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Teen Reader Con brings nine young adult authors to Albany for free event

More Information

Teen Reader Con was sponsored by 15 organizations, including Capital Region BOCES and planned by a committee of school and public librarians.

For more information, visit:
Teen Reader Con Website
Like Teen Reader Con on Facebook
Follow Teen Reader Con on Twitter

Event Sponsors:
Bethlehem Public Library
Burger 21
Capital Region BOCES
College of Saint Rose
The Desmond Hotel and Convention Center
Eastern New York School Library Media Association
Hudson Valley Writers Guild
New York Library Association
Questar III
Stewarts Shops
Times Union
University at Albany
University Auxiliary Services Albany

Teen Reader Con Committee Members
Jaimé Pfeiffer - Chair
Alicia Abdul
Alicia Behan
Sandy Berger
Rebecca DeJesus
Erin Dougherty
Tia Felock
Sophia Geitgey
Autumn Goerner
Amanda Graves
Daphne Jorgensen
Alison Lattimore
Chris McGinty
Kim Nemeth
Judy Peyton


Posted Oct. 28, 2015

2015 Teen Reader ConHundreds of young readers and writers recently explored their passion for literature during a free day-long event geared for teens in downtown Albany.

"Teen Reader Con was great in every way,� said Ben Nelson, a sixth-grader in the Mohonasenasen Central School District.

The budding writer with an "inherent love of reading� found a cure for his writer's block after seeking advice from SA Bodeen, one of nine young adult authors headlining the event.

"She provided insightful commentary on making books,� said Ben.

Bodeen encouraged other young writers in attendance not to give up.

"I have a lot they can learn from,� said the author of "The Compound,� the 10th young adult book she wrote before getting published. "You just have to want something and you can get it; you just have to do it.�

Bodeen talked about her decision to move away from writing picture books to pursuing a masters degree in fine arts and becoming an award-winning young adult author.

Following a panel discussion with all of the authors, individual break-out sessions were held throughout the day to offer students an opportunity to learn more about the authors, their books and the writing process.

Authors offer words of wisdom throughout the day

"Be your biggest fan and be loud about it," said the author of ""Hunger� and "Rage,� Jackie Morse-Kessler. "Celebrate your achievements.�

"Write what you know,� said Eric Devine explaining that's how "This Side of Normal� came about. "Nothing is going to make you a better writer than by writing.�

"You have to fail to succeed," said Todd Strasser, author of "Fallout� and "The Beast of Cretacea.�

Jennifer Armstrong, the author of more than 100 works for all ages — many of them historical-fiction — described the important role research plays in making a story come to life.

"When you're researching, your job is to gather as much information as you can and fill in between the lines,� she said. "If you create your own world, it needs to be as thorough as the one in which you exist.�

Aspiring writer Jamie Helinski, a South Colonie Central School District freshman, said getting writing tips was one of the predominant reasons she was in attendance.

"It definitely helped clear a lot of things up,� she said. "Now I have more ideas.�

A closer look for young readers

2015 Teen Reader ConYoung readers got a sneak peek at Eric Devine's soon-to-be-released novel "Look Past" and a behind-the-scenes look at many aspects of the book publishing business.

Eliot Schrefer and David Levithan discussed the collaboration that exists between editors and writers while Helen Frost shared insights on the illustrations selected for her novels, including "Keeshas House� and "Hidden.�

Participants were captivated by videos and pictures Eliot Schrefer shared from his experience in the Congo, which informed his book titled "Endangered.�

South Colonie Central School District freshman Joy Woodard said she added a number of new titles to her reading list because of the event.

"It's really been a great experience,� she said.

Michael Kelly, a Mohonasenasen sixth-grader, said he came without having read any of the authors books, but purchased James Preller's "Bystander� and Bodeen's "Compound� after hearing both authors speak about the content.

He planned to dig into the new material on the bus ride home.

Event Photos

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