YAS Book Convention
- Author: Melissa Rush
- Author: Monday, October 22nd, 2018
The Young Adult Southern (YAS) Book Con is a book festival for readers of Young Adult and Middle Grade literature. Programming is always free and open to the public. Middle and high school students from Warren and surrounding counties filled the third floor of the Downing Student Union on Friday, October 19.
Over 50 authors interacted with students through writing workshops, panel discussions, and book signings. This year’s keynote speaker was author Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out. Ms. Stone’s work has been awarded numerous awards, and Publisher’s Weekly called Dear Martin “A visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice.”
Author Nic Stone welcoming fans and signing copies of her books. Featured panelists covered topics from the fun and entertaining to the deeper relationships that many young adults face during adolescence. “Nice for What” discussed how Sheroes get a bad rap. “The Bold and the Beautiful” involved the more technical aspects of writing characters who have to face and conquer their fears. “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” was a panel dealing with friendships and how valuable they are throughout life.
One of the most popular breakout sessions was with cartoonist Joe Wos, who led a panel called “Maze-O Zoic” as he taught “How to Toon.” Every seat in the room was filled with enthusiastic students and their sketchbooks, all eager to learn how a line on a blank page could quickly turn into an original cartoon drawing. Wos offered a few rules to draw by; always have fun. There is no wrong way to draw a cartoon. If you make a mistake, don’t erase it. And, most importantly of all, sign your art. It’s an original!
Wos had not seen his newest book until he arrived at YAS con, so he was as excited as the students to take a first look at A-Maze-ing America. In addition to all of the authors, panels, and demonstrations, the Admissions office took advantage of the beautiful fall weather to offer a walking tour of the campus. This walk gave a preview to students of the many different opportunities available at Western Kentucky University in a fun, informative way.
YAS Book Con is a project of the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership. The mission of the SOKY Book Feat is to encourage literacy and the love of books.2