CLNE aka Children’s Literature New England

The wonderful entity known as CLNE has closed its doors. It was a very special and wonderful organization that impacted my life in major ways.

Starting in 1999 (relatively recent compared to those who were involved many, many years before me) I began attending the annual summer institute of Children’s Literature New England.  I hadn’t intended to make it an annual thing, but like many others, once I started I couldn’t stop.

The institutes were extraordinary.  They were sometimes in New England (often at Harvard, Vermont, and other nearby places(, but sometimes farther off in Cambridge, England, and Toronto, Canada. There were required readings, some quite dense, lectures, small group discussions, poetry, singing, talks of a caliber quite remarkable.  And those who gave the lectures and talks! Ashley Bryan, Brian Selznick, M. T. Anderson, Alan Garner, Elizabeth Partridge, Nikki Giovanni, Neil Gaiman, Katherine Paterson, Susan Cooper, Tim Wynne-Jones, Virginia Euwer Wolff, Diana Wynne Jones,  Jill Paton Walsh, and so many more.  The directors were Gregory Maguire and Barbara Harrison. The other attendees were incredible too:  writers, editors, librarians, educators, booksellers, and every sort of person who was besotted with children’s literature. In 2005 I was honored to be a speaker and in 2006 to be a discussion leader at the final institute. Afterwards, there were other events, some of which I attended with pleasure.

It was a grand and wonderful organization. I thank everyone involved.

 

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3 responses to “CLNE aka Children’s Literature New England

  1. Linnea Hendrickson

    Was that where we met in person for the first time? I went only once at Lake George, and it was so wonderful. The timing usually conflicted with the start of school here in New Mexico, and it was a long way to go, so that was why I made it only one time. I remember swimming in Lake George with Virginia Euwer Wolf and others, and having many wonderful conversations with so many people

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Monica, I loved CLNE too! My good friend Kathleen Bailey told me about it and encouraged me to attend. I first went in 1998 to Cambridge (UK) and several times since, including the emotional 2004 “final” one at Williams College. Starting each day with poetry and song was always a highlight for me, and it was thrilling to take the stage and participate when I was invited to share a few poems at that last one. CLNE was my favorite conference — intimate, fun, and an aesthetic and intellectual treat. Drop-dead gorgeous reading lists. And rooming in dorms was the best — where else could you brush your teeth next to Jill Paton Walsh and Suzanne Fisher Staples? I am grateful to Gregory and Barbara for their leadership and hard work over the years; the opportunity to meet so many wonderful children’s literature friends, including you; and the unforgettable experience of being welcomed into the historically rich and diverse community of (and I can hear Ashley Bryan reciting Langston Hughes here) “my people.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marjorie Farquharson

    I. too. grew so much personally and professionally by attending some of the institutes. The most memorable for me was the Oxford Institute. I still share information from that experience with my classes today.

    Liked by 1 person

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