Okay, yes, I know this is Saturday, not Friday, but I have a super good reason. This week the talented authors of The Society of YA Storytellers are blogging on their best/worst travel experiences as an author, and it just so happens that this week I’m blogging from UtopYA Con 2014.
What’s UtopYA con (and don’t you know there’s no Y in utopia)?
UtopYA is a con for readers and writers of YA fiction. Get it now? It’s held in Nashville every June. I happened upon it last year and had such a fun and inspiring experience that I bought my ticket for this year’s just weeks after last year’s event.
I’m not the only one. The con is growing by leaps and bounds. Last year when I attended, I believe there were somewhere around 400, and this year’s con boasts registration upwards of 700. I think there were 7 or 8 authors set up selling books in 2013. This year they filled three rooms and the hotel’s lobby!
Society members at UtopYA 2014 L-R: Liz Long, Heather Hildenbrand, Melissa Pearl, Bryna Butler. Not pictured are Quinn Loftis and Stacey Rourke.
What makes UtopYA so popular, in my opinion, is the unprecedented access to all levels of authordom. Any fan or newbie indie author can walk right up to bestselling authors and introduce themselves. They are actually encouraged to do so. AND bestselling authors sometimes come up to the newbies, introduce themselves and even buy the newbie’s books. Where else does that happen?
Con coordinator Janet Wallace often reminds guests that collaboration, not competition, is key. “We can always go farther together.”
It’s an uplifting message for sure, but UtopYA lives it. That’s why every June you’ll find me in the Music City.
Until next Fun Friday, be sure to check out The Society’s other authors and their posts on the subject. Check out the group’s Facebook page for links: www.facebook.com/yastorytellers