The second annual YA-hoo Fest: Chattanooga’s Celebration of Young Adult Literature took place September 20–21 at Chattanooga State Community College in southeast Tennessee. Produced through a partnership between the college’s Humanities Department and the Southern Lit Alliance, the festival drew more than 300 book lovers and 30 authors for two days of school visits, interactive panels, live music, signings, and more. We’ve gathered a selection of highlights from the event.
Jeff Zentner (Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, Crown) kicked things off with a keynote address about the author’s responsibility to fight “malignant narratives” with truth. Photo: Eric Matravers.
New additions to this year’s festival included a live recording of the podcast First Draft with Sarah Enni. The event featured games and a lively conversation with authors (from l.) Justin Reynolds (Opposite of Always, HarperCollins/Tegen), Cindy Pon (Ruse, Simon Pulse), Rick Yancey (The Last Star, Putnam), and host Enni (Tell Me Everything, Scholastic Point). Photo: Joel Henderson.
Throughout the day on Friday, various authors visited with students from 12 local schools to conduct workshops, readings, and book talks. Here, David Arnold (The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, Viking) answers questions from students at Red Bank High School in Chattanooga. Photo: Courtney Brown.
Emily Henry (l.) and Brittany Cavallaro, co-authors of Hello Girls (HarperCollins/Tegen), discuss the pros and cons of collaborative writing with author duo Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones (I’m Not Dying with You Tonight, Sourcebooks Fire). Photo: Eric Matravers.
Musical guests Spinster performed during the lunch hour. Photo: Eric Matravers.
Arvin Ahmadi (Girl Gone Viral, Viking) chats with students in the signing hall. Photo: Jason Griffin.
Members of the YA-hoo Fest planning committee: (front row, from l.) Mollee Shannon, Mindy Griffin; (back row, from l.) Erica Lux, Andrea Sanders, Laura Matravers, Buck Weiss, and Joel Henderson. Photo: Ann Nicodemi.
Helene Dunbar (We Are Lost and Found, Sourcebooks Fire) signed books and passed out swag. Photo: Jason Griffin.
A series of panels throughout the day, entitled “Shop Talk,” focused on authors discussing the craft of writing. (From l.): Brittany Cavallaro (the Charlotte Holmes series, HarperCollins/Tegen), Jeff Zentner, Olivia Cole (An Anatomy of Beasts, HarperCollins/Tegen), Sorboni Banerjee (Hide with Me, Razorbill), Jasmine Warga (Other Words for Home, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray), and Amber Smith (Something Like Gravity, S&S/McElderry). Photo: Eric Matravers.
Onsite book sales were offered by YA-hoo Fest partner Star Line Books, Chattanooga’s only independent bookstore. Photo: Jason Griffin.
A group shot of all the participating authors who provided attendees with writing tips, background stories, and more. Photo: Erica Lux.