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Forty kids' authors to launch online festival
01.07.11 | Caroline Horn
A group of 40 children's authors will launch the first online literary festival in the children's sector in July. It is the latest initiative by children's authors working collaboratively to grow their profiles.
The authors, all members of the Scattered Authors Society, are aiming to drive traffic to their blogging website, An Awfully Big Blog Adventure (www.awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.com), which is aimed at teenagers, teachers, librarians, parents and others within the trade.
Those taking part include Adele Geras, Mary Hoffman, Liz Kessler and Celia Rees. They will provide new blogs every half hour from 9.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. during 9th to 10th July. Rees said: "There are a lot of bloggers out there talking about children's books, but not so much of a voice for writers themselves. We are trying to give ourselves a voice within this world. It's a way of increasing interest in our books, yes, but also about supporting reading in general."
She added the online festival will give a voice to many authors who may never themselves be able to attend a real festival. "Festivals are so tied up by publishers, budgets and the next ‘big thing'. Our online festival is a much more democratic approach and it's organised by writers themselves," she explained.
Other blogging platforms have emerged from the ‘ABBA' initiative, including Crime Central and Girls Heart Books. A further blog, The History Girls, will launch on 1st July spearheaded by author Mary Hoffman. She said: "We will have some well-known names alongside debut writers. It will create a support network and also get our work known by new audiences, including adult readers." Some of the bloggers write adult as well as children's books.
Ultimately, group specialist blogging websites could be used as a platform for authors wanting to self-publish their work said Rees. She added: "While I wouldn't want to bypass my publisher, I do have books that are out of print that I know people would like to read. Developments like the Kindle have made it much easier to get out of print books back out there, and specialist blogging websites like these provide a platform to do so."