Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Kidlitosphere Conference 2009: An Amazing Event!

MotherReader is pulling together this year's Kidlitosphere Conference, and as the registration kicks into it's final days, (the hotel discount rate ends Wednesday!) I'm super-nostalgic about how great LAST year's conference was, and a bit wistful about missing this year's.

To HONOR all the hard work that MotherReader and everyone else is putting into this amazing event, and to let you know WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER GOING, I'm going to do something I almost NEVER do.

I'm going to do her Meme!

Why did you decide to attend the KidLitosphere Conference?

I was scared and intrigued. I really liked the idea of connecting in person with other kid lit bloggers and feeling like I was actually part of a real community, rather than just one more blog in a virtual universe.

Who was most like their blog? Who was least like their blog?

I found it amazing how "voice" comes through so clearly in everyone's blogs. MotherReader is impassioned and a Doer. Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray is Insightful and Smart. Betsy Bird is Quirky and Indispensable.

There's so much discussion about how "voice" is this undefinable something that authors should strive for - and I think many of the really dedicated kid lit bloggers have a really strong voice on their blogs!

What surprised you at the conference?

I was blown away by the Readergirlz. The whole concept of a book club for teen girls, with virtual author visits and discussions... The passion of the women involved. Genius. Pure Genius. And such lovely people, too!

What will you always remember about the last conference?

While I may not be a ride at Busch Gardens (MotherReader, you crack me up!), attending the Kidlitosphere Conference sure felt like one.

Everyone had something to offer that was FASCINATING.

I got to really talk to people, find out about them and their passions, and tell them about me, too.

And major career and blog things happened for me as a direct result of attending the conference.

I met Alice Pope, editor and blogger for Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, and through that connection she knew me and knew about my blog... and that visibility was one of the reasons I ended up as part of the SCBWI Team Blog - which was an incredible experience!

I met Mark Blevis, children's book review podcaster and social media expert, who made me feel that I could do video and audio podcasts on my blog... and I left the conference last year determined to go multi-media. And I did! (About Gays and Vampires, About Gays and Leprechauns, About Gays and Conservatives!)

I met the amazing MotherReader and we teamed up to launch the first annual Comment Challenge, a really successful kidlitosphere-wide event to increase commenting on blogs!

And, perhaps best of all, I felt like I was really embraced and accepted as part of this amazing community!

Did you blog about the conference?

I did. It's here.

So, hopefully that whets your appetite for checking out this year's Kidlitosphere Conference!

Go! And give MotherReader a big HUG from me!



Color Online said...

Hey Lee,

Glad you did the meme. :-)

Loved reading about your experience. Wish I could go. Who wouldn't embrace you?

Congrats on your BBAW shortlist. I won't take any credit for your nomination since I'm one among your many fans. :-)

Unknown said...

Aww. Hugs right back at you.

Thanks for providing concrete examples of what the KidLit conference can do for you in terms of connections and opportunities. Not the mention the FUN. We'll miss you this year!

Sarah Stevenson said...

Very cool! I did the meme, too--and I'm sad I won't be able to go this time.

Jen Robinson said...

This year's conference won't be the same without you, Lee. I'm totally with you, though, on a great thing about the conferences being the chance to really talk with people. Such a gift! Hopefully we'll see you in 2010!

Unknown said...

Note to self: sign out of the Cybils email before leaving comments.

Love ya!

Greg Pincus said...

I'm bummed we won't be able to fly to the Conference together this year, Lee. Talking kidlit around other passengers was an unexpected highlight :-) Luckily for me, I get to see you here regularly!