The highlight of each year is the annual ALAN Workshop. At this gathering, you’ll meet with colleagues from across the country, receive copies of some of the best and most popular young adult titles, and get to hear from a host of young adult authors. The workshop is held each year in conjunction with the NCTE Annual Convention. 

Audacious Dreams: Celebrating Imagination, Courage, and Freedom in YAL

ALAN Workshop – Columbus, Ohio

The ALAN Workshop will be held November 20 and 21 in Columbus, Ohio, and will feature over 70 of the best middle grade and YA authors in person sharing their stories in panels one after another. All attendees will receive a box of 30+ new middle grade and YA books that have just been published by the authors who are speaking. Our workshop is an exciting experience that includes lunch on Monday, a huge box of books, and so many moments with colleagues and authors celebrating our love of books together!

Program Overview

To dream audaciously is to cast oneself into the dark holding a light of hope, buoyed by the belief that what is imagined can be. YAL deals in possibility and the power of craft and creativity to imagine youth on the page. YA authors and illustrators create stories full of possibility highlighting the boundless ability of youth to make change in their lives. At the center of this year’s ALAN workshop is a fundamental question: how do we encourage and nurture adolescent dreams? This is a question we must ask and answer, for all youth deserve to dream audaciously and in color as the main characters of their lives, full of hope, agency, and courage –ready for the next adventure.

The field of YAL continues to grow in representing voices from the margins and highlighting experiences that mirror the lives and interests of our ever increasing diverse youth. For the 2023 ALAN workshop, we will feature authors, illustrators, audio narrators, and publishers who empower and inspire by stretching the bounds of genre and creativity, who lift voices not yet heard and create new speculative worlds, who center characters in joy and adventure, and who authentically represent courageous youth empowered to be whatever they dream.

Breakout Session Proposals

For this year’s ALAN Workshop, we are seeking breakout proposals focused on how educators, librarians, and youth advocates nurture students’ dreams and creative pursuits, using YAL to spark critical response and student creation. We hope participants will leave inspired to center student voices and experiences in the pursuit of imagination and creativity in the classroom. Breakout session proposals are due March 17, 2023. Proposal details and applications can be found here.

If you are new to the proposal process and would like support and feedback on your proposal, email the ALAN Mentorship Committee (

Know Before You Go

Click here for more information about the workshop and our events during NCTE.