I cannot believe how long it took me to write this post. It has almost been a week since my incredible bookish weekend occurred, and I have not posted my recap yet.
For those who may not have heard, this past weekend was Kidlitcon. Kidlitcon is a two-day conference about children and young adult literature. This year’s Kidlitcon was based on children and young adult book blogs. The two-day event has many amazing panels that will benefit you when blogging about children’s literature. The panels were not the only incredible aspect of Kidlitcon, the people who attended the event were extremely friendly and interesting. I came back from Kidlitcon with many great stories and business cards of marvelous people in the bookish community!
On the first day of Kidlitcon, I had to miss the first two panels because there was traffic heading to Baltimore. When I finally arrived after two never ending hours in the car, I went to get registered. At registration, I got a name tag (fun fact: I love getting name tags because I feel so professional wearing them) and a Brightly tote bag that had some swag inside.
After signing in, I went to The Power of Teamwork panel. Alison Formento (author of These Rocks Count!), Alisa Grosso (author of Shallow Pond), Jacqueline Jules (author of Zapato Power), Nancy Viau (author of City Street Beat), and Timothy Young’s (author of The Angry Little Puffin) panel was well put together and extremely beneficial on the topic of blog groups. Because I am part of a book club, their panel provided valuable advice on how to manage a group of bloggers.
The next panel I attended was the Visual Storytelling panel. The panel featured Matt Phelan, Minh Le, Kevin O’Malley, and Shadra Strickland. Prior to the panel, I met Shadra Strickland who was one of the speakers for Visual Storytelling. Shadra was telling me about her career in illustration and about the stories she has worked on. The Visual Storytelling panel was educational to me because I don’t typically read picture books. Learning the process of creating the perfect illustrations for the book made me realize how much effort goes into these stories. I came out of the panel with a deeper understanding of the effort it takes to create a picture book.
After Visual Storytelling, we had a lunch break. During lunch, I met a local librarian named Cheryl. During lunch, Cheryl and I had a discussion on what summer reading for children should be. We both agreed that if schools insist on reading classic works of literature then we should have a modern book that coincides with the classic to study as well. This idea was unique because it can show students how the perspective of topics changes over time.
Following lunch, we all went to listen to the author of Cut Both Way, Carrie Mesrobian, speak about edginess in books. I adored Carrie’s talk! Carrie carried her topic in a unique and intriguing way. I felt like I knew Carrie personally after her talk.
For the last panel of the day, we all went to the And the Winner is…. panel. This panel featured the judges of the Cybils Awards. And the Winner is.. helped me become more educated on the topic of book awards.
After a day filled with panels, it was nice to relax while attending the Author Mix and Mingle. During that event, I met many incredible people. The first people I met were Guinevere and Libertad are the authors of The Mark of Noba. Guinevere and Libertad are bloggers over at The Twinjas. The Twinjas were extremely personable. I had an enormous amount of fun hanging out with them! Both of them were hilarious. Not only were they incredible people, they also support diversity in books!
I bought Carrie Mesrobian’s book during the signing event. When I personally met Carrie, she was very nice. After the signing was over, Carrie and I talked with Tracey (author of The Jumbies) and a publicist from Harper Collins named Alexandra. It was an immense amount of fun to talk to them. We all got into a discussion on television shows. If you did not know, I love to watch television shows so I very much enjoyed that conversation. Eventually, Alexandra and I were the only people remaining in the lobby of the hotel. Alexandra and I talked about books that we liked and books that we thought should be published. After a while, I had to get ready for the Cybils party which meant we had to end our conversation.
At the Cybils party, I hung out with The Twinjas who were extremely entertaining. Sadly, they had to leave which made my dad and me decide to go bowling. When we went to go bowling, we met Elissa (author of Nerd Camp) and a local librarian named Laura. I had an extreme amount of fun bowling with them. It was incredible to talk about books all night because where I live I don’t know of many readers.
The next day we went to Tracey Baptiste’s panel where she talks about her book, The Jumbies. Tracey is an incredibly talented speaker. Her panel was intriguing and inspiring. I am so thrilled to have been able to talk to her! I love how she portrayed the struggles of writing a book.
The next panel I attended was How Graphic Novels Work. The panel featured Maggie Thrash (author of Honor Girl), Jay Hosler (Last of the Sandwalkers), Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre (Giants Beware!). The panel was entertaining! I love graphic novel which was another reason that the panel was a great amount of fun. It was amazing to see many talented illustrators in one room.
The next panel I went to was the Diversity Panel! It was so nice to support The Twinjas during their panel. I am a huge advocate for diversity in books. I hope to gain more awareness toward diverse characters in books. The panel incorporated several topics regarding diversity that need be discussed.
After that panel was MY panel! I was speaking on my first panel! This was one of the most memorable experiences that I have faced in my life. People dedicated an hour of their lives to listen to me and four other bloggers talk. The feelings I encountered were overwhelming. I loved every second that I was speaking. Afterward, I received free chocolate too!
The Podcast panel was right after my panel. I have been meaning to start podcasting for a while (I am going to set it up later in this week) which was why I went to this panel. I adored this panel. I came out of the panel ready to start podcasting!
I had to leave early to meet up with my family which was why I missed the last panel. Overall, Kidlitcon was a massive success. I highly recommend to children and young adult book bloggers.