YALLFest hits five-year milestone with a stellar lineup of 60 authors including Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, and R.L. Stine

Thousands of fans will descend on Charleston S.C. Nov. 13-14 for the fifth annual young adult book festival to attend seminars, signings, and the YA Smackdown


CHARLESTON, SC – June 1, 2015 — What happens when a pack of bestselling authors plans an annual book festival? Everyone wants to be a part of it, of course. Fans and authors alike clamor for a spot at YALLFest, the largest and only author-run book festival in the country that’s become an annual tradition in Charleston. 


This year, R.L. Stine, creator of the enduringly popular Goosebumps series, will participate in the opening keynote conversation with Richelle Mead, creator of the Bloodlines series. 


The closing keynote conversation will feature two bestselling Brandons — Brandon Sanderson and Brandon Mull. Sanderson has written hundreds of thousands of words but is best known for his Mistborn Series and for being the guy deemed worthy enough to finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel in Time series. His YA titles include The Rithmatist and the Alcatraz series. Mull is the author of the bestselling Fablehaven series, Five Kingdoms, Spirit Animals, and Beyonders. 


YALLFest was co-founded by Jonathan Sanchez, owner of Charleston’s only locally owned and operated bookstore, Blue Bicycle Books, and Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia (co-authors of the Beautiful Creatures series). Melissa de la Cruz, (author of the Blue Bloods series) is the festival’s director of development, supported by fellow executive board members Brendan Reichs (co-author of the Virals series) and Pseudonymous Bosch (author of the Secret series.)


In addition to the keynote speakers and the organizing authors, YALLFest’s impressive 2015 roster includes the Macmillan Fierce Reads spotlight author Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries) in addition to Marissa Meyer (Cinder), Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity), Soman Chainani (School for Good and Evil), Kody Keplinger (The Duff), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), Rick Yancey (The Fifth Wave), Rachel Caine (Ink and Bone), Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Unsolved Mysteries from History), Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden), and Bella Thorne (actress and author of Autumn Falls). 


Returning authors include Veronica Roth (Divergent series), Kiera Cass (The Selection series), Gayle Forman (If I Stay), Ann Brashares (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Marie Lu (Legend series), E. Lockhart (We Were Liars), Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade), Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm), Heather Brewer (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod), Rae Carson (Girl of Fire and Thorns), Leigh Bardugo (Grisha trilogy), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die), Susan Ee (Angelfall), Carrie Ryan (Forest of Hands), Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Rumble), David Levithan (Will Grayson, Will Grayson), Aaron Hartzler (Rapture), Barnabas Miller (7 Souls), and Maya Van Wagenen (Popular). 


YALLFest debut appearances will be made by Susane Colasenti (City Love), Mercedes Lackey (Shadow Grail series), Michelle Falkoff (Playlist for the Dead), Mindy McGinnis (Not A Drop to Drink), Seth Fishman (The Well's End), Nicola Yoon (Everything Everything), Mari Mancusi (Night School), Gwenda Bond (Lois Lane), Gail Carriger (Finishing School series), Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket series), Carole Boston Weatherford (The Sound that Jazz Makes), Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass), G. Neri (Ghetto Cowboy), J.E. Thompson (Girl from Felony Bay), Ryan Graudin (The Walled City), Alex London (Proxy), Natalie Standiford (The Secret Tree), Daniel Ehrenhaft (Wessex Papers series), 


Another YALLFest tradition that will be back is the Middle Grade Storyball, where middle school kids will have the opportunity to write and publish their own story alongside renowned children's authors. The festival concludes with the wildly popular YA Smackdown where all 60 authors compete in storytelling games for the coveted “Golden Pie” trophy and the official YALLFest band, Tiger Beat, headlined by author Libba Bray, performs.


Epic Reads [confirm name ???] is the presenting sponsor of the 2015 festival. Premier sponsors are the publishing houses Disney-Hyperion, Macmillan Fierce Reads, Penguin Teen, and Random House [confirm RH presenter name ???]. Additional sponsors include the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; Justine Magazine and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. YALLFest also enjoys the generous support of The Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation [I believe this is anonymous/ also not confirmed for 2015]. Charleston’s best independent bookstore Blue Bicycle Books is the official bookseller. 


YALLFest’s mission is to improve literacy through great YA literature and includes an outreach program that puts visiting authors in local schools to connect directly with young readers and spread their love of word and books. 


For more information or to arrange interviews with attending authors, call 843-209-3736 or visit www.yallfest.org