Registration for the 2015 ABC Children’s Institute (Ci3) is now open through February 1 exclusively to members of the ABC Children’s Group at ABA. On February 2, registration will open to all bookseller members of the American Booksellers Association.
The Children’s Institute will be held from April 19 – 21, 2015, at the Hilton Pasadena, immediately following the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The event will feature a full program of three plenary sessions, a featured talk, 10 breakout sessions, five roundtable discussions, a reps’ speed dating lunch, an Author Reception, a Scholastic Meet & Treat After Party, a tour of Vroman’s Bookstore, and more.
The 2015 Children’s Institute’s nonrefundable conference fee is $79 per person. Space is limited and open to a maximum of five registrants per member business. A number of publisher-sponsored scholarships to the Children’s Institute will be awarded.
Ci3 opens at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday with a plenary talk by Jeff Kinney, whose bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (Amulet Books) has been widely credited with turning reluctant readers onto books. Kinney is continuing his campaign to bring great stories to readers of all ages by becoming a bookseller. His new store, An Unlikely Story, is set to open this spring in his hometown of Plainville, Massachusetts. At Ci3, Kinney will share insights from his career and travels as an author as well as from his preparations to open a bookstore. The opening plenary will be followed by a welcome reception for all attendees.
Monday’s packed schedule begins at 8:00 a.m. with a breakfast plenary featuring Mac Barnett and Jory John, the co-authors of The Terrible Two (Amulet Books), who met through their jobs at 826LA and 826Valencia, nonprofit centers that give kids free help with their creative and expository writing. Barnett and John will discuss their work with 826 and their belief that, to ensure we have diverse writers, students everywhere — especially in low-income neighborhoods — must have access to free, fun, high-quality writing instruction.
Monday will also include the featured talk “Creating a Picture Book.” Two-time Caldecott Honor-recipient Marla Frazee and Beach Lane Books publisher Allyn Johnston will share a lively, behind-the-scenes look into the editorial and artistic development processes involved in the many celebrated picture books they have published over their 15-year collaboration.
The ABC Children’s Institute will conclude at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday with a closing keynote by Jewell Parker Rhodes, whose books for young readers include Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). Parker Rhodes will discuss why diversity in children’s literature is our next civil rights frontier: why it is an obligation for all of us for the future of our nation and why we must not be afraid to cross boundaries.
From start to finish, Ci3 will offer a wide-ranging schedule of educational programming that offers something for everyone involved in children’s bookselling. This year’s 10 breakout education session topics include:
- Best Practices for Greater Diversity
- Buying and Merchandising Non-Book Inventory
- Creating Book Subscription Clubs and Gift Registries
- Gauging Age-Appropriate Reading
- Hosting In-Store Birthday Parties
- Making Storytime Fun and Profitable
- Marketing to Grandparents
- Partnering for Diversity With Schools and Nonprofits
- Reaching Reluctant Readers
- Starting Teen and Middle Grade Book Festivals
For those interested in attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, on April 18 and 19 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, ABA has arranged for a central meeting place. Luggage storage for Ci3 attendees will also be available in Board Room 201 on the second floor of the Radisson Hotel on the USC campus.
For up-to-the-minute information about Ci3, visit BookWeb.org/ci2015. Details about public transportation options to and from LAX, USC, and the Hilton Pasadena will be posted as soon as they are available.
Questions about Ci3, or anything relating to children’s bookselling, should be addressed to ABC Group Manager Matthew Zoni.