News

This page features news in the area of children’s literature, events from around the blogging community, and announcements about KidLitosphere happenings. Primarily focused on literary news, special events, useful articles, and interesting posts from other blogs, it does not include reviews, interviews, or opinions.

We welcome your feedback!

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Friday
Jul252014

What Do We Mean When We Talk About "Diversity" ...

…and How Can YOU Contribute to the Conversation?

It’s the current trend; everyone’s talking about diversity. You know it’s hip, since CNN has reported on it, and celebrated actors and actresses have weighed in. Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers even took it to the pages of the New York Times. From The Atlantic to NPR to School Library Journal to The Guardian, diversity and children’s literature has become the theme of the day – as well as the theme of the 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference

Sure, we’ve talked. And blogged. And tweeted. But, truthfully, some of us are probably still wondering what it is we’re all talking about, when we say “diversity.” 

It’s easier to talk blogging in general terms. Do you have tips about building community and finding your tribe, about working with ebook suppliers like Edelweiss and iBook, or turning a blog post into a publishable essay? GREAT. Your content is welcome at our Con. Maybe you want to talk about finding the best of indies and self-published books, have a clever PowerPoint about the evolution of your blog, or want to share with others the best coming of age books. That’s fine, too. Are you a former blogger who now podcasts or vlogs, or can you share something about how you’ve dealt successfully with internet trolls? Wonderful! All of this varied, unique  - dare we say DIVERSE - content is what make us, as bloggers, worth reading.

Difference. Unlikeness. Variety. Multiformity. Diversity. It’s not even really easy to define terms. When one person says “diverse” another person nervously hears race, or ethnicity, or gender. But diversity in children’s lit can be – and should be – all of those things, and more. 

Human beings are clearly diverse creatures – we’re from different socioeconomic groups, different cultures, and different faiths (or none at all). We are different ages, have different physical abilities, different family structures, and differing countries and languages. Every child or young adult should be able to use literature as both a window, to see how other people live – and a mirror, to identify themselves and say, “Yep, that’s me.” Despite the number of people who insist that they “don’t see color,” and wish everyone would just stop talking about race, we understand that not only seeing but acknowledging our diversity is vital to seeing the whole person.

So, what do we mean when we talk about blogging diversity in children’s literature? 

How about you tell us?  Do you think that bloggers can affect change in regard to diversity? Do you feel that tween lit is inundated by pink covers – and that there’s really no good reading for boys? Do you podcast children’s science books and hope to let queer kids know that science rocks? Are you drawn to reading and blogging books about a specific population? Have you turned blogging about children’s books containing older adults into a publishable article, and want to share how? Do you feel uncomfortable or awkward when talking about diversity, or confident in blogging diverse books, and feel like you can help others?

It’s easy to sit in the audience and nod when people talk about diversity. It’s easy to sign up to be a part of the crowd… but it takes trusting ourselves and trusting each other to set aside our preconceptions to speak up – and be prepared to listen and learn.

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.

This article was written by Tanita Davis, KidLitCon14 co-organizer. 

Monday
Jul212014

A Note for Authors and Publishers About KidLitCon14

We are in the middle of preparing for KidLitCon 2014 and are excited by this year’s conference theme Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next? While we are busy contacting authors and publishers, it has occurred to us (the author/publisher coordinators) that we aren’t aware of everyone who would be interested in, and a fantastic addition to, this year’s KidLitCon.

We are a small grass-roots conference, an annual gathering of bloggers and authors who are interested in and passionate about children’s and young adult literature. The intention of the Kidlitosphere Conference is to meet like-minded and interested people, and to discuss the issues facing us in both publishing and blogging about children’s and young adult books. Together, the attendees of the conference —who are typically librarians, authors, teachers, parents, booksellers, publishers, and readers — share their experiences and ideas to find out “the best way to get the right books into the young reader’s hands”, as organizer Jen Robinson has put it.

If you are interested in a sampling of participants’ highlights and thoughts from past KidlitCons, here are round-up posts from 2013 and 2011

In the past, authors and publishers have been very supportive of KidLitCon. Keeping that in mind, we are pleased to offer sponsorship opportunities for publishers. These include: 

1. Ads in the printed conference program.

2. Meal sponsorship. As an example, in 2012, Little-Brown sponsored a dinner for the attendees which featured Grace Lin as a speaker. We would be open to proposals along these lines.

3. Author signings: a time for authors to showcase their work, sign books, and chat with attendees.

4. Publisher-provided ARCs and other collateral material (in limited quantities).

Any other opportunities or ideas you have are welcome. We also welcome panel proposals from authors and publishers. You don’t have to be an active blogger to submit a proposal. To do so, fill out the proposal form here.   

KidLitCon is a much smaller conference than the ALA, BEA, and NCTE. While this makes it possible for the the experience to be intimate, it also means little funding for conference attendees. Hence, we cannot, at this point in time, offer a blanket invitation to our speakers to attend the entire conference as guests (although each one of us wishes we could!). However, if there are authors/ speakers who might want to participate in our dedicated Friday afternoon author book signing affair, or participate on a Saturday panel, registration for the entire event would not be required. For those wishing to stay for more of the conference, payment of the registration fee would be expected (details: here). 

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!

KidlitCon 2014 Author Coordinators:

Melissa Fox (http://www.thebooknut.com/) @ mmfbooks@gmail.com
Reshama Deshmukh (http://www.stackingbooks.com) @ reshama_d@yahoo.com

Tuesday
Jul152014

Registration form for KidLitCon14: Sacramento, CA

We are pleased to report that registration for the 2014 Kidlitosphere Conference (AKA KidLitCon14) is now open, with thanks to this year’s Registration Coordinator, Maureen Kearney from Confessions of a Bibliovore. KidLitCon will be held on October 10th and 11th in Sacramento, CA. You can register for either or both days using the form below (or click here for a non-embedded version). If you would like a better idea of WHY you should consider attending KidLitCon, please see Jen’s recent post at the Nerdy Book Club: The 8th Annual KidLitCon: Spending Time Face-to-Face with Kindred Spirits

Thanks from your KidLitCon14 organizers:

Sarah Stevenson and Tanita Davis from Finding Wonderland
Jen Robinson from Jen Robinson’s Book Page 

 

Don’t miss it! Registration closes September 19th. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for KidLitCon, click here for the Proposal Submission Form. The last day to submit proposals is August 1st. 

Wednesday
Jul022014

Call for Session Proposals for KidLitCon 2014

We are pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2014 KidLitCon. 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. We look forward to seeing your submissions! Click here for the Proposal Submission Form

Tuesday
Nov122013

KidLitCon Austin Round-Up

Thanks to everyone who came out for KidLitCon Austin! We had a smaller, but very enthusiastic group of bloggers who made it a special weekend. Here are some of their experiences:

Charlotte at Charlotte’s Library, 2 Cute Pictures of My Cat or What I Learned at KidLitCon  (hint: what she learned involves the cat)

Sarah at Finding Wonderland, KidLitCon’13 Recap, Part 1 (where she admits that there may not be a part 2 as deadlines loom.)

Jen at Jen Robinson’s Book Page KidLitCon 2013: Connecting with Kindred Spirits (a tribute to friends and ideas)

Sherry at Semicolon KidLitCon: What There Was and What I Learned (hint: she learned the power of the extravert)

Melissa at Book Nut, Ten Things About KidLitCon 2013 (the power of lists)

Jennifer at 5 Minutes for Books, My First - But Not Last - KidLit Book Blogging Con (we’ve got a new fan)

Allie at In Bed with Books, KidLitCon, Briefly (recap on the quick)

Kelly at Stacked, KidLitCon 2013: The Past, Present and Future of Blogging (a delightfully detailed post)

Pam at MotherReader, KidLitCon Austin Recap (clever title, this.)

Sheila at Wands and Worlds, Diversity, Authenticity, and Kindred Spirits (a keywords post)

Rosemond at Big Hair and Books, KidLitCon Highlights (she thinks I’m super-cute!)