SundayMorningReads

Yes  I am dreaming of a snowy white Christmas! I love cold snowy winters!

I’ve decided to take a winter hiatus for the next couple of weeks. I’ve got work things and family and holiday and travel things coming up and I th (1)don’t think my blogging needs to be any more irregular than it is now.

I can tell you that my service on the Walter Committee is ending and I’ll be back reviewing books and interviewing authors in 2016. I’ll still be on Facebook and Twitter, but I really doubt as much as I have been.

Tuesday 12 January will be the next #LargeFears TwitterChat at 7:00pm EST. We’ll be catching up with the debut YA authors of color from 2015. It will be hosted by Chris Ledbetter (@Chris_Ledbetter) and Stacey Lee (@staceyleeauthor). Stacey is the author of UNDER A PAINTED SKY. OUTRUN THE MOON (5/16) Putnam/Penguin. CATCH A FALLING HEART (Fall ’16) Katherine Tegen. Chris authored DRAWN (6/15) | THE SKY THRONE (Spr. 2017).

I’m closing out my year of “diligence” and next year my word is “harmony”. I’m sure this word will have absolutely nothing to do with my lack of musical ability, but might be more along the lines of bringing me new understandings and undertakings.

I hope you’ll all be back here with me next year and I hope between now and then we’re all blessed in ways we need to be, in ways we cannot imagine and in ways that benefit us all.

I wish you lots of fun this holiday season, lots of snow and lots of good books!

Fears

At the end of the #LargeFears chat last night, Myles thanks me for publicly speaking out on behalf of queer black boys. HA! My biggest fear was hosting a twitter chat! I was glad that Libertad and Guinevere Thomas (AKA Dos Twinjas)  and Sujei were there with me along with too many friends who either showed up or took the time to send regrets. I was afraid of publicly working with technology in a new way, but we got it done. We trended for a bit there! We storified!! I’ve read through the tweets a few times, each time finding something new. I definitely want to revisit queer YA lit and give voice to people we need to hear from. I think I was touched by the liberating aspect of Large Fears and the way it has accomplished it through words and images. I pulled out a “few” tweets to post here, but I do hope you get a chance to read the entire chat.

The next #LargeFears event will be held Tuesday 12 January at 7:00pm EST and we’ll be catching up with the debut YA authors of color from 2015. It will be hosted by Chris Ledbetter (@Chris_Ledbetter) and Stacey Lee (@staceyleeauthor). Stacey is the author of UNDER A PAINTED SKY. OUTRUN THE MOON (5/16) Putnam/Penguin. CATCH A FALLING HEART (Fall ’16) Katherine Tegen. Chris authored DRAWN (6/15) | THE SKY THRONE (Spr. 2017).

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The ALAN Workshop

Every year about this time, I post about the ALAN Workshop. I usually attend the conference, but this year I didn’t.

ALAN, the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE meets every year on the Monday and Tuesday that end the NCTE annual conference and that would be just before Thanksgiving. ALAN is not just a conference.

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) promotes communication and cooperation among all individuals who have a special interest in adolescent literature, presents programs and conferences on this subject, promotes and increases the number of articles and publications devoted to it and integrates the efforts of all those with an interest in this literature.

It publishers a peer reviewed journal, provides grants and provides awards that recognize outstanding young adult authors and literature. Membership is a mere $42. The Workshop is preceded by both a breakfast and an evening of cocktails. Over the two days of the event, participants hear from numerous authors, scholars and publishers, network with others involved in young adult literature, receive boxes with 40 books and stand in many lines to get books signed by rock start authors. The event does limit registration.

I’d been to 3 consecutive ALAN Workshops and decided to not attend this year. I followed posts on Twitter and FB about the event and, as is typical I was overwhelmed by the large presence of Native American or authors of color and was underwhelmed but the small presence of brown attendees. What I’ve realized is that I too often let this reflect on my opinion of ALAN, when they really cannot control who does and doesn’t decide who attends. Not to mention how incredibly White YA is.

Not many conferences invite as many diverse authors as the ALAN Workshop. They pay attention to that and work for the diversity.

Oh, I’ll be at both NCTE and ALAN next year in Atlanta. I hope you will be, too. Really think about it!