Here is some of what I did during KidLitCon:
On Friday, September 28th, there were visits to publishers. In the morning, I, along with some of my fellow bloggers, went to the offices of Holiday House, where we were graciously welcomed by Hayley Gonnason and some of the talented people who work there. First, we were shown some of the incredible artwork done by different illustrators over the years and then we were told about some of the exciting new books coming out in 2013. This was followed by a visit from the husband and wife team of Betsey and Ted Lewin. Both have new and wonderful books due out in 2013, too.
In the afternoon, I was off to HarperCollins wth more of my fellow bloggers. There, we were welcomed by Mollie Thomas and several of their terrific editors. HarperCollins gave us a really in-depth survey of all the different books coming out in Winter 2012 and Spring 2013. And, may I say, there are some pretty exciting books to look forward to reading.
|(Grace and baby -|
csrtsey of Sondra Elkund
(Fortitude)On Saturday morning, I arrived at the library around 9:30 and was welcomed by my two favorite NYC lions, Patience and Fortitude. But just beyond them, hanging out on the steps waiting for the library to open and KidLitCon2012 to officially, begin were a bunch of bloggers. There, I ran into some old friends (that's Pam of MotherReader holding up a book) and met some new bloggers.
|(Picture curtsey of Sondra Elkund at Sonderbooks)|
My second session of the morning was with Greg Pincus and was called Avoiding the Echo Chamber: Bringing the World of Children's Literature to the World. Greg, whom I was so happy to finally meet, talked about finding your niche in kidlit blogging, so that you stand out from others. And he has also posted a recap of his talk on his blog The Happy Accident (Greg also blogs about his thoughts, ramblings and original poetry at GottaBook).
We broke for lunch for an hour and I walked over the Pret-a-Mange for a sandwich and ran into Donna Miskind, an artist and blogger whom I had just met earlier. After lunch and conversation about what is fine art, we headed back for a panel discussion on How Nice is too Nice? Critical Reviewing and "Niceness." This was moderated by Jennnifer Hubert Swan (Reading Rants), and presenters were Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production), Liz Burns (A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy), Monica Edinger (Educating Alice), Marjorie Ingall (Tablet Magazine), Sheila Barry (Groundwood Books), and Maureen Johnson (author). Niceness is an important topic for bloggers in view of some of the things which have occurred lately, such as one blogger being threatened by an author for less than stellar review. And each of the presenters had excellent, well thought out ideas on this topic. Perhaps Liz Burns summed it up best when she said you can be negative without being nasty. Luckily, there is a detailed recap written by Mahnaz Bar, which you can read at the School Library Journal.
My final session of the day was The Benefits of Blogging with Diane Estrella. This was also an information-packed session, and we were given a very useful handout, which Diane has posted along with a great recap on her blog, That's What I'm Here For.
The last event of the day was the keynote speaker who happened to be YA author Maureen Johnson. Well, it was really the anti-keynote. Maureen brought along her friend, YA author Robin Wassermann (yup, you know her, she wrote The Book of Blood and Shadow). So the keynote was really a conversation with them and the audience. And it was fun and funny and the best keynote I have ever heard.
AND, lucky us, we were all give a copy of Maureen's latest book, The Name of the Star.
All in all, it was a wonderful KidLitCon and I can see why people might want to travel far and wide to attend it. And I would like to extend a really big thank you to the organizers Betsy Bird, Monica Edinger and Liz Burns, who all did such a fantastic job of making it all work so well. And thanks to the NYPL for letting us use the library's facilities for free.
And one last thing: the most frequently heard comment on Friday and Saturday - "I wish it were in New York every year."
One more last thing. if you happen to be in NYC, Betsy runs a Children's Literary Salon once a month at the NYPL The next one will be on Saturday, October 20th at 3:00 PM and the topic will be Bullying in Books for Youth. I have always enjoyed going to the Children's Literary Salon whenever I can.