The ninth annual Texas Teen Book Festival took place on October 7 at St. Edward’s University in Austin. The event, which was free and open to the public, featured a lineup of panels, writing workshops, a brand-new interactive tent, and plenty of photo ops. Thousands of fans gathered for the chance to connect with 40 of their favorite YA authors. Read on for a selection of highlights from this year’s festival.

Fans wait in line to meet Warcross author Marie Lu, who delivered the opening keynote.

Lu (r.) in conversation with Ashley Jenkins of the Rooster Teeth network.

Texas authors Tillie Walden (Spinning) (standing) and Jennifer Mathieu (Moxie) lead a zine-making workshop.

Adam Silvera (center), Dhonielle Clayton (second from r.), and I.W. Gregorio host a discussion on diversity with the winners of the We Need Diverse Books/TTBF essay contest.

Moderator Mandy Curtis from Forever Young Adult (from l.) talks diversity and geek culture with Marie Lu, Ashley Poston, Ryan Graudin, and Sandhya Menon, during the “Smart Is the New Black” panel.

Fans line up for free tote bags and to meet this year’s Fierce Reads authors: Jennifer Mathieu, Caleb Roehrig, Mitali Perkins, and Anna-Marie McLemore.

Cosplayers strike a pose for Epic Reads’s costume contest.

Motivational speaker Lizzie Velásquez (r.) with TTBF intern Savannah Breckenridge.

Readers had the chance to express what John Green’s books have meant to them.

Closing keynote speaker Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down) gave just as many hugs as he did signatures.

Fans get in the festival spirit at the TTBF photo booth.