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the first annual kidlitosphere conference and a transformers birthday party

Well, I'm chiming in late (the conference was Saturday, October 6,) but I have a good excuse. I was throwing a Transformers party. Both were amazing fun. One was more edifying.

Seriously, my head was stuffed with new knowledge. Bits and scraps were leaking out my ears and nostrils.

The conference was populated by (amongst others) amazingly motivated and generous people who offer up their time to blog about children's and young adult literature. People who care about kids and adults having the opportunity to read phenomenal books with young people as main characters. And Jen Robinson's presentation looking to the future of the kidlitosphere made me feel like I was there at the start of something (already big) that's going to be huge!

It was such fun to get the behind the scenes peak into the world of book reviewing. Now I know how bloggers get ARCs, thanks to Tasha Saeker. I've learned that while any contact with print reviewers is taboo, authors can and do have contact with bloggers. (And a little thank you email or comment is nice to do. Good to know, Liz Burns.)
Anne Boles Levy's presentation on how to write reviews made me fantasize about doing just that. But when the magic sparkle dust of her presentation disappeared, I realized that no matter how nerve wracking it will be, I'm more comfortable as the reviewee than the reviewer.

Pam Coughlan's tips on how to improve your blog were fantastic, too. But intimidating. I'm not sure I'm up for daily posts yet. (Thank you readers who keep checking back to see if I've posted!) Once, maybe twice, a week is all I can manage at the moment. I do actually have to write books, you see. It's my job! That's why the blogging for author's panel was so reassuring. Robin Brande (conference organizer extraordinaire), Barry Lyga and Gregory Pincus discussed this very issue. Blogging is fun, but books come first.

Mark Blevis and Andrea Ross's inspiring introduction to podcasting got my brain whirring. Look for a top special secret project happening in the next couple of weeks!

The highlight of the day for me was the Meet the Authors session hosted by Esme Raji Codell. It was my first time ever participating in such an event! People asked me to sign the special Planet Esme poster provided just for that very purpose. I got to tell people about THIRD GRADE BABY and about the amazing books of The Class of 2k8. (website coming soon!)

Now I'm almost as tired just writing about the conference as I was attending it. (So tired in fact that me and my writing pals left before the dinner. :( )

Next year the conference will be in Portland. I think I'll need the whole year to get ready.