Introducing the 2014 Stella Prize Shadow Reading Groups
We’re delighted to introduce the three official 2014 Stella Prize Shadow Reading Groups.
These keen beans will be reading ALL the shortlisted books in the six weeks between our shortlist announcement on Thursday 20 March and Award Night on Tuesday 29 April.
They are welcome to drop by our weekly online book club, and we’ll be reporting back on their respective winning books at the end of April. Like our judges, these groups will be looking for a book that is original, excellent and engaging. We can’t wait to hear how they go!
NB: It’s not too late to organise your own shadow reading group. Just gather a few friends, the six fabulous shortlisted books, and get to reading and discussing! You and/or your group could join our online club as well, and you’ll find book extracts, reading group notes, author interviews etc right here on the Stella Prize website.
Here are the 2014 Stella Prize Shadow Reading Groups:
The Stellar 6
The Stellar 6 is a book club with a difference. Apart from being voracious readers with a love of story, we are all writers. We met and became friends when selected as participants of the 2013 QWC/Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program in Brisbane. We come from diverse backgrounds and are located all over Australia.
We are at different stages in our writing careers: some of us have been published, some have creative-writing degrees, and some have won writing prizes. Together we read and discuss literature almost daily, using Facebook or Skype. The group is honoured and excited to be shadowing the Stella Prize judges in 2014.
Lovely Lit Ladies
Lovely Lit Ladies was first formed in 2010 under the name of Books, B*tches and Booze (although strangely we rarely drank!). Back then we had 12 members who enjoyed meeting in noisy, über-cool brunch spots where it was necessary to queue for an hour before being seated. Discussion would hover intermittently over the book in question, like a pesky fly, only to be swatted away in favour of Facebook gossip and child-rearing advice. After a couple of years the group disbanded – we accepted we were a brunch club, not a book club.
Fast-forward to 2014 and the birth of Lovely Lit Ladies. This time, we have 6 dedicated readers who have united through a love of literature and a desire to support female Aussie authors. Our booklist this year is the 2014 Stella longlist, and we can’t wait to read alongside the judges when the shortlist is announced!
The Second Breakfast Club
The Second Breakfast Club is comprised of a small group of dedicated suburban Melbourne booksellers whose passion for reading and discussing books burns far deeper and longer than the bookstore is open each day. What started out as informal talk on the shopfloor has naturally evolved into a slightly more organised after-hours book club. Here the ever-robust discussion can continue in a fun and relaxed forum.
We are a diverse group with an average of ten years in the book industry, whose own personal and professional values are reflected in those of the Stella Prize. Our academic backgrounds range from publishing to geology.
Our name makes many references, not least to our habit of storing edibles under the counter for ‘second breakfasts’ throughout the day.
Our favourite casual member is a golden retriever named Darcy.