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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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 ( @
Reshama Deshmukh ( @


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. 


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


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!)


Saturday Presentations at KidLitCon Austin

While it’s always possible for something to go arwy, this is the plan for Saturday. Stay tuned for details about Friday, and don’t forget to register

Saturday, November 9, 2013:

Keynote Address

Cynthia Leitich Smith 


Breakout #1

Ctrl+Z: 3 Things Every Illustrator and Author Needs To Know About Digital Art

presented by Laura Jennings of The Highsong Project: Whether writing, illustrating, or self-publishing, understanding digital art is vital knowledge in the book world. Learn to recognize the important differences in web viewing versus print. We’ll tackle image formatting and how it relates to getting quality print reproductions and maximizing web viewing, as well as an introduction to the digital art programs that lend themselves to ebooks, apps, and motion graphics.

Blogger Burnout: Suggestions for Getting Your Groove Back

presented by Jen Robinson and Sarah Stevenson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page & Finding Wonderland: Anyone who has been blogging for a while has experienced occasional bouts of blogger burnout. Many of us put in an inordinate amount of time on our blogs, for which we are largely unpaid. And sometimes, we lose focus, or start to question what we’re doing. In this presentation, we’ll share our own recent experience with blog burnout, and the suggestions that other bloggers made to help us to get our respective grooves back. We’ll also seek other suggestions from the audience. 

Lunch (included!)

Breakout #2

Diversity in Kid Lit: Nurture More, Blog More, Get More 

presented by Lee Wind of I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?: Blogger Lee Wind, M.Ed. highlights how we’re all so diverse – as individuals, as a community of bloggers, and as humans on our Earth. But books for kids and teens have a long way to go to match that diversity. How can we be allies and UPstanders for those different than ourselves? How can we harness the power of books as both mirrors and windows? Find out how we, as bloggers, can claim our power to nurture more diversity, blog more diversity, and ultimately get more diversity in children’s and teen literature. 

Soft Sell Marketing 

presented by Molly Blaisdell of Seize the Day: Develop a sales technique in your comfort zone. Is in-your-face marketing with flashing pics, blog games, and complicated hop not your style? Many authors use soft sell marketing techinques to reach readers.  Learn about what works and what doesn’t, develop a concrete plan to implement immediately, and gain practical resources to help you explore soft sell marketing. 

Breakout Session #3

Critical Reviews & Why They Matter

presented by Kelly Jensen and Kimberly Francisco of STACKED: Critical reviews; do they differ from negative reviews? Do they add value in the blogosphere? If so, what is it? How and why do people decide to review critically? Do those who review critically experience burnout or change their minds on their review style over the course of their blogging career? This program will discuss the merits of critical reviews in the kidlitosphere, how and where assessing material critically helps you as a blogger and a reader, and it will delve into who is doing some of the best critical reviewing in the blogosphere today. 

 Beyond the Blog for Authors and Illustrators

presented by Pam Coughlin of MotherReader: Learn how to get involved, noticed and recognized in the online community of children’s and young adult literature with an overview of the KidLitosphere, Cybils, social media, and awards. 


Breakout Session #4

Don’t fear the code: spice up your blog with HTML and CSS 

presented by Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds: Every blog and website uses HTML and CSS for formatting under the covers. With just a little bit of knowledge of these technologies, you can go beyond the capabilities of your blog’s WYSIWYG editor and enhance your blog posts with advanced formatting. This fun hands-on workshop will use a recipe-based format to give you a few tricks that you can use right away in your blog posts, and give you the confidence to explore more on your own. Attendees must bring a laptop or tablet to participate.

Blogging the Middle Grade Books

presented by Charlotte Taylor of Charlotte’s Library: Join Charlotte along with Melissa Fox and Katy Manck for this forum workshop hybrid to discuss the particular challenges of blogging middle grade titles. How do you evaluate illustrations in MG books? Who is the audience? How we can keep our blogs growing, extending their reach and their depth, or simply keep the work of blogging interesting and fun?


Kidlit Blogging Roundtable: Our Past, Present, and Future

moderated by Sarah Stevenson of Finding Wonderland: On this panel, Jen Bigheart, Lee Wind, and others will discuss how blogging has changed over the years in the Kidlitosphere as a whole—different approaches to blogging, varying participation levels, etc.; what this might mean for the future of the community; and how bloggers and authors/illustrators and others in the kidlit community can best continue to leverage blogging for the benefit of all, and keep it relevant and fun. 

Dinner (offsite)