RT Booklovers Convention 2011: Teen Day

This year was RT Booklovers Convention inaugural Young Adult reader event - Teen Day! All Saturday, teen and adult fans celebrated the genre with group chats, special book readings, workshops and a fabulous party. Readers met Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Lynn BarnesRichelle Mead, Holly Black, Melissa de la Cruz, YA program captain Melissa Marr along with over thirty other authors.

The first event, author "speed dating", was a huge hit. The room was packed with grinning teenage girls (and a few boys) as they got to talk with some of their very favorite authors. The locals came out in force to support the genre they loved and discuss stories and characters. 

A few doors down, the author speed-reading was full of teens but absolutely silent as YA authors did a session of readings from their recent releases and upcoming works. Readers were hanging on the authors' every word.

At one of today's speed-reading sets, author Carrie Ryan read a story so new that it hadn't even been through final edits. And then Rosemary Clement-Moore brought down the house with an excerpt from one of her stories that has an underwear-clad heroine desperately trying to chase off a cow only to run into the cowboy it belongs to.

Next, fans got a peek inside of several authors' minds with the popular panel "Where Do You Get Your Ideas?" The world building panel had a broad focus; covering everything from contemporary settings to alternate universes. The audience listened intently to authors Ally CarterCassandra Clare and others talk about how they create worlds in which they set their stories. The panel's focus was on how the mundane helps authors create the fantastical, and in contrast, how the mundane grounds the outrageous. Jeri Smith-Ready told attendees that she starts from reality, but adds that little twist to her tales to make them fantastical. Sara Rees Brennan talked about how she anchors her gritty, dark alternate reality in the real world.

And then we wrapped up the night with a fun filled party! The Teen Party was a smashing success, filled with excited teens meeting favorite authors, and getting signed books of new releases and more than a few Advanced Readers Copies. One excited teen was thrilled to receive a book she’d been waiting three years for, and another teen literally danced a jig when she found the book she’d been searching for. But the readers weren't the only ones excited. Authors felt the energy too. Kristi Cook, Jackie Morse Kessler, C.C. Hunter, Rachel Caine, Simone Elkeles and many other authors happily chatted with attendees. It was amazing to watch these teen fans meet their idols; their unbridled enthusiasm was contagious. 

Readers and authors at RT's first Teen Day

Melissa de la Cruz signs a fan's book

Alyson Noel is surrounded by a group of teen readers

Giveaway bags full of books and other goodies

Want more info on YA reads? Check out our Everything Young Adult webpage for book reviews, author news and more giveaways!