So I’m pretty late in posting this, but it’s never too late to gush about book fun!
In 2011, YALLFest was put together as a Young Adult book festival which is over two days celebrating awesome young adult novels and the very authors who write them. Signings as well as areas to grab some awesome swag, authors get together and participate in keynote speeches about the publishing industry, the trends, panels discussing popular themes, and saving best for last a smackdown where all sorts of shenanigans happen where authors interact with audience members hosted by Epic Reads.
I was able to attend the “My True Love Gave to Me” panel that included: Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, David Levithan, Stephanie Perkins (who put the anthology of holiday stories together), Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and also was moderated by E. Lockhart. (like the Mecca of YA on the stage) It was so much fun to hear what inspired the authors to write from holiday memories, insight on the making of the book, and each other’s thoughts on their peer’s stories.
While catching a few other panels, the “She’s Kicking It” panel was AMAZING, I was able to get a handful of awesome books (possibly a few more editions too) signed by my favorite authors!
To end the festivities the Epic Reads Smackdown was an absolute blast to watch! Readers and authors got to interact and play games with each other. A really fun bit was when several authors read aloud their first pieces of writing; some when they were very small, first or second graders, some in high school–writing letters about their prose being chosen, short stories, etc. Other authors were wrangled into reading aloud the awkwardly hilarious adult titles of children books (these really were books gone horribly wrong) which all gave the audience a laugh. To end the night, Libba Bray’s band performed awesomely despite her losing her voice earlier in the day, possibly day before? which left the audience rocking out and singing loudly that Holden Caulfield is not an asshole.
Not sure if I’ll be able to attend YALLFest 2015 but I had a blast getting to have a great first experience this year in Charleston! And don’t forget to check out YALLWest which is a brand, spanking-new spring version of YALLFest which has expanded to the west coast in Santa Monica! Get ready 2015, you’re gonna be a crazy book year 🙂
Later y’all, Linz xx The Kid