They like things bigger in Texas, and that includes their kidlit conferences. Some of our Eerdfolk just returned from the Texas Library Association’s annual conference, and man, was it a stompin’ good time!

There was, of course, the EBYR booth, our base of operations for the week, where we got to meet lots of great people and share some great books:

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EBYR President and Publisher Anita Eerdmans

And then there were the book signings, two for Texas natives Chris Barton and Don Tate featuring their new book, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch . . . 

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. . . and two for Sibert Medal-winning author Jen Bryant, creator of The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus:

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Because The Right Word was named to the Texas Bluebonnet Award 2015-2016 Master List, Jen also participated in a “speed-dating” event hosted by the Bluebonnet committee. She met briefly with enthusiastic groups of librarians to talk about the craft of writing and the story behind the book.

This is what "speed-dating" with librarians looks like!

This is what “speed-dating” with librarians looks like! (Note the sweet tea in the foreground.)

On top of all this, EBYR President and Publisher Anita Eerdmans took part in a Diversity in Youth Publishing Summit with a group of publishers, librarians, authors, reviewers, and jobbers. The group shared thoughts and concerns about the quality and quantity of diverse titles available to children and also brainstormed ideas for moving forward. As a publisher committed to promoting diverse books, we know this is an enormously valuable conversation, and we hope it will continue!

Thanks to all the kindly folks in Texas who hosted such a great conference. See ya’ll next year!