TeenBookCon is one of the largest book events in Houston each year and it is completely free to attend! Each year the convention is held with the sole intent of exposing kids to author and their books, and authors to their audience. Whether readers are interested in romance, fantasy, contemporary fiction or graphic novels there will certainly be a book to pique everyone’s interest at this great event.
(These photos include some of my family interacting with the authors at the 2015 TBC)
The day long event begins with a keynote speaker. Although the speaker doesn’t take the stage until 10am, doors for the event open at 9am. It is recommended to arrive early so that readers can check out all of the available books and participate in sponsored activities. In the past there has been live music, tattoo stations, make your own button spots and more! This year’s speaker is the renowned Ruta Sepetys whose new book, Salt to the Sea was recently featured on NPR.
After the keynote speech, attendees can choose which panels they want to attend. There are six panels to choose from and four time slots to attend panels so make sure that you see your favorite authors first! The authors stay in one room and teens move from room to room to see the panels that they are most interested in. The panels are:
Back in the Day (historical fiction and nonfiction)
- Ruta Sepetys
- Jennifer Donnelly
- Monica Hesse
- Katherine Howe
- Steve Sheinkin
Give Me a Break (from Reality) (fantasy fiction)
- Michael Buckley
- Shaun David Hutchinson
- Kathy Parks
- Gena Showalter
Ship It (relationships)
- Jesse Andrews
- Tina Connolly
- Samantha Mabry
- Meredith Moore
- Kristin Rae
Real Life is Rough AF (realistic fiction)
- E. K. Johnston
- Amber Smith
- Ray Villareal
- Nicola Yoon
- Amy Zhang
I’m New Here (authors with one or two books out)
- Sean McGinty
- Julie Murphy
- Becky Wallace
- Jeff Zentner
The Big Picture (graphic novelists)
- Mark Crilley
- Faith Erin Hicks
There’s also the opportunity for attendees to take a break and get food. There will be pizza, sodas and snacks for sale inside and there will be several food trucks outside.
After all the panels have finished, attendees return to the auditorium for a closing speech and to see who will be awarded the door prizes.
The day ends with attendees being given the opportunity to meet and greet all their favorite authors. The authors will be stationed around the gym and there will be plenty of volunteers to direct readers to the authors of their choice. Attendees are welcome to bring books from home but there’s also the option to buy books all day long from Blue Willow Books.
I’ll be moderating three panels this year:
- Session One of Back in the Day
- Session Two of Life is Rough AF
- Session Three of Ship It
If you see me there please say “Howdy!” I tend to be distracted on this day so I may need you to flag me down but I’d love to know who is at the event and your feedback on the day.