Last Saturday (September 8th) I was gearing up for a day at Book Camp Toronto… for those that don’t know what Book Camp is, here is the definition listed on their website:
What: BookCamp is a unconference – a conversation instead of a keynote. That means all attendees are potential presenters and expected participants at the event. All points of view, backgrounds, and levels of experience are welcome. That also means all participants are responsible for themselves. While there is a certain amount of mob rule at a BookCamp, attendees are encouraged to vote with their feet, clean up after themselves, and speak-up when they encounter something they don’t like — in other words attendees are generally encouraged to act like adults.
Who: Everyone is welcome at BookCampTO: writers, technologists, publishers, readers, editors, designers, book sellers, book buyers, printers, librarians … anyone who cares about books.
Why: We love books, we love writing, we love reading, we love publishing.
My pal Monique AKA @moatmost and I rolled into the Ryerson University Campus with coffee in tow. Clearly, I need more caffeine to operate than Mo does… Needless to say, we arrived with to this unconference ready to talk books, mingle with our publishing pals and meet some new faces in the biz.
One of the biggest reasons why I was so excited to attend Book Camp was so that I could finally put a face and voice to the lovely Bella’s Bookshelves. Steph and I connected about 3 years ago, through our blogs, then twitter and then we began working together professionally and we’ve written countless emails expressing our undying love for a specific book. To me, she defines the term book lover, she understands books importance, she continuously spreads the word about their essence and most importantly, she really loves literature. When I heard that she was going to Book Camp, I signed up right away so that we could finally meet face to face. Of course, she was everything I expected her to be, kind, intelligent and charming. So if you’re not following her blog, stop what you’re doing, open a new browser and enter in http://www.bellasbookshelves.com/ – you will not be disappointed.
The beauty of this event is that the organizers of this event let you choose the things you want to talk about. Huge billboards, with sharpies were located on the wall and you were encouraged to lead a discussion or write down something that interests you and attend that session and participate. I thought the premise was brilliant and it was a great way to talk about the things you really wanted to talk about.
Steph and I really wanted to talk to bloggers and find out what they like about book blogging and the ways in which it opens up doors that were otherwise closed. It was a great discussion and I go introduced to so many new people. Additionally, Mo hosted a discussion with people who are interning and spoke about how you get a job in publishing (hint: go to EVERY event and make sure people know who you are).
It was a day filled with great chats about books, fantastic cookies and literary folks that continuously impress me. My thanks to the folks at Canadian Book Professional Association for organizing such a fun event!
Follow @CanBPA on twitter for details about future publishing events!