Howdy Y’ALL! – the Adventures of YALLFest

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. 

My True Love Gave to Me panel, Nov.  8,  Charleston Music Hall

My True Love Gave to Me panel, Nov. 8, Charleston Music Hall

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.
Veronica Roth and James Dashner

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 🙂

Lastly, here are a few quick pics of the pretty places and scenes from Historic Charleston, South Carolina! Put this on your bucket list–you won’t want to miss an opportunity to see the beauty here.

Later y’all, Linz xx The Kid

Calhoun Mansion, parts of The Notebook were filmed here

Calhoun Mansion, parts of The Notebook were filmed here

White Point Garden, Charleston, SC

White Point Garden, Charleston, SC

USS Hobson Naval Memorial in White Point Gardens

USS Hobson Naval Memorial in White Point Gardens

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park



3 thoughts on “Howdy Y’ALL! – the Adventures of YALLFest

  1. I plan to attend Yallfest for the first time this year, and I haven’t ever been to a book event/con/fest before. Do you have any tips? And is it okay to bring books you already own to signings or do most people buy them there? Thank you in advance! And fantastic post! I’m actually from SC, and I’m so glad you were able to experience and appreciate Charleston! 🙂

    • Yay! Oh I’m so glad you liked it! Yes, you can definitely take your books to get signed! Make sure you check out the Blue Bicycle Bookstore because they can have signings at the store and have tons of copies of authors who will be there out for purchase! The festival also has a tent nearby that has tables to pick up some swag, get more books, and some signings too! I ended up buying a book there to complete my Laini Taylor collection and I brought the others and a few of Rainbow’s books I didn’t get signed from the last time I had seen her.

      Definitely check out the panels if you can besides getting books signed! I know that’s what you go for, but my friend who I went with said she was bummed she had to wait in long lines and didn’t get to see more panels, so try to divide your time wisely! And make sure you keep checking out social media to see any updates and what’s going on–which then leads to, BRING AN EXTRA BATTERY CHARGER haha! Always got to keep connected 😉

      Most importantly have fun!! Be on the lookout for the opening/closing events…I’m not sure if EpicReads will do it again but that’s a really fun time! Authors let loose and get some reader participation 🙂

      • Thank you so much for taking the time to write out all of that advice! It was really helpful. I’ll make sure to check out the panels and make a schedule. Maybe even create a priority list of authors I need to see and want to see. The charger I’ll remember too, thank you! Now, I’m even more excited to go! 🙂

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