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Local Life

Kids these days with all this literature

Tattered Cover event celebrates young adult authors, readers


Young adult fiction is one of the most diverse and vibrant areas of fiction, with stories, characters and perspectives that run the gamut from the fantastic and dystopian to the painfully realistic and political.

And as an author of young adult fiction, Len Vlahos, co-owner and CEO of the Tattered Cover Book Store, understands its power to connect with teens. That’s why he wanted to create an event where some of the best young adult authors could meet the readers they inspired.

“One of the most gratifying things you can do as an author is meet a reader who was impacted by your work,” he said. “That’s what makes it all worth it.”

The Tattered Cover’s second annual Colorado Teen Book Con, which was based on a similar event that Vlahos visited himself in Houston, will be held on Nov. 3 and 4. More than 20 authors will be in attendance

The event on Nov. 3 is a young adult author happy hour, where adults will have the chance to meet and mingle with the authors at the Tattered Cover on Colfax Avenue. It begins at 7 p.m., and is for adults only.

On Nov. 4, the actual convention takes place at Littleton High School, 199 E. Littleton Blvd., from 8:30 to 5 p.m., and is only open to people ages 13 through 20. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in panels with authors, get books signed, sample food trucks and more.

“My favorite part of events like this is hearing how the authors talk about their books,” said Cameron Berry, a member of the Tattered Cover’s Teen Advisory Board. The group works to make the book store more teen-friendly, and arranges events like Harry Potter Parties. “Classic literature is expected to be read on its own, with little regard to author intent since we can’t contact them and ask them why they wrote what they did, but hearing an author speak about their book is a unique opportunity that is absolutely invaluable. “

The keynote speakers at the event will be Maggie Stiefvater and David Leviathan, authors of “The Raven Cycle” and “Will Grayson,” respectively.

Another top author who will be on hand is Jessica Brody, was has been writing professionally since 2006.

“I love starting stories. Diving into new worlds with new characters who have a whole new set of problems to fix. That’s just the best,” she said. “Writing is just the way I communicate. I can’t express myself as well in spoken words.”

Often, the young adult genre doesn’t receive the respect other genres do, but Vlahos said its an important step in growing the next generation of readers and writers.

“By celebrating young adult authors and the people who read them, we ensure a future for Tattered Cover and places like it by demonstrating the value of the experiences they inspire,” Berry added.

The best part, for authors, organizers and attendees is the sense of community that cons like this help foster.

“When I write ‘the end’ of a book, I always remind myself that it’s not really finished. It’s only half finished. The book isn’t complete until someone reads it and adds their own experiences and interpretations to the text,” Brody said. “It’s pretty cool when you get to meet the people who are in charge of the other half of that process. It’s sort of like meeting a lifelong pen pal for the first time. As excited as you are to meet some of your favorite authors, trust me, the authors are just as excited to meet you.”


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