August 3rd is the Central Florida Slug Club’s FOURTH birthday! On this day in 2012, a bunch of us who began talking on MyHogwarts decided to get together for butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks. Since then, we’ve grown to become a group of about 1,500 members spread out between our Facebook and Meetup.com groups that meets at least twice a month for a variety of activities include cosplay days, book club, laser tag, virtual races, community service and activism, and more! It’s been an amazing three years. I can’t wait to see what the fourth brings!
By Rubina Kandiah
Being part of a Harry Potter club, it is safe to say that literature is a very important aspect for most of us. From Narnia to The Shire and Hogwarts to Westoros, a lot of us have visited many different worlds through the imagination of authors. However, not everyone has the privilege or opportunity to read. According to UNICEF, “Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names” and Being to Read states that 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. Their numbers are growing, which means there are even more of them now. This is a very unfortunate scenario, which is why I am glad to see the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) make their Accio Books campaign an annual event and that our chapter – The Central Florida Slug Club’s S.P.E.W. – takes part in it every year with a lot of passion.
Every year, we have been having continuously successful Accio Books campaigns. This year was our third campaign with the HPA (the HPA itself was on its 8th annual campaign), and we collected a total of 7,276 books – surpassing our goal of 5,000 books and collecting more than twice what we collected last year (3,226books)! Our first year of campaigning, we had a total of 300 books so we have certainly come an immensely long way from the beginning! We came in second place worldwide for the number of books collected (out of 250+ chapters), and with the winning chapter collecting over 38,000 books, I’d say we did a rather impressive job this year! Way to go S.P.E.W.! We also came in third place worldwide for the total number of points; points were earned by hosting events or by doing different advocacy actions like emailing, writing letters to or calling representatives to request additional funding for libraries.
The focus this year was on diverse books – main characters being people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, etc. – and we strived to collect as many of these as possible. The HPA chose to donate all of the books this year to Good Shepherd School in Masaka, Uganda, teaming up with a number of other organizations including Books for Africa, the Literate Earth Project, and the American Library Association. On top of that, our chapter, S.P.E.W., chose a local charter school to donate our books to – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida. With the high number of books that we collected, we were able to donate to all seven of their different campuses throughout Central Florida. On top of that, employees at Universal Roofing, a construction company, heard about what we were doing and offered to build libraries for the children at their Pine Hills campus. The people in charge at UCP were very impressed with our book campaign success this year and were very grateful to us for choosing them! Several thanks to S.P.E.W. prefect, Bryanna Plantier, for suggesting the school.
With the rising success we’ve been having, I can only assume that we will aim even higher for next year’s campaign. It would be nice to come in 1st place! But more importantly, I am very proud to be a part of a club that takes such pride in spreading and encouraging literacy. May the Harry Potter fandom continue to lower the growing number of illiteracy around the world, book by book.
With the excitement over the release of the new trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Central Florida Slug Club had a discussion and dissection of the trailer on our Facebook page. We wanted to share with you some of the things we noticed. Most of the information below is just speculation and not information from any official sources.
1. Could this be Tina and Queenie’s apartment? We see them magically putting away dishes earlier in the preview. The amount of personal items on the bookshelf and night stand make it seem like a home rather than a hotel. We think Newt and Jacob are staying here.
2. Notice the book Jacob is reading, “Cassandra and Her Cat Gustavus”. Diane Lewis pointed out the following: “We can further deduce that this is a book about magic since it is in the apartment of two witches. Cassandra in Greek mythology is a seer, cursed by Apollo that her prophecies would be true but no one would believe her. In the Harry Potter universe, Cassandra Trelawney is the great-great-grandmother of Sybil Trelawney, another prophetess no one believes. It is a safe bet that this book is about Cassandra, and apparently her cat Gustavus (although I can find no references to the cat either in mythology or the HP universe.) Do we see here another nod to a future Hogwarts professor?”
3.Could this shot of Newt working be his office in his suitcase?! It is Newt’s first visit to New York so I can’t imagine he has a working office there. It looks like his, all Hufflepuff and cozy. His journal sitting in a pile of papers. Notice the steep set of steps at the bottom right to the left of Jacob. How cool is this suitcase! We can’t wait to see further into all the animal habitats.
4. Could Newt be creating a potion to put in the meat to possibly knock out an escapee? Notice the two huge pieces of raw meat on the table in the previous shot, as well as what looks like Newt extracting juices from a plant in this shot. It looks like they are putting a plan into motion.
5. Could a Demiguise be blasting through a political dinner for Shaw? The Demiguise is listed as peaceful but is also listed as M.O.M. Classification XXXX – Dangerous. After further research we found out according to Harry Potter Wiki Shaw is running for American Senator and this is a rally for his supporters. A fan video of Fantastic Beasts filming captured a group of muggles shouting “We want a second Salem” and holding signs saying “No witchcraft in America”. As well as Shaw candidate posters. Though this seems odd, why aren’t they just using a memory charm on these people to protect the Statute of Secrecy? Is it possible that this isn’t a creature attack at all?
6. Why are we seeing a creature that is not in the Fantastic Beasts book? The group had some pretty strong feelings about the uncreativity of the name Swooping Evil. So why was the evil not in the book? Maybe the textbook used in schools only has a portion of the creatures Newt has researched and found. Maybe it could only contains more common creatures. Probably not because the book has rare creatures like the Chimaera and Lethifold listed. Or could the Swooping Evil be extinct by the time he publishes the book? Though the Basilisk made it to the book and there was no known sighting for at least 400 years. Either way, once the movie is released we can hope that a larger more detailed version of the textbook will be released with notes from Newt or even a version of his journal.
7. What is the Name of the New York Wizarding Newspaper? We took some guesses at the newspapers name only to find out later that MinaLima hashtagged on their Instagram #TheNewYorkGhost. We have an official name!!
All of the above was created by the members of the Central Florida Slug Club in a joint discussion. Thanks to Diane for the great stills of the preview and pointing out a large portion of the topics discussed above.
Let us know in the comments below what else you noticed! If you live in Central Florida or visit often feel free to join our Facebook group to join in on the discussions.
by Angelica “Helga Hufflepunch” Rodriguez of Revolution Roller Derby
A couple of years ago a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to go see a roller derby game. “A roller derby game? Like in Whip It?” she laughed, “Yeah, sort of.” So I got in the car, drove to Orlando and watched a brand new sport, still in its infancy, with admiration. A year later I would join the fray under my new alter ego: Helga HufflePunch. My life has never been the same.
One of the greatest things about roller derby are the fun alter-ego, or derby names. You will find everything under the sun from Luna Shovegood, to Belligerent Lestrange, Phoenix Fawkes’m Up, Militant Bulstrode, and Helga HufflePunch (‘sup)… And those are just the Potter related names that came to mind.
For those of you not in the know, roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world; the US alone has over 1,250 leagues. It has been around since the 1920s, but its modern resurgence is vastly different. The game is played on quad skates, on a flat track, with five players on each team: one jammer, and four blockers. The game consists of two 30-minute halves, each of which is broken up into 2-minute (or less) jams.
It’s that time of year again! The Central Florida Slug Club is proud to announce our participation in the Harry Potter Alliance’s Accio Books literacy campaign.
This year, we are collecting books from April 1st-May 18th, 2016 for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida. UCP of Central Florida provides tuition-free charter schools and therapy services for children with special needs. A few of their locations do not have libraries, just a few books in each of the classrooms.
Our goal this year is to collect at least 5,000 books in order to help provide books for the students and teachers as well as to promote literacy at home with the families. While the primary need is for children’s and young adult books, we are collecting books for people of all ages. Books donated that are not suited for school libraries will go home with families in need that use their services.
Current Progress CoolFundraisingIdeas.net
Want to donate? Drop books off at the following donation locations or email us at cfslugclubspew at gmail.com to schedule a large pick up.
Accio Books 2016 Donation Locations – a full list of our current donation locations (updated March 31st, 2016)
Accio Books 2016 Facebook Event – Invite your friends! Spread the word!
UCP of Central Florida – Learn more about the organization you are helping.
The Harry Potter Alliance – The Harry Potter Alliance is an international non-profit organization that turns fans into heroes. Visit their website for more information.
Photo by Kazarelth Writing Apparatus
“His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad,
His hair is as dark as a blackboard.
I wish he was mine, he’s truly divine,
the hero who conquered the Dark Lord.”
– Ginny Weasley
March 21st was World Poetry Day. Members of the Central Florida Slug Club celebrated by dusting off their quills and writing some Harry Potter themed poetry (in exchange for house points, of course. After all, there’s a Cup to win!) I must say, I was extremely impressed by the submissions we received.
Some of them were bursting with House Pride.
Bravest and Boldest
Lovers of the red and gold
We are Gryffindors!
— Lauren G.
“Wit beyond measure
The best House there is”
— Stephanie S.
Hufflepuff House Greeting:
Come in, you’ve nothing to fear.
We’ll greet you with happy good cheer.
We’ll not turn you away. We’ll ask you to stay. For everyone is welcome here.
— Anna R.
Others were just straight up funny.
There’s a giant squid in the Black Lake,
I can assure you he isn’t a fake.
He likes to cause trouble
And many many bubbles
He lives underwater, for Pete’s sake!
— Stephanie S.
Some told a tale:
There once was a Slytherin named Snape, His love for Lily he could not escape, He seemed to be bad, But really was sad, And helped the big picture take shape.
— Anna R.
Students speak, Chamber opens, Lockhart is a fraud, a secret is held in it for Tom Marvelo Riddle lives once again as Voldemort!!!
— Joe C.
While some reflected some anger at corporate media shenanigans (with a bit of adult language here):
It is an Eagle
F*ck you Warner Brothers and
Your Raven bullshit.
— Margaret L.
Even though I’m not a Gryffindor, this was my personal favorite for its creativity:
Gryffindor is the best house,
There can be no denying;
We don’t have a badger, snake or eagle
As a mascot;
Instead we have the mighty Lion!
It’s not boasting, when you’re the best,
It’s just tried and true!
We’re strongest and bravest,
Though we don’t claim brightest,
We have proven we’re better than you!
— Candace F.
Let’s keep the creativity flowing, shall we? Write your own Harry Potter poetry in the comments or submit it to cfslugclub at gmail.com for our quarterly newsletter!
I love podcasts. It’s a new thing for me; I became interested in them well after they became popular. It took a long time to get past the fact that, no, this isn’t like some of the boring talk-radio shows I was stuck listening to on the radio years ago. Podcasts are interesting and engaging; each one I listen to opens me up to some new ideas and concepts. The way I know a podcast will end up being a regular one for me is I find myself talking and/or arguing with the hosts while driving down the highway. (They can’t hear me, but that doesn’t stop me!)
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorites that have a fandom and/or Harry Potter focus to them:
1. Mugglenet Academia. Anyone that has been in the Harry Potter fandom for awhile has at least some passing knowledge of Mugglenet, a HP fansite. Over the years, they have rolled out a few different Harry Potter-themed podcasts.
What is it about: Academic discussions of Harry Potter fandom with experts in fields related to the discussion of the day.
Why you should give it a listen: Get a chance to listen very in-depth and educational conversations about the Harry Potter series
Favorite episode: Parseltongue, Gobbledegook, and Troll: Translating Harry Potter, an episode that discusses what goes into creating translations of the Harry Potter series.
2. Fansplaining: This is an interesting fandom podcast that came onto my radar a few months ago when the Harry Potter Alliance‘s Communications Director Jackson Bird was on the podcast. It actually might be my favorite podcast right now across all subjects.
What is it about: This is a general fandom podcast, so the possibilities are endless! The hosts are huge Harry Potter fans though, so HP is included in a number of conversations. Topics tend to be broad (Fanfiction! Copyright Law! Social Justice! Fandom on Tumblr!) and can occasionally jump from fandom to fandom.
Why give it a listen: Learn new things about fandoms you’re in as well as fandoms you may never have heard of before, intriguing discussions that go into perspectives you may never have considered, etc. This podcast satisfies my inner Ravenclaw. Also, it’s one of the few general nerdy/geeky podcasts that I know of with a feminist perspective.
Favorite episodes: Fangirling through Time, an episode that talks about the history of fandom in general with a focus on gender roles, or The Dark Fantastic, an episode that explores race in fandom and pop culture.
3. Always: The Potter Fandom Podcast. Okay, yes, I’m biased in recommending this one. After all, I’m in it! It’s easy to listen to the entirety of this podcast in a short period of time though; not only is it entertaining, but we haven’t had the time to record it in awhile so there aren’t many episodes.
What is it about: This is a podcast is about the Harry Potter fandom, specifically Harry Potter events and fan groups.
Why give it a listen: Hilarious tales of Harry Potter event planning, opportunity to hear about Harry Potter themed events around the world. If you have ever thought of running or helping with your local Harry Potter fan group, I recommend giving this a try.
Favorite Episodes: Conventions, a discussion of Harry Potter conventions, or Harry Potter Food and Fandom, which talks about the various ways the fan groups have used HP themed food for their meetups.
Honorable Mention: Alohomora from Mugglenet. Many people have recommended this podcast to me, but there are so many episodes already that I’m a little intimidated to jump in. It’s quite a commitment. I’ve heard such wonderful things though that I felt it needed a place in this post. Alohomora breaks down the Harry Potter books into small bits, discussing just a few chapters at a time. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your Harry Potter series re-read. Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts!
What are some of your favorite podcasts?
It’s that time of year again when people start thinking about new beginnings. Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions or goals for 2016? If so, joining and being active with the Central Florida Slug Club might actually help you accomplish your goals! How so? Here are some example goals:
- Make Friends and/or Get Out of the House More. Making friends as an adult is hard. In school, you always saw the same people in class each year and always had that one thing in common. But as an adult, you don’t necessarily have that. With the Slug Club though, you already know that every single person at our meetups has at least one thing in common – we all love the Harry Potter series. It makes it easier to get conversations started. Even if you don’t say a word during your first meetup or two, keep coming! The more you see the same people, the easier it gets to open up and start talking with new people.
- Read More. We have a book club in our group! Book club meets every other month and alternates between re-reading the Harry Potter series (with some members reading it for the first time!) and reading a new book as selected by members.
- Learn a New Skill/Try Something New – I guarantee that at some point in the year, you will learn something new at a Slug Club meeting. We’ve had a variety of activities such as knitting your own house scarf, laser tag, cosplay days, and Quidditch pong.
- Volunteer. Want to help others and get more involved in your community? We have a subgroup within the Slug Club called S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Everyone’s Welfare) that does community service and activism projects. They’re also a member of the Harry Potter Alliance, an international nonprofit that uses the positive energy of fandom to create social change.
- Get organized. …yeah, okay, we might not be able to help you out much with this, though come find me at a meetup and I will be happy to discuss at length the pros and cons of various planners I’ve tried over the years.
- Improve your writing skills. Both our newsletter and blog are always looking for submissions! Write something and send it our way! Also, participate in our book club! Reading the writings of fellow authors helps improve your skills… plus you’ll learn a lot from the discussions about what other readers enjoy and get recommendations on other books to read.
- Improve your health. Okay, so our pizza nights probably aren’t the best for this (though they do have vegan and gluten-free options!) But for those who are looking to get more physically active, a number of our members are also in the Hogwarts Running Club. Start a post in our Facebook discussion group and get a group together!
- Travel more. There’s at least one Harry Potter convention each year. They are a great way to indulge your nerdy side while giving you an excuse to travel to a location you might not have necessarily visited on your own. (Trust me, I know. New Hampshire wasn’t on my top list of travel locations until I started attending MISTI-con. Now I can’t wait until my next trip up there… and at least 20 Slug Club members are attending next time!)
It’s that time of year again, when we want to get the warm fuzzies from the holiday season and the promise of a new year but outside stressors may be affecting our good cheer – crowds at the stores, family drama, that awful customer who procrastinated their project and now puts a rush on you when you’d rather daydream of candy canes or relaxing afternoons at home…
Over the summer, the Harry Potter Alliance released their Positive Fandom campaign, a list of community guidelines to help make fandom a safe, inclusive, and welcome space for all fans. At GeekyCon 2015, they passed out postcards with these points and a list of tasks that attendees could complete in order to work their way towards a more positive fandom (and one of the coveted ribbon badges.) Each task was relatively easy to complete, but really left us thinking afterwards about how we can apply these to our daily lives.
The Central Florida Slug Club’s S.P.E.W. team took inspiration from these guidelines, discussed how these affected us, how could use these reminders particularly through the holidays and new year, and came up with a list of four points where we could use improvement: Kindness, Community, Education, and Self-Care. During this month-long project, we are asking members of our group and the community to talk about what these mean to them, what they are doing to improve as individuals on each point, and post it on social media with #positivecfslugclub. Keep an eye on Slug Club social media (particularly our Twitter and Tumblr!) for member submissions and ideas on what YOU can do throughout the month! We’re dedicating a week to each point; expect to see a new one up each Sunday through early January.