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KidLitCon 2012: The Saturday Schedule

Greeting and salutations to you all!

I know that some of you have been holding off on registering for KidLitCon 2012, the annual meeting of children’s and YA bloggers which is open to anyone (blogger or not) with an interest in the changing sphere of book discussions, online and off.  Though the Saturday conference (held on September 29th in the main branch of New York Public Library) is indeed free free free, perhaps you were waiting to hear what programs would be available at that time.

Well the wait is over!

For those of you who have signed up for the precon, information on the schedule for that day is waiting on the number of people who will be signing up.  Once we have a rough approximation in hand we will email you your directions for the day.

The real conference, however, will be held on Saturday.  On that day you will be privy to a wide range of experienced speakers covering topics pertaining to the field of children’s and YA literature.  That morning you will enter the library when it opens at 10:00 and proceed to the South Court Auditorium.  Volunteers will be posted at both entrances of the library to direct you to the auditorium.  There we will have our registration tables set up.

Once the opening remarks have been made attendees will be able to sit in one of several sessions throughout the day.  So that we are able to meet everyone’s needs we ask that once you have registered you fill out this form, indicating your preferences one to four, with your top choice being #1.  We will work to make sure that everyone attends as many preferred sessions as possible.  We ask that you be aware that due to space issues some rooms will be able to accommodate more attendees than others.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

10:00 – Registration (outside South Court Auditorium)

10:30 – Opening Remarks (South Court Auditorium)

11:00-11:45 Parallel Sessions #1 (four choices!)

Location: Children’s Center
Presenter: Sheila Ruth (Wands and Worlds)
Title: Who’s In Charge?
Description: Having a social media presence has become an essential fact of life for many in the Kidlit space. Authors, bloggers, and publishers use social media for marketing, engaging with fans, and communicating with peers. Librarians use it to keep up with industry information & book news, and to communicate with patrons. But managing a professional social media presence can quickly become an overwhelming time suck, leading to burnout. This presentation will help anyone who is using social media for professional reasons to take charge and manage it in an effective way. Participants will learn to create a strategic plan by answering the questions what, where, when, and how, and learn about technology tools that can reduce the amount of time and effort needed for social media management.

Location: Classrooms A & B
Presenter: Teri S. Lesesne (The Goddess of YA)
Title: Don’t be a Twitt! Building a PLN Using Social Networks
Description: Twitter and FaceBook and Pinterest and other social networks can be the place to begin developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN). How do we begin? What are the steps in bringing disparate people and sites into a cohesive whole? These and other questions will be tackled during the session.

Location: South Court Auditorium
Presenters: Sheela Chari, Sayantani Dasgupta, and Michelle Schusterman (From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle Grade Authors)
Title: Community-Building On and Off the Blog: Secrets, Tips, and Cautionary Tales
Description: In cyberspace, as in real life, community is everything. Members from the popular middle grade blog, From the Mixed-Up Files…of Middle Grade Authors, will share their success stories and cautionary tales for building and sustaining communities, based on what has worked on their blog for the past two years, including book, Skype and other giveaways, special interviews and industry spotlights, news bars, twitter chats, and real-life meet-ups. They will also discuss strategies to grow your community, with an eye to diversity, and create the right environment for sharing information, spreading ideas, and forging friendships beyond the blog. Audience participants should prepare for a lively discussion, a few rounds of KidLit Jeopardy (there will be prizes!), and most of all, to have some fun!

Location: Room 207
Presenter(s): Brigid Alverson, Janna Morishima, Dorothy O’Brien and Alex Simmons
Title: Reviewing Comics and Graphic Novels for Kids
Description: Graphic novels and comics have become established forms of kidlit. No longer the “guilty pleasures” among books, they are now considered valuable in education, literacy, and fostering a love of reading. This panel will help reviewers approach the variety of comics collections and graphic novels published each year (including graphic novel versions of existing titles) by addressing questions such as: Can they be reviewed by the same criteria as traditional novels or collections? How should a reviewer treat ongoing storylines? How important are the visual elements, and how can one fairly compare graphic vs. traditional versions of the same book?

12:00 – 12:45 – Parallel Sessions #2 (four choices!)

Location: Children’s Center
Presenter: Marcia Lerner (The Diamond in the Window)
Title: Inspiring Reader Response
Description: A presentation that aims to give bloggers tools to strengthen conversation with their readers. One of the great things about blogging is that it facilitates immediate response. The rewards of blogging come from a wide variety of readers—librarians, teachers, and parents—who offer their wisdom and expertise on a regular basis. Yet one of the frustrating things about blogging is that sometimes readers don’t respond, and it can end up feeling like you’re writing into a void. The most common recommendations for getting readers to comment are to use giveaways or to end posts with a question. In this talk Ms. Lerner discusses how to create emotional connections with posts and platforms that explicitly value readers’ input.  Attendees of this program will be encouraged to offer their own responses beforehand on what has and has not worked for their sites.

Location: South Court Auditorium
Presenters: Kelly Jensen & Nova Ren Suma (STACKED / Distraction 99)
Title: Getting Series-ous: How Blog Series Can Engage, Inspire, and Grow Your Audience
Description: This program will discuss what goes into developing a successful blog series and hopes to inspire others to explore series posts as a means of widening their own blog content. The experiences of an author and a blogger will provide insight from two different sides of the kidlit blogosphere while also showcasing how authors and bloggers can work with and benefit one another through a blog series.

Location: Classrooms A & B
Presenter:  Jess Ferro (Alice in Baker Street)
Title: Oh, You Mean the Caterpillar Guy?: Viewing Illustration as High Art and Using Visual Literacy Methods to Enhance Our Evaluation of It
Description: A presentation that discusses ways in which we can help view illustration in children’s books as high art.  By thinking of illustration as “real art”, we can use methods from the visual literacy ideas of education, specifically the Whole Book Approach and Visual Thinking Strategies, to better evaluate and talk about picture books as bloggers and lovers of children’s books. Possible video appearances from illustration-based bloggers will briefly discuss how they approach the evaluation of illustration and their insights into the art of the picture book.

Location: Room 207
Presenter: Greg Pincus (GottaBook)
Title: Avoiding the Echo Chamber: Bringing the World of Children’s Literature to the World
Description: Children’s literature bloggers find each other online… and speak to each other online. We meet offline, too. Nothing wrong with that. However, our connected world can become an echo chamber. All of us in the blogosphere (and in the business of children’s books, whether as author or illustrator or as publisher or reviewer) can work to spread the joy of children’s literature wider. Or put another way… if there are 100 million people on Twitter, we don’t need to talk to the 5,000 who already will buy books. We need to reach the parents, aunts, and uncles. And we can do this with a bit of social media know-how… and with a strategic vision that makes it more likely.

1:00 – 2:00 – Attendees will break for lunch (not provided)

2:15 – 3:00 – “How Nice is Too Nice?: Critical Book Reviewing in the Age of Twitter”  (South Court Auditorium) (Maureen Johnson, Betsy Bird, Liz Burns, Monica Edinger, Sheila Barry, Marjorie Ingall – Moderated by Jennifer Hubert-Swan)

3:30 – 4:15 – Parallel Sessions #3 (three choices!)

Location: South Court Auditorium
Presenter: Karen Halpenny, VP of Women in Children’s Media
Title: The Changing Relationship Between Reader and Writer

Description: A discussion about the changing role of the reader and writer in the age of social media. This talk will examine the lives of authors in a world where their audience are capable of having  a much more direct connection to them…and vice versa. Topics will include feedback (quicker and sometimes much harsher), ways in which public vs private life is more difficult to determine, and new marketing paradigms based on author personalities. This talk will cover social media tools including (but not limited to) YouTube videos, Facebook, Twitter, live appearances, etc.  A panel will consist of the authors Gayle Forman, Michael Northrop, Alyssa Sheinmel, and Adele Griffin.

Room 207
Presenter: Melanie Hope Greenberg (Mermaid on Parade)
Description: This workshop addresses the necessity of creatives to fine tune their marketing skills on all fronts: analog, digital and social networking. Become your own best publicity director (even if you already have one). Learn the points of access to reach out and let the world know about your published book. Online marketing will be covered with a special focus on Social Network Etiquette.

Location: Room 219
Presenter: Diane Estrella (That’s What I’m Here For…)
Title: The Benefits of Blogging
Description: Whether you are a long time blogger or thinking about dipping your toe into the blogosphere for the first time, this presentation will provide advice for ways to get started along with how to grow the site you already have.

4:30 – 5:15 Plenary Session: Keynote Speech (South Court Auditorium) delivered by the illustrious YA author Maureen Johnson! Ms. Johnson is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels include SUITE SCARLETT, SCARLETT FEVER, GIRL AT SEA, 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES, and THE KEY TO THE GOLDEN FIREBIRD.  Her popular Shades of London series began with last year’s THE NAME OF THE STAR and the second book THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH will be coming out February 2013.  She lives in New York City, but travels to the UK regularly to soak up the drizzle and watch English TV.  And as luck would have it, she will be in town to speak to us at the end of the con.

5:15 – Closing Remarks (South Court Auditorium)

5:30 – Kidlit Drink Night!  The Houndstooth (520 8th Avenue at 37th Street).

Please note that some locations may change before the day of the conference itself.

So what are you waiting for?  The time to register is nigh!  And for those of you interested in the preconference and dinner the night before, more information on that will be coming soon.

See you in a month!

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Well done, you!
    It. Sounds. So. Awesome.

    SOMEDAY I will make it to one of these.

  2. WOW! Sounds so great! Now I want to skip my session to attend some of the parallel ones, LOL.

  3. NEXT YEAR BALTIMORE. That way we can have KidLit Drinks Night on my deck. Have fun you guys!

  4. Great line up. I’m excited.

  5. I’m with you, Paula! We need to bring the tribe to our fair city.

  6. I can’t wait to attend!


  1. […] The schedule for the Saturday conference has been released, and I chatted (via instant messaging) with my friend, social media expert, author, and conference faculty member Greg Pincus to find out more… […]