You can browse the program here. It has links to many of the presentations. We hope to add a few more as presenters have time to catch their breath and send along their updates. While we missed being able to meet face to face the keynote authors all managed to engage the attendees through their inspiring stories.
We asked the presenters of each concurrent session to cover their material in a reduced time of 25 minutes. Clearly, they would have loved to have more time and we would have loved to have more time for Q and A. We focused on moving things along as advised from several other groups that worked with conferences in an online setting. We are learning as we go. We moved most of three days into two days and, by and large, it seemed to work well. Would we change a few things? Of course, but the good news is we would stay with most of what we put in place.
The hard work of other make a conference like this happen. Sarah Donovan was wonderful as co-chair. Her help and feedback along the way as we moved from a face to face event to trouble shooting the obstacles of moving to an online event was invaluable. It was important to have individuals willing to sit quietly in each session and function as a Zoom host. Thanks goes to Darby Simpson, Jennifer Dail, Dani Rimbach-Jones, and Amy Piotrowski. Their work enabled the Concurrent Session chairs and presenters to continue on without an additional worry.
The Summit is over but you can revisit the event any time at this link in Dr. Bickmore's YA Wednesday. You can see a list of the presenting authors and their book and check out the presenters. Yes, we will continue to update the page as we gain information.
More importantly we will begin to build the page for the 2021 Summit before too long.
Our Visiting Authors
What an honor to be a part of this year’s summit, and I’m deeply grateful for the engagement of participants—I loved learning from the comments during my talk!
We are all looking to make a difference, right? Here’s one thing you can do: order books you learned about at the summit from a local bookseller rather than from Amazon.com.
I recommend BookSpace, an independent bookstore in Columbus. The owner Charlie can order and ship to you virtually ANY book you might want, including all of my books (OUT OF DARKNESS, THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY, and WHAT CAN’T WAIT). Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of the books you want to order. And check out all the great curated selections at bookspacecolumbus.com. I recommend the community accountability combo pack!
The Last Minute Panel
Comments from the Participants
Del Webb Middle School
7th Grade ELA
Research and Teaching of YA Literature!
Hands down, this was one of the most powerful virtual events that I have attended this summer. Every session provided powerful insights and examples of social justice texts to foster critical engagements with readers. The keynote speakers empowered us to take action as we transform our classrooms and instructional practices.
The conference provided me with tools and resources to promote and cultivate spaces where readers are free to dialogue about the complexities of their world while discovering texts that affirm their voices. Thank you, Dr. Bickmore, and the conference committee for organizing a fabulous conference
In the middle of a global pandemic and as we enter our third week of protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, supporting the idea that our students' lives deserve respect and equal treatment, only Young Adult Literature and the discussion of it could have held our attention so closely for two full days. In the online forum, we shared laughs and we cried, we talked books and we talked movements, we compiled resources and joined ideas, we made friends that we can stand strong with as we leave the Summit and re-enter a world in need of so much work.
This was my first time attending the Summit, and I hope it happens every year, and that it always is as responsive to students' needs and to the times as it was this year. The presenters and attendees came from across the country, across disciplines, and across grade levels. We discussed race and racism, intersectionality, LGBTQIA+ books and issues, the social constructs of adolescence, mental health, adaptations of classic literature, climate issues, and probably anything else our students and our profession are interested in. Leaving the Summit, I am grateful to have attended and been part of this group of educators and teacher researchers who amaze and inspire me and teachers and students across the nation every day.
Ashley Hope Perez told us that the "promise of fiction lies in us," and this Summit gives us the tools, strategies, and support system we need to take the promise of literature and bring it to our students. Books do make for a better world, and the Summit helps us continue to believe in our ideals and ideas in the midst of everything.
Thank you, Dr. Bickmore and all the presenters and attendees for making this an experience I will never forget!
See you next year in Vegas for #YASummit2021
President Elect, Arizona English Teachers Association
Vice President, English Language Arts Teacher Educators -- ASU Graduate Student Strand
Hope you can relax in knowing what a great job you did. Enjoy the rest of the summer!
So what did I take away from the 2020 YA Summit?
- Renewed confidence in teaching young adult literature in my English Education courses and my college-level humanities classes;
- Phenomenal scholarly resources to help me facilitate difficult and important conversations about issues related to race, gender and sexual orientation, and mental health;
- Scads of titles of amazing books written for young adults to share with my students and colleagues; and
- Strengthened friendships and new acquaintances that will sustain me as we move forward in a world full of uncertainty and struggle.
Kia Jane Richmond
Professor & Director of English Education
Northern Michigan University
Thank you, Steve Bickmore and your amazing team at UNLV for tireless work organizing the event and passion for Young Adult literature!"
Southeastern Louisiana University
While sharing his experiences speaking to students, Matt De La Peña also mentioned his struggles writing and speaking while being at home with his young children during the pandemic, which I very much related to as I wade through those waters daily in my own household. Josh Allen shared a story about his daughter’s fear of vomiting that helped shape his future writing of middle-grade horror stories, which somehow made me even more excited to read his work. Debut author Samantha Vitale noted being intimidated as an engineer who just finished her first YA novel but still at times felt like an outsider among the attendees at the Summit. I know anyone in academia can attest to surviving feelings of impostor syndrome, and I loved Samantha’s honesty. I also think she fully belonged in the group, and I can’t wait to pick up The Lady Alchemist and explore its STEM connections with students.
And let’s not forget the intense vulnerability displayed by Kimberly Jones as she shared her very real experiences as a black female in America that influence her writing. This year’s Summit gave us the opportunity to have important conversations as we connected across distance, and now it’s up to us to continue the conversation.
Coordinator, Writing Center & Graduate Academic Support Center