As will probably surprise nobody, I'm with Stan on both these points:
> I just want to warn against making the theme of the conference
> (e.g., writing centres, professional writing, on-line writing) too
> college/university centered so that it is not inviting to those people
> who have a primary interest in the K-12 school system. I would
> also like to make some room for the possibility of addressing
> reading within the umbrella of the conference theme.
For all of us, the path of least resistance is to tilt toward postsecondary
(because, in general, postsecondary folks have more support and resources to
get them to conferences and to promote their participation, and toward
writing because writing seems like something we _do together_, where reading
seems, oh, kind of something that happens to us, separately.
So I think we need to think hard about countertilting a conference theme and
call for papers to make sure K-12 folks feel invited, and we need to provide
for attention to reading (there isn't any writing without reading, of
course, but I think we all -- me included -- tend to talk about writing as
though it were a separable activity).
And I'd like to put in my plug for explicitly named, vigorously promoted
reading time(s) at the conference. If we just provide texts on a table
someplace I tend to put them in my suitcase for perusal afterward, in order
to have the chance to talk with friends I only see once a year. That's
cool, but for my money one of the most successful conference innovations
Inkshed has ever pursued was the stipulated "this is reading time" move.
It's like providing reading time for inksheds.
I don't think I'm alone in this. Besides the restorative power of just going
off somewhere for a bit, I got to read wonderful stuff by inkshedders that I
know very well would otherwise have gone from my suitcase to the pending
shelf above my keyboard to the resources file and possibly -- if I
remembered it -- eventually been read when I got round to doing research in
that specific issue.
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