On Saturday, September 24 I was in Chicagoland for the 7th Annual Anderson's Bookshop Young Adult Literature Conference. This is my third time attending this conference and what I love about it is the opportunity to meet and hear a whole bunch of awesome authors in a fairly intimate setting. I believe I heard that there were about 270 people attending the conference, mostly teachers and librarians (but some teens and others, too!). Really, for the number of authors that I heard and met, it was well worth the registration fees (and even the drive up to Chicagoland and the hotel beforehand).
My partner in crime for this adventure was the lovely Kelly of Stacked. (Check out Kelly's recap here!) We headed to Naperville Friday evening and had a lovely dinner and many geeky conversations about blogging and books. We arrived at the conference hotel nice and early to peruse the bookstore, collect swag (including a couple of ARCs!), and scope out our seats.
While perusing, we randomly met another book blogger, DJ of DJ's Life in Fiction. He's totally sweet and you should definitely check out his fantastic blog. (Check out part one of his recap here!)
|A-conferencing we go!|
|Many lovely books to buy!|
|James Klise, author of Love Drugged (which I loved), in the local authors panel|
After the morning panel sessions, it was time for lunch and a talk from Charles Benoit, author of You. But before we headed back in for lunch, I had the pleasure to meet Karen from Harvard, IL and I just have to give her a shout-out because she said some very sweet things about my blog. Hi, Karen! Okay, back to Charles Benoit. He is hilarious and a very engaging speaker. Though he's a newbie to writing YA, having written adult mysteries previously, I've heard nothing but great things about You. Charles talked about his storyteller mother and how she inspired him to be creative.
|David Levithan, John Green, Siobhan Vivian, Dana Reinhardt, Charles Benoit|
Then it was time for more panels! I attended the Contemporary Edge panel with Charles Benoit, John Green, David Levithan, Dana Reinhardt, and Siobhan Vivian. There we learned a bit about Siobhan's new novel, Not That Kind of Girl, and had a very interesting discussion about language in YA novels. David Levithan points out that a YA author's job is not just to write how kids talk but to "use words to find truth". Sometimes four-letter words most aptly express a feeling. While David has an adult novel coming out next year, John Green expressed that he has no desire to write for an adult audience, saying, "Teenagers matter to me as readers in a way that adults don't."
Next I was off to a Supernatural Panel, featuring Claudia Gray, Nancy Holder, Sophie Jordan, Kiersten White, and Debbie Vigui
Thanks to Anderson's for a lovely conference!
*And I apologize because, though I took about eleven billion pictures, almost 100% of them were terrible. I am not a photographer... I will stick to blogging, thanks.