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Monday musings on Australian literature: Ten Year Anniversary, with a Giveaway

August 10, 2020

Today (well, yesterday actually, except yesterday wasn’t a Monday) marks the 10-year anniversary of my Monday Musings series. When I came up with the idea, and wrote the first post back on 9 August 2010, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be here ten years later still blogging, let alone still posting weekly Monday Musings.

My aim, as I wrote in that first post, was very simple – to promote Australian literature.

Some highlights

I have published over 500 Monday Musings posts, across a wide variety of topics – all of course relating to Australian literature in some way.

Miles Franklin

Miles Franklin, c. 1940s (Presumed Public Domain, via Wikipedia)

My first post was titled, simply, Making a start, and in it I shared five random facts about Australian literature. The first real post – 5 to get you started – came the next week, and here I shared five novels that I thought might attract newbies to Australian literature. Would I choose different ones now? Probably, but I still think my list from 2010 isn’t bad.

In terms of number of all-time hits, my top five Monday Musings posts are:

Interesting, eh. These, however, are not the posts that have engendered the most comments. Those top five are:

I have tried to mix up the sorts of topics I’ve covered in Monday Musings, but there have have some threads, such as:

I said, in my first post, that Monday Musings would “explore in more depth all sorts of writers, works and issues relating to literature in Australia. It will be rather serendipitous.” And this is how it has panned out. I have written on themes and motifs, forms and genres, individual writers, awards, issues, and, dear to my heart, on Australia’s literary history (inspired mostly by Trove. What a wonder – and help – that has proved to be.)

Keeping this series going has been challenging at times – coming up with the topics, and finding the time to research and write them, hasn’t always been easy. Many of the posts haven’t received the time and thought they deserve, but I’ve hoped that getting topics on the (web)page has some value.

Overall, Monday Musings posts have faired very well in my comment stats, which confirms that many of you are big supporters of this series. For this, I am hugely grateful. I love that so many people read the posts, and that so many of these posts stimulate discussion. That is the best fun for a blogger – and I learn so much from you all too. I feel very lucky. So …

To mark this anniversary

As I did for my tenth blogiversary, I’d like to do two book giveaways – one to an Australian-based reader and another to a non-Australian-based one. The book I send to each winner will be a surprise, making this a bit of a lucky dip.

The rules. Express your interest in the comments below, noting whether your postal address is Australian or not. Although this is not mandatory for the giveaway, I’d love to know whether you have a favourite Monday Musings post or whether there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in a future Monday Musings (though I don’t promise to do it!)

The winners. Late on August 17 (in my AEST-zone), I’ll draw from each list using a random number generator, and will announce the winners in that night’s Monday Musings (that is, next week’s MM post). If you win, you will need to provide me with your mailing address (privately) as specified in the announcement post. If you don’t, I’ll redraw, as I want someone to win.

Meanwhile, a huge thanks to you all for reading my blog – and particularly for supporting Monday Musings over all these years. You make it worthwhile. I look forward to sharing more with you – for another ten years? Watch this space …


49 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2020 23:13

    Well informative

  2. August 11, 2020 00:14

    Congratulations! What a wonderful anniversary to celebrate and I wonder how many thousands of words this series represents… When I think about how much I’ve learned about OzLit here, I can’t express my gratitude enough.
    So often on Mondays I’m just about to go to bed when I think, I’ll just pop over to WG to see what it is for this week, and I find myself doing what I’ve just done now, reading the post, exploring the links and dashing off a comment. No wonder I’m always half asleep for my French lessons on Tuesday!
    But nine posts for ILW? I’ve got eleven listed on my master list: (scroll down near the bottom.)
    Maybe some of them are not MMs, I’ll have to check in the morning…

    • August 11, 2020 08:21

      Ah, thanks Lisa. It looks like a couple of the early ones, eg 2013, I didn’t specifically tag. I’ll do that!

      I’m really glad you enjoy the MMs.

  3. Carol Mannchen permalink
    August 11, 2020 00:20

    Sue — You are amazing to still be doing this. Of course, I would love to receive a book, particularly one that is not available here in the US. I don’t always read your blog as carefully as I should. I’m going to go back and look at some of these topics. Australian Christmas imagery interests me. My address is still in the USA, at least until the November elections. If things go badly, I might move to Canada.

    • August 11, 2020 08:22

      Haha, Carol … lovely to hear from you … you’d still be overseas! You are no. 1 overseas entrant.

  4. oldlawmomaaed6d8d29 permalink
    August 11, 2020 00:25

    Third attempt. I don’t know what this name down here is or where it came from. I have been reading your blog for years. I want to read about the Christmas traditions, as I either missed it or have forgotten it. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  5. August 11, 2020 02:30

    Happy anniversary! Ten years go by quickly.

    I think that you know what my reading interests are but if I won I would love to read something different for me.

    I do not have an Australian mailing address.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

    • August 11, 2020 08:26

      Thanks Brian … good luck in the giveaway. You are OS – overseas, not outsize! – no. 2.

  6. August 11, 2020 02:37

    10 years! That’s amazing. Well done! I’d love to enter – I don’t have an Austrailian address x

  7. August 11, 2020 05:00

    I’m a non-Australian address.

    I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite Monday Musings post, but I do know that I’ve learned a tremendous amount about Australian literature in the past 5 or 6 years that I’ve been reading. Thanks for all the thoughtfulness and research that goes into these posts!

    Thanks so much for your generousity and the chance to win.

  8. August 11, 2020 06:10

    I find I often have the privilege of being first to comment, courtesy of your very convenient publishing time – 9pm in Western Australia. Though too often, as today, I’m over east and must read it in the morning, with everyone else or later still if I’m making an early start on work. My favourite topic? Anything pre WWII but especially your delving into Trove.
    I won’t enter your giveaway thank you, I’m way too behind in my reading as it is.

    • August 11, 2020 08:32

      Haha, Bill. Yes, I often think of you over there waiting for 9pm and my words of wisdom … 😂

      I understand your not joining the draw. But thanks for nominating your favourite MMs (not that I’m surprised.)

  9. August 11, 2020 06:20

    Dunno if I’ll still be around in another 10 years, ST; but if I am, I shall DEFINITELY be still reading your totally excellent blog.It’s the only worthwhile input I have on a regular basis, I often think.
    But of course, I don’t think a great deal.
    Many appreciative hugs from this grumpy old broad !

    • August 11, 2020 08:33

      Now that’s a backhanded compliment I think? Anyhow, you are thinking all the time. Do you wish to go in the draw? I could perhaps find an audiobook?

      • August 11, 2020 10:46

        Heavens no ! Not that I ever win anhything; but that all your other followers make pertinent comments that indicate genuine literary reading, and not one of ’em should be at risk of my winning a draw for the very first time. XO

        • August 11, 2020 13:47

          You are just as worthy as any others M-R, but I’ll abide by your decision!

  10. Meg permalink
    August 11, 2020 07:35

    Hi Sue, congratulations, one decade down and many more to look forward to. I don’t have a favourite post, but I like it when I am introduced to another Australian author. Every Tuesday morning when I open up my computer, my first bookmark hit is to your blog. Thanks for all your efforts and research, I like many appreciate them.

    • August 11, 2020 08:35

      Thanks so much Meg. I love knowing that you, Lisa, Bill and others are MM regulars. It both keeps me going and adds pressure! I have been thinking about doing more authors.

      Do you wish to go into the draw?

  11. Kate Zimmerman permalink
    August 11, 2020 07:51

    Ten years! That is commitment and I love what you do.

    I have an Australian address.

  12. August 11, 2020 08:35

    Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Monday Musings, Sue, and thank you for the hours of enlightenment and entertainment that your posts bring. The traditional gift for a 10th anniversary is tin or aluminum, which – appropriately – represent durability and flexibility. So I send you a virtual tin heart!

    I don’t think I could pick a favourite post, but I do have a suggestion for a future one: as I will be going to work for Public Libraries Victoria in late-September, I’d love to see a MM post on libraries and librarians in Australian literature.

    • August 11, 2020 08:39

      Thanks so much Angela. I always love hearing hearing from you.

      That’s a good topic … I might even do that one (!), having done nurses, teachers and maybe others.

      Would you like to go into the draw? No need to answer if you don’t! I’d understand.

  13. Meg permalink
    August 11, 2020 10:58

    Thanks Sue, I would love to go into the draw.

  14. Sara Dowse permalink
    August 11, 2020 12:43

    Congratulations, Madame Gums, on this auspicious anniversary. And thank you for your support of Australian writers and writing. Your thoughtful reviews are a an unending treat for your many followers. Keep well, keep safe, and keep your excellent posts coming!

    • August 11, 2020 16:25

      Thanks so much Sara for your support and encouragement over the years. I greatly appreciate it. Would you like to go into the draw. No need to reply if you don’t.

  15. August 11, 2020 17:15

    FROM CARMEL BIRD who couldn’t get her comment to stick:

    INCREDIBLE! But I do believe you. And I add – I don’t know how you do it. So much reading – so much writing – so diverse – so entertaining – I won’t go on. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ that’s instead of five stars. The draw is a great idea – please put me in. Two more things: there is a place in my novel The Bluebird Cafe called the Charles Dickens Library – and my novel The White Garden is about a lost library book. Also – The Bluebird Cafe is about a Tasmanian Lost Child (if Tasmanian counts). WRITE ON WHISPERING GUMS!

    • August 11, 2020 17:21

      Thanks Carmel … as I said to Sara, I greatly appreciate the encouragement and support I have received from you and her. It’s added the joy I receive from my blog immensely to share discussions with writers as well as readers.

      You are Aussie no. 4 in the draw.

      And thanks for the added encouragement to do libraries and librarians. The pressure is on now. I have already done the Lost Child motif but I s’pose I could, one day, do a special Tasmanian edition!

  16. August 11, 2020 17:18

    Happy tenth anniversary, Sue.
    I don’t have a favourite MM’s post but always enjoy the conversation they generate. Keep them coming!
    I’d love to go in the draw, please (Australian).

  17. Sue permalink
    August 11, 2020 18:46

    I just read your Monday musings on Australian Christmas traditions, and Carol of the Birds was my mother’s favourite Christmas carol – we sang it at our local church in Sydney every Christmas!

    I’d love a Monday Musings on Australian Urban Novels – there’s so much emphasis on regional writing which is wonderful – since I live outside the cities – but I think urban based fiction could be interesting. Helen Garner would fit, also Ruth Park, some Kylie Tennant and others – but it would be interesting to look at more recent novelists – The Slap I can think of for one, as I’m writing this..

    And I have an Australian address.

    • August 12, 2020 08:24

      Thanks Sue. And that’s a lovely carol. They’re all rather lovely I think …

      Would you believe that I have had urban novels on my list for a few years, so I’m glad you like the idea. It’s a big topic so I have been thinking on and off how to do it . I will try to lift my game on this one given your request!

      You are Aussie no. 6.

      • Sue permalink
        August 12, 2020 09:50

        Our local church where I lived in Sydney had a special Australian Christmas service every Christmas – it was lovely to have just Australian carols sung, we went along every year.

        Yes I think novels set in Australian cities could be interesting but I’m glad I don’t have your job of working out how to manage the topic Sue!

        • August 12, 2020 17:21

          I’m developing an idea – watch this space but don’t hold your breath!

  18. Irma Gold permalink
    August 12, 2020 17:52

    Congratulations Sue! This blog is such a rare gem, and so are you!

    • August 12, 2020 21:43

      Thanks very much Irma! And through it I’ve met wonderful people like you! Would you like to go into the draw?

  19. August 14, 2020 21:42

    A wonderful anniversary to celebrate, Sue. I was interested/ amused by the posts that attracted the most comments – Older Men Protagonists!

  20. Neil@kallaroo permalink
    August 15, 2020 01:06

    I’m glad, WG, that I’ve only been following you for about five years. My TBR list is huge. If I had followed for all ten years, it would be humungous! But regardless of the size of my list, please pop my name on the Australian list. I’m a sucker for a mystery book.

    • August 15, 2020 08:19

      Excellent, Neil. I love having you here. Very glad I’ve add to your TBR. You are Aussie no. 7.

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