tuesday post got me thinking that maybe I do want to reread some books after all! So in Week Three I'll be trying to do both rereads and fluffy romances that I've never read before.

I'm currently planning to review at least 2 books per week for this event. This is a tentative list of books I'd like to read (probably won't get round to all of them but I can try).

Week One: Coming of Age

  1. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz (already read!)
  2. Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
  3. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  4. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (also already read!)

Week Two: The Hard Stuff

  1. Something by Courtney Summers, not sure what yet, but maybe Cracked Up to Be?
  2. Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
  3. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Week Three: Fluffy Romances/Rereads

  1. On the Fence by Kasie West
  2. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (okay yeah two Kasie Wests... why? I won these two books in a giveaway and I just think this is the perfect chance to read them!)
  3. Sprout by Dale Peck
  4. Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Week Four: Conspiracies/Dramas

  1. Sleuth or Dare (i.e. Going Rogue) by Robin Benway
  2. ??? I HAVE NO IDEA. Suggestions?
I hope you guys will join me for one or both of these events! Also, if you guys have any recommendations for Week Four: Conspiracies/Dramas, please comment and let me know! :D

Afterwritten welcome

Well, if you've been on my blog since Tuesday night, you'll have noticed that... things are looking quite different around here! I MOVED TO SELF-HOSTED. AND I SPENT SOME TIME LABOURING OVER A SWANKY NEW DESIGN. I'm not really a design whiz or anything, so I just used the lovely and simple Tiny Forge theme and did a bit of messing around of my own and VOILA. HERE WE GO.

If you're poking around my blog and you see any parts of the new design which aren't working for you or which look kinda odd, please tell me! I'll probably continue to make small tweaks here and there. Especially to the navigation bar, which I haven't had time to customise yet.

I'd been wondering whether to move to self-hosted ever since I realised the limitations of a wordpress.com blog after moving from Blogger. I really liked how much cleaner wordpress.com is compared to Blogger, but I definitely had way more freedom with Blogger for the same price of nothing! I was first inspired by Cayce's move, and then I came across a few amazing blog designs, like Charlotte's and Meg's in particular, both of which really sparked the desire in me to be able to fiddle around with my own blog again and create something more unique-looking. (And both designs lent me some inspiration for my design, so thank you! Although your designs are both way more gorgeous than mine, obviously.) So. I did it. I moved!

So, thank you to all of you for reading my blog and for being so awesome! I LOVE YOU ALL. PLEASE CONTINUE BEING AWESOME. <3

Moving daySo, I decided to move from Jellyfish Reads to here.

As you will have noticed, I hadn't really posted on Jellyfish Reads in quite a long time. I started Jellyfish Reads in March this year, and I set myself a standard of reading about a dozen books each month for the first few months that I was blogging. A standard which I quickly discovered was not really possible for me to stick to forever. I started to lose motivation. For those of you who don't know, I study Classics at the University of Oxford, and it's a lot of work. Writing two 2000-word essays and reading and reviewing three books every week was doable, but it was only doable if I gave up on other parts of my life. My friends complained that they hardly ever saw me anymore.

I took a break from reading and blogging because I wanted more time for other things in my life. I kept trying to get back into blogging, but I found it difficult. Composing posts took longer than they should. I just wanted to talk about books, but book blogging was about more than that. The longer I didn't update my blog, the guiltier I felt, and the harder it was to go back to it.

But I still wanted to read books and talk about them.

So I've given up on Jellyfish Reads. I want to start afresh because it's going to be different from now on. I'm gonna talk about books, but I might talk about other things as well. Posts will be much more simple. I'm not going to try and be a book blog. It's just going to be a blog, and I will talk about books. Not as regularly as before. I'm just going to read when I have time and review when I have time. Reviews will probably vary in length a lot as well. I felt that once I'd started writing fairly long reviews, I had to keep writing reviews of the same length, but that wasn't really feasible.

This blog isn't really going to be very fancy and pretty. I want to keep it as simple as possible so I can focus on the important things.

My next post after this will be a quick round-up of the books I've read in the past few months that I haven't managed to write a review for on Jellyfish Reads. Then I'll attempt to start catching up on all the other review copies I'm supposed to have read.

Please also note that I've moved on Twitter as well from @jellyfishreads to @afterwritten. (As in, I've actually moved accounts instead of just changing my username.) I'm still the same on Goodreads though.

If you started following me from when I was blogging at Jellyfish Reads and you'd like to continue following me, you're awesome and I love you. Thanks for sticking around! I'm going to try my best to just be me and enjoy reading and blogging from now on and make it fun again instead of a source of stress.

(I make no promises, but the jellyfish may still make the occasional appearance.)