Kidlitosphere Conference 2012
The sixth annual KidLitCon was held in the heart of New York City on September 28th and 29th, 2012. It was be held within the main branch of New York Public Library, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.
The conference was expanded into two days with a special “pre-conference” on Friday. Friday events included special visits to the publishers of New York City (Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Harper Collins, Little, Brown, Macmillan, and Holiday House) with blogger previews of their upcoming seasons.
The full schedule for the day was as follows:
10:00 – Registration (outside South Court Auditorium)
10:30 – Opening Remarks (South Court Auditorium)
11:00-11:45 Parallel Sessions #1
Location: Children’s Center
Presenter: Sheila Ruth (Wands and Worlds)
Title: Who’s In Charge?
Description: Having a social media presence has become an essential fact of life for many in the Kidlit space. Authors, bloggers, and publishers use social media for marketing, engaging with fans, and communicating with peers. Librarians use it to keep up with industry information & book news, and to communicate with patrons. But managing a professional social media presence can quickly become an overwhelming time suck, leading to burnout. This presentation will help anyone who is using social media for professional reasons to take charge and manage it in an effective way. Participants will learn to create a strategic plan by answering the questions what, where, when, and how, and learn about technology tools that can reduce the amount of time and effort needed for social media management.
Location: Classrooms A & B
Presenter: Teri S. Lesesne (The Goddess of YA)
Title: Don’t be a Twitt! Building a PLN Using Social Networks
Description: Twitter and FaceBook and Pinterest and other social networks can be the place to begin developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN). How do we begin? What are the steps in bringing disparate people and sites into a cohesive whole? These and other questions will be tackled during the session.
Location: South Court Auditorium
Presenters: Sheela Chari, Sayantani Dasgupta, and Michelle Schusterman (From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle Grade Authors)
Title: Community-Building On and Off the Blog: Secrets, Tips, and Cautionary Tales
Description: In cyberspace, as in real life, community is everything. Members from the popular middle grade blog, From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle Grade Authors, will share their success stories and cautionary tales for building and sustaining communities, based on what has worked on their blog for the past two years, including book, Skype and other giveaways, special interviews and industry spotlights, news bars, twitter chats, and real-life meet-ups. They will also discuss strategies to grow your community, with an eye to diversity, and create the right environment for sharing information, spreading ideas, and forging friendships beyond the blog. Audience participants should prepare for a lively discussion, a few rounds of KidLit Jeopardy (there will be prizes!), and most of all, to have some fun!
Location: Room 207
Presenter(s): Janna Morishima, Dorothy O’Brien and Alex Simmons
Title: Reviewing Comics and Graphic Novels for Kids
Description: Graphic novels and comics have become established forms of kidlit. No longer the “guilty pleasures” among books, they are now considered valuable in education, literacy, and fostering a love of reading. This panel will help reviewers approach the variety of comics collections and graphic novels published each year (including graphic novel versions of existing titles) by addressing questions such as: Can they be reviewed by the same criteria as traditional novels or collections? How should a reviewer treat ongoing storylines? How important are the visual elements, and how can one fairly compare graphic vs. traditional versions of the same book?
12:00 – 12:45 – Parallel Sessions #2 (four choices!)
Location: Room 207
Presenter: Marcia Lerner (The Diamond in the Window)
Title: Inspiring Reader Response
Description: A presentation that aims to give bloggers tools to strengthen conversation with their readers. One of the great things about blogging is that it facilitates immediate response. The rewards of blogging come from a wide variety of readers—librarians, teachers, and parents—who offer their wisdom and expertise on a regular basis. Yet one of the frustrating things about blogging is that sometimes readers don’t respond, and it can end up feeling like you’re writing into a void. The most common recommendations for getting readers to comment are to use giveaways or to end posts with a question. In this talk Ms. Lerner discusses how to create emotional connections with posts and platforms that explicitly value readers’ input. Attendees of this program will be encouraged to offer their own responses beforehand on what has and has not worked for their sites.
Location: South Court Auditorium
Presenters: Kelly Jensen & Nova Ren Suma (STACKED / Distraction 99)
Title: Getting Series-ous: How Blog Series Can Engage, Inspire, and Grow Your Audience
Description: This program will discuss what goes into developing a successful blog series and hopes to inspire others to explore series posts as a means of widening their own blog content. The experiences of an author and a blogger will provide insight from two different sides of the kidlit blogosphere while also showcasing how authors and bloggers can work with and benefit one another through a blog series.
Location: Classrooms A & B
Presenter: Jess Ferro (Alice in Baker Street)
Title: Oh, You Mean the Caterpillar Guy?: Viewing Illustration as High Art and Using Visual Literacy Methods to Enhance Our Evaluation of It
Description: A presentation that discusses ways in which we can help view illustration in children’s books as high art. By thinking of illustration as “real art”, we can use methods from the visual literacy ideas of education, specifically the Whole Book Approach and Visual Thinking Strategies, to better evaluate and talk about picture books as bloggers and lovers of children’s books. Possible video appearances from illustration-based bloggers will briefly discuss how they approach the evaluation of illustration and their insights into the art of the picture book.
Location: Children’s Center
Presenter: Greg Pincus (GottaBook)
Title: Avoiding the Echo Chamber: Bringing the World of Children’s Literature to the World
Description: Children’s literature bloggers find each other online… and speak to each other online. We meet offline, too. Nothing wrong with that. However, our connected world can become an echo chamber. All of us in the blogosphere (and in the business of children’s books, whether as author or illustrator or as publisher or reviewer) can work to spread the joy of children’s literature wider. Or put another way… if there are 100 million people on Twitter, we don’t need to talk to the 5,000 who already will buy books. We need to reach the parents, aunts, and uncles. And we can do this with a bit of social media know-how… and with a strategic vision that makes it more likely.
1:00 – 2:00 – Attendees will break for lunch (not provided)
2:15 – 3:00 – “How Nice is Too Nice?: Critical Book Reviewing in the Age of Twitter” (South Court Auditorium) (Maureen Johnson, Betsy Bird, Liz Burns, Monica Edinger, Sheila Barry, Marjorie Ingall - Moderated by Jennifer Hubert-Swan)
3:30 – 4:15 – Parallel Sessions #3 (three choices!)
Location: South Court Auditorium
Presenter: Karen Halpenny, VP of Women in Children’s Media
Title: The Changing Relationship Between Reader and Writer
Description: A discussion about the changing role of the reader and writer in the age of social media. This talk will examine the lives of authors in a world where their audience are capable of having a much more direct connection to them…and vice versa. Topics will include feedback (quicker and sometimes much harsher), ways in which public vs private life is more difficult to determine, and new marketing paradigms based on author personalities. This talk will cover social media tools including (but not limited to) YouTube videos, Facebook, Twitter, live appearances, etc. A panel will consist of the authors Gayle Forman, Michael Northrop, Alyssa Sheinmel, and Adele Griffin.
Presenter: Melanie Hope Greenberg (Mermaid on Parade)
Title: THUMBS UP! PLUMP UP YOUR PLATFORM and MAXIMIZE YOUR MARKETING
Description: This workshop addresses the necessity of creatives to fine tune their marketing skills on all fronts: analog, digital and social networking. Become your own best publicity director (even if you already have one). Learn the points of access to reach out and let the world know about your published book. Online marketing will be covered with a special focus on Social Network Etiquette.
Location: Room 219
Presenter: Diane Estrella (That’s What I’m Here For…)
Title: The Benefits of Blogging
Description: Whether you are a long time blogger or thinking about dipping your toe into the blogosphere for the first time, this presentation will provide advice for ways to get started along with how to grow the site you already have.
4:30 – 5:15 Plenary Session: Keynote Speech (South Court Auditorium) delivered by the illustrious YA author Maureen Johnson! Ms. Johnson is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels include SUITE SCARLETT, SCARLETT FEVER, GIRL AT SEA, 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES, and THE KEY TO THE GOLDEN FIREBIRD. Her popular Shades of London series began with last year’s THE NAME OF THE STAR and the second book THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH will be coming out February 2013. She lives in New York City, but travels to the UK regularly to soak up the drizzle and watch English TV.
5:15 – Closing Remarks (South Court Auditorium)
5:30 – Kidlit Drink Night! The Houndstooth (520 8th Avenue at 37th Street).
ROSTER OF SOME OF THE ATTENDEES
I’m a middle school media specialist who’s been sharing the books I love on our school website since 2006. I’ve worked as a Cybils MG/YA Nonfiction round 1 judge for the last 2 years, and loved that. ***note — I got put on too many district committees this past year and had to take a break from reviewing. I’ve said no to everything for the coming year so I can get back to the blog.***
As co-publisher of Groundwood Books, I follow a great many blogs. While not an accomplished blogger myself, I do have strong opinions about what makes a blog useful for readers—parents, librarians, teachers, children—and I am interested to hear how my views are confirmed and challenged by the attendees and speakers at this conference.
Blogger, educator, reviewer
I work in school and library marketing at Penguin Young Readers Group. Looking forward to spending time with like-minded kidlit folks.
I am a reader, wrocker, librarian, editor, literary blogger, Hunger Games Fireside Chatter, and all-around nerdy girl. I am here because kid lit makes me happy.
Writer/editor/children’s TV producer and co-author with Jim Murphy of “Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure” looking to create additional visibility for books
Jane Breen, two-time Faith Hektoen Award winner from Connecticut. Children & Teen Specialist West Hartford, CT also co-president of Light One Little Candle, a national non-profit (based in NY) bringing children’s books to cancer centers across the country. Desperately seeking blogging skills!!
I compile booklists of my favorite picture books about a variety of topics and share them at my blog Delightful Children’s Books. I am transitioning from a career as an attorney to one in children’s literature, hopefully as a children’s librarian. I look forward to meeting other librarians and literary folk, picking their brains for ideas, and getting inspired.
Liz Burns blogs about young adult books, TV, and other things that capture her fancy. By day, she is a Youth Services Librarian. Her favorite television show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she used to be a lawyer (but don’t hold that against her) and she loves to read. Liz lives at the Jersey Shore…. and it’s nothing like the TV show. Really.
Gina Carey is a middle grade writer who lives in Harlem. She works at Huffington Post M-F, and has had the opportunity to do some lovely travel writing over the years. Like a good New Yorker, she loves cupcakes and skirts with pockets.
I edit a blog for School Library Journal that runs 4-5 reviews each week of adult books with appeal to teen readers. I work with nearly 20 fabulous book reviewers to help librarians provide teens with the best of reading beyond YA. Excited to attend KidLitCon for the first time and meet other bloggers as obsessed with writing about books as I am.
YA Writer. Reader. Doodler. Assistant Regional Advisor for the Metro-NY Chapter of SCBWI.
Kellie has been working with kidlit bloggers for the past six years and is thrilled to be attending her first ever Kidlit con! She looks forward to catching up with everyone she knows and meeting lots of new folks in the process. Kellie currently works on the Walden Media side of Walden Pond Press out of Boston, MA working on marketing and PR for the imprint and its authors.
I’m the author of VANISHED (Disney Hyperion) and a blogger for From the Mixed-Up Files. I’ll be doing a presentation on community-building. Come by and say hi!
I’m a Youth Services librarian at a public library. I love to talk about books and my adventures in story time on my blog The Serpentine Library. I’m excited to be attending my first KidLitCon and expanding my blogging horizons.
Pam Coughlan writes the blog MotherReader, administers the website KidLitosphere Central, and chairs the Fiction Picture Book category of the Cybils. In non-online life, she works in youth services in a public library and supervises the theatrical aspirations of two teenage daughters in the Virginia suburbs of D.C.
I’m a New York nanny and closet-novelist. No seriously. I live in a closet. Most days, I write YA fantasy. Some days, I just pretend I have a window.
Sayantani DasGupta (www.sayantanidasgupta.com) is a kids doctor turned kids writer represented by Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She writes for “From the Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors” (www.fromthemixedupfiles.com), “Adios, Barbie” (www.adiosbarbie.com) and “Stories Are Good Medicine” (http:storiesaregoodmedicine.blogspot.com). When she’s not writing MG and YA fiction based on Indian folktales and myths, she teaches in the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University and the Health Advocacy Program at Sarah Lawrence College.
Mom, reader, literacy advocate, pasta lover, blogger, friend. Thank goodness none of those things is mutually exclusive. I can usually be found multi-tasking with any combination of those things at any given time.
A youth services librarian in charge of strange objects, music, presenting storytime and the unexpected. I am here to turn the colorful but shapeless fabric of my library’s blog into a swelling parade float of stunning grandeur and awe.
Monica Edinger is a fourth grade teacher at the Dalton School in New York City and has been blogging since 2006 at educating alice. In 2011 she began blogging at the Huffington Post as well and you can find her on twitter at: https://twitter.com/medinger. An occasional contributor to the New York Times and the Horn Book Magazine, Monica is excited about her first children’s book, Africa is My Home, out next year from Candlewick.
I’ve been writing Sonderbooks, reviewing everything I read, since 2001. The focus is children’s books, with special features like Sonderling Sunday, Top 100 Authors and Illustrators, Conference Corner, Prime Factorization Fun, and Conference Corner.
I’m a school librarian at Luther Burbank Middle School in Lancaster, MA, and I’m always looking for new and different ways to share books with my students.
I am the Teen Services Librarian for the Cambridge Public Library. We began the blog when we opened the Teen Room in 2009, and I have since discovered the terrific community of children’s & YA lit bloggers out there! I’d like to learn and share information with other attendees — I guess I’m in that “what’s next?” place of thinking.
Diane is a wife, home-schooling mom, aspiring children’s writer, part-time blogger, (full-time social media recreationalist) and semi-professional encourager.
I’m an undergraduate student of Children’s Literature, a big sister, a teacher, a Closet Librarian, an Art History Admirer, a compulsive book recommender and blogger. I’ll be presenting on the evaluation of illustration through the lens of “high art” and visual literacy methods.
I am a librarian in the Youth Wing at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library. I am interested in learning new ideas about chilren’s/YA literature and social media tools for librarians.
A voracious reader of Middle Grade and YA fiction/science fiction-fantasy. Sometime reader of adult books and non-fiction, with a soft spot for food and travel. Interested in books with people of color. Has never enjoyed a contemporary crime/thriller novel.
I’m a relatively new blogger, a lawyer, a library school drop-out and a mother. I always loved children’s books but I fell in love with them anew once I had my own children.
Marirosa Mia Garcia
We are Marirosa Mia Garcia and Julie Sternberg, two friends who met at the New School, where we each received an MFA in Creative Writing. We write children’s books. We also read them all the time, and share them with one another, and discuss them, and sometimes argue about them.
I’m Alison, a former teacher and hopeful future school media specialist. I’m currently working on my MSLIS at Syracuse University, and reading as much YA and children’s lit as I can in my limited free time (ostensibly to stay on top of trends, but really because I love it!). I also love to bake and discuss salacious pop culture gossip. I’m looking forward to meeting kindred spirits!
Publicist, Holiday House Books for Young People
Melanie Hope Greenberg
Picture Book Author and Illustrator, Marketing Trainer, Blogger. I have illustrated 16 published children’s trade picture books; six of them I wrote. I was recently an artist in residence for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art’s National Endowment for the Arts grant “Picture This! Bridging Arts and Literacy”. My original picture book illustrations were part of the “Drawn in Brooklyn” group exhibition curated by John Bemelmans Marciano at Brooklyn Central Library-Grand Army Plaza. Was the 2011 Texas Library Association conference’s Disaster Relief Fund raffle artist.
Sarah Mulhern Gross
A high school teacher, blogger, contributor to the NYTimes Learning Network blog, reading, and writer. I love connecting with other bloggers!
I am the Manager of Marketing and Promotions for the Book Department at Big Honcho Media. We work with books for all ages, from picture books to YA to adult fiction, as well as the wonderful bloggers who talk books. I look forward to seeing bloggers I work with, meeting new bloggers and hearing about what’s new in the kid lit world. I am also a recent MLS program graduate so I’m interested in any librarian-focused programming as well!
VP of Women in Children’s Media; Book Editor at Sesame Street; moderated a panel.
Helen N. Hill
I am an expatriate American who, after a fruitful career in marketing, put aside my PowerPoint presentations and rediscovered painting and journaling. I have a portfolio of work and accidental stories influenced from my love of Roald Dahl. I’m attending the conference to improve my online presence and mingle with all these savvy trend setters!
Jennifer Hubert Swan
Jen Hubert Swan is a YA librarian, author, iPad aficionado, professional reviewer, veteran national book committee member and book blogger since 1998. In her spare time she obsesses over reality TV, collects
original SVH paperbacks and eats out as often as possible.
I’m a teen and adult services librarian in southern Wisconsin who blogs at STACKED, as well as at YALSA’s The Hub blog. I am a reality TV addict and read copious amounts of contemporary YA fiction and love talking about it.
Anne E. Johnson
Anne E. Johnson lives in Brooklyn. She has placed over thirty short stories in publications such as Knowonder, Spaceports & Spidersilk, and Stories for Children. In 2011 she won second place in the Children’s Writer YA Historical Fiction Contest. Her MG paranormal novel, Ebenezer’s Locker, was published this year as an e-book from MuseItUp. Her MG medieval mystery, Trouble at the Scriptorium, is available from Royal Fireworks Press. Anne’s blog, Jester Harley’s Manuscript Page, often features kidlit authors discussing their craft. Her website is AnneEJohnson.com.
Brenda is currently a middle school librarian in northern NJ. She has been blogging since 2008. She also reviews for School Library Journal and abookandahug.com.
Maureen is a children’s librarian by day, and blogger by night … and let’s be honest, by day too. When not reading, blogging, or librarianing, she can be found knitting or watching a quantity of sci-fi TV. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.
I’m a PK - 5 Librarian in a program that emphasizes literature as well as technology. Storytelling and coaching my student storytelling club is one of my favorite pastimes. Recently started a web page and am hoping to take the next, rather scary, step of blogging about kid lit.
Book-lover blogs YA, MG and sci-fi/fantasy from Washington, DC. First-time attendee, children’s lit fan, perennially fined at the library, coffee addict, and so on…
Marcia Lerner blogs about children’s literature and other semi-related topics at The Diamond in the Window. She is an editor and writer and she lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.
Blogger Recaps of PreCon
Blogger Recaps of KidLitCon
School Library Journal - Kidlitcon 2012: Critical Reviewing in the Age of Twitter
School Library Journal - Kidlitcon 2012: The Changing Relationship Between Reader and Writer