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The festival was bustling!

02/11/2016

I recently had the pleasure of attending this year’s Teen Author Fest at the Main branch of the OPL. It’s always fun to go downtown where all the action is––and the festival was bustling!

 

There were seven different YA authors speaking and holding workshops, and I decided to go to the fiction panels: both “Keeping it Real,” and “All Fantasy All the Time.” The two sets of authors––Caroline Pignat, Emma Mills, and Marthe Jocelyn for the realistic fiction panel, and Victoria Schwab, Lesley Livingston, and Amy Alward for the fantasy panel––discussed their latest works, writing habits, and debated the merits of Mr. Darcy versus Colonel Brandon. (Naturally, Mr. Darcy was found to be the preferred Austen love interest).

 

Both panels took the time to address the questions of the attendees. Recurring subjects were: 1. How do I improve as a writer? and 2. What’s your favourite novel? For the first question, aspiring authors were advised to join a community of writers to get feedback and editing suggestions. As for favourites? If you’re looking for your next read, several panelists really enjoyed A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (which I loved, too!), as well as the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.

 

Also, a lengthy discussion was had when the Realistic Fiction panel was asked about diversity in fiction––and when it is appropriate to write about things that you have not personally experienced. This is a very relevant topic in 2016 and it was very interesting to hear the authors’ views on how to portray sensitive topics and ensure that you are telling an accurate and non-stereotyped story.

 

All in all, it was a wonderful event, and I’m so glad that I was able to go and hear some of these accomplished writers speak. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for some of the new titles!

 

Interested in more Teen Author Fest events? M-E Girard will be talking about her new book Girl Mans Up at Beaverbrook branch at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 3rd! More details here.

 

Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Bloggers in Residence are fantastic teen volunteer writers from across the city. They blog about their favourite teen reads and authors, and get writing assignments to cover special teen events happening at the library. Their residency rotates throughout the year. Call-outs for upcoming terms are made through the Teen Blog in May/June, September/October and January/February.