Whenever I try to explain to anyone how much Jennifer Ziegler and I love the annual gathering of the Texas Library Association, I just let them know that when we got married six years ago, the TLA conference in Fort Worth was our honeymoon.
Whether the person I’m talking to is appalled by that choice or totally gets it, there’s no mistaking how strongly we feel about TLA.
And we’re thrilled that this year’s conference will be in our home city of Austin — and that we’re both featured with sessions and signings. Here’s where and when you can find us, and what we’ll be up to (with helpful screenshots from the TLA app):
Monday, April 15
2:45 p.m. The Myth of ‘Girl Books’ and ‘Boy Books’: Exploring Gender Bias with Middle Grade Authors
9C, Level 3
Middle-grade authors explore gender bias and gender diversity in children’s literature, and discuss challenges librarians face in getting diverse stories into the hands of readers regardless of their gender. Learn about resources for locating, evaluating, promoting, and sharing gender diverse texts with readers.
5 p.m. Author Signing with Jennifer Ziegler
Authors Area, Aisle 12
19A, Level 4
Authors Jeff Anderson, Tom Angleberger, Chris Barton, Lesa Cline-Ransome, Shelley Johannes, Stacy McAnulty, Carmen Oliver, Andrew Smith, Jo Whittemore, and Jennifer Ziegler will compete in Van’s Game of Games.
Tuesday, April 16
10 a.m. What Was Left Out: Powered by Pecha Kucha
19B, Level 4
Discovering what was cut from a story can be as informative as what was left in. In this panel, five authors will share how they made crucial decisions that shaped their final stories. The authors will use the fast-paced format called Pecha Kucha which has possibilities for educators and students.
1:30 p.m. Author Signing with Chris Barton
Authors Area, Aisle 2
3:15 p.m. How to Make a Diverse Kid-Lit List
5ABC, Level 3
Youth librarians love to make lists highlighting books and authors. Each list is an opportunity to consider the demographics of who is included – and who is left out. Learn from two veteran librarians and two award winning authors how to make those lists increasingly inclusive and diverse.
Wednesday, April 17
2 p.m. Author Signing with Chris Barton & Don Tate
Charlesbridge Booth #2445
A year ago this week, after some pondering on my part, I asked an editor of mine about the possibility of getting one of my picture books translated into Spanish.
It turned out to be more than possible: Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions is coming out next spring as ¡Fushhh! El chorro de inventos súper húmedos de Lonnie Johnson.
Even better, we’ve just found out that it’s a Junior Library Guild selection.
Next time I wonder to myself whether a Spanish version is worth bringing up to my editor, you can bet I’ll be keeping this in mind — and then asking aloud.