Christina Farley
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UCF Book Festival

 The UCF Arena

This past Saturday I attended the UCF Book Festival. It was such a fun experience, but then I suppose any event that celebrates books is fun. There were heaps of activities and handouts for kids. Unfortunately my boys had soccer games so they weren’t able to come this year.

The arena was filled with venders. In the children’s section, I met Suzie Caffery & Diahn Escue, authors of THE MANGROVE TREE. It’s a top to bottom book and I had to get myself a copy because I knew I could use it in my classroom.

Mangrove Tree

I was also able to catch Alan Katz and get his book, RICKY VARGAS #1, autographed. Later he was at the children’s corner for a read aloud.

Alan Katz

When I walked into the UCF arena, I must have missed the people handing out programs because it I didn’t get the brochure until later and therefore missed the YA panel. But I did make it in time for the dystopia panel, which had Jessica Khoury, author of ORIGIN, on it. They discussed the make-up of a dystopian society and what it is about dystopian themes that resonates with readers. Jessica’s tip to the audience was to “Write hot. Edit cold.”


Way up in the nose-bleed section of the arena, Jessica chatted with a group of middle graders and teens about her book and read us the first few pages.

President of the Whole 5th Grade

While there, Sherri Winston, author of THE PRESIDENT OF THE WHOLE 5TH GRADE, showed up next. My boys loved her book (and so do I!) so I had to get a picture with her.

Sherri and myself

Jessica signed a copy of ORIGIN for me to give away to you guys, my readers! This book is AWESOME guys. I love, love, loved ORIGIN. So if you haven’t read it, you need to comment below to enter a chance to win it. Or just buy it! This autographed copy is only open to US residents. Sorry!

Jessica Khoury

Have you been to any book festivals that you love?

35 Responses to UCF Book Festival

  1. Bonnee says:

    I wish I’d been to a book festival, but no, I have not yet. Looks like you had a great time though! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll be able to experience something like that soon.

  2. Bish Denham says:

    I’d LOVE to go to book festival! And yes, I’m commenting because I want that book. 😀

  3. Vijaya says:

    Sounds like you had a BLAST!!! Great pictures. I love the advice — write hot, edit cold. And of course, I’d love to chance to win Origins.

  4. Bonnee- It was fun. You would love it.

    Bish- ORIGIN is a book you can’t put down. So good.

    Vijaya- I’m so glad you liked the pictures. And yes, fantastic advice from Jessica.

  5. Gail Hedrick says:

    Rats! I was on deadline for an editing job this weekend and missed you. It sounded wonderful and thanks for letting us know what we missed!

  6. Larissa says:

    Ooh! I want to read ORIGIN! I so wish I could have gone. It sounds like it was a blast!

  7. Isabel says:

    I haven’t read it yet, but have been looking forward to it for months!

  8. Ashley Rogers says:

    Thanks so much for this giveaway! I would love to win this! I have never been to a book festival. I would def love to attend one though! Thanks again!

  9. Caroline says:

    I never get a chance to go to conventions and I’m always jealous of those who get to go. Anyway, I’ve been dying to get my hands on Origin!

  10. Megan Robertson says:

    I’ve been to the Montgomery County Book Festival and it was awesome. I’m bummed I have to work during the Teen Book Con that is going on in Houston this weekend.

  11. Kate Weber says:

    I love book festivals. I’ve had so many “best days ever” because of them! The three best so far have been the Vegas Valley Book Festivals in 2011 and 2012, and the 2009 Utah Humanities Book Festival. So much fun to be had!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Kathy L. says:

    I haven’t read Origin but I know I have to read it based on the cover alone!

  13. Lacey says:

    We don’t have any book festivals like that in our town. It’s probably safer that way, then I won’t go crazy and get every book insight! Sounds like lots of fun though and Origin? Yes Please! : )

  14. Sherry Knack says:

    I would LOVE to go to a book festival. I would probably have a hard time not buying lots of books. I would also LOVE to read Origin. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  15. Taylor K. says:

    I haven’t been to any book festivals.
    Mostly because I live in the middle of no where and because they never seems to be any thing YA book related in Colorado.

    But I hope with all my heart one day I’ll go to a book festival. They sound like a lot of fun. 🙂

  16. Dana says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to a book festival! All those books in one place with a lot of authors right there? It sounds amazing! Maybe someday…

  17. brookea_2006 says:

    Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. You look like a movie star in the second to last photo, Christina. That’s a very sexy pose. 😀

    This sounds like a great event! Too bad you missed the one panel.

  19. Marcia says:

    Oh, that event looks fantastic. Love the pictures. What a way to build a toppling TBR pile. 🙂

  20. That looks like it was so much fun! I really enjoyed your recap. Thank you. I have my debut novel slated for a December 2013 release, and I am so excited to know that I will have something to offer at next year’s show. Hope to see you there. Look forward to checking out your book, as well.

  21. Sounds like an awesome time! And I certainly wouldn’t mind winning a copy of the book. 🙂

  22. Alex Melone says:

    Those book-events always seem like so much fun! And I love Origin, too. 😀

  23. Nice post! You got some really good pictures. I’ll be going to BookExpo America next month (my first time)–should be fun!

  24. Kayla DeGroote says:

    I would love love love to go to a book convention like that! Sounds like so much fun! Great pictures of the place 🙂 I hope you had fun!
    Aaaannnndddd I’m commenting for a chance to win Origin. Who doesn’t like signed books? 😀 Plus, Origin sounds so awesome! Can’t wait to read it! *crosses fingers* Here’s to hoping I win~

  25. Jessie Humphries says:

    Hey Christina! It’s so cool to meet you. I’ve been scouring your website and blog today bc I just sold my book to Amazon/Skyscape and realized we have a ton in common. I met Jessica at a book signing event in Utah several weeks ago. 🙂 anyway nice to meet you and thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  26. Leah Rooper says:

    I wish there were more book festivals in my town!

  27. I haven’t been to the UCF book festival, but I have heard Sherri Winston speak when she was in Tampa. I’d love to win a copy of the book!

  28. Akoss says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of President of the Whole Fifth Grade.
    I’m on the hunt for middle grades by author’s of color and this one is going on my list.
    I’ve never been to a book festival before so I’m very glad you shared your experience with us. 🙂

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