Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the #LoveYA event hosted by Brisbane City Council Library. This was a free event and part of the Brisbane Writer’s Festival. #LoveYA featured author panels, book signings, live music and poetry reading as well as a number of workshops by writers and artists. Whilst this event was about YA fiction – it was for fans of all ages. If you read and enjoy YA then this event was for you. A whole afternoon of getting to be bookishly fangirly with other YA fans? Pretty much my idea of heaven.
After making a badge to show off my fangirly ways, I made my way to the first panel of the afternoon: Heroes and Heroines in YA Fiction. Authors Sean Williams and Kirilee Barker discussed how these types of characters are different in YA and Adult fiction. It was a great thought-provoking session and a great way to start the event.
The second session I went to was about Loss, Friendships and Moving On. Ananda Braxton-Smith, Diana Sweeney and AJ Betts were so much fun. Their books may all have themes of pain in them but these women (much like their novels) managed to combine a sense of humour and fun amongst the heartbreak.
I took a break from author panels to go and see Steph Bowe talk about blogging and her experiences. Steph’s talk was fantastic. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much. She talked about things new bloggers should be aware of (like blogger burnout and remembering you may not be an anonymous as you feel online) whilst sharing some personal anecdotes. If you ever get the chance to see Steph talk – I recommend it!
After her talk, Steph joined some other local bloggers for a panel discussion. It was great to see Jeann from Happy Indulgence Books on the panel talking about YA book blogging. I also thought it was amazing to see Chiara (Delicate Eternity), Bec (Readers Wonderland), Phillipa and Angelya (Tea in the Treetops) as well as Kirilee Barker (author of The Book of Days) come to support Jeann and the other bloggers! As a blogger myself I found it interesting to see just how different the blogging experience is depending on the niche.
The final author panel of the day was one I was most excited about. Amie Kaufman and Laini Taylor talked about Epic Love. I loved this session. It’s always fantastic when authors are as passionate about the genre they write in as their readers and I’m not sure I’ve seen a bigger fangirl than Amie Kaufman. Amie and Laini shared their book boyfriends (Amie had a giant list whereas Laini only had one – Aragorn from Lord of the Rings), recommendations of fantasy books and so much more.
This was a great day and I want to thank Brisbane Libraries as well as Brisbane Writer’s Festival for putting it on. The authors they chose to talk were such a great fit with the audience and they were all so lovely. It was amazing to get to talk books with other bookish people and I hope there are many more events like this in the future!