Although ALA 2013 wasn’t my first ALA Annual Conference, I missed out on attending YALSA’s YA Author Coffee Klatch the first time around and I wasn’t making that mistake again.
The YA Author Coffee Klatch is a unique session at ALA, where, for an additional paid ticket, conference attendees can meet and connect with YA authors, from new writers to industry superstars whose books appear on YALSA’s selection lists or awards. Around four to seven attendees sit at a table, and every few minutes authors rotate to visit the tables and chat books and writing and sometimes pass out goodies. Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing authors that visited my table.
- E.M. Kokie and I gushed about the awesome audiobook narrator Nick Podehl, who narrated her 2013 Top Ten Amazing Audiobook and Best Fiction for Young Adults, Personal Effects.
- Rachel Hartman talked about the impact of winning the 2013 Morris Award for Seraphinia and the pressure of writing a sequel.
- Tamora Pierce (2013 Edwards Award winner) discussed her groundbreaking fantasy series and promised us she has many more stories and ideas ready to be written.
- Steve Sheinkin (2013 Excellence in Nonfiction winner) booktalked The Port Chicago 50, his latest nonfiction title that will be out in January.
- Kristin Elizabeth Clark discussed gender fluid and inclusive characters in her new YA book, Freakboy.
And many more authors attended that I didn’t have a chance to meet, like 2013 Printz Award winner Nick Lake and all around rock star Cory Doctorow. Besides seeing favorite and long-loved authors, the YA Author Coffee Klatch is a great way to discover more about an author’s work or inspiration or what we can expect next. It is an informal and fun way to interact with people whose work informs and shape so much of our work as librarians. I highly recommend attending; I know I definitely did not regret it. And of course, there’s coffee too! Huge thank you to YALSA for planning such a wonderful event and all the amazing authors who attended and chitted and chatted — you rock!
— Amanda Margis, currently reading Unwrapped by Jennifer Bradbury and listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman