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Little Willow [userpic]

SCBWI: Having Our Say: Blogging About Children's Literature

August 6th, 2007 (07:35 pm)
pleased

Current Mood: pleased
Current Song: Brand New Key cover by The Dolly Rots

On Friday, August 3rd, I got up bright and early - which I always do, but this time, I had a very special purpose. I had been invited to speak on a panel with four other lit-happy bloggers at The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference. Our panel was entitled Having Our Say: Blogging About Children's Literature. I was flattered to be in such good company and looked forward to meeting my fellow panelists - Gina from AmoXcalli, a. fortis and TadMack from Finding Wonderland and Readers' Rants, and Kelly from Big A, little a - in person.

Sadly, Gina had become ill earlier in the week and was unable to attend. However, she truly was a part of our panel, as she created the bulk of our PowerPoint slideshow, which she then put online. Thank you so much, Gina, for all of your hard work. I hope that you are feeling better and that we do meet up in the future.

Kelly and I met up in the morning and discussed the wonders of technology and travel until TadMack and TechBoy arrived. Before we knew it, it was time for the conference to begin, and poor a. fortis was still stuck in traffic. Kelly, TadMack and I scurried into the grand ballroom, where nearly one thousand people had already gathered, and listened to the hilarious welcome speech from Lin Oliver, the SCBWI Executive Director.

The faculty members - anyone speaking on a panel - then lined up and introduced themselves one by one (or group by group - go, Class of 2k7!), with each person saying one word that represented his/her/their panel or mood. When John Green introduced himself and added, "Nerdfighters," a young woman screamed loudly to show her support.

Yes, that was me.

I apologized to Kelly and TadMack for bursting their eardrums. Shortly thereafter, we took to the stage, introduced ourselves, and said:

"Controversy . . .
" . . . conflict . . . "
" . . . and connectivity."

Oh, how I adore alliteration!

a. fortis arrived shortly after the introductions. We all headed over to the room where our panel was going to be held. While telling each other our life stories and discussing new and classic stories, we reviewed the slideshow, which ran throughout the panel.

Once our room filled up, we filled an hour with talk and laughter. I know we could have talked all day about the importance of literacy, free speech, and communication. After briefly introducing ourselves, we talked about our love of literature and of blogging while TadMack clicked through screenshots of various lit blogs and online events. We talked about The Cybils, Toon Thursday, Poetry Friday, The Edge of the Forest, readergirlz, the upcoming 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference as planned by Robin Brande, MotherReader's The 48 Hour Book Challenge, 7-Imp's 7 Kicks, The Carnival of Children's Literature, Chasing Ray's various events (the Summer Blog Blast Tour and Wicked Cool Overlooked Books plus the upcoming Winter Blog Blast Tour, Radar Recommendations, and One-Shot World Tour), Class of 2k7, The Longstockings, and more.

Many thanks to the bloggers, authors, and readers who attended our panel. Thanks also to those who sent us notes of support and good luck wishes.

I have an idea for next time: broadcast the panel live on the internet - podcast, anyone? - or incorporate a chat element, making it accessible to the everyone who can't attend in person and encouraging them to take part and ask questions.

Comments

Posted by: micolz (micolz)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)

Sounds great! Wish I could have been there.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)

Thanks, and ditto.

Posted by: kidslitinfo/Kelly (kidslitinfo)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)

Great ideas, LW (last paragraph) and excellent roundup. It was so great to get to meet you in person :)

Kelly

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)

Thank you! I really hope I didn't startle anyone post-panel with my enthusiasm.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)

Thanks for the report!

Yes to a podcast in the future!

Jules at 7-Imp (thanks for mentioning us, too)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)

But of course. Right after I got the good news, I seriously wanted to turn to you and jules and tell you.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
TadMack says:

Oh, hey -- podcast, awesome idea! That way we can manage to say something TO everyone ABOUT everything. I am still bummed I forgot to add Paper Tigers to the multicultural blog screen shots! Aaargh! Oh well - we had an hour...

And you and your Nerdfighter shrieks don't scare me! I'm sure John heard you! And wasn't that the point?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
Re: TadMack says:

I think that would be neat.

So many books and blogs, so little time!

Let's jump into Law & Order and get a stenographer to type up a transcript as it happens too. ;)

I am such a quiet person, aren't I?

Posted by: Jo Knowles (jbknowles)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC)

Yay! Glad your panel was such a success!

And thanks for the shout out for the class of 2k7! Woohoo!!!

:-)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)

Thank you, and you're welcome! :)

Posted by: SarahsBooks (sarahsbooks)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)

Wish. I. Was. There.

*sob*

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
knowing

Me too! If we're ever in the same part of the world, we have to get together - it's a given - and compare dresses from the children's department. Deal? :)

Posted by: SarahsBooks (sarahsbooks)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)

Oh heck yeah! We teeny people have to stick together.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)

:) Come to think of it, I _was_ wearing a little girl dress when I was talking about your book backstage the other day! Hee hee.

Posted by: imcoolerthanu2 (imcoolerthanu2)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)

Had I been there, I also would have screamed for the nerdfighters.

A couple years ago, one of the Teen Librarians in our system started an annual Teen Book Festival, and one of the traditions is that the authors all arrive by limo and walk a red carpet into the building while a crowd of spectators lines the carpet cheering and shouting. That's just the kind of people we are here in Western NY. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)

The TBF sounds fantastic. I visited the link, and the mission statement + the free admission = great for teens and adults alike! Then I looked at the lineup of authors and was pleased to see so many big names supporting your efforts. You'll have to let me know how it goes next April.

NERDFIGHTERS! I still have to decide on my own nerdfighter name. My article's up at the Forest now, and, upon seeing it on the screen, I realized how very LONG it is - Thanks to Kelly for indulging me in that, because any other editor would have cut me off.

Posted by: imcoolerthanu2 (imcoolerthanu2)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)

Stephanie, the librarian who had the vision, is an amazing, inspiring librarian. The first time she told me about her idea, I was like, "That sounds great, but it's also completely insane. You know that, right?" But she's made it happen through truly amazing sheer force of will.

I just read the article over at the Forest. Awesome! Kelly is officially The Best Editor Ever. So far, the articles I've done for her have been on very un-mainstream topics like funny books about death and books about sock monkeys, but she's always really open and interested and nice. She also catches and fixes typos, which, you know, yay!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)

Big ideas are the best. Just ask Kristy Thomas.

It _is_ amazing what you can make happen out of the sheer force of will!

Why swim in the mainstream? It's boring!

Sock monkeys are fun, but they are at their best when disco dancing.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Awesome

I'm so proud that the kidlitosphere was so well-represented by you ladies. Well done, and thanks for mentioning us in your presentation. Count me among the many who wish they could have been there, too.

~eisha

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Awesome
happy

Thank you. Someday, we should have an Alice-themed blogger tea party. How cool would THAT be? (May I call the part of Alice now? I have the costume. I'm not kidding.)

Posted by: mimagirl (mimagirl)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
i could've danced

Oh how I wish I could've been there! Thanks for the re-cap, though.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)

You are welcome!

How was opening night? I was sending you lots of mental vibes!

Posted by: mimagirl (mimagirl)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
colorful

Opening night was....OK. Could've been better, could've been worse. Last night went much better!

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and asking about the play! I appreciate them a lot.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)

You are welcome. :)

Posted by: Melissa (mango_firefly)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)

LW your panel was amazing! It was a delight to meet Kelly and yourself in the real world!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)

Thank you for coming!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Love the Wrap-up

hey, LW. Thanks for telling those of us who couldn't be there about your panel. Sounds like everything went swimmingly well.

I look forward to meeting you (and the others) in Chicago.

Susan
Chicken Spaghetti

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 7th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Love the Wrap-up

Hi Susan! Thanks for reading the wrap-up. I wish I could attend the Chicago gathering, but I can't. Have fun without me!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 8th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)

Thanks for the summary. I'm hoping that we get a mini-review in Chicago from the others. Sorry you can't be there. We'll miss you.

-MotherReader

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 8th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)

You are welcome! Wish I could be there. At least I have a good excuse. :)

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