A Publicity, Promotion, and Social Media Intensive for Kid Lit

KidLit TV’s founder, Julie Gribble, is teaming up with an award-winning children’s writer and a digital marketing powerhouse to deliver an intensive program dedicated to publicity, promotion and social media. This June, Gribble, Roxie Munro, and Kelly Leonard will provide eager attendees of the 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference (21CNFC) with valuable guidance in creating an engaging online presence, promoting their work, and enhancing their work via app development.

Exploring Publicity, Promotion, and Social Media Through An Intensive Program

The Publicity, Promotion, and Social Media intensive program could not be more perfectly suited for this trio. Emmy-nominated Gribble, founder of KidLit TV, harnessed the power of social media to establish an up-and-coming children’s literature media space that has garnered attention from the likes of the Children’s Book Council, multiple publishers and children’s literature outlets, and influential parent bloggers. Gribble’s experience includes producing KidLit TV exclusives such as the StoryMakers and Read Out Loud video series as well as KidLit Radio podcasts.

Artist, writer, and app developer Roxie Munro offers an ideal complement to Gribble’s areas of expertise. Munro has appeared on KidLit TV segments; offering her unique insights to up-and-coming kid lit content creators. Munro has written more than 40 nonfiction books for children and has developed several educational apps featuring interactive games and puzzles. The New Yorker magazine has published 14 of her paintings. In addition, her in-depth knowledge of gamification is sure to pique the interest of those interested in digital content development in the realm of children’s literature.

Rounding out the trio of the 21CNFC’s Publicity, Promotion, and Social Media Intensive is digital marketing leader Kelly Leonard. Leonard founded KLO Associates, a boutique digital marketing agency with clients from individual authors to big five publishing houses. Her focus on social media, blogs, websites, and email marketing are sure to grab attendees’ attention. And rightfully so. Leonard knows a thing or two about leveraging the power of social media and other avenues to maximize visibility for New York Times bestselling authors including James Patterson.

Intensive and Workshop Details

On Friday, June 10th, Gribble, Munro, and Leonard’s presentation will get attendees started on, or enhance their Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blog presence. The benefits of a social media presence will be examined and guests will learn how to identify their audience and how to best to reach them. Workshop attendees should have their own laptop and smart device, with the Vine app downloaded, so they can learn how to work on their own promotion including a Vine video. Attendees will also get a glimpse of how app development can extend the life of one’s book — taking the content beyond the page. For hands on training, Gribble and Munro will also teach a workshop on Sunday, June 12. Complete your registration prior to June 9th to secure your spot for the three (3) hour Publicity, Promotion, and Social Media intensive and one (1) hour Marketing, Building Your Brand, Promotional Videos workshop.

The Evolution of Contemporary Children’s Nonfiction

For many workshop participants, the prospect of joining some of Leonard’s clients among the ranks of bestselling content creators is tantalizing. The children’s nonfiction market has expanded significantly in recent years. No longer is nonfiction work considered fiction’s dull twin. To the delight of nonfiction content creators everywhere, quite the opposite is true.

Students are no longer limited to consuming nonfiction material in a traditionally printed form. They are experiencing nonfiction via new and exciting channels such as enhanced ebooks, specialty apps, video games, television shows, websites, and other forms of paperless media. To say that nonfiction has evolved from the days of dusty encyclopedias and ancient how-to manuals at the back of the library may be the understatement of the year.

Paralleling this expansion has been the inclusion of nonfiction categories among organizations bestowing major awards and honors in children’s literature, both for writing and illustration. In writing, for example, Steve Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous, a riveting biography exploring the life of Daniel Ellsberg, was one of five finalists for the prestigious National Book Award in the Young People’s Literature category last year. In illustration, half of the books earning Caldecott Honors in 2016 were nonfiction. The most recent Caldecott Medal – the Newbery’s art-based cousin – was also a biography. Sophie Blackall earned the coveted award for her artwork in Finding Winnie.

Children’s Nonfiction in the Classroom

Today’s nonfiction is fun. It is creative. It is compelling. Nonfiction no longer needs to be assigned by classroom teachers to the reluctant grumbling of students. More and more children actively seek it out. Many can’t seem to get enough of it.

With the advent of Common Core, the demand for engaging children’s nonfiction has exploded. Teachers are looking for material that reaches across the curriculum and aligns with Common Core State Standards. In the interest of better preparing students for the demands of college and career, the standards encourage a 50/50 split between educators’ classroom use of informational and literary texts. Recently, KidLit TV incorporated professionally developed, Common Core-aligned Student Viewing Guides for their StoryMakers series to help parents and teachers maximize the educational value of each episode.


Lionel Bender, Initiator of the 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference hopes to raise the profile of nonfiction: “to show it can be as creative as Fiction; to highlight changes in the industry; and to help agents and freelance writers and illustrators make connections with commissioning editors and art directors.”

The 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference provides a space for publishers, book packagers, development houses, and digital developers to exchange ideas. Also, it is a space for educators, librarians, publishers, and authors to explore how nonfiction products are created and can be used in creative ways that respond to Common Core standards.

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