As promised, here is another recap of the Austin Teen Book Festival full of authors, signings, light sabers, and more!

Right before lunch, Fierce Reads faced off against Dark Days, and yes, there were light sabers, but they only made a brief appearance (sorry to trick you). They played fun party games to try and earn the most points for their team. My favorite game had to be when one author described an image to a fellow author who had their back turned from the screen. Team Dark Days was winning by a long shot, and their victory was sealed when Mindy McGinnis correctly guessed Nathan Fillion. (There was a lot of screaming and exclamation points.)

Next up was the Powers Strange and Perilous panel with so many authors I couldn’t wait to meet like Maggie Stiefvater, Lisa McMann, Robin LaFevers, and Melissa de la Cruz. This whole panel was all about characters having powers, and what responsibility they had because of their abilities. Each author had brilliant insight and wonderful stories to tell. 

While this whole panel was hilarious, none were funnier than Cinda Williams Chima and Maggie Stiefvater.

While this whole panel was hilarious, none were funnier than Cinda Williams Chima and Maggie Stiefvater.


I then scampered off to the Fierce Reads panel because I was quite excited to hear Marissa Meyer speak. These ladies offered some invaluable writing advice, and also talked about what made their books fierce. S. A. Bodeen told a riveting tale about dinosaurs eating other baby dinosaurs and Leila Sales handed out a mixtape. Marissa Meyer made everyone all excited because she talked a little about Cress, the next installment in the Lunar Chronicles.

Sarah Farizan

I Made You A Mixtape was next on my list. Featured were different contemporary authors including the likes of Sarah Dessen and Lauren Myracle. Each author shared about the difficulties it took to write their stories, but ultimately it was the story they needed to tell. Sara Farizan, author of If You Could be Mine, really opened up and moved the audience to tears. She lightened the situation though with her dry sense of humor. It was also lovely to hear Trish Doller and the upcoming author Julie Murphy speak, as well as Leila Howland.

Holly Black

Closing speaker Holly Black concluded the festival with tales of her teenage self, and shared some terrible vampire poetry she had written when she was younger. (Confession: I did not hear much of the speech because I was already in line to get some books signed.)

Julie Murphy was hosting a scavenger hunt to snag a copy of her upcoming novel, Side Effects May Vary. Luckily, I was one of six to win! The premise is intriguing, and I think I will like it a lot.

From then on, I went from line to line getting my books signed left and right. There are far too many authors to talk about them all, so I will just leave you with some pictures!