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21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference

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Authors, Illustrators, Publishers, Librarians, Museum Educators, Digital Developers to Meet at the 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference – June 20-22

The 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference is a meeting place for everyone interested in the ever-changing world of children’s nonfiction. It is an opportunity for creative people who produce and use books, ebooks, magazines, learning resources, apps, and websites to learn, connect and inspire one another at an attractive campus setting at the State University of New York at New Paltz on June 20-22.

The conference will focus on the most important developments that are driving children’s nonfiction today: Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Digital Publishing (ebooks, apps, and gamification), Pre-K Literacy, Teen Nonfiction, and Social Media Marketing.

Workshops, intensives, and panel discussions will be led by editors from publishing companies such as Capstone, Pearson, National Geographic Kids, Highlights for Children, Zest Books, Calkins Creek, Abrams, and Nickelodeon. The faculty will also include award-winning authors and illustrators, social media masters, e-book publishers, digital, app, and game developers, and people from the New York Public Library, American Museum of American History, News-O-Matic, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Furthermore, conference participants will get to see a demonstration of 3-D printing technology at the MakerBot Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz. The university established the first 3-D printing technology center in the U.S.

Lionel Bender, initiator and co-chair of the conference and a producer of children’s illustrated nonfiction, discussed this second annual conference. “Last year’s inaugural conference highlighted the desire for those in the industry to explore new ways of presenting nonfiction, to develop new business relationships, and to share knowledge and skills,” says Mr. Bender. Attendees included seasoned authors and illustrators, journalists, teachers, book packagers as well as publishing staff seeking professional development. There were many opportunities to learn about new trends in publishing– and to get inspired.

Conference co-chair and nonfiction author Sally Isaacs talks about some of the unique features of the conference. “Participants can choose intensives and workshops on a wide-variety of important topics. These include ‘Bringing Primary Source Materials to Children’ by Amie Wright of the New York Public Library and Kellian Pletcher Adams of Green Door Labs. There is also ‘Making and Selling Apps’ by app developers Julie Hedlund and Roxie Munro, and ‘Building Your Brand and Letting People Know about It’ by Dixie Laite of Nickelodeon.”

Pearson and Highlights will each host a Core Publisher Presentation where they will give in-depth information about their company mission, products, and development needs.

Other conference features include:
  • Publishers Panel
  • author book store
  • illustrator exhibit
  • one-to-one consultations on manuscripts, art portfolios, and social media marketing strategies.
  • Saturday evening dinner, “Celebrate the Summer Solstice,”  sponsored by Capstone.
  • Keynote Speaker Bob Der of 10Ten Publishing and formerly Managing Editor of Sports Illustrated for Kids and Time for Kids, who will talk about “A World of Opportunities in Children’s Nonfiction.”

Open Table Conversations are a new feature to the conference. Attendees and faculty can offer to host a table at 5 PM on Saturday to discuss any topic of mutual interest. Topics so far include: Dorothy Hinshaw Patent’s “Organizing Your Critique Group,” Vicki Cobb’s “Successful School Visits,” Jim Whiting’s “Picture Research,” Susan Knopf’s “Working with a Book Packager,” and Hilarie Staton and Ellen Todras’ “Historical Research.”

More information is available at www.childrensNFconference.com or (201) 634-1870.

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