13 May, 2009

wordbox for writers takes off!

tonight is the eve of wordbox's third birthday and we are totally celebrating. the 'box had solid growth in its first two years thanks to some enthusiastic support from industry leaders who support young people's writing - 3000 hits each of those years.
I don't remember when we hit the 3000 this year, but it was early. On birthday eve we're up to 10 959 - by the end of the week that will mean 5000 hits over the year.
Thank you to all the librarians, teachers, TLs, authors, competition organisers, parents, industry members and most of all - young people - who use wordbox as their comprehensive reference guide for Australian writing competitions. You keep it strong.

Wordbox focuses on providing links to genuine literary opportunities for young Australians in the fields of reading and writing which result variously in publication, reward, recognition and the building blocks of a future career. These opportunities are offered by Australian government agencies, libraries, schools and writers’ organisations where young people’s interests are central. Information is provided about assessing the worth of a competition and about avoiding scam competitions. It's so selfish, really. I support young writers so they'll develop their work so we'll all have something fabulous to read at bedtime - tonight and every night to come.

Wordbox was inspired by Tim Cahill, a (then) young U.S. writer, who wrote in Teen Ink magazine that having a piece published is a wondrous experience, especially as a teenager, when it seems so often that your words are doomed to suffocate in the flood of relationships, activities and responsibilities…
[T. Cahill, 'Preface', in S H Meyer & J Meyer (eds) Teen Ink 2: More voices, more visions written by teens, Health Communications Inc, Deerfield Beach, Florida, 2001, p. xviii]

On Birthday Eve I'd like to send out virtual roses to wordbox supporters I know of. Thank you, and apologies to any I've missed.
Denise O'Connor (SLQ), St Mary's College Ipswich, The Source, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, WritingWA, Australian Writers Marketplace, Sydney Writers, Antonia Suthers, Nicole McPhee, edNa, James Roy, Hazel Edwards, Simon Higgins, Judith Ridge, Jenny Stubbs, Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, State Library of Tasmania, The Glennie School, National Literacy and Numeracy Week, Mackay Libraries, Margaret Spillman, Gladstone City Library, Education Victoria, Darebin Libraries, Education Tasmania, Hillbrook Anglican College, Mackay Christian College, Stanton Library, Fraser Coast Libraries, Queensland Writers Centre, Mike Shuttleworth (CYL), Pat Flynn, Rockhampton Libraries, Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal, Fremantle Children's Literature Centre, and most recently Sharon McGuinness.

Fremantle Children's Literature Centre!!! This is totally bigger than I ever imagined. Look at all these people who support young people's creative development. It's astounding. Exciting. Hopeful.

If you've used wordbox to check out the comps, let me know - comment on the blog! Happy birthday.

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