I can't even remember now how I found out about the 2008 Kidlit Bloggers Conference; but as soon as I did, I asked for that day off work so that I could attend. Because:
1) I've been thinking a lot over the past several months about how I can improve this blog--especially how to make it less random and more focused, and thus less like my actual brain tumbling out onto the internet, complete with dust bunnies and odd knick-knacks, like that tiny china box my best friend in 7th grade gave me for my birthday that's too small to put anything in and yet which I can't bring myself to throw away...um...right. Focus! *ahem* Carrying on:
2) It sounded like a great opportunity to meet children's lit bloggers in the actual world, instead of just reading and lurking in their online haunts, which is what I normally do; and:
3) It just so happened to take place in my hometown of Portland, OR.
So, bright and early Saturday morning, I joined several dozen folks in a hotel meeting room and settled in for what turned out to be a fabulous day of blogtalk and kidlit. I've attended a lot of conferences (both veterinary medicine and writing), and this was the one of the very few I've been to in which every presentation was both informative and entertaining. Not to mention, these folks are smart, funny, opinionated, and passionate about both children's literature and the art of spreading kidlit love in the online world, and consequently they're a kick and a half to spend time with.
Who are these passionate people? The Kidlit site has a list of attendees (with links to their conference blog posts, complete with photos!), but in general they're a delightful mix of children's literature book reviewers, librarians, book illustrators, and authors (both published and pre-published). Most wear more than one hat, some work in day jobs far removed from children's books, and for almost everyone, blogging about kidlit is a labor of love that pays back only in intangibles.