June 1, 2018
Dear Authors and Illustrators,
Thank you for your interest in attending NerdCampNJ 3.0 on May 18, 2019 at Chatham High School. Nerdcamp 3.0 will run differently than 2.0, but we are hopeful that this will be our final iteration! For the past two years, the organizers, participants and mentor authors have worked together to build a strong community around the event. Please read the following criteria closely before submitting your application.
- The workshops next year will be intentionally organized into strands: Reading Workshops (Session 1), Writing Workshops (Session 2) and Literacy Leadership Workshops (Session 3).
- We use this language intentionally. We will not have panels at NerdCampNJ. We host workshops and sessions. The most positive and effusive feedback from attendees was about interactive workshops where teachers and authors teamed up as hosts OR where the mentor authors hosting had some teaching experience themselves.
- For two years in a row, we have seen dwindling participation as the day draws to a close. Sadly, this is common to almost any regional conference, not just Nerd Camp. The folks who did stay until the closing session are our literacy leaders (administrators, lead teachers, supervisors, librarians, instructional coaches, teacher educators, etc.). This is why we have decided to dedicate Session 3 to literacy leadership sessions. Authors wishing to participate in Session 3 must apply with an educator.
- We stand behind our statement that NerdCampNJ is not a book festival, but we do not want to inhibit authors from meeting educators if they wish. Our survey data indicated that many folks stopped by the cafeteria to meet authors on their way out. The space will be available during Session 3 for any authors who might wish to meet attendees. Authors are encouraged to sit in small groups by grade level and not alone at tables.
- Authors who wish to attend, participate in or co-host Literacy Leadership Workshops will not be available to meet educators in the cafeteria during the third session. This is a trade-off that some might elect. For example, a debut author who is wondering how to get his or her book onto school curricula might benefit from attending a literacy leadership workshop hosted by an assistant superintendent for curriculum and a literacy coach. The author who would like to book more school visits might believe that it is more worth his or her time to attend a workshop with several librarians than to sit in the cafeteria for an hour. Authors participating in Session 3 might consider leaving signed bookplates with the book seller.
- Authors accepted as NerdCampNJ Faculty members are committing to stay for the entire day of professional development, and pre-conference participation at Coffee and Curriculum is strongly encouraged for local authors. Authors on NerdCampNJ faculty are expected to co-host one workshop. Your attendance at the event will be publicized on our website and one of your titles will be carried by the independent bookseller on site. Authors published by educational companies (Stenhouse, Corwyn, Heinemann, etc.) cannot be guaranteed sales by the independent bookstore but are encouraged to communicate with the owners.
- Authors may not apply to present individually. In order to be considered for NerdCampNJ faculty, you must team up with no more than two other workshop hosts. Co-hosts may be authors or educators, but no more than three hosts should be in a workshop room. Many poorly attended sessions last year were ones with more than three hosts. We have learned now that the more invitational and intimate the workshops are, the better the connections made there.
- In the first few years of launching this event, it was important to the organizers to introduce local authors to the concept of Nerd Camp, and to assist in organizing workshops. Now that most are familiar with how the event runs, we’re confident you can all take the reins. Unlike 2017 and 2018, 2019 workshops will be scheduled the DAY OF THE EVENT. For those authors who have participated in Nerd Camp Long Island, Nerd Camp Michigan and others, you are familiar with this model.
- If you ran a workshop last year that you are happy with, and it meets the criteria of no more than three hosts, please consider applying as a team again and putting that workshop on the board the day of the event.
- Applications must be submitted no later than November 1, 2018.
The NerdCampNJ Organizers