Montreal and Quebec’s only festival of its kind that brings authors of the Young Adult genre from across North America for a full day interactive event will take place this Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gelber Conference Centre, 5151 Cote Ste. Catherine Road. Dubbed MTL YA FEST, the event is organized by Talya Pardo, director of the Norman Berman Children’s Library of the Jewish Public Library.

“This marks our second year and we have 25 amazing authors coming,” said Pardo. “It’s a full day event with author panel discussions, music, lunch and refreshments. Many of our authors are multiple award winners and one has won the Order of Canada, Tim Wynne-Jones.”

The event is also featuring the CBC Turtle Island Reads program, with three of the four Indigenous authors whose writing is studied in the program. There will be music by The Swindlers at lunch, plus an Indigenous musical interlude to honour the CBC program with Inuit throat singer Nina Segalowitz.

Wynne-Jones will be giving the keynote address and author Sarah Mlynowski will give opening remarks. She is a Montreal native who now resides in New York City. Her books have been translated into 29 languages and optioned to Hollywood. The day is being hosted by CBC Radio’s Nantali Indongo. All the titles by all of the authors will be available for sale, as well as lots of book merchandise, a photo booth, personalized button making, and book signings

More than 200 people, primarily aged between 13 and 25, are expected to be in attendance.

“We may see some younger students and will likely see older guests as well, into their 30s,” said Pardo. “Some teachers and librarians have indicated they are coming. YA is a very wide reaching genre.”

Pardo and her committee worked with 11 different publishers to attract popular authors who have relevant books releasing this season.

“Last year we had 120 participants and received overwhelming positive feedback, to the point that publishers and authors sought us out with regards to the following year,” she said. “There are people who attended and others who missed it who are spreading the word and excited to attend this year. We learned that there is definitely a need to serve with an event like. The myth that “kids aren’t reading’ is just a myth. They are reading voraciously and love the opportunity to connect with the authors who are behind the material they are so invested in. Connecting around books can be a fun and exciting experience, so the age old trope of ‘quiet and dusty’ does not come close to applying.”

Tickets are $20 per person, $25 at the door and an extra $15 for VIP early access to the book signings. Lunch and refreshments are included. For the full details go to http://www.mtlyafest.com

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