I had the privilege of being invited to participate in the third annual 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference in Riverdale (the Bronx) the weekend of June 12-14, 2015. It was held on the campus of Manhattan College and offered a wide range of panels, workshops, open forums, and social events to exchange ideas and answer questions from and among authors, illustrators, editors, designers, educators, media people, bloggers, reviewers, and other industry professionals. Lots of great ideas and energy flowing that weekend!
The two big themes that emerged from the conference for me were:
—diversity, diversity, diversity. As an industry, we’re pushing for diverse content and for diverse voices to reflect the breadth of the American experience. The We Need Diverse Books Campaign is proving to be a very effective voice for getting out the message. See Lerner’s diversity landing page for more about diversity in our list.
—YA nonfiction, YA nonfiction, YA nonfiction. TFCB is a leader in producing high-quality YA nonfiction for the school-library market, and it’s a trend that Trade houses are definitely pushing too. Narrative nonfiction, YA memoir, browsable nonfiction, and repackaged adult nonfiction for the YA audience are important subcategories within the genre.
Publishers Weekly offered a great overview of the conference, which I suspect will continue to grow in relevance. And yes, that’s me to which the giant red arrow is pointing in the photo above. Thanks to Photoshop and an industry admirer.
Hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend!
PHOTO (above): Susannah Richards of Eastern Connecticut State University (far left) moderated Saturday’s publishers’ panel “Responding to Our Questions,” featuring (from left)–Whitney Leader-Picone of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Shelby Alinsky of the National Geographic Society, Jason Wells of Abrams, Samantha Schutz of Scholastic, Domenica Di Piazza of Lerner, Emily Easton of Crown, and Justin Chanda of Simon & Schuster. Photo credit: Bo Zaunders.