It's On! Charleston's Big Literary Smackdown...

Stephanie Hunt

Maybe you're like me and up until now, you had no idea that Veronica Roth (age 25), author of the #1 New York Times selling Divergent series, is the hottest thing since Taylor Swift (age 23, recipient of the "Pinacle Award" at last night's CMA awards, no less). Even hotter than Miley's twerking. But evidently she is. And she's headed to Charleston to headline the 3rd annual YALLFest this Saturday.



Man, we knew Jonathan Sanchez over at Blue Bicycle Books (YALLFest founder and organizer) had it going on, being the super nice guy, inspiring teacher, champion of local writers, and wry humor guy that he is... but to have lured Roth and 50 superstars of the hottest literary genre around (that would be YA, or Young Adult fiction, for you unitiated readers still thumbing through 50 Shades of Gray) to Charleston for a YA Smackdown? That's impressive!



Avid young readers from all over the country are coming, according to the buzzing YA blogosphere (which I also was previously clueless about). I know kids on my daughter's soccer team who are skipping soccer games—a big no-no—to go. Bookfests were certainly not how I was spending my Saturdays when I was 13. 


Blue Bicycle Books


The hordes of squeeling young teens coming to see their favorite authors will be elbowing past King Street shoppers this weekend, and past the huge influx of brainy librarians who have also descended on Charleston this week for the annual Charleston Conference (aptly named), spearheaded by Katina Strauch at the College of Charleston. They've come to talk technology, digitalization, and plot-n-ponder how their roles are shifting, changing, diverging, emerging, and zombifying in the looming dystopian future (get the YA themes?) where the transmission of knowledge, content, and media will happen via all-things beginning with "e" or "i."



But if you think convening librarians don't know how to have a good time in Charleston, then you obviously weren't at the Music Farm Wednesday night, where the futurist masterminds at BiblioLabs put on a show that defies the Dewey Decimal system. "Out of the Stacks" was a fundraiser for the Jazz Artists of Charleston, and included appearances by 54 Bicycles, among others. A rocking, jazzy showcase of local talent and highbrow getting-down. 


There's a crisp fall feeling of high IQ quotient in the air this weekend. Enjoy!