Thoughts from KidlitCon 2016

I think I’ve recovered enough from hosting KidlitCon this year to write this.

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Hauling the swag boxes and the bookselling boxes to the hotel… good thing my minivan holds a LOT.

Not that it was bad; it wasn’t. It was small (the smallest I think since the beginning), but the people who came were enthusiastic and smart and made me laugh. The staff at the Drury Inn — especially Tony the Meeting Room Guy (who was mortified that we didn’t get help on Thursday night) to Dee the food lady —  was fantastic. And the hotel was delightful. I stayed over on Friday night just because and I definitely have to recommend this to people coming in from out of town.

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I could NOT have pulled this off without the help of these wonderful people:

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I feel like they were the ones who did all the work and made this happen. I just got to take the credit.

And then there were our wonderful authors who came. Not just the big ones like A. S. King

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and Clare Vanderpool (I never think to get a picture with Clare because I see her frequently!)

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(Both of their keynote speeches were wildly different and excellent in their own ways. I’m so glad we had both of them!)

But there were all the other authors who took time out of their schedules to come. I didn’t get a pictures with a LOT of them (I felt bad; if I hadn’t been trying to do everything, I’d have had more time to get selfies with all the authors). I did make time to get pictures with James Kennedy, since I was a fan of his book way back when

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and Alexander London, who I didn’t know anything about but who quickly became one of my favorite people. I want to work towards having him back at the store for school visits/store event. He’s fantastic.

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And then there were the sessions. I sat in on a few, and they were terrific. (They always are.) There was an interesting discussion on the impact of state awards. The disinvitation panel was fascinating and scary. The YA topics/issues panel resulted in a new TBR list:

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But Paula Willey did the session I’ve been waiting years to go to: writing about art for non-artists. I still need some practice, but she gave us some great tips (plus her presentation was STELLAR.)

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There was some good food (we ate at places I’ve been meaning to go to for a while!)

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And lots and lots of good conversation. I’m glad I got the chance to host it (one thing I learned: I don’t think I’m cut out for organizing a conference/festival!) and share my town with my blogging friends. But I’m also really glad it’s over.

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