Once upon a time, folks who were passionate about children’s books reached out to each other across the great seas through magical time-and-space portals called Facebook and Twitter.
Like the whoosh of a wizard's wand and with much mental elbow grease, their ideas whirled through cyberspace to beckon others. Soon, more readers, authors and illustrators were caught in the magic, and the enchanting community Kid Literature soon began to glow and grow.
In just 12 months, Kid Lit zoomed to 3.4K Facebook fans, 17K Twitter followers and more than 800 on Pinterest.
Readers, authors and illustrators connected.
Scrumptious books found their way into the eager little hands.
And now it's time for a party!
You’re invited to Kid Lit's first birthday celebration from 13-19 April.
We’ll have prizes, fun and more on Facebook and Twitter!
Read on details for details of how YOU can enter to win a drawing for prizes and learn how the magic of this community won my heart.
Discovering the Magic of Kid Lit's Community
When I was in college orchestera, the conductor asked if I would give up my first violin chair to learn the viola and move to that section. I was concerned. Had I done something wrong? Didn’t he think I was up to the task of first violin?
“No,” the conductor explained. “We don’t have enough viola players, and we need somebody with your energy to learn the instrument and lead that section.
As part of the Admin Team, I am like the viola in the vibrant, global orchestra that is Kid Literature. Providing a steady rhythm in the background. Coming up for solos every once in awhile. Supporting the team with reliable cadence and forever trying new ways to engage, grow and inspire.
Kid Literature became a blip on my radar a month after its launch through mutual contacts on Goodreads. Several months after publishing my first chapter book for beginning readers, this extrovert felt disconnected. I left my 9-5 office friends to pursue writing full time. It was exciting and lovely…but also very lonely. When I learned of Kid Lit’s goal to build community, it was a no-brainer for me to follow on Facebook. After seeing a request for Admins, I submitted my lot and came on board in July 2014 to help with the Kid Literature Facebook page.
Supporting the Kid Lit Team
We have a crew of five Admins and about a dozen Contributors, who help manage the different social media platforms that keep the community vibrant.
Kid Lit founder Karen Emma Hall does amazing things everyday, everywhere, supported by Steve Conoboy. She takes the lead on finding great reads for Mondays Blogs. Carolin Palmer spices up Art Tuesdays with her illustrations and art tips. Carmela Dutra hosts Writer Wednesday and splits admin duties on weekends and Fridays with Karen. Hilary Hawkes is our Tweet Guru, who keeps those smart 140 characters zooming through cyberspace @#KidLiterature,
Thursday is my day to manage More Good Stuff, eclectic Facebook posts about books for grown-ups, group writing prompts, new films, throwback Thursday, and the latest in the changing world of technology and social media, and more. Like the other Admins, I am forever experimenting. Still learning about my own writing journey and how I can partner with others to create books that children love.
Peeking Behind the Scenes
There’s a lot that goes on in finding and offering content you value. It’s especially challenging to do so virtually and across four different time zones. And oh, those Tech Gremlins! They always lurk, waiting to bedevil posts despite our best efforts.
We communicate through instant messaging (IM), although we just started using Skype. This winter, Carmela, Karen, and I met each other ‘live’ for the first time via Skype. When our computer screens flashed on and the audio clicked in, we were like kids in our excitement. I could've never imagined being part of such a creative, dynamic team.
I recently scheduled a Skpye call with Karen Emma Hall in the UK, thinking we were six hours apart after the jump to Daylight Saving Time from my US Eastern Time zone; however, we were only four hours different. Ooops! Karen graciously made time for our discussion two hours earlier than expected, and we had a giggle about my miscalculation.
Gotta laugh it off, support each, and keep plugging --- that’s typical of how the Kid Lit community pulls together.
Labor of Love
Want to know the best part? (That’s a given for anyone in children’s literature, don’t you think?) I’m over the moon to know the work we do makes a difference in the lives of young readers. Ditto for inspiring writers, artists, parents, teachers and others to get kids hooked on books.
So, yes, it’s a ton of work, and mine is just a small piece to play in this literary orchestra. But everyone pitches in to play their part and offer what time they can.
Although it takes time and energy, the friendships I discover make it all worthwhile.
During my tenure with Kid Lit I’ve met and learned from so many awesome people, who are a pure delight. That bond of friendship and support is the common thread that keeps our community fun and energizing.
I feel close to Kid Lit folk, even though we never connect beyond cyberspace. We share ideas, celebrate successes, and offer a shoulder to lean on when we hit those confidence-shaking low patches. This business of writing and marketing is challenging, and it gets lonely and frustrating. I’ve come close to burnout more times than I care to remember. But I know I can get encouragement or bypass roadblocks by just asking for help within the community.
Happy first birthday, Kid Literature.
It's been an exciting journey, hard work to be sure, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Happy birthday, Kit Literature!
And a BIG thanks to you for keeping us company on this journey, Lovely Followers.
The magic continues because YOU make it all possible!
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April 13-19 2015
Open worldwide; hosted by mdbr.com
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Driving Down to Dillon:
A Very Short Story of Love and New Beginnings
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April 13-19, 2015
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