Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Session proposals

I'm sifting. Plan on hearing more early next week. Thanks for all who sent something (and for being patient).


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A gentle reminder

This Sunday (August 15) is the deadline for submitting proprosals for workshops at KidlitCon 2010. You can find information about how to submit a proposal here. Starting Monday, we'll be going through the submissions to come up with the program.

To answer a couple questions we've received of late:

1) Presenters MUST be registered attendees.

2) As this conference is not just about kid's literature but focuses mainly on blogging, proposals should incorporate some component about blogging or social networking. Workshops aimed solely at discussing books and/or writing craft may be rejected.
Looking forward to seeing more proposals. Keep spreading the word!

KidlitCon 101

Of course, those who've been around the cyberblock once or twice know all about KidlitCon (which is why the excitement is so rampant. Rampant, I say!). But there may be one or two (possibly more...how big is the internet?) people who are wondering what this is all about.

Liz Burns graciously gave us her view of KidlitCon and an answer that most burning question of all: why should I attend?

So, Liz, in your own words, what exactly is the KidlitCon?

KidlitCon is where the Internet becomes real. Children's and young adult literature bloggers, who usually only have the time to meet and "talk" virtually on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, email, (insert technology of your choice) get to meet in person (wow, that person is shorter in real life!).

Because flying for hours and paying for a hotel "to meet someone I met on the Internet" is exactly what we tell teens not to do, instead of it just being called a meeting, it's a Conference. Doing all that for a Conference? People understand that.

Like any conference, there are panels and workshops that give bloggers both the chance to learn and grow as an audience member and as someone giving the talk. The panels are specifically for children's/young adult book bloggers, so covers both the subject matter we blog about as well as the technical aspects of blogging. Like any conference, part of the importance from attending is networking with our peers so plenty of time is also built in for that. "Networking" means talking while food and drink is around.

Who attends?

Book bloggers who blog about children's and young adult books. People who are interested in blogging about children's and young adult books. People who read book blogs. Authors and publishers and other industry folk. Actually, sometimes there are split sessions, with one talk aimed at the "book bloggers" and another aimed at authors/publishers, because while we have a lot in common, we also have unique interests and concerns.
I'm a bit fascinated by the marketing and advertising aspect of books, especially how book blogs are becoming part of the marketing of books. So, from that point of view, I'd add that booksellers and librarians would also benefit from attending. These blogs are what customers and potential customers are reading; these blogs have information that customers may want to know.

How will attendees benefit from coming?

Part of what I love about the kidlitosphere (that is, the online community of children's and young adult book bloggers) is that you realize "I'm not alone." Here is your tribe, of people with a shared interest! If you remember how awesome it was when you realized that? Think how more awesome it is when you meet your tribe in person. My friendship with Pam (MotherReader) is stronger from having met in person; same for Michelle (GalleySmith). When I get in new books to review, I'll recognize an author who I met.

Because KidlitCon is on such a smaller scale than the "biggees" like ALA or BEA, the chance of meeting people (during a workshop, or breakfast, or lunch) is much better. Which means that bloggers have the ability to really connect beyond just saying "hi". Because there aren't panels all over the place, it helps create a real sense of community over the time of the conference. If, say, people get together at night to hang out (with beer, wine, water or cola, whatever they prefer) it's all happening in one place.

I also love how KidlitCon is on a weekend. While I'm lucky enough to be able to take time off the day befor and after, being able to minimize the time I'm away from work (and the vacation days I have to take) really helps.

What has been your favorite part of each conference?

Meeting people in real life. Being able to sit down and have that instant connection. Also, always, I find out something new, something fresh from the panels.

What would you say to somone who is on the fence about attending?

Sometimes, you have to take care of yourself. What better way than spending an entire weekend with people who love what you love?

I'd also suggest that anyone who is on the fence about submitting a panel -- do it! Yes, it can be a little scary if you've never done one before, but you'll be in front of friends who are really interested in what you have to say. You couldn't ask for a more welcoming crowd. Also, it's great practice. This year, KidlitCon, next year, your local library conference, then ALA or BEA!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some FAQs

Thanks to all who've been submitting proposals and generating excitement for KidlitCon2010! If you were considering a proposal for a workshop/panel and hadn't heard the news. we extended the deadline to August 15. Still plenty of time to think through your idea and send us the form!

We've gotten some great questions via e-mail and, given that others may be asking themselves these questions as well, we thought it might be a good idea to post the answers here for all to partake.


To be honest, we haven't had a chance to read through every proposal yet and probably won't until after the August 15th deadline. In short, we have no idea if a certain topic is represented at this point. Our advice is to put together a proposal and submit. If we have several people wishing to speak on the same topic, we'll see about putting together a panel so we can have several different viewpoints represented.


It's ironic that a conference aimed at people who embrace technology in the way bloggers have is going old school on this one but, no, we don't have online registration. The best way (actually, the ONLY way) to register is to click on the link above, print out the registration form, and mail it in with the check. Some people have e-mailed the registration form with a promise to send the check later. That's OK (for record keeping purposes, we'd prefer you didn't but if you do, we'll punt) but please know that you won't be officially registered until we receive the check and you get an e-mail saying you're in.


At the right, you'll see a list of people in red who've pre-registered. Basically, they sent us an e-mail saying they intended to register once the information became available. It wasn't a commitment to attend, just a statement of intent. Of course, we hope that they're all able to make it but if their name is in red, they've yet to confirm. The people whose names are in blue are people who are confirmed attendees. That means they've mailed in their registration forms and checks and, barring cataclysm, will be there. Some of these people pre-registered, others did not. But they're coming and that's what counts.


Right now, our best guess is that we'll have a clearer idea of which sessions will be offered and what the schedule will be like by mid-September. In addition to the workshop/panel proposals, we're working on a few other ideas for making it a fun and productive conference. There will be a get together Friday night. There will be a conference on Saturday. That's all we can say for sure. But as we firm up plans, they'll be laid out here. Confirmed attendees will get an e-mail with final details closer to the conference date.

As more questions come in, we'll answer others in future posts.

Thanks again for your enthusiam and remember: SPREAD THE WORD!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Announcing our Keynote Speaker

If the chance to visit the Twin Cities wasn't enough...

If the opportunity to meet face to face with fellow kidlit bloggers didn't immediately grab your interest...

If being part of one of the largest growing blogcons* in the world didn't trip your trigger...

...then you're sure to get your registration form sent in pronto when you hear that our keynote speaker for KidlitCon 2010 will be Blogger and New York Times Bestselling Author Maggie Stiefvater!

As an accomplished painter and musician as well as a writer, Maggie Stiefvater has been involved in art on the Internet since well before she hit number one on the New York Times Bestseller list. As one of the three Merry Sisters of Fate, she’s been channeling her creative writing into a critique group blog that’s gained legions of devoted followers. She’s also the creator of her own highly innovative and highly viral book trailers. Maggie will reflect on what she’s learned as a blogging artist. She blogs at maggiestiefvater.blogspot.com and http://www.merryfates.com/. Follow her on Twitter at @mstiefvater.

Maggie will kick things off first thing Saturday morning, followed by a full day of what promises to be innovative and informative sessions (judging from the fine proposals we've seen come in so far....but don't let that stop you from submitting a proposal; plenty of room for more!).

Stay tuned to the blog for more exciting announcements as we continue to firm up details for KidlitCon 2010!

*=No data exists to back up this "fact." I just like the way it sounds. And now it's on the internet so it must be true.