54 posts categorized "Conferences" Feed

Do You Care About Getting Kids Reading? Consider Attending #KidLitCon in October

To all of my readers who care about getting kids reading, and keeping them reading, I would like to suggest that you consider attending KidLitCon on October 14-15 in Wichita, KS. KidLitCon, an annual gathering of people who are involved with, and blog about, children's books, is always a valuable conference. But this year's KidLitCon will be of special interest to those of you who care about kids and reading. This year’s theme is Gatekeepers and Keymasters: Connecting bloggers, librarians, teachers, authors, and parents to promote literacy.

KidLitCon2016LogoRect

We are currently seeking proposals to present on this topic (or other related issues). Registration for KidLitCon is now open. The KidLitCon hotel is taking reservations. We have just announced two fabulous keynote speakers: Clare Vanderpool and A. S. King. But now, we need all of you.

If you are an author, publisher, teacher, librarian, or parent who works to get books into kids' hands, this conference is for you. We're expecting to talk about ways that bloggers can better support all of you in finding the books that will hook kids on reading.

  • Do you blog about raising readers? Come to KidLitCon to talk about how to broaden your audience.
  • Are you a teacher who thinks that getting kids talking about books on blogs or social media will help get them excited about reading? Come to KidLitCon and share your ideas, and learn from others.
  • Are you a parent who wishes that book reviews on blogs were more helpful to you in some concrete way? (More reviews of older titles that are already in the library? More tagging of reviews to make them searchable?) Come and tell us what you're thinking.
  • Are you a librarian who needs books that offer windows and mirrors for particular segments of your patron population? Come share with attending authors and publishers the gaps that YOU see in the diversity of books. 

There are hundreds of people out there publishing reviews of children's and young adult books on blogs, GoodReads, Amazon, etc. These reviewers would love to know how to make their recommendations more useful to people who share books with kids. There are thousands upon thousands of teachers, librarians, and parents who worry about kids reading fewer books, swayed by the distractions of screens and the pressures of testing in school. There are countless authors and publishers and publicists who want to write and publish and promote books that will engage kids, and turn them into readers. What this year's KidLitCon offers is a chance for some of those stakeholders to get together in a single room, share ideas, and talk about solutions. What we all want to see is kids growing up with the chance to fall in love with books. 

KidLitCon is a small, intimate conference, perfect for discussion with and learning from like-minded people. It is a relatively inexpensive conference (early bird registration is $80 for 2 days, including lunch), and hotel costs in Wichita are quite reasonable. I found an inexpensive airfare from San Jose, too. KidLitCon is an introvert-friendly conference (as most attendees are introverts), with plenty of downtime. I've attended nearly all of the 9 previous KidLitCons, and have always found them to be worth my time and effort. 

This year’s primary organizer is Melissa Fox from Book Nut, aided by a team of past organizers and dynamic new assistants. For more information about KidLitCon, please visit our blog or website. We hope to see you all there!


KidLitCon and Cybils Update: Last Call to Nominate for 2014

Cybils-Logo-2014-NominatedTomorrow, October 15th, is the last day for the general public to nominate titles for consideration for this year's Cybils awards. Starting Thursday, we will be accepting nominations from publishers and authors through October 25th. Today at the Cybils site, Blog Editor Melissa Fox shared links to quite a few posts in which people have compiled lists of titles that have not yet been nominated. If you haven't nominated (or haven't nominated in all of the categories that you are interested in), these lists are a great source of ideas. 

The general goal of all Cybils nominations should be to recognize titles (published in English in the past year) that are well-written and kid-friendly. The Round 1 Cybils panelists are already hard at work gathering and reading the nominated titles. So far (with thanks to Sheila Ruth for designing our lovely database), there have been 786 eligible books nominated, 60% of which have been read by at least one panelist. Much more reading will be taking place over the next couple of months.

Personally, as a Round 1 judge in Fiction Picture Books, I've read 32 of 111 eligible titles. The hard part is not reading 111 picture books, of course, but getting hold of them from various library systems (which we try to do as much as possible, rather than imposing upon publishers). 

KidlitCon2014_cubeIn other news, the 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference (aka KidLitCon) was a resounding success. Here is a slightly modified version of what I shared at the Kidlitosphere Central site:

KidLitCon was 50+ people talking in Sacramento over two days about children’s and young adult literature and blogging, and how to increase diversity in both. There was a tremendous energy in the room(s) at all times. It was exhilarating and exhausting. Keynote speaker Mitali Perkins was fabulous, as was Skype guest speaker Shannon Hale, and the many brave presenterslisted here. 

Below, you can see a photo of the KidLitCon organizing committee. Lots of other pictures are available by following links further below. 

KidLitCon: Brought to you by:
l-r: Maureen Kearney, seated. Standing, Tanita Davis, me (Jen Robinson), Charlotte Taylor, Melissa Fox, Reshama Deshmukh, and Sarah Stevenson. (Image credit to Tanita’s husband, David.)

Here are links to some roundups and followup posts from presenters (in Twitter format, because they were first shared there):

#KidLitCon, 2014: A Retrospective, Part I, from Tanita Davis, w/ great photos + insights http://ow.ly/CL1kS 

Thoughts on #KidLitCon 2014 from @aquafortis | Small World, #Diverse Voices http://ow.ly/CHC6d 

A Checklist to “See” Race/Culture in Kid/YA Books by @MitaliPerkins our keynote speaker at #KidLitConhttp://ow.ly/CHtNb 

Happy times at #Kidlitcon from @charlotteslib like @haleshannon Skyping from her rocking chair + calling@Book_Nut http://ow.ly/CHf69 

i am #kidlitcon | finding more people to play!!!, conference wrapup by @MayaGonzalezArt w/ cute child photoshttp://ow.ly/CHeDt 

A bit late to post, but this was a mid-con Update from @MsYingling attending her first #KidLitConhttp://ow.ly/CHulg 

#kidlitcon wrapup + PDF handout for reading + blogging diversely from presenter @shgmclicious http://ow.ly/CHdMn 

Ten takeaways from #Kidlitcon 2014 from Leila @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/CHd7K 

#KidLitCon wrapup and thoughts on #diversity from @CrazyQuilts http://ow.ly/CL8cc 

Thoughts on #kidlitcon and on not being “too nice” in the call for #WedNeedDiverseBooks from @ZettaElliotthttp://ow.ly/CL9Od 

Very interesting thoughts from Tanita Davis on the #KidlitCon, 2014: NOTEPAD FORUM and following #diverse bloggers http://ow.ly/CP5mj 

#KidlitCon in Photos, 10 pictures shared by @Book_Nut http://ow.ly/CPbFz 

With special thanks to Leila from Bookshelves of Doom for collecting many of these links. 

For more tidbits from the conference, do check out the #KidLitCon hashtag, where a number of folks were live-Tweeting during both days. 

And, in other important KidLitCon news, KidLitCon 2015 will be held in Baltimore, with thanks to Sheila Ruth andPaula W. More details to come! We will continue to share information at Kidlitosphere Central, as well as on the KidLitCon Twitter and Facebook accounts. Stay tuned…

Many, many thanks to everyone who participated in KidLitCon 2014. 

And now, get out and nominate books for the Cybils awards!

 


Headed Out for KidLitCon

2014KidLitConLogoI will be headed out later this week for the 8th Annual KidLitCon in Sacramento. The conference is being held Friday and Saturday at the Tsakapoulos Library Galleria. If you are already registered for KidLitCon, great! I look forward to seeing you there. And if you've been thinking about it, but didn't register by the pre-registration deadline, we are accepting walk-in registrations. Details are at the bottom of this page

One thing that hasn't been publicized much: for those planning to attend KidLitCon, we will be having an informal book swap. If you would like to bring a few books to trade/give away, feel free. We also have a number of ARCs sent by generous publishers, so if you are traveling, definitely come with extra room in your luggage. Ms. Yingling is! 

If you happen to be in the Sacramento area, you are welcome and encouraged to attend our Author Mingle on Friday afternoon from 3 to 5 (no registration needed). Details are below:

2014KidLitConAuthorMingleFlyer

Finally, if you are not attending KidLitCon, but would like to follow along, I am quite sure that people (myself included) will be live-tweeting as much as possible. Follow the hashtag: #KidLitCon. 

The 8th Annual KidLitCon! It's going to be a great time. Looking forward to seeing you there!


The Last Day to Register for KidLitCon is Tomorrow

KidlitCon2014_cubeTomorrow, Setpember 26th, is the last day to register for the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Conference (KidLitCon). KidLitCon is an annual gathering of people who blog about, and care about, children's and young adult books. We are teachers, librarians, parents, authors, publishers, and reviewers. We get together once a year, in person, because there's nothing that can replace being surrounded, in real space, by kindred spirits.

You can blog and tweet and Facebook all year round, but chances to share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and have a face-to-face discussions about your passion for children's books are rare. Those discussions this year will focus on Blogging Diversity in Children's and Young Adult Literature

KidLitCon is being held in Sacramento this year, on October 10-11. Next year, KLC is scheduled to return to the East Coast, and then to the Central US the following year. Personally, I try to go every year. I missed only the one in New York two years ago. I know that there are others who, once they attend once, find that they are willing to travel for future KidLitCons, unable to resist the chance that it offers to recharge one's energy for blogging, while spending time with one-time virtual friends who have become real. 

Below are tweets that I've shared over the past week that will lead you to further details (registration, program, attendees lists, etc.). But the most important thing you need to know is that the deadline to register is tomorrow. I hope you'll join us. 

KidLitCon Links:

GottaBook: #Kidlitcon ! You! Go!!!! @gregpincus on why YOU should attend this year's KidLitCon http://ow.ly/BHp1P 

Tanita Davis reports: #KIDLITCON: REGISTRATION EXTENDED! Hotel room block also extended (call hotel) http://ow.ly/BKm4E 

TOMORROW is the last day to register for this year's #KidLitCon, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 10-11. Theme = #diversity http://ow.ly/BSGHZ 

Will you be joining #Cybils organizers and panelists at this year's #KidLitCon? A chance to talk books + #diversity http://ow.ly/BS6GA 

These amazing bloggers + authors will be attending #KidLitCon in Sacramento, Oct 10-11. There's still time to sign up http://ow.ly/BPrjh 

New updates to the Twitter list of #KidLitCon attendees. Doesn't this make you want to come? Register by FRIDAY! http://ow.ly/BPqTg 

Have you seen the fabulous #KidLitCon Program, centered around blogging #diversity in children's literature? http://ow.ly/BNhaw 

Wendie's Wanderings: Reasons Why You Should Attend #KidLitCon http://ow.ly/BPgJu 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.  


KidLitCon Registration Deadline Extended by One Week

KidlitCon2014_cubeReposted from the Kidlitosphere Central blog:

We have a fabulous program and an exciting list of attendees for this year’s KidLitCon (being held October 10th and 11th at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento, CA). The original registration deadline was today. However, we have room for a few more people, and we would love to have YOU among them. Therefore, we have extended the registration deadline by one week, to next Friday, September 26th. Now is your chance! The KidLitCon registration form is here

KidLitCon offers a wonderful opportunity to spend time with kindred spirits, other people who care about children’s books (and in particular this year about increasing diversity in children’s books) the way you do. KidLitCon is a chance to recharge your blogging batteries, and pick up concrete tips for making the most of your children’s and young adult book blogging experience.

Participating in the Cybils this year? Come to KidLitCon and share your excitement? New to blogging? Come to KidLitCon and meet some of the bloggers you’re been following face-to-face. KidLitCon rotates around the country each year. For those of you on the West Coast, this is your chance to attend a (relatively, at least) loval event. Don’t miss it! We hope to see you there! Register here. And any help you can give in spreading the word about KidLitConwould be much appreciated. 

See also: The Cybils Goes to KidLitCon.

 


Cybils and KidLitCon Updates

It's time once again for an update on what's going with the 2014 Cybils Awards and the 8th Annual KidLitCon

Cybils-Logo-2014-Web-ButtonCybils

The Cybils organizers are all in place. You can see links to their profiles below. You can follow the Cybils organizers on Twitter via this handy list

The application period to be a judge for the 2014 Cybils Awards has closed. The panelist announcements will be coming soon, after a slight delay due to circumstances beyond our control. If you applied to be a Cybils judge and are waiting to here, please be patient. We'll share the panels just as soon as we possibly can. 

Nominations will still be opening on October 1st. It is definitely not too early to start thinking about what you feel are the most well-written, kid-friendly titles in each of the various categories. To see lists of finalists from previous years, visit the Cybils website, and follow the links in the upper right-hand sidebar. 

Here are our recent Twitter links: 

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Stephanie Charlefour @scharle4 | Young Adult #Nonfiction | http://ow.ly/Bm3XN 

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Jackie Parker @interactiver | Young Adult Fiction | #yalit http://ow.ly/BlRFD 

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Karen Yingling @MsYingling | Middle Grade Fiction | http://ow.ly/BlRwU  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Liz Jones @LizJonesBooks | Graphics http://ow.ly/Bg4qY  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Pam Coughlan @MotherReader | Fiction Picture Books http://ow.ly/Bg4kz  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Charlotte Taylor @charlotteslib | Elementary + Middle Grade Speculative Fiction http://ow.ly/Bg4g0  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Jennifer Wharton, Elementary/Middle Grade #Nonfiction http://ow.ly/Bg46e  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers Katie Fitzgerald @mrskatiefitz | Easy Readers/Beginning Chapter books http://ow.ly/Bg411  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Cathy Potter @cppotter | Chairing Book Apps http://ow.ly/Bg3Rp  #BookApps

2014KidLitConLogoKidLitCon

The Kidlitosphere Conference starts four weeks from today (October 10-11 in Sacramento, CA). Have you registered? You can find a partial list of registered KidLitCon attendees on the Kidlitosphere blog, and you can also follow the KidLitCon14 Twitter list. The KidLitCon Program has been updated slightly, and is looking great. 

Here are a couple of KidLitCon-related tweets from the past week: 

Do you guys realize that #KidLitCon14 is one month from today? Get those registrations in soon! http://ow.ly/BmlO1  #kidlit #diversity

The Official @SCBWI Blog: #KidLitCon 2014 Focuses On #Diversity, writes @leewind http://ow.ly/BfZGR 

And that's the scoop. I hope to see you at KidLitCon, and I hope that you'll considering nominating books for the Cybils. Not one but two chances to participate in the larger children's book blogging community! Have a great weekend, everyone!

 


KidLitCon and Cybils: Two Chances to Participate in the Larger Community

Hey there, Kidlitosphere fans. There is news to share this week about the 2014 Cybils Awards and KidLitCon. Here is the scoop:

Cybils-Logo-2014-Web-ButtonCybils:

  • The new Cybils website is now live. The new site was designed by Sheila Ruth, Sarah Stevenson, and Anne Levy (with a tiny bit of input from me). I think that it's beautiful. It's also quite user-friendly, with a pop-up for viewing finalists by category, and a responsive design that re-sizes automatically depending on your browser size (especially helpful on mobile). 
  • New Cybils logos are also available, as you can see to the right. You can find logos in different sizes and formats on the Cybils website. Bloggers involved with the Cybils are encouraged to display the Cybils logo on your sites. The Cybils logo was designed by Sarah Stevenson.
  • Updated Cybils bling is now available in the Cybils Cafe Press store. I have already ordered my 2014 Cybils coffee mug. 
  • MOST IMPORTANT: The call for judges for the 2014 Cybils is now live. If you blog about children’s and/or young adult books, either on your own or as part of a group blog, you are eligible to apply to be a Cybils judge. Judges are needed for Round 1 (sifting through perhaps hundreds of nominated titles to produce a shortlist of 5-7 well-written, kid-friendly titles) and for Round 2 (selecting a winner from the shortlist), in 11 categories (some with sub-categories), ranging from Book Apps to Poetry to Young Adult Fiction.You can apply now through September 5th. My application is in already.

2014KidLitConLogoKidLitCon:

  • The program for this year's KidLitCon was just posted, with thanks to Program Chair Charlotte Taylor. There are sessions on diversity, of course, including what promises to be a fabulous keynote by Mitali Perkins. But not to worry. KidLitCon remains true to our roots, with sessions on blogging in general, and an exciting author meet and greet event (more details to come). 
  • There is now a Twitter list of registered KidLitCon attendees (those who have given permission to be listed, and are on Twitter). A blog-linked list of attendees will be posted on our website later this week. The deadline for registration is September 17th, so if you have not yet registered, please do! The room block at the KidLitCon hotel is also filling up fast. See the registration form for details. 

If you blog about children's and/or young adult books, the Cybils Awards and KidLitCon both offer a marvelous opportunity to reach out from the comfort of your own blog and participate in the larger community. Being a Cybils judge is a way to expose yourself to great books within a sub-category of children's and YA literature, and to work with a team of other bloggers who also love that category (aka kindred spirits). Attending KidLitCon is a way to meet long-time blogging friends in person, and make new one. You can also renew your commitment to your blog, and to sharing your passion for children's literature with others.

Have I convinced you? Then apply now to be a Cybils judge. Register now for KidLitCon 2014. Opportunity awaits!

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.


KidLitCon Update!

2014KidLitConLogoThe 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference is rapidly approaching. KidLitCon is an annual gathering of children's and young adult book bloggers. It is incredibly fun, educational, and rewarding. This year, KidLitCon will be held in Sacramento, CA, at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, on October 10th and 11th. The theme is Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next? As one of the organizers of this year's conference, I wanted to give you all a quick update of what's been going on with the KidLitCon planning. 

My friend and KidLitCon14 co-chair (with Sarah Stevenson), Tanita Davis from Finding Wonderland, has an excellent new post up at the Kidlitosphere Central blog: What Do We Mean When We Talk About "Diversity" and How Can YOU Contribute to the Conversation? 

Tanita discusses the general buzz around diversity these days, and acknowledges that it can be difficult to even define what we mean by seeking more diversity in books and blogging. There are, after all, many types of diversity. She makes a few suggestions for both diversity-themed and more general session topics that might be submitted for KidLitCon. She concludes:

"We blog, because blogging gives us a voice. We blog about diversity, because we’ve all got different voices. Use yours.Sign up to join a panel or a session or to pitch an idea for this year’s KidLitCon. You can be a part of a game-changing conversation."

So how about it? Do you, in all your uniqueness, have something to contribute to this year's Kidlitosphere Conference? Session proposals will be accepted for one more week, through August 1st. Program Coordinator Charlotte Taylor from Charlotte's Library is standing by for your submissions. If you have an idea but wish to discuss it more informally, you can always email her

We also shared a post recently by this year's Author Coordinators, Melissa Fox from Book Nut and Reshama Deshmukh from Stacking Books, about ways that authors and publishers can get more involved with KidLitCon. Here is their enthusiastic conclusion:

"KidLitCon does have the best of everything: Good books, good conversation and amazing KidLit bloggers under one roof!! We hope you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there!"

Even if you aren't interested in making a presentation, or being actively involved as an author or publisher, you are still more than welcome and encouraged to come to KidLitCon and observe (or participate from the audience). We're expecting librarians, authors, teachers, parents, booksellers, publishers, and readers. Registration Coordinator Maureen Kearney from Confessions of a BIbliovore is ready to accept your KidLitCon14 registration form at any time. Registration closes September 19th.

 

I've submitted my registration form, and can't wait for KidLitCon. October. Sacramento, CA. Kindred spirits talking about ways to get books into people's hands. Don't miss it!

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.  


The Registration Form for KidLitCon14 is Now Live!

KidlitCon2014_cubeIt's here! Time to register for the 2014 Kidlitosphere Conference, otherwise known as KidLitCon14. You can find the registration form at the Kidlitosphere Central website. Registration will be open until September 19th, but there is no need to delay. 

Many thanks to this year’s Registration Coordinator, Maureen Kearney from Confessions of a Bibliovore for creating the registration form, and managing the registration process. 

If you blog about children's and/or young adult books, or you write children's or young adult books, or you just care about getting the right books into the hands of kids, KidLitCon is the place for you. KidLitCon is a small conference, not at all intimidating, and a perfect place to meet (or catch up with) friends who share a common interest. This year's KidLitCon is in Sacramento, California on October 10th and 11th. You can find more information about KidLitCon here. There's also still plenty of time to submit a session proposal. Contact program coordinator Charlotte Taylor from Charlotte's Library if you have questions. 

KidLitCon 2014. Sacramento, CA. October 10-11. It's going to be an amazing time! I hope to see you all there. Register now!

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


At Nerdy Book Club: The 8th Annual KidLitCon

Member of the Nerdy Book ClubI'm proud to say that I have a post up today at one of my very favorite blogs, The Nerdy Book Club. I talk about the 8th annual KidLitCon, and how for me this conference on children's book blogging is really all about spending time with kindred spirits. For anyone curious, I also provide a bit of background about how KidLitCon came to be. Here's a snippet from the post:

"Attendees share a love of children’s books, as well as a determination to get the right books into young readers’ hands. I have attended six of the seven so far, and I have enjoyed them all. I find it rejuvenating to spend time, face-to-face, with kindred spirits. I try very hard not to miss this annual chance to see people who started out as online friends, but who have become, like the Velveteen Rabbit, real."

If you are not already following the Nerdy Book Club (which you should be!), I do hope that you'll take a minute to pop over and read the full post. I've read and shared countless Nerdy posts over the past couple of years, and it was an honor for me to have a chance to post there myself, particularly about something as near and dear to my heart as KidLitCon.

KidLitCon 2014. Sacramento, CA. October 10-11. I hope to see you all there! The call for session proposals is here, and the registration form will be available very soon. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


The Call for Session Proposals for KidLitCon14 is Now Live!

I 2014KidLitConLogo am pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2014 KidLitCon. The 8th annual KidLitCon will be held in Sacramento, CA on October 10th and 11th, with sessions held on both days. This year’s theme is Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?

From the proposal submission form: 

“We are looking for presentations and panels that will inspire and edify Kidlitosphere bloggers. While we’re specifically interested in presentations that address what bloggers can do to make a meaningful difference in increasing and promoting diversity in children’s and young adult literature, sessions covering other topics such as reviewing critically, trends, social media, marketing, technology, and industry relationships are welcome.”

This year’s Program Coordinator is Charlotte Taylor, who blogs at Charlotte’s Library. Charlotte prepared this year’s submission form with assistance from last year’s Coordinator, Jackie Parker from Interactive Reader

The last day for proposal submissions is August 1st. I hope you'll consider participating. Click here for the Proposal Submission Form. The registration form will be available soon. 


Announcing the 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference!

The 8th annual Kidlitosphere Conference, aka KidLitCon, will be held October 10th and 11th at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento, CA. 

2014KidLitConLogo

KidLitCon is a gathering of people who blog about children’s and young adult books, including librarians, authors, teachers, parents, booksellers, publishers, and readers. Attendees share a love of children’s books, as well as a determination to get the right books into young readers’ hands. People attend KidLitCon to talk about issues like the publisher/blogger relationship, the benefits and pitfalls of writing critical reviews, and overcoming blogger burnout. People also attend KidLitCon for the chance to spend time face to face with kindred spirits, other adults who care passionately for children’s and YA literature. 

This year’s theme for KidLitCon is: Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?

Members of the Kidlitosphere have been talking about the need for more diversity in children’s books for several years now, starting back when Paper Tigers launched with a view of discussing multicultural children’s literature. There was outrage within the community when the cover of Justine Larbalestier’s LIAR was whitewashed, and discussions of other books followed. More recently, children’s and young adult authors have used blogs, Tumblr, and Twitter to make a much louder demand for more diversity in publishing, through the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Other bloggers are listening and responding. Pam Coughlan just announced that the focus of this year’s 48-Hour Book Challenge at MotherReader will be on reading diverse books. The Cybils organization has been combing through past shortlists, to come up with lists of diverse titles. The pictures and posts on this topic are too many to count. And that’s a fine thing.

What we would like to do with this year’s KidLitCon (along with our usual goals) is discuss what book bloggers can do to make a meaningful difference in increasing diversity in children’s and young adult literature. This year’s keynote speaker will be Mitali Perkins, an author whose focus has long been on “books between cultures for young readers". Among other things, Mitali will talk about how bloggers can be agents of change in the conversation about diversity in children’s and young adult literature. Shannon Hale, who has written eloquently on the need for writing non-neutral characters, and who helped launch the Great Green Heist Challenge, is also expected to participate in the conference via Skype.

We will talk about other issues of interest to children’s and YA book bloggers, too. But it is also our hope to make a bit of noise on behalf of diversity in children’s literature. It is past time for that. 

The Tsakopoulos Library Galleria is a beautiful meeting space, located in California’s State Capitol. We are finalizing details on a room block at a nearby hotel. Registration information and a call for session proposals will be published soon. While we do not have the final schedule yet, we are planning to have sessions starting mid-morning on Friday and going through Saturday, with evening events Friday and Saturday nights. 

We hope that you will mark October 10th and 11th on your calendar, and start thinking about how you would like to contribute to the conversation on children’s and young adult book blogging. Please help us to spread the word. Thank you!

Tanita Davis and Sarah StevensonFinding Wonderland
Jen RobinsonJen Robinson’s Book Page

Please help by spreading the word! Be a fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! This announcement is also posted at the Kidlitosphere Central website, where we will be sharing the registration form and call for papers soon.