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NYC Teen Author Festival. Come see me! And everyone else.

The annual NYC Teen Author Festival 2013 is nearly here!  Come see me March 22 2pm at the He Said She Said panel (and believe me, we have FUN HIJINKS planned). But come to the whole dang thing, people. It is an amazing festival for anyone who loves to read or think about literature for adolescents, teen lit, YA books, whatever you like to call it. 

I recommend the Reader's Theater event. I got to participate in it one year and it was amazing fun. The line-up this year is awesome.

Details below. Here's the festival's FB page.

xo E

Monday, March 18  (Mulberry Street Branch of the NYPL, 10 Jersey Street b/w Mulberry and Lafayette, 6-8):   


I’ll Take You There:  A Change of Scenery, A Change of Self

Description:  In their recent books, each of these authors have plunged their teen characters into new places as a way of revealing their true selves.  We’ll talk about this YA journey narrative – where it comes from, and what it can lead to.


Gayle Forman

Kristen-Paige Madonia

Bennett Madison

Jennifer E. Smith

Melissa Walker


moderator: David Levithan



Tuesday, March 19  (WORD Bookstore,  7-8:30, 126 Franklin St, Greenpoint):


The Only Way Out is Through:  Engaging Truth through YA


Description:  Pain. Confusion. Loss. Mistakes. Revelation. More mistakes. Recovery.  One of the things that makes YA work is its desire to engage the messy truths of both adolescence and life in general.  Here we talk about what it’s like to engage this messy truth, and how to craft it into a story with some kind of form. 


Crissa Chappell

Tim Decker

Ellen Hopkins

Amy McNamara

Jessica Verdi


moderator: David Levithan



Wednesday. March 20 (42nd St NYPL, South Court room, 6-8): 


Imagination: A Conversation


Description:  It’s a given that authors’ minds are very strange, wonderful, twisted, illogical, inventive places.  Here we talk to five rather imaginative authors about how they conjure the worlds in their books and the stories that they tell, along with glimpses of the strange and wonderful worlds they are creating at the present.


Holly Black

Lev Grossman

Michelle Hodkin

Alaya Johnson

Robin Wasserman


moderators:  David Levithan and Chris Shoemaker



Thursday, March 21:

SOHO Teen night, 6-9pm (Books of Wonder, 18 W18th St)


Celebrate the launch of SOHO Teen, featuring readings by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Joy Preble, Margaux Froley, Elizabeth Kiem, Heather Terrell & Ricardo Cortés, and Lisa & Laura Roecker.



Friday March 22, Symposium (42nd Street NYPL, Berger Forum, 2nd floor, 2-6)


2:00 – Introduction


2:10-3:00: He Said, She Said



Ted Goeglein

Gordon Korman

Lucas Klauss

Michael Northrop



Susane Colasanti

E. Lockhart

Carolyn Mackler

Sarah Mlynowski

Leila Sales


moderator:  David Levithan



3:00-4:00:  Taking a Turn: YA Characters Dealing with Bad and Unexpected Choices


Description:  In each of these authors’ novels, the main character’s life takes an unexpected twist.  Sometimes this is because of a bad choice.  Sometimes this is because of a secret revealed.  And sometimes it doesn’t feel like a choice at all, but rather a reaction.  We’ll talk about following these characters as they make these choices – both good and bad. Will include brief readings illuminating these choices.


Caela Carter

Eireann Corrigan

Alissa Grosso

Terra Elan McVoy

Jacquelyn Mitchard

Elizabeth Scott

K. M. Walton


moderator:  Aaron Hartzler



4:00-4:10:  Break


4:10-4:40:  That’s So Nineteenth Century


Description:  A Conversation About Playing with 19th Century Archetypes in the 21st Century


Sharon Cameron

Leanna Renee Hieber

Stephanie Strohm

Suzanne Weyn


Moderator:  Sarah Beth Durst



4:40-5:30:  Alternate World vs. Imaginary World


Description:  Of these authors, some have written stories involving alternate or parallel versions of our world, some have made up imaginary worlds for their characters, and still others have written books that do each.  We’ll discuss the decision to either connect the world of a book to our world, or to take it out of the historical context of our world.  How do each strategies help in telling story and developing character?  Is one easier than the other? Is the stepping off point always reality, or can it sometimes be another fictional world?


Sarah Beth Durst

Jeff Hirsch

Emmy Laybourne

Lauren Miller

E. C. Myers

Diana Peterfreund

Mary Thompson


Moderator:  Chris Shoemaker



Friday March 22, Barnes & Noble Reader’s Theater/Signing (Union Square B&N, 33 E 17th St, 7-8:30)


Eireann Corrigan

Elizabeth Eulberg

Jeff Hirsch

David Levithan

Rainbow Rowell

Nova Ren Suma


Saturday March 23, Symposium (42nd Street NYPL,  Bergen Forum, 2nd Floor, 1-5)


1:00 – Introduction


1:10-2:10 – Defying Description:  Tackling the Many Facets of Identity in YA


Description:  As YA literature evolves, there is more of an acknowledgment of the many facets that go into a teenager’s identity, and even categories that once seemed absolute now have more nuance.  Focusing particularly, but not exclusively, on LGBTQ characters and their depiction, we’ll discuss the complexities about writing about such a complex experience.


Marissa Calin

Emily Danforth

Aaron Hartzler

A.S. King

Jacqueline Woodson


moderator:  David Levithan



2:10-2:40 -- New Voices Spotlight


Description:  Each debut author will share a five-minute reading from her or his work


J. J. Howard

Kimberly Sabatini

Tiffany Schmidt

Greg Takoudes



2:40-3:30 – Under Many Influences: Shaping Identity When You’re a Teen Girl


Description: Being a teen girl is to be under many influences – friends, parents, siblings, teachers, favorite bands, favorite boys, favorite web sites.  These authors will talk about the influences that each of their main characters tap into – and then talk about what influences them as writers when they shape these characters.


Jen Calonita

Deborah Heiligman

Hilary Weisman Graham

Kody Keplinger

Amy Spalding

Katie Sise

Kathryn Williams


moderator:  Terra Elan McVoy


3:30-3:40 – Break


3:40-4:20 – Born This Way: Nature, Nurture, and Paranormalcy


Description:  Paranormal and supernatural fiction for teens constantly wrestles with issues of identity and the origin of identity.  Whether their characters are born “different” or come into their powers over time, each of these authors uses the supernatural as a way to explore the nature of self.  


Jessica Brody

Gina Damico

Maya Gold

Alexandra Monir

Lindsay Ribar

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jessica Spotswood


moderator:  Adrienne Maria Vrettos



4:20-5:00 – The Next Big Thing 

Leanna Renee Hieber

Barry Lyga

Emil Ostrovski

Maryrose Wood



Saturday March 23:  Mutual Admiration Society reading at McNally Jackson (McNally Jackson, Prince Street, 7-8:30): 


Sharon Cameron

A.S. King

Michael Northrop

Diana Peterfreund

Victoria Schwab

Nova Ren Suma


hosted by David Levithan



Sunday March 24:  Our No-Foolin’ Mega-Signing at Books of Wonder (Books of Wonder, 1-4): 



Jessica Brody  (Unremembered, Macmillan)                                       

Marisa Calin  (Between You and Me, Bloomsbury)                           

Jen Calonita  (The Grass is Always Greener, LB)                 

Sharon Cameron  (The Dark Unwinding, Scholastic)                         

Caela Carter  (Me, Him, Them, and It, Bloomsbury)                         

Crissa Chappell  (Narc, Flux)                       

Susane Colasanti  (Keep Holding On, Penguin)                                   

Zoraida Cordova  (The Vicious Deep, Sourcebooks)                                         

Gina Damico       (Scorch, HMH)                                                  

Sarah Beth Durst  (Vessel, S&S)                                




T. M. Goeglein (Cold Fury, Penguin)                                                       

Hilary Weisman Graham (Reunited, S&S)                                                                                                             

Alissa Grosso  (Ferocity Summer, Flux)                                  

Aaron Hartzler  (Rapture Practice, LB)    

Deborah Heiligman  (Intentions, RH)                      

Leanna Renee Hieber    (The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, Sourcebooks)     

Jeff Hirsch  (Magisterium, Scholastic)                     

J. J. Howard  (That Time I Joined the Circus, Scholastic)                  

Alaya Johnson     (The Summer Prince, Scholastic)            

Beth Kephart (Small Damages, Penguin)                                              

Kody Keplinger  (A Midsummer’s Nightmare, LB)



A.S. King  (Ask the Passengers, LB)                                                          

Emmy Laybourne  (Monument 14, Macmillan)                                  

David Levithan  (Every Day, RH)

Barry Lyga  (Yesterday Again, Scholastic)                                              

Brian Meehl  (Suck it Up and Die, RH)                                     

Alexandra Monir (Timekeeper, RH)        

Michael Northrop  (Rotten, Scholastic)                  

Diana Peterfreund  (For Darkness Shows the Stars, HC)                

Lindsay Ribar      (The Art of Wishing, Penguin)                   

Rainbow Rowell  (Eleanor & Park, St. Martin’s)                  

Kimberly Sabatini  (Touching the Surface, S&S)                  

Tiffany Schmidt  (Send Me a Sign, Bloomsbury)



Victoria Schwab  (The Archived, Hyperion)          

Jeri Smith-Ready  (Shine, S&S)

Amy Spalding     (The Reece Malcolm List, Entangled)                     

Stephanie Strohm  (Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, HMH)                       

Nova Ren Suma  (17 & Gone, Penguin)                 

Greg Takoudes  (When We Wuz Famous, Macmillan)     

Mary Thompson  (Wuftoom, HMH)        

Jess Verdi  (My Life After Now, Sourcebooks)                                                   

K.M. Walton  (Empty, S&S)         

Suzanne Weyn  (Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters, Scholastic)                                          

Kathryn Williams  (Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, Macmillan)