The Sapling

The Sapling - Because Books Grow Humans

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Do you love children's books? Do you think that there is more to them than the conversation we are given in the main media? Do you think they deserve the same time, energy and passion as books for adults?

If you answered 'Yes', you'll love The Sapling, a new online magazine all about children's books.

Jane Arthur and Sarah Forster looked at each other across social media a few months ago, and said: You know what? We want the conversations about children's literature to be bigger and better, worth the while of anybody interested in books. We want to create a space that focusses on local children's literature, puts it in an international context, and discusses and analyses it professionally.

And so, The Sapling was born!

The Sapling will feature reviews, interviews, essays, opinion pieces, comics, crafts and excerpts. It'll have new content every day or so. It'll be free to read, but we'll pay people to make the content. It'll be fun - but also serious, because we know that books are formative for kids' brains, personalities and futures, and should be taken seriously. Because books grow humans.

Creative NZ have given us some money to create the site and pay our contributors for around six months (thanks, CNZ!) - but to deepen the conversation and sustain our reach for the first year and on into the future, we also need a little help from you.

By donating right here on Boosted, you'll be paying someone to write about kids' books. You'll show you value art, literature and opinion. You'll ensure The Sapling is more than a flash in the pan. With your support - and dollars - The Sapling will change the world of children's books in Aotearoa and beyond. That's a pretty cool result from a couple of clicks of your mouse…

UPDATES

  • Wooohoooo!!! We are LIVE!!!

    6 MONTHS AGO

    We are Live! We made it! Jane and I have been crunching tags and hassling her sister Tab to do final details for two weeks, and now we have a fully functioning, and rather lovely if we do say so ourselves website!

    Go over to http://www.thesapling.co.nz posthaste, and check it out. (We know it hasn't yet gone across all browsers, or indeed all parts of the country - but it will definitely be there at the end of the morning, we hope) 

    And if any of you have news distribution sources at your fingertips and work somewhere that will be interested, here's the full press release. Share it! Or if you need a link, here: http://www.booksellers.co.nz/book-news/childrens-literature-grows-its-own-website

    The Sapling brings new life to children’s literature

    Two people’s love of children’s literature has fertilised the growth of The Sapling, a brand-new website dedicated entirely to celebrating children’s books.

    With the website launching today, 6 March, Jane Arthur and Sarah Forster are excited to be bringing their passion project into the world.

    Sarah says, “With funding from Creative NZ, and a very successful crowdfunding campaign behind us, we are in an amazing space to really change the conversation about children’s literature in New Zealand. We deeply believe that it should be valued far more than it currently is - and over 140 Boosted campaign donors, giving $12,000, agree with us.”

    There are 11 articles completed, edited and going live today, and there will be 4-5 articles per week as the online magazine continues.

    Jane notes, “We’re aiming to become the primary place to find reliable, robust discussions about diverse, quality new children’s literature.”

    The focus will be on New Zealand children’s literature, but they won’t be ignoring the international scene. In particular, they will have regular interviews with an Australian author or illustrator.

    “While I love the essay Miriama Kamo has written about Pounamu Pounamu, the piece I am really jumping up and down about sharing with the wider world is a fantastic interview between Gavin Bishop and David Elliott about Elliott’s brilliant Snark,” says Sarah. “Two top-ranked author-illustrators talking shop: how awesome is that?!”

    Jane says, “We’re excited to become a platform for new voices as well as the established experts. I’m really proud of snaffling award-winning emerging young poet and essayist Nina Powles for regular essays about books that influenced her childhood.Her first piece about Hermione from the Harry Potter series is poetic, smart and political; it’s a must-read.”

    So go now and check out www.thesapling.co.nz. If you are passionate about children’s books, it might just have exactly the conversation you are looking for.

    ENDS
    Either Sarah or Jane are available for interview. Just call Sarah on 021 1767684, or contact us via editors@thesapling.co.nz. We are both Wellington-based.

    We are on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/thesaplingnz/
    And on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thesaplingnz/

    Wooohoooo!!! We are LIVE!!!
  • You are all the best humans we know!!!

    6 MONTHS AGO

    You guys... you are all the best humans we know!!! Thanks to your help, we made it to 120% before our campaign ended. We are blown away by the love you all have for children's literature. And speaking of love...

    Right now we are loving working to stuff our brand spanking new website with some incredible essays, interviews, reviews, lists, crafts... So Much Stuff. And it's all going to go live on 6 March! We have pieces from Nina Powles and Juliette MacIver, an essay from Miriama Kamo and a craft from Fifi Colston. We have a review from the venerable David Hill... and you'll just have to log in on the day to find out what else is in store.

    We thought we should show you just one of the elements of our website - our regular features box! And these are just a few of them. We also have regular author interviews, illustrator interviews, reviews and more! 

    And none of this - None Of It you hear - would have been possible without your support, both in the form of donations, and the overwhelming wave of enthusiasm. We know there is a need for this wonderful thing, and we know you all have our backs now.

    Now all there is left for you to do is to keep shouting about us on your Facebook page/s. We would love to hit 500 before launch, on Monday 6 March. https://www.facebook.com/thesaplingnz/

    Thank you all!!!

    cheers, 

    Sarah & Jane 

    You are all the best humans we know!!!
  • Famous as!

    7 MONTHS AGO

    Over the past week we’ve become a bit famous in New Zealand - and beyond, with offers to write for The Sapling coming from critics and writers in the USA, Samoa and Hong Kong. Here is the article on Stuff starring us! If you are in Wellington, you may have spotted us in the Dominion Post on Waitangi Day.

    Our next media appearance (we swear it’s not going to our heads) will be a long interview with our friends the Pantograph Punch, and we (or possibly just Jane this time) will be on the airwaves once again just before we launch in March - on Caffeine and Aspirin, the Radio Active culture show.

    Thank you to our new donors
    It means a lot to us that you have carried on giving this past week, and got us to 112%!!! What a fabulous number, thanks to such a fabulous bunch of people. So fabulous, in fact, that one of our generous supporters has persuaded her generous lawyer husband to give us some free legal advice: so that extra $$ will go towards bringing you even more insightful, fun and fantastic content (and helping us get tax advice).

    Feeling passionate?
    If you feel passionate about a particular topic, we are all ears. Please feel free to email us at editors@thesapling.co.nz with suggestions of what you want to read about, even ideas of who you want to see essays by. We have a huge list of our own ideas - so we hope a few will match!

    We are getting close with the design of our beautiful new site, and next week will see us start filling it up with the gorgeous content that is filling our inbox as we speak.

    Thanks again, kia kaha

    Sarah & Jane

  • Famous as!

    7 MONTHS AGO

    Over the past week we’ve become a bit famous in New Zealand - and beyond, with offers to write for The Sapling coming from critics and writers in the USA, Samoa and Hong Kong. Here is the article on Stuff starring us! If you are in Wellington, you may have spotted us in the Dominion Post on Waitangi Day.

    Our next media appearance (we swear it’s not going to our heads) will be a long interview with our friends the Pantograph Punch, and we (or possibly just Jane this time) will be on the airwaves once again just before we launch in March - on Caffeine and Aspirin, the Radio Active culture show.

    Thank you to our new donors
    It means a lot to us that you have carried on giving this past week, and got us to 112%!!! What a fabulous number, thanks to such a fabulous bunch of people. So fabulous, in fact, that one of our generous supporters has persuaded her generous lawyer husband to give us some free legal advice: so that extra $$ will go towards bringing you even more insightful, fun and fantastic content (and helping us get tax advice).

    Feeling passionate?
    If you feel passionate about a particular topic, we are all ears. Please feel free to email us at editors@thesapling.co.nz with suggestions of what you want to read about, even ideas of who you want to see essays by. We have a huge list of our own ideas - so we hope a few will match!

    We are getting close with the design of our beautiful new site, and next week will see us start filling it up with the gorgeous content that is filling our inbox as we speak.

    Thanks again, kia kaha

    Sarah & Jane

  • Thank you! The Sapling is going to be incredible, and it's all thanks to you!

    7 MONTHS AGO

    So if you are following us on social media, you will have noticed that today, The Sapling cleared 100%!!! We are at 103%, to be precise, and we are over the moon, not to mention so grateful that you all saw what we were trying to do and got behind it: and put your money where your mouths were! Thank you!!

    What we will do with more (Not to be greedy or anything)...

    So if you had intended to give but hadn't had the funds yet, and think maybe there's no point anymore, please don't be forlorn: we definitely still need your support.

    With any further funds raised we are planning to get professional advice from a lawyer, and an accountant, about how to become a proper company. First we will talk to an accountant about how to run our accounts right, then we want to talk to a lawyer about how to set ourselves up to be a charitable trust. We want to be sustainable, and that will be a very good start. Our initial estimate for a lawyers fee is around $2000 - it may be more, or less, depending on who we use.

    And of course, any extra funds will go to help us keep on paying our contributor fees into the future.

    So if you keep on boosting our campaign, we will be forever grateful (and also a very clear legal entity)!

    We love you all, and thanks again for getting us to our target in just 9 days!

    cheers,

    Sarah & Jane
    Editors, The Sapling

    PS: check out our FB support videos from Fifi Colston, Donovan Bixley and Eli from Time Out Bookstore: aren't they awesome?!

  • Things are happening!

    7 MONTHS AGO

    Oh, beloved donors! You just keep out-doing yourselves: 70% at the start of day #5! Thank you for your $7,000 vote of confidence in The Sapling xxx

    Now that we’re a matter of weeks away from launching, we thought a little teaser was in order.

    Some of the content you’ll see in the first month includes: an excerpt of a new book by Joy Cowley; Kyle Mewburn on why New Zealand needs Child’s Laureate; Gavin Bishop interviewing David Elliot; Emily Writes on the books her kids love; a child psychologist on the role books can play in helping children with anxiety; insights into being a school librarian in Aotearoa (the first of a regular series); what Harry Potter’s Hermione means to girls in childhood and beyond; Fifi Colston showing us to make a craft inspired by her latest picture book; book reviews; and an international guest writer on the experience of growing up in a children’s bookshop. And so, so much more!

    Later today (Sunday 29th January), Sarah will be on National Radio being interviewed by Lynn Freeman! Check out Standing Room Only at 2.40pm, or go to the Radio NZ website afterwards to listen at your leisure and convenience. 

    Lastly, if anyone out there knows of another media outlet that might be interested in our story, email us at editors@thesapling.co.nz and we’ll provide a media release.

    Thank you all!

  • 52%!!! - and let me introduce you to John McIntyre, one of our regulars

    7 MONTHS AGO

    Holy Wow you guys. Really, really Wow. Thank you. Thank you. Kia ora.

    One of the most fantastic things about running this campaign is seeing that everybody else understands our vision. Which is important, because we are starting this website - online magazine, if you will - for you. To provide a place for you to see your enthusiasm for children's books reflected straight back at you. And to make sure you all know about the NZ books that are out there for you and your kids.

    One of the ways in which we are doing this is by providing a monthly 'Dear John' column. And this, as you may have guessed, is where John McIntyre from The Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie comes in. John and his wife Ruth have run their bookshop since 1993, and know A Lot about children's books. School Librarians and parents alike go to them for book advice: so the opportunity to write to him with your kids' reading peccadillos - or your own - and ask for advice is not one to be sniffed at!

    So send us an email at editors@thesapling.co.nz with 'Dear John' in the subject line, and we will send it straight to John and get his advice.

    And please: tell your friends this resource is about to exist, because you donated to ensure that it will. And invite them to give! We have just a few more weeks to get to 100%, to meet our goals and get this Boosted balloon aloft.

    Thank you again for your donation!

    cheers, Sarah and Jane

     

     

     

     

     

    52%!!! - and let me introduce you to John McIntyre, one of our regulars
  • Blown away! (and we live in Wellington, so that's saying something...)

    7 MONTHS AGO

    So... 41% on the first day, huh? You trying to make us cry?

     

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. We are blown away. 

     

    I mean, we knew The Sapling was a good idea and that we'd have supporters, but we had NO idea it would be at this level. You are amazing. And to our anonymous/private donors - THANK YOU, TOO! We wish we could email you privately to go on and on about how wonderful you are... but maybe you saw that coming. Smart people. Well, just know that we're going on and on about you anyway, even if we don't know who you are.

     

    We thought we'd share our Kaupapa with you, 'cause we figured you might be interested. Here 'tis.

     

    KAUPAPA / MISSION

    1. WHAKANUI / CELEBRATE
    To celebrate the excellence and diversity of children’s books in Aotearoa and abroad.

    2. KŌRERORERO / DISCUSS
    To present wide-ranging and meaningful discussions about children’s books and their contexts, content and creation.

    3. WHANAUNGATANGA / CONNECT
    To connect people and organisations through their shared interest in children’s books, and foster an online sense of community and kinship.

    4. WHAKAWHANUI / EXPAND
    To entice new and unlikely readers of all ages, and challenge them to view children’s books as worthy of attention.