Authors raise six figures to help refugees

Authors raise six figures to help refugees

Authors fundraising to help Syrian refugees have raised in excess of £100,000 in less than a day.

The campaign was started on Twitter yesterday (Thursday) by author Patrick Ness, who said he would match £10,000 in donations given to Save the Children through an online donation page he set up.

His target was reached within hours, prompting YA author John Green to say he would match the next £10,000.

Derek Landy matched the third £10,000 and Jojo Moyes the next. Green's brother, vlogger Hank Green, has also matched £10,000, with two anonymous donors contacting Ness to say they would each match £10,000.

Next, a group of American YA authors - Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Foreman, Tahereh Mafi, Brendan Reichs, Ally Carter, Margaret Stohl, Jenny Han, Shannon Hale, Siobhan Vivian, Richelle Mead, Ransom Riggs - pledged to collectively match £10,000. Rowell has also been setting donation targets for her fans and revealing which Hogwarts houses her characters would be in when those targets were reached.

A group of YA authors on the West Coast of America then said they would match another £10,000. Those authors are Stohl, Melissa de la Cruz, Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, Lauren DeStefano, Pseudonymous Bosch, David Levithan, Libba Bray, Lauren Oliver, Jacqueline Woodson, Alexandra Bracken, IW Gregorio, Stacey Lee and Maureen Johnson, who also gave bespoke nicknames to everyone who donated on her timeline.

As of 9am this morning (Friday), including gift aid, more than £170,000 had been raised, with some matching funds still to come in.

Ness told The Bookseller: "I am astonished at how people have responded. I think, by pure accident, I happened to express my frustration at the right moment (on Twitter).

"And American YA authors took it right up and pledged and cajoled and offered things for people when they donated. I'm amazed.

"And I think this is the populace that the government needs to pretend doesn't exist or it might just have to act like normal moral human beings about the refugee crisis."

The Syrian refugee crisis hit the public consciousness this week after the body of a young boy, Aylan Kurdi, who was fleeing Syria washed up on the coast of Turkey.

Ness' campaign began yesterday morning and raised £40,000 in public donations by the late afternoon.