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Feb 24,2014

Wow, I just realized that this is going to be my last post of the month with you guys. That makes me so sad, but I’m also incredibly honoured that I was given this chance at all.

File 18474Speaking of incredible chances, on Saturday 21st I was given the privilege to be a part of a panel (Inside a Blog: the teen perspective) for the Digital Writer’s Festival. Myself, along with two other You’re the Voice contributors, Katie and Rehan, were part of a live video interview with author Myke Bartlett, and for an hour we had an engaging discussion about the world of online writing.

I’ve never done anything like that before, and it was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. Everyone was so encouraging and kind; and I swear the hour time-slot we had passed in the blink of an eye.

Inside a Blog ventured into the minds of three teenagers (myself included) to try and shed some light on the rising phenomena of digital writing. We discussed the different kinds of writing and social interactions found online, and compared them to the older world of books and paper. Fanfiction, roleplay writing, virtual games - nothing could escape our scrutiny as we journeyed through the online world.

While I myself have never been a big fan of writing fanfiction, I am a fan of their distant relative, roleplay, and through this hobby I have found myself on many different websites. I find that being able to interact with many different people on the internet allows me to create a much more diverse story than I would have ever been able to create on my own.

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Feb 21,2014

3 reasons to read The Disappearance of Ember Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina: 

File 184151. It follows on from The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf - y'know, that fantastical book with plot twists like no other... Longlisted for a little thing I like to call the Inky Awards...  - AND IT'S EVEN BETTER.

2. It has new characters, with new powers. Also: Nicky - a gorgeous black labrador who is my new dog idol.

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Feb 20,2014

If you're interested in writing and/or the digital environment, the Digital Writers' Festival is for you. You can take part from anywhere in the world - all festival events are live-streamed at digitalwritersfestival.com.

The best part is, I've joined forces with the festival to bring you (da da-da daaaah!) THE PANEL OF AWESOME. This Saturday - 22 February, 11am (mark your calendars!) You're the Voice bloggers Kelcey, Rehan, and Katie will team up with author Myke Bartlett to form Megazord- er, I mean, the mighty 'Inside a Blog' panel!

 

File 18406People are often worrying about the doomed future of paper books, of libraries, of bookshops, because they'll soon be crushed by the devilish digital world. However this has definitely not been my experience. As the number of books on my kindle grows the number of books perched on my bookshelf doesn’t diminish, it too increases. As hours reading online tick by my need to visit a library is only magnified. Together, the digital and printed worlds only help each other to create a bigger, more exciting world for readers. From this fact alone my great support and interest in the Digital Writers’ Festival stems. 

Probably the main bonus of having a digital festival is the incredible accessibility it creates. A miner in rural Australia, a professor in Europe or a school kid in Sydney (like me) can all watch and enjoy this wonderful festival. There is no entry or transport fee - the incredible truth is it is free. Furthermore, the panels and workshops can be run by anyone - by the best of writers, with location no longer a problem. There is also a relaxed intimacy that comes from watching the writers in their homes - there’s less pressure, just a chilled conversation between all kinds of people. So basically, I think the festival’s pretty great. 

With the panel I’ll be speaking at the festival (Inside a Blog: the teen perspective) quickly approaching, I have spent some time pondering what I have to say about this new, more digital world.

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Feb 19,2014

Want to be a part of Inside a Dog? Applications for You’re The Voice contributors are now open!

So, what is You’re the Voice?

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You’re the Voice is your opportunity to have your say about the world of books. To write about what you read, what you love, and what you want. It’s a weekly blog post published right here on the Inside a Dog website, which is all about books for teens.

So far there’s been Voices from Queensland through to Tasmania, and they’ve blogged about everything from bandwagons to fictional role-models to the decline of the bookshop.

'I've had a wonderful experience blogging for You're the Voice. Thank you so much for all the support. I have had quite a blast' - Rehan

'I’ve truly enjoyed writing for you guys here on Inside a Dog, and you’ve all been so brilliantly supportive and friendly to me this past month :) Thank you!' – Leah

The Details:

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Feb 17,2014

In a few days it’ll be my birthday, and I’ll finally be eighteen. I’m still waiting for some miraculous transformation into adulthood. So far I don’t feel any different.

Today my post is going to be inspired by my upcoming birthday. In particular, what I’m so excited to be getting... It’s a book. And while I can’t seem to convince my mother how beautiful and well-worthwhile this book purchase is, I’m hoping that you, as fellow readers and bookaholics will be able to relate.

Have any of you read or watched The Princess Bride (William Goldman)?

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Feb 14,2014

Wishing you all a very happy Valentine's Day!

This week we're revisiting the new twist on 'Inky's Choice', where the number three is used to show off how very cultured I am.

File 182501. I'm reading: Ms Marvel

This past week Marvel introduced its first Muslim character in Pakistani-American teen Kamala Khan.  She's plucky, sarcastic and fun...can't wait to have more of her in my life!

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Feb 10,2014

Well school is back and rolling, so why not take a look at some school reading?

Honestly, I don’t mind school books in the least. Most of the time it gives me a chance to read something completely different to what I usually would; broadening my horizons and all that. It's not the quality of school books that is my concern, but the painful decision all school readers must eventually face:

To juggle, or not to juggle?

 

Aren’t school-assigned books, as a compulsory item, less attractive to read than, say, a fresh novel we’ve selected voluntarily off the shelf? No matter how interesting a school novel may be, in most cases I personally would always turn first to the book I had hand-picked myself, chosen from my own habits and tastes. But of course this introduces a problem as school books, unlike leisure books, must be read.

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Feb 07,2014

Haaaappy Friday! And welcome to a brand new twist on 'Inky's Choice', where sometimes the number three behaves in an entirely different way. Like today!

File 181651. I'm reading: The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer.
A brand new book by a brand new author! About uni, journalism, and how to survive interning at a fashion magazine when you're the least fashionable person on earth.
(And check it - dual cover options! The good news - you get to pick your cover! The bad news... you have to pick.)

2. I'm watching: The new Captain America trailer.
Creepy and intriguing villain: check. Amazing action: check. Dramatic, over-the-top dialogue: check. Bring it on, Marvel!

3. I'm playing: Flappy Bird.
Sweet kibble does that bird need some serious flying lessons. And try as I might, it's not going to be me who gives it to him. Guess what my score is! GUESS!

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Feb 05,2014

I do love a good gag reel. Not only are they full of lols, but they provide insight into some of the challenges of bringing stories to life. Don't believe me? Well...

See, this gag reel from Thor: The Dark World has taught me that:
- Live crows are difficult to work with.
- Capes are difficult to work with.

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Feb 03,2014

File 18122Well hey guys, I'm Kelcey.

I've been a reader for as long as I can remember. It doesn't matter where I am - at the dinner table, in my bed or even, if you can believe it, under the table at my cousin's wedding. I can read anywhere. Until I'm caught and scolded for being inappropriate (which, in terms of the wedding, was a fair point :3). I love steampunk (The Girl in the Steel Corset), but I'll also gobble up anything remotely dystopian (Carnival of Souls), and worship romances, provided they have some action (like Poison Study).

Welcome, Kelcey! She'll be blogging here as 'the Voice' each Monday throughout February, sharing her thoughts on the world of words. If you'd also like to share your voice with Inside a Dog readers, stay tuned! Applications will open later this month. - Inky.

 

The Endangered Bookshop

Long has there been dispute over which is better, the paper novel or the ebook, and yet often going undiscussed is the similar debate that is slowly enveloping not only the reading world, but the entirety of our world. Online vs store shopping?

I don’t know about you all, but I worship bookshops. They are my haven, my altar of otherworldly novel worship, my tablet where I sacrifice those books undeserving of my incredibly growing high standards. (Don’t cry, I haven’t had to sacrifice anything yet.)

Yet, despite my love for bookstores, they continue to dwindle and disappear.

R.I.P. Borders, your in-store cafes and reading corners shall be missed.

Now whenever I mosey down to my local mall I die a little inside, as the realisation hits me again that the only places I can shop for books are Big W and Kmart. We had a Collins. We had an Angus & Robinson. Now the place I used to peruse for hours has become a handbag shop. (They’re expensive handbags too, so I can’t even buy one to make myself feel better.)

It’s a sad reality that online shopping it simply more convenient and, let’s face it, often cheaper. Websites such as Amazon and The Book Depository are both amazing, and I can admit to having shopped there numerous times myself. It’s just easier, especially since all the book stores around me have shut down. How’s that for tragic irony?

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