Marcia Strykowski

KidLitCon, ProvBookFest, and NESCBWI19!

It’s been a wonderful spring for conferences and literary festivals. Below are a few pictures of events I was able to participate in.

 

First up, I was thrilled to attend KidLitCon which in previous years has been held all over the country, but this year was nearby in Providence, RI. What a wonderful group of librarians, teachers, authors, and illustrators.

 

Below, an awesome panel filled with creativity and talent. Left to right: Janet Costa Bates, Nancy Tupper Ling, Oge Mora (find her in the latest Caldecott winners!) and Isabel Roxas. This disscussion was moderated by Kirsten Cappy.
Next, moderator Katy Kramp, Paula Chase, Barbara Dee, Ann Braden, Varian Johnson (also our inspiring keynote speaker), and Jo Knowles. These amazing authors discussed their award-winning middle-grade fiction, all of which included tough and complex topics.
Librarians and booksellers discussed how they get the right books into the hands of kids. Shown here: moderator Karen Yingling, Melissa Fox (an independent bookseller who came all the way from Kansas) and Sam Musher an enthusiastic school librarian.
Whoever said kid lit conferences weren’t fun? They are a barrel of laughs! Members of my Writers’ Rumpus critique group enjoy lunch: Kirsti, Laura, and Catherine (with Josh Funk in the background).
I enjoyed participating in this roundtable about social media.
The below panel featured Chris Tebbetts who illustrates James Patterson’s Middle School series (along with many other projects) and Christopher Denise, another illustrator of many gorgeous works including the Redwall series and Firefly Hollow. Nicely moderated by Anamaria Anderson.And here is Debbi Michiko Florence and Kara LaReau, as part of a larger panel, discussing their chapter book series and what it takes to write these important in-between books.

A couple of weeks later, I returned to Rhode Island for the first annual Providence Book Festival. Events featuring adult fiction, nonfiction, and poetry were scheduled at the same time, but I pretty much stayed in the kids’ room and even then wasn’t able to catch all the panels. Padma Venkatraman opened up the children’s events. Here she is in the middle of her lovely, moving presentation.I was on a panel, too! We discussed Fiction That Empowers Girls/Topics No Longer Taboo in Middle Grade books.

And here’s a picture taken later when we were looking a bit jollier. Left to right: me, Barbara Dee, Laura Shovan (sitting, moderator), Monica Tesler, Jen Calonita, and MarcyKate Connolly. Look up their awesome books!
This next one was a fun picture book panel with Anika Denise, Jannie Ho, and Emilie Boon.
A big highlight for me was watching P. W. Alley draw. Here he puts the finishing touches on Paddington Bear for a young fan.Sorry for such blurry pictures, but this next one shows David Neilsen, Nancy Castaldo, and Susan Tan who took turns reading their work.

And here’s Dianna Sanchez, Kara LaReau, and Pat Cummings discussing their middle grade books. Loved this discussion between Julie Dao and Antoine Revoy about their creative process and what inspires them.
I spy Roller Boy!
Last but definitely not least, the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators annual spring conference was held once again in Springfield, MA. Great time with great people! As you can see, my critique group (check out Writers’ Rumpus) was well represented. We also met up with a lot of new friends and old friends. Inspiring speakers and workshops, as always.
Cathy Ogren and Adaela McLaughlin getting ready for the evening’s events!
Josh Roberts volunteered at the busy registration desk, but paused a minute to pose with Kim Chaffee.
I started off the conference at a dinner for Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple’s Picture Book Boot Camp attendees. A great group bursting with good news.
Friday night dinner with ten members from Writers’ Rumpus.
In the middle, beyond the crowd, you’ll find a tiny Jane Yolen giving the opening comments of her inspiring words of welcome. And, hey, look what book got stuck on the screen!
Finishing up breakfast on Saturday morning just before our keynote speaker.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt presented a profound and moving keynote speech: “The things we are ashamed of make for very good writing.” And “What will be your legacy? Will you spend your one precious life devouring Netflix?…The story that drives you can change lives.”Saturday dinner, always delicious!


That’s a wrap, hope your spring is going well, too!

33 Comments

  1. Sounds amazing! You are so good about taking photos. I always forget….

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    • I try to remember to take pictures, but lately, ever since I switched to my phone, they’re not coming out too good. Thanks, Yvonne!

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  2. michelle

    Looks like a wonderful conference!

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  3. Joyce Ray

    I’m sorry I missed you at NESCBWI! I attended only Saturday. I also loved Lynda’s keynote. Looks like you’ve been book busy this spring!

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    • Oh, Joyce, I wish I’d known you were there! With so many people, it’s easy to miss familiar faces. Next year, if not before. 🙂

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  4. Laura Fineberg Cooper

    I’m so glad you took all those pictures! It was great going to KidLitCon and NESCBWI with you. So sorry I missed seeing you on the panel at the Providence Book Festival. And I would have loved to see P.W. Alley draw Paddington Bear!

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    • Yes, Paddington created from scratch was fun to watch. 🙂 And I really enjoyed seeing you at two out of three of these conferences, Laura!

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  5. You were the only person I recognized, but all of you looked like you were having a blast. This was most enjoyable.

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    • Kidlit is an amazing community of people; everyone’s so friendly and generous about sharing information. Thanks, Anne!

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      • I’ve been to conferences where people stick to their own little groups and don’t mingle. Your cohorts are fantastic, and their shared happiness shows in the photos.

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        • Yes, everyone mixed and matched. New attendees had a little star on their nametags so others would be sure to welcome and include them. 🙂

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  6. Hi Marcia! The conference looks amazing and you look like you were having a blast. Thanks for sharing.😍

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  7. Thanks for sharing these delightful highlights. You’ve motivated me to renew my lapsed membership to NESCBWI. I attended 2 conferences in the past and found them very helpful. Missed this year as I was just finishing a short writing residency. Is there a newsletter for the Providence events? I’m sorry to have missed Kidlit.

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    • Hi Evelyn, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. As for Providence, the book festival was the first annual one, so that will most likely be announced for next year at some point. There is a sign-up newsletter right on their homepage (providencebookfestival dot org). Unfortunately, Kidlit will probably be held some distance away next time. On their site, they say to follow them on Twitter to learn about next year’s location. Thanks for your comment and hope to see you at NESCBWI next year!

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  8. I love attending these sort of events. Look like you had a lot of fun too. I do miss them. I find them very motivating. How great your book was showcased.

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    • I don’t usually attend so many during the same few weeks, but it was great to be able to attend at least part of each event this year. Thanks for your comment, Darlene!

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  9. Wow! WOW!! I devoured this post, Marcia. Thank you!

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  10. Bette Norton

    How fortunate for you to have these wonderful opportunities! The conferences looked very informative and fun. it must be rewarding to gather together and network with your peers! Wonderful post with great photos and comments! Thank you for sharing them with us! 🙂

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    • You’re welcome! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the post!

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  11. This looks like an amazing event, Marcia.

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  12. Ashley

    Looks like you’ve had a fun and busy time of it! Looking forward to your next picture book picks post, all your posts are so interesting to read!

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  13. Conferences and book events can be so inspiring! It looks like you’ve had an inspiring spring!

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    • I agree, Deb, sometimes you’ve got to get out into the writing community and see what everyone else is up to. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

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  14. How awesome! Conferences are so much fun and so inspiring! Fantastic pictures! It was great to see the events through your eyes. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Thank you, Stephanie. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope all is going well!

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