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YA Highway's BEA 2013 Breakdown

Last week New York City hosted BookExpo America, one of the biggest events in publishing, and several members of YA Highway were in attendance to soak up the madness. Including our very own Veronica Roth, who gave the keynote speech at the Children's Author Breakfast May 31! What a rockstar!

Though the conference technically started on a Wednesday, Friday May 31 was Children's Day. The author breakfast was MC-ed by the lovely Octavia Spencer (Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective), and Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tricks from the Treehouse) and Rick Riordan (the Percy Jackson series) gave really funny speeches, mostly reflecting on the honesty and curiosity of the age groups they write for.

But like Lois Lowry did at last year's conference, this year's keynote speaker really challenged the audience with what books can teach us about life, and living well. Veronica Roth's talk focused on what makes reading (and life) full of joy: approaching new experiences with an open mind. Here's the transcript of Veronica's speech (absolutely worth a read), and if you'd like to watch, skip to the 1:09:00 mark of the video below:

The YA Author Buzz Panel was also on Friday, which featured so many fantastic-sounding books that it nearly made me itchy. The panelists were: Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl; Anna Jarzab, Tandem; Cristin Terrill, All Our Yesterdays; Amy Rose Capetta, Entangled; and Sara Farizan, If You Could Be Mine. Every single one of these titles flew out of the hands of publicists at the convention this year! The YA book selection being touted this year was so great, in fact, that Publisher's Weekly made special note of it. Stay tuned... we may have one or two of these fantastic books available for a giveaway soon!

Aside from the very professional industry stuff, however, BEA is a great place to meet people you've only @ replied on Twitter in real life, or catch up with old friends. YA Highway members old and new got together this weekend and caught up on life, funny memes, and of course writing!

It was a great year, and I'm already ready for BEA 2014! But before then I have to work my way through these additions to the To Be Read pile...

What about you? Did you go to BEA? How was it! What did you grab? Any books you missed?

Sarah Enni

Sarah is a young adult author and host of the First Draft podcast. She is represented by Sarah Burnes at The Gernert Company.

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  1. Wow, this looks really amazing! Hopefully I'll be able to go next year.

  2. Veronica Roth's speech is extremely moving. It's touching, fresh, straight-forward, raw, heartfelt, and open. I got goose bumps, because it's that good!

    If only the BEA was/is close to where I live...dare to dream. :)

  3. I wish I could attend! Unfortunately I don't live anywhere near BEA and I didn't have the money to go =/. One day!

  4. wish I was there, you lovely lovely authors

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Item Reviewed: YA Highway's BEA 2013 Breakdown Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sarah Enni