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It’s a fact. Groups of people who meet on the Internet over shared interests want to meet in real life. Using my beloved Buffy as an example, the fans who met through BTVS’s official posting board, The Bronze, held posting board parties from 1998 to 2003. (No, I never went.) And even before the Internet, fans met and held conferences: Science fiction fan conventions started in the 1930s. In pre-Internet days, the letters sections in science fiction magazines helped create the virtual (via mail) communities that then lead to real-life meetings.
Those who blog about children’s and young adult literature have the KidLitCon; this is the fourth year. Yes, I know! I would say “that’s how long book bloggers have been having conventions,” but I’m not going to claim “first” without actually researching whether other groups of book bloggers have held conventions or not.
Four years of planning, arranging, meeting, having fun. Where does the time go? Oh, there are other conventions and conferences in a year: booksellers have BEA, librarians ALA, teachers NCTE. Still, none of them are just about the bloggers and while some of us meet at those events, those meetings are an add-on, not the prime event.
KidLitCon is the prime event. It’s held over the weekend, so people don’t have to worry about vacation time being used. Topics are geared just towards bloggers, whether the bloggers are authors, publishers or readers. It also moves around the country, so that the responsibility for planning doesn’t fall on the same shoulders over and over.
This year’s Kidlitcon is in Minneapolis on October 23rd. The keynote speaker is author/blogger Maggie Stiefvater and the rest of the agenda is being finalized (but I confess, I had a sneak peak and it looks terrific!) I have to send in my registration; I’ve got my roommate for the hotel worked out; now I just need to commit to a flight.
Looking for more reasons why to go? Luckily for you, an interview with me about just that topic is at the Kidlitcon2010 blog. And Jen Robinson shares why this will be her first solo trip since Baby Bookworm was born. The list of current attendees are on the KidLitCon2010 blog sidebar.
Will you be there?
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About Elizabeth Burns
Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is email@example.com.
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