First of all, it was awesome. I mean, I knew it would be fun. I did not know it would be so awesome. I'm so glad I went and I'll definitely be going next year if at all possible.
For me, there were two best things about this conference.
1. Meeting all the awesome bloggers. Everyone was seriously so nice. I was feeling a little nervous as I looked for the blogger group at the Library of Congress on Friday. I was wondering if maybe I should just turn tail when I found Pam and she immediately gave me a great big hug and said, "It's so nice to meet you!"
And, yeah. Meeting everyone was like that. Big hugs all around and if there was ever a lull in the conversation, one only needed to ask what people's favorite books are. Kidlit bloggers are very nice people. I feel so very privileged to count myself among them.
2. Hearing what people had to say at the conference and meeting so many of my fellow bloggers has really rekindled my passion for this blog. I came away with great ideas and a real sense of connection (right, Greg?). I know that there are only so many hours in the day and many of us have "real" jobs and families and other obligations in our lives. We can't always spend as much time as we'd like on our blogs. Attending the conference reminded me why I carve out time for this hobby.
I need to go through my cheat sheet and make sure I have everyone's blogs on my reader. I need to make sure I'm following everyone on Twitter. I need to take the time to leave comments and join in the discussion. And I'm so excited to do all of that!
I know this post isn't giving you a real sense of what went on at the conference. I took copious notes, but I'm sure other people are going to post about the panels and discussions and all of that stuff. I wanted to capture this feeling of possibility and connectedness before the mundane tasks of my life rub it away and I need to remind myself again.
On second thought, maybe this post gives a perfect sense of what went on at the conference...
MotherReader is collecting KidLitCon posts as they come in, so head on over there to see what everybody's saying. Also, other people will post pictures. I will not post pictures since I was a Winner and left my camera in my bag at the hotel all weekend.
And this bears special mention: We were lucky enough to have a representative from the Federal Trade Commission speak to us about book bloggers' responsibilities under the updated endorsement guides. I'm going to point you to Michelle's post over at Galleysmith for a comprehensive summary and links.