Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest

Have you heard of it? Today you get to meet the awesome Kay Cassidy, creator of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest--a free and super-clever library outreach program for teen and youth librarians. When I first heard from Kay, and understood the idea, I totally geeked out. (Ask Kay. I did.) Now she's here, and she's going to tell you about it too. Q: What made you decide to create The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest? A: As a YA author and proud owner of a well-worn library card, I wanted to give something back to all the librarians whose book recommendations helped me grow as a writer and fed my imagination over the years. With the economy in turmoil, funding for public libraries is taking a major hit. School libraries are struggling as well. So I set out to create a totally free program that teen and youth librarians could use to keep kids excited about reading. Plus, I’m a huge fan of trivia, scavenger hunts, mysteries... so The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest was a natural fit. I would’ve been all over this when I was younger. Trivia fans... unite! Q: What exactly is The Hunt? A: The Hunt is a brand-new, super easy, totally FREE library outreach program for teen and youth librarians. The program is open to librarians in the U.S. and Canada, in public libraries and school libraries alike. It offers year-round free programming that’ll keep readers coming back to the library for more. Over 120 YA and middle grades authors have created a 10-question scavenger hunt (i.e. super fun trivia quiz) for one or more of their books. Scavenger hunts include questions like “What was the color of Moe’s hideous car?” or “What is Gemma’s favorite comfort food?” Every scavenger hunt also has a special note from the author to give it a personal touch. Q: How does The Hunt work? A: Once librarians register their library, their readers (called hunters) are eligible to participate. Hunters can check out the list of more than 200 titles in The Hunt, read the book of their choice, complete the scavenger hunt, and turn it in to their librarian. The librarian checks the answers against the quick answer key. If the hunter gets at least 8 out of 10 answers correct, the librarian can enter the hunter in the monthly contest. (NOTE: All scavenger hunts must be submitted to a participating librarian in order to be eligible for the contest. Participating librarians may enter hunters via the official contest entry form.) Q: And thus, the prizes! What kinds of prizes do you have and how can people win? A: Every month, I’ll choose one lucky hunter as the winner. The winning hunter will receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (good in stores or online) to use for whatever their heart desires. Even better? When a hunter wins, the host library wins too… a library prize tote filled with more terrific scavenger hunt books for the library’s collection. It’s a win-win! Q: Definitely a win! So, tell me more about your upcoming YA debut. When will hunters see a scavenger hunt for it in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest? A: My debut novel, The Cinderella Society, is the first in a new YA series. The series takes readers behind the veil of a secret society of extraordinary girls where ultimate life makeovers are the main attraction. Lifelong outsider Jess Parker thinks life on the inside is her ultimate fantasy until she discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a battle of good vs. evil played out on the high school battlefield, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself. The Cinderella Society will be an April 2010 release from Egmont USA with book two in the series to follow in Spring 2011. I’m very excited about sharing a scavenger hunt of my own in The Hunt. Come on, next April! Now, let me turn the tables on you for a minute. :-) First of all, thank you so much for participating in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest. If it weren’t for authors like you, The Hunt couldn’t exist. Authors are incredibly busy people, so I owe a debt of gratitude to each of the authors (like you!) who graciously volunteered their time to create a scavenger hunt. Q: What made you take time out of your busy schedule to participate in The Hunt? Amy: My first thought on this would be: I think it’s one of the best ideas ever so how could I not say yes? Also, my book is about hunting treasure, so it was kinda made to happen. Really Kay, it wasn't much time and I *LOVE* my library. Because I'm involved there, I see how library funding is falling and something like this is a real help and a real boost. Plus, it's seriously fun, and everyone knows I'm a big fan of seriously fun contests. Q: Do you think you would’ve wanted to be a hunter when you were younger? Amy: I was a big reader, so I'd guess yes. Thanks so much for coming around today, Kay, and for inviting me to be a part of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest. I am so pleased I can be a part of something so awesome. As an author, a former literacy teacher, and a library trustee, I was instantly in love with the project and I can't wait to see how it takes off! If there's anything I can do for you or The Hunt down the line, let me know. And best of luck with The Cinderella Society! Reader--please pass this information along to your favorite youth or teen librarian! Thanks!

2008 Golden Heart winner Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. Kay is a former college cheerleader and sorority girl, an M.B.A. and a member of Mensa. She thinks it's comical when people are surprised to discover those things aren't mutually exclusive. Kay is a seasoned professional trainer and former leadership development specialist who enjoys teaching motivational workshops around the country. She is also the founder and host of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest, a national library outreach program that provides year-round free programming for teen and youth librarians. THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY is her first novel. Visit Kay on the web at


Joanne Levy said...

WOW! How did I not know about this?
What a fabulous idea. I'm totally bookmarking The Scavenger Hunt website so that someday in the future, I can participate.

Good luck with your upcoming release, Kay!

Kay Cassidy said...

Thank you so much for having me over, Amy! If not for gracious authors like you contributing hunts for their books, The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest simply couldn't exist. You're the best! Plus, the treasure hunting in your book? Totally a match made in heaven. :-)

Kay Cassidy said...

Thanks for the cheers on The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest, Joanne! (And on The Cinderella Society too!) It really has been a blast putting it together and getting to see librarians and readers both excited about the program. Plus, I've gotten to meet awesome people like Amy through The Hunt. That's the icing on the cake! :-)

Thao said...

The program is really great! Now more teens can read the awesome books. I wish I lived in the US to join this.

Christy Raedeke said...

It's hard to believe that with a series of books coming out Kay has enough time to dream up and execute a program of this caliber! Looks like great fun.