For the third year in a row, I find myself in charge of organizing the panels for Kidlitcon, which this year takes place in Wichita this October. Kidlitcon is an annual conference primarily of children's book bloggers, although authors, librarians, teachers, readers, and publishers are all part of the mix.
The theme this year is Gatekeepers and Keymasters: Connecting bloggers, librarians, teachers, authors, and parents to promote literacy. Adults are the ones with the money (though not necessarily enough money!) who buy children's books, and we want to talk about how this role plays out in real life--the challenges we face, the opportunities available, the ways to be the best Gatekeepers we can be (or even how we can subvert the gatekeeping process, to let kids play a role in their own choices).
So there's lots to talk about, and we need people to come to Wichita to talk about it! You can email me directly with ideas (charlotteslibrary at gmail dot com), or fill out the submission form found here. (but please don't delay too long--I want to have a solid program by the second week of August).
We've gotten some good proposals already, but we need more. Here are some ideas for panels that I'd personally be interested in (though please come up with your own ideas too!). There's redundancy in the ideas I share here, but with different slants. I would really really really like diversity to be part of the conference, but because we are small (aka we have no money) we can't invite speakers and waive the registration fee, so I can't make that happen by myself.
Checking Privilege and Bias--big issues, useful tips (gender, race, religion, disability, sexuality, politics, economic inequalities)
Beyond the book review--using your blog to talk about what matters to you (having built an audience for your blog, you have the opportunity to shape discourse on other book/literacy issues--I'd love to hear other bloggers talk about how they've done this!)
What is "middle grade?" How do gatekeepers judge/evaluate/promote books for this age group (9-12)
Who is the audience? reviewing (and writing books, for any interested authors) with an eye toward the "right" reader
Finding hidden gems- reviewing and promoting great books from small publishers and self-published books
How do we judge is "good." Critical reviewing, going beyond our own preferences, acknowledging bias, being mindful. How can we be critical outside our own areas of experience and expertise?
Who is the reader-- Identifying readers for whom a book might truly resonate
Being part of a community, in real life and in the Kidlitosphere
One from last year that I wasn't able to go to that could serve as a springboard for another panel-- Authentic Voices Pam Margolis and Liz Burns
"The importance of diverse representation in children’s fiction and nonfiction is becoming more widely recognized in the children’s book community. But as important as it is to have diverse books, it’s just as important that they be authentic. As bloggers, how can we do our part? Evaluating diverse representations can be difficult if we don’t have any direct experience or knowledge of the represented group. This panel will look at the issues of authentic representation in children’s literature and important considerations for bloggers, with a particular focus on books featuring LGBTQA+ and differently-abled people"
Making the most of alternate platforms and social media (podcasts, book tube, and all the other things social media)
Author and bloggers and publishers working together. Such a panel was presented in 2011, and could be revisited)
"Bloggers and Writers and Pubs! Oh My!
Presented and facilitated by Pam Coughlan and Liz Burns, with Kirby Larson and Zoe Luderitz
In Bloggers and Writers and Pubs! Oh My! the panel will explore the relationships of the various members of the children’s literature industry. The age of social media is blurring the already indistinct boundaries between reviewer and author, blogger and publisher, author and publicist. The opportunities of this new communication and collaboration are extraordinary, but the questions are also increasing in terms of disclosure, standards, and professionalism. This panel hopes to address these issues with input and questions from the attendees."
another from 2011 I'd like to hear more about--
"The Future of Transmedia Storytelling: Angel Punk, Pottermore, and Skeleton Creek
Presented by Amber Keyser, Devon Lyon, Matthew Wilson, and Jake Rossman
Transmedia storytelling refers to the delivery of story through a variety of media. These forms can include film, graphic novels, traditional books, flash fiction, iPhone/iPad delivery of content, and various forms of audio. Typically, story lines are interwoven and connected but not strictly repetitive. Often, fan engagement and participation in the creative process are facilitated by social media. J.K. Rowling’s new venture, Pottermore, is an excellent example that promises to extend and enhance the experience of the Harry Potter series. Increasingly, all media forms - books, movies, games and TV shows - are looking for transmedia opportunities. During this session, the AngelPunk.co team discusses their approach to transmedia storytelling and gives an inside look into the complex structure necessary to delivery story via novels, feature film, comic books, and an interactive fan site."
Beyond fiction--Looking at STEM books and non-fiction
and a few other perennial favorites--
Balancing the Personal and Professional on your blog (for authors and bloggers), blogging the backlist, boy books/girl books, group blogging....
So once again, please come be part of the conversation at Kidlitcon 2016! You can email me directly with ideas (charlotteslibrary at gmail dot com), or fill out the submission form found here. (please don't delay too long--I want to have a solid program by the second week of August!)