In-person conferences are back and there’s no better way to ease into the new reality than with the 14th IBBY Regional conference coming up in Nashville. The Briley Lecture will be delivered by Yuyi Morales on Saturday evening, Jacqueline Woodson will (finally) receive her Hans Christian Andersen Author medal, capping off each day of general sessions and more than a dozen breakout sessions on the music of words and the power of books for children.
The IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Regional Conference typically has around 200 attendees and is characterized by the opportunities for interaction with authors and colleagues interested in the world of children’s books. Vanderbilt University is this year’s host and requires proof of vaccination and masks while the timing of the gathering coincides with the university’s Spring break, making social distancing simpler.
Audiobook fans will revel in the “Music of Words: Taking Own Voices to the Next Level” featuring Traci Sorell, who wrote and produced the audiobook of her award-winning We Are Still Here, plus Audie and Earphones winner Dion Graham, and Michele Cobb, the Executive Director of the Audio Publishers Association, who is a regular speaker on the topic at book fairs around the world.
The Children’s Book Council is sponsoring “International Publishing: The Many Paths to North America.” This inspiring panel will feature CBC members Angus Killick of Red Comet Press, Christopher Lloyd of What on Earth Books/Britannica Books plus Emma Raddatz of Elsewhere Editions and John Mackey of Italbooks.
Additional General Sessions include a program with USBBY author nominees Linda Sue Park and Jacqueline Woodson for the Hans Christian Andersen award, a conversation between HCA Illustrator winner Roger Mello and Junko Yokota, educational sessions about the work of Jane Kurtz’ (USBBY’s nominee for the IBBY IRead Reading Promoter Award) “Ready Set Read” initiative for Ethiopian children, and the nonprofit I’m Your Neighbor Books. An All-Conference Read with the new graphic novel of Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Gray will include a conversation with Ruta, educator Scot Smith (who chaired the recent YALSA Symposium) and Ingram’s Nicole Robinson Hamilton.
Breakout sessions will provide opportunities for deep dives into topics such as the USBBY’s Outstanding International Books List, Anne Sibley O’Brien’s work on Diverse Bookfinder, an educational session on Dolly Parton and the Imagination Library, “Freedom Songs in International Children’s Literature,” and many more.
The conference concludes with Christopher Lloyd providing a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of It’s Up to Us: Building a Brighter Future for Nature, People & Planet (What on Earth Books) that features the art of 33 illustrators from around the world including Raul Colon, Peter Sis, Poonam Mistry, Le Yuying, Sydney Smith, and Leah Marie Dorion.
Pre- and post-conference activities include guided tours of the new National Museum of African American Music, the Parthenon (featuring one of the tallest indoor statues in the world), and the Nashville Public Library, whose tour will wrap up with a performance of “Ellingtown” by the world famous Thomas Tichenor marionettes.
A silent auction will feature art, signed books, and more with the proceeds benefiting the many ongoing projects of USBBY and IBBY, including the funding of our twinning partners—chapters that are supported by USBBY—in Lebanon, Haiti, and Palestine. A follow-up “Closing Act” virtual conference (an included event for registered attendees of the Nashville conference) will be held on May 14 with sessions from the IBBY chapters in Canada and Mexico.
The conference schedule is available at https://www.usbby.org/regional-conference.html and the deadline for registration is February 18.
Please contact the conference program chair, Ellen Myrick, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments and feedback and follow usbby at @usbby_books on Instagram, @usbby on Twitter, and on Facebook at @usbby.
The United States Board on Books for Young People
The U.S. National Section of International Board on Books for Young People
Building Bridges Through Children's and Young Adult Books
Center for Teaching through Children´s Books
National Louis University
1000 Capitol Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
V. Ellis Vance, Executive Director Executive.Director@usbby.org
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