TeenBookCon to run April 11th, free to public


i was here gayle formanTeenBookCon, a convention celebrating teen literature, will take place this year at Alief Taylor High School on April 11th in Houston, Texas.

“I think events like this are so wonderful at connecting the YA community with readers and that includes readers who aspire to be authors themselves today,” said participating author Aisha Saeed, whose book Written in the Stars hit shelves this month. “As a teen I never met an author in person, but I imagine if I had it would have really inspired me. I also love the positivity surrounding these events and the celebration of reading and books.”

Attending authors include Gayle Forman (I Was Here), David Levithan (Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story), Ally Carter (All Fall Down), Josephine Angelini (Trial by Fire), Susane Colasanti (City Love), Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly), Lindsay Cummings (The Murder Complex), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), Lydia Kang (Catalyst), Jennifer Mathieu (The Truth About Alice), Megan Miranda (Soulprint), Jason Reynolds (The Boy in the Black Suit), Tommy Wallach (We All Looked Up) and Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity), among others.

“Festivals like TeenBookCon pull all the book people in the community out of the woodwork and bring them together,” said participating author Alexis Bass, author of the new Love and Other Theories. “It’s the perfect opportunity for everyone involved – avid readers, aspiring writers, authors—to discuss books and writing, and celebrate everything they love. Finding this kind of access and support locally, and within the YA community, is really priceless.”

The day starts with a keynote address in Taylor Theatre before authors head to their panel rooms. Books will be available to buy before the keynote address, along with booths for other activities. Participants will then choose to attend four of the six panels available to them throughout the day before the ending speech.

“My panel features authors who write realistic fiction and is titled The Hardest Thing with Gayle Foreman, Kevin Emerson, Jason Reynolds, and Elizabeth Wein,” said Saeed. “As my novel covers some difficult subject matter, I am looking forward to talking about the process and learning from the other panelists many who have been doing this for quite some time!”

The six panels will run throughout the event include The Hardest Thing, about realistic fiction; Magical Mayhem, about fantasy; The Truth About Love, about love and relationships in fiction; The Secrets That Bind Us, about action and adventure; Reality Need Not Apply, about science-fiction; and Fight the Good Fight, which focuses on graphic novels.

“‘The Truth About Love’ panel has such great authors, and all of our books talk about love and relationships in very different ways, touching on all sorts of topics from the bittersweet stuff to the heart melting stuff,” said Bass. “I imagine it will make for very lively, fun, and broad discussion!”

Almost every panel features a diverse author or work.

“I think representation of diverse titles and authors at local conventions is important because we live in a diverse world and our authors should represent this,” said Saeed. “I have to say I really do appreciate Teen BookCon’s commitment to diversity and the amazing panels they have lined up.”

Aspiring teen writers can sign up to participate in the TeenBookCon Teen Writers’ Workshop with Kevin Emerson, author of the recently released YA novel Breakout. Teens who wish to participate must sign up in advance.

While TeenBookCon is free to the public, books will be sold at the event. TeenBookCon runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 11th. For more on TeenBookCon, visit their website or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Feature image by Ann Nguyen and courtesy of TeenBookCon.

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

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