Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ALAN Workshop Anticipation

So I just want to talk for a minute about a little thing called the ALAN Workshop. ALAN stands for the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English). Their motto? Connecting the Young Adult Literature Community...One Book at a Time.

It's an organization I've been a member of since I started teaching eight years ago. In two weeks I will in the final moments of attendance at my 5th ALAN Workshop. It is one of my most anticipated events of every year, and it is the one that energizes and reinvigorates me heading into the gray of winter. Why? Because I'm surround by my kind of people - bookish people! I get to sit with librarians and teachers and educators from around the country while listening to authors and editors talk about what we all love: books and connecting them with adolescents.

Thanks to the amazing support of the publishers, this year ALAN Workshop attendees will be seeing these authors: Shan­non Hale, Mag­gie Stief­vater, Rae Car­son, Kristin Cashore, Char­lie Price, Paul Grif­fin, Todd Strasser, Robin Wasser­man, David Lubar, Seth Rudet­sky, Joe Schreiber, Joan Bauer, Xavier Garza, Amy Gor­don, Stacey Kade, Sharon G. Flake, Emily M. Dan­forth, Ilike Merey, Julie Anne Peters, Leslea New­man, Sonya Sones, Patri­cia McCormick, Deb­o­rah Ellis, Eric Wal­ters, Beth Ann Bau­man, Deb­o­rah Cooner, Deb­o­rah Blu­men­thal, Gabrielle Zevin, Ben­jamin Alire Saenz,  Barry Lyga, Dan Wells, Derf Back­derf, Faith Erin Hicks, Mark Siegel, Dave Roman, Raina Tel­ge­meier, Gaby Rodriguez, Anita Sil­vey, Eric Gre­it­ens, Nell Beram, Marissa Meyer, Malinda Po, Beth Revis, Scott West­er­feld, Lois Lowry, Mike Mullin, Kat Falls, Isamu Fukui, Marie Lu, Jessi Kirby, Cor­rine Jackson, E.M. Kokie, Trish Dol­lar, Kate Elli­son, Jo Knowles, Blue Bal­li­ett, and Susan Vaught

And breakout sessions will be offered from these authors: Ann Angel, Var­ian John­son, Peter Mar­ion, J.L. Pow­ers, David Macin­nis Gill, Robin Wasser­man, Alan Gratz, Jen­nifer Lynn Barnes, Isamu Fukui, Mary Pear­son, Kat Falls, JJ John­son, Stephen Mess­ner, John Claude Bemis, Jen­nifer Har­rod, Kate Mess­ner, Blue Bal­li­ett, Jody Feld­man, Rebecca Stead, Jo Knowles, Fran­cisco X. Stork, Donna Fre­itas, Deb­o­rah Heilig­man, Cather­ine Ryan Hyde, Steve Brezenoff, Sharon G. Flake, David Levithan, Frank Port­man, and E. Lock­hart 

I hope to always have the opportunity to be able to attend the ALAN Workshop. It's become so important to my professional development life as a language arts and reading teacher. The information and words I'm able to bring back to my students, right from the authors' mouths, is invaluable. And the box of books sure ups the excitement for them as well. The number of authors I've been able to see and hear speak, and the strong memories I have from this yearly event provide so much inspiration and motivation. I distinctly remember the 2011 ALAN Workshop when David Levithan challenged us all to become an Army of Empathy and when Laurie Halse Anderson, after getting light-headed on stage, proceeded to give her speech while lying on the ground, among many other moments.

I, for one, can't wait! And, hey, if you're part of the young adult literature community, why don't you join us? Becoming a member of ALAN is not very expensive, and you can be a part of a wonderful organization supporting books, authors, teachers, librarians, and readers.

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