Monday, December 12, 2016

A Vicarious Look at #NCTE16

A Vicarious Look at #NCTE16

by J.G. Annino

Are you busy enough?

                                                  Copyright 2016 JanGodown Annino

When you come in for a landing from your Holiday
prep for a spot of tea and honey,
perhaps you will look at your
2017 To Do Writing Work List.

You've done that. Congrats!

on that starred list. This link for one just above
leads to a fetching MG mystery opportunity.
Or, you've done that. YAY! (You could go back.)

Perhaps a NCTE convention is boldy underlined on that list.
HuH? What is NCTE?

If you are a teacher & you are find your way to this blog &
this post,you likely know of or even belong to,
the National Council of Teachers of English.
If you are a very very successful children's author, you know NCTE
because you've been invited to this collection of kids' book nerds.
Recently the National Council of Teacher's of English, founded in
December 1911, staged its annual love-in event for literature.

Some of my friends attended from hither & yon. I have only been able
to peek at some columns/blogs/articles about the energy & ideas
shared at this conference.
Here are some highlights from one article.

"Err on the side of love,

Amplify the light.

Hold the space for children to enter in.

Words are bridges.

Develop our empathy muscle as the reflex response.

When we provide poems in our classroom, we get to the heart of our children."

The wise guidelines (above) are from participants in a 
Writing for a Better World Panel.

Ideas also poured out from the Risking Writing panel, in which writers demonstrated
writing in front of their audience, on the spot.

Picture Book author Laura Purdie Salas  shares from that.

A great way to armchair visit with the NCTE is to see a list of top
2016 books featured at the award luncheon. I was so pleased to
find that poet Marilyn Nelson received top honors. As it turns
out, I had just carried home from our library, one of the honor
books in the top 2016 nonfiction list announced at  #NCTE16.
It is COMICS CONFIDENTIAL, by Leonard Marcus. I think I'll
be providing an article on it here; the interviews with the talented
author-illustrators are illuminating whether you have ever read
a graphic novel or one of the new comics for younger readers,
or not.

And School Library Journal, which so recently featured
our Group Blog's astounding maker king, Todd Burleson,
was there to interview book creators, for later articles,
including Florida's own Donna Gephart! Yay, D.G.

Finally, a spot-on view into the conference for me is
from editor/anthologist Sylvia Vardell. 
Her NCTE wrap up coincides with my dwelling with
novels-in-verse. I have tidied up & sailed on
as I can at this point in wiggles & giggles
of two picture book manuscripts & I am again living
with the tough times of my novel character, Pru, in her MG
abolition story. (Thank you to G.B./novel-in-verse pal
Marcie Atkins for this S.V. post alert.)

My sense from the #NCTE16 pieces that I've read is that each
& every author who attends is wildly enthusiastic about writing for
young readers, as are the educators. I feel that energy just from
reading their reports.

Appreciations to NCTE for collecting thousands of educators who
link young readers to great new books & also to the keepers among
the past classics such as Shakespeare & many many others.
p.s. in the bumble bee photo at the top, if you look to the far right, you can see
a bee coming in for a landing, which I know is how some of us feel right about
now, a bit beelated & beehind.
(hopefully spell wrecker lets me keep the extra e in each word.

As this is my last post in 2016 at Group Blog,  I am sending smiles to you
all in appreciation of your 2016 articles. The tips & energy & love for
our young readers that I find here are so nourishing. Thank  you!


  1. Important addendum

    Some of you may not be able to follow the link above to Poetry for Children, the wonderful blog of editor/anthologist Sylvia Vardell.

    If so, her piece on #NCTE16 has this URL


  2. I enjoyed this post. Some good advice here. Thanks for the overview.

  3. I like to read the recommendations coming out of NCTE for not-to-miss books. Thanks for all of the sources, Jan.

  4. Simpatico habits, Patty.

    I had just checked out from our library display of new books, the Leonard Marcus NF, COMICS CONFIDENTIAL. And then I saw that this is part of the
    #NCTE16 honor books.
    The lists truly are a great guide.

  5. I would love to attend this conference both as a teacher and writer. Thanks for sharing, Jan.

  6. I'm thinking NCTE would benefit greatly from having you as a presenter, any year, Tina.