I went to the NoVa Teen Bookfest on Saturday and the guest list was just amazing. I foolishly thought I was safe because I already had Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles, Tomi Adeyumi's The Children of Blood and Bone, and a number of these other books in my bookpile. Silly me.
The magic panel talked about the issues of developing a magic system, and how having friends who can tell you what you really need to make things grow, or to start up a windstorm is helpful. The power panel talked about using power for good and evil, and how often their main characters had been told their power is one thing, and discover it's another. The anthology panel talked about the challenges of how to order anthologies, and how sometimes crafting a narrative means fighting against the front and backloading that the publisher might want. The climb panel talked about the querying process and how each of them had gotten their start. Mary Rand Hess and Kwame Alexander talked about teaming up to co-write for Solo. And the thriller panel talked about creating tension and also, in some cases making room for humor.
I had to miss the keynote so I could head somewhere else, but heard it was awesome. This was their fifth year, and it was just great.