Six white linkspams! (Snow white linkspams!)

Men explain Lolita to me

But I was serious about this. You read enough books in which people like you are disposable, or are dirt, or are silent, absent, or worthless, and it makes an impact on you. Because art makes the world, because it matters, because it makes us. Or breaks us.

The Stella Prize – the next, bold iteration – on counting diversity in the Stella Prize.

‘We speak English in this country’: Victim of racist rant tracks woman who defended her (has autoplay)

Nope, Still Not OK: Absolutely Fabulous’ Yellowface Casting

These forgotten female crime writers had no time for femme fatales or dowdy housewives

This article assumes, annoyingly, that its readers don’t speak or read Chinese, but this is super interesting regardless: The long, incredibly tortuous, and fascinating process of creating a Chinese font. (So ridiculously over dramatic, come on quokkas)

On home workers: A huge underclass of ghost workers are making your shirts in their homes

CAH has a third party factory in China, usual shitty conditions, so I was surprised to read this: Cards Against Humanity gives its entire Chinese workforce a holiday

While our factory provides excellent wages and working conditions, Chinese working conditions are generally more strict. This year, we used the money from one day of our holiday promotion to give our workers something very uncommon in China: a paid vacation.

The printer didn’t have any formal procedures for paid vacations, so we bought 100% of the factory’s capacity and paid them to produce nothing for a week, giving the people who make Cards Against Humanity an unexpected chance to visit family or do whatever they pleased.

How to Not Ruin the Holidays for your Fat Friends and Family

The cast of next year’s J K Rowling-penned Harry Potter play has been announced … and Noma Dumezweni is playing Hermione.  Spoilers: she is not white.

We at No Award think it’s pretty cool that JKR has gone from reading and faving articles about racebending and PoC headcanons in HP to actually casting a woman of colour.  And Dumezweni has been quite amazing in the few things Liz has seen her in.

(Doctor Who.  I’ve seen her in Doctor Who.)

Melbourne MP includes a black baby Jesus in her nativity display, people respond with racism.  Wait ’til you see their faces when they realise Jesus was a Middle Eastern refugee, eh?

An Unbelievable Story of Rape.  A compelling long read about a serial rapist, and the particular case of one of his victims, a girl who had just left foster care, who was treated remarkably differently to the middle class women who were also attacked.

The Skies Belong To Us: How Hijackers Created An Airline Crisis In the 1970s.  Remember that episode of Daria where Jane jokes about hijacking a plane?  Talk about things that wouldn’t fly (ahahahaha) in a post 9/11 world.

Christmas in Australia means one thing: Cricket.

Submit to Stuff

Southerly

For its second number in 2016, Southerly will be producing an issue, co-edited by David Brooks and Andy Jackson, on Writing and Disability, and we are seeking contributions in all our usual fields – poetry, short fiction, essay, review, memoir, etc. Both physical and psychological disability will be considered – visible and invisible – and disability will be interpreted widely within these areas. The co-editors do not wish to limit contributions in any way. They do note, however, that the area of writing and disability is significantly under-theorised, especially in the Australian context, and hope that this publication might make some contribution in this area.

Deadline: June 30th 2016

The Bit About Star Wars

John Boyega’s Response to White Tears is the Blackest Thing I’ve Ever Heard This Week

Emo Kylo Ren feels like a throwback to fandom c2002 in the best way possible.

Spotify has some truly outstanding official Star Wars playlists.

Seriously thinking about Gross White People Business as a new tag here at No Award

Meet the Kleptogastromaniacs, Customers Hooked on High-End-Food Theft

Of course, there can be a certain pleasure in getting something for nothing — and achieving that emotional state can be a goal that takes over the lives of some people (even very well-heeled ones). Take the case of a successful white-collar professional who began stealing wine from stores at the age of 50 after several deaths in his family. Like many wine connoisseurs, he was guided by Robert Parker’s wine reviews and aimed for bottles with a rating of at least 95. Then he set a goal of boosting $1,000-worth of wine in a week, and succeeded. Along the way, though, he was arrested several times and spent heavily for lawyers to avoid a felony conviction that might have cost him his professional license.

Bendigo mosque appeal thrown out of court

Ms Hoskin, who refused to comment to the media after the Court of Appeal judgment was handed down, tumbled down the steps outside court after the verdict, and had to be given first aid treatment for a suspected broken ankle.

She was helped into a taxi by members of the media, after refusing an ambulance.

On Wednesday morning, the court rejected the residents’ claims that the mosque would bring negative social effects to Bendigo. The judges said Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights protected freedom of religion, and said the mere practice of religious worship could not be considered to be an adverse “social effect”.

KARMA

This isn’t necessarily a Gross White Person Story, but it does involve terrible ginger hipster boys, and also chocolate fraud.  YES, CHOCOLATE FRAUD.

From there, Liz fell into a chocolate fraud spiral (totes a thing), and discovered the same blogger’s 2006 expose of the world’s most expensive chocolate as, well, a badly tempered, repackaged wholesale product.

(If reading that has left you curious about the world of bean to bar chocolate, and you’re in Melbourne, turns out Haigh’s has been doing bean to bar since before these whippersnappers came along.)

(Chocolate fraud is also a great topic if you love reading investigative journalism, but aren’t in the mood for crime or, you know, anything where people are seriously hurt.)

Liz leaves the house: West Writers Our Stories Forum

The West Writers Our Stories Forum was first held in 2014, and continued this weekend just past. It’s held out in Footscray, in Melbourne’s mid-West, yay! (Very brown territory) Its concept is examining “what story means to a wide range of communities and how we can represent the diversity of stories and voices in Australia’s literary scene.”

[Liz attended on her own, because Steph had a prior engagement.]

Continue reading “Liz leaves the house: West Writers Our Stories Forum”

No Award leaves the house: #loveOzYA at Readings

Back in May, ALIA (that’s the Australian Libraries and Information Association for those readers who don’t have a defunct Grad Dip in Library and Information Studies) released the top 10 YA titles borrowed from Australian public libraries.

Only two out of the ten were Australian.  John Green had more entries in this list than Australian YA authors.

Out of this problem grew the #loveOzYA hashtag, a grassroots reader movement that was quickly embraced by booksellers and publishers.  Danielle Binks writes more about that for Kill Your Darlings.

I read Australian YA, and I also write it (or try to), so this is an issue very dear to my heart.  I want to be a published author one day, and I want to reach a wide audience — who doesn’t? — but I also want to tell Australian stories.  And I don’t want to choose.

(Yesterday I sat down and made a list of all the ideas I have for middle grade and YA novels, and where they’re at, and roughly how I’d prioritise them.  I have ten ideas that I think are worth pursuing.  Nine are specifically set in Australia.  I clearly have a vested interest in promoting Australian fiction for young readers.)

On Tuesday night, I went to a #loveOzYA event at Readings Hawthorn, a panel discussion titled Where’s OzYA going right, and where’s it going wrong?  The panel was moderated by Isobel Moore, the specialist YA bookseller from Readings St Kilda.  On the panel were Melissa Keil, winner of the inaugural Ampersand Prize and author of contemporary Melbourne-based YA; Marisa Pintado, commissioning editor of YA for Hardie Grant Egmont and coordinator of the Ampersand Prize; the abovementioned Danielle Binks; and Susan la Marca, a senior teacher-librarian.

This was the perfect event — Readings Hawthorn was warm, dry, spacious and had toilets, not to mention that it was full of books, and the panel only ran for three-quarters of an hour, which is handy when it’s a Tuesday night and it takes me an hour to get home.

For once, I didn’t livetweet the event, but instead chose to take notes on my phone.  (Okay, I’ll be honest: I’m nearly out of data.)  Important lesson for Future Lizzes: just take a notebook.  It’s low-tech, but at least doesn’t have autocorrect.

Continue reading “No Award leaves the house: #loveOzYA at Readings”

other places; other people; othering people

A travelogue is an old tradition; an old form of writing. There are records of travel diaries as early as the second century CE; there are Arabic travel journals in the twelfth century and Chinese travel literature in the tenth. There are diaries and journals; maps and economics; boredom and poetry.

A travelogue is the transcription of an adventure; of an exploration; a movement into the unknown or, less commonly, into the known. Travel literature considers one’s identity, and one’s country, and one’s world.

A travelogue is, often, a reflection of the self.

A travelogue tells the audience a lot about a traveller. Between the lines are the things the traveller sees every day, and the assumptions a traveller makes, and the joys a traveller takes from moving through the world.

writer's victoria tweet:
writer’s victoria tweet: “what drives people to suffer in parts of the world with unpronounceable names & indigestible food? we’ll ask @tomdoig”

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In Australia, and predominantly in English-language writing, a travelogue is about the traveller; and in its way, it is about the other. This requires an assumption around who is the audience, and who is the other, for there are few other ways to represent those with whom the narrative comes in contact.

I love travelogues. I love them for what they tell you about a person, and a place, and sometimes, what they tell you about yourself. I love travelogues of Australians in Australia; non-Australians in Australia; Australians not in Australia. (I also love travel tales of people in China and Malaysia and Singapore, the other places of my heart) I love these because whether these are travel stories of people in their homes or not in their homes, their stories are always new to me, and there’s always an exploration and an unfamiliarity and a joy, of sorts.

**

I love it when people talk about their travelogues!

In other news, here’s Other Places, a thing Writer’s Victoria is hosting tonight:

What drives people to leave the comfort of their everyday lives and suffer in far-flung parts of the world with unpronounceable names and indigestible food? Is it our essentially “nomadic” nature, as Bruce Chatwin claims? Is it “The Call of the Wild”? Or is that just a bunch of pretentious First World rubbish? All of the above, according to Tom Doig, author of Moron to Moron: two men, two bikes, one Mongolian misadventure. Come along and find out why.

The audience: clearly not me. Though I choose to leave the comfort of my inner-north Melbourne home, it’s for the comfort of the family home in Malaysia, with its squat toilets and five grown adults in two bedrooms and mosquito netting. I’m a person with a name that is, in its way, unpronounceable (certainly many people mispronounce it). My food is, to many people, indigestible. So, in the dichotomy of the audience and the other, I’m pretty comfortable in assuming I’m the other, here, despite having been born in Australia and loving a good travelogue.

People not from the “first world” travel, and then write about it. People from the first world can be pretty rubbishly pretentious.

“The Call of the Wild” is primarily a racist concept used in racist situations (white people talking about not-white people).

I really wanted to go, because I love travel writing and I’m currently working on a brown person’s travelogue (mine). Now, I really want to go and find out if this event is gonna be as casually, thoughtlessly racist as it sounds like it’s going to be, but I really can’t justify the $50 just to get angry.

If you go, let me know. I’ve got some questions.

writer's victoria tweet:
writer’s victoria tweet: “are travel writers responding to ‘The Call of the Wild”? we’ll ask @tomdoig on Monday. Join us…”

Other Places
Writer’s Victoria
The Wheeler Centre
September 8, 18:30 – 20:30
Non-member $50 / Member $35 / Concession $30

I have not made my sadness known to Writer’s Victoria, as I’m not currently a member. Lately, as I publish more and more regularly, and as I truly begin to consider myself the writer part of ’emerging writer’, it’s something I’ve been considering. But right now, after this, I don’t want to. How can I expect support from an organisation that promotes this exclusion?