For anyone who missed it, I blogged about Teen Book Con last week, and I attended the first annual event this past Saturday. In amongst all the other stuff I've got going on with the magazine, I had to give myself time to review the event, since it's the first book convention I've been to (though, hopefully, not the last).
I found the event to be well-organized for a firstie - some cons start off a little rocky, but the folks at Teen Book Con did a great job. There were a lot more people there than I thought there'd be, too, which made me happy. The panels, lunch, and signing lines were handled very well and I got through all of the ones I needed to (including Jon Skovron and Paula Morris). The bookstore (Blue Willow rocks!!) was kind of difficult to navigate if there were a lot of people browsing at the same time, but it wasn't awful, and they brought plenty of books.
I'll admit my ignorance about Sharon Draper and her novels. I'd never heard of her, but she is a dynamic speaker. She knows her audience and was a great pick for keynote speaker. The kids really enjoyed having her there. It was great to see them get excited about an author like that.
The two panels I attended were fun, although the first one had a few too many authors on it. I feel like panels are best when there are no more than four speakers. Otherwise, it all gets muddled and it takes a long time for the microphone to be passed between them. I enjoyed hearing the authors speak, though.
One thing I learned from the con? I need a t-shirt advertising YA Lit Review! I was so happy to meet several people at the event, two of whom have their own blog and podcast: Girls in the Stacks. They were so nice. And the t-shirt thing... I noticed them because they have their own shirts, lol. So, I broke down and had my own printed up!
On my event evaluation form, I did say that a longer, more varied con would've been fun (or would be great next year). It was fun to meet new people and chat about books, and I wish there'd been more of a venue for that sort of thing. I'm looking forward to the con next year to see where they go from here!