To start things off this week, In Praise of Libraries, from The Rotarian. I was one of those kids who had a library card when I could barely even write my own name (indeed, an individual with an uncharitable disposition might even argue my surname looks more like Hasrihgs than Hastings on my card), and I really would not be where I am today without it. My library is so much more than just a way to support my book habit without taking out a second mortgage, and it’s so important to remind people of the value of libraries when increasingly local councils are closing them rather than cherishing them.
Last week I linked Shannon Hale’s post about speaking in schools as a female author with female protagonists. Related to this is an article in The Guardian discussing the gender imbalance in children’s literature. It’s worth a read, because these kinds of imbalances read as normal to us that we don’t even realise them unless they’re pointed out. Perhaps that’s why so many mothers make the animals male (although I do wonder if the researchers specifically studied mothers in this context or if they – or the reporter – assumed that mothers did the majority of bedtime reading).
For my fellow aspiring authors out there, two worthwhile reads on the early stages of a novel. Julie at Publishing Crawl will help you turn your idea into a story, and then mooderino at Moody Writing will help you keep the early chapters engaging.
And finally, something light-hearted, the grammar nerds in Ecuador who correct errors in graffiti.