Monday, March 25, 2019

Highlights of #KidLitCon2019

What an awesome weekend! It was great seeing friends (tried and true and new) and being immersed in this wonderful community of authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, and children's and teen book bloggers!

Some of the moments still resonating for me:

My panel, Reaching Readers: Getting Your Book To Kids was a blast!

Left to Right: Anika Denise, Barbara Fisch, Me(!), Debbie Kovacs, and Josh Funk

We played games (the one-minute timed elevator pitches were fun—and well-received),  spoke about strategies, working with publishers and bookstores, online communities, the importance of planning ahead and making checklists, and supporting others. (And, in a humbling moment, I learned to be more careful with my language.)

The session ended with Anika reminding us all of balance, and how while we have to spend time getting our books to kids, it's also important to make time to write the next book. It was a really wonderful panel!

The many moments of inspiration and insight, some of which were captured by myself and others on twitter. Here are 17 of them:

children of color become "experts in whiteness" while children of the dominant (read: white) culture know nothing about their peers of color. - at

"Magic is about power... Spirituality and belief systems are also about power." Zetta Elliott talks respect and subverting expectations on the "Diverse Fantasy in the Real World" at

"So many different parts of my life are in the book, in a kaleidoscope way." -Ann Bradley at

“Tell the story as true as possible.”

“You have to tell children, ‘you can walk your self out of ANYTHING.’” - @kidlitprov

"We all deserve to be part of the conversation."

"What if queerness in picture books was as ubiquitous as red hair?" stories centered on red hair, and stories just about them being kids. "Every kid is the hero of their own story." - at

"Kids want to read what other kids recommend." Melissa Fox at , with Ms. Yingling and Sam Musher

"Write the thing that's gonna get you up in the morning and keep you up late at night." -

"You find a way out. Where is that way to get to hope? Find that one crack so that kids know that somehow, there is gonna be a way through." -

"I wanted my writing to get the best of my day." on getting an early (as in 4:15am) start to his creative work.

"Goofy enthusiasm" - shares her most important ingredient in getting books to kids at

"This is my year of convincing myself that character IS plot... how they react to things is plot." -Leslie Connor at

"to survive in school... I learned that I had to put away my Latinx identity." speaks of what motivated her to become the proud Latinx author she is today.

Sharing hope w readers is key. -

“I hear people say, ‘We’d love to have your books in our school, but we don’t have any black kids.’ That’s EXACTLY why you *need* them!” - at

“To me all division ends when the story rings true” on &

The chance to share about my own Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill, how it is the story of my heart, and even sign copies purchased by wonderful people!

Gratitude to Charlotte and all the other volunteer organizers, and to Katie at Barrington Books!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

No comments: