With a new format this year, we started out in a large oval. In a riff on the conference faculty parade, everyone shared their names and the book with LGBTQ characters and/or themes that made an impact on them and/or changed their life.
It was a fun list (lots of note taking all around), with shout-outs to titles including:
|Worm Loves Worm
|Am I Blue?
|The upcoming The Music of What Happens
|Boy Meets Boy
|Ask the Passengers
|Something Like Summer
|The God Box
|At the Edge of the Universe
|Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe
Then we broke into smaller groups by category (Picture Books, Middle Grade, YA genre, and YA contemporary), sharing in more depth what each of us are working on, discussing challenges, offering solutions, and most of all, cheering each other on.
We came back to a large circle, where our faculty guests (Bruce Coville, Laurent Linn, Carin Berger, and Arthur A. Levine) shared the book(s) they've worked on that pushed boundaries.
Instead of hanging out in the conference room after our 9pm stop time, we walked over to join the community at the Diversity social, where we talked and supported each other late into the night.