Monday, March 7, 2016

SOLC 2016 7/31: The Conference Envy Beast Awakens!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each day in March
and for nurturing our writing lives.

I know that I'm in good company with my fellow slicers when I mention that I LOVE attending conferences.  And even though I'm retired, I'm still attracted to a good conference.  The conference envy beast was awakened this morning while reading Linda's post at Teacher Dance about Irene Latham's new book, Fresh Delicious.  

In response to one of Linda's questions, Irene mentioned that she would be presenting at two upcoming conferences:
Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival April 6-8 in Hattiesburg, MS - Check out the lovely keynote lineup on their site.  Folks I would love to hear include Jacqueline Woodson, Lois Lowry, Joyce Sidman, Melissa Sweet, Tim Tingle, Rita Williams-Garcia, and of course, Irene Latham.  
Texas Library Association Annual Conference April 19-22 in Houston, TX - I used to live in Houston so I have friends who would provide free housing.  So I'll dream a little and plan a perfect day at the conference. I choose Wednesday as my day to attend because that's the day that has the poetry round-up.  
  • The day opens with General Session I with Levar Burton from 8:30-10. 
  • My first session is the 12th Annual Poetry Round-up (I've met three of the seven poets - Irene Latham, Amy VanDerwater and Janet Wong) from 10:15-11:50
  • I'll have to miss the #BookADay session with Teri Lesesne and Donalyn Miller due to an overlapping time with the Poetry Round-up.  Why do sessions I want to attend always occur at the same time?
  • After lunch and exhibits, I'll go to Booktalks with Teri Lesesne and Karin Perry from 1-1:50.  
  • Then I'll attend Book Chat Live from 2-3:50 with Donalyn Miller and Cynthia Alaniz.
  • I am dreaming, but this day looks absolutely irresistible.  Who knows?  If I can find a cheap airfare, maybe dreams can come true!  Or perhaps some of my blogger friends will be there and will share their learning.  
All Write Summer Institute  June 23-24 in Warsaw, IN - I've attended this conference twice and loved every minute.  It's a wonderful place to connect with fellow bloggers and to be inspired for another school year.  Ralph Fletcher will be there this year, and I've never heard him speak.  And there's an incredible list of other presenters including our fellow blogger and friend, Ruth Ayres.  But it's the same weekend as my niece's wedding.  So I won't be attending this year.  

Summer Literacy Institute July 25-27 at Baylor University in Waco, TX - I learned about this one on FB from Kylene Beers.  It's focused on grades 4-12.  Look at this all-star lineup:  Kylene Beers, Penny Kittle, Linda Rief, and Lester Laminack.  However, the price is too steep for this retired teacher.  

And with that, I'll tuck the conference envy beast back into his lair and remind myself of the fantastic Children's Literature Conference that I attended last month just two hours away at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

What are your favorite conferences?  What conferences do you wish you could attend?  


  1. I am so jealous and in awe of these plans, Ramona - I will look for your posts and to learn from you, my friend!

    1. Oh, Tara, no way I can go to all these conferences. This is just my wishing post.

  2. I will so miss seeing you at All Write this summer, Ramona! Maybe next year?!?!

  3. Conference envy is alive and well as I read this list and think about the ILA in Boston this year. I will miss you at All Write. I'm looking forward to hearing Ralph Fletcher.

  4. You will be missed at All Write! One of my goals is to attend NCTE one day. I believe it is coming to St. Louis soon, and that is within driving distance for me! Bucket list!

  5. Glad I started you down that path, Ramona, and hope you get to one of the places with Irene. What fun to have the Poetry Round-Up session. I think I'll be missing a lot this year, but maybe another year?

  6. I love this post...and I can so relate to the conference envy. Last summer, I sat and read my twitter feed of posts from Scholastic REading summits, All Write!, nerdcampmi, and ILA...I wished I could be at all of them. I did get to attend the Pacific Coast Literacy Institute with Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, Penny Kittle, & Linda Rief, though, which was AMAZING!! And so far for this summer, I am registered for a Scholastic Summit and still trying to figure out a way to get to Michigan....

    1. Krista, I wish I had known about the Pacific Coast Literacy Institute. I was so disappointed when Kylene and Bob were unable to make it to All Write due to the flooding in TX. Please tell me about the Scholastic Summits.

  7. I am with you on conference envy...especially for to Waco, TX. I would love that because I love Fixer Upper on HGTV.

    1. Jone, is Fixer Upper filmed in Waco? Just wondering.