Fans across several generations have paid heartfelt tribute to Judy Blume in their entries in the Judy Blume Journal Contest, which Listening Library debuted January 3 ona dedicated Web site
. Readers are asked to share a “Judy Blume story or memory” and to vote for their favorite journal entry posted on the site. From the five contestants receiving the most votes, Blume will select a winner, who will receive an iPod Touch, an audiobook collection, and a personal message from Blume.
The contest coincides with Listening Library’s January 11 release of five CDs featuring readings of six Blume classics, marking the first time the author’s works are available on CD. The new releases are Deenie; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Iggie’s House’ Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself; and (on a single CD) Freckle Juice and The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo. Two additional CDs, It’s Not the End of the World and Tiger Eyes, will be available in August.
The contest grew out of a marketing meeting in preparation for the release of the CDs. “As we were brainstorming about marketing plans, we found ourselves ddreminiscing about our own experiences reading Judy Blume,” says Heather Dalton, director of marketing for Random House Audio Group. “It was truly a bonding moment, and we realized that if we were all so willing to share our personal reading memories, others would likely be interested as well.”
They were right: several hundred Blume readers have already entered the contest, which will run through February 18. The Web site enables contestants to share their journal entries with others via such channels as Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail, which has helped spread word of the contest, says Dalton. Listening Library is also promoting the contest through social networks, and ads are scheduled to run on teen Web sites next week.
“We are thrilled with the response we’re getting,” says Dalton. “Entries run the gamut, from preteens to teens to women like myself who remember what Judy Blume books meant to them as a child and who now have children who are reading her novels.” She notes that audiobooks of Blume novels are among Listening Library’s most popular offerings, with sales totaling more than 200,000 copies.