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Teen Board Question - May 2017, Part 1

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - May 2017, Part 1

We love a good book convention --- what could be better than seeing your favorite authors, getting your books signed and meeting fellow booklovers? With conventions on the brain, we’re asked our Teen Board members what their perfect book convention would look like if they could design it from the ground up. Read below to find out which authors they'd invite, what topics their panels would cover and what kind of fun swag they'd give to attendees.


As a self-proclaimed planner extraordinaire, the mere thought of planning my own convention makes me happy. First, it would be a three-day event (much like Woodstock...but with more books). Each day would focus on a different aspect of the publishing process. Day One would be the writing and story building day, Day Two about publishing (agents, publishing deals, editing, book covers, etc.) and finally, Day Three about the readers. Yes, readers and bloggers would be allowed to attend. There would be panels specific to each day. I'd invite Victoria Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Becky Albertalli, Nicola Yoon, Maggie Stiefvater, Angie Thomas and Adam Silvera to the author day. They'd talk about LGBTQ issues, writing about mental illness, writing fantasies, story-building, realistic fiction and everything else I'm forgetting! I'm not sure about editors or agents, but I know I'd invite editors from independent publishers.

The booths would be from all different types of publishers: Macmillan, Random House, Penguin, etc. They'd give out free totes, shirts, buttons and all the free swag attendees could carry. People would need totes upon totes to carry their free stuff home. And, of course, there'd be free and purchasable books. Authors attending the convention would be able to meet with readers in intimate settings such as tea parties and breakfasts to talk and sign books. There would be more than one tea party and more than one breakfast. They would need to be ticketed, though, so the authors wouldn't be overwhelmed with readers.

There would be a fan fiction contest, a cosplay contest, a fan art contest, a fiction contest and a poetry contest. People would submit beforehand, and there would be a huge ceremony for all to celebrate the creations of their fellow readers and authors. The winners would get to attend a private dinner or party with the authors.

It would be a huge convention to celebrate books. I'm not sure what it'd be called, but I'm thinking AwesomeCon. Not very creative, I know, but it definitely sums it up perfectly. Or maybe even Big Book Bonanza. --- Wren L.


My perfect book convention would be one that is focused on one specific topic. Right now, I am really into reading nonfiction books about math concepts (for example, right now I'm reading ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife) so I would have to say a math-themed book convention sounds amazing. I would like to invite scholars who have published books about mathematical concepts for the general audience (so not those who publish highly specific journal articles that only a handful of people can understand). One author would be selected to give a keynote address on how math applies to our daily lives. I am a fan of bigger crowds at these events so I would definitely want it to be big! I see a lot of nonfiction lovers as well as math lovers attending the convention. Finally, I would love to give away a funny math t-shirt, a math mug, a clock that has equations in place of numbers, and a klein bottle! --- Pranshu A.


First, I would make the convention specifically geared toward young adult novels! I attended BookCon last year and it was a bit overwhelming with all the genres mashed together. Favorite authors of mine that I would invite would be Sarah J. Maas, Cassandra Clare, Sharon Cameron and Laini Taylor. Since so many of these authors specialize in fantasy novels, I would have a fantasy element to the whole convention. There would be panels on world-building, how to become a better writer and character development. I would also let the authors come up with panel ideas of their own, which I think would be interesting! I would get as many books as I could signed, and of course for swag I would make sure there was something food related! Who wouldn't love a book-themed cupcake? --- Kate F.


My dream convention would be relatively small --- it would just be my favorite authors and me! Basically, it would be a big hang out with Rainbow Rowell, Mindy McGinnis, Sarah J. Maas and many more disguised as a book convention. We would discuss each of their books at length, and all of my questions would be answered because I would be the only one asking! I could ask about trade secrets and hidden plot lines without worrying about the whole internet finding out. It would be amazing, and we would eat many, many cookies. --- Brynn D.


One of the most important things about a convention is the atmosphere it gives off and though I love BookCon, my ideal book convention wouldn't have the crazy, packed atmosphere that it always seems to have. My dream convention would be more intimate and smaller but not limited by the bounds of an event center. I'd love to have it outside like YALLFest does every year. It seems so cool to have a book convention take over the town like that! I'd try and get as many authors possible there, big and small, self published and published from big houses. Rather than doing only huge signing lines, I'd also love to see authors in more personal settings like with parties or lunches or something. Besides that, I'd make sure to have tons of ARCS, because those are the things everyone wants to get. --- Brynn S.


If I had to design a book convention from the ground up, I would invite authors like Malala Yousafzai and Maziar Bahari to talk about the hatred that we see in the world and what we as individuals can do to combat it. There will be panels of speakers focused on talking about both sides of every argument so that people can accurately learn the whole story. I would hope that it would be a big convention so that we can reach as many people possible to make them aware of the things happening in the world. I'm not sure that this is the norm but to get into the convention everyone would have to give a starting donation of $5, which would be donated to organizations like LifeStraw. On the actual floor along with the speakers and books there will be stations where people who wanted to would be able to make blankets, care packages and letters to people living in refugee camps. --- Zoe I.


My perfect book convention would have all the young adult authors! You could get your books signed and there would also be a fun quiz to see what other types of books you would like. There would also be multiple locations and dates, so if you miss one, you can go to another! --- Rebecca D.


I've never been to a book convention before, but I have dreams of a FantasyBookCon. This would include all things fantasy, from kid to adult level books. I would have to include some of my well-known favorites, like JK Rowling, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J Maas and Rick Riordan. I would also love to have some smaller, but equally wonderful fantasy authors, like Michael Pryor, Lisa McMann, and John Flanagan. Lots of the questions and panels I would have would involve world building, because some of the worlds I read are so wonderful and complex, it would be great to hear how they are created. And I would love to give away copies of maps of my favorite fantasy worlds. I adore seeing these maps in the beginning of any book, and I would love to give them away. --- Caitlyn K.


To start, I think I would make my dream convention a smaller event, because I've never gone to a big convention like Comic Con or BookCon, so I think I might get lost if it was too big, and then I'd miss all the events! I'd invite some of my favorite authors: Nicola Yoon, Marissa Meyer, Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Claudia Gray, Laini Taylor, Evelyn Skye, Kiera Cass and Sara Raasch. I'd love to do events with each of the individual authors so that I could get their thoughts on each of their own books individually, but I'd also like to do group panels on topics like creating unique characters, coming up with ideas, the challenges and benefits of writing different genres. I'd love to have some unique panels as well, such as maybe having the authors swap characters and predict how the plot of their original story would change with the switch. I'd try to get THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, MY LADY JANE, DEFY THE STARS and STRANGE THE DREAMER signed, just to name a few, and I'd make sure that all attendees went home with things like laptop stickers, posters, t-shirts and tote bags with quotes from popular YA books or just general bookish designs. --- Rachel R.


I have never given much thought to how my own convention would look. I try to read a little bit of everything and keep my doors always open for any recommendations. One of my favorite things to do is go to a bookstore and get a recommendation from a stranger. I'll either like it, or I won't, but at least I gave it a try. Even though the ideal convention would be something that would have something for everyone, I would imagine that would be incredibly hard to organize, especially if it is going to be the first convention I would run. The one thing I would focus on is: inspiration. My goal would be for people to leave it feeling inspired to share their story. Whether it is a true story or one they created. No hands would leave empty. I would want for Pam Munoz Ryan to be there because she is one of the first authors that inspired me. I'd also ask for Gina Rodriguez to speak, for the same reason. Since different things inspire different people, I would try to make it as diverse as possible. Jenny Han and Marie Lu would be invited. I would have writing and poetry workshops as well as some art one too. Overall, I would just want to create an environement where people can go and chill, and may be write a poem while they're at it. What would it be named? Please don't ask me because I might come up with one and live to regret the name. --- Sabina Z.


It might be weird, but I’ve honestly thought about this for a long time. I know I would definitely want Andrew Smith (WINGER, GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE), A.S. King (I CRAWL THROUGH IT, STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO), Benjamin Alire Saenz (CARRY ME LIKE WATER, ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE), Nic Sheff (TWEAK, WE ALL FALL DOWN), Adam Silvera (MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME) and Angie Thomas (THE HATE U GIVE) to be there. Yup, that should be good. Each one of these authors have written books that have changed my life forever and stay with me every day. I also think these authors represent the change that the world is trying to achieve. One of the big topics I would like to discuss, especially with Nic Sheff, is life with mental illness. He did a wonderful job talking about it in his autobiographies, which are some of my favorite novels of all time. If I could just talk to them, I honestly wouldn’t need swag. I already know the conversations would be so fulfilling and ones that would mean the world. --- Reanna H.


My perfect book convention would definitely be a huge convention like Comic Con, where there is a never-ending list of things to do! Not only can attendees find out all they’ve ever wanted to know about their favorite books during author panels and Q&A sessions, but they can also get their books signed and photos taken with their favorite authors. Additionally, attendees would be able to see exclusive looks at never before seen books and adaptions. Every attendee would receive a goody bag full of bookish memorabilia, and each book-lover can go running around the convention hall to collect free ARCs, exclusive editions of books and other fun bookish merch from the infinite amount of booths. There would also be tons of bookish games and trivia competitions that attendees would want to play for forever. --- Makayla H.


I would love to go to a huge book convention like Comic Con. I've only been to one, the Miami Book Fair, and it was relatively small compared to other book conventions. I'd want authors like Huntley Fitzpatrick, Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth to be there. It would be awesome if they would discuss how they began writing, and why they chose to write certain books. Swag would include free books and other book-related gifts like bookmarks and gift cards to Barnes & Noble! --- Juliette G.


I’ve never been to a book convention, so it’s time for me to get creative! I think at a con, I’d want it to be smaller, and invite more obscure authors. I think it would be a good chance to introduce more authors to readers and encourage people to read that author’s books. The intimate environment would lead to a lot more readers getting to interact with the author, and I think would get the author some dedicated fans. Besides the authors in attendance, I would want there to be vendors selling themed merchandise and good food. I’m a sucker for snacks. I’m not sure about how real book conventions work, but this is what I would want in a dream one. --- Rebecca N.


My perfect book convention would be held in a homey café. It would have lots of fairy lights and relaxing music in the background. I think a café would be the perfect place to hold a book convention at super smaller venue so readers and authors have an easier way of connecting. I live super close to Portland, the home of the weird, so I would deinitely pick a coffee shop there. The only limitation to this is the small size. With too many people around social anxiety can affect how many people behave. While it may be hard, I would chose to hold a book convention at a smaller, more inviting place for introverts.

I would ask the authors more about their adolescence and why they chose the career path that they did. Its nice to hear all about authors current and future life, but I would also like to hear about how they got to were they are. Also I would ask questions like "what's your favorite place to read?" Or "if you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?" just so they feel more like a human and a little less of a literary god. Meeting a favorite author can be a little overwhelming, therefore these questions would act like a bridge to bring the reader and the author closer together. --- McKenzie S.


My perfect book convention would be small and intimate. The book lovers would be able to really talk to the authors. Learn their inspiration. Learn what kept them from giving up. It would be more of a convention for people wanting to pursue writing. I would invite Cassandra Clare, Pittacus Lore, James Patterson, Rick Yancy and many many more authors. I would get them to discuss why the wrote their book or books, their inspiration, what books they want to write next. Any newly released books would be signed (if the author is okay with it). Convention attendees would recieve a bag with a blanket, tea, a coffee cup, a journal and a pen inside. All over the convention center would be corners stuffed with bean bags and pillows and blankets. Anyone could plop down and read whenever they please. It would be wonderful. --- Ashley D.


If I could design my own book convention, I would definitely want to include Morgan Matson and Jennifer E. Smith. I would want to know what inspires them to create an environment so realistic for teen life today. Both of these authors are able to connect with teens, create realistic problems/circumstances and make you fall in love with their novels. I would want to know about the writing process behind Matson’s THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING and Smith’s THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE. Both of these are some of my favorite YA novels of all time, and I would love to hear them talk in depth about what inspired them, what characters they relate to, etc. As for giveaways, I would love to have postcards that display the email exchanges between Graham and Ellie in Smith’s novel, and a visual image of the iconic scavenger hunt in Matson’s. I would also encourage them to write a joint YA novel! --- Ryan H.


My dream convention would start in a big room with dozens of portals lining the wall. Each portal takes you to a different author's world in which all the author's events are being held. For instance, let's say you choose J.K. Rowling's portal, you would then be transported to her event at Hogwarts. Once there you can not only have a meet & greet with her, but with all her characters as well. I personally would love to visit Stephenie Meyers' Forks and meet all the vampires and werewolves, or travel to Kiera Cass's Illea and meet (two of my favorite characters of all time) Maxon and America. All the panels would consist of the author and their characters. Couldn't you just imagine going to a "Why Did You Kill Me?" panel where all the characters J.K. Rowling has killed talk to her about it? Or a "How To Woo a Girl" panel with Edward and Jacob? I think their quips and banter would be hilarious! And maybe even a "Life Lessons I Learned in a Humiliatingly Publicized Event," panel moderated by Kiera Cass and Gavril Fadaye (of course) and featuring Maxon, America, Aspen and some of the Elite. There would also be tons of cool events throughout the day like self-defense lessons with Jasper or vampire and werewolf piggyback rides. In Illea you can become a member of the selected for a day. Upon arrival you would get a makeover, then some etiquette lessons. After that there would be a stately dinner followed by a grand ball where you could dance with Prince Maxon (or Aspen if you prefer). And for Harry Potter there would be a sorting hat ceremony where you find your TRUE house, after which there'd be house related events, a quidditch game and maybe even a death eater initiation party. After all the Q&As, signings, panels and other fun events, there would be a tour of the world (no matter what portal you chose), lead by a character. On your way out you can snag some merchandise... what better place to get bookish memorabilia then straight from the source! --- Rachel A.