I spent Saturday over at in Brooklyn at the inaugural Book Festival hanging out with my fave Young Adult writer types. We read, we argued, we gossiped and all was good with the world.
The turn out was amazing and while the running wasn’t always as smooth as it could have been—some authors had last minute changes to their schedules they were not informed of—it was more than acceptable for a first-time event. All the on-the-ground volunteers were charming and did their jobs excellently well.
Here are my suggestions for improvements:
- Bigger tents. Or more indoor venues. The Youth Pavillion and the Children’s Pavillion were way too small and were originally set up so the audience baked in the sun. There was nowhere near enough shade or chairs for everyone.
Green rooms are always much improved by having buckets of grand cru champagne. I was stunned by its absence. (This is writ ironical.)
I wish there’d been more panel discussions and less readings. I find it very hard to follow a reading when it’s outdoors and there are competing readings in nearby tents, not to mention all the other ambient sound.
A break between sessions would have been nice, too. That way we could have signed right there in the Youth Pavillion instead of being sent off into exile where no one could find us.
The Brooklyn Book Festival website identifies writers with an asterix next to their name as “Brooklyn’s own”. There needs to be a half-asterix for folks like me who’ve lived in Brooklyn for six months or more. We can be “slightly Brooklyn’s own”. And then you could have a quarter-asterix for folks who’ve at least visited—they can be “barely Brooklyn’s own”.
I had a blast and would love to do it again next year with a proud half-asterix beside my name.