So I just signed up for the Saturday session of KidLitCon, which is going to be held in Sacramento this October. Yay! I can manage on just one hotel night and some caffeine for the late night drive home. I’ve been wanting to go to this for years, and I was waiting for it to come to our neighborhood. Thanks so much to Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Tanita Davis and Sarah Stevenson of Finding Wonderland for pulling this all together.
I thought, for a Saturday Six, I’d do six reasons that I want to attend this year.
1. You may have noticed I don’t appear at my blog all that often these days, although I’ve been trying to shift back lately. I’m feeling like I need a new burst of blog energy, and where better to get that at a conference for kidlit bloggers?
2. I am a huge fan of Jen Robinson’s Book Page and, even more, of Jen’s commitment to literacy and reading and all things kids books. Anything she’s a part of is going to be good.
3. Mitali Perkins will be Saturday’s keynote speaker. Since I got started with blogs, Mitali has been challenging us to think outside our auto-perspectives, to stretch our writing and reading, and I want to hear what she has to say. It’s going to be important.
4. I’m feeling like I want my blog to be facing out a bit more for a while, less directed–as they say–at my own navel. The theme for this year’s conference is “Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next? I posted about #weneeddiversebooks early on in the movement, and I’ve definitely been reading more diverse books, but if I’m doing it just for me, then–really–I’m doing it too quietly. Maybe this is the “out” I want to face.
5. Kind of a corollary to #3 is that I talk a lot about writing at my blog and, often, about writing for kids. But, you know, I wouldn’t be a writer if it weren’t for the kids’ book that made me fall in deep, deep love with the whole reading thing when I was little and that keep me reading in that genre years after I’ve given up jumping rope, trying to keep a hula hoop above my ankles, and writing angsty 12-year-old thoughts into my diary. Kid Lit gives me air to breathe and passion to create. I’m pretty sure that, at the conference, I won’t be the only one who feels that way.