LSU to Host Young Adult Literature Conference Next Week

05/29/2014 04:34 PM

BATON ROUGE – LSU School of Education will present its premiere “LSU Young Adult Literature Conference & Seminar” June 2-6, in Baton Rouge.

The event will feature celebrated and award-winning young adult, or YA, authors including Kimberly Willis Holt, author of “My Louisiana Sky” and “When Zachary Beaver Came to Town,” Matt de la Pena, author of “The Living” and Chris Crutcher, author of “Period 8.”

Academic guest speakers will include Joan Kaywell, past president of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents, or ALAN, of the National Council of Teachers of English, or NCTE; YA author and past ALAN president Chris Crowe; and past president and current executive director of ALAN Terri Lesesne.

The conference is the brainchild of School of Education professor Steve Bickmore and grew out of his own passion for young adult literature. Bickmore’s joint appointment in the LSU Department of English allows him to further explore YA literature.

“Young adult literature has captured the imagination of the reading public and is growing in market share of published books,” Bickmore said. “At the same time, YA literature struggles for legitimacy as an academic pursuit, despite the best efforts of publications like “The ALAN Review” and the International Reading Association's Special Interest Group: Network on Adolescent Literature and statements from NCTE and the International Reading Association to support the academic pursuits of those who teach and study YA literature.”

The workshop hopes to not only meet all of these shortcomings by providing academics who specialize in young adult literature the opportunities to collaborate on projects and publications that will advance the field.  They will have the opportunity to work in writing groups, map out book projects, or finish a scholarly article. During the conference, visiting faculty will facilitate a cohort of teachers for a week as they explore a topic of YA literature. As college professors and teachers work together, they will produce materials that will enhance the literacy skills of adolescents as they engage in this exciting literature.

“As an advocate for library services for teens, I’m very excited to be a part of the LSU Young Adult Literature Conference and Seminar,” said School of Library & Information Science Associate Professor Robin Kurz. “Effective collaboration between teachers, library media specialists and public librarians is a key strategy in meeting the needs of youth and something I emphasize in several of my courses. I believe that LIS educators, practitioners and students could benefit from participating in this inaugural conference.”

For more information on the conference, visit   

The LSU School of Education offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling. The school’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. Visit the School of Education at  

The College of Human Sciences & Education is a nationally accredited division of LSU. Formed in 2012, the college brings together programs and capitalizes on individual strengths to create a dynamic new college that addresses the socially significant issues we face as a state and nation. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer eight undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The college is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research and service and is continually working to improve its programs. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2014