here & queerathon: thoughts & reflections on hosting a readathon

Hello! Here & Queerathon is still happening and you can still sign up! I started the Here & Queerathon pretty much on a complete whim without much forethought or planning at the very last second in December 2019 (wow, that was about 20 years ago, am I right?)

The whole world has gone through a lot of ups and downs so far this year, and I definitely have also, which has caused the readathon to kind of fall to the wayside for me. I do have about 10 participants currently, and 25 followers on the Twitter account, which I know I haven’t been doing a good job of keeping up with, and I have a lot of thoughts about how I’d do things differently in the future and I want to share some of those today.

Firstly, I definitely wouldn’t do an all year readathon again. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea in the first place? But it would definitely be easier for me to maintain a readathon that happened a couple of times a year for probably a month at a time. I think this would also ultimately garner more interest because it would feel more immediate and people would feel more pressured to do it because it would be more limited time.

I would also enlist the help of other bloggers, preferably with more followers than I have. I think one of the biggest hurdles to readathon success in terms of the number of participants I had was that I have less than 1,000 blog followers and less than 300 Twitter followers. It would also be easier to divide up all the content I originally thought I would be doing and put less pressure on me to do it all in addition to regular blogging content.

I’d theme each month. To make it more interesting for people, I’d pick topics or themes, like maybe do a queer graphic novels month or a fantasy month. I might even pick some months where I would do actual prompts for people to base their reads off of.

I’d have multiple people manage the social media for the readathon. I thought I’d have a lot more time and inspiration to do Here & Queerathon-related posting, but that…did not occur.

In general, I’d just think things through more and plan out in detail, way in advance. A year-long readathon sounded great at first, but I quickly fell off the wagon in terms of promoting it and posting content related to it to keep things interesting for participants. I greatly overestimated my own motivation for running something all year when I started Here & Queerathon, even though I definitely had good intentions going into it.

I hope those who have been doing it have been enjoying reading queer books all year, and definitely encourage continued participation!

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  1. I loved hearing about your experience of hositng a Reading Challenge, as I also took the leap to host my own this year ! I agree that it would be lovely to have some co-hosts, as I feel it can be difficult to get people interested if you’re alone and have so many things to keep up with. I’d also love to do themes, I used to do them last year just for myself and it was a lot of fun 🥰

    I love participating in Here & Queerathon and need to update my progress page soon ❤

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