The ALAN Workshop is the premier annual event for teachers, librarians, professors, and critics of young adult literature. Held each year on the Monday and Tuesday after the NCTE Annual Convention, the program consists of keynote speeches, moderated panel presentations, and “in conversation” sessions featuring many of today’s most popular YA authors. Breakout sessions, usually scheduled for midday on Monday, provide space for educators and librarians to share the ways they use YA lit with teens. During short breaks between sessions, ALAN members present book talks of new titles by authors who are not on the official program.
Each attendee receives a tote bag and a 40-pound complimentary box of books donated by publishers as part of his or her registration. In silent signing lines after each session, attendees can get their books autographed. Since publishers donate books in different quantities, attendees do not all receive the same books. An exchange table makes it possible for attendees to trade one title for another at certain times during the workshop.
The workshop program typically features 60-70 authors along with a handful of editors, scholars, critics, and teachers of YA lit. The keynote speaker for this year’s workshop is A.S. King. Past keynote speakers include Kwame Alexander, Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Chris Crutcher, Jack Gantos, and Jandy Nelson. As many as 500 people attend ALAN each year. On Sunday night before the workshop begins, all workshop attendees have the opportunity to meet authors in person during an invitation-only reception sponsored by the publishers.
The workshop program is planned by the ALAN President with support from a team of program consultants. Sessions for each workshop are organized around a theme. The theme of this year’s workshop, created by ALAN President Jennifer Buehler with help from program consultants Patty Campbell, Michael Cart, and Scott Filkins, is “Innovators, Visionaries, and Rebels: Celebrating Risk Takers in Young Adult Literature.” Sessions will run from 8-5 on Monday and 8-2 on Tuesday. A Fed Ex shipping station will be available on site so that attendees can ship books home.
For more information about the workshop, including personal testimonials from past attendees, listen to the ReadWriteThink podcast titled “An Invitation to the ALAN Workshop.”
For the complete list of authors who will be attending this year’s workshop, visit the ALAN website.
ALAN President, 2016