Posts Tagged: conferences
We had a terrific time at NCTE and ALAN last month– dodging slot machines, searching for exits to the actual outdoors (fresh air! wow!), and ignoring the green glow of David Copperfield’s visage spookily projected onto the front of our hotel all night, every night. In the midst of all of that, we had some real fun:
The always-lovely Rita Williams-Garcia signed galleys of P.S. Be Eleven, her sequel to One Crazy Summer.
After almost a week in Sin City, Penny got a little bit worn out, poor thing.
Leaving Las Vegas (yes, I’ll admit that my phone should have been totally turned off…)!
Thanks to all who stopped by our booth, said hello, picked up galleys, and talked books with us. Conferences are our favorite part of the job, and meeting the people who actually use our books with kids is the reason why!
Interesting fact: not even one of us on the School & Library Marketing team here at HarperCollins Children’s Books has ever been to Las Vegas. Honestly, I think we were all a little afraid… but later this week everything will change, as we fly off to the desert for NCTE– the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of English. Duty calls!
Though we’re a little disappointed that Cher isn’t performing during our visit, we’re feeling very lucky to have an honestly amazing roster of authors attending with us. Please swing by our booth (#520/522) for the following author signings!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16th:
1:00–1:30pm, CJ Hill
4:00–5:00pm, Aprilynne Pike (signing galleys of LIFE AFTER THEFT!)
5:00–5:30pm, RJ Anderson
5:30–6:00pm, Holly Cupala
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17th:
9:00–10:00am, Terry Trueman
10:00–11:00am, Chris Crutcher (pick up a galley of PERIOD 8!)
1:00–2:00pm, David Gill (snag a galley of SHADOW ON THE SUN!)
2:00–3:00pm, Rita Williams-Garcia (grab a galley of P.S. BE ELEVEN, the follow up to ONE CRAZY SUMMER)
3:00–4:00pm, Emily Jenkins
4:00–5:00pm, Jon Scieszka
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18th:
9:00–10:00am, Patricia McCormick
10:00–11:00am, Thanhha Lai
11:00am–12:00pm, Rae Carson
Make sure to come by our booth for hot-off-the-presses middle grade and YA galleys, posters, discussion and teacher’s guides, bookmarks, delightful conversation, and more! We would love to meet you and talk books, so please don’t be shy. I mean, look how nice and friendly we are!
Back in January, the lovely and talented Lili Wilkinson won a Stonewall Book Award Honor in the Children’s and Young Adult division for her young adult book (and U.S. debut) PINK, a lively and resonant look at a teen’s attempts to don a new personality and figure out who she really wants to be. What a treat to be able to share her remarks here, read at the Stonewall’s ALA Annual celebration by Lili’s wonderful editor, Anne Hoppe.
Now, on to it!
“Good evening. My apologies for not being here – Australia is a very long way away.
I’d like to start by thanking the Australian publisher of Pink – Allen & Unwin, in particular my editors Jodie Webster and Hilary Reynolds.
And if it’s not too awkward for her to read this out loud, I must also thank the wonderful Anne Hoppe and everyone else at HarperCollins. Pink is the first of my books to reach American shores, and you have given it such a warm welcome and loving home. Thank you for the gorgeous cover. Thank you for putting it into the hands of teenage readers. Thanks especially for your help in translating the book into American while keeping its Australian setting and flavour.
And of course thanks to my fabulous agent Kate Schafer Testerman, for working so tirelessly to find my books homes in the US.
The book is dedicated to publisher and writer extraordinaire David Levithan, and I wanted to take a moment to explain why.
Many years ago David came to the Reading Matters conference in Melbourne, which I used to help organise. David made an impassioned speech about how teachers, publishers, parents, librarians and other “gatekeepers” have a responsibility to help young people kill the vampires.
… This was pre-Twilight, I should add.
David was referring to a song called Die Vampires Die from an off-Broadway musical called Title of Show. A vampire, in this case, is “any person, thought or feeling that stands between you and your creative self expression.” They creep around and whisper in your ears, saying things like “Your teeth need whitening. You went to state school? You sound weird. Shakespeare, Sondheim and Sedaris did it before you, and better than you.” They tell you you’re not good enough, and you can’t help believing them.
One of the ways we could help young people kill these vampires, suggested David, was by making sure that every teenager could see themselves reflected on the shelves of their libraries and bookshops. And, in his opinion, when it came to books about gay teenagers, we were failing to do that.
The speech received a standing ovation, and I’m proud to say that the Australian publishers, teachers and librarians in the room listened, and since then things have started to change.
But I got to thinking. I’d read books about gay teenagers. Not many, certainly. But I had read a few – David’s not least among them. But I couldn’t think of any books I’d read about the teenagers who aren’t sure. And really, who’s sure about anything when they’re sixteen? I wanted to write a book for those teenagers. I wanted to write a book that said – there are some things you never have to definitively decide on. You don’t ever have to put yourself in a closed-off, past-the-point-of-no-return box, and you really don’t have to do it when you’re sixteen. It’s okay if you’re not sure.
So I wrote Pink.
Books about girls often don’t win awards. We focus a lot of our attention on getting boys reading. I visited an all-girls secondary school recently where not one book was studied that featured a female protagonist. And funny books with pink covers are even less likely to catch the attention of academics and awards judges. When you get home, have a look at how much academic analysis there is of authors like Meg Cabot, Maureen Johnson, Cathy Cassidy or Louise Rennison. Is it because their books are shallow and insubstantial? Cabot’s The Princess Diaries is about a teenage environmentalist who brings democracy to a small European principality. Just because a book is funny and romantic, doesn’t mean it has nothing to say.
Someone asked me the other day why all of my books feature strong, female protagonists. Confused, I repeated what Joss Whedon had said when he was asked the same thing: “Because you’re still asking me that question.”
I love writing about strong, funny, flawed girls who are curious about the world. I love writing romance. I love writing books that make the reader think, that encourage them see the world in different ways.
Which brings me back to Pink, and to my thank yous. More than anything, I want to thank the judges that saw fit to recognise Pink. It means so much to me that a funny, romantic pink book from the other side of the world is to be given such a prestigious honour, to sit alongside amazing writers like Brian Farrey, Ilike Merey, Paul Yee and of course Bil Wright.
The importance of organisations like the American Library Association, and awards like the Stonewall, cannot be overestimated, and as an author I am immensely proud to have that sticker on my book. It’s also lovely that it matches the cover.
My final thank you is on behalf of the teenage readers who have written to me and come up to me at schools and festivals to tell me how Pink made a difference to them. It’s a thank you to the gatekeepers: the publishers, teachers, librarians and parents who make sure that all teenagers are reflected on bookshelves. Thank you for fighting the good fight. Thank you for helping to kill those vampires.”
Thank you, Lili! We’re honored to be your publisher, and inspired by your words.
Even though it feels like we JUST got back from TLA (and more on that terrific show later), we’re heading to Molly’s hometown Chicago tomorrow to exhibit at the International Reading Association next week. Will you be there, too? If so, come by booth #2240 for our wonderful author signings (listed below) galleys, teaching guides, posters, bookmarks, booktalking, and friend-making.
MONDAY, APRIL 30TH:
1:00–2:00PM, Henry Cole
TUESDAY, MAY 1ST:
*9:30–12:00PM, I CAN READ GOES DIGITAL– swing by our booth Tuesday morning to take a photo with your favorite I Can Read costumed characters, see demos of I Can Read books on the iPad and Nook, and enter a sweepstakes to win your own ereader or tablet loaded with an I Can Read library!*
12:30–1:00PM, Jan Spivey Gilchrist
1:00–2:00PM, Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter Reynolds
2:00–2:30PM, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campos
2:30–3:30PM, Patricia McCormick
3:30–4:00PM, Stuart Murphy
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2ND:
9:30–10:30AM, Laura Numeroff (do you like donuts? If so, make a point to come to this one!)
11:00–11:30AM, Jody Feldman
11:30AM–12:30PM, Rita Williams-Garcia
See you there!
Things might be a little quiet over here at the blog this week, because the team is packing up and heading to Dallas, Texas to attend the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting. We love this conference– we catch up with old friends, make new ones, promote our terrific upcoming books, and scope the scene for what’s about to pop onto our radar.
If you’ll be at Midwinter too, please stop by our booth (#1528) and say hello! We have LOTS of galleys to give out, including UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi, Sara Pennypacker’s middle grade SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS, Adam Rex’s first-in-a-trilogy COLD CEREAL, and PANDEMONIUM, Lauren Oliver’s follow up to DELIRIUM*. Plus you absolutely must meet Penny, Kevin Henkes‘ newest mouse, whose sweet story is sure to win a place in your heart.
See you in Dallas, y’all!
*Limited quantities available.
This may look like a straightforward display promoting Brian Biggs’ upcoming EVERYTHING GOES: ON LAND…
…but Robin and I actually spent some time during booth set-up beep-ing and vroooom-ing around the poster, pretending we were driving the trucks and cars. Because that’s the sort of goofiness that conferences inspire in us.
Our breakfast this morning featured the upcoming IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond:
Really, what else can I say? Cuteness personified. Liz Burns at A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy said that she thought the purpose of the donuts was to actually make people feel better about taking more bacon. I mean, if you don’t take a donut, that means you can take another slice of bacon, right? It’s all about priorities, people.
To quote a librarian, “they’re functional AND cute!” Indeed.
There’s still time to come visit us at booth #1315! Check out the signing schedule for Sunday and Monday, and stop by to say hi to us and our fantastic authors!
We arrived in NOLA yesterday and have already had an amazing time. First, check out this cup I found in a kitschy gift shop yesterday:
It says: “Proud to be a public serving, friendly, book stamping, soft spoken, helpful, well-read librarian.” And I couldn’t help but chuckle (and be a little annoyed). As a former librarian, I never stamped a book in my ten years as a librarian – everything had gone automation by then. And most of the librarians I know are anything BUT soft spoken. What say all of you about this mug???
And here’s a sample of what waited at our booth at the convention center:
This is only one of about FIVE pallets of books waiting for us. Or, shall I say, waiting for YOU?
Stop by and see us (HarperCollins Children’s) in booth #1315. Look forward to seeing you!
SHARK FANS!!!!! These are to celebrate Bob Shea’s super-fun picture book I’M A SHARK…and heaven knows that you’ll need a fan in sultry New Orleans. Check out the back of the fan:
We’ll have these in the HarperCollins Children’s Booth #1315 (while supplies last) so come by and ask for one while checking out this storytime-ready picture book (try making your own shark fans as a storytime craft!).
See you in New Orleans!
This Monday, May 23rd, we’ll be at the 2011 Day of Dialog. Will you?
Hosted by School Library Journal, it’s a fantastic day-long event filled with panels, author signings, lots of swag, and networking. And it wouldn’t be a BEA event if it didn’t end with a cocktail event, of course!
We hope to see you there!
We’ve just returned from the IRA conference in sunny Orlando! We’re still getting our feet back under us and assure you that we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. In the meantime, though, here are a couple of highlights from our booth at the conference:
Happy 15th Birthday to the adorable Biscuit!
Attendees received a free My Weird School book when they signed up for Dan Gutman’s My Weird Classroom Club.
Thanks to all the teachers, librarians, and media specialists who made the IRA conference such a great time!
More pictures coming soon…