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True Story Blog

Book Events To Check Out in 2020

Are you a Kidlit writer or illustrator who wants to add some book events to your 2020 schedule? Then check out these favorites from #5Favorites contributors. (Click on the author's name to see the full Q&A and event links.)


I don't make it to a lot of big book events, but every year, I go to the Empire State Award luncheon at the New York Library Association conference. It's always a joy to listen to the current winner's speech and get a book signed. The award is given annually to a children's author or illustrator living in New York State, and we have a lot of authors here! 

Rebecca Donnelly 

My favorite has always been nErDcamp Michigan. I always learn so much from the educators at the event, and I love that nErDcamp has always been focused on educators and their young readers rather than the authors, and am grateful to the behind-the-scenes volunteers to run the event.

Debbie Ohi Ridpath 


I have to say that the one that is nearest and dearest to me is the one that I have done the longest which is the Hudson Children's Book Festival held on the first Saturday of May in Hudson, New York. I've also never missed the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival held every October. And I'm one of the co-founders of the Schomburg's Annual Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem in January.

Jerry Craft

Multicultural Children's Book Day coming up January 31, 2020. This is our 7th year of celebrating diversity in children's books

Mia Wenjen


The New England Regional Spring Conference held in Springfield, MA in early May. (Full disclosure: I am Conference Co-Director for the 2020 conference!)The New England SCBWI region is so large and vibrant, yet the conference manages to feel close-knit and intimate. It's worth checking out if you've never been.

Casey W. Robinson

BEA New York City (Book Expo America) - I only got to go to it once, but it was exciting to see all those new books, authors, publishers, and agents in one place.

Susan Montanari 

I've been lucky enough to attend the ALA and NCTE conferences in the past few years, and I always come home energized from hearing great presentations, meeting friends old and new, and collecting armloads of advance reader copies!

Andrea Wang 

I absolutely loved KidLitCon this year. It was a cozy and wonderful blend of authors, librarians, and bloggers. I learned a lot and got to spend quality time with old and new friends.

Gina Perry 


nErDcamp, without a doubt. My first was a few years ago on Long Island, and after that one, I started going to every single one I could -- New Jersey, Kansas, Michigan, Vermont, Northern New England... There is nothing like the energy and spirit of nErDcamp. The events celebrate and put into highly productive practice the belief that kids' educators and kids' book creators are colleagues, that our missions are, at the end of the day, the same -- to improve and enrich the lives of kids through reading and books. The more we work together, the better work we can all do.

Jarrett Lerner


My favorite book event of the year, as both an attendee and a speaker, is the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Maryland. Amazing authors from around the country in a homey civic park atmosphere. With the occasional tooting of a passing train! (Books, parks and trains are an evocative combination to me.)

Jonathan Roth


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