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Monday, November 25, 2013


For the past three years Charleston, SC's and Blue Bicycle Books have hosted Yallfest. This year 50 of the country's top YA and MG authors, including 25 NYT bestsellers came for panels, presentations, and signings. And it is ALL free. Which is probably why the numbers on attendees rose to over 4000 people, well over 1k more than expected.

I asked my HS, turned writer, friend, Denise McKibbin, to come with me and we had so much fun catching up, discussing the authors we had to meet (me: Carrie Ryan, her: Libba Bray), and freaking out about the awesomeness of Yallfest.
Denise McKibbin and I in front of Blue Bicycle Books after our surreal day of happy


My Book Haul
Bought: The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Elenor and Park, In a Grass Grimly, Nick and Nora's Ultimate Playlist, Brightly Woven, Girl of Fire and Thorns (not pictured), We Are Not Eaten by Yaks. Brought from home: The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Shadow and Bone,

Why I loved it:
Besides being free, this was my first book festival. I've always be to book conferences where I workshopped my materials, made connections, and tried to act professional. This time, I was 100% book lover/reader and while I did envision myself sitting in one of those seats (I mean who wouldn't?) I let myself be carried away in the fun and happy atmosphere of great books and great authors. Watching them interact was great fun. Like, did you know that Ransom Riggs (Mrs. P. Home for Peculiar Children) is married to Tahereh Mafi (of Shatter Me series glory?) And she was so cute and tiny with these five inch plus clear shoes with sparkles in the bottom like the 70's shoes with goldfish swimming in them. I learned little things like that Rainbow really is Rainbow Rowell's first name (and she was so nice and amazing and giving I had to buy her book) Likewise with Alexandra Bracken; I had never heard of her or her books, but watching her quiet beauty and her words-esp. to the teen writers out there-I had to read her.

What was hard:
The signings and panels happened at the same time and each author only signed for an hour (unless they were Rainbow or Marie Lu who came back for more or stayed beyond their time).

Where I'll be next November:
Back at Yallfest and I plan on seeing you there.

Have you ever been to a book festival? What's your favorite part?


  1. This sounds like an amazing book festival. I'd love to go someday.

  2. I want to go to this SO BAD! I've been dying to visit Charleston for several years, and now add the fact of this amazing book festival- and it's like an itch that needs scratching! =D

  3. This sounds amazing, Robin. I want to come with you next time!

  4. Ummm, I think I have to go to this next year! How awesome!

    And no, I had no idea those two were married! Who would have thought? haha.

  5. What a great event! It's free, you just have to get there. I like it! Glad you had a fun time, Robin!

  6. Wow, I'd totally love to go to this someday. Until then, I'm glad I got to live it through you!

  7. So cool you went!!! I only just heard about it and I totally wanna go next year. I'm marking it down on the calendar as Not To Miss! How fun!

  8. If I lived closer I would totally be joining you next year. I'm sure they have some awesome book festivals in my area and I need to get out to them. And I will. One day.