Sunday, March 8, 2015


Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the North Texas Teen Book Festival. Now, when I put this on my calendar.. I really had NO IDEA how awesome it would be!  I had received an invite from one of my favorite friends (a young woman who I used to nanny for.. and is graduating this year!)  The Festival took place just down the street from my house and when we walked in I thought.. oh.. I am just going to spend a couple of hours and then head back to the house.. I could not have been more wrong.

The festival had a robust schedule of author panels, book speed dating, book sales and the end of the day an awesome book signing.  Did I mention that it was FREE?

I dropped my counterparts in the Book Speed Dating area (To attend the book speed dating, attendees had to have a wristband to attend.  The wristband got them into the area where they chose a table and learned about 4 or 5 different books.. and then were able to choose the one that spoke to them the most.)  I headed to my first panel.

It's the End of the World as We Know It
Explore dystopian and science fiction futures.

I admit it.. my favorite books are young adult books and I love series.  I sat on this panel because I am loving Patrick Carman's books.  (I might or might not have gone through the line and purchased the Pulse, Tremor and Quake)  After sitting in on this panel.. I backtracked through the line and picked up Alex London's books Proxy and Guardian.

I had a chance to sit in on one more session One Story at a Time: Discuss the challenges and freedoms of writing stand alones with Adi Alsaid, Karen Harrington, Claire Legrand, Julie Murphy, Sara Zarr, Jennifer Ziegler and moderated by Carson Thompson

This panel really made me take a second look at the stand alone books.  It was great to hear the authors talk about how they plan out books and how they plan out characters.

My Top 5 Take Aways from #NTTFB15
5. The volunteers that put this on where AMAZING!  There were so many librarians and teachers that had brought groups of students.  Did I mention that it was the Saturday of spring break?  I attend conferences often where I am googly eyed over the different presenters. It was so amazing to see these students/kids so engaged in the author panels.. who gets a chance like that?
4. The panels were fantastic.  There were so many options with so many awesome authors.  These authors really knocked it out of the park (at least the ones that I had a chance to view) 
3. The students that were there.  At each panel they opened up the floor to questions from the audience. The questions that these students came up were AMAZING!  They were so well thought out and such good questions.  It also takes a ton of courage to get up and ask a question.
2. The joy of all attendees.  It was PACKED for this event (I mean, there were buses lined up dropping kids off)  The excitement and book conversations that I overheard were wonderful.  I am an avid gadget girl, but I love the feel of a real book.  There were thousands of young adults, students, and adults alike with their arms full of books and having conversations about all of the topics.
1. "The worst writing I have ever done, is better than the best writing I have never done." said by Alex London.  These authors inspired young learners (and adult learners) how powerful it is to share their work no matter if it is good or bad.  That it is important to be rejected, because that only makes you better.  

Tomorrow I head for #SXSWedu where I will be talking about digital storytelling.  Being a teacher of children with various disabilities I learned how important it is for everyone to have a chance to share their story.. whether it be digital or paperback.  

Thank you #NTTFB15 for an absolutely wonderful event.  I want to volunteer next year!  Happy Reading! I leave you with the lines to get books signed. This just proved that books are awesome and authors are rockstars

Selfie with Alex London

Selfie with Patrick Carman

A great article about it from the Dallas News.