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Charleston Yallfest

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Jason Lancia digs into a YA book during class.

Jason Lancia digs into a YA book during class.

Tommy Dame

Tommy Dame

Jason Lancia digs into a YA book during class.

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Yallfest is the  country’s largest Young Adult Book Festival, which happens to take place every year in Charleston, SC. It was founded by a local author named Jonathan Sanchez in 2011 and is run by Blue Bicycle Books on King Street.

Every year on the second weekend of November, over sixty YA authors come to Charleston to sign books, talk on panels and participate in other fun events. This event takes place on and around Upper King Street, where the locally-owned bookstore, Blue Bicycle Books, is located.

The Blue Bicycle Books bookstore was founded in 1995 by Lee and Jim Breeden, with the name of Boomer’s Books. The name changed to Blue Bicycle Books in 2007 when the store was bought by Jonathan Sanchez, who was a longtime employee. Many people enjoy the book store for its great book selection and cool atmosphere.

When the annual Yallfest first started in 2011, less than 35 authors attended. Now, six years later, the festival has grown so that it now attracts over 65 authors and over 12,000 fans each year.  It now even has a sister festival called “Yallwest” that takes place in Santa Monica, California,  every year in April.

This year the Yallfest is taking place on Nov. 10 and 11. Some of the authors coming to Charleston this year  include Ally Condie, David Levithan, Marissa Meyer, and Veronica Roth. There will be over 75 authors coming to the Yallfest this year.

Aside from author signings, there will also be panels, where authors talk about a wide variety of topics from romance to monsters and creatures, and special events such as coffee giveaways and cupcake competitions.

The Yallfest starts on Friday afternoon with the Yallcrawl, where select authors will sign books at businesses and shops on Upper King Street, and ends on Saturday afternoon with the YA smackdown, which involves games, music, and fun!

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Charleston Yallfest