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Armchair BEA: Networking—Leonicka does Festival of Trees

Leonicka Valcius: Armchair BEA: Networking—Leonicka does Festival of Trees

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Armchair BEA: Networking—Leonicka does Festival of Trees



Bonus post! Networking is fun for me (under the right circumstances), so I’m happy to share another fabulous industry experience I had last month. Because she is an amazing human being, children’s literary agent Ali McDonald took me to the Forest of Reading Festival of Trees in May.


Oh. Em. Gee. Thousands of kids running around along the harbour screaming out of excitement for books. It was a beautiful sight. 

It was a little rainy in the morning so Ali and I had to huddle under umbrellas and awnings to stay dry as kids introduced the authors of their favorite books and explained why they wanted that book to win. I could always tell which book would win by how ear-splitting the cheers were. “Is that book good?” I asked the little girl behind me. “Yeah! You should read it. Even if you’re a grown up.” A glowing endorsement if I ever heard one. 

Between award presentations, Ali and I had lunch. Strengthening old relationships is as critical as forming new ones, y’all. I don’t even remember what we talked about but after several of these one-on-one chats, I totally feel comfortable asking her for professional advice. It’s great to have a mentor. It’s better to have several.  

Other highlights of the day included a lovely talk with Kari-Lynn Winters, a prolific children’s book author; a visit with Angela Wood, one of the founding members of Kids Can Press; and the best party ever at Groundwood Books.

Overall  it not only a fantastic day for making contacts but an eye-opening one in terms of my career path. I had always considered children’s publishing  a completely different realm that I could never understand. I was wrong. It is a different world but I could see myself thriving in it! I am now 100% sure that my career will include children’s books one way or another. Not bad for one day of networking, am I right?

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8 Comments:

Blogger Lydia said...

That sounds fantastic - I love seeing kids excited about books! I wish we had something like that going on around here, but I live in a small town and the only place selling books locally is Wal-Mart =(

June 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Leonicka said...

Aw no! do you have a local library? They might be willing to do some fun events.

June 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Seeing kids so excited about reading would be worth the rain! That sounds awesone!

June 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Amanda @ Letters Inside Out said...

Awww, that is so adorable. Just seeing them excited would've made the day worthwhile for me!

June 6, 2012 at 2:48 PM  
OpenID bibliosue said...

Love the idea of this event. If I get a book recommendation from a kid, I read it -- it's like my rule of not passing a lemonade stand without buying a glass!

June 6, 2012 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger loreleimarsh said...

And that is what networking is all about! It's great that you had such a wonderful experience. I'm glad you joined ABEA! Tattooed Books

June 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Violette Severin said...

Not bad for 1 day of networking!

June 6, 2012 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Tasha B. said...

Kids who love books! There is hope for humanity. ;)

June 6, 2012 at 11:50 PM  

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