Photo Impression of NCTE/ALAN 2014 and Washington DC

9 12 2014

NCTE’s Annual Convention and the ALAN workshop was my first time in Washington DC.

But it wasn’t really *in* DC, it was in an artificial little place called National Harbor, which used to be a dump site, apparently (only about 10 years ago). Now it’s a sparkly artificial bubble with at its center a really really really big indoor Convention Center … that did a lot of Christmas music lightshow thingies. But anyway, National Harbor:


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Here are a few things that happened at NCTE itself:

On Thursday, I did the NCTE on Tour to the Library of Congress. The workshop we got there with the sources and how you can use them in the classroom was awesome. And we got a guided tour of the LoC as well there and there was an exhibition about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so that was a nice bonus:

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Friday to Sunday at NCTE:


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There was some – though not a lot of – time to visit Washington DC, which is nothing like I imagined it to be (my only East Coast refernence being New York City).   I decided to explore some of DC on my own on Friday afternoon, and the shuttle van took me to Union Station and then I just walked from there to the National Mall and then all the way to the Lincoln Memorial and then back to the White House until it was time to go to Politics and Prose (I can now also say I shopped in the same bookshop as Obama, ha!).

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I loved being in Politics and Prose on Friday evening to see some authors in a more ‘natural’ environment of a bookshop. Fantastic:

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And then, the absolute greatest thing *ever*: the ALAN workshopthe panel discussions (so many great talks there), obviously the box of books (which caused me trouble getting over, so I just left about 10 or so there to be donated), the authors who were all so kind and signed books and even had time for a chat (I talked to M.T. Anderson! And David Levithan! And Libba Bray! And Frank Portman!). The panel with the transgender teens and their moms totally blew me away; Libba Bray’s speech was fantastic; the parent and child panel with Neal Shusterman, so many great discussions . I would do ALAN again in a heartbeat! Look:

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I went back to DC for a DC@Night tour on Tuesday evening. Boy, am I glad I did that:

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Finally, some random observations about my visit:

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So, NCTE/ALAN: a once in a lifetime experience for sure…but definitely one I would like to do again. I probably can’t do this every year (school), but I’m definitely checking out options for conventions that are a direct flight from Brussels. Atlanta in 2 years will probably be too soon, but 2019 is Philadelphia and that’s a direct flight too, so who knows? 🙂







One response

21 12 2014
Favorite books of 2014 | Ringo the Cat's Blog

[…] books are just relationship/friendship dealbreakers. Added bonus: I heard Matt de la Peña speak at NCTE this year at the CEL […]

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