Gather around, fellow monsters, it’s story time.
I happened on BookCon completely by chance.
As some of you may recall me mentioning, I’ve been in a bit of a book slump for YEARS (mostly thanks to being in college). Needless to say, I’ve been out of the book game for quite a while. So, when I rekindled my love for reading some time last year, I got so immersed that I felt like I needed to regain all of the things I’d been missing out on for the past couple of years. Before this blog was even a little bit close to being a tangible thing, I was on the hunt for a book conference similar to AWP. With how grand the book community is, I just knew there had to be one somewhere out there that I could begin planning for. And from the depths of the internet, BEA emerged.
For those of you who don’t know (as I hadn’t up until months ago), BookExpo America is a trade show and conference that many contributors to the book community attend in order to discover new authors and books and get in on the latest trends and issues affecting the professional book world. I was sold. Everyone who knows me knows that I eventually want to end up in the wonderful world of book publishing, so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to listen in on some awesome panels. There was just one problem– you have to actually be a book professional to attend.
I was bummed.
Luckily, BEA knew little buggers like me would fall onto this site first, so they kindly directed me to the BookCon homepage which takes place on the Saturday after the trade show event. I was back to being incredibly stoked. While bummed to miss out on the book publishing insight, there were still some pretty incredible panels coming through BookCon. Not to mention, this event had one boasted celebrity writers such as Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, and Taye Diggs along with faves like David Levithan, B.J. Novak, Ellen Hopkins (I can’t believe I missed this), Charlaine Harris, Jacqueline Woodson, R.L. Stine (Again, WTF, Morgan), Lemony Fucking Snicket, and many many MANY more.
Of course I bought my ticket that day with only the knowledge that I would be in the same general proximity of Sherman Alexie. I may not talk much about him, but he’s an incredible writer whose short story collections was one of the highlights of my college career. I keep hyperventilating every single time I think about it, tbh.
BookCon is a glorious event organized by ReedPOP (of Comic Con and C2E2 fame). Rather than attempt to describe something I’ve never experienced, I’ll give you the answer from the site’s FAQ:
BookCon is the event where storytelling and pop culture collide. Consumers and brands will experience the origin of the story in all its forms by interacting with the authors, publishers, celebrities and creators of content that influence everything we read, hear and see. BookCon is an immersive experience that features interactive, forward thinking content including Q&As with the hottest talent, autographing sessions, storytelling podcasts, special screenings, literary quiz shows and so much more. BookCon is the ultimate celebration of books, where your favorite stories come to life.
Seems pretty legit, right? Right. I figured I would be a fool to pass this up. So, if you’re headed to this wonderful event in Chicago on May 14th, let me know! I’d love to meet some book blogging buddies.
Here are just a few of the panels I’m really looking forward to:
- We Need Diverse Books Presents: Love & Loss in Children’s Literature
- Great Graphic Novels for Every Reader
- The Power & Importance of Historical Fiction for Teens
- Reality Bites – Contemporary YA Takes the Stage
- Diversity in Romance
Seriously, I’m so sad they packed all of this good shit into one day because I can’t possibly go to everything. HOW DARE YOU, BOOKCON?!
And the lovely authors I hope to meet:
- Sherman Alexie – Seeing his name on the list is one of the reasons I have no regrets in buying this pass so hastily. I have a tattoo inspired by this man. You really think I’m not about to try to find him?
- David Levithan – Preteen Morgan is SCREAMING. This man was the only thing I read religiously in middle school and high school
- Jenny Han – I just got her first book in this recent book swap, and it’s already good. And she’s a precious baby. Whatever.
- The Property Brothers – baes, duh
- Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
- Ann M. Martin
- Meg Cabot
- Nicola Yoon
- Gene Luen Yang
- Sabaa Tahir
- Pierce Brown
Stay tuned. I also just bought a pass to BEA this week (because I’m reckless af, of course), so I’ll be giving you the lowdown on that as well. Basically, we’re about to go on a grand adventure together, and I hope you guys are ready!