History of CTLC

It’s rare that a conference allows teens to present – not to mention encouraging communication between teens and adults. As a writer for teens, there are few conferences that I find as valuable and inspiriting as this. It’s a thrill to attend.

Todd Mitchell

The Young Adult Literature Conference was initiated in 1988 by the Jefferson County Library Foundation, and Metropolitan State College at Denver English Department faculty as an outreach to teachers and library professionals who were concerned about teen literacy.The guiding principle continues: Quality literature for teens and young adults is available in ever increasing amounts, but is under-publicized and under-utilized in many literacy development efforts directed to teens. The conference focuses attention on significant authors, their writing, and methods for incorporating this literature in teaching and in library outreach programs. Todd Strasser was the first featured author. Registration fees then were $25.00 and $15.00 for students; now they are $50.00 and $25.00.

Metropolitan State College at Denver continues as a major sponsor supported by Dr. Joan Foster, Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, and English Department faculty. In 1998 the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development became a sponsor under the auspices of Marge Erickson Freeburn, adjunct professor of English Education, and Nancy Shanklin, Associate Professor, Language Literacy and Culture. UCD-SEHD Dean Lynn Rhodes funds the Teen Connection, a discussion between the featured author and a teen panel. The Pikes Peak Library District designs and prints the registration and program materials. Jefferson County Libraries supports planning committee members’ participation.

In 2001 Colorado’s Young Adult Advocates in Libraries (CYAAL) broadened librarians’ participation throughout the state. The Colorado Language Arts Society became a sponsor in 2003, and established the Kathy Bellin Memorial Grants to fund additional teen participation and to honor Dr. Bellin, a former member of the planning committee. Librarian Mary Clare Wickins, encouraged Colorado REFORMA to support participation of Latina/o teens by funding additional grants.

The Young Adult Literature Conference was renamed Colorado Teen Literature Conference in 2005 to more precisely reflect our purpose, focus, and audience. The planning committee actively recruits teens as conference participants, presenters, and panelists. A new and updated website is designed and maintained by Jill and Mark Jarrell at fleeththought.com.

Go to www.coteenlitconf.org for the latest updates.

The CTLC program offers diverse sessions thanks to the willingness of knowledgeable librarians, teachers, authors, and teens who voluntarily share their expertise. Other volunteers, especially Adolescent Literature students at MSCD and CYAAL members, have provided much-appreciated help to make the conference a success. Now in its 26th year, the CTLC has maintained its unique character as a gathering of proponents for literature that meets the literacy interests and needs of teens and teen advocates.

Featured Authors 1989-2013