Mini Margins From the 1st Read-a-thon

Publications Team 2021
September 21, 2021

The much-anticipated read-a-thon came and went with ample fanfare. We jumped right in and 24 hours of reading, messing around, chatting, games and general antics ensued. To cover it all, the 2021 Publications team (Katie, Mel and Talia) were maintaining a steady stream of mini blog posts, which we called 'Mini Margins', on LitSoc’s Raisley fundraising page. Professional quality in any way, shape or form? Probably not. Unbiased journalism? Definitely not. Entertaining? Always.

Below is a compilation of our Mini Margins for if you missed the event and want to suss whether it will be worth it next time or for if you came and are now experiencing some good old rose-tinted nostalgia.

A very wholesome kick-off

Screenshot of participants smiling from the Discord video call where the read-a-thon was held.

The read-a-thon officially began at 12pm with a wonderful talk from Story Factory’s Story Engineer, Bilal.

Bilal got a little emotional over the amount of money we’ve already managed to raise ($3,930 before the event even began – you guys are straight-up out of this world), and he gave us a run-down of exactly where the money goes. And, can I just say, the initiatives Story Factory carry out are amazing! Our donations will be helping to facilitate creative writing programs in and out of schools for kids aged 13–18. Plus, they have incredible poetry collections and novellas (written by the kids they work with) that are workshopped over 12 months and eventually published.

As someone who went to one of Story Factory’s creative writing workshops in high school, I can say that they’re incredibly productive and a great resource for young kids who might see creative writing as an unreachable aspiration. And their place in Redfern is one of the coolest looking spaces you could sit down to write in.

I also have to take a moment to gush – one of the novels that has come to exist because of the incredible work Story Factory does is The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham. This is a personal favourite of mine (Sonny and Vince are perfection), and everyone needs to read it ASAP!

A huge thank you from LitSoc to Bilal for joining us and giving us such great insight into the effort and passion Story Factory puts into making creative writing accessible.

– Taaaliaaaa

Rocky beginnings for a certain Parisian bookshop

After our first breakout from the main voice channel into a spoiler zone it’s . . . not looking good for The Little Paris Bookshop. General ratings are hanging around 1–2 stars and Pres Zara is convinced that a 13-year-old tumblr boy ghost wrote this. Angst y’all. Much angst.

– Taaaliaaaa

4k milestone? Check.

WE DID IT! Everyone who has donated so far is amazing-awesome-incredible-wonderful-beautiful <333

Special shoutout to Mel’s boyfriend who listened to her plight (namely, the weird, misogynistic overtones of The Little Paris Bookshop) and offered monetary reparations for her troubles.

– Taaaliaaaa

Let the games begin!

Hey everyone, Melissa here to run the blog for a bit. It’s been three hours and THANK GOODNESS it’s game time! We’re about to do a small book discussion before jumping into the first game, so head on over to the Discord to join us if you haven’t already! Remember that we have UberEats vouchers up for grabs!

– Melissa

Lightning round Kahoot

Screenshot of a book-themed Kahoot game.

That wraps up the first game! It went by quicker than expected. For a Kahoot titled 'Books, Books, Books', I kind of wish there was a wider variety of genres, since it looked like they were mostly YA novels. Shoutout to everyone who knew the book covers and quotes the moment they saw them appear on the screen!

There will be more chances to win prizes in the next game sessions (check out the timetable on our socials or on the Raisely site!) so be sure to hop into those~

RIP the Kahoot music that wasn’t able to come through, you were sorely missed.

– Melissa

First one done!

Congratulations to Erin, who just finished reading The Little Paris Bookshop! The rest of us are doing our best to reach the point you have gotten to (honestly, if I wasn’t so stubborn, I would have dropped it). It’s definitely hard to keep reading after long periods of time, so take breaks whenever you feel they are necessary. We’re four hours in and still going strong!

I can’t wait until I’m done and can get to my TBR list!

– Melissa

One down!

I’m onto The Emporium of Imagination now! It feels great to start making a dent into my to-be-read pile. Everyone seems to be making good progress with their reads – we had a great discussion about Trin’s read, The Barefoot Investor (financial literacy is suuuuper important).

In other news, Serena is making some delicious dumplings to show us later. Food sounds great right about now!

– Melissa

Dinner break!

Good evening everyone!

It’s Katie here and we have now been reading for 6 hours!

It’s 6pm so we are taking a dinner/chat break to talk about the book. Current ratings for The Little Paris Bookshop range between -5 and 2 out of 5, and it has been said to 'make Addie La Rue look like a 5 star' by our members who have finished. It’s not too late to join and chat about the book! We have many, many opinions about the book.

– Katie :)

What are members eating?

Hey guys!

If you’re staying up all night reading it’s important to stay nourished, so here is some of what our members are eating!

Photo of a box of brownies.

How good do these brownies look, though? I would spend a lot of money on these at a store, but they are home-baked by Chantelle’s mum!

Photo of a plate of pasta.

Pasta is literally the best comfort food and perfect for keeping motivated while reading for hours. And Trin’s pasta for sure looks absolutely delicious!

Photo of a bowl of soup.

Speaking of warm comfort food, Mel’s soup looks absolutely amazing and is perfect for keeping someone comfortable late into the night.

Photo of a plate of pancakes.

And what’s a better snack than freshly baked pancakes? Shoutout to my brother for providing me with sustenance.

'My mum is a legend. This is single-handedly going to get me through read-a-thon.' – Zara. Also, a shoutout to Zara’s mum because that looks amazing!

Photo of a box of fried chicken.

Oh my god there is so much chicken! And it looks so good. Serena is honestly winning at the food game.

– Katie :)

Movie shenanigans

Screenshot from a Twilight-themed Kahoot.

The Kahoot music made its debut in our second round of games!

'Famous movie quotes' was full of curveballs and hilarious answer alternatives. This was a very very close game, and there were so many times where the leader board switched up. It was anyone’s game, but Katy claimed the first-place spot on the podium!

An encore round of Kahoot was also played, resulting in a wildly chaotic Twilight trivia. Wrong answers were welcome. Petition to have Trinity host every games night from now on, we love her wit.

Our next game is a Skribblio at 3am, so calling all the night owls to flock to the games channel then.

– Melissa

Reaching the goals

Erin has been absolutely amazing and completed THREE books in the first 10 hours of the read-a-thon! Incredible effort from everyone so far as well, as most people are onto their second or third book.

– Melissa

Skincare, skincare, skincare!

Screenshot of participants doing their skincare routines on the Discord call.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I, TALIA, YOUR FAVE, AM BACK (Arnold, step aside)!

And what did I stumble upon? A bunch of our read-a-thon participants taking a well-deserved break – face marks and all. Self-care at its finest.

– Taaaliaaaa

The midnight hour

Screenshot of the members present at midnight on the Discord call.

We’ve officially hit the halfway point, 12 hours in, and attendance is holding strong. We’ve even got some new faces (and some new furry friends) among our veterans who have been on the call since 12pm when we started. Whichever one you are, we love to see it!

Bonus pic of everyone with their books:

Screenshot of everyone with their books.

– Taaaliaaaa

Staying awake

Serena's photo of her TV, computer, book, and sorbet.

It can be really hard to stay awake at this late hour, but Serena’s got it figured out! There’s nothing like some light Kung Fu Panda in the background to keep you awake. Truly a master move.

– Katie :)

It’s 2am

It’s 2am now, so I thought I should give a general progress update:

  • We have officially been reading for 14 hours now!
  • We have raised $4,130 for Story Factory, which is so amazing and I would like to thank every single person for donating.
  • I am personally halfway through my third book, but we have members on their fourth already, with most people having finished The Little Paris Bookshop.
  • We currently have 9 people active, though there’s been a lot of movement in the last hour or so.
  • So far we have played 3 Kahoot games with 3 different winners, which is amazing to see.
  • We have 10 hours to go, so brilliant work everyone and good luck!

– Katie :)

A champion among us

I have tried and failed to have some late-night-early-morning cereal. Blame it on my extreme aversion to grocery shopping until it’s too late (a.k.a. we’re out of milk). Zara has lost a highlighter and cancelled her sunrise beach trip due to exhaustion.

Amidst this carnage sits Serena in her fluffy pink Oodie, munching on fried chicken and watching Bee Movie (yes, she’s moved on from Kung Fu Panda).

Am I jealous? Yes. Do I see why she’s the Events Co-Director and we’re not? Yes, yes I do.

– Taaaliaaaa

More people rise up

I’m back! Waking up at 6am with the birds to read a book sounds like a dream on paper. Thankfully, I got several hours of sleep and am awake enough to finish off my dedicated hours. Isn’t it crazy how early the sun rises in spring? Winter feels like so long ago now. I’ve grabbed a bowl of cereal as well, and I am working my way through Shoko’s Smile by Choi Eun-Young because reading a compilation of short stories seems to be the most plausible for an early morning start.

– Melissa

Morning snacks

As we move into the brighter hours of the day, we’re finding great ways to take breaks in between. Serena tried Hello Panda for the first time, saying it gets a 'big thumbs up' from her. I couldn’t agree more –that chocolate is so good.

It looks like it’s going to be pretty sunny, so make sure you go outside and enjoy the nice weather at some point today!

– Melissa

Super troopers

We have less than 4 hours to go everyone! Kudos to the troopers that are still pushing forward after staying up for several hours. Some people have even surpassed their reading goals, which has been awesome to see! I’m really looking forward to seeing how many books we’ve collectively read over 24 hours once our event officially wraps up.

Our last game session will be held at 9am, and it’s anyone’s game to win the last UberEats voucher! It’s not too late to hop onto Discord and join us for the final stretch.

– Melissa

Morning games!

Screenshot of a YA-fiction-themed Kahoot.

Good morning everyone, I am back!

We hit it off this morning with another Kahoot about YA fiction. There was a combination of Harry Potter, Divergent, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson questions that most certainly exposed my childhood obsessions. Congrats to Nicole for knowing these books so well, that was very impressive!

I’m looking forward to the next couple of hours of reading. We are almost done!

– Katie :)

And that's a wrap!

Screenshot from the end of the video call of everyone holding up their books.

Congratulations everybody, we have officially made it to the end of the read-a-thon!

At this point, our donation amount is $4,245! That is absolutely amazing, and thank you to everyone who has donated so far. Donations don’t close until tonight, so it’s not too late it you want to donate.

We have prizes for the most raised, so congrats to:

  1. Yasmine
  2. Trinity
  3. Melissa

You guys have been absolutely amazing.

We also have a prize for most valued reader, so congrats to Caitlin and Nicole who stayed the entire time and have been amazing in keeping the vibes upbeat whilst reading relentlessly.

It was amazing to read with everyone as a group, and I hope everyone ticked a few books off their TBRs. Thank you to everyone who could join us over the past 24 hours. It has been wonderful to get to know everyone and see what people are reading. I am amazed at the determination of everyone who joined, even if only for a little while, especially since it’s for such a good cause. You have all been amazing, so from the entire LitSoc team, thank you!

– Katie :)