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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Tuesday
Jul032012

Possible Date Change

New York Public Library may have bumped the date for KidLitCon to the following weekend.  We are attempting to determine whether or not this change will take place.  We will alert you the minute we know anything.  Thank you for your patience.

Monday
Feb272012

2012 KidLitCon

Details are still forthcoming, but we can announce that the sixth annual KidLitCon will be happening September 21-22, 2012 in New York City!

So keep an eye on that airfare!

Monday
Sep192011

That's all, folks...

In what I hope was a wildly successful weekend, KidLitCon 2011, the fifth time this group has officially gotten together, concluded Saturday night. After a good 32 hours of recovery and a nice long flight, I’m hoping to find the tradition of attendee recaps of many colors littering the kidlitosphere once again. 

I can’t thank you all enough for attending and supporting our efforts of enrichment and contribution. We raised over $1,700 for RIF, and started on the path of a permanent, many-faceted association with this very worthy organization. I personally had an incomparable time and learned more than I ever thought possible. I hope that you enjoyed yourself as well, whether you attended or followed along on twitter (thank you Sheila Ruth for the archive!). I hope that all of you take the time to submit your recap below to reminisce and record, and to share with those who were unable to attend. 

Wednesday
Aug172011

KidLitCon Teams up with RIF

When Jackie Parker and I sat down to plan this year’s KidLit Con in Seattle one of the things that we spent some time thinking about was how to incorporate a fundraiser into the weekend’s plans. This has always been a significant and enjoyable part of the conference and everyone looks forward to it. What we decided was to shift things just a bit, both by moving away from publisher donated ARCs as raffle prizes and also toward a long term partnership with one organization. Ultimately what we came up with made sense in so many ways that in retrospect it was one of the easiest things we decided. I am delighted to announce that KidLit Con is now entering into a partnership with Reading Is Fundamental which we hope will extend for many years into the future and make a powerful difference in the lives of many.

I’m sure many of you are aware how RIF’s budget was decimated by the elimination of federal funds this year. I’m not going to get all political with you because the hard truth is that there are few painless answers to our economic mess. But cutting RIF is particularly harsh as it exists solely to put books into the hands of children who otherwise can not afford them. RIF is an investment in our future in the purest and most direct terms. When you think about that way, it’s hard to understand why anyone would ever put RIF on the chopping block but that is what has happened and now we just have to do what we can to make sure that future promise remains unchanged.

There are many generous groups and corporations who have stepped up to help RIF and for that we should all be grateful. KIdLit Con is seeking to make a more personal and direct contribution as the funds we raise will be coming directly from book lovers in the pursuit of creating more book lovers. Now is the time, quite frankly, where we need to put up or shut up. If you are a writer or a librarian or a bookseller or a book blogger or if you read blogs about books then this fundraiser is targeted directly at you.

So that’s all of you, right?

We are living in the era of information overload and thus we don’t get to say anymore that “there is nothing we can do” or “we just didn’t know” or “we didn’t have time to figure out how to help”. This is easy. You think books matter then you need to do something to help kids get books. Period. This is your job, it’s your political moment, it is your calling. And it doesn’t matter what color state you live in or what little letter is next to your choice when you vote or who you think is to blame for where we are right now.

None of that matters.

The only thing you need to think about is the $1 or $5 or $10 or $20 or $50 (or more) that you can donate right this very second to RIF. You need to think about linking to this effort and you need to think about posting it to facebook and you need to think about tweeting it. You need to think about telling folks on your list serve. You need to think about how much you can give and how many other people you can spread the word to because at the end of the day the best thing about who we are is that we believe in the power of words and RIF is all about spreading that power as far and wide as possible. RIF does nothing less than change the world - that’s its very mission - and if you don’t think that’s the most worthy thing any of us can be part of then you really are not the kind of book lover I know you to be.

Don’t let us down, folks. Join KidLit Con’s effort to raise money for RIF over the next thirty days as we count down to the conference. Help us show the power of booklovers; help us prove that it’s not about the books we get, it’s always and only about the books we can give.

Please donate now.

[Post pic from Macy’s RIF event.]

—Colleen Mondor
Tuesday
Aug022011

Schedule for KidLitCon 2011

Below you will find the tentative schedule for KidLitCon 2011. Times are certainly subject to change, and it’s even possible that sessions may shift or be replaced if something comes up.

Because I’m so late getting the slate of presentations posted, we will be extending the discounted registration to August 15th. After that, registration will raise by $5 for each section, as previously planned for the remainder. The last day to register is August 31st.

Also, despite what you may have heard, there are a few rooms left at Hotel Monaco. There booking system seems to be such that if any portion of your desired reservation is unavailable, they are not able to check alternative options. I encourage you to call Hotel Monaco during business hours (Pacific Time) and speak to Ariela if the reservation department has difficulty finding you a room within the KidLitCon block.  VIP Reservations at 206-516-5097 is the number to call. We apologize for the difficulty some of you have had in obtaining a room at the hotel. It should all be worth it in the end.

Registration for the 5th Annual KidLitCon is now closed, watch for the official twitter tags on September 15 & 16. #kidlitcon

Friday, September 16

12:00 – 12:50 pm

Registration begins. Regardless of whether you are attending the day’s sessions, you can register for any portion of the conference during this time.

1 – 1:50 pm

Bloggers and Writers and Pubs! Oh My!

Presented and facilitated by Pam Coughlan and Liz Burns, with Kirby Larson and Zoe Luderitz

In Bloggers and Writers and Pubs! Oh My! the panel will explore the relationships of the various members of the children’s literature industry. The age of social media is blurring the already indistinct boundaries between reviewer and author, blogger and publisher, author and publicist. The opportunities of this new communication and collaboration are extraordinary, but the questions are also increasing in terms of disclosure, standards, and professionalism. This panel hopes to address these issues with input and questions from the attendees.

 

2 – 2:50 pm

Who Are You Online? Social Media and the Professional Persona

Presented by Karen Kincy, Chelsea Campbell, Denise Jaden, and Mindi Scott

Social media can be overwhelming! It’s easy enough to start with the blogging, tweeting, and Facebook basics, but it can be a challenge to build and maintain a successful online persona. Four established YA authors who blog with The Tenners will share their tips and tricks for streamlining your online presence, what to talk about and what’s off limits, and keeping up without letting it kill you. We’ll address some recent hot topics questions including: Reviews: should authors write/read them? and Promotion: Is all publicity good publicity?

 

The Future of Transmedia Storytelling: Angel Punk, Pottermore, and Skeleton Creek

Presented by Amber Keyser, Devon Lyon, Matthew Wilson, and Jake Rossman

Transmedia storytelling refers to the delivery of story through a variety of media.  These forms can include film, graphic novels, traditional books, flash fiction, iPhone/iPad delivery of content, and various forms of audio.  Typically, story lines are interwoven and connected but not strictly repetitive.  Often, fan engagement and participation in the creative process are facilitated by social media.  J.K. Rowling’s new venture, Pottermore, is an excellent example that promises to extend and enhance the experience of the Harry Potter series. Increasingly, all media forms - books, movies, games and TV shows - are looking for transmedia opportunities. During this session, the AngelPunk.co team discusses their approach to transmedia storytelling and gives an inside look into the complex structure necessary to delivery story via novels, feature film, comic books, and an interactive fan site. 

 

3 – 3:50 pm

One is Silver and the Other’s Gold: A Discussion on Blogging Backlist vs. New Releases, and Why It Doesn’t Have to Be Versus

Presented by Maureen Kearney, Melissa Madsen Fox, Jen Robinson

Four reviewer-bloggers will discuss the different advantages to blogging the backlist and blogging about newer titles, and how having a variety of books strengthens your blog and your voice.

 

Group Blogging: Strategies for Success

Presented by Elissa Cruz, Rosanne Parry, Katherine Schlick Noe

With so much focus on social networking and technology these days, it’s increasingly more important for those in the kidlit industry to build and maintain an online presence.  Many have turned to group blogs as a way to establish a presence and share the workload.  But successful group blogs require a few key ingredients.  Our presenters, all authors and bloggers on From The Mixed-Up Files… of Middle Grade Authors will discuss these key ingredients, which include tips for choosing blogging platforms and maintaining the back end of the blog, leadership and organizational strategies, finding and engaging your audience, overcoming technology fears and dealing with problems that may arise.

 

4 – 4:50 pm

Building a Better World With Your Book Blog

Presented by Chris Singer

Book bloggers carry a lot of klout and can use this to help spread the word about non-profit organizations that are doing vital work in these tough economic times. This session will explore ways book bloggers can use their blogging platform as a tool to help promote causes such as literacy, adoption, and bullying, among other worthwhile endeavors.

 

5 – 6 pm

Wine Reception

Hotel Monaco offers a complimentary glass of wine for guests staying in the hotel during their nightly wine hour. It’s another great opportunity to linger in their beautiful lobby, mingle with guests and your kidlitosphere colleagues - a great reason to stay at the hotel.

 

7 – 9 pm

Meet and Greet**

Come meet and mingle with your peers! We’ll provide light appetizers and access to a cash bar. SCBWI of Western Washington will provide entertainment in the form of a lightning-fast intro to attending and local authors with books out this fall. Think speed-dating, only quicker – we’re going to pack in as many authors and illustrators as possible in 30 minutes (if you are an author interesting in participating in this, contact Joni Sensel: sensel [at] earthlink.net. Space is obviously very limited).

**Friday night’s festivities are only free to guests attending the conference. 

 

Saturday, September 17th


7:15 – 7:55 am

Registration.

 

8 am

Keynote by Scott Westerfeld

 

9 – 9:50 am

The Fantastic New World of Book Apps for Children

Presented by Mary Ann Scheuer, Elizabeth Bird, and Paula Wiley

Interactive book apps combine traditional book content with a variety of multimedia features, presenting opportunities for children to engage with stories and information in new ways. But do they motivate kids to read? Do they stand up to repeat viewing? Are these apps really just Angry Birds without the guilt - something to hand a cranky kid when the checkout line is too long? We will talk about how our expertise in reviewing children’s literature applies to evaluating book apps. Learn about what makes an outstanding app, which features are becoming standard, which ones assist the reader, and which features are merely silly.

Teaming Up: How Authors and Bloggers Can Work Together for Successful Promotion

Presented by Suzanne Young and Sara Gundell

Traditional marketing and publicity for books is no longer enough to get you noticed. Author Suzanne Young (A Need So Beautiful; The Naughty List) and blogger Sara Gundell (Novel Novice) explore ways authors and bloggers can work together to generate creative marketing and publicity for new books. They’ll show you ways to create unique web-based content that benefits both the author and the blogger.  

 

9:50 – 10:15 am

BREAK

 

10:15 – 11:05 am

Tears, Sweat, and True Blood: DIY Marketing in a Post-Twilight World

Presented by Holly and Shiraz Cupala

In this tandem presentation, Holly Cupala will share her experience building her brand and fan base, and marketing her debut novel. In addition, her marketing muscle and husband, Shiraz Cupala, will share his insights from 20 years of micro-publishing, media production, and online marketing both independently and for Microsoft and Nokia.” Find out how Holly Cupala launched her debut novel, Tell Me a Secret, to over 5,000 fans and over 150 bloggers, getting nearly 3,000 trailer views in 48 hours. Learn the basics of marketing and get a take on the book retailing machine from the perspective of an experienced online marketer and micro-publisher. Find out how Holly will focus her marketing for her next book, Don’t Breathe a Word, Harper Collins, January 2012.

Managing the Privacy Line: Your Blog, Your Kids, Your Readers, and You

Presented by Marcia Lerner and Andrea Lampman

As a blogger, you no doubt have other identities as well: you might be a librarian, a bookseller, a writer of other blogs and/or books, a parent—which means kids are part of the identity. All these realities bring privacy and exposure into the mix. Some writers choose to be anonymous, others exactly the opposite—we want to discuss these choices, and what they might mean. How can you negotiate these lines, and redraw them as you go? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of being anonymous, named, or somewhere in the middle? 

 

11:15 – 12:05 pm

Going Deep: The Hows and Whys of Blogging Critically

Presented by Kelly Jensen, Julia Riley, Abby Johnson, and Janssen Brandshaw

In this program, attendees will learn about the importance of blogging critically. This workshop style presentation will teach attendees why critical reviews are important, how to write strong and sharp reviews without getting personal, what components of a nontraditional book (i.e. audiobook, graphic novel, etc.) are essential in a review, and how to recommend a book that may not have worked for them.

Teaming Up with S in SCBWI

Moderated by Joni Sensel, with Kim Baker, Martha Brockenbrough, Alice Pope, Jaime Temairik, and Laurie Thompson 

The leaders and members of regional SCBWI chapters can be a great resource for bloggers to draw upon for interviews, but there are also other ways to build the relationships and mutual support that “Society” implies. A panel of leaders from the highly respected Western Washington chapter will share ideas, tips, and how-tos for plugging into your local SCBWI network and building mutually beneficial relationships.

 

12:15 – 1:45 pm

LUNCH

 

2 – 2:50 pm

Give Your Blog a Voice: Podcasting in the KidLitosphere

Presented by Michelle Ann Dunphy and Allison Tran

This program will guide you through the process of creating a podcast, from cultivating a concept to mixing it all up with the right software. Learn how to define your unique style and presence, develop listener-friendly content, and engage with authors and other professionals to enhance your podcast. Get tips for sounding your best in front of a microphone from a professional voiceover artist, and put those techniques into practice immediately by stepping up to the mic and contributing your voice to a special KidLitCon edition of the Authors Are ROCKSTARS! podcast.

Finessing Your Inner Zoo

Presented by Richard Jesse Watson

Voice is everything. Attendees will get a new handle on finding and finessing their artistic voice both in their writing and in their approach to blogging. Discover what will set you apart from the throng, why blogging is a valuable discipline for those in publishing, how to bring depth to your work, make your writing irresistible and unleash your blog potential.  

 

3 – 3:50 pm

Moving Beyond Google Reader: Taking Your Blog to Where Your Readers Are

Presented by Jen Robinson and Carol Rasco

Because of the large number of blogs in the Kidlitosphere these days, it is difficult, if not impossible, for people to follow them all, even when using a blog reader. Fortunately, a variety of tools and services, new and old, exist to help bloggers take their content to where their audience is. These include Feedblitz, Twitter, Facebook, and the new Google+ service. In this session, we will share tips for using these tools effectively, to get your blog posts into the hands of people who are interested in them, without oversaturating and turning off your audience. We’ll also include some tips for blog readers on how to use these tools to cut through the clutter, and find interesting content.

Forming Author – Blogger Collectives to Support Book Promotion

Presented by Stasia Ward Kehoe

From blogger tribes like the YA Rebels, YA Highway, Bookanistas and YA Contemps, to broader efforts like ReaderGirlz and Guys Read, online writer/reader collectives are all the rage.  Whether you’re a published author looking to enhance your online presence without giving up too much writing time, or an aspiring novelist and/or book blogger wanting a community through which to celebrate your literary passion, joining a group is worth considering. This presentation will help you learn how to find or form an effective group, plan your platform, and even take your online team out into the world for LIVE book promotion.

 

4 – 4:50 pm

Blogging Diversity: Prejudice and Pride

Moderated by Lee Wind, with Justina Chen, Brent Hartinger, Sara Ryan, and Sarah Stevenson 

Join Lee Wind as he leads a panel of kid lit superstars to explore Inclusion, Watch Dogs, Agendas, Identity Politics, and the perils of political correctness.

 

7 pm

DINNER

 

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