YA-hoo Fest is city’s first young-adult book fes­ti­val

Lit­er­ary fes­ti­val bring­ing 35 YA au­thors to Chat­tanooga State on Satur­day

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - ARTS -

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.

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Jeff Zent­ner

Tiffany Jack­son

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