- Brave NewWorlds: Writing the Unreal Panelists: Andrew Smith, Allyson Condie, Laura McNeal, Tom McNeal Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
- The Practical & the Powerful: Writing Fantasy or Keeping it Real Panelists: Robin Benway, Gayle Forman, Gennifer Choldenko, Allen Zadoff Moderator: Cecil Castellucci
They were absolutely phenomenal!!! I mainly went to see Allyson Condie (Author of Matched) and Gayle Forman (Author of If I stay/Where She Went). I don't exaggerate in the slightest when I say that Ally Condie is a beautiful speaker! Matched wasn't the best book I've ever read in my life, but listening to Condie's views, perspectives, and inspirations for her story made me love the beginning of her dystopian trilogy so much more! She has such a warm personality, and took the time to personalize each autographed book, take pictures with fans, and even had a short chat with each of us! The visit with her was the highlight of the event! It was enlightening to listen as a variety of authors explained the creative process in constructing their unreal worlds!
I attended the second panel to get a sneak peak on the insights of Gayle Forman's work. Although her story blew me away more than Condie's, in person, she was a very vague and elusive character! She explained how the characters in her story manifested themselves, and sneaked in bits and pieces of her upcoming work (we can look forward to a guitar player in her next story!) She seemed to enjoy exploring the emotional ups and downs of her characters just as much as we did! It was so nice to meet her!