SLJ’s Day of Dialog 2013

I had an excellent time at SLJ’s Day of Dialog yesterday. First of all, it was held at Columbia University’s Faculty House, a place familiar to me as my father was a professor at Columbia. And, another plus is that I live within walking distance. (Though it felt a very l-o-n-g distance walking home with a large bag o’ books at the end of the day.)

Secondly, and most importantly, all the speakers were outstanding.

The day opened with a keynote by the distinguished Kevin Henkes. Moving, smart, and  great start to the day.  And because I have already marked Penny and her Marble as one of my Newbery druthers (as Kevin nails the emotion in absolutely pitch perfect prose) and because his new book is The Year of Billy Miller*, I tweeted (as did others as it wasn’t particularly original):

The first panel of the day was on Informational Picture Books, moderated by my old friend Kathy T. Isaacs (who has a great book on information picture books) with Jim Arnosky,  Jennifer Berne, Elisha Cooper, and Jonah Winter. (A couple of my tweets:

  • @medinger I agree with Jonah Winter on the need to leave out, combine, etc etc. in inf pb.
  • @medinger Again, feel we need a genre that is in the borderland of fiction/nonfiction for this.

Caroline Ward moderated a panel on middle school (not, I should point out, middle GRADE) books with Ayun Halliday, Josh Farrar, Gordon Korman, Holly Sloan, and Linda Urban.  Afterwards I chatted with them during the break and my day was made by a complement Linda made about this blog. So, thank you, Linda!

Lunch was with Elizabeth Wein. We’d met years and years ago at a conference, but not since and given my admiration for Code Name Verity and the forthcoming Rose Under Fire, it was fantastic to have a solid amount of time to talk.

The post-lunch talk was by Holly Black and was fantastic!  I don’t believe I’d ever heard her speak before and I would run now to any chance to do so again. Some tweets:

  • @medinger Holly Black is incredibly brave to read a 7th grade poem of hers featuring her beloved vampires. “teeth and teeth…”
  • @medinger Holly Black now working on a fairy book, something about darkness and forest.
  • @medinger Holly recommends http://hiddendoors.com  for secret stuff.

Then Karyn Silverman (of this fantastic blog) moderated a panel on Real-World Horror in YA with Julie Berry, Adele Griffin, Elizabeth Scott, Matthew Quick, and Elizabeth Wein.  It was excellent (and I’m not generally a fan of this to be honest). Some tweets:

The final panel of the day was on Visual Storytelling moderated by Rita Auerbach and featuring Lizi Boyd, Oliver Jeffers, Matt Phelan, Chris Raschka, and David Wiesner.  My final tweets:
  • medinger Rilke from Lizi Boyd and true stories (embellished perhaps) from Oliver Jeffers begins the Visual Storytelling panel.
  • @medinger @MattPhelanDraws on the power of “silent panels.”
  • ‏@medinger @MattPhelanDraws now on graphic novels, “…economy and precision…pacing that you inspire in the reader.”
  • @medinger Chris Raschka mentions a study that indicated that wordless picture books improve child’s vocabulary.
  • @medinger “Every inch of the book can be used.” says David Wiesner.
  •  ‏@medinger David Wiesner** uses borders to differentiate aspects of the Mr. Wuffles! story
  • @medinger David Wiesner** asks a great question: Is Mr. Wuffles! really a wordless pb since there is alien language after all?
Excellent, excellent day!  Thank you to everyone at SLJ who worked on this.

*Keep calling it The Year of Billy Martin. Sigh.

** To be brutally honest I misspelled it as Weisner. Double sigh.  (Managed to misspell another author’s name earlier yesterday as well.)

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