YALLWEST, the annual west-coast book festival, is here!
Bookstacked writers Addie and Saul Marquez are reporting from Santa Monica to give you a run-down on all the events taking place. With over 100 YA authors, hundreds of readers, and a day’s worth of panels, there’s a lot to cover!
4 p.m. – 8 p.m. – YALLWEST kicked off with preview night at the Santa Monica Library. Fans lined up to meet their favorite authors for photos and book signings. Veronica Roth, Victoria Aveyard, Alexandra Bracken and James Dashner were among the favorites. The festivities also included games, trivia and a photo booth.
9 a.m. – Fans arrived at Santa Monica High School and began lining up for wristbands, author signings, and many free giveaways.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Panels and signings begin! We wait in line to meet the lovely Marie Lu.
There were many interesting panels for fans to choose from, ranging from topics of YA romance to writing YA books.
2 p.m. – Veronica Roth hosts the Alt Facts Alt Futures panel and talks writing dystopian stories with Marie Lu, Renée Ahdieh, Claudia Gray, Marcus Sedgwick, and Neal Shusterman.
3 p.m. – Daniel José Older moderates Writing the Resistance. Authors Marie Marquardt, Victoria Aveyard, Angie Thomas, Benjamin Alire Saenz, and Sona Charaipotra talk about politics and their activist efforts in writing.
5 p.m. – We attend the evening keynote, The Persisters. Victoria Aveyard, Alexandra Bracken, and Danielle Paige talk about feminism, the importance of great female characters in media, and their experiences writing women in YA.
6 p.m. – The night ends with Smackdown, a hilarious show hosted by Veronica Roth and Alex London. Authors share their terrible early writing and play games like Never Have I Ever and Taboo.
Related: Read about the Smackdown in detail!