It's always weird to think about myself as knowledgeable about anything in particular. I write things down to think through them, to consider them, to speculate about them. That's what got me interested in blogging about books in the first place.
But yesterday I got some news that made me feel like maybe -- just maybe -- I am actually pretty knowledgeable about something in particular.
I'll be presenting at this year's YALSA YA Lit Symposium in St Louis, Missouri on the topic of contemporary YA fiction and why it's going to continue to be the future of young adult lit. It's the second time I've been selected to talk about this topic on a national conference stage. As thrilling as it was the first time, the time frame for the presentation was only 15 minutes. It's challenging to cram everything important, everything you're passionate about, in such a small window of time.
At the Symposium, I'm not only getting an hour of time, but I'm getting to split that time with colleagues I admire. Sharing my passion for contemporary ya lit along with Angie, Katie, and Abby is something I never really envisioned, something I never thought could or would happen. Sharing my passion with other fervent fans of young adult literature at a conference ALL ABOUT young adult literature -- it's mind-blowing, really. But here it is.
Looking through the roster of other presenters fills me with an unmatched sort of excitement. That I get the chance to be talking at the same conference as people I've admired in the field for so long is thrilling. More, though, is the knowledge I'll get to take away from listening to what they have to say on topics ranging from transmedia to dystopia to genre bending. I can only hope people walk away from my contemporary session with a morsel of what I suspect I'll walk away with from their sessions.
So all of this is to say -- if you're able to go to St Louis for this event, come! This is a conference all about young adult literature. It's a professional event meant to education and enlighten about nothing BUT ya lit.
November feels very far away, but I suspect spending these next months diving wholly into contemporary ya lit will make the wait a little bit easier.