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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Monday
Aug252014

Registered Attendees for KidLitCon14

The following individuals have registered for KidLitCon in Sacramento (October 10-11, 2014), and have given us permission to share their names here. Participants are listed in the order in which they filled out the registration form. 

More to come! Doesn’t this list make YOU want to register for KidLitCon? Don’t miss your chance. Registration closes September 19th. More details about KidLitCon can be found here

 

Monday
Aug252014

KidLitCon 2014 Program

Kidlitcon 2014: Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?
October 11 and 12, 2014  Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, Sacramento, CA
(Link to Registration Form) (Link to KidLitCon Main Page)

Friday, October 11 

8:30-9:30 Registration

9:30-9:55  Welcome and Opening Remarks

10-10:50 A  Finding Your Voice, Finding Your Passion- Blogging With Conviction 

Charlotte Taylor Charlotte’s Library

Blogging is hard work, made easier by passion. Having an intense focus (such as a passion for some aspect of diversity, or some particular sub-genre) can both motivate the blogger and help the blog find its audience. But passion and conviction by themselves aren’t enough to make a blog a success for both its writer(s) and its readers—you have to be able to communicate them effectively. Topics in this session will include how to find the voice, or voices, that work for you, and how to use them to make a stronger, more powerful blog. 

10-10:50 B   Finding and Reviewing the Best in Diverse Children’s and YA

Nathalie Mvondo Multiculturalism Rocks!
Gayle Pitman The Active Voice
Kim Baccellia Si, Se Puede- Yes, You Can! 

Many bloggers want to review more diverse books, but are uncertain about where to find the best ones, and are uncertain how to evaluate and promote them. This session, featuring three bloggers who focus on multicultural and LBGT books,  will help bloggers get diverse books onto their blogs and into the hand so young readers.  

11-11:50 A    Sistahs (and Brothers) Are Doing It for Themselves  — Independent Publishing From the Creators’ and the Bloggers’ Points of View    

Laura Atkins Laura Atkins, Children’s Book Editor
Zetta Elliott Fledgling
[with blogger to be determined] 

Is it possible, in a publishing world that so dramatically lacks diversity in its offerings, to provide viable alternatives, using people power to provide books that all children in this country can relate to and enjoy? We think so! An ever growing number of authors and illustrators are independently creating children’s books, and many of these are about diverse subjects and children. An editor, and author and self-publisher, and a blogger come together to talk about different models and approaches to creating independent children’s’ books, and the role of bloggers in publicizing them, with a discussion of reviewing self-published books from the blogger’s point of view. 

11-11:50 B Social Media Tips and Tricks for Bloggers

Kelly Jensen (Stacked and Book Riot)

You write a blog post and now you want people to find it. This session will give you tips and tricks for best social media practices across a variety of platforms, including Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Learn how to build an engaged and excited readership, as well as how to manage the nitty-gritty components of social media. Whether you’re new at it or you fancy yourself a seasoned pro, you’ll learn some new best practices.  

12-1:30 Lunch (box lunches included in price of registration)   

This first lunch will feature optional talk clusters, where bloggers can gather with those who share their particular interests (such as “diverse spec. fic”  “picture book reviewing”  “middle grade books”  “LBTG” etc.), with the option of general seating as well. (Please share ideas for conversational groups with Charlotte Taylor (charlotteslibrary@gmail.com). 

1:30-3   Getting Beyond Diversity and Getting to the Story 

Edith Campbell Crazy Quilt Edi
Hannah Gómez  sarah HANNAH gómez
Jewell Parker Rhodes 

While gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or ability add to who we are, they do not define who we are. And these differences do not define our stories. How do we teach, discuss, or describe diverse books without making diversity the issue? Should we? How do we respond to the perception that ʺdiverse booksʺ are only for ʺdiverse peopleʺ and deliver book reviews and essays that highlight what makes books universal for those disinclined to think diversity is for them while acknowledging readers who need and deserve to find themselves in literature? Presenters Edith Campbell, Hannah Gómez, and author Jewell Parker Rhodes will deliver an interactive session with talking points, booktalks, strategies and much honest discussion.

3-5 Author Mix and Mingle

Meet and mingle with authors, publishers, and of course fellow bloggers! Signed books to buy, swag and ARCs to snag, good conversations to be had. 

Dinner (paid for individually) at The River City Brewing Company 

Saturday, October 11

8-9 Registration for new arrivals

9-10 KEYNOTE  Mitali Perkins— Can Bloggers Diversify the Children’s Book World? You Bet We Can.

Blogger and author Mitali Perkins will share stories of how some key blogs have made a difference through the years, offer practical tips on how to influence our circle of blog readers, and discuss how to integrate our social media platforms with our blogs for maximum impact. 

Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written nine novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and Bamboo People (an American Library Association’s Top Ten Novels for Young Adults, starred in Publishers Weekly as “a graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship.”) Mitali graduated from Stanford University in Political Science and received her Masters in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley. After spending 13 winters in Boston, she now lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her blog, “Mitali’s Fire Escape: A Safe Place to Think, Chat, and Read About Life Between Cultures” (mitaliblog.com), has been around since April 23, 2005. 

10-10:25 Break

10:25 -11:05  Beyond the Echo Chamber of the Kidlitosphere: Reaching Readers.

So you’ve read the book and written your review. Now what? Learn where the readers are, how to reach them and what to say so they’ll listen.  

Pam Margolis, Unconventional Librarian

11:15 to 12:  Skype session with Shannon Hale

12-1:30 Lunch (box lunches included in the price of registration)

1:30-3  We Need Diverse Books Presents:  Book Bloggers and Diversity, an Unbeatable Combination  with Mike Jung, Karen Sandler, S.E. Sinkhorn, and Martha White 

In the first part of this session, the panelists will share the lessons learned from the very successful #WeNeedDiverseBooks social media campaign with regard to crafting your message, using your message, and establishing an emotional connection. Second, the panelists will focus on how diverse children’s literature can enrich our blogs, and how authors and editors can further expand the content available to us.

3:-3:30 Break

3:30-5  We’re Not Going To Take It and Neither Should You: Why Book Bloggers DO Have the Ability to Make Divers Books Happen

Hannah Gómez  sarah HANNAH gómez
Kelly Jensen Stacked and Book Riot
Faythe Arrendondo YALSA-The Hub
Summer Khaleq Miss Fictional’s World of YA Books 

We know bloggers matter to the publishing industry and to readers. And we know reading diversely is important for all readers, as it opens up your worldview. But how can bloggers effect positive change when it comes to diversity? This session will explore the ways bloggers can audit their own reading habits, assess and address personal biases, as well as create and curate stronger content as it relates to diversity in all shapes and forms — race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, body image, and more. We’ll offer tools and tips for not just finding and highlighting diverse reads, but also how to advocate for diversity within one’s own blog and beyond. This is more than an awareness of diversity; it’s an opportunity and an obligation for active change.

5-9 Banquet at The Citizen Hotel (included in conference price)

____

We welcome your feedback about the 2014 KidLitCon!

Charlotte Taylor: Program Coordinator

with:

Sarah Stevenson and Tanita Davis and Jen Robinson: Co-Chairs
Reshama Deshmukh and Melissa Fox: Author Coordinators
Maureen Kearney: Registration Coordinator 

_____

Register now! 

Monday
Aug252014

Apply to be a Cybils Judge for 2014!

It is application time to be a Cybils judge for 2014. 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, from this Call for Judges post. You can find lots of additional information about being a Cybils judge here.

Being a Cybils judge can be a fair bit of work (especially in Round 1), but it is incredibly fun and rewarding. You can expand your knowledge of a particular category of books. You get to work with great people. You get to help select amazing books. The Cybils shortlists are used by parents and teachers all over the English-speaking world, to find high quality, entertaining books and apps for kids. 

Now is your chance to participate! Please do consider applying. For more reasons to apply, and various blog posts, you can follow the Cybils team on Twitter @Cybls, or on the Cybils Awards Facebook Page. And please do check out the new Cybils website, created by Sheila Ruth, Sarah Stevenson, and Anne Levy (with a tiny bit of input from me, Jen Robinson). 

Friday
Aug012014

Deadline to Submit Proposals for KidLitCon Extended to 8/8

While we have some great sessions lined up already for the 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, we also understand that there are a few people who need a bit more time. Therefore, we are extending the deadline to submit session proposals by one week, to Friday, August 8th. 

Do you have something to say about blogging children’s and YA books in general, or about some aspect of diversity in children’s literature? Don’t be shy. KidLitCon is a very friendly venue, and we welcome your contribution to the conversation. You can send questions to this year’s Program Coordinator, Charlotte Taylor

Submit your KidLitCon14 proposal now! You have one more week. Thanks! It’s going to be a great conference this year. 

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.