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Conference Report: Boston Teen Author Festival 2017 (BTAF)

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The WBP team was super lucky to be go to the Boston Teen Author Festival this year! It was a one day festival that focused on bringing amazing Young Adult novels to fans in the Boston area and beyond.

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We were in attendance 13+ deep including our other critique partners. Two of our amazing WBP contributors, Akshaya and Maddy, and honorary WBP member, Janella, were board members!

When Axie and Foody were asked to be on panels, we knew we had to go en masse to cheer everyone on! THEN, Meg and Kat (and honorary WBP member, Erin Bay) were asked to moderate panels with some superstar panelists. So, suffice it to say, we were super excited for BTAF.

There were amazing authors like Leigh Bardugo, Jason Reynolds, Susan Dennard, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Cinda Williams Chima, and Cindy Pon, and so many more I can’t even list them all. So here are just the few that WBP members were able to take part in!

Axie’s panel was on other worlds where she discussed her debut Young Adult Sci-fi, REBEL SEOUL, set in a futuristic Korea. It was such a fun time to see her discuss her world building with greats like Cindy Pon, plus it was fun to learn about the debut books from other participants like EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES by Rhoda Belleza and ZENITH by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg.

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Foody’s panel was very appropriate for her dark Young Adult Fantasy debut, DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY. She was on the Their Dark Materials panel with some greats like Traci Chee, Rin Chupeco and fellow debut Linsey Miller!

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Meg moderated the Not Destiny’s Child panel with Kristy Acevedo, Ashley Herring Blake, Akemi Dawn Bowman and Lilliam Rivera. It was about characters that took their own destiny into their hands a la Hamilton!

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And Kat was lucky enough to moderate Family Portrait featuring Benjamin Alire Sáenz, S.K. Ali, Jen Malone and Sarah Nicole Lemon. They had a great time discussing family units and what the idea of love and family truly means in YA.

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It was the first time some of us went to a local book festival and we were blown away by the talent and the amazing panels. We appreciated that BTAF focused on the readers by having each panel occur twice so, if we missed it in the morning, we could see it in the afternoon.

It was an event that was both large (in talent) but intimate feeling (especially in comparison to the bigger cons we went to this summer with BookCon and ALA). It was a chance to chat more with some of our favorite authors without that overwhelming feeling that sometimes happens in a giant space like the Javits Center.

Here are some amazing photos from the event! (Check out some of the awesome attendees who also happen to be amazing authors of some of our most anticipated books *cough* FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS *cough*)

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Look at that crowd! Also, I spy part of Foody’s head
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In A World Panel
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Family Portrait Panel
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Post BTAF brunch with good friends!

BONUS:

We learned from past conferences that you are both very inspired and need time to decompress after a big, exciting event. So we ended up scheduling a follow-up writer’s retreat and it was such a great experience to be with amazing friends and use the energy of BTAF to get some work done on our own work!

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If you were able to come out to BTAF, we hope you had an amazing time! Are there any festival or events your looking forward to?

Also, I vlogged the conference!

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