YALSA is holding its first YA literature symposium in Nashville from November 7-9, 2008, and the theme is "How We Read Now." During the infamous weekend where I introduced Liz to her TV boyfriend, Don Eppes, we put together a proposal for the symposium. We thought that with the popularity of teen participation in book worlds (check out the Twilight fandom and/or Stephenie Meyer's website for a shining example of this), this conference would be a great time to discuss fandom, fan life, and what Henry Jenkins calls "participatory culture." We wrote up a proposal and it was accepted. We're very excited and honored, because YALSA only chose 14 of the 40 proposals they received.
The plan (subject to change as the date of the conference draws closer) is: At the symposium, Liz and I will talk about what fandom is, who writes fanfiction and why, and how librarians can do easy, fun fandom programming at their libraries that will encourage teens to participate in a book's world. Our third panelist will be Amy Tenbrink of Narrate Conferences, Inc., who will talk about planning Harry Potter conferences and how they encourage participatory culture. Who knows, we might even have a drabble contest.
(And of course, we already know what we're wearing.)