This fall, I was fortunate enough to attend YALLfest in Charleston, South Caroline. This two-day book bonanza featured over 60 Young Adult authors, a day of panels, book signings, freebies, and an overwhelming amount of personal excitement.
I’ve been an avid YA fan since the age of ten when I’d beeline to the Teen shelf at Borders for the newest Meg Cabot or Sarah Dessen book. I’m no longer ten, but I still head directly to the YA section of every bookstore and can spend hours browsing the multiple aisles. Being a grown woman who reads over 50 teen novels in a calendar year is normally weird, but at YALLfest, I fit right in. My favorite moments are definitely worth sharing.
Moment 1: Meeting Kiera Cass, author of the Selection series. She was so incredibly sweet and down-to-Earth that I love her books more now than I already did.
Moment 2: Attending a Q&A with Meg Cabot, the author of The Princess Diaries series and so many other books I adore, and Melissa De La Cruz.
Moment 3: Meeting Meg Cabot. This was basically a lifelong dream realized; when I was in middle school, I used to fake sick on days her new books were released so I could stay home to read (sorry Mom and Dad!). She’s so much more amazing than I imagined.
Moment 4: Attending a panel that featured Nicola Yoon (the author of Everything, Everything, a book I devoured in one sitting), Kami Garcia, Katie McGarry, Kiera Cass, and Julie Kagawa talking about romance. The ladies discussed everything from writing first kisses to whether or not it is essential for a book to have a happy ending.
Moment 5: Meeting E. Lockhart, author of several books including We Were Liars, The Boyfriend List, and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. She was nice enough to take time during the signing to tell me about the MFAC writing program at Hamline she teaches for, in addition to signing two books for me.
While these were my favorite moments I also enjoyed the experience as a whole. I bought six books, attended five panels, and met three authors! I’d recommend this event to any lover of Young Adult Literature.
Any other YALLfest attendees out there? I’d love to know your favorite moments too!