Teens in Central Oregon will have a chance to meet a dozen authors writing for young adults when the region’s first-ever Teen Lit Fest takes place on April 16 at Bend High School, 10am-4pm.
In the past Deschutes Public Library (DPL) has brought in a single author writing for teens to tour area middle schools in the spring. Past authors included Rick Yancy, Gordon Korman and Tamora Pierce. Though the author visits were successful, the Library was looking for a way to make a bigger impact with book-loving teens in the region according to April Witteveen, a community librarian with DPL who primarily works with teens throughout Central Oregon.
“I had heard great things about other teen lit fests across the country and wanted to help DPL make a similar mark,” said Witteveen. “Lit fests like this allow for more opportunities for teens to see and be inspired by incredible authors who are writing just for them.”
From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, and To Kill a Mockingbird to The Fault in Our Stars, teen fiction has long helped young readers understand and process life’s big—and small—challenges. When immersed in a book, teens encounter themes and experiences that perhaps aren’t too unlike their own, even if those themes play out in imagined universes.
“Teens are looking for a variety of things when they pick up a book. Some are looking for a fantastical escape, others seek realistic stories that reflect what they’re experiencing in their own lives,” said Witteveen. “They’re interested in seeing how relationships and situations work themselves out in the pages of a novel.
“The DPL Teen Lit Fest offers attendees the chance to learn and laugh with a slate of fantastic authors,” said Witteveen. Authors taking part in this first annual festival write in a variety of genres and have varying levels of experience in terms of publication.
The DPL Teen Lit Fest authors include:
- Ali Berman – Misdirected; Choosing a Good Life
- Kendare Blake – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys; The Goddess War series; Anna Dressed in Blood
- Dia Calhoun – Eva of the Farm; After the River the Sun
- Tracy Clark – Light Key Trilogy (Scintillate; Illuminate; Deviate)
- Brandy Colbert – Pointe
- April Henry – Blood Will Tell; The Body in the Woods; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die
- Stephanie Kuehn – Delicate Monsters; Complicit; Charm & Strange
- Rosanne Parry – The Turn of the Tide; Written in Stone; Second Fiddle
- Paula Stokes – Liars, Inc.; The Art of Lainey
- Kai Strand – Finding Thor; The Weaver series; Save the Lemmings
- April Genevieve Tucholke – Wink Poppy Midnight; Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea
- Cat Winters – The Steep & Thorny Way; The Uninvited; The Cure for Dreaming
Panel presentations and workshops will provide attendees a chance to interact with visiting authors, including plenty of time for Q&A. Panel topics include writing strong female characters, creating edge-of-your-seat action sequences and the importance of writing about “tough stuff” in young adult fiction. A book signing/meet-and-greet at the end of the day will give attendees even more time to interact with the authors.
This full-day event will include a pizza lunch courtesy of Local Slice Pizza and Bigfoot Beverages. The event concludes with on-site book sales by Barnes & Noble with an opportunity for attendees to have their books signed by the authors. Attendees also receive a swag bag of goodies.
The DPL Teen Lit Fest is free and is open to teens and adults interested in YA literature, but registration is required. Register online at http://bit.ly/21hB8k0 or by calling April Witteveen at 541-617-7079.