We launched the competition on Wednesday the first of October 2008 by sending an announcement to the ETAN mailing list and starting to hand out and stick up the flyers.
We've had a great response so far with a lot of people calling up and emailing saying they want to enter. Journalists have been the most common occupation but we have had interest from office workers, students, theatre troupe members, waitresses, security guards and even a few people who are looking for work.
Their first question is normally "does it need to be history or can we write in fiction?". As I alluded to in an earlier post, unfortunately our project name has a bit of a historical ring to it so this confusion is understandable... We're still in the market for a new name if anyone has a good suggestion.
We are in talks with a few different organisation that may be able to help us promote this nationwide including CARE (who publish the excellent Lafaek magazine that gets sent to every single school student in the country once a month), a World Bank program that has connections to youth centres all over the country and two different national journalist associations.
Local journalist Steph March who reports for Radio Australia came and interviewed me the day we launched the competition and this report hit the airwaves this morning. Probably not terribly useful in getting the word out to potential contestants, but will be quite useful for finding funding sources once we move on to the printing stage.
In addition to interviewing people that we are lending books to, I'd like to start interviewing writers too. I'm off to Indonesia tomorrow or the day after, but I'll try and get an interview with an author up here soon.
If you'd like to help us promote the competition, please email me at johnholdaway (at) gmail (dot) com.
* I stole the image of the reading crocodile (well, technically it's an alligator) from the website I acknowledged on the flyer. I tried to contact the guy who drew it but he never responded... Oh well, we are a non-profit organisation, hopefully he won't mind.
PS - If you are the guy I stole the image from, let us know if you want us to stop using it and we'll find a new one.