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
May112015

Call for Session Proposals for KidLitCon 2015

We are pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the 9th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference (aka KidLitCon 2015). This year’s KidLitCon will be held in Baltimore, MD on October 9th and 10th. This year’s theme is Celebrating Young People’s Literature

From the proposal submission form:

We hope to examine what makes a good children’s book, hear from judges who have participated in various award programs, and celebrate any authors or illustrators present at the conference.

The theme is broad, so put on your party hat and submit your best creative ideas. Any proposal that will inspire and edify Kidlitosphere bloggers is welcome, but we have special interest in the following:

- Presentations from people who have served on awards committees, such as Cybils, ALA, or NBA, particularly those who have been on more than one type of award committee, discussing aspects of an award-worthy book, award criteria, and/or award processes.
- Any diversity-related topic, including diverse representation in awards.
- Panels examining what factors make a good children’s or YA book, with particular emphasis for bloggers on evaluating books. Panels may be age or genre specific.
- Career development, including blogging as a path to professional writing (either as a book author or journalist/columnist).
- Panels addressing the needs of at-risk youth, particularly in urban areas.

Although diversity is not explicitly the theme this year as it was last year, diversity will be at the forefront of the discussions throughout the conference, and topics relating to promoting diversity in children’s books or children’s publishing are encouraged.

Sessions covering other topics such as reviewing critically, trends, social media, marketing, technology, and industry relationships are welcome. Proposals for panels designed for all levels of blogging experience, from the newcomer to the seasoned veteran, are also encouraged!

The last day for proposal submissions is August 1st. We look forward to seeing your submissions! Click here for the Proposal Submission Form. If you need a better idea of what KidLitCon is like, click through to see last year’s conference program

This year’s Program Coordinator is once again Charlotte Taylor, who blogs at Charlotte’s Library

Tuesday
Apr282015

Announcing KidLitCon 2015!

Kidlitcon Baltimore is happening! Kidlitcon 2015 will be held October 9 & 10 at the Hyatt Place Harbor East in Baltimore, Maryland.


The theme for the conference is Celebrating Young People’s Literature ​and the celebrating will happen throughout the conference! We hope to examine what makes a good children’s book, hear from judges who have participated in various award programs, and celebrate any authors or illustrators present at the conference. We’re also planning a birthday party for our own Cybils Awards, which will be entering its 10th year. Cybils will be a tween! Although diversity is not explicitly the theme this year as it was last year, diversity will be at the forefront of the discussions throughout the conference. We’re also planning to make career development a focus in some of the sessions, including sessions on blogging as a pathway to professional writing.

Similar to last year’s conference, Saturday will be the main day of the conference, but we plan a full day of sessions on Friday, so if your schedule permits, we hope that you can join us for both days. In addition, since the conference is scheduled for Columbus Day weekend, which is a holiday for some people, we are planning a tour day on Sunday for those who are able to stay. We want to show off our beautiful city and visit a number of sites, including hopefully some with literary interest! (Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe lived in Baltimore for a time, died here under mysterious circumstances, and is buried here?) So when planning your travel dates, we hope that you can join us Sunday for some touring!

We will be issuing the call for program proposals soon, so start thinking about what you might want to speak about, and keep an eye out for the call! If you have served on an awards panel for the Cybils, ALA, National Book Awards, or any other award for young people’s literature, especially if you’ve served on more than one award, and are planning to attend the conference, we want to hear from you: please email Charlotte Taylor [ charlotteslibrary at gmail dot com ] and let us know, even if you aren’t sure at this point whether you can attend. Authors interested in participating in the author program should contact Paula Willey [ pwbalto at gmail dot com ]. Publishers interested in discussing sponsorships, opportunities for authors, and/or providing ARCs or Swag, should contact Sheila Ruth [ sruth at wandsandworlds dot com ]. 

The Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor is a brand new hotel and everything is shiny & sparkly! The meeting room is just the perfect size for us, and can be easily divided into two sections for breakout sessions. It’s an actual meeting room, rather than a ballroom, and it has nice features including built-in A/V. The guest rooms are beautiful, with plenty of space for room sharing, and breakfast and wi-fi are included. The conference room rate is $175 per night, which is a significant discount from their regular room rate. All rooms have a sitting area with sofabed, so it will be easy to share rooms to save money. Conference registration will be open soon, once we finalize a few other details, but you can reserve your room now at this special reservation link or by calling the hotel and telling them that you are with Kidlitcon 2015. 

We’ll be posting more information as we have it, so be sure to add Kidlitosphere.org to your feed reader or follow @kidlitcon on Twitter for updates. We hope to see you in October!

Paula Willey & Sheila Ruth, Conference Co-organizers

Monday
Apr272015

Save the Date for KidLitCon 2015! (October 9-10)

This year’s Kidlitosphere Conference (aka KidLitCon 2015) will be held on October 9th and 10th, 2015. Please save the date! This will be the 9th annual Kidlitosphere Conference. 

KidLitCon is a gathering of people who blog about children’s and young adult books, including librarians, authors, teachers, parents, booksellers, publishers, and readers. Attendees share a love of children’s books, as well as a determination to get the right books into young readers’ hands. People attend KidLitCon to talk about issues like the publisher/blogger relationship, the benefits and pitfalls of writing critical reviews, and overcoming blogger burnout. People also attend KidLitCon for the chance to spend time face to face with kindred spirits, other adults who care passionately for children’s and YA literature. 

More details (including this year’s conference location and theme) will be announced Thursday (4/30). Please stay tuned!

This year’s co-organizers are: 

Sheila Ruth (Wands and Worlds); and
Paula Willey (unadulterated.us)

Please help by spreading the word! Be a fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!


Thursday
Dec182014

A Note to Publishers on KidLitCon 2015

2015 is just around the corner, and the 2015 KidLitCon Planning Committee is hard at work planning our ninth annual conference for children’s literature bloggers, readers, and allies. KidLitCon is a gathering of people who blog about children’s and young adult books, including librarians, authors, teachers, parents, booksellers, publishers, and readers. Attendees share a love of children’s books, as well as a determination to promote diversity in literature, foster a love of books, and to get the right books into young readers’ hands. People attend KidLitCon to discuss issues like the publisher/blogger relationship, to dish about the buzz on the next big series, to debate the benefits and pitfalls of writing critical reviews, and explore ways to overcome blogger burnout. People also attend KidLitCon for the chance to spend time face to face with kindred spirits, other readers who care passionately for children’s and YA literature. 

This year, KidLitCon will be in Baltimore, Maryland, and although a date is still to be determined, it will most likely be between late September and early November. 

There will be abundant opportunities available at our Baltimore Con for publishers and authors to participate. In the past, there have been book signings, editor-led panels, and publisher-sponsored author talks and luncheons. While we’re not yet sure what the shape of the 2015 KidLitCon will ultimately be, we wanted to be sure to get on your radar before the end of the year so that you can include us in your 2015 budget. We really hope you’ll join us!  Some of the options you might want to consider are:

  • Sponsorships. Underwrite a meal, happy hour, snacks, door prizes, or the printed program. If you can set aside as little as $250, we’ll work with you to craft a solid sponsorship plan that will benefit attendees as well as provide good publicity value for you.
  • Suggest a keynote speaker, other speaker or session proposal. 
  • As a small volunteer organization, we cannot pay travel expenses for speakers, so you might consider assisting any authors interested in attending with travel expenses. It would also be a great opportunity for you to encourage your authors who are within driving distance of Baltimore.
  • Provide ARCs for attendees.
  • Provide publishing house promotional swag, such as screen-printed T-shirts and bags linked with specific book campaigns, bookplates and bookmarks, stationery, etc.,


KidLitCon generally attracts between 50 and 150 attendees, many of whom are influential bloggers in the children’s literature community. Many KidLitCon attendees have also been Cybils Awards judges. We’re a small but dedicated group with a loud voice. 

You’re invited to be in on the ground floor of the planning and participating in this year’s con. We will be in touch early in 2015 as we have more information, but if you are interested in any of the opportunities above, please contact us so that we can begin to work out the details with you.

Sheila Ruth, Conference Co-Organizer
for KidLitCon 2015 

Tuesday
Oct142014

A Successful KidLitCon

We are pleased to report that the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Conference was a success. 50+ people, talking in Sacramento over two days about children’s and young adult literature and blogging, and how to increase diversity in both. There was a tremendous energy in the room(s) at all times. It was exhilarating and exhausting. Keynote speaker Mitali Perkins was fabulous, as was Skype guest speaker Shannon Hale, and the many brave presenters listed here. 

Below, you can see a photo of the KidLitCon organizing committee. Lots of other pictures are available by following links further below. 

KidLitCon: Brought to you by:
l-r: Maureen Kearney, seated. Standing, Tanita Davis, Jen Robinson, Charlotte Taylor, Melissa Fox, Reshama Deshmukh, and Sarah Stevenson. (Image credit to Tanita’s husband, David.)

Here are links to some roundups and followup posts from presenters (in Twitter format, because they were first shared there):

#KidLitCon, 2014: A Retrospective, Part I, from Tanita Davis, w/ great photos + insights http://ow.ly/CL1kS 

Thoughts on #KidLitCon 2014 from @aquafortis | Small World, #Diverse Voices http://ow.ly/CHC6d 

A Checklist to “See” Race/Culture in Kid/YA Books by @MitaliPerkins our keynote speaker at #KidLitCon http://ow.ly/CHtNb 

Happy times at #Kidlitcon from @charlotteslib like @haleshannon Skyping from her rocking chair + calling @Book_Nut http://ow.ly/CHf69 

i am #kidlitcon | finding more people to play!!!, conference wrapup by @MayaGonzalezArt w/ cute child photos http://ow.ly/CHeDt 

A bit late to post, but this was a mid-con Update from @MsYingling attending her first #KidLitCon http://ow.ly/CHulg 

#kidlitcon wrapup + PDF handout for reading + blogging diversely from presenter @shgmclicious  http://ow.ly/CHdMn 

Ten takeaways from #Kidlitcon 2014 from Leila @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/CHd7K 

#KidLitCon wrapup and thoughts on #diversity from @CrazyQuilts http://ow.ly/CL8cc 

Thoughts on #kidlitcon and on not being “too nice” in the call for #WedNeedDiverseBooks from @ZettaElliott http://ow.ly/CL9Od 

Very interesting thoughts from Tanita Davis on the #KidlitCon, 2014: NOTEPAD FORUM and following #diverse bloggers http://ow.ly/CP5mj 

#KidlitCon in Photos, 10 pictures shared by @Book_Nut http://ow.ly/CPbFz 

Here is my #Kidlitcon 2014 talk — Finding Your Voice, Finding Your Passion- Blogging With Conviction @charlotteslib http://ow.ly/CSD4O 

Stacked: #KidLitCon 2014, Sacramento: The Recap from @catagator http://ow.ly/CSDGN  #WeNeedDiverseBooks #kidlit

Great writeup from Faythe Arredondo @sljournal | A Focus on #Diversity and Savvy Blogging Drive KidLitCon 2014 http://ow.ly/CSzdW 

Thoughts from Tanita Davis on the #kidlitcon 2014: notepad forum: cultural appropriation, part a http://ow.ly/CX0S0 

Why We Need #Diverse Book Reviewers + Bloggers: @dos_twinjas List of Black Book Bloggers Who Review Diverse Spec Fic http://ow.ly/CZPn3 

Thoughts on #KidLitCon Day 1- Theme #DIVERSITY @afrocubansista @dos_twinjas http://ow.ly/CZPHf 

What type of blogger are you? A snazzy infographic from @shgmclicious #KidLitCon presentation http://ow.ly/D36SC  #diversity

#KidLitCon 2014: Further Thoughts (and Sketches) from @aquafortis http://ow.ly/D7Fww 

#KidLitCon 2014: A Retrospective, Part II from Tanita Davis - Reflections on Floating Heads + #diverse book covers http://ow.ly/Djbx0 

A Roundup of #KidLitCon 2014 posts from Finding Wonderland (Tanita Davis + @aquafortis) http://ow.ly/Dq6PM 

With special thanks to Leila from Bookshelves of Doom for collecting many of these links. 

For more tidbits from the conference, do check out the #KidLitCon hashtag, where a number of folks were live-Tweeting during both days. 

And, in other important KidLitCon news, KidLitCon 2015 will be held in Baltimore, with thanks to Sheila Ruth and Paula W. More details to come! We will continue to share information here at Kidlitosphere Central, as well as on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Stay tuned…

Many, many thanks to everyone who participated in KidLitCon 2014.