Recap: BookCon 2019
It’s that time of year again, friends! The beginning of June, aka … BookCon. This year, the group of friend I went with grew, and we had an absolutely fantastic time!
If you’re unfamiliar, BookCon is an annual conference held at the Javitts Center in Manhattan. It’s always the Saturday and Sunday after Memorial day and piggybacks off of Book Expo (BEA), which is for the publishing and bookselling industry held the Thursday and Friday prior. They have major authors there, plus autographing sessions, a huge expo floor, paid writing workshops, panels, and more.
I started the weekend with a literary fiction writing workshop bright and early Saturday morning. This is my second time attending one of their workshops, and I haven’t been disappointed. It costs an extra $15 or so to register for them, but they always get my creative juices flowing and let me meet new people in a low-key setting, which is rare for BookCon. At the end, I was able to see down to the queue as everyone waited to get onto the show floor and took a wild photo (check it out below!).
I headed down to the show floor and spent the morning browsing with my friends! We also went to a couple of panels on magic and world-building and YA fiction, and they were actually fantastic. Then I had two autographing sessions, both of which I was incredibly lucky to get tickets for (I was super speedy on registration day).
First was Leigh Bardugo (!!!). She was so sweet, as per the uzshe. We had a great mini-convo that went like this:
Leigh: Hi! How are you?
Me: I’m great! But I just read King of Scars, like, last week. So … ouch?
Leigh: Hahahaha. Well, I would say I’m sorry, but … I’m not.
Even the lovely people from Strand Bookstore helping to sell her books chuckled. So, win.
My other autograph session was with Tomi Adeyemi. She was also super sweet! At first, she started signing my copy of Children of Blood and Bone with a Sharpie that didn’t show up on the black page, but then she shook her head and said, “No, no no no. If you are going to stand in line, I have to make this look good.” Then she switched markers, signed it, and said, “There. Now it’s pretty just like you!” Squeeeee.
After the show ended for the day, my friends and I had a delicious dinner at PS Kitchen, which is entirely plant-based (but still has great options for us meat-eaters too) and donates its profits to charity (!). Then most of us went and saw Puffs The Play, which was my third time — no shame, lol.
Sunday was much more relaxed for me than Saturday was, mostly because I didn’t have to be there as early and I didn’t have any ticketed autographing sessions. But I did get to start the day off by having my copies of Furyborn and Kingsbane signed by the lovely Claire Legrand! I had to kind of hustle over there out of the gate when the show floor opened (racing some really intense people tbh) and just barely made it into the line in time. It was a lengthy wait, but I was surrounded by some truly lovely book lovers in line, so all was well.
That afternoon, we did some browsing and shopping and a few more panels. We got some ARCs and other free books toward the end of the day (although not as much as last year, which was a bit of a bummer, alas). Afterward we went out for tacos and margaritas (and water and rest for our poor feet and shoulders), and then we finished the weekend off with some trivia.
A great time was had by all, and I can’t wait for next year!