All the Cranky Ladies!

Cranky Ladies logoWe’re only into day 3 of our campaign and we’re over a third of the way towards funding – can you see my happy dance?! Tansy and I are so excited about the support and signal-boosting we’ve been lucky enough to receive, and want to publicly thank everyone who has already pledged, and also every single person who has posted, tweeted, blogged, Facebooked and so on about the campaign, because we know how much of a difference it makes. THANK YOU!

We’re starting to see fantastic posts about cranky ladies popping up as Women’s History Month gets underway, and we’re linking to them on the Cranky Ladies Blog Tour page – one of my favourite things about this book has been learning about historical figures I had not come across, so this blog tour is just excellent!

With the marvellous support we’ve already received, we’re adding some new rewards tiers – take a look at the Pozible site and see if anything new takes your fancy over the next couple of days! The first new tier is already up, with more to come – more cranky lady goodness!

Cranky Ladies of History: the crowd-funding campaign

Cranky Ladies logoDuring March, FableCroft Publishing is running the Cranky Ladies of History crowd-funding campaign on the Pozible platform. The campaign goes live on March 1 and will close on March 31, running for the duration of Women’s History Month. Our goal is to raise enough to pay our wonderful contributors the professional rates they so rightly deserve, and to create the very best book we can.

It’s our very great pleasure to also announce that we have been successful in securing a brand new Arts Tasmania grant associated with our campaign. The Crowbar funding is ONLY awarded to successful campaigns, but is assessed in advance – we will receive an extra $2,000 for our project if the Pozible campaign fully funds, which is is extremely exciting. We were Crowbar’s very first applicants, so we’re absolutely stoked to be approved for this! The funding is linked directly to the success of the campaign, and although we are approved by Arts Tas as eligible, they are only able to award the funds to successful campaigns, which is a bit scary, but extra incentive to do a brilliant job on our campaign trail 🙂

We are so grateful to so many people who have already offered support to the campaign by way of commitment to the project, and to those people who are already planning to participate in our Cranky Ladies of History blog tour. During the month, people from all over the world will be posting about THEIR favourite Cranky Ladies, and we will be linking to those from the FableCroft blog, Twitter and Facebook, as well as rounding up all the links on our dedicated Cranky Ladies page. It should be loads of fun, and also a fantastic way to learn about all those wonderful, irascible, eccentric, CRANKY women of history who pushed the boundaries of the societal norms of their time and place, and deserve to be remembered.

We will have more information about the Cranky Ladies project and the creators who are on board over the next few days – hope you’ll join us for the ride!

If you would like to host, post or guest blog about one (or more!) of YOUR favourite Cranky Ladies, please let me know! We want to plaster the internet with cranky women, and the more the merrier!

Supporting diversity in Young Adult fiction

newtppkaleidoscope-300x196As a secondary school teacher librarian by trade, and a passionate lover of YA fiction by heart, I am frequently asked by other library staff and readers for recommendations of young adult fiction that features protagonists who are not necessarily white, straight or able-bodied. So many of our students and reading clientele experience life through a lens that is different to what the majority of YA fiction presents as “normal”, and it’s just heartbreaking to have so little to offer with a protagonist outside of this range.

I read extensively. I have judged for several Australian awards, both within the speculative fiction field and the general Young Adult and Children’s area. It’s far too rarely I come across a protagonist who is disabled, or queer, or mentally ill, or simply not from a white European background, and I even more impressed when the aspect of “difference” (such as it may be) is not THE plot of the book, but rather is simply an aspect of the character.

It’s possible publishing is improving in this area. We do see more lesbian and gay and other non-straight, non-cis gendered characters in our YA fiction, though more frequently as the “best friend” or other secondary role than the protagonist. We are coming across more inclusion of disability (physical and intellectual) or mental illness in stories, though again, less frequently as the main character. Love it or hate it, television shows such as Glee demonstrate to market forces that non-straight, non-white, non-able bodied characters don’t negatively impact on the popularity of a franchise. And the more books like Eon (Alison Goodman), Pantomime (Laura Lam), Guardian of the Dead and The Shattering (Karen Healey), Nightsiders (Sue Isle),  Hunger (Jackie Morse Kessler), The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (Ambelin Kwaymullina), Ash (and others, Malindo Lo), Liar (Justine Larbalestier), and Akata Witch (Nnedi Okorafor) that are published and sell well, the more chance there is of more books featuring protagonists other than those who are straight, white able-bodied and mentally well.

And here is a project that aims to do just that. Kaleidoscope is an anthology of diverse contemporary YA fantasy stories. Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios are co-editing the anthology, which has a planned release date of August, 2014. Right now, Alisa and Julia are running a Pozible fundraising campaign to make the project happen. If you want to see more diversity in YOUR Young Adult fantasy and science fiction, I recommend it to you.