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Kidlitcon 2010

Held at the fabulous Open Book in Minneapolis, October 22-23 2010.

Q&A with The Merry Sisters of Fate (aka Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton)

I have no aspirations to be an author, and have only a murky understanding of how the whole process of getting published works (gleaned mostly from the internet and a few acquaintances in the publishing industry), but this was a really fun panel. I enjoyed hearing the three authors talking about their experiences, how they came to be a critique group, and how their individual writing processes work.

Keynote by Maggie Stiefvater
An entertaining and far-ranging talk about blogging and the internet and boots. (I wore my fabulous blue boots on Saturday, not even realizing that I would be coordinating my shoes to the keynote.)

Blog Platforms and Best Practices with Ryan Bickett
While I already knew a lot of what was mentioned, I did learn about some new tools I’d like to poke at: Squarespace, Moveable Type, and Posterous. I suppose some day I should just investigate getting my own domain and all that jazz, but I don’t think today is that day.

Blog Touring with Swati Avasthi, Michele Corriel, Janet Fox, and Jacqueline Houtman
This was geared towards the author’s side of blog touring, but it was still informative and interesting; should I ever want to participate and host an author blog tour, it will be good to keep these points in mind. Two of the most important points were to know your audience, and to find a balance between what you’re good at and what you’re comfortable with. (And, of course, BE NICE! But that should go without saying in every part of life.)

MG Blogging in the YA Blogoshpere with Elissa Cruz and Kurtis Scaletta, both of From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors
This is a collective blog; it’s not to promote individual any individual author or their books, but to promote middle grade books and blogs in general. The blog authors are aware that with MG readers in particular, it is the gatekeepers (parents, teachers, librarians, etc) rather than the actual readers who are the target of this blog. What I am most excited about is that they have book lists! Book lists that are made to reflect how kids actually ask for things!

Blog Reviews and Publishers with a panel of publishing publicity people
I am not a professional blogger; this is a (often neglected) hobby blog. So a lot of this panel was really about things that are not relevant to how I blog. Some of the basics, like have a good bio and make sure your links are good, are things that I should embrace. But scoring ARCs and galleys really isn’t what this blog is about–I’d rather talk about books I like, even if they’re old, or out of print, or not available in English, than have to worry about coordinating my posts to a book’s release. But for people who want to do that sort of blogging, and there’s really no “right” or “wrong” way to blog about books, just personal preference, it was a very useful panel.

[Played hooky and went shopping at Big Brain Comics. I bought one book for me, and one for a belated birthday present.]

School and Library Visits in a Social Media Age with Nancy Carlson, Susan Marie Swanson, Camille Powell, and Nicholas Glass
I’d never actually seen
Skype in action before, although I knew what it was and how it functioned. And I have to say, it looks to be perfect for author visits:

  • it allows the author to visit multiple locations in a short span of time, regardless of their geographic proximity
  • it allows schools and/or libraries who couldn’t otherwise afford author visits to have them
  • it still allows for interaction between author and kids
  • it can be archived for others to view later

Group Presentation on the Cybils Awards and Kidlitosphere
I was a bad librarian this year, and did not nominate any books for the Cybils. I’ll try to do better next year. I’d like to be involved some year as a judge, but who knows when I’ll mange to be organized enough at the right time! But a girl can dream. The Kidlitosphere site is a collection of resources, rather than reviews. It also has book lists! And a listserve!

[Played hooky again, and went to dinner and a concert that I had made plans for long before Kidlitcon was finalized.]

I bought The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (although I didn’t manage to get it signed, sigh), but I did manage to get both Lament and Ballad signed by Maggie Stiefvater. I may like books about faeries…

Kidlitcon 2010 blog and Flickr

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Kidlitcon 2010

Lisa very kindly pointed this announcement by Jen Robinson out to me, and I am excited because:

1) I think it would be really fun to go to a convention
2) there is no way I can afford ALA or BEA or PLA or anything, really, on my own
3) this is in Minneapolis! I live in Minneapolis!


Official Kidlitcon blog and twitter

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