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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.

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Entries in KidLitCon (48)

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. 

Tuesday
Oct222013

Saturday Presentations at KidLitCon Austin

While it’s always possible for something to go arwy, this is the plan for Saturday. Stay tuned for details about Friday, and don’t forget to register

Saturday, November 9, 2013:

Keynote Address

Cynthia Leitich Smith 

Break

Breakout #1

Ctrl+Z: 3 Things Every Illustrator and Author Needs To Know About Digital Art

presented by Laura Jennings of The Highsong Project: Whether writing, illustrating, or self-publishing, understanding digital art is vital knowledge in the book world. Learn to recognize the important differences in web viewing versus print. We’ll tackle image formatting and how it relates to getting quality print reproductions and maximizing web viewing, as well as an introduction to the digital art programs that lend themselves to ebooks, apps, and motion graphics.

Blogger Burnout: Suggestions for Getting Your Groove Back

presented by Jen Robinson and Sarah Stevenson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page & Finding Wonderland: Anyone who has been blogging for a while has experienced occasional bouts of blogger burnout. Many of us put in an inordinate amount of time on our blogs, for which we are largely unpaid. And sometimes, we lose focus, or start to question what we’re doing. In this presentation, we’ll share our own recent experience with blog burnout, and the suggestions that other bloggers made to help us to get our respective grooves back. We’ll also seek other suggestions from the audience. 

Lunch (included!)

Breakout #2

Diversity in Kid Lit: Nurture More, Blog More, Get More 

presented by Lee Wind of I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?: Blogger Lee Wind, M.Ed. highlights how we’re all so diverse – as individuals, as a community of bloggers, and as humans on our Earth. But books for kids and teens have a long way to go to match that diversity. How can we be allies and UPstanders for those different than ourselves? How can we harness the power of books as both mirrors and windows? Find out how we, as bloggers, can claim our power to nurture more diversity, blog more diversity, and ultimately get more diversity in children’s and teen literature. 

Soft Sell Marketing 

presented by Molly Blaisdell of Seize the Day: Develop a sales technique in your comfort zone. Is in-your-face marketing with flashing pics, blog games, and complicated hop not your style? Many authors use soft sell marketing techinques to reach readers.  Learn about what works and what doesn’t, develop a concrete plan to implement immediately, and gain practical resources to help you explore soft sell marketing. 

Breakout Session #3

Critical Reviews & Why They Matter

presented by Kelly Jensen and Kimberly Francisco of STACKED: Critical reviews; do they differ from negative reviews? Do they add value in the blogosphere? If so, what is it? How and why do people decide to review critically? Do those who review critically experience burnout or change their minds on their review style over the course of their blogging career? This program will discuss the merits of critical reviews in the kidlitosphere, how and where assessing material critically helps you as a blogger and a reader, and it will delve into who is doing some of the best critical reviewing in the blogosphere today. 

 Beyond the Blog for Authors and Illustrators

presented by Pam Coughlin of MotherReader: Learn how to get involved, noticed and recognized in the online community of children’s and young adult literature with an overview of the KidLitosphere, Cybils, social media, and awards. 

Break

Breakout Session #4

Don’t fear the code: spice up your blog with HTML and CSS 

presented by Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds: Every blog and website uses HTML and CSS for formatting under the covers. With just a little bit of knowledge of these technologies, you can go beyond the capabilities of your blog’s WYSIWYG editor and enhance your blog posts with advanced formatting. This fun hands-on workshop will use a recipe-based format to give you a few tricks that you can use right away in your blog posts, and give you the confidence to explore more on your own. Attendees must bring a laptop or tablet to participate.

Blogging the Middle Grade Books

presented by Charlotte Taylor of Charlotte’s Library: Join Charlotte along with Melissa Fox and Katy Manck for this forum workshop hybrid to discuss the particular challenges of blogging middle grade titles. How do you evaluate illustrations in MG books? Who is the audience? How we can keep our blogs growing, extending their reach and their depth, or simply keep the work of blogging interesting and fun?

Everyone

Kidlit Blogging Roundtable: Our Past, Present, and Future

moderated by Sarah Stevenson of Finding Wonderland: On this panel, Jen Bigheart, Lee Wind, and others will discuss how blogging has changed over the years in the Kidlitosphere as a whole—different approaches to blogging, varying participation levels, etc.; what this might mean for the future of the community; and how bloggers and authors/illustrators and others in the kidlit community can best continue to leverage blogging for the benefit of all, and keep it relevant and fun. 

Dinner (offsite)

Sunday
Oct202013

Who's Attending KidLitCon Austin?

With registration in full swing and the conference mere weeks away, we thought we’d share some of the names of current attendees. Registration ends on November 1, which means you have mere days to decide you want to have the time of you life and hang out with these awesome bloggers. Oh, and if you don’t blog you can still come! Take it from me, the worst blogger on Earth. We’ll be announcing the sessions super soon!

  1. Allie Jones of In Bed with Books
  2. Camille Powell of BookMoot
  3. Charlotte Taylor of Charlotte’s Library
  4. Chris Barton of Bartography
  5. Holly of Book Harbinger
  6. Jen Bigheart of  I Read Banned Books
  7. Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page
  8. Jennifer Donovan of 5 Minutes for Books
  9. Julia Garza of January Day
  10. Katy Manck of BooksYALove
  11. Kelly Jensen of STACKED
  12. Lee Wind of I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?
  13. Leila Roy of Bookshelves of Doom
  14. Maria Burel of Once Upon A Story
  15. Maureen Kearney of Confessions of a Bibliovore and Kid Tested, Librarian Approved
  16. Melissa Fox of Book Nut
  17. Pam Coughlan of MotherReader
  18. Paula Willey of Pink Me
  19. Rosemond Cates of Big Hair and Books
  20. Sarah Stevenson of Finding Wonderland
  21. Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds 

REGISTER HERE!

Saturday
Sep212013

Call for Program Proposals for the 7th Annual KidLitCon!

We’re looking for excellent programs to fill this year’s KidLitCon! What would you like to talk about with your children’s lit blogging colleagues? We’re especially interested in topics of diversity and gender, reviewing critically, evaluating illustrations, social media, trends, blog design, marketing, technology, and industry relationships. Panels, teams, and singular presenters are all encouraged, but only in person presentations will be accepted.

Proposals must be submitted through the official form.

You have until 11:59pm on Friday, October 4, 2013 to submit your proposal. You may submit more then one proposal, but preference will go to those that seem the most fully formed. Presenters do not receive free or reduced registration. 

Notifications will be made by October 12, 2013.

Monday
Aug122013

Save the Date for KidLitCon 2013

The seventh annual Kidlitosphere Conference, KidLitCon 2013, is being planned for November 8th and 9th in Austin, TX. More details will be finalized soon. Please stay tuned for more information, as well as a call for session proposals. 

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