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

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. 

Monday
Jul212014

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 (http://www.thebooknut.com/) @ mmfbooks@gmail.com
Reshama Deshmukh (http://www.stackingbooks.com) @ reshama_d@yahoo.com

Tuesday
Jul152014

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. 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 

 

Update on October 1: Pre-registration for KidlitCon 2014 has closed. We will have on-site registration, payable by check, October 10 and 11 at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, CA.

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