Blue Bicycle books hosted the fourth annual YALLFest in Charleston on Friday and Saturday. A celebration of young adult and middle grade literature, the festival featured a variety of panels, interactive activities, book signings and vendors for literature lovers young and old.
Participants ranged from emerging authors to established best sellers like R.L. Stine (Goosebumps), Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and Veronica Roth (the Divergent series).
These are the five panels we attended with a takeaway from each session:
1. Harry Potter is Lyfe
After a rousing discussion by panelists regarding the merit of Severus Snape, we’re still left to ponder, is he a jerk or should he be forgiven for paying the ultimate price?
2. YA Gender Studies 101
As the world changes, the relationships and characters of young adult novels are changing as well. While progress has been made, panelists agree that there’s much more to be done. But, according to Zac Brewer, literature can help make that happen.
3. Meg Cabot Spotlight Conversation
Unlike The Princess Diaries, the author’s Mediator series is not getting a big screen adaptation at this time. Cabot isn’t quite ready to sign her story over to someone else.
4. Space, The Final YA Frontier
When trying to write the science of the future, panel member Marissa Meyer said she imagines what technology she wishes we had today and writes to that. Meanwhile, Meagan Spooner is lucky enough to have some scientific friends she consults to attempt to make the “fake science,” as it was referred to in the session, believable.
5. YALLFest Goes to Hollywood
Panelists Kody Keplinger (The Duff), R.L. Stine (Goosebumps) and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicker) told tales of what it was like seeing their work come to life on screen. Handler will once again see Lemony Snicket in the flesh as Netflix is adapting the story for a television series. No word on a release date as casting is still underway.