Shortly after this class started, I learned that there was going to be a YA Novel Convention at my local library. How perfect, right? I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into it, but thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about YA lit. Plus the convention was free, which made it sound even better!
When I got there, I was handed a name tag, button, and program. The program listed 15 different YA authors that were going to be speaking at the convention. The authors were divided into different panels, so you heard from about five or six of them at a time. The first panel was the keynote. It addressed mental health and YA books. There was a young lady that shared her story about her mental health struggles, and how she found help. Three authors were also a part of that panel. They had backgrounds in mental illness, and had each written a book that deals with mental illness. There was a moderator that asked questions, and then they opened it up to audience questions after that.
After the keynote, panels ran simultaneously. I chose to go to the realistic fiction panel first. Again, there was a moderator that asked questions, and also opened the floor to audience questions. It was a very laid back, and I enjoyed hearing from the authors. The second panel I chose to go to was the one on censorship. It ran in the same format as mentioned. This discussion turned out to be a very thought provoking one. The authors in this panel have written books with suggestive material, and shared their stories on writing it and getting published. I. W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above , wrote about a person in high school learns they are intersex–and then this information ends up being leaked to their high school. The author shared her story about being disinvited from a high school author visit because of the content of her book. I left this discussion with many questions in regard to censorship. I feel like censorship is a difficult area. I see where the one who wants to censor is coming from, yet I question if it is really the best choice or not. There is a lot of grey areas for sure.
After the second panel, I did have to leave for another engagement. I learned a lot from the panels I attend and am glad to have gone and been enlightened!