BEA12 - Recap of Amazingness

When I received the news SKINNY would be featured on the BEA YA Buzz panel, I had no idea what to expect.  I'd never been to BEA, but I'd always read it was huge and overwhelming (so true).  So, I thought you might all enjoy a little recap of the week's festivities and an "insider" look into the experience.  (Have patience with me, because I'm definitely in recovery mode today - still in pajamas and coffee in hand)

Maggie Stiefvater, Eliot Schrefer, Sharon Cameron and James Dashner
I flew into NY on Monday afternoon and went almost immediately to the Scholastic building in Soho for a special ScholasticLive event for bloggers.  The rooftop conference room was packed with passionate, enthusiastic, YOUNG book bloggers.  The featured authors performed a "Readers Theater." That's a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form. Readers read from a “script” and reading parts are divided among the readers. Participating authors include Sharon Cameron (The Dark Unwinding), Raina Telgemeier (Drama), Jeff Hirsch (Magisterium), Kate Messner (Capture the Flag), Eliot Schrefer (Endangered), Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys), and James Dashner (Infinity Ring).  What a great group to be included in, right?

There was this moment, when I looked over the standing room only crowd to the skyline of NY beyond, of complete awe.  This has been such an amazing year!  After the event, I met fellow YAMuse, Veronica Rossi, for blood orange martinis and Sushi. We definitely know how to support each other! (She did a great recap with pics on her blog)

The next morning I was off to my first Bookexpo.  It is a HUGE trade show and there was a long line of people sitting on the floor, just waiting to get inside.  Books are everywhere.  Big books, celebrity books, children's books, crazy books...  Its like book heaven.  Luckily my publisher's booth, Scholastic, was easy to spot with its trademark red logo.  Whenever I was lost, I just looked up and looked for red.

The waiting crowd for the YA Editor Buzz Panel
The editors on the panel. 
My first event, was the editor's YA Buzz Panel.  The room was a large ballroom and it was packed!  The authors for the buzz panel sit in the audience and the editors are featured, talking about each of the selected books and their process with acquiring and editing them.  The covers of each book is displayed on a huge screen.  My editor, Aimee Friedman, went first and she was amazing.  I had to look down at the table the whole time to keep from bursting into tears.

That's my editor, Aimee, helping with the line

After the panel, I went to the autographing session and actually had a line.  They had to cut the line off when the time was up!  (SO EXCITING for a debut author to actually have a line and to sign your very first ARCs!)  I was so thrilled to see Veronica Rossi in my line, that I leaped to my feet and gave her a BIG hug (and the YAMuses know I'm NOT a hugger).  That afternoon, I had lunch with my agent, Sarah Davies, and a magazine interview for Justine Magazine.  Later, I had dinner with Aimee, Lisa Sandell (another editor at Scholastic), and debut novelist, Sharon Cameron, who's fantastic DARK UNWINDING comes out in September.

The next day, it was time for the author part of the YA BUZZ panel.  We took the stage here...

(Yikes!  No pressure, right?)  Actually, it was great fun (once the nerves settled) and I loved meeting other fabulous authors -Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stents (Colin Fischer), Gennifer Albin (Crewel), Kat Zhang (What’s Left of Me), and Marissa Moss (Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris)- as well as moderator, Lisa Von Drasek, from Bank Street College of Education’s Center for Children’s Literature.  Afterwards, I did another signing at the Scholastic booth and, once again, we had to cut the line off.  So fun!

There was some wonderful press about SKINNY from the expo.   This from THE ATLANTIC, and this from PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY.  The TWITTER and blog coverage was also amazing.  And there were so many, many surreal quotes ("Ms. Cooner, this is Ed-your driver.  I'm waiting by the side entrance when you're ready to leave."  "Let me take you back to the Green Room.")

But what meant even more to me were the many touching, personal comments from readers. 

Connecting with readers. 

It's what we all dream of when we're sitting at our solitary desk, typing out a manuscript that we have no idea if anyone will ever see. 


I so wish I could have been there! What a thrilling time for you and SKINNY!

Woot! I'm so happy to have been able to share a teensy bit of this incredible week with you! SO FLIPPING PROUD OF YOU! And I loved my hug!!!

You deserved every amazing moment and accolade, Donna! So glad you had a wonderful time, and yes! to connecting with readers. That's what it's all about.

Okay, I had the chills the entire time I read this! Go Donna! Go SKINNY! Hooray for excited readers and writers and book lovers!

I just found out you can view the YA Editor's BUZZ panel here:

Hi Donna,

I live down in Dixie-too far to attend the amazing BEA (they don't let us out much)--but I happened to catch the live stream of the YA Buzz Panel while your editor spoke of SKINNY. As a fellow writer, and fellow former chub, I was in tears. I'm so proud of you and for you. I've been a loyal YAMUSES reader for a long time and couldn't be more thrilled for all of you!! I bet you were floating on air. What a dream-fulfillment!!
You guys are such amazing inspirations! I'm at the beginning of my query/submission journey. I can only hope and pray that some day I will feel half of the pride you must carry with you each day.
*Huge Hug*
(You can't turn down a cyber-hug, right?)

Thanks so much for your lovely comment and support of the MUSES. It has been a dream week for sure, and I'm so grateful for all the wonderful friends I've met along the way. Now on to book two! Best of luck to you with your writing.

I loved hearing your BEA stories, Donna. And major congratulations on all the book buzz SKINNY is getting!

Whenever I've gone to ALA and IRA (in the past year) I *love* how I can look up and see the big red Scholastic sign everywhere! I publish MG with them and I feel blessed every day to be with Scholastic. And my editor is Lisa Sandell! I'm so envious you got to have dinner with her? What's she like? I've never had a chance to meet her. I live in New Mexico, a long ways from New York. Please tell! :-) If you'd rather not here in public, email me:

Thanks, and congrats again!

Congratulations, Donna! It was fun watching some of the live streams from BEA. I wish I could have been there to applaud you.

So happy for you! God does that look scary!! But now you've done it so when you're back there next year you'll know what to expect, right?
So glad you had such success!

I won a copy of Skinny and have just sent it on a blog tour through the South as I didn't want to review it too early. But I think your book will resonate with a lot of girls. I'm so happy your dreams are coming true!


What a fantastic experience! Wonderful to read about. That's great SKINNY is mentioned twice by the A-Wire. Congratulations, Donna! Stay in those pajamas and have another cup of coffee!

WOW, what a total Cinderella at the ball experience. Congratulations and thanks so much for taking us there.

Thanks, everyone. It was truly an amazing week. Love Leslie's description - "Cinderella at the ball experience" - so true!

Post a Comment

Grid_spot theme adapted by Lia Keyes. Powered by Blogger.


discover what the Muses get up to when they're not Musing

an ever-growing resource for writers

Popular Musings

Your Responses

Fellow Musers