Well, we certainly got our words out this year.

First up, a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported us, followed us, boosted us and reached out to us this year. Without you, none of the following would have been achieved. So go on, give yourself a big hug.

A bigger one than that.

When I launched Get YA Words Out in April of this year, (yeah, feels like I’ve been lurking about on your Twitter feeds a lot longer than that, am I right?), I had no idea how it would go down. In just 8 months, that tiny seed of an idea has grown into quite a charming little plant.

2017 was huge for AusQueerYA. We saw some amazing books published, conversations had, voices discovered and got our Queer selves into pretty much every writers’ festival. Nice one.

Some of my top picks novel wise were Alison Evans’ ‘Ida’ and Nevo Zisin’s ‘Finding Nevo’, for pushing the boundaries of Queer YA publishing and writing. You are stars. I cannot wait to see what you and all the other AusQueerYA writers out there have in store for us in 2018.

In terms of Get YA Words Out, every week has been amazing for me. Highlights include hosting the Get YA Words Out panel at this years Digital Writers’s Festival, interviewing Alison Evans, Alicia Tuckerman and Nicola Santilli, as well as being interviewed by Nicola for the LoveOzYA Spotlight series and by SBS Sexuality for a piece on AusQueerYA.

As a writer, being surrounded by such a supportive, talented community has pushed my work beyond what I thought possible in such a short time. I finished and submitted my first AusQueerYA manuscript and took out first and second prize in the Outstanding LGBTQI Short Story Contest (I’ll stop bragging now, promise).

This has been a massive learning curve for me, but also a truly rewarding year. I have connected with so many great people along the way who constantly inspire me, including but not at all limited to Jordi Kerr, Lauren Noble and Michael Earp.

Get YA Words Out is yours. It is your voice, your work and your thoughts which shape it and allow it to grow. I am so excited to see what 2018 will bring (and yes, I do have some very cool and super Queer plans in the works!).

Here’s to the continued growth of our industry, to supporting each other, to finding new ways to be heard, new voices to listen to and to being true to our beautiful Queer selves in 2018.

Big love to you all,

Stacey Malacari

Founder, Get YA Words Out

P.s Special shout out to my day-job boss for letting me take time off to do all of this and spending a million hours lurking about using the Wifi and drinking all the coffee.

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