Young Adult And Southern Literature Authors Coming To Chattanooga State Virtually This September With YA-hoo Fest And Writers@Work

Thursday, August 6, 2020 - by Andrea Sanders and Joshua Johnson, Chattanooga State
Daniel Wallace
Daniel Wallace

The Chattanooga State Humanities Department’s Writers@Work program will present two major events virtually this fall via popular video conferencing software Zoom. In partnership with the Southern Lit Alliance, the third annual 

YA-hoo Fest, Chattanooga’s only Young Adult book festival, will welcome 25 well-known Young Adult literature authors on Sept. 14-17. Just one week later, the ninth annual Writers@Work program will feature best-selling Southern author Daniel Wallace in a rescheduled weeklong celebration of his novel Big Fish on Sept. 21-27.  

In addition to a robust schedule of virtual events, both YA-hoo Fest and Writers@Work will offer door prizes to participants in these virtual celebrations of Young Adult and Southern literature. All events are free, but registration is required. Registration for YA-hoo Fest will be available soon at www.yahoofest.org. Registration for the Writers@Work events is available now at ChattBigRead.com.  

YA-hoo Fest, a celebration of Young Adult literature, the authors who write it, and the readers who love it, launches on Sept. 14 with an interactive live taping of the podcast Hey YA!, with hosts and YA authors Kelly Jensen and Eric Smith. Join Kelly and Eric as they interview a special guest author who is participating in the festival. YA-hoo’s main events start on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and continue on Wednesday, September 16, and Thursday, Sept. 17, when the Fest presents author panel sessions scheduled throughout the day. These sessions will highlight intimate interviews and discussions with YA authors, giving in-depth insight into their lives, their creative processes, and their goals as writers. Four to five authors will sit in each panel, and different authors will be featured each day of the festival. In addition to welcoming the broader community, YA-hoo has partnered with Hamilton County Schools to invite area high school students and their teachers to a front-row seat as their favorite authors discuss the social issues and historical underpinnings of their novels. During the virtual events, attendees will be eligible for fun door prizes and will be able to purchase the books by all twenty-five authors. All events are free of charge. The full schedule of events and registration information will be available soon at www.yahoofest.org.  

This year’s Writers@Work program features Daniel Wallace and his novel Big Fish in a week’s worth of dynamic virtual programming. Big Fish, published in 1998, quickly rose to best-seller status, was adapted into a film directed by Tim Burton, and became a Broadway musical. Publishers Weekly described the novel as featuring “a plainspoken style dotted with transcendent passages” and possessing “the transformative quality of fable and fairy tale.” During the 2019-2020 academic year, Chattanooga State composition students read the novel and wrote about it in their classes. They and the public are invited to attend live online interviews and readings with Daniel Wallace, an interview with Big Fish: The Musical composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa, an edible book festival, and a livestream production of selections from Big Fish: The Musical.  

For YA-hoo Fest events, registration will be available soon at www.yahoofest.org. 

For more information about YA-hoo Fest, visit www.yahoofest.org or contact Joel Henderson at 423-697-4403 or yahoofest@chattanoogastate.edu. To become a sponsor of the festival, contact Lynda LeVan at 423-267-6718. 

Like us on Facebook @YAhooFestChatt and follow us on Instagram at @yahoo.fest 
and on Twitter at @YAhooFestival. 

For more information about the Writers@Work program or to register for events, visit ChattBigRead.org.  

Like us on Facebook @ChattState’s Writers at Work and follow us on 
Instagram and Twitter at @CSWritersAtWork. 

Writers@Work was founded in 2011 by the Chattanooga State Community College Humanities Department to enhance the practice of literary analysis in its Composition II classes through the reading of a common text with a focus on Southerners and their culture. It has become an annual arts experience that touches the lives of countless people in the greater Chattanooga area by providing opportunities for the public to interact with visiting authors at free events. Past W@W authors include Terry Kay, Ishmael Reed, Jill McCorkle, Rick Bragg, Lila Quintero Weaver, Ron Rash, Robert Morgan, Tayari Jones, George Singleton, Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly. Now in its ninth year, W@W is proud to welcome Daniel Wallace in 2020 and looks forward to welcoming Jericho Brown in 2021. 

Southern Lit Alliance is a longstanding, non-profit, literary arts organization in Chattanooga founded in 1952 to connect individuals with the uplifting power of literary arts and to encourage the next generation to be passionate readers and reap the benefits of all it has to offer. Find out more about Southern Lit Alliance at www.southernlitalliance.org.    



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