My husband and I attended the YA Lit Conference at Anderson’s in Naperville, IL. This was our second year attending. I didn’t take as many notes as last year, but I have enough to make this two posts. Please check back on Monday for part two.
The event started at 7:15 am for a continental breakfast. This is rough for me because I generally don’t go to bed until 2am and we’re over an hour away. But we got there right on time and went to the bookstore they had set up.
At 8am, they had the welcome speech and announcements. I took this time to look over the schedule and decide which panels we wanted to attend. Each table has an author sitting with the attendees. Our table had Kelly Jensen.
The first keynote speaker was Mark Oshiro.
Mark talked about his childhood, diversity, reading It at age 8, and how he likes math and numbers. I really enjoyed this speech and he has such an amazing personality. He made me smile a lot.
The next keynote speaker was Mary Pearson.
Mary talked about love, growing up during the JFK presidency and Vietnam, and women authors.
9:25 was the first breakout session. We chose to go to “Fantastical World Building”.
The authors were Tracy Banghart, Mary Pearson, Kristen Simmons, and Ellen Goodlet. I unfortunately didn’t take notes during the sessions, but I did go buy Kristen and Ellen’s books after this (I already brought ones from home for Mary and Tracy). I do remember Tracy talking about how she likes to call her local senator’s office to complain. She said it makes her feel better and I could totally relate.
The next keynote speaker for Ellen Hopkins.
Ellen spoke about gun violence, school shootings, how long it’s been since Columbine, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate, about her next book, and a lot of current political and social issues. It was a very serious speech that was a bit depressing, but much needed.
At 11am, three workers from Anderson’s (Michael, Kathleen, and Carolyn) talked about some of the recent books they loved and wanted to highlight.
11:45-12:45 was a nice lunch.
That’s it for part one. I hope you visit my blog again on Monday for part two. There are still quite a few authors to share.