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About #KidLitAMA

(Last updated May 31, 2024) – Also see the KidLitAMA Guest Archives, KidLitAMA Guest Nomination Form, Question Submission Form

Welcome to the #KidLitAMA info page! Inspired by Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) and founded by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, this particular AMA aims to highlight members of the kidlit community on Bluesky as well as help build community. The event is free and open to the public. Even if you’re not on Bluesky, you can still view posts.

Fri. May 31st, 2024, 1-2 pm ET

Brian LaRossa
Scholastic, Executive Art Director

NOTE: Registration is now closed. While everyone is welcome to browse, only those who have pre-registered will be able to post during the event.

Link to Brian LaRossa’s #KidLitAMA

👉🏼 Link to Brian LaRossa’s KidLit AMA Main Bluesky thread 👈🏼

DATE: Fri. May 31st, 2024
TIME: 1-2 pm ET
WHERE: Hosted on Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s Bluesky feed

Brian LaRossa (he/him) is an executive art director in the hardcover picture book group at Scholastic Inc., the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. After hours he teaches a course on critical writing for The City College of New York and is a mentor in the We Need Diverse Books mentorship program. He has written many essays for publications such as Design Observer and AIGA’s Eye on Design. He also manages his own display font foundry, which developed a typeface for Google Fonts. In his spare time he writes fiction. His work has won awards from the Type Directors Club, Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Print Magazine, and his conceptual poetry is included in the permanent collection of the MoMA Library. He lives and works in New York City.

If you’re looking to get in touch, feel free to say hello. If you’re looking for him on social, he’s @brianlarossa everywhere. If you’re an illustrator looking to share your portfolio, please visit this form. If you’re looking for his pizza recipe, you’ll find it here.

More info at

REMINDER FOR ATTENDEES: If you would like to share your portfolio with Brian, please fill out this form. Brian also regularly posts open calls (exclusively) on Bluesky. Follow him there for a chance to submit samples to his next open call!

Note that Brian will NOT be doing critiquing during the AMA. Please don’t ask questions whose answers apply just to your own specific work (“what do you think of my portfolio” or “what do you think of this piece?” or “how can I send you my portfolio?”).

Brian is happy to answer questions about how to best structure/present your portfolio, be discovered by an art director, or questions about working with an art director.


Q. Where can I find the event?
Event is text-based and will be hosted on Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s Bluesky feed. You can browse threads from past events in the KidLitAMA Archives: Melissa Stewart (Apr.25, 2024), Harold Underdown (Mar.7, 2024), Charlene Chua (Jan. 24, 2024).

How do I participate?

When the live event begins, Debbie will make a post on her Bluesky account with a link to the page you are reading now, explain the basic guidelines, and introduce the interviewee. Within the same thread, the interviewee will post an intro about themselves, and invite people to ask questions.

To ask a question, reply to the MAIN THREAD with your question. Be sure to start your reply with “QUESTION for @GuestName:” to help the interviewee find it, in case there are other replies. Be sure you are posting your question as a reply to the MAIN thread, not one of the sub-replies, else it may get lost among other replies.

I also advise adding the #KidLitAMA hashtag and tagging the guest to help others find your post.

Other tips:

Q. I’m not on Bluesky. Can I still attend?
A. Since Bluesky posts are publicly viewable, you can still view all posts and comments! Only those who have a Bluesky account can post comments and questions. However, you are welcome to submit your questions in advance, using this KidlitAMA Question Form NOTE: Please try to submit your questions at least 2 days before the event. Debbie is doing this on her own, so may not have time to closely monitor form results closer to the event.

Debbie will try to submit the question on your behalf, if it has not been asked already. Timing will depend on how busy things get, and if your question ends up getting asked/answered earlier in the event. Recommendation: sign up for Bluesky in advance if possible, so you can post your question yourself as well as participate in the discussion.

Q. Is #KidLitAMA live?
It depends what you mean by “live.” The event is text only, NOT video (though Debbie might introduce a video component in the future, we’ll see). The interviewee agrees to closely monitor the Bluesky AMA thread for 2 hours. After that, it depends on the interviewee – they may let people know that they’re happy to continue answering questions up to a day or two afterward, etc.

Q. Is the AMA moderated?
Debbie will assist during the live AMA but just like a text-based AMA on X/Twitter or Reddit, note there is no way to exclude anyone from posting. If you see someone posting comments that are inappropriate or upsetting, you can Block or Mute them if you are logged into Bluesky. Also check out your Moderation settings, where there are many tools for filtering and also discouraging apps from showing your account to logged-out users.

Q. Do you have any tips on how to keep up with the AMA posts?
I advise to adjust your Thread Preferences to sort replies to show oldest replies first, and turn on Threaded Mode:

Q. Can I really ask ANY question? After all, AMA means “Ask Me Anything”
A. Yes, but the interviewee has the right NOT to answer any question (because of privacy reasons, lack of time, too difficult to answer within the time limit etc.). See the interviewee’s intro and notes above for what types of questions they will and won’t answer.

More about #KidLitAMA:

Q. Why did you start KidLitAMA?
I’ve been looking for ways to help boost the kidlit community on Bluesky. I’m hoping that this AMA will not only help promote the KidLitAMA guests, but also be another fun way for community members to discover and interact with each other.

Q. Where can I find past KidLitAMA Guest threads?

I’ve listed all past guests and links to their Bluesky KidLitAMA threads here.

Q. Who are your future KidLitAMA guests?
Debbie is looking for those who are ACTIVE on Bluesky and are already familiar with the platform.

If you know someone whom you think would make a good #KidLitAMA guest in the future, please fill out this #KidLitAMA Nomination form. (Note: NO self-nominations please, thanks). I’ll be going through this list when looking for my next potential interviewee. When I approach someone, I’ll explain the concept of #KidLitAMA and see if they’re interested.

Q. Is Debbie going to have more of these KidLitAMAs?
Yes! Debbie’s goal for #KidLitAMA is to help highlight kidlit community members in a way that is fun and easy for both the interviewee and the community, but that is also low-hassle and low-stress for Debbie.

Ask Me Anything: How Authors Can Interact With Readers On A Variety Of Platforms – by Phil Stamper-Halpin on the Penguin Random House website.

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