Monday, September 29, 2008

Kidlit 08!

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 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.
I'll post some specifics about what I learned a little later...but for now, major kudos to Laini Taylor and Jone Rush MacCulloch, the conference organizers, and to all the presenters. Next year's conference will be in Washington D.C...I'm already scheming ways to get there!


lkmadigan said...

It was nice to meet you, Christine.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed our dinner conversation. When you spend your day with the K-5 crowd, it's nice to have grown-up conversations about books that just happen to be for younger adults.

Christine Fletcher said...

Nice to meet you too, Lisa!

Deb, it was fun to get a librarian's perspective, especially the kind of books that the younger kids are looking for.

All in all, a wonderful conference.

Saints and Spinners said...

Hi Chrstine--It was good talking with you at the conference. What a whirlwind day! Your city is beautiful, and I need to take the train down to Portland more often.

Melissa Amateis said...

How fortunate that it was right in your own backyard! Those are the best kinds of conferences to go to. :-)

Glad you learned so much and made some new friends!

Christine Fletcher said...

Hi, Alkelda, thanks for stopping by!

Melissa, yes, it was nice to roll out of bed and into a conference jet lag! :)