Boston Teen Author Festival

In September, I attended my first bookish event and it was a really incredible experience. 40 young adult authors were invited to attend, there were a number of different panels and a signing at the end.

My mom and I drove all the way to Boston to attend (thanks mom for going with me) I don’t regret it at all. Even though we had to get up early and scramble to find somewhere to park once we got there, it was such a fun day.

Schedule:
9:30: Doors Open
10-11: Intro panel with all authors
11:15-12: Group A Panels
12:15-1: Group B Panels
1:15-2: Group A Panels – Reprise
2:15-3: Group B Panels – Reprise
3:15-5: Signing

The intro panel was a little crazy and disorganized, but once everyone was settled it was fascinating to hear from each author about their books, and the unique way they answered the questions posed to them.

There were so many intriguing themes for the panels that it was tough to decide where to go, but I figured I’d pick my favourite authors’ panels first and see where it led me. The first panel I attended was Out of Character which featured Leigh Bardugo, Kerri Maniscalco, Ashley Poston and Jason Reynolds. It was all about making established characters their own.

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They talked about what Hogwarts houses their main characters would be sorted into, what inspired them to write and more! You can watch the footage I took of the panel here (it’s long and a little shaky because the person in front of me kept moving their head and I kept trying to film around them, plus I was actually watching the authors talk rather than paying attention to my camera screen. Sorry, not sorry.)

After that panel ended, I immediately rushed to the next panel (which was of course on a different floor and the other end of the library, which is huge by the way.) My mom stopped to go to the bathroom and guess who was in line behind her? Susan Dennard, they chatted for a while and are friends now. I am soooooo jealous, and sad.

Thankfully, her panel was the one that I was going to see and that was called Tropes on You – featuring Susan Dennard, Brendan Reichs, Sandhya Menon and Elizabeth Eulberg. It was all about, you guessed it, busting tropes.

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They didn’t have a moderator for their panel, so the lovely Elizabeth took charge and the group had a fun time together.

I was too excited and didn’t take a lunch break, so the next panel I attended was Their Dark Materials with Traci Chee, Rin Chupeco, Amanda Foody and Linsey Miller. These dark, gritty fantasies were the perfect picks for this panel.

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Yet another panel without a moderator, what happened guys? This time Traci took charge and got everyone chatting about their books. By this time, my camera battery had died (even though I brought three!!) and so I started filming on my phone. (Is it just me or does it sound better and is less shaky? Maybe it’s just because we were in a smaller, quieter space than the Out of Character panel which was in a huge auditorium.)

Finally, I attended the last panel of the day which was Lens Crafters featuring Victoria Aveyard, Cinda Williams Chima, Lisa Maxwell, and Tara Sim. It was all about books with multiple points of view.

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I actually already had Cinda and Lisa’s books on my TBR, but after hearing everyone talk I was even more excited to read them. Sadly by this time I had filled up my phone’s memory and could only record about 3 minutes of footage (which was back in the auditorium, so the sound was terrible). They had some good advice about tenses and points of view, as well as finding a character’s voice which really made you think if you write yourself.

If you’re interested in seeing what other panels were offered, you can check out the list on the Boston Teen Author’s website here or you can see the authors that were in attendance here.

Finally, it was time for the signings! I didn’t know how crazy it would be, so I only brought three books with me – but I saw a lady who was wheeling a legitimate storage bin behind her. For reference, they’re those huge ones you put in the garage or store like… twenty comforters in. She was definitely dedicated and I hope she managed to get all of them signed.

It was another unorganized part of the festival. Imagine the authors are inside a big square room and the line starts at the door then continues clockwise around the whole thing, wrapping around the room twice. Does that make any sense? The volunteers decided to move part of the line to make space in the hallway, so where I was standing in line.. we ended up basically having to walk around the entire outside once… and then somehow got put at the end of the entire line. As a result, I spent about an hour just waiting to get into the room, which wasn’t fun and meant I had very little time to see authors.

By that time, the line for Leigh Bardugo was super long and I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to see her if I went to anyone else. My mom took my Windwitch book and got in line to see Susan Dennard and get it signed. Hindsight being 20/20, I realized that I could have had my mom wait in line for Leigh while I went to see Susan Dennard, but it was just so chaotic that I handed her the book and she rushed off. So I was again sad that I didn’t get to see Susan Dennard, but my mom had a lovely conversation with her and I got a bunch of gorgeous Witchlands stuff. I already put the poster in a frame and will hang it up in my library.

After about 45 minutes, I was at the front of Leigh Bardugo’s line! She was such a sweetheart and took the time to chat with each person who waited to see her. I had donated to the Boston Teen Authors Festival’s Kickstarter and received a signed copy of Wonder Woman: Warbringer as a result. Leigh commented that she remembered signing my book earlier that day (benefits of having an unusual name)! She also signed my copies of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which I will treasure forever. Most exciting, I got a picture with her!!

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By the time I saw Leigh, the signing was pretty much over. I scooted over to say hi to a few authors who didn’t have lines, got some bookmarks and pins, then headed home.

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It was a long, but so fun day! I hope you enjoyed this little recap and that my videos weren’t too terrible? Let me know what you thought in the comments below and what panels you would have attended!

14 thoughts on “Boston Teen Author Festival

  1. bookprincessreviews says:

    Omigosh, this was so much fun, Kyera!! I didn’t have time to watch all of your videos, but I’m SO going to have to come back and watch them all. I SUPER can’t wait to watch that first one. There are some amazing panels you got to see (I see the difference with the phone video, though – super odd?). Super sad that it didn’t work out as well for the signing line, which is super disappointing, but your mom needs to hook you up with Dennard again. XD Glad it was overall a great experience, though! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • kyera says:

      Really? I’m glad you liked the post. I tried to do my best, even though it’s my first book signing experience I know that if I really wanted to I would have the ability to go to other ones and I know some people can’t because all there’s not come to their area or maybe they don’t have a car to get there so I want to do my best so that people can maybe live vicariously through these videos even if they’re not the greatest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading with Rendz says:

    You are soooooooooooo lucky you get to go to these things!! And listen to so many panels and even meet some authors! I wish those kind of things would get more attention here but alas they are all very small! Still I’m so incredibly happy that you got to meet Leigh and it must have soo magical (but tbh if it was me I would have been so nervous and mumbled or said odd things XD) But yay for you and your champion Mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • kyera says:

      I completely recognize that while I’m not near NYC or LA, authors do come to the area (or at least states near mine) so I do have an opportunity to see them, I wish they went to Canada more! That’s sort of why I did the post because I know some people don’t get the opportunity and I wanted (to the best of my ability) to share my experience with them.

      Oh my gosh yes, that’s me as well. My mom mostly talked to her… she’s good at just walking up to strangers and telling them her whole life story. I mean, she was in line for the bathroom with Susan Dennard and just became friends with her. At first, she said, she wished I was the one in line instead so I could have talked to her, but then said… actually, you probably would have turned around, saw it was her, and just stood in line, never talked to her. It’s true though. I totally wouldn’t have said anything, just been excited in my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reading with Rendz says:

        Yeah, I wish they came up here more frequently rather than once in a blue moon. Then again, I live in Toronto, so I get way more events than most other Canadian readers so I guessed I’m kinda privileged with that. Still, I love it when people who share their adventures at these events!!

        Liked by 1 person

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