Monday, November 18, 2013

YallFest 2013: Where YA Authors and Fans Go To Get Their Nerd On!

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Heyaz Peeps!

I am FINALLY sitting down to write about the FABTABULOUS event known as YallFest!! What is YallFest you ask? Well, every year on the second Saturday of November, an AMAZING book event takes place in downtown Charleston, South Carolina for one whole day where some of the bestselling authors in the Young Adult genre come out to get their nerd on with fans from all over =D The book event was founded and created by Johnathon Sanchez (Owner of Blue Bicycle Bookstore), Margaret Stohl (co-author of Caster Chronicles, author of Icons Series), Melissa De La Cruz (author of Blue Blood Series), and Pseudonymous Bosch (author of the Secret Series). I had the wonderful blessing of being able to go this year and am DEFINITELY planning on going again next year!! 

The event entails a FULL of day of author events where they discuss books, characters, books becoming movies, chat with fans and sign TONS and TONS of books for their devoted stalkers (such as myself *hehe*). The lines are totes cray cray!! The book signings and speaking engagements take place in a variety of places in downtown Charleston. If you decide to go next year (which you SHOULD!!), expect to be in line for a bit (er, if 30 to 45 minutes can be counted as a bit lol) because a lot of people show up and authors hands can only move so fast. Where all the authors will have at least three or four speaking engagements to attend, book signings for authors only happen at SPECIFIC times so that's something else to keep in mind and plan accordingly when the new schedule for next year goes up. You may also want to bring some peeps so you can split up if you have a lot of books you want to get signed ;) OH! and a BIG MUST is to bring a heavy-duty backpack or suitcase!! Trust me when I tell you, carrying all those books in your arms or in a messenger bag *cough me cough* will be murder on your back and shoulders. If I had known I could walk around with a suitcase full of books all day, I SO would have done it!! 

Some of the really cool spots where book events happened where the Charleston Music Hall, the American Theater Cinema, the American Theater Ballroom and the cafe. Signings happened in the big blue tent next to Blue Bicycle Books, the cafe, and the courtyard which was in between the cafe and this other restaurant.

One of my favorites was the cafe next door to Blue Bicycles. It looked like an underground cafe where you could totes imagine ghosts like from Unbreakable (Kami Garcia's new book) hanging out or a lair for supernaturals ;)

I also really loved the American Theater! It was so old school and beautiful inside!

One of the funner moments was when I was standing in line with my peeps Eve and Nitsu, waiting to get Bridget's copy of SIEGE and STORM by Leigh Bardugo signed for her. Time had run up on the hour Leigh had to sign books for fans and she had to leave to go to another event but she didn't want to leave without getting everyone's book signed. The line was still pretty darn long though and suddenly lord and behold! Margaret Stohl appears, walking down the line telling everyone to please have their books opened to the first page and ready to sign. She did this twice and it took me the second time around for my shocked state to stop gawking at her all excitedly (Did I mention I am a nerd??) and realize it was REALLY her!! I had to refrain myself from jumping up and down in line but I did yell out, "Hey! Wasn't that Margaret Stohl?!" 

Once Leigh was done (sorry guys, no pic of Leigh signing or one with her. She had to dash off ASAP for the next speaking engagement), Margaret sat down to sign books. And again, time moved faster than Margaret's hand was able to sign books. But it was also because Leigh's time took from her time and that kept happening throughout the whole day. So I was standing in line, waiting for my turn to get my book signed when it's announced Margaret's time is up. Lisa McMann walks in to sign books and another author I forget. But Margaret is DETERMINED every fan will have his/her book signed, so she starts going down the line, one person at a time, on her feet, signing EVERY. PERSON'S. BOOK!! She even stopped to pose with me for a picture (which she wasn't supposed to do because she was so strapped for time). The pic came out bleary because the camera on my phone had a diva moment but I still love it!!! Even more so because we're both wearing our nerd glasses *hehe*

Kami Garcia and me

I also got to meet Kami Garcia (for the second time) and Victoria Schwab (first time). Both beautiful and lovely ladies! 

Victoria Schwab and me

Fun Fact: Victoria Schwab is a lefty. Fun Fact #2: Victoria discovered from a full day of signings that because she's a lefty it's really hard to sign paperbacks.

But the BEST part of the day (although EVERY aspect of YallFest is totes fun!!) was YA Smackdown!! HOLY SWEETCAKES GUYS!!! YA Smackdown alone is the GREATEST excuse to call off work, find a babysitter for your kids, talk your hubby into driving hours to go to a book event he probably wouldn't have been caught at in his life, or spend hundreds on a plane ticket to get to YallFest!! (I did neither of these things. I just kidnapped my two best friend and parents to go on a ten plus hour drive to get there. So nothing too major LOL)

Why is YA Smackdown so FRIGGIN AMAZEBALLS you ask?? Well, first off there is Tiger Beat. The band created and consisting of AUTHORS!! Yes, you read that right. Authors. Specifically, Libba Bray, Barnabas Miller, Daniel Ehrenhaft, and Natalie Strandiford. They were all REALLY REALLY gooooood. Libba Bray was the lead singer and I LOOOOOOOVED HER!!!!! She was so BEYOND amazing and ROCKED OUT HARD!!! She sang some 80s classics and also a YA song she made up with the band. When the song was ready to be sang, Margaret Stohl, Leigh Bardugo and another author I can't remember (or maybe it was a volunteer??) went up on stage to join in. I couldn't really tell the lyrics to the song but I do remember they kept yelling out the word "a**hole" into the mic really loudly and jumping around stage like drunken fools (and I mean that with love ladies because it was so much fun *wink*). 

The authors also did some really silly and funny games where some had to pretend to work in public relations while the other authors made up a new book concept with the help of the audience and used ridiculous titles the audience came up with. It was really funny how confused some of the authors got with the game. There was also this game where two authors (Melissa De La Cruz was one) picked a genre and book title from two separate hats and the other team of authors had to come up with a story to fit the new genre. I believe at one point Twilight was turned into a Dsytopian story and The Hunger Games into erotica. 

At the end when all the authors came back on stage, they finished off by performing two songs they had made up in the back all together. The songs were based off of the ridiculous audience titles and book ideas we all came up with when playing the games at the beginning. Frodo was one of the songs (inspired from Lord of the Rings) and the last song had to do with Twilight but it didn't go off so well because the song was in the wrong order on the screen and all the authors got so lost. It was hilarious!

Here are some fun pics from YA Smackdown (video to come as soon as I can get it from my best bud Nitsu. She video tapped the entire thing).

Crowd inside music hall

Main stage

Margaret Stohl and David Levithan (I think lol)

Tiger Beat performing

The Clones of David Levithan. This HILARIOUS song Tiger Beat created in honor of David. Fans were invited to come up on stage and use David faces to sing along in the song.

This was the YA Song (which is in fact the actual name of the song) where Margaret Stohl and Leigh Bardugo kept yelling out "a**hole" LOL

More yelling of "a**hole" with Libba Bray and David Levithan who also held up cue cards for Libba to read off of with the song lyrics.

All the authors who participated in YA Smackdown

Playing the public relations game where Veronica Roth acted as one of the PR reps.

Game where two authors picked one genre out of a hat and a book title out of another hat and the second team of authors had to make up a new story to fit the new genre (where Twilight became a dystopian book lol) Melissa De La Cruz was the one picking out genres I think.

Frodo Song preformed by all the authors. Lyrics: "Remember the ring you found? 
Well, baby it's really bad.
It was forged in the fire of Mount Doom
It's making Middle Earth real sad
I found a way to save the world
He's a little hobbit from the shire
Give him that ring and some pipe-weed
And send him off to the fire"

Continued Frodo song. Lyrics: "Now that's Frodo's been awakened
Every hobbit rule he's breakin'
It's the risk that he's taking
He ain't never gonna let you down!"

Continued Frodo Song. Lyrics: "Everywhere he's going now
Sauroman can see his face
But Sam will never leave you, Frodo
He knows your our saving grace
You've got a wizard, fairy, and a dwarf
Fighting hard to keep you safe
Strider's gonna fight the orks off
And help you go all the way."

Continued Frodo Song. Lyrics: "I can feel you, Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you so close, so close, so close
I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you so  close, so close
Frodo, ohh, ohh . . ."

Continued Frodo Song. Lyrics: "Gollum used to love that ring.
Kept him in the darkest night
It's his Preciousss that he really wants
'Cause he's addicted to its light
But Frodo swore he'd take that ring
And toss it back into the fire."

Repeat Lyrics: "Now that's Frodo's been awakened
Every hobbit rule he's breakin'
It's the risk that he's taking
He ain't never gonna let you down!"

Repeat Lyrics and Finish Song: "Everywhere he's going now
Sauroman can see his face
But Sam will never leave you, Frodo
He knows your our saving grace
You've got a wizard, fairy, and a dwarf
Fighting hard to keep you safe
Strider's gonna fight the orks off
And help you go all the way."

Twilight Song

Not sure if lyrics are in right order because the sound guys and authors all got confused lol. Lyrics: "Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Caught in a bad triangle
Caught in a bad triangle

Bio-Bio Lab
You smelled me in Bio-O
Then you followed me
And watched me from"

More to the Twilight song. Lyrics: "I want your sparkle
I want your topaz eyes
I want your ice cold abs
As long as you don't kill me
I want your fangs
(Fangs-fangs-fangs, I want your fangs)

I want your jean shorts
To roll with your pack
To play fetch in the sand
I want to play fetch
I want your fur

More Twilight song. Lyrics: "You know that I want you
And you know that I want you too
I want you BOTH, your bad triangle

I want your Volvo
I want your Harley
You and me, and also YOU, could write a bad triangle
(Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh, Oh)
I want to be your spider monkey
And climb all the trees
But can Jake please imprint on me?

More lyrics to the Twilight song.  At this point they just decided to shut the song off and call it a wrap since all the authors were so confused lol. "Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught outside my bedroom
Caught warming up in a sleeping bag!

Vampire-Vampire Mama!"

Once YA Smackdown was over, YallFest came to an end. It was a grand ole time had by all and I cannot wait to go back next year!!

Extra fun pics from YallFest 2013

Taking a pic at Blue Bicycle Books with the little blue bike. I hope next year they sell little blue bikes. I like to buy one =)

My chosen outfit for wowing at YallFest *teehee*

Taking a pic in front of Blue Bicycle with apparently unbeknownst to me my best friend Nitsu in the background being a jerk lol

Being goofs in front of the Charleston Museum (me and Nitsu)

Me and Eve hugging the sign LOL Why? No reason really. We just needed a different pose ;)

Margaret Stohl when she was speed signing books for fans. She is just THAT awesome people!

Cinda Williams Chima signing my copy of Warrior Heir (LOVE that book by the way!)

Got to meet and chat with Lisi Harrison who writes the Monster High Series. I didn't have a copy of her book on hand (although I have read the first two books in the series and really enjoyed them) so I had her sign my YallFest tote bag ;)

Kami Garcia signing both my copy and Bridget's of Unbreakable. LOVED her jacket!

Me and Margaret Stohl (excuse the glowing, demonic-like eyes. Stupid camera!) This was when we were making our way to the YA Smackdown line which literally went around the block. Later on I would get to fist bump with Margaret when she went around to fans to say hello =D

Me in front of a really old ship in front of the Charleston Museum 

Me (middle), Eve (right) and Nitsu (left) at Blue Bicycle Books with our maps and info at the ready for YallFest ;)

YallFest sign. Why did I take a pic of this you may wonder?? I just get so excited I want to remember as much as possible *hehe*

The blue bicycle for Blue Bicycle Books!! It was such a cute bike!! I really wanted to ride it. Maybe they'll let me give it a spin next year *daydream*

Author Ransom Riggs had to cancel a book signing due to getting sick and vomiting outside the Big Blue Tent on the sidewalk. He later came on stage and joked about it at YA Smackdown. Stickers were made saying: "Ransom Riggs puked and all I got was this stupid sticker" which he signed and were given out after the show was over.

If you plan on attending next year, you should definitely check out Closed for Business. It's a restaurant close to where YallFest happens. They have really good service and really tasty food ;)

The bridge that connected our hotel to YallFest. We were only ten minutes away. It was a really pretty bridge.

Now onward to what you're really here for: the GIVEAWAY!!

There are two packages up for grabs. 

The first contains the following:

--Greenway Tote Bag (courtesy of Emmy Laybourne who was not featured at YallFest but I had it lying around and decided I should give it away finally)
--Monument 14 wristbands (by Emmy Laybourne)
--Unremembered Booklet signed by Jessica Brody (not featured at YallFest. Just something I had lying around waiting to be given away lol)
--Unbound postcard by Victoria Schwab
--Unbreakable bookmark by Kami Garcia
--Two Siege and Storm buttons by Leigh Bardugo
--Pack of Glow Sticks
--Monument 14 buttons by Emmy Laybourne
--Divergent stickers by Veronica Roth
--Touching the Surface post card with origami by Kimberly Sabatini (not featured at YallFest)
--The White Stag bookmark by Linden Flynn

The second package contains:

--Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi booklet
--3 Divergent stickers by Veronica Roth
--Capitol Hell sign (not featured at YallFest but yet something more I have been waiting for a chance to giveaway)
--Siege and Storm buttons by Leigh Bardugo
--Monument 14 buttons by Emmy Layborune
--Unbound postcard by Victoria Schwab
--The White Stag by Linden Flynn
--Ten Mini postcard by Gretchen McNeill (also not featured at YallFest)

Terms and Conditions

**Must be 13 or older to enter**
**Winner has 48 hours to respond before new one is chosen**
**Giveaway ends on Monday, November 25, 2013**

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great post Annabell!! I had no idea you were at YALLFest, I was there with my friends too. We so could've met up! Can't wait for next year!!

  2. I wish I could go but it is just to far away.

  3. I'm not sure if I'll go next year. It's not that far away from here, but it sounds like it's really spread out. We'll see!

  4. I would have loved to go but I have no way of getting there. :(

  5. I want to go the YALLFest 2014, but I'm all the way in New York! If I can find a way to go, that would be incredible and I would not be able to choose one author in particular that I want to meet because I would love to meet them all. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I really want to go to YALLFest next year! :) Would've loved to go this year, but I'm not very in the know on festivals and didn't know it existed.

  7. I wish i could go but it's too far.

  8. Had a blast at Yallfest too! I'm definitely going again next year! I'm SOOO hoping they bring in Laini Taylor since she is finishing her trilogy and I would faint with happiness lol.


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