KidLitCon, an annual conference for authors, bloggers, and readers of literature for children—from toddlers to teens. This year, the event will be held from October 9-11 in Baltimore (which, incidentally, is where Edgar Allen Poe is buried) at the Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor.
Diversity has been a hot topic in the book world for the past year and change, and this year’s KidLitCon will feature several discussions on the topic, including the one I’ll be participating it. The panel, titled “Intersectionality: The Next Step in Diverse Books,” will take place on Saturday, October 10 at 11:10 am and run for about an hour.
The need for diversity in books has never been clearer as readers clamor for stories about underrepresented characters—racial and gender minorities, characters with disabilities, etc. However, diversity can’t be understood through a single lens. Nor can different types of experiences be considered independently from each other. We live in a world that likes to put people into simple little boxes, but the reality is much more complicated than that. Tackling these kinds of complex characters is often viewed as a burden by writers. Along with my fellow panelists, I’ll share tips for developing characters whose intersectional experiences ring true.
• Zetta Elliot—middle-aged author, educator, scholar, immigrant, self-publisher, and fierce Black advocate for greater diversity AND equality in kid lit.
• Guinevere and Libertad Tomas of Twinja Book Reviews—dynamic Afro-Latina twin bloggers and debut authors
• And myself, Mary Fan—author of Flynn Nightsider and Fated Stars here at Glass House Press, first-generation American, lifelong nerd, advocate for women in tech, and nobody’s Asian trophy wife.
Register for the conference here!
Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. Mary is the author of author of The Firedragon, Firedragon Rising, Tell Me My Name, forthcoming Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil (Flynn Nightsider series) and Fated Stars series.
Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.