YALLWEST Santa Monica: An Amazing Turnout & Huge Success


I am so sad to have missed this year’s YALLWEST, which was a HUGE success. But I’m stoked to be able to share some of my favorite pics from the event thanks to MB Communications.

All photos are from YALLWEST Saturday and were taken by Gina Clyne Photography. To view the entire photo collection, head on over – there are a TON of amazing shots.

These are my faves…

Authors on the Red Carpet

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The Smackdown


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The Signings


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The Panels


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The Keynotes


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The Dinner

The Extras

It looked amazing, right? So many of my favorite authors were in attendance and I would have love, love, LOVED to be there to listen to them, to meet them, and to have them to sign their latest releases.

Did you spy any of your favorite authors in the pics? Will you be attending next year’s YALLWEST?

If you’re not familiar with YALLWEST, here is some information about this year’s event.

The Press Release



More than 8,000 Attendees at YALLWEST, Santa Monica’s Inaugural Young Adult Book Festival at Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica Public Library April 11-12

Santa Monica, CA: April 13, 2015: More than 8,000 readers of all ages turned out to see the approximately 90 bestselling authors, artists, musicians and book-to-film Hollywood notables who appeared at YALLWEST this past weekend at Santa Monica High School (April 11th) and Santa Monica Public Library (April 12th). The numbers are comparable to the tallies of festival’s east coast sister, YALLFEST in Charleston, South Carolina in November, coming up on its fifth year.

Many attendees traveled across the country to hear their favorite authors speak, take their photos, have their books signed, and celebrate YA literature. Ransom Riggs, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which Tim Burton brings to the big screen in 2016, gave the inaugural keynote address to a sold-out crowd. Fans waited in line for close to 3 hours for an autograph from Veronica Roth, author of the blockbuster Divergent series. YA author cover band Tiger Beat, fronted by bestselling author Libba Bray, played the Saturday event at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall.

One hundred local volunteers were the backbone of the festival on Saturday, and on Sunday, fifty fans who had arrived as early as 7:00 AM to be first in line jumped in to help the volunteers set up, receiving YALLWEST t-shirts as thank yous. More than four hundred students from low-income schools joined in the fun via sponsored bus, book and burger vouchers.

In keeping with YALLWEST’s literacy mission, Barnes & Noble, the bookseller for the festival, has pledged to donate a percentage of sales to Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) libraries. The festival also announced the establishment of the Purple Ink Award, in honor of YALLFEST co-founder and longtime Santa Monica reading teacher Kami Garcia, to be given to fund a classroom library for a teacher who cultivates a love of reading in her students.

New York Times bestselling authors Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) and Melissa de la Cruz (Witches of East End) are the co-directors of the festival. “We loved that the City of Santa Monica declared it YALLWEST weekend, and I also enjoyed my short stint as honorary mayor. It really did feel like Bookchella,” said Stohl. Melissa de la Cruz added, “We were absolutely amazed at the turnout and the enthusiasm, the passion and the love. We did not know what to expect and were completely blown away by YA fans showing up in force to support their authors.” YALLWEST was presented this year by Epic Reads in cooperation with the Santa Monica Public Library.

In addition to Stohl, de la Cruz, Mafi and Riggs, the YALLWEST Author Board includes Pseudonymous Bosch (Secret Series), Marie Lu (The Young Elites), Holly Goldberg Sloan (Counting by 7’s), Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Brendan Reichs (Virals), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy), Ally Condie (Matched) and Mike Johnston (Frozen). The Santa Monica Public Library’s festival team is headed up by Robert Graves, Ivy Weston, and Maria Carpenter. Check for details on the 2016 festival.

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