The new year for GayYA is looking pretty amazing! Thank you to everyone who answered our end of the year survey, who helped with questions about representation, libraries, and everyone who was a part of GayYA’s community in 2014. We’re taking all of your feedback into account, and hope to make GayYA a better place for you and for everyone.
Some things that will be changing in the new year on the site:
- Search Function – right now if you’re logged into a wordpress account, you can search pretty easily, but we did not realize that other people did not have this option! We will try to add this as soon as possible.
- Tagging System – we have four years of content on this site that is extremely hard to access because we have no thorough tag system. We’ll be working on developing it and implementing it. (In addition, our List of Posts continues to grow! You can get to most of our posts through there, though it is still missing links to a lot of content.)
- Graphic design, logos, cohesive branding – our cake will probably be leaving us 🙁
- Sprucing up old posts with pictures
Some more communal things:
- Book clubs! Book clubs every month! Yay! I’ll be working with Katherine Locke on this. It will consist of a tumblr discussion and a twit chat. For the first half of the year, we’ll be focusing on new releases (many of them debut) from mainstream publishers. We may continue this or not, and we’ll welcome your feedback!
January- Just Girls by Rachel Gold
February- The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun Hutchinson
March- Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
April- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
May- None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
July- More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
- Our masterlist—we will be re-revamping our ultimate reading list, and bringing it back to the site so it’s easier to access, and we can make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for, and to use it for other purposes.
- We’re going to be working on a stronger outreach to libraries, GSAs and other queer youth programs or book communities. (If you are part of something like this, feel free to reach out and introduce yourself, and send us any ideas if you have them! Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Merchandise! We’ll hopefully be making original GayYA swag, as well as shirts that are specific to certain identities such as “transreader” and… well, we have nothing else so far but transreader was just so perfect that we had to keep it. If anyone has any ideas for orientation-specific literary related shirts, send me an email at email@example.com
And lastly some changes to our processes:
- Every month we’ll be conducting what are basically “report cards,” which’ll be sort of mini versions of the survey. They’ll go in depth on one thing, like feedback for the book clubs, how we’re doing on bi rep… etc. Although my email is always open to whatever feedback you have at whatever time, these will provide a helpful pattern.
- Instead of doing so many random guest posts which are exhausting and difficult to organize, we’ll be sending Calls out at the beginning of each month for the types of posts we’d like to have for the next month. That way will hopefully open the door for more people to come to us. Also a note for these: I have talked with SO many people who originally think that they’re not a good enough writer to write something. Then I end up getting them to and it ends up being one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever read. So don’t cut yourself off before you even start. And I’m always willing to work with you to develop a post.
- Reviews! As you may or may not know, we’ve had a “one review per book” informal policy. This, we’ve realized is not actually helpful. We’re starting to seek more focus on the representation rather than if the book was good or bad, and this policy really closes a door. People from different backgrounds will see books differently, and all of their opinions are valid and important. So! While you are more than welcome to drop a dissenting opinion in the comments of a review, if you have more to say, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And the same note from above fits here as well.
- We will hopefully be doing more interviews with authors!
There’s also a lot of specific feedback you gave us that we’ll be incorporating, like more bi rep, more intersectionality, more coverage of graphic novels and new releases and like a lot more. We’ll be bringing all of this into reality as quickly as possible. 🙂
Probably more than all of this, however, we’re going to try and keep the ability for motion in this structure alive. Change and evolution should be expected—both because of the changing lives of the admin and volunteers, and due to whatever input we get from you.
GayYA is by the community and for the community, and we hope to continue making it a place where everyone can feel safe, respected, and heard.