In November 2013 I went to YALLFest in Charleston, SC. I learned about it in 2012 but wasn’t able to go that year. It’s an annual young adult book festival and it was amazing! I met so many authors and got tons of books signed. (People were rolling around suitcases filled with books!) They also had lots of discussion panels. And it’s held in a city that I love. What more could one ask for? I will definitely try to go EVERY year from now on!
Charleston is only about four hours from where I currently live. My friend Rheannon, who lives in Winston-Salem, met me over YALLFest weekend and we were able to stay on her father-in-law’s houseboat for free! (Which I have always wanted to do and crossed off my bucket list!)
I arrived in Charleston on Friday in time for the YALLFest Red Carpet Preview at Charleston County Public Library. Several authors discussed “Disturbing Universes” and I got a book signed by and photo with Carrie Ryan (author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series).
After the panel I hurried over to Sullivan’s Island for sunset beach photos!
Dinner was at Taco Mamacita. Yum!
Rheannon wasn’t arriving until late so I caught a movie by myself and then when she finally got there we had some late night drinks and munchies at The Southern General on Johns Island (near the marina).
In the morning I donned all of my nerdy book gear for the festival! And I got there early enough to get a wristband for the coveted Veronica Roth signing (limited to the first 500 in line).
The Opening Keynote started at 10am and featured two of my favorite authors: “Girl Power, Boy Power” with Veronica Roth and Rae Carson.
There were so many book signings throughout the day! I got books signed by Rae Carson, Rachel Cohn (who is actually my friend’s sister), Ally Condie, David Levithan, Stephanie Perkins, and Veronica Roth. I wanted to get books signed by Marie Lu and Ransom Riggs but they sold out of her books (I wanted her to sign Champion which was released that week so I had planned to buy it there) and he got food poisoning!
I was so busy getting books signed that I didn’t have much time to go to panels. I did attend the YA Smackdown that evening, which was fun. The authors played games on stage and there was a band made up of several authors who rocked out for awhile. (Note: All festival events were free except the Keynote and Smackdown, which were $6-$7 each. And they sold out! So buy tickets ahead of time.)
That evening Rheannon and I had dinner at Virginia’s on King and alcoholic slushies at Wet Willie’s!
On Sunday Rheannon and I visited the Angel Oak and Folly Beach.
After the beach, she left to head home. Since I had a three day weekend (Veteran’s Day), I decided to stay a little longer and drive back later on Sunday. I walked around and explored downtown.
What a great weekend! I can’t wait for YALLFest 2014!