YALLWEST has announced today that #1 New York Times bestselling author and Golden Globe-winning actor Chris Colfer will headline this year’s festival, which returns with more than 100 authors for the third year on Saturday, April 29, at Santa Monica High School.

YALLWEST and its sister festival YALLFEST (based in Charleston, S.C.) are the biggest teen and

middle grade book festivals in the country. Last year YALLWEST drew over 20,000 attendees and donated thousands of dollars in book sale proceeds to school libraries in the Santa Monica Malibu School District, as well as hundreds of books to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

YALLWEST is largely free and open to the public.

Chris Colfer’s appearance will be a Spotlight conversation with #1 New York Times bestselling

author and YALLWEST co-director Melissa de la Cruz at 3:00 PM on April 29th at Santa Monica

High School’s Barnum Hall. It’s a ticketed event ($5) for space, and tickets will be available for

purchase in advance at Colfer and de la Cruz will be discussing his new

book, Stranger Than Fanfiction, along with de la Cruz’s recent books, Alex and Eliza and the

Descendants series. Signed copies of Stranger Than Fanfiction will be available for sale at the


Additional YALLWEST keynotes include bestselling authors Cassandra Clare, Daniel Jose Older,

Rachel Renee Russell, Shannon Hale, James Dashner, Brendan Reichs, Danielle Paige, Victoria

Aveyard, and Alexandra Bracken.

YALLWEST is the brainchild of a group of bestselling YA authors and YALLFEST organizers/alumni, including co-directors Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl (Marvel’s Black Widow & Beautiful Creatures). Additional authors on the board include Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Pseudonymous Bosch (Secret Series), Marie Lu (Legend), Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s), Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me), Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy), Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows), Brendan Reichs (Virals), Ally Condie (Matched), Holly Goldberg Sloan (Counting By 7’s) and Veronica Roth (Divergent), as well as Gabriel Sandoval, Jonathan Sanchez, and Patrick Dolan.

Friday, April 28 will be a Preview event at the Santa Monica Public Library, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. for

schools, which will include Storyball presentations, photobooths, author panels and industry

talks. 4 – 8 p.m. will be open to the public with a Fierce Friday preview event.

On Saturday April 29 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., YALLWEST will offer a full day of panels, signings, music, photobooths, food trucks, bookselling, cupcake parties, Quidditch gaming, Scrabble tourneys, giveaways and nonstop fun. The full schedule of panels and events will be posted at

  • Submitted by Megan Beatie