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December 1, 2016

Teen Board Member Taylor F. Reports from YALLFest


YALLFest, a two day book festival in Charleston, took place this month from November 11th - 12th. Teen Board member Taylor F. had the awesome experience of attending and mingling with some of her favorite authors. After returning and sorting the new additions to her TBR, she answered some questions for us about her experience. Read below to learn all about YALLFest from a teen's perspective! Who did you attend YallFest with?

Taylor F.: I attended YallFest with my friend Danielle --- who is actually on the Teen Reads Board --- and sporadically met up with a few of my online bookish friends!


TRC: What panel or event were you looking forward to the most?

TF: Okay, so I feel like I should make a quick disclaimer saying that I went into YallFest with a list of authors I wanted to meet but ended up doing things “cold turkey” --- which turned out to be an amazing choice. Although, the one panel I had on my list that I was looking forward to was the Closing Keynote with authors Nicola Yoon, Adam Silvera, and Julie Murphy.
TRC: What panel(s) did you attend? Which was your favorite? Why?

TF: In the end I only attended one panel which was the Closing Keynote. I had a few other panels on my checklist I was thinking of attending but due to long author signing lines I didn’t have time for them. I was totally fine with it though because the Closing Keynote conversations were hilarious, thought-provoking, and very interesting --- so all in all, a GREAT time!

TRC: Were there any authors who surprised you or shared something unexpected? Who and why?

TF: I’ve always adored Susan Dennard --- author of TRUTHWITCH and the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy --- but have never gotten the chance to meet her, so I freaked out when I went to her Witchlander meetup where there were free cupcakes! Susan was also walking around chatting with people and when I talked to her it just validated how sweet and amazing she is.

TRC: What was your best unexpected encounter with an author or fan?

TF: The cool thing about YallFest is that it was all outdoors, meaning you could randomly run into any author on the sidewalk. Going along with that, I did see a few authors including Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli while I was walking to a meetup but was too nervous to stop and say hi (I know I still regret it to this day). I also passed Jenny Han and Danielle Paige --- it honestly felt like I was in Hollywood or something!

TRC: And of course, the books! Tell us some of the books that you came away wanting to read after YALLFest.

         TF: Ever since YallFest I have been wanting to get read WAYFARER by Alexandra Bracken. I got an ARC of the book after waiting in a VERY long line --- totally worth it though --- for Alex Bracken and ever since I got my hands on it I have been wanting to pick it up as soon as possible. I also got an ARC of ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard that I am DEFINITELY picking up soon since I am a sucker for the Phantom of the Opera!

TRC: What book would you encourage your friends to read after your hearing from the author?

TF: I would recommend ANY book by Julie Murphy! Her input in the Closing Keynote was so inspiring and made me feel much more confident in myself. She had me laughing out loud with all her quirky comments and it personally made me want to read her books as well!

TRC: What’s your best memory of the day?

TF: My best memory would be when Danielle and I went to the Fierce Reads booth. There was a “Spin to Win” sort of deal where you would spin the wheel and win a book. Well, Danielle and I got to the booth just as they were running out of books to hand out and they ended up showing three books and we could just choose one from the picks. Danielle ended up getting WINDWITCH by Susan Dennard --- a book she has been wanting to read ever since she read the first book in the series --- and I ended up getting a book I really wanted as well, CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber. It was a complete shock but we were so happy to have been so lucky!  


TRC: Any additional thoughts?

TF: YALLFest was one of the most amazing book festivals that I have had the honor of attending and I recommend anyone who can make it to Charleston, to check it out. It was so much fun and the venue was beautiful! I just loved how every event was scattered over the town so you could sightsee while getting your books signed by some wonderful authors. You meet the greatest people while waiting in the lines and the whole atmosphere is full of bookish fun. All in all, I had a lovely time and cannot wait for next year!