(mini)Blog Overhaul

I know it won’t look much different, even to regular followers of Telling Tales, but after discovering a new feature here at the writing end of WordPress I decided to alter the blog slightly. The reason I’m telling you this is that because of my discovery I’m changing what shows up on the home page and where you can find different types of posts.

The main difference is that CFPs will no longer show up on the front page of the blog, which will be dedicated to original content in the form of posts from me or guest blogs.

Don’t worry, I am not going to stop posting CFPs for conferences and journals. While I originally viewed my CFP posts as filler for the blog – something to keep updates regular without having to spend too much time on content management – and something I would phase out eventually, I have completely changed my mind. Very few research blogs post CFPs, and this prompted me to question the value of me continuing doing so. I’ve never been one for shying away from things which aren’t the norm, especially when it comes to my academic career. the consensus seems to be that you should find conference and journals to submit to on your own, that its all part of learning the ropes. While I have always seen merit in inquisitiveness and learning by doing, in reality this is not really how academics find out about conferences and journals. Without fellow academics sending CFPs to my by email or social media, I would likely never have known about some of the conferences that have greatly influenced my research agenda and offered improvement and opportunities I would otherwise never have had. Our community is much more connected, and the idea that we all find this information completely on our own is disingenuous. Nor is it great for those conferences and journals, who might be missing out on excellent new research.

I’ve had a consistently good reaction to my posting of CFPs through twitter, facebook and other research blogs so they aren’t going anywhere. But, they won’t show up on the front page. If you’ve seen a CFP and can’t find original the post url then you can look through the list of CFPs by clicking on the category over on the right hand side of the page: 

I’ve gone back through my posts and tidied up the categories, so now it should be much easier to find the posts that you are looking for. These categories are:

  • Books – Book reviews (both academic collections and fiction) and information on books I have contributed to, either as author or editor.
  • Conferences/Journals – Calls for Papers for conferences and journals that fall under the broad spectrum of my research interests in adaptation; myth, fairy tale & folklore; the Gothic; the Monstrous; fantasy and science fiction; children’s literature; popular culture and some of general interest. I usually only list UK conferences, but there are some exceptions.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole – A catch-all category for posts which aren’t directly related to research. Pretty much me doing things other than the tasks I’m supposed to be doing, like Alice.
  • Reading Round-up – Developed from an original blog about reading as a doctoral researcher and building a reading routine by Pat Thomson who blogs at Patter (which you can read here), these are posts where I take a look at me reading strategies and what I’ve actually read over a period of time.
  • Research Groups – Posts in the Spotlight on Research series and guests posts from research/discussion group participants and organisers.
  • Thesis – Posts directly related to my thesis is some way. These will either be about my experiences of writing the thesis or about the actual content. I anticipate that the posts will be dominated by the former until my submission date, at which point I should be in a better position to produce the latter kind.

I’ve also changed the look of the blog a little, and now have a header image (the full version of which you can see below) and blog icon of my own design. Normal posts will resume next week with the next Reading Round-Up and Spotlight on Research posts coming soon.

On Campus: University of Aberdeen between New Kings and the Old Brewery

And if you’re really interested in the spot, you can visit it here.

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