KidLit track at 2009 Worldcon

I'll be running the children's program at Anticipation, including both the babysitting (6 mos to 6 yrs), and the young kids' track (6-12 yrs). I've been a convention runner for 25 years (in all areas*), and am also an amateur artist and mother. I recently ran World Fantasy Con's first childcare program.

I would LOVE suggestions of panels to do with kids, and names of authors who might be interested in being on the program at the 2009 Worldcon. You may either reply here or email me at my gmail address, lhertel. And I would be interested in helping out with your 'kidlitcon,' if time & money permit.

--Lisa Hertel

*art show, dealers, babysitting, children's program, ops, fan tables, freebies, events, program, sales, registration, hospitality, hotel, information, publications, & more.
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

Another idea: It would be fun and helpful to have short (1-2 hour) writing workshops and/or exercises. They could have different focuses (idea generation, working in various time periods, collaboration, settings, humor, writing for particular age groups, etc.), or there could be a small workshop (half a dozen people or so) for writers to discuss/share their works in progress and get feedback from each other.

I do have experience with workshops and exercises (having attended Alpha, Manhattanville Writers' Week, and various college workshops, as well as attending and occasionally running weekly writing exercises for about 5 years) and hope to eventually organize weekly writing exercises in my area (or online), so I'd be willing to help organize and run any workshops or exercises.
  • bevhale

YA/Kid's SF/F con

Hi, I'm switching to meeting planner mode here. Quick establishment of creds: was a pro mtg planner for 3 years in DC- did about 24 meetings/cons/seminars per year working for major Govt organizations and charitable research foundations, etc. Basically handled everything but programming for all meetings, including hotel selection, legal liability negotiation, contract negotiation (try getting per diem in a hot city during the peak season, sigh), all ops and set up, travel, food, entertainment (if any), publications, advertising and onsite running of the conference/seminar/etc. Have worked in most positions for SF Cons over the years. On the writing end- I've published in YA and Kid Lit, sat on panels for both, and have had workshops with kids on writing (where we actually wrote a book together). I love the field of YA/Kids Lit and that is where I want to work, so the idea of a con directed at that is wonderful.

But (you knew there was going to be one)...I think the first thing (besides thinking of a date and a place-try not to pick cities where the hotels have to use unionzed labor to set up dealers' room, art show, etc. Later you'll try to find a hotel that actually has capacity/onsite resources to do what you want to do) is to establish what you want the con to be/feel like.

Do you want panels, coffee klaatches, readings, parties, workshops, meet and greets, a chance for would-be authors to set up meetings with agents/editors, dealers' rooms, dance, film room, art show, banquets, masquerades, filk, kid's and YA programming/panels for that age bracket, etc. More partying, or more educational (ie: programming for teachers on how to use SFF in classroom, or for authors on how to get their books into the classroom, RFF, etc), more literary? Think about the feel of the event you are planning. How big do you want it to be - 100? 500? 10,000? attendees? More like World Fantasy or more like DragonCon, RWA or more like Mytheopeic dos? How do you determine who gets on paneling or readings? Who, if any will get a free membership?

These will help determine a size (of venue- hotel or convention center), budget (OMG it's going to cost what?), staffing needed, and how you advertise to fans, writers, authors, editors, dealers, artists, agents, etc. (nobody shows up and it becomes sad).

For example, will the con be open to kids and YAs as well as adults. Who will watch them if the kids are dropped of by themselves (yep, it happens). Will there be programming directed at them as well as their parents and those wanting to write YA/Kid's Lit? Will there be a kind of babysitting service for people who want to drop off their kids? Security?

What kind of price do you want to set for attendance? How many paid guests? And it goes on and on, but you need to know the answers to these questions before you start or it's like a wedding that goes from a little simple ceremony in the backyard to the event that ate NY.

Honestly, I'm not trying to discourage you. I so want this con to happen. However, I think doing the pre-organization now will save lots of time, sweat and stress in the long run? (How do you tell the meeting planner at a conference- he/she is the one with the duct tape in one pocket and the antacids in the other).

I'm on a writing deadline now, but would still be able to talk about these questions so you can set up the framework and have the event you are hoping for. I've done work (i.e. contract negotiations and other meeting planner work) for several cons pro bono, so advice comes free on this. You can contact me at bev at bevhale dot com to discuss any questions you have.
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"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

Awesome, awesome, awesome! This is such a wonderful idea. We need something like this!

Well, I'm willing to help get this thing launched, though I'm not entirely sure what I could do at this point. I'm good with editorial stuff but suck at talking to people. If I get my lazy butt moving and finish/publish the YAF novel I've been working on for years now, I could pretend to know what I was talking about. I can also make cookies and pie...

Oh! And I have an idea for a panel. We could discuss academic writing programs and whether they encourage or discourage development of the genre(s). I know a lot of schools push creative writing students to write "literary" fiction and steer them away from other genres and/or younger audiences, but there are also a number of academic programs specifically for children's/YA lit. and genre fiction. [The creative writing professors at my college had very elitist attitudes about literature--even though one of them was totally a closet horror fan. They strongly discouraged writing genre fiction and young characters, which actually encouraged me to write more YA SF/F.] We could discuss how these academic programs affect the genre (attitudes toward it, future writers, whether genre fiction for young readers gets enough representation in lit. classes, etc.).

Woohoo! Or ... I love this idea!!!

In fact, I love this idea that you've pulled me out of lurker status because of it :)

The last (and only) writing con i went to, I was desperate for a little more YA focus, so this would be perfect. I would totally attend, and pay money, and support, etc. In terms of real things I can do, I would be happy to serve on a committee and do whatever I can, though I have to admit that I can't much experience with this sort of thing ...

Anyway, in terms of amazing authors to havev there, Tammy (of course, though now I'm feeling all fangirly ... hi!) and Alison Croggon (I'm so in love with the Pellinor books). 

Hopefully we can all find a way to make this happen ... let me know what (if anything) I can do. And Happy New Year!


(eta ... I would totally love to work on panels / panel scheduling ... sounds similar to some of the stuff I do at work)

better alanna

the opinion of a fangirl

I would just love it if something like this actually came to fruition. I live in Atlanta, Georgia and every year I attend Dragon*Con. It's a lot of fun, but most of the guests aren't authors/actors/whatever I'm interested in. I'm into young adult fantasy, and you don't get many of those at Dragon*Con and the like. I have actually sent messages to a couple of my favorite authors trying to convince them to attend Dragon*Con, but it never happens.

So, speaking as a fan who would most definitely pay for a membership to something like this, PLEASE make it happen! Hehe. I'm only sorry there isn't anything I can do to help such a cause. I will just offer my hope, and put it out there that there is definite interest. And it would be amazing to meet you, Tammy, as I have been a fan since I was 15.

Happy New Year everyone!

(no subject)

What a fantastic idea: )

I've been to Philcon as a panelist for the past three years,. I've tried to get plump up their their Youth Programming. Hasn't been very successful so far, but I've offered to help the Kids Programmer for the 2008 con. I think kids need more interactive things than just panels. At least younger kids, because the attention span isn't as long as older ones. I'm thinking of doing some quiz-show type of things, maybe even a round of Harry Potter Scene It or something like it fun. Fantasy Charades! LOL 

I completely agree this is a niche that hasn't yet been filled. I see a ton of young people at cons, and adults that love to read YA of course :)

If I can be of any help, give a holler.

cat, kitty, teeth, book

(no subject)

I have never been to a con (any type) but I love young adult fantasy and am actually hoping to land there as a writer at some point in this lifetime (I'm graduating with a BA in English this coming spring). I would love to help or even just hear about what is going on. Thanks for making the new community and coming up with the idea.

(no subject)

I've done programming at conventions (and am doing several panels and workshops at the upcoming Phoenix Comicon), and have worked on the art shows.  I also know a group of booksellers/librarians here in AZ, who are already organizing something like this. Perhaps you guys should trade notes?

Regardless, I'm definitely interested in being involved, and helping you however I can. I'm about to blow out of town for a monthlong tour (for a YA fantasy book!) but will be on lj and email every couple of days.