105 Ways to Give a Book

KidLitCon 2012

The conference began, as so many do, with me auctioning off extra ARC's on the front steps of the library. After our group's visits to the publishers, we realized that we couldn't take home so many books. Yes, I could have waited for the Leave-an-ARC-Take-an-ARC cart, but what would have been the fun in that. Also I didn't know that it was there or that I would take yet another bunch of books with a bonus tote bag. But it was fun hanging out with new blogger friends Amy and Alyssa just giving away books.

Entering the impressive New York Public Library building, I started off with a session on Twitter led by blogger icon Teri Lesesne, The Goddess of YA Literature. A true believer, she even let us use the computers to tweet during her presentation. I followed a few of her suggested folks as she was talking and I noted #titletalk, #nerdybookclub, and #mglitchat to get me into the world of chats. Best of all, she made me feel a more comfortable in exploring Twitter and on setting limits - time or otherwise - on my involvement.

Art of the Picture Book was an exciting opportunity to learn more from an art student who talked about the divide between the "craft of illustration" and "fine art." With examples, selections, and videos from illustrators Jess Ferro used her expertise and passion for picture book illustration to help get through the divide. I hope later to link to her talk as it was fascinating!

After lunch, everyone attended the Critical Reviews session. The panel was packed with knowledgable people, and I was taking notes throughout trying to keep up with the discussion. Liz gave us some great funny bits, while Monica blushed about her relationship with Philip Pullman.

Next was a panel discussion on the Changing Relationship between the Author and the Reader in the Age of Social Media with authors Michael Northrop, Gayle Forman, Alyssa Sheinell, and Adele Griffin. The main topics on the table were the social media needs of an author and the right public/private life balance. It was interesting to me how much time authors put into correspondence - especially if they write books about sensitive issues.

The keynote speech was different in that it was at the end, and that speaker Marueen Johnson used the little-known Phone a Friend option for it. It was a causal discussion along with her good friend Robin Wasserman on a meandering path of social media and branding and critical reviews and author meltdowns. I'm not sure I liked it, but I'll certainly remember it.

We had to move out to the library pretty promptly at the close, and we fit in a stop at the hotel to freshen up before the KidLit Drink Night. I also grabbed a slice of pizza because I knew I wouldn't have a real chance to eat. And I did not, though I was able to talk to Melissa, Maureen and Charlotte about kids and conferences. I chatted with Monica and Sondy about possible Newbery award winners for this year. I introduced two Cybils Chairs - Terry and Mary Ann to each other in actual real life. I had a brief exchange with the woman of the weekend, Betsy Bird, who pulled together one fantastic conference and got a little more face time with Greg before he hit the jet-lag wall.

After a wine-fueled attempt to find my favorite junky store and a cupcake shop - both of which were closed - we had to call it a night. Which really meant more talking back in the room about the great time we had at KidLitCon 2012. Hope you join us there next year, in Austin.

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Category: 2 comments


Sherry said...

In Austin? Really, really, really? OK, I'm all over Austin. Finally I'll get to meet some people "in real life."

Jess Ferro said...

Loved this post! And thanks for the kind words about my talk :) I'm hoping to post a recap of it soon, with the prezi slideshow and videos and such. It was great to meet you and I'm so looking forward to next year!!