23 YA Authors Take Over Northern Virginia!
From March 7 to 8, authors from all over the country (and even as far away as Mexico) took part in the first ever NoVA Teen Book Festival.
Organized by One More Page Books and Arlington Public Library, with help from Fairfax Public Library, Fall for the Book and Writopia, this was the first free festival for lovers of Young Adult literature in Northern Virginia.
On Friday, the authors visited nine area schools, where student got to hear and speak with a selection of the authors.
Teachers and the authors were impressed by the enthusiasm and quality of questions from the students. At Washington-Lee high school, many of the students (aspiring writers themselves) asked authors Marie Lu, Sarah Guillory and Victoria Schwab for their advice battling writer’s block and what their journeys to publishing looked like.
Then almost 300 people attended the festival on Saturday!
The day started with an opening key note speech by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, a definite member of the YA authors hall of fame whose Alice books have enchanted more than two decades worth of readers. Naylor talked about how her life has influenced her writing and charmed listeners with a story of how a long ago chocolate Easter bunny ended up in the book “Shiloh.”
Following the keynote, there were author panels and breakout sessions (where readers got the chance to listen to the authors in a much smaller setting). Authors talked about identity, the consequences of science, rising above disasters, the perils of writing bad boys and more.
The festival portion of day finished out with a speech from author, Marie Lu, who has just recently finished her Legend trilogy. She talked about the influence of the books she read as a teen on her becoming a writer. Brian Jacques’ Red Wall series, “The Giver” and “The Lord of the Rings“ all had a major influence on her.
Then the authors and readers traveled over to Central Library for a massive book signing! It was a whirlwind event with everyone having the chance to get to meet the authors they’d been listening to all day up close.
Check out some of our event photos:
We cannot give enough thanks to organizer Danielle Ellison, One More Page Books, and all of our other partners for coming together to make this event possible.
We also want to thank our teen volunteers – many of whom are book club members and library volunteers as well!
We are so proud of the way they tirelessly and super enthusiastically worked all day, doing everything from carrying boxes to running to bring an author lunch. It was a labor of love for all involved and we hope that everyone who attended had a fantastic day.