Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New York City Teen Author Festival

By Nora

Dear authors from the NYC Teen Author Festival,
Thanks for taking a look at our blog! I really appreciated your interest at the signing. Also, thank you for your patience with my recovering voice, which I had lost on Friday. It was pretty hard to talk. :)
Looking forward to reading your books!

Last week was the NYC Teen Author Festival, featuring more than 90 authors.
What? 90 authors? That's crazy talk!
Yes. I know.
Unfortunately, I was only able to go on Saturday and Sunday because of school (school's such a buzzkill). That meant that I had to miss Michelle Hodkin, of all people. MICHELLE FREAKIN' HODKIN.

Anyway, Saturday's event was held at the New York Public Library (which is massive, I might add). A line formed outside the door and everything (we were second)! It consisted of four panels and four readings by debut authors.

Panel #1: Defying Description: Tackling the Many Facets of Identity in YA
Featuring: Marissa Calin, Aaron Hartzler, A. S. King, and Jaqueline Woodson
Moderator: David Levithan

This panel was mainly about teenage characters in YA facing difficult decisions about their sexuality and discovering who they truly are. I am extremely excited to read David Levithan's book, Two Boys Kissing (to be released on August 27) and give it to some of my friends.

My Opinion About It: The authors were discussing teens being openly gay, at their age, versus being gay in my time. Apparently, it was very difficult for them. I mean, I understand that it is still quite hard, taking bullying into consideration, however, our school is very relaxed. If you go to our school, you won't see bullying. There are at least two openly gay students in our grade alone (I don't even know the exact number) and they don't get any criticism about it. I'm proud of our school and I feel that everyone is accepted here.

Readings: New Voices Spotlight
Featuring: J. J. Howard, Kimberly Sabatini, Tiffany Schmidt, and Greg Takoudes

New Voices Spotlight was a reading from debut authors. The books included That Time I Joined the Circus, Touching the Surface, Send Me a Sign, and When We Wuz Famous. I am really excited to read Send Me a Sign. It seems like my kind of book.

Panel #3: Under Many Influences: Shaping Identity When You're a Teen Girl
Featuring: Jen Calonita, Deborah Heiligman, Hilary Weisman Graham, Kody Keplinger, Amy Spalding, Katie Sise, and Kathryn Williams
Moderator: Terra Elan McVoy

This panel was about teen girls and shaping their identity through friends, family, music, websites, teachers, and more. They talked about what could change the course of a teen girl's life (including friendship breakups).

My Opinion About It: I really hope I don't go through a friendship breakup! Being a teen girl myself, it was extremely interesting to hear what grown women had to say. Now I know what to look forward to. Sadness. Ha! Probably not, though. Hopefully. Also, you may not remember, but a few weeks ago, I posted that I really want to read Katie Sise's Boyfriend App. When I saw she was one of the panelists, I got really, really excited. You don't even know how excited I was. Unfortunately, she did not give away any ARCs. :(

Panel #4: Born This Way: Nature, Nurture, and Paranormaly
Featuring: Jessica Brody, Gina Damico, Maya Gold, Alexandra Monir, Lindsay Ribar, Jerry Smith-Ready, and Jessica Spotswood
Moderator: Adrienne Maria Vrettos

This panel discussed supernatural fiction and the paranormal. They talked about how teen characters in YA deal with these "powers."

My Opinion About It: I love the paranormal. Honestly, I find it fascinating. Also, I've met a few of these ladies previously. I've met Gina Damico once in Boston, and Jessica Spotswood three times, now. I should probably get to reading her book. XD I met her in Boston (with Gina Damico), on the Breathless Reads tour, and now here.

Panel #5: The Next Big Thing
Featuring: Jocelyn Davies, Leanna Renee Hieber, Barry Lyga, and Mayrose Wood

In which they discussed the Next Big Thing.

Ideas Brought Up: Panda Mermaids, Unicorns, something I forgot (silly me!), and, of course, bondage fiction for kids.

My Opinion About It: *facepalm*
David Levithan's Opinion About It: (I was sitting next to him) *dies of laughter*

Sunday was "Our No-Foolin' Mega-Signing" at Books of Wonder. It was considered "organized chaos" by David Levithan. In fact, it was.
There were so many authors signing, that you had to pick and choose. Sadly, I could not get to everyone. 
Here is the full list of authors present:

Jessica Brody (Unremembered)
Marisa Calin (Between You and Me)
Jen Calonita (The Grass is Always Greener)
Caela Carter (Me, Him, Them, and It)
Crissa Chappell (Narc)
Susane Colasanti (Keep Holding On)
Zoraida Cordova (The Vicious Deep)
Gina Damico (Scorch)
Jocelyn Davies (A Fractured Light)
Sarah Beth Durst (Vessel)
Gayle Forman (Just One Day)
Elizabeth Scott (Miracle)
T. M. Goeglein (Cold Fury)
Hilary Weisman Graham (Reunited
Alissa Grosso (Ferocity Summer)
Aaron Hartzler (Rapture Practice)
Deborah Heiligman (Intentions)
Leanna Renee Hieber (The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart)
J. J. Howard (That Time I Joined the Circus)
Alaya Johnson (The Summer Prince)
Beth Kephart (Small Damages)
Kody Keplinger (A Midsummer’s Nightmare)
A.S. King (Ask the Passengers)
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14)
David Levithan (Every Day) 
Barry Lyga (Yesterday Again)
Brian Meehl (Suck it Up and Die)
Alexandra Monir (Timekeeper)
Michael Northrop (Rotten)
Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars)
Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing)
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Kimberly Sabatini (Touching the Surface)
Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me a Sign)
Victoria Schwab (The Archived)
Jeri Smith-Ready (Shine)
Amy Spalding (The Reece Malcolm List)
Stephanie Strohm (Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink)
Nova Ren Suma (17 & Gone)
Greg Takoudes (When We Wuz Famous)
Mary Thompson (Wuftoom)
Jess Verdi (My Life After Now)
K.M. Walton (Empty)
Suzanne Weyn (Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters)
Kathryn Williams (Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous

Here is the full list of authors I met:
Jessica Brody (Unremembered

Marisa Calin (Between You and Me
Hilary Weisman Graham (Reunited
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14
David Levithan (Every Day) 
Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park
Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me a Sign)
Victoria Schwab (The Archived

Also, Kimberly Sabatini told me she would mug me for my copy of Eleanor & Park (the store had momentairly sold out), and Tiffany Schmidt told me she would mug me for my ARC of Siege and Storm.
Of course, my response was, "You're an author! You can do whatever you want!"

I'm so smart.

Jessica Brody
Marissa Calin

Hilary Weisman Graham
Deborah Heiligman

David Levithan

Victoria Schwab
Tiffany Schmidt
Lindsay Ribar

Emily Laybourne
Rainbow Rowell

(Sorry about the formatting. Blogger is a jerk, sometimes.) 


  1. Love it, Nora! Don't think I would've ever considered attending this event, but you sold me on it! Brava!

  2. These are great! So nice meeting you, Nora. Looks like you'll be busy reading for a while. ;)