YALLFest 2017 Wrap Up

We had a blast at YALLFest this weekend. We didn’t want to do individual posts for each panel. But, we attended some amazing panels and wanted to give you a quick recap of what we did at YALLFest.

Keynote: Patrick Ness and Renée Ahdieh
Moderator: Veronica Roth

  • We started our day off with the Keynote panel. This definitely started our day off with a bang. Patrick was very open and honest throughout the panel. Renée Ahdieh throughout the panel was charismatic and genuine in her answers.
  • Many of the questions were geared toward the diversity and representation in both Ness’ and Ahdieh’s books. They both tackeled tough topics like dangers of a patriarchal society, representation in books, and female empowerment and voice.
  • Favorite Quotes:
    • “The good thing about YA is that it invites you in. Who are you when you’re here?” – Patrick Ness
    • “You don’t realize you’re missing something until you see it.” – Renée Ahdieh on the topic of representation in books.
    • “If you don’t see yourself in a book you are harmed. Because, you essentially weren’t invited to the party and that’s fucked up.” – Patrick Ness
    • “It’s a reality as women in this world. No matter what sphere you move in you’re moving in a patriarchy. People all the time ask me if it makes me upset that these characters would never have been allowed these opportunities. It does but, that’s not true.There are so many women in history that flouted gender norms.” -Renée Ahdieh
    • “I’m writing for the teenage me. I want him to see himself. I want him to get some of that shame erased.” -Patrick Ness

Author’s as Fans: Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, Stephanie Garber, and Renée Ahdieh
Moderator: Veronica Roth

  • Our second panel was definitely more lighthearted than the first. If I could describe this panel in one word it would be, hilarious. The topics of this panel started out with each author talking about something they’re a fan of. It then went on to discuss their inspiration for their books. This panel also touched up on the idea of things that you are a fan of becoming “problematic.” The author’s on this part were equal parts comedy and sincere.
  • Favorite Quotes:
    • “You’re allowed to like problematic, but you have to learn from it. You can’t excuse or apologize for it.” – Veronica Roth
    • “Saying that ‘he’s a great producer’ doesn’t take away from that fact that it’s problematic. We have to hold them accountable because that’s the only way things change and people grow.” – Leigh Bardugo



Genre Wars: Sci-Fi vs Fantasy: Marissa Meyer, Joelle Charbonneau, Marie Rutkoski, Laini Taylor, Brendan Reichs, and Sarah Beth Durst
Moderator: Dhonielle Clayton

  • We were immediately drawn to this panel because we are avid readers of both fantasy and Sci-Fi. This panel was set up to discuss the differences between the two genres and what it takes to write for them. With six total writers participating in this panel, it was surprisingly lopsided in the final vote with four fantasy and two Sci-Fi. Ultimate
  • Favorite Quotes:
    • “You’re dropped in a medieval world. Congratulations, you’re a princell with no plumbing.” – Joelle Charbonneau.
    • “The technology doesn’t really have to work. What it comes down to is dragons vs. robots.” – Laini Taylor

Spotlight on Becky Albetalli and Angie Thomas

  • The spotlight on these two authors was something that we’d looked forward to significantly as the weeks pulled us closer to YALLFest. Thomas is in the midst of writing her second book, On The Come Up after writing the hugely successful The Hate U Give and Albertalli is currently writing her fourth book with Adam Silvera. The spotlight was an opportunity for fans to get details on the creation of both Love Simon and The Hate U Give movies as well as just an all together good time. Albertalli and Thomas are clearly good friends and the spotlight was a comfortable discussion. The two have a feud going over which Oreo is better: classic or golden? If you’ve read The Hate U Give, than you know that Thomas is a major supporter if the Golden Oreo while Albertalli is a proponent of the classic. At one point they mended the rift in their Oreo debate and tried mystery flavored Oreos making it one of the few times the two would agree on an Oreo flavor: mystery Oreos are hated by both.
  • Favorite Quotes:
    • “I never saw authors that looked like me. I Saw rappers that looked like me. I never thought I could be a writer because I never saw authors that looked like me.” – Angie Thomas
    • “Writing is writing. Do what you want to do.” – Angie Thomas

Ever-Expanding Universes: Cassandra Clare, Soman Chainani, Margaret Stohl
Moderator: Leigh Bardugo

  • As the last panel of the night and coming right after Thomas and Albertalli’s spotlight, Bardugo and Co. were following a tough act. Of course, that was no issue for Bardugo, who, next to Margaret Stohl stole the spotlight. The panel focused on Clare’s massive Shadowhunter world, Chainani’s “court romance” and Stohl’s contemplation of her own mortality.
  • Favorite Quotes:
    • “Don’t let anything get in the way of writing the draft.” – Leigh Bardugo
    • “What makes a character evolve are the choices you place in front of them.” – Margaret Stohl

5 thoughts on “YALLFest 2017 Wrap Up

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