NCTE is always a wonderful conference, but this year was extra special. Editors Carol Hinz and Shaina Olmanson of Lerner along with editor Melissa Manlove of Chronicle organized an informal Nonfiction Salon on Saturday morning. And look who showed up . . .
But that's not all. Thanks to Jen Swanson's prodding, this photo was taken at the end of the event, but quite a few additional people--authors, editors, teachers, librarians--had to leave a little bit early because they were presenting or had a scheduled book signing.
There was also a bunch dedicated Nerdy Book Club educators who decided to bow out of the photo and act as photographers, (Luckily, author Louise Borden snapped a quick photo of them.) We depend on their support every single day, and they never let us down.
As nonfiction authors, we sometimes feel like the underdogs of the children's literature community. But this event gave us a chance to come together and discuss some issues we've all been thinking about--how nonfiction is growing and changing, the importance of expository nonfiction as well as narrative nonfiction, ways to classify nonfiction, the importance of distinguishing between informational fiction and nonfiction, the lack of diversity in nonfiction, and how we can all continue to support one another as a community and spread our love of true books.
It was an epic event, and I admit that there was a moment when I felt so overwhelmed with joy that I shed a few tears. We are in the midst of a golden age of nonfiction, and it's exciting to see a new crop of books that pushes the limits each year. Hooray for nonfiction!