NYCTAF 2015 Schedule

Kickoff Night: Sunday, March 15, SPINE OUT (Dixon Place, 161 Christie Street, 7pm)

NYCTAF is proud to be a part of a new series, SPINE OUT, where novelists read personal essays.

Leigh Bardugo
Matt de la Peña
Emmy Laybourne
David Levithan
RL Stine

Monday, March 16 (Mulberry Street NYPL, 10 Jersey St, 6-8pm):

What is YA anyway?

Explanation: At a time when YA feels ascendant, we’re going to check in and ask: What is YA, anyway? Where does it come from? What does it mean to authors, readers, and the media? Where is it going? Are there fears that it’s just a “trend” right now, and that the pendulum will swing away from it again … or is YA here to stay? How, as writers, do we continue to keep it evolving? None of us will have answers, but we’ll certainly have opinions.

Leigh Bardugo
Daniel Ehrenhaft
Donna Freitas
Lev Grossman
Micol Ostow
Danielle Paige
Scott Westerfeld

moderator: David Levithan

Tuesday, March 17 (Books of Wonder, 18 W 18th St, 6pm):
YA That Sings

Explanation: The NYC debut of three new books with music and emotion at their cores.

Elizabeth Eulberg
David Levithan
Jennifer Niven

Wednesday. March 18 42nd St NYPL, South Court, 5th Ave at 42nd St, 6-8pm):
Writing as a Many-Booked Thing: Looking at Series

Explanation: For this year’s craft panel, we’re going to have a number of authors of books in series (or duologies) to talk about the pluses and minuses of writing this way. Besides the usual questions – how much do you plot out ahead of time? how much advance world-building do you do? how do you keep track of things as you go along? – we’ll also discuss how reader reaction plays a part (or not) in the creation, and also what the appeal and drawbacks of writing a series are.

Dahlia Adler
Sarah Rees Brennan
Seth Fishman
Michelle Hodkin
Barry Lyga
Marie Rutkoski
Eliot Schrefer

Moderator: David Levithan

Thursday, March 19 (WORD bookstore, 126 Franklin St, Brooklyn, 7pm)
The Perils of Perfection

Explanation: Teen girls are under more pressure than ever to succeed – in relationships, in school, in the social hierarchy and friendships. Each of these novelists has written about girls under such pressures – and here they’ll read a little from their latest work, and then discuss the pressures on their characters – as well as the pressures of writing about them.

Kate Axelrod
Susane Colasanti
Corey Ann Haydu
Melissa Kantor
Terra Elan McVoy
Alecia Whitaker

moderator: Amanda Maciel

Friday March 20, Symposium (42nd Street NYPL, South Court, 5th Ave at 42nd St, 2-6pm)

2:00 – Introduction

2:10-2:50: Crafting Something Out of Something

Explanation: Each of these authors has taken a well-known story – either historical or fictional – and put her own stamp on it. These are not all retellings, but they all play with familiar tropes — whether it’s the Nutcracker or Hollywood Noir. This will be a conversation about taking something known and creating something original from it.

Selene Castrovilla
Sarah Cross
Amalie Howard
Claire Legrand
Mary McCoy
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Aaron Starmer

Moderator: David Levithan

2:50-3:45: YA Explains it All

Explanation: The ultimate Q&A. (I will be in touch with authors to explain the format of this one – it’s our creative/humor panel.)

Matt Blackstone
Timothy Decker
Amy Ewing
Gabriel Guarente
Emmy Laybourne
Kass Morgan
Lindsay Ribar
Jill Santopolo
Len Vlahos
Maryrose Wood

3:55-4:40: The Fame Game

Explanation: Adolescence is enough of a pressure cooker – but add fame on top of it, and the pressure grows more extreme. It used to be that teen fame was reserved only for actors and singers – but now it extends to reality TV stars and video bloggers. Each of these authors has written about the effect that attaining fame and keeping fame has on teens – and explores teen identity through that lens. Here they’ll discuss what it’s like to write about that world – and how it brings out certain things about adolescence in a more pronounced way.

Alison Cherry
Maya Rock
Rebecca Serle
Alecia Whitaker

moderator: Leila Sales

4:40-5:30: The Thrill is All Mine

Explanation: It’s amazing what you can find out about a character – and about human nature – when you put her or him in an extreme situation. Each of these authors will introduce their new books and what their protagonists are up against – and then we’ll discuss challenges of keeping the thrills coming without taking your eye off the characters.

Martina Boone
Laurie Crompton
JJ Howard
Lee Kelly
Nicole Maggi
Diana Renn
VC Stanley and CL Gaber

moderator: David Levithan

Friday March 20, Barnes & Noble Reader’s Theater/Signing (Union Square B&N, 33 E 17th St, 7-8:30pm)

Explanation: Our annual Reader’s Theater, which is always a highlight of the Festival. I will follow up with more details on this one. This year we’ll have two groups of four, with me as the swing.

Cathleen Bell
Holly Black
Heather Demetrios
Kevin Emerson
Tanuja Desai Hidier
Kathryn Holmes
David Levithan
Scott Westerfeld

Saturday March 21, Symposium (42nd Street NYPL, Bartos Forum, 5th Ave at 42nd St, 1-5pm)

1:10-1:40 – Keynote: Libba Bray talking about books and gender

1:40-2:30 – Exploring Feminist YA

Explanation: After Libba’s keynote, we’ll have a conversation about gender in YA, and about writing and promoting feminist YA in particular.

Libba Bray
Gayle Forman
Nova Ren Suma
Scott Westerfeld

moderator: David Levithan

2:30-3:10 – Issues of Representation in YA

Explanation: Whether you are writing about characters whose identifications you share or about characters whose identifications you don’t share, there will always be issues of representation, both for the writer and for the reader. We’ll talk about writing what you’ve known vs. writing what you haven’t experienced firsthand, as well as talking about the different ways to achieve diversity within our literature and what obligation, if any, writer have to “represent” the groups that they belong to within their work.

Maria E. Andreu
Coe Booth
Sona Charaipotra
Dhonielle Clayton
IW Gregorio
Adam Silvera
Andrew Smith

moderator: David Levithan

3:20-4:10 – Who You Are and Who You Love

Explanation: The person you fall for tells you a lot about yourself – and sometimes navigating a relationship requires you to navigate your own identity first and foremost. This will be a conversation about the intersection of love and identity, as seen in these novelist’s latest novels.

Nora Raleigh Baskin
Carolyn Mackler
Chase Night
Cindy Rodriguez
Jennifer E. Smith
Jenn Marie Thorne
Will Walton

moderator: Melissa Walker

4:10-5:00 – Creating Strong Characters

Explanation: We often talk about “strong” characters – but what does that mean? Don’t characters also have to be vulnerable for readers to connect to them? And why is there so often talk of “strong female characters” but not “strong male characters” – what’s left assumed there, and how can we counterbalance that? Each of these authors has created complex protagonists grappling with issues of strength. We’ll discuss how they created these characters, and what balances needed to be achieved.

Sarah Beth Durst
TM Goeglein
Elizabeth Kiem
Kieran Scott
Jessica Spotswood
Robin Talley
Sandra Waugh

moderator: Terra Elan McVoy

Saturday, March 21 (McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St, 7pm):
The Mutual Admiration Society Reading

Explanation: A wide range of stories will be represented here, in our usual McNally Jackson slot. Readings followed by conversation – always lively!

Coe Booth
Michelle Knudsen
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Andrew Smith
Lindsay Smith
Jessica Spotswood
Tommy Wallach

moderator: David Levithan

Sunday March 22: Our No-Foolin’ Mega-Signing at Books of Wonder (Books of Wonder, 18 W 18th St, 1-4pm):

S Petroff / D Manley, Ash
JJ Howard, Tracers
Nicole Maggi, The Forgetting
Jenn Marie Thorne, The Wrong Side of Right
Jennifer A. Nielsen, Mark of the Thief
Dahlia Adler, Behind the Scenes
Lisa Amowitz, Vision
Maria E. Andreu, Secret Side of Empty
Kate Axelrod, The Law of Loving Others
Martina Boone, Compulsion

Coe Booth, Kinda Like Brothers
Sarah Rees Brennan, Unmade
Caela Carter, My Best Friend, Maybe
Selene Castrovilla, Melt
Alison Cherry, For Real
Susane Colasanti, Now and Forever
Laurie Crompton, Adrenaline Crush
Sarah Cross, Tear You Apart
Tim Decker, Lies in the Dust
Heather Demetrios, I’ll Meet You There
Sarah Beth Durst, Chasing Power

Cathleen Bell, I Remember You
Daniel Ehrenhaft, 21 Proms
Kevin Emerson, Breakout
Seth Fishman, The Dark Water
TM Goeglein, Embers & Ash
Gabriel Guarente, Satan’s Prep
Corey Haydu, Life by Committee
Tanuja Desai Hidier, Bombay Blues
Michelle Hodkin, Retribution of Mara Dyer
Kathryn Holmes , The Distance Between Lost & Found
Amalie Howard, Oceanborn
Lee Kelly, City of Savages

Elizabeth Kiem, Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper
Michelle Knudsen, Evil Librarian
Claire Legrand, Winterspell
David Levithan, Hold Me Closer
Elisa Ludwig, Pretty Wanted
Barry Lyga, Blood of my Blood
Terra Elan McVoy, In Deep
L Melnick & B Lauer, Please Excuse this Poem
Kass Morgan, Homecoming

Danielle Paige, Dorothy Must Die
Lindsay Ribar, The Fourth Wish
Maya Rock, Scripted
Cindy Rodriguez, When Reason Breaks
Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Crime
Jill Santopolo, Love on the Lifts
Kieran Scott, What Waits in the Woods
Chris Shirley, Playing By the Book
Jennifer E Smith, Geography of You and Me
Lindsay Smith, Sekret

Jessica Spotswood, Sisters’ Fate
VC Stanley & CL Gaber, Jex Malone
Aaron Starmer, The Whisper
Robin Talley, Lies We Tell Ourselves
Yvonne Ventresca, Pandemic
Tommy Wallach, We All Looked Up
Sandra Waugh, Lark Rising
Scott Westerfeld, Afterworlds
Suzanne Weyn, Faces of the Dead
Alecia Whitaker, Wildflower

AFTER PARTY: Monday, March 23 (McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St, 7pm):

Nova Ren Suma launches The Walls Around Us in conversation with Libba Bray at McNally Jackson