Had a wonderful time at the YALSA Lit Symposium in St. Louis this weekend. Rosemary Chance and I did our panel in blurred genres and collapsing boundaries with A S King, Helen Frost, and Scott Westerfeld this morning. Packed session. Great audience. And the authors rocked the show. The rest of the day was spent getting back home and unpacked. This event, funded by a generous endowment from the late (and still much missed) Bill Morris, remains one of my favorite PD events. Smallish and more intimate, there is time for TALK, networking. But it is more than that, of course. The sessions are focused and honed and so incredibly stimulating. My friend and colleague, Karin Perry, and I hatched an idea for a pilot research project after yesterday's session. Thanks to her quick work, we are already getting our first cohort of participants ready. If this works, we will extend the pilot from grad students to secondary kids.
Hallway conversations, talk over breakfast, shared ideas over beer in the bar: there were lots of chances to talk without feeling we were missing out on a session. Time to talk, what an easy thing to do, but it is often missing from conferences (are you,listening NCTE?). We need this time to connect.
as you can imagine, books were a chief topic of the talk. How heavenly to be surrounded by people who read and are passionate about books. Thanks, YALSA, for offering us this chance to talk, to exchange ideas, to learn new "stuff." And Texas friends, the 2014 symposium will be in Austin!