Wednesday, 28 October 2015

US Bound - Melbourne City of Literature Travel Fund

I am proud to say that I am one of the very fortunate people to receive the Melbourne City of Literature travel funds. Round two marks the end of this initiative (hopefully just for now) that supports writers, editors, publishers, librarians, booksellers...and even programmers the opportunity to seek professional development further afield that will benefit Melbourne.

I will utilise this support to visit the US in April to witness how teen (and romance) programming intersect with public programming. Most YA related programming in Australia is part of a schools offer with teachers booking sessions but I am curious to observe what proves effective in drawing teens to public events outside of school influence.

But where will I be going?

I will be attending the RT Booklovers convention in Las Vegas which is known for its HUGE Teen Day curated by a special guest YA author (TBA). There are also a number of panels, workshops, signings on offer over many days in areas that will undoubtedly influence my professional practise. Additionally RT is known as a romance reader mecca - 600 authors, 3500 readers and lots of glitter. (Seriously, the homepage asks 'how much glitter is too much glitter?..You can never have enough glitter.')

Next up I'll be heading to Houston, Texas for the Texas Library Association annual conference. It is the largest statewide library professional conference in the US (7000 attendees in 2015), and as such is an invaluable opportunity to hear from a young adult service librarians and publishers from across the country.

And though I might be people-d out, there is one more stop on the YA train.,.

YALLWEST. What makes this Santa Monica based festival weekend interesting is that it is a collaboration between a high school, a public library, a heap of YA writers, a bookseller, and a board of teen ambassadors. It's goal is to '...celebrate and empower' its readers and does so with a loose, almost music festival approach. Think food trucks, photo opportunities and free style presentation delivery. It's completely unlike any festival undertaken here in Australian and I am excited to see it for myself.

Overall, I expect to hear well over fifty young adult writers speak throughout my trip. This is invaluable with regards to the future programming at the Centre for Youth Literature, and our biennial Reading Matters festival. Previous visits have resulted in keynotes for the RM conference, whether hearing them speak firsthand or recommendations from new friends.

More importantly, seeing firsthand how these events are stretching the realms of teen programming, working collaboratively and developing audience is incredibly exciting. It is an amazing opportunity and the support is much appreciated. I am also looking forward to following my fellow recipients as they further their own professional practice. If you are Twitter inclined you can follow our adventures via #cityoflittravelfund..

Thank you to Melbourne City of Literature for making this possible!


Danielle said...

So proud of you - congrats, chickadee :)

Liviania said...

Way cool! Maybe I'll see you at TLA.