This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Yallwest! I was ecstatic when Yallwest was first announced. I started making plans right away with my friends so that we could attend together. My excitement grew as more authors, panels, events, and signings were announced. I bought my tickets, gathered all my books, and planned out my schedule.
Overall, I attended Once Upon a Retelling, The Afternoon Teanote: Marie & V, Smackdown & Tiger Beat, Kickoff Conversation: Leigh Bardugo & Marissa Meyer, Tropes We Love & Hate, and One Quick Question Lightning Round panels. My favorites were definitely the kickoff conversation and smackdown. Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer are two of my favorite authors and I loved this panel. Those two together are just hilarious! The smackdown was pretty great as well. It consisted of Juvenilia readings and games. Many of the authors read stories that they wrote from their childhood and teen years. At some parts, I was literally crying from laughter. Some of the favorites included Marissa Meyer, E. Lockhart, Morgan Rhodes, and Kass Morgan. They were a couple other funny ones, but I cannot remember the authors anymore.
Throughout the day, there were also fun events and signings. I received the five ARCs pictured above through games and events. On Saturday, Robin Benway was signing ARCs of her new book, Emmy & Oliver. They ran out of books fast and I wasn’t able to snag a copy. However, the next day, Robin tweeted that she had a copy on her and the first person to ask for it got it. After one of her panels, I went up to her and she gave it to me. I was able to get all the books pictured to the right signed. All the authors I met included: Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Stephanie Perkins, Kass Morgan, Tahereh Mafi, E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver, Victoria Aveyard, Robin Benway, Marie Lu, Melissa de la Cruz, Michael DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, and Gene Luen Yang. They were all very kind. I wasn’t able to get a picture with Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, or Marie Lu during their signings, but they were awesome and let me take a picture with them after their panels.
Lastly, I’m going to share some tips I learned from this experience.
- Wear sunscreen! I learned this the hard way and ended up with a bad sunburn.
- Bring some kind of rolling bag if you’re bringing many books or planning on buying quite a few. Again, I learned this the hard by having to lug around thirty books. Now I have very sore shoulders and arms.
- Bring friends and family! I had a great time with three close friends. It also worked out well that we could each stand in a line. I was able to meet many more authors than I would’ve been able to because of this.
- If you are in line by yourself, don’t be afraid to chat with those around you. You already have one thing in common, books! I met some very nice people in line and enjoyed talking with them.
- Bring a camera! I brought my camera and took pictures during the panels and signings. Again, don’t be afraid to ask the person behind you to take a photo of you while you meet the author (if photos are allowed).
- Plan ahead. I scheduled out everything I wanted to do and was able to get to everything because of this. If I hadn’t planned in advanced, I would’ve been swallowed up by the crowd and missed out on a lot of fun things.
- Don’t forget to have fun! That’s what you’re here for! Chat it up with fellow book lovers and enjoy the panels.