In November, I had the chance to attend my first NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Convention. The conference was in Boston - one of my very favorite cities ... added bonus!

Four colleagues and I presented a session on igniting middle school readers and building a reading community.   

Our t-shirts advertising the session were a hit! 
We presented Friday afternoon, the first day of the conference.  We had a lovely crowd, and the presentation went very smoothly ... quite a relief after planning and preparing for so many months!  After presenting, we were able to relax and just enjoy the conference and the sharing of ideas. 

Highlights of included: 
  • a fabulous dinner with Little, Brown.  I was able to sit next to the amazing Matthew Quick., author of The Silver Linings Playbook, and my favorite, Sorta Like a Rock Star.   What a treat to hear about his upcoming releases and many movie deals!  
  • an excellent session featuring some literary rock stars  ... master teachers Colby Sharp and Donalyn Miller, literature guru Teri Lesesne, literacy experts Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, and hilarious author and reading promoter Jon Scieszka.  The standing-room-only session was entertaining, informative, and inspiring.
    Jon Scieszka ... such a hoot!
  • a delightful Scholastic brunch with Reader's Theater readings from fabulous authors including Rodman Philbrick, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Barbara Kerley.  The room fell in love with Natalie Lloyd, debut author of A Snicker of Magic
  • Delicious East Coast food!  One of my favorites was the lobster roll at Island Creek Oyster Bar (Best Lobster Roll 2013... definitely earned my vote!) And, a stop at Flour Bakery, breakfast at The Paramount, and a dinner in the North End are Boston musts!

Blueberry Pancakes at The Paramount

  • Visiting the amazing Boston Public Library.  I may move to this city just so I can go here on a regular basis.  It was almost a religious experience.  ;)  

  • Sitting with incredible Jerry Spinelli at a Random House dinner.  He is such a talented man and a truly amazing person.  It was an honor to get to talk with him.

  •  Meeting Lindsey Leavitt.  She is one of my favorite "chick lit" authors.  Her books are heartfelt and hilarious.  I really want her for my BFF.  ;)

  • Meeting SCOUT! ... aka Mary Badham, the darling lady who played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird!  


After the conference, we were able to stay for the ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) Workshop. The event kicks off with a cocktail party for all attendees and featured authors.  

The lovely Sarah Dessen

The hilarious Jon Scieszka
The next morning you show up, and they hand you a HUGE box of books!  Opening it feels like Christmas morning!  Then you get to listen to author panels all day and get books signed by favorite authors.  Pure heaven for lovers of young adult lit!

It was a terrific weekend celebrating books, authors, and literacy in an amazing city.  I am thankful for the chance to attend, and can't for next year!   

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