My First Yallfest
Last weekend I attended a young adult literature/book festival in Charleston called Yallfest. This was the 7th annual Yallfest but it was my first time attending. I wanted to share my experiences with you all!
For those of you that don't know, Yallfest is a festival celebrating Young Adult literature (YA for short) created by Blue Bicycle Books, a local Charleston bookstore. Publishing companies like Underlined, Epic Reads, Penguin Teen, Kindle and more sponsor the event and set up booths to hand out free swag, including ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of books that haven't hit the shelves yet. Authors also make appearances, participate in panels, and do book signings. The event is set up all around downtown Charleston, which is always great.
We started the event by getting free coffee (DUH) from Novl's booth in front of the Charleston Museum. The coffee was from Kudu and it was definitely worth the ten minute wait. We also got free tote bags from Novl. We hit up the other lines for more free swag from HMH Teen, Penguin Random House, Riveted, and more.
We attended our first panel, Feminists United (FU), in the Ballroom of the American Theater. There were six authors on this panel: Moderator Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Diviners), E. Lockhart (Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars), Samantha Mabry (A Fierce and Subtle Poison, All the Wind in the World), Sona Charaipotra (Tiny Pretty Things, Shiny Broken Pieces), Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles), and Mackenzi Lee (A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, This Monstrous Thing). This was, by far, the best panel of the day! I loved listening to these strong females authors discuss their feministic beliefs and how they create their strong female characters.
Our next panel, It's Not An Issue Book, featured four authors: Moderator Hilary Reyl, Kekla Magoon (How It Went Down, X), Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King, Goodbye Days), and Jesse Andrews (Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, Haters). These authors discussed their beliefs about "issue books" and what makes an issue book. Jesse Andrews was by far the favorite with his hilarious comments about aortas.
We made our way back to the Charleston Museum for another panel called I'll Take Quidditch for $500. Y'all know my love for Harry Potter so of course we had to hit up this one. This panel was a Jeopardy themed and it was a blast watching the contestants (including Jesse Andrews again) answer questions about Harry Potter, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, classic characters and more. Anything Harry Potter and Game of Thrones gets my vote.
We had a short break until our final panel so we walked to Beech for a Poke bowl. I had the salmon with zucchini noodles, citrus kale salad, avocado, and pickled cucumbers. It was whole30 compliant and pretty tasty.
After our short lunch break, we walked to the Charleston Music Hall for the Keynote given by Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give) and Becky Albertalli (Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited). I was so excited for this panel because I absolutely loved The Hate U Give. You can read more about that here. These ladies were hilarious. They talked about their books being made into movies, Oreos, and how they knew they wanted to be authors.
I had a blast geeking out with my good friend Kirsty at Yallfest this year! I can't wait to go again next year! Until then, I've added quite a few new books to my To Be Read list!
To stay up to date with what I'm currently reading, check out my Goodreads!