Sunday Salon: Why I Go To KidLitCon

I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks, but with vacation and summertime computer usage by my children (we really need another computer around here!) I’ve hardly been on the blog at all. Just enough to whip off yet another review (at least I can read while everyone else is hogging the computer!), but not enough to spread news.

The 5th Annual KidlitCon is set for September 16-17 in Seattle this year. Registration is open through August 31, but after August 1, the price bumps up $5. And — this is beyond cool, I think — Scott Westerfeld is the keynote speaker.

This will be the third KidLitCon I’ve gone to. Why do I choose this one above everything else bookish out there I could go to, like BEA? (Though I’m tossing around the idea of going to the Texas Book Festival this year. That is, if there’s going to be any authors I’m interested in. They haven’t put up the list yet… I may go, regardless; I’ve always kind of wanted to do a big book festival, and the one in DC is on a bad weekend.) I’d like to be able to go to more, but time and money won’t allow it.

I go to KidLitCon because it’s small. I’m an introvert, and honestly? While BEA appeals to me (as does ALA), the idea of so many people and me being there by myself thoroughly intimidates (and terrifies) me. KidLitCon is the right size: there’s usually around 100 participants, so there’s enough people there to have a diversity, but not so many that there’s a mob. Just perfect.

I go to KidLitCon because it helps me be a better blogger. Or at least I’d like to think that. Sure, a lot of the panels are directed toward helping authors navigate the world of social media, but there are ones about blogging and reviewing and connecting with said authors and publishers. I find it engaging and thrilling to be talking to like-minded people; ones who are just as passionate about not only reading but about children’s books (and not just what’s hip in YA) as I am.

Speaking of which: I go to KidLitCon because of the people. This seriously may be the biggest reason for me. By the time I started going, I’d been following blogs for years, and I wanted to meet the people whose writing I enjoyed. I figured if they were as lovely in person as the were on the web, then I’d be in good company. (I was right.) The thing I think I like most about this group of people is that they are some of the kindest, most inclusive people I’ve ever met. Sure, I’m not a librarian, or a literacy advocate, or an author, or even that good of a writer, but they don’t seem to mind. (Or if they do mind me crashing their party, no one’s ever said so.) I feel as much a part of the group as Carol Rasco (who, by the way, has a delightful Arkansan accent and is a pleasure to talk to).

Those are my reasons for going. If you go, what are yours? And if not, consider joining us. You won’t regret it. I promise.


3 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Why I Go To KidLitCon

  1. I feel your pain with computer time. My 16 yr old spends most of his time on YouTube and the 8 yr old is on Webkinz. Which leaves me to blog early morning or late night-not enough time either way! LOL! Thanks for you post-I think I would also enjoy KidLitCon because it's smaller one and how awesome would it be to hear Westerfeld!


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