Despite the pandemic keeping people isolated, TeenBookCon 2021 successfully wrapped, virtually, on Saturday, April 10. The festival continued its mission of connecting teens with the authors who write for them and celebrating YA literature. A total of 10 panels took place, with 34 authors grouped by genre. The speakers and viewers spanned 20 states and 11 countries including the Netherlands, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. Authors answered questions on the craft of writing, their inspiration, listening and reading habits, persistence, and other careers they wish they could pursue. We’ve gathered some highlights from the event.

(Clockwise from top l.): moderator Isaac Fitzgerald in conversation with Eric Gansworth, Mahogany L. Browne, and Randi Pink on the panel “How to Tell a Story.” Photo: Ashley May

(Clockwise from top l.): the panel titled “Looking at the Truth” featured moderator Daniel Nayeri with Angeline Boulley, Amra Sabic El-Reyess and Sharon G. Flake. Photo: Jill Gerber

Keynote speaker Renée Watson (top) in conversation with Houston educator Rosemary Anthony. Photo: Seantele Foreman.

(Clockwise from top l.): Mary H.K. Choi led a discussion with David Elliott, Rose Szabo, and Trung Le Nguyen on the panel “Change Can Be Scary.”

(Clockwise from top l.): the panel “A Different World” featured moderator Julie Murphy in conversation with Charlie Jane Anders, David Arnold, and Rosaria Munda.

(Clockwise from top l.): Moxie author Jennifer Mathieu spoke with Bellaire High School students Meredith Villanueva and Nabila Wilson, Blue Willow Bookshop owner Valerie Koehler, star Alycia Pascual-Peña from the Netflix adaptation of Moxie, and Bellaire High School student Tyla Robinson.

(Clockwise from top l.): moderator Jordan Ifueko appeared in conversation with authors Kosoko Jackson, J. Elle. and Hafsah Faizal on the panel “Truth or Fiction.”

A behind the scenes look at moderator Phil Stamper getting ready to go live.

(Clockwise from top l.): Stamper spoke about crafting romance narratives with authors Holly Bourne, Diana Ma, and Leah Johnson on the panel “What About Love.”