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Get YA Words out started in 2016 as a poorly constructed blog focusing on writing advice for LGBTQ+ writers working on QueerYA fiction. The reasoning behind this was that I (more about me below) am a LGBTQ+ writer working on a QueerYA manuscript and felt all alone. After spending half a lifetime searching the web for resources, help, friends and things to read, I realised how hard all this is to find. There are some good resources for American based writers, but not much in Australia specifically for QueerYA writers.
The quote on our homepage by Jenny Pausacker (one of the pioneer authors of Queer YA fiction in Australia) is from her 2015 review of AusQueerYA published between 1985-2015. In that 30 year period, there were just 86 novels published in Australia that contained LGBQ (Pausacker did not include Trans, Asexual, Intersex+ in her survey), of which only 56 featured Queer main characters. 56. Even if you read one book a week, that means theoretically one could read the entire collection of AusQueerYA’s with Queer main characters in just over a year. I say theoretically, because most of the books published before 2000 are now out of print and hard to find. To put that in to perspective, Elvis released over 60 albums before he died. So one guy can make 60 records, but THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF AUSTRALIA from 1985 to 2015 can only churn out 56 novels? That just seemed so completely wrong, that Get YA Words Out was updated to remedy the situation.
There are Australian’s writing QueerYA. You might be one of them. Get YA Words Out is here to help you finish that novel and get it published. We advocate taking pride in your work both in the sense of Gay Pride and generally feeling good.
There are publishing houses in Australia who can/have previously published QueerYA. Get YA Words Out aims to keep pushing for more instances of Own Voices, greater representation of QueerYA and safer, more respectable practices for editing/managing LGBTQ+ authors.
There are super cool people who love reading AusQueerYA. Get YA Words Out wants to give them ALL THE THINGS TO READ *runs around the internet throwing books at people*.
Finally, we want to link all the three above mentioned groups together. Read, Write, Publish. Like one big happy family.
As Jordi Kerr put it in their excellent series of articles for Archer Magazine (2017), examining AusQueerYA (check it out here), “For young adult (YA) literature to be truly representative of queer identities, there needs to be greater queer representation across both the writing and publishing industries. Own Voices needs to be not just a call for our stories to be told by our communities, but for them to be edited, supported and promoted by representatives from our community within mainstream publishing.”
The Get YA Words Out Crew (in reverse order of coolness)
Some might call me the brains of the operation. Probably because I do literally everything around here. Queer writer of QueerYA, based in Perth, Australia. Devours queer culture, nachos and wine in equal amounts. I have a Bachelor of English Literature from Deakin University and was the winner of the 2017 Outstanding LGBTQ+ Short Story Competition.
Your turn. Tell us about yourself in the comments below!