YA-hoo Fest is city’s first young-adult book festival
Literary festival bringing 35 YA authors to Chattanooga State on Saturday
The first local festival dedicated to Young Adult literature is planned for Saturday, Sept. 29, on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College.
YA- hoo Fest will feature 35 authors of books for preteens and teens. Plans for this event have been in the works since January.
“The authors are from all over with a few from Chattanooga. Some of the more well- known are C.J. Redwine, Jay Coles, Nic Stone and Jeff Zentner,” says Lynda LeVan, executive director of Southern Lit Alliance.
Joel Henderson, chairman of YA- hoo Fest, says the festival is free thanks to a partnership between Chattanooga State’s Writers@Work program and the Southern Lit Alliance with sponsorships from 10 businesses and foundations.
To date, more than 200 youth have registered. While registration before Saturday is preferred, walk-ups will be accepted.
And, Henderson notes, because adults love YA books as much as teens, the festival is open “to anybody with an interest in YA literature. The more the merrier.” There are break-out session topics of interest to adults among the planned readings and panels.
Saturday’s event begins with break-out sessions from 9:30-11:30 a. m. Each sessions offers five topics from which visitors may choose. During the lunch break from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. there will be sales of featured authors’ books and book signings.
Break- out sessions resume from 1: 15- 3: 15 p. m. followed by more book sales and signings from 4 to 5 p.m.
In addition to the sessions, YA- hoo Fest will include live music by Drakeford, food trucks on campus, vendors and fun activities.
“We’re hoping that YA- hoo Fest will not only give avid read- ers an opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors, but also provide less enthusiastic readers with the chance to meet writers and books that reflect their own experiences. To that end, we’ve assembled a really diverse lineup of authors for our inaugural event,” says Henderson,
Henderson says the choice of “festival” in the title was deliberate because this is “a celebration of YA lit, the authors who write it and the readers who love it.”
A complete schedule and list of all participating authors can be found at yahoofest.org.
YA-hoo Fest can also be found on Instagram as yahoo. fest, on Facebook as YAhooFestChatt and on Twitter as @YAhooFestival.