Tuesday, March 21, 2017

YA Fest 2017 was a smashing success!

On Saturday, March 18th, YA Fest 2017 took place at the Palmer Branch. Despite initial worries about the dreary, snowy/rainy weather, 300 people attended this year's Fest! Be warned... there are many pictures ahead!! 

People packed into the Palmer Branch for YA Fest 2017

The day kicked off with our Golden Ticket Event. Our "volunteens" and any teen who wrote a book review for a YA Fest author received a Golden Ticket. This allowed them to attend an up close and personal Meet n' Greet with select authors, and a Skype session with YA author Paige McKenzie.

Authors with teens at the Golden Ticket Event

Author Jeff Hirsch with teens at the Golden Ticket Event

Author Kieran Scott with teens at the Golden Ticket Event

Authors with teens at the Golden Ticket Event

Paige McKenzie created a YouTube series called The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, which eventually became a young adult book trilogy. Paige began writing when she was just 16 years old (!), which made her quite an inspiration to the young writers that attended the Golden Ticket event. The 21 teens who attended also got a swag bag from Weinstein Books (Paige's publisher) with all three books in the Sunshine Girl series, including the not-yet-published third and final book of the series!

Paige McKenzie Skyping with teens
Swag bag, courtesy of Weinstein Books!

After the Golden Ticket Event, doors opened at 1pm and two hours of autographing and book-buying madness ensued!

Let the crowds in! People were lined up when the doors opened. 

Buying books from Barnes & Noble

Authors signed books, took pictures, and chatted with their readers. Teens (and some adults, which may have included the library staff... *ahem*) giddily talked to their favorite authors, and were enthusiastic about having new books to read from newly discovered authors. 

Authors K.M. Walton and Christine Heppermann talking to teens. 

Authors Kieran Scott and Tiffany Schmidt chatting and signing. 

The crowds were deep! 

For our last order of YA Fest business, we raffled away 25 book bundle prizes. All book bundles were donated by major publishers and contained copies of recent and upcoming releases. Raffle tickets were given out at the door and throughout the Fest. Teens could enter any and all raffles as many times as they wanted.

Just a few of the bundles we gave away

These two hit the jackpot!

Book signings, raffle giveaways, and pictures are amazing, but the best and most important part of this festival is that it brings teens and authors together. It provides an open and welcome place for teen readers and aspiring young writers to meet published authors. Some teens gushed at favorite authors, others received advice and insight from the authors so they could dive in to writing ventures of their own. We love to host this event because it supports both readers and writers, which happen to be two of our favorite types of people! 

Even though YA Fest 2017 was packed with teens, we also met teachers stocking their classroom libraries and public librarians looking for advice to host "sister" YA Fests. We met guests who came from as far as Ohio to attend our festival. Some of the attending authors came from Canada and Florida to be part of this event! 

After the Fest officially came to a close, we were so excited to see that YA Fest was all the rage on social media! 

A post shared by Danielle Vega (@vegarollins) on

We can't tell you how much planning and support went into this event, and we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to:
  • The 40 authors who attended and participated in our book signings and Meet & Greets

  • The "volunteens" and their parents who helped throughout the Fest

  • Linda Voigt of LV Design Studios who made beautiful YA Fest themed jewelry for the event

  • Barnes and Noble of Bethlehem for being our official YA Fest bookseller and for giving a portion of book sales back to the library through the Barnes & Noble Bookfair program

  • The Junto staff at Easton Area High School for reviewing the authors' books and promoting the Fest in the school newspaper

  • The many publishers who donated books for our raffle bundles 

  • The Friends of the Easton Area Public Library for sponsoring YA Fest and volunteering time at the Fest to promote the library and its many programs. 
Library Friends member and volunteer Lois P. sharing information about the library

  • YA Fest coordinators Jennifer Murgia and Ashley Supinski, who brought this amazing event to the library for the fourth time in five years
YA Fest coordinator (and author) Jennifer Murgia with a copy of Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta

  • Everyone who attended YA Fest 2017! 

On behalf of the library staff and YA Fest organizers...

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