Yallwest: The YA Festival You Should Know about


It’s that time of year again, folks! Convention season is here and what better way to kick it off than by attending the second inaugural Yallwest book festival in Santa Monica, CA. Yallwest, the sister festival of Yallfest, is a celebration of Young Adult literature and allows readers to meet and interact with their beloved authors, attend panels, and buy books.

The festival takes place April 30-May 1 at Santa Monica High School. If you live in California or are willing to make the trip, then you should definitely check it out! Directors Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl have put together a killer lineup this year. Rainbow Rowell, Renee Ahdieh, Leigh Bardugo, Veronica Roth, and many more of our favorite YA authors will be in attendance. But that’s not all! Writers and executive producers from some of our favorite shows: Marvel’s Agent Carter, How to Get Away With Murder, and The 100 will be onsite as well. Plus, who wouldn’t want the chance to meet Shelby Rabara, the voice of “Peridot” from Steven Universe, and Vine star Lele Pons? I know I would!


Of course, it wouldn’t be a festival without interesting panels to attend. Here is a list of a few that I’d recommend dropping in on:

  • Ms. Marvel Speaks: Saturday at 11am. Learn about the awesome Muslim superhero that is taking Marvel by storm!
  • Character Death Match: Saturday at 3pm. It’s the Hunger Games, but with your favorite fictional characters.
  • Strong Female Characters: Sunday at 12pm. Find out what being a strong female character really means.
  • Idea to Book to Film: Sunday at 3pm. Learn about the creative process.
Photo by Gina Clyne Photography


There are also some cool interactive activities scheduled that you definitely need to participate in like:

  • Book-Nerd Yoga: Saturday at 1pm. Take a break to stretch your muscles!
  • Yallwest Bookswap: Saturday at 2pm. Bring a gift-wrapped book and swap it with a stranger for something new.
  • Hamilton singalong: Saturday at 3pm. Sing your heart out with fellow fans of the hit Broadway show.

P.S.: I heard rumors of a Quidditch match for your Potterheads…just saying!


For more information and a complete schedule visit the Yallwest website. Those of you who do end up going, feel free to tweet us @getfandom all of your fangirl moments from Yallwest! Trust me, we’ll be living vicariously through you.

Amanda is a Community Development Representative at Fandom. She goes through books faster than she can buy them.
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