After attending the inaugural event last year I was excited to head back to my hometown of Northern Virginia for the NoVa Teen Book Festival !
The morning started out a little rough because I left Richmond much later than I planned plus there was an accident on I-95. I made it to NoVaTeen at 11:00 am just in time for the second main author panel with Jason Reynolds, Shaun Hutchinson, Kat Spears, Jennifer Niven and Jasmine Warga. I wasn’t there for any specific author this year and stuck in the main auditorium so I could chillax in the comfortable chairs.
This year NTBF had a dedicated lunch hour, which I think was a great improvement because last year you had to choose between attending a panel or going to lunch. I hope they keep this for next year ! I tried Mac’s Donuts Truck . . . because donuts and Kat was able to drive up the street and get something.
|Family Feud was fun to watch !|
During lunch they hosted a YA Family Feud where two teens from the audience got to compete with authors teams. It was great because one of the teens was a big fan of Snow Like Ashes and got to be on a team with Sara Raasch. I think it’s great when authors get to interact with their audience in a fun way. Both the host and tech people where on point ! I don’t know how they did it but it was really fun to watch.
Matt De La Peña gave the keynote and I was excited to see him since I’ve been reading his book The Living. De Le Peña was a pro and he had so many funny stories from his early life and career. I never realized his relationship with books and that he didn’t start reading until college.
I was really decisive about what I wanted to buy and by the time I was ready most of the books were gone. But I did get When I Was The Greatest signed and asked Jason about what he thought of Virginia since his next book is set in South Hill, VA.
Last year the signings portion was at the Arlington Public Library and attendees walked over, but this year they were in the school cafeteria which was convenient considering NoVa had been pummeled with snow that week and there were still ice patches. I liked the set up and they are really organized about handling books.
With so many authors in one room it could get chaotic, but their staff of volunteers kept it organized.The longest line was for Marie Rutkoski and even then Kat was able to get in and out under 20 minutes. I think NTBF does a good job looking out for readers who can’t afford to buy all the books day of. They offer signing sheets you could buy for $1 and bookplates that can be signed and stuck in the books later.
I see nothing but more bright things for this festival in the future !