Do you work with teens that love to read? Then you absolutely need to start planning to attend this year’s Teen Lit Con! (It’s a FREE event for teens!)
This year the event will be held Saturday May 12th from 10am – 4pm at Chaska High School. According to the Teen Lit Con site, “the purpose of this day is to celebrate teen literature, promote reading and writing, and to create a community of readers by connecting teens and authors.”
If that’s not enough, read this recap from Rogers High School Media Specialist Bethany Kauffman, which describes the joy of last year’s event, along with some awesome pictures.
And finally…the authors this year are fantastic! Authors at this year’s event include:
This is a guest post from Bethany Kauffman, Media Specialist at Rogers High School, about attending Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2017.
There is something special about finding “your people” in the world. As book lovers, we seem to find our kindred spirits almost organically at work, church and in our neighborhoods. Finding “your people” is such an important part of life that I relish any chance to help my students meet and connect with other teen book lovers like them. CMLE made that happen for Rogers and Sauk Rapids – Rice high school students this past spring.
On Saturday, May 6 2017 at Henry Sibley High School, Minnesota’s metro public libraries brought one of the most popular and controversial authors of the moment to Twin Cities teens. Sauk Rapids – Rice and Rogers High Schools were able to load up teenagers and get them to St. Paul for the big event through the support of CMLE. What made the day so hype-worthy was that we saw, wait for it… Jay Asher! Yes, that Jay Asher, whose books had suddenly become the topic of controversy and passion with the airing of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.
Adults had suddenly become aware of Jay Asher and his writing, his honest conversations about hard subjects and the power that words and ideas can have in a teenager’s life. Those of us who work with teens, read YA and love the awkward eagerness of all things before age 25 already knew all about Jay Asher. We spend our days talking to young adults about serious and not so serious topics. Sometimes hair color and friend drama is as deep as it gets but that’s what makes this age so great. They are thinking, growing, learning, observing, trying on different personas nearly every week and they aren’t shocked when a YA book tackles a tough topic like suicide. Young adults welcome stories that push the edges and make them think deeply about life.
As a result, I wasn’t surprised when we were packed into the auditorium at Henry Sibley High and the atmosphere was what I can only describe as electric. It was the first session of what was going to be a day filled with book-loving kindred spirits galore. When Jay Asher, Jeff Zentner, Box Brown and Meg Medina walked onto the stage for the first author panel of the day the auditorium exploded with the kinds of screams and roars and clapping that is usually only heard at a rock concert. I am not kidding. The teenagers shook the roof! Let that soak in. Teenagers screaming their heads off, nearly fainting over authors not athletes, millionaires, movie stars or music icons. They were with their people and they were screaming at the top of their lungs for what they loved – ideas, emotions and creativity in books.
The rest of the day went well. It followed a typical conference schedule with a variety of sessions and activities. The teens had opportunities to be a part of several writing workshops, meet Minnesota authors, buy books, get autographs, try out Book Speed Dating, discuss creative nonfiction, find out about the behind-the-scenes work of creating graphic novels and meet real book editors. One of the most highly attended sessions dealt with mental health issues in YA lit. You literally could not get in the door of that session it was so full. There were also t-shirts and concessions and an exhibit hall and temporary tattoos. All good events have temporary tattoos.
When the afternoon came to an end, my 11 students from Rogers High School and the 25 students from Sauk Rapids – Rice High School piled into the bus and started home. I was so grateful that we joined the teens from another high school for the long ride. There were plenty of awkward introductions and graphic novel discussions and shy exchanges of artwork and books between students who had never met before. Book lovers find common ground quickly and everyone headed home happy. CMLE was the impetus behind this amazing day. They encouraged us to coordinate between our schools, facilitated our communication and awarded us a grant to cover the cost of the bus. As a result, this day was free to our students and for several of them, I’m sure, that made attending Teen Lit Con possible.
The new school year is here and it’s once again time to bring teens and books together. It’s time to start fostering relationships that drifted over the summer, get the book clubs up and running, unpack the first book order of the year AND it’s time to talk to our teens about Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2018. Why not join us? Rogers High School is going to make sure we are at the next convention. We’d love to connect with your teens and share the love of all things authors, illustrators, writers and YA lit with you. Start thinking now about giving your teens the opportunity to find “their people” at Twin Cities Teen Lit Con in the spring.
Do you like YA literature, or encouraging young adult readers? Start planning ahead, because Teen Lit Con 2017 is coming up! On Saturday, May 6th from 10am to 4pm at Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, both authors and teens will assemble to share their love of books and reading!
The event is free and open to the public! They will have different sessions, an exhibit hall, and many different author signings. To get a feel for the conference, check out last year’s event.
Some of the authors that will be at Teen Lit Con 2017 include:
Attention Central MN! This FREE conference is a haven for students who love to read and write. Maria Burnham, Sauk-Rapids Rice High School Media Specialist, is hoping that if a few different schools get together and share a bus, they could share the cost of transportation along with CMLE who has agreed to pay for a portion of the bus fee. Please contact Maria if you’re interested in attending with students and she will work with you to coordinate details. Or, please pass this information along to any others you think would be interested. Maria is willing to do the organizing if you can get the kids! Call Maria at 320.258.1625, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find her on Twitter @MariaBurnham4.
Not sure? Read Maria’s account of Teen Lit Con last year….
Looking Back at TeenLitCon 2015!
Let’s face it. In the K-12 world, everyone loves spring. Our students have grown and changed since the fall, and the warmer weather has us all dreaming of summer days to come. For me, one of the reasons I so look forward to the spring is attending the TeenLitCon at Henry Sibley High School.
Last year was the first year I attended the event. I brought six students with me in a school van, and we made the hour-and-a-half long trek to the southern Metro on a beautiful Saturday morning in May to immerse ourselves in books, writing, and a love of reading.
Upon our arrival, the energy of the place was magnetic! The Henry Sibley gym was full of enthusiastic teenagers waiting to meet their favorite authors. The day started with a Q & A panel with E. Lockhart, Matt de la Pena, Gene Luen Yang,
and Gayle Forman. The rest of the day was a “build your own schedule” of breakout sessions: book signings, keynote speeches by the four featured authors, writing workshops, button-making, poetry writing, “your next read” predictions, illustration tips, and book talks. I walked away from the day with a bag full of signed books and a renewed energy for teen literature. My favorite of the day? Joining in a dance party with Gayle Forman and about a hundred other students.
I’m looking forward to attending the event this year, once again held at Henry Sibley High School on Saturday, May 7th. Giving up a Saturday isn’t always easy (especially one in May), but this event is worth it! The van ride home last year was completely quiet as my students were engrossed in their new books. Some of my aspiring authors left the day with a few writing tips and opportunities for summer writing camps. Others were so excited to receive an advanced copy of a book by an author they just met. No matter the take-away moment for the student, all enjoyed the event and left with memories that will stay with them forever.
Thank you to the metro public libraries for sponsoring such a wonderful, FREE event to teenagers! Hope you’ll join me in attending TeenLitCon this year!
Celebrate the end of the school year with a road trip to the Twin Cities for Teen Lit Con! This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, so you can bring your kids! You don’t even have to register – just mark the date (Saturday, May 9th) on your calendar and show up! Many great YA authors will be at Teen Lit Con that make the event well worth the trip! Check out the Teen Lit Con site for more information.