Sunday, August 5, 2012

YA Fest 2012

YA FEST 2012


This past weekend, Janine and I headed out east to YA Fest in Easton, PA.  It was the first of hopefully many more of these events for the Palmer branch library, and it was our first chance to meet some of our favorite authors!  The day-long book festival had tons of highlights: Jonathan Maberry suggesting a skype with our high school book club, hugs from Michelle Zink, a great panel discussion, a prize basket win (which I shared with Janine) and TONS of additions to our "must read in the near future" lists!  We were blown away by how down-to-earth and receptive the authors all were, AND they really dig librarians!! 
Janine, Michelle Zink, and Nicky

When we first arrived at the festival, we hit the author signings first.  Michelle Zink blew us away when we walked up to her, she told us that we looked familiar, and asked if she's seen us online.  Um... YES!  Holy crap, she remembered Janine's review of A Temptation of Angels!!  We chatted for a while, took pictures, and got (many) books signed.

Michelle Zink and Jon Skovron signing books
We also talked with some authors with whom we were not as familiar, but who were very gracious, and we will definitely be checking out their books!  We found out that Jon Skovron, author of Struts & Frets and Misfit, went to college in our town of Pittsburgh.  Michael Northrup was also very fun.

Discussion panel

We then headed off to enter the raffles, and man, they had a TON of prizes!  It was hard to decide which ones we wanted to enter for the Chinese auction.  Next on the schedule was the panel discussion.  The festival held two panel discussions--one for those who love to read YA literature, and one for those who love to write YA literature.  Janine and I sat in for the first one for readers.  We listened to  Jonathan Maberry, Michelle Zink, Barbara Dee, Charles Benoit, and Anne Greenwood Brown.  After the discussion and question-and-answer session, we just had to get books signed by Charles Benoit (who was just too cool for words!) and Anne Greenwood Brown, who was adorable (we can't wait to read Lies Beneath). 

Jonathan Maberry... king of zombie fiction
After the panel discussion, we still had some authors we wanted to meet.  I was so excited to finally meet Jonathan Maberry.  I felt very honored when he commented on my review of Rot and Ruin.  Also, our high school book club had discussed Rot & Ruin last year.  We are planning on reading Dust and Decay with the high school book club for Teen Read Week.  When I told Mr. Maberry about this, he offered to skype with our kids!  I can't wait to tell them!  This really was quite an experience... one I will always remember.

This was such a great an event.  It was well-worth the five hour drive!  Although this was our first festival like this, and we have nothing to compare it with, Janine and I were both very impressed with the number of authors involved with this event, the number and quality of prizes, the organization of the festival, and the number of teens who participated and who were clearly excited to meet some of their favorite authors.  We send out a sincere thank you to all the staff at the Palmer branch of the Easton Public Library, as well as to all of those who volunteered their time, including the authors.

  While Nicky did say it all, I only wanted to say how wonderful of a time we had at YAFest.  This was the first author festival we have been too and it will definitely not be our last!!! I had such an amazing time meeting Michelle Zink (see the picture above), the picture is getting framed and going on my desk!!  Meeting Jonathan Maberry was also a major highlight for me.  Our lunch time book club read Rot and Ruin last September and ever since then, they have been obsessed ( me included!).  The other authors we had the privilege to meet and hear speak were terrific, down to earth and funny!!!  It was also great that Nicky won a gift basket and even better that she shared, since I am one of those people who never seem to win anything!  Thank you to all the amazing authors who participated in this event and to the Easton Public Library, Palmerton branch for hosting what I hope will be the first of many YAFest's!!
                                                             ~ Janine


  1. Hey girls! Saw your post on the YALSA listserv and we're so glad you had a great time @ YA Fest! We're currently working on ideas for future YAFest's, so if you have any suggestions or input (from an attendee's perspective), we'd love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for coming! :)
    -Katie C. (YS Dept., Easton Area Public Library)

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