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KidLitCon: Past Panels & New Panel Ideas

KidLitCon 2019 will be held in Providence, Rhode Island

on March 22-23, 2019

at Hotel Providence in downtown Providence.

Our hashtag is: #KidLitCon2019

The theme is Reaching Readers.

Want to help shape our panels? Read on!

We are in the process of putting together panels. We want a combination of “Best Of’ from the past and new ones that we create together.

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We want to hear from you. Can you fill out the poll on the sidebar or email us on what sessions you want again and/or what new sessions you’d like us to create? KidLitCon (@) gmail. com. Thank you!

Past KidLitCon Sessions:

  • Blog Platforms and Best Practices
  • The Best of Backlist
  • Blog Touring
  • Blogging in Learning Communities
  • Pro Blogging for Media Organizations and Print Publications
  • MG Blogging in the YA Blogosphere
  • Poetry Friday
  • Blogging from the Margins
  • School & Library Visits in the Media Age
  • Presentations on Cybils and
  • 3 Things Every Illustrator and Author Needs To Know About Digital Art
  • Blogger Burnout: Suggestions for Getting Your Groove Back
  • Diversity in Kid Lit: Nurture More, Blog More, Get More
  • Critical Reviews & Why They Matter
  • Beyond the Blog for Authors and Illustrators
  • Don’t fear the code: spice up your blog with HTML and CSS
  • Blogging the Middle Grade Books
  • Kidlit Blogging Roundtable: Our Past, Present, and Future
  • Finding Your Voice, Finding Your Passion- Blogging With Conviction
  • Finding and Reviewing the Best in Diverse Children’s and YA
  • Sistahs (and Brothers) Are Doing It for Themselves  — Independent Publishing From the Creators’ and the Bloggers’ Points of View
  • Social Media Tips and Tricks for Bloggers
  • Getting Beyond Diversity and Getting to the Story
  • Beyond the Echo Chamber of the Kidlitosphere: Reaching Readers
  • We Need Diverse Books Presents:  Book Bloggers and Diversity, an Unbeatable Combination
  • We’re Not Going To Take It and Neither Should You: Why Book Bloggers DO Have the Ability to Make Divers Books Happen
  • Keeping Things Interesting for You and Your Readers
  • Exploring STEM through Gripping Stories
  • Middle Grade Horror
  • The Power of Teamwork
  • Visual Storytelling
  • CYBILS: Nonfiction Roundtable
  • A Panel Discussion with Literary Award Judges
  • How Graphic Novels Work
  • Intersectionality: The Next Step in Diverse Books
  • Going Wide: Beyond Your Blog
  • Authentic Voices
  • Middle Grade Madness
  • Kidlit Podcasting
  • Who Is the Reader? (and Why That Matters When I’m Blogging About Books…)
  • Connecting with Debut Authors
  • The Honorable Gatekeeper
  • Book Talks for and by Kids
  • What is YA?
  • Successful Author Visits: The Direct Connection between Authors, Gatekeepers, and Kids
  • Kidlit Blogging Salon, Part 1
  • The Disinvitation Epidemic
  • Blogging the Middle Grade
  • Promoting Diversity in Literature
  • Writing about Art for Non-Artists
  • A Chat about Series Fiction
  • Caretakers of Creativity, Champions of Literacy: Bringing Books to Life with the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival
  • Down the Rabbit Hole, the World’s First Explorastorium
  • Beyond 140 Characters: Leveraging Social Media to Support Your Blog
  • Bloggers as Gatekeepers
  • Building relationships with authors and publishers through blogging
  • Historical Fiction
  • Drawing the Lines between Readerships (Chapter books/MG/YA/Adult)
  • STEM and the Natural World
  • Podcasting support group
  • Multicultural Children’s Book Day
  • “Go sports! Do the Thing! Win the Points!”  Sports Books for the Unathletic
  • Seriously Funny—books that take on “serious” topics with humor
  • From Classroom to Print: thinking about children’s books for reading development
  • Views on Reviews—a look at book reviews from the perspectives of authors, bloggers, and librarians.
  • Children’s Books in the Fight for a Better World
  • Refugees and Immigrants in Children’s and YA Books
  • Boy Book/Girl Book— constructing and deconstructing the gender divide
  • YA books in the Classroom
  • Middle Grade: who are the villains?
  • Re-energize your blog with psychological insights (and laughs)
  • Illustration in conversation:  looking at art from start to finish
  • Bloggers and Writers and Pubs! Oh My!
  • Who Are You Online? Social Media and the Professional Persona
  • The Future of Transmedia Storytelling: Angel Punk, Pottermore, and Skeleton Creek
  • One is Silver and the Other’s Gold: A Discussion on Blogging Backlist vs. New Releases, and Why It Doesn’t Have to Be Versus
  • Group Blogging: Strategies for Success
  • Building a Better World With Your Book Blog
  • The Fantastic New World of Book Apps for Children
  • Teaming Up: How Authors and Bloggers Can Work Together for Successful Promotion
  • Tears, Sweat, and True Blood: DIY Marketing in a Post-Twilight World
  • Managing the Privacy Line: Your Blog, Your Kids, Your Readers, and You
  • Going Deep: The Hows and Whys of Blogging Critically
  • Teaming Up with S in SCBWI
  • Give Your Blog a Voice: Podcasting in the KidLitosphere
  • Finessing Your Inner Zoo
  • Moving Beyond Google Reader: Taking Your Blog to Where Your Readers Are
  • Forming Author – Blogger Collectives to Support Book Promotion
  • Blogging Diversity: Prejudice and Pride

Possible Sessions for KidLitCon 2019:

  • SEO for Dummies (we are hoping to get someone from Google)
  • How To Use Diversity & Multicultural Books in the Classroom
  • Writing Diversity: #OwnVoices, Sensitivity Readers & #WritingWhileWhite
  • Graphic Novels as a Gateway to Literacy
  • Big Issues in YA
  • Illustration (not sure what topic but we are going to try to get Illustration faculty from Rhode Island School of Design)
  • How To Take Stunning Photos of Books (we hope to get some bookstagrammers to do this)
  • DIY Book Trailers
  • Speed Manuscript/Illustration Critiques
  • Help Desk for Bloggers
  • Growing Your Instagram Followers
  • Disability in KidLit and YA

Thank you to Carolyn Wilhelm of Wise Owl Factory:

  • I want to present on reading strategies with multicultural books.

Thank you to Dhonielle Clayton:

  •  “I wish there were more black reviewers, y’all. I am really tired of hot takes on my book from white ladies.”

Thank you to Carla Molina:

  • Reading beyond ourselves, the value of diverse voices.
  • How do you keep advanced readers challenged without giving them content that’s not appropriate? And at the other end of the spectrum, how do you address low level readers who need high interest books?
  • How to select book club books, read aloud books to read as a family, etc. Something about the many ways to make reading a community/family ritual.
  • A section on kid authors like Marley Dias and the girls from Ellen with the picture book, kid president, Mo’ne Davis, the Olympic gymnasts, etc.
  • Beyond the review – maximizing how bloggers and their readers support the industry, raising kids to active champions of literature
  • Is there a day to do author interviews?
  • Not sure if this aligned with the goals of the event but a track for bloggers who want to either author or illustrate their own books
  • A panel dedicated to graphic novels in some way
  • Some kind of post-event link up to promote blogs of those who attended plus those who present
  • Can the logo be done by a local artist/illustrator? Gives it that extra local love feel.
  • What should bloggers/panelists walk away with? What’s the goal? (I always plan better when I’ve got the end goal in mind)
  • Dream list of panelists –
    -Folks from Lee & Low Books
    -Folks from We Need Diverse Books
    -Angie Thomas
    -Marley Dias
    -Raina Telgeimeier

Thank you to Nathalie Mvondo for her great suggestions:

  • Blogging in the New Tech Era: How it’s changing the game
  • “Financial Resources for Writers & Bloggers” that will go over grants and such that can help a writer or blogger financially (traveling for research, paid opportunities, or else). Bloggers who do so extensively need to be able to make some living too, because the time they invest online and reading often means they earn less somewhere else. That session could explore ways to monetize their time without compromising ethically.

Thank you to sabrinafedel for her great suggestions:

  • Getting my book in the hands of teachers/school librarians
  • Getting interest with indie bookstores if you are with a small press

Thank you to nawone for her great suggestions:

  • As a teacher I would like to learn about funding sources for YA Lit.
  • How to create a blog

Thank you to laurenceking1 for her great suggestion:

  • How to reach book bloggers and get your book reviewed.

Thank you to light_drops for this great suggestion:

  • Include an illustrators’ portfolio review

Thank you to to Annie Lynn of AnnieBirdd Music, LLC 

  • Diversity and Inclusion

Thank you to Nancy Ling:

  • Creating Change: Opening Worlds One Book at a Time (presentation I did with Heather Lang and Cheryl Lawton Malone for NEATE)
  • Down and Dirty Drafting
  • Writing Across Genres

Thank you to Tracey Baptiste:

  • Fantasy panels with WOC

Thank you to Anita Silvey:

  • If you do a panel on STEM stories, I’d be more than happy to talk about Birute and Jane Goodall.

Thank you to Jannie Ho:

  • The gang over at Picture The Books (my 2017 debut group) had always talked about getting a panel together about the things we’ve learned as a debut author. We have lots of good info to share. Gaia Cornwall, Alison Goldberg, Gina Perry and Jannie Ho will likely create this panel for KidLitCon with perhaps more of their group.

Thank you to Nancy Ling:

  • Creating Change: Opening Worlds One Book at a Time

Thank you to Chris Tebbetts for his ideas and for being open to joining other panels:

  • Big topics in YA (my 2019 YA release has a gay protagonist and takes on the intersection of science and religion, among other things :-))
  • YA (anything craft related)
  • Middle Grade (ditto)
  • Collaboration (a lot of my published work has been co-authored; I have an adaptable presentation I could use, “Ghostwriting, Co-Writing, and Just Plain Writing”)
  • Reluctant readers (my middle grade work is by and large reluctant reader-friendly; specifically, I use humor and adventure to that end)
  • LGBT issues/stories
  • Getting Your Novel Unstuck
  • Improv and Play as part of the Writing Process

Thank you to Debbi Michiko Florence:

  •  I’d love to do a panel with Kara LaReau on early chapter books/chapter books! It’s an interesting topic since chapter books can fall into such a wide age group. Her Ratsos Brothers (age 5 – 8), Jasmine Toguchi (age 6 – 9), and her Bland Sisters (age 8 – 12) – and if you want to also take into consideration my Dorothy & Toto series with Capstone (age 6 – 8).  A couple of other authors who write for this age group and are POC but don’t live locally are Kelly Starling Lyons (Jada Jones series age 6 – 8) and Monica Brown (Lola Levine series age 8 – 12).

Thank you to Jeanette Bradley:

  • I saw your post in the Writer’s Loft group about KidlitCon in Providence next year. I’m so exited! I live nearby and I would love to be involved!  I’d be interested in doing a session on the state of the bookshelf of picture books for LGBTQ families, along with blogger Alli Harper, and I’m sure we can find some other interested writers and/or bloggers or librarians.    (Alli recently wrote this post, that is generating a lot of discussion on the topic:
  • I’ve been involved in organizing the 2018 picture book debut group Epic Eighteen, and I have learned through that process about what works and what doesn’t while trying to build a diverse network using social media. I saw one of your previous topics was about how bloggers can connect with debuts, I think this is a great topic on both sides (frankly, I had no idea how to do this for myself and got no help from my publisher) and I’d love to share what I’ve learned.

Thank you to Padma Venkatraman:

  • Bringing the Dead into Classrooms with Lively Authors (a panel on reading historical fiction)
  • Reading, Publishing and Blogging about South Asian Fiction
  • Teaching, Blogging and Reviewing Books about Social Justice
  • Better or Verse (connecting readers with verse novels and poetry)

Thank you to Nandini Bajpai:

  • The Next Blockbusters: Diversity Characters/authors in YA Poised to hit NYTimes Best Sellers List

Thank you to Anne O’Brien Carelli:

  • Female protagonists in children’s books, focusing on leadership development, realistic female role models, and encouraging boys to read about girls who are leaders.The theme of the panel would be on encouraging both girls AND boys to think in terms of girls as potential leaders.

Thank you to Emma Otheguy:

  • Migration in children’s books, the concept of home and building new homes
  • Poetry, particularly for middle school readers since I find that poetry tends to drop off after elementary
  • Environmental justice in children’s books

Thank you to Barbara of Blueslip Media:

  •  How to get your book reviewed and read by bloggers, and in particular what librarians and teachers may be looking for.

Thank you to Charnaie of Here Wee Read and Lauren of Picture Book Playdate:

  • Bookstagramming and talking about Bookstagram Choice Awards. Also how to take amazing photos of books.

Thank you Lisa Carroll, middle school library media specialist

  • I am a middle school library media specialist and I do a Book Tasting for students – piling up genres at tables and giving the kids an opportunity to read from the books to really give it a “taste.”
  • I would probably bring books and set up the room like I do my tasting – giving folks the actual experience that my students have in a 45 minute period.

Thank you to Kip Wilson Rechea :

  • I’m wondering if you might be interested in a panel with some authors of YA and MG titles debuting in 2019. My YA novel in verse, WHITE ROSE, is set to release in spring 2019 with the new HMH Versify imprint, and I’m a member of the #Novel19s debut author group, so I could certainly ask who among us might be available to attend if there’s interest in such a thing. I’m fairly local myself (Boston area) and recognize many of the names on the attendee list already, so I’d love to know more.

Thank you to Kimberly Fusco:

  • I have been talking to Leslie Connor (who also received the ALA Schneider Family Book Award) about doing a panel on empathy, resilience and overcoming adversity in children’s lit.  Perhaps we could include other Schneider recipients as well.

Thank you to Mel Schuit:

  • My aim would be to talk about picture book anatomy, visual narratives, and how illustration and book design are key to boosting visual literacy.

Thank you to Paula Chase,  co-founder of The Brown Bookshelf”

  • “You can’t say that in MG” panel with other authors who can talk about writing complex topics for mg readers.
  • Art of covering complex topics including our own “tricks” to keeping it MG
  • Each panelist citing another book where it’s done well
  • Importance of addressing tough issues
  • Discuss are there still taboo topics if yes what and why

Thank you to Megan Frazer Blakemore:

  • I think a panel about using stories or narrative to excite kids about STEM would be a lot of fun and of interest to participants.

Thank you to Traci Sorell:

  • What You Need to Know as a Debut Author
  • Connecting with Debut Authors
  • Authentic Voices
  • How To Use Diversity & Multicultural Books in the Classroom
  • Contemporary Native Depictions in Kidlit – Yes, We’re Still Here! (across genres)

Thank you to Natalie d’Aubermont Thompson:

  • One seminar that I’ve done here in Ann Arbor is how to read aloud books as a family and create reading as a family ritual. We have many literary rituals as a a family that friends, and IG followers, often ask about so I’d love to share, or help brainstorm, more ideas!

Thank you to Lee Wind:

  • 1) As the Director of Marketing and Programming for the Independent Book Publishers Association, it might be cool to put together a panel on Independently published books, and how to facilitate the connection between Indies and Kid Lit book bloggers.
  • 2) My own author-published novel that was too controversial for traditional publishers (“Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill”) was just successfully crowdfunded: and will be publishing in October 2018
  • It might be cool to put together a panel on “blogging controversy” or something along those lines… there is so much controversial in our world today, and things seem so polarized, I imagine some bloggers (and authors) are afraid to voice their authentic thoughts to avoid “rocking the boat” while others sail forward despite the choppy seas…