Solace through Swag (ALAAC 2014 part 1)

“If the horse dies, then you have to walk.” –Chinese proverb

You ride pretty high until the horse falters and you fall off. What else can you do then but walk?

I went to the American Library Association Annual Conference (ALAAC) at the end of June to listen to the award announcements for Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year. The bad news: I didn’t place in the top four slots in the multicultural category. The good news: I’m still a bonafide finalist!

Another silver lining is that I got a free pass to the exhibits hall for the weekend. I decided to drown my disappointment by collecting swag. Librarians have it made because they get free advanced reader copies, which meant that I left the conference with 16 new books to read at my leisure.

They also receive other great freebies. Here’s a list of the favorite items I picked up:


  • Apple stress ball (Rainbow Book Company)
  • Bean seeds (A BEAN, A STALK, AND A BOY NAMED JACK by William Joyce and Kenny Callicutt)
  • Bejeweled mug (“Great stories shine.” Thomas Nelson)
  • Growth chart (YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL by Chris Weyant and Anna Kang)
  • Hair clip with bookmark (DYED AND GONE by Beth Yarnall)
  • Luggage tag (FLIGHT SCHOOL by Lita Judge)
  • Magnet set (WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman)
  • Orange feather boa (; online tutoring site)
  • Star Wars pin (STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY by Jeffrey Brown)
  • World map (Scholastic)

All the cute stuff made me feel better! And here’s a picture of the pin because words won’t do it justice:

Jedi Academy

Visit my blog next Monday for part 2 of the conference recap, featuring celebrity author sightings!



Foodie Friday: Ube Cake
Foodie Friday First: Uni Don


  1. What an honor to be a finalist. And all those free books. I think I’ll go to a librarian conference next year, :) Finalist, swag, books, networking…you found your silver linings!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks, Mona! It was fun to see what a librarian conference looked like. Even though they were all scouting for goodies or lining up to see writers, everyone was so polite and friendly.

  2. Too bad you didn’t finish at the top, Jennifer, but you already accomplished a lot and should be proud of your work. I love your attitude to ease disappointment. Again, congrats on your achievement.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thank you so much, Evelyne! It’s wonderful to have the support and encouragement of writer friends.

  3. Congrats on being a finalist. That is a big deal! Love all your swag. Looking forward to reading more about your experience, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks, Romelle! It was really fun to meet authors up close. Come check out my post next Monday :)

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