Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Getting the ball rolling

Hi there! It's getting to be time to plan the 2008 Kidlit Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon. We hope that all who attended last year will return, and we hope to see new folks too. If you blog about children's books (or YA), or if you are a writer of children's books (or YA) who blogs -- we'd love to see you there.

The date: Saturday, September 27, including banquet-style dinner that night
The place: We're making the final decision about the hotel as soon as we get an idea of attendance. If we can get as many folks as last year (or more), we're shooting for either the Embassy Suites or Sheraton near the airport in Portland. One of the great things about Portland is that the airport is only a few miles from downtown and is easily accessible by the MAX (light rail). (The hotels are also right by the new IKEA, by the way.) Sign up quick so we can move on the Embassy Suites -- it's a great spot, with good conference rooms, complimentary happy hour cocktails, good breakfast included, and a little brook that flows through the lobby!
The event: We'll need lots of feedback before we decide on the day's discussions. One thing we'd like to do is establish two separate "tracks" -- one for reviewer bloggers, and one for author bloggers, with the opportunity to mingle and learn from each other. We'll have two meeting rooms, so we can break out into two groups for parts of the day.
Friday night: We absolutely must convene at the famous and wonderful Powell's Books on Friday evening, and get together for dinner at the neighboring brewery after. We will try to set up a group author event for that night, depending on who's attending. We'll keep you posted as it develops.
Sunday brunch: Depending on interest, we can set up a last get-together on Sunday.

Portland is beautiful in September, and it's a really easy city to get around in without a car. If you bring a spouse or your family they'll be able to get downtown or to the zoo and Washington Park on the light rail. It's also only about a half hour drive from the airport to the fabulous Columbia River Gorge, famous for its waterfalls and amazing hikes and views:
(If you rent a car, there's a great loop drive up the Gorge and around Mount Hood, where you can see the hotel where The Shining was filmed. It'll also be apple and pear season in the orchard country there on the slopes of Mount Hood: beautiful.) The stunning Oregon coast is only an hour and a half drive west; I highly recommend an extra day to see it:

What we need to know now, so we can really plan, is: who's coming? We'll need a certain number of attendees to be able to afford the hotel facilities, so we can't really proceed until we get some yays and nays. So, if you are definitely planning to come, please sign into the comments below and let us know. The conference fee will be $50 and will cover the facility rental, coffee, and dinner on Saturday night. Hotel rates are still uncertain but are likely to be in the $109-$119 range, including breakfast.

More details coming soon, but for now, we'd just love to know if you think you can come!

(If you do sign in, leave your name as you'd like it to appear below, plus your blog link. Thanks!>

1. Jone MacCulloch
2. Laini Taylor
3. Anastasia Suen
4. Adrienne
5. Jen Robinson (Jen Robinson's Book Page)
6. Andrea (Just One More Book)
7. Mark (Just One More Book)
8. Jim Di Bartolo
9. Jackie Parker (Interactive Reader)
10. Anne Levy (Book Buds)
11. Kelly Herold (Big A little a)
12. Colleen Mondor (Chasing Ray)
13. Maureen (Confessions of a Bibliovore)
14. Lynn (the Imaginary Blog)
15. Alma Alexander
16. Betsy Bird (Fuse #8)
17. Kate Schafer (aka Daphne Unfeasible)
18. Liz B. (A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy)
19. Elaine Magliaro (Wild Rose Reader)
20. Sarah Stevenson (aka A. Fortis) (Finding Wonderland)
21. Kelly Wilson (Wilson Writes)
22. Farida Dowler (aka Alkelda the Gleeful) (Saints and Spinners)
23. Pam Coughlin (MotherReader)
24. Camille (BookMoot)
25. Gregory K. (GottaBook)
26. Elise Murphy
27. Nancy Arruda (Bees Knees Reads)
28. Diane (Biblio addict)
29. Nancy (Booktalks Quick and Simple Blog)
30. April Henry
31. Cassie Richoux (Bookwyrm Chrysalis)
32. Michele Thornton (The Snarkmamas)
33. Kirby Larson
34. Kim Baker (Wagging Tales)
35. Katie (Pixie Palace)
36. Maureen McQuerry
37. Suzanna Leigh
38. Christine Fletcher
39. Beth Cummings
40. Lorie Ann Grover, rgz diva/author
41. Dia Calhoun, readergirlz diva blogger

1. Gina Marysol Ruiz (Cuentesitos)
2. Mary Ann Librarygrl
3. Jess Jessmonster
4. Amanda Hubbard
5. Doret (The Happy Nappy Bookseller)