YAGB Tour Recap!

We were in the Chicago Sun-Times!

We were in the Chicago Sun-Times!

We’re BACK FROM TOUR! And by we, I mean Sarah J. Maas, Erin Bowman, Kat Zhang, and myself.

We survived our epic road trip, our 10 signing events, and our 8 workshops with only a few minor hiccups. Honestly, we could not have asked for a more smooth, fun, and gratifying tour.

For those of you who DIDN’T know about the self-hosted tour that four of us Pub(lishing) Crawl ladies recently undertook, then you can read more about the idea here. Otherwise, read on as I give a quick recap of the past 2 weeks.

The Workshops

Our workshop lessons at the amazing Mighty Writers center in Philadelphia.

Our workshop lessons at the amazing Mighty Writers center in Philadelphia.

The free writing workshops that we hosted were, by far, the highlight of our tour. I honestly cannot gush enough about how rewarding it was. We saw kids of all ages—as young as 11 up to 25+. Technically the age limit was 13-22, but we weren’t about to turn away any eager young writers.

Sometimes the workshops were super intimate—only 8 or so students—but most of the time, we saw really stellar turn-outs. I think our largest was in Medina, Ohio, where over 30 tweens, teens, and young adults arrived to learn about writing and ply us with questions.

Sometimes the workshops were with young suburbanites, and other times, we worked with inner city kids. No matter the background, the kids had two things in common: they loved to write, and they were brilliant at it.

For us authors, it was especially amazing to see the workshop participants get so EXCITED. We did these exercises with something called story cubes, and not only was it super liberating for the four of us to free write for 5 minutes, but it was so FREAKING FUN to hear what the kids came up with. It was also really cool to see how differently the same three story-dice could inspire everyone—where I might see a magnifying glass on the die and think of a detective, Kat would see it and think of lighting fire to a field, and one of the students might see it and think of a Google search.

We genuinely hope that all of the fabulous writers we met from Philly, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, and Chicago had as great a time as we did.

The Signing Events



From new readers to old fans to aspiring authors to awesome parents who drove their kids 6 hours to see us (seriously, one awesome dad actually did this), we got to meet and interact with so many people.

Seriously: there is nothing that will warm your heart quite like meeting a reader. It’s SUCH a warm and fuzzy feeling.

In addition to readers, we were also lucky enough to see many AUTHOR FRIENDS along the way. We saw other Pub(lishing) Crawl gals—Jodi Meadows even did an event with us in Baltimore—and other non-Pub-Crawl friends. There’s nothing quite like the squealing-run-hug-bounce between authors who haven’t seen each other in a while…There’s also nothing quite like making new author-friends (E.C. Meyers, Leah Clifford, and Scott Tracey: you’re AWESOME for coming out to support us).

Oh—and the booksellers! How could I forget to mention all the fabulous stores and booksellers we met! In order, we went to:

  1. Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr, PA!
  2. Barnes & Noble in downtown Philadelphia!
  3. Baltimore Public Library in Cockeysville, MD!
  4. Penguin Bookshop in Pittsburgh, PA!
  5. Mac’s Backs Books in Cleveland, OH!
  6. Medina County Library in Medina, OH!
  7. Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, MI!
  8. Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL!

THANK YOU TO ALL THE STORES FOR BEING SO GREAT!! None of our events could have happened without YOU.

Also, for those of you who want a signed copy of our books, but missed our signings, you can totally stop by the above stores! We signed stock, so hopefully you can snag an autographed copy. 😉

All the In-Between Stuff

We had a VERY full trunk...

We had a VERY full trunk…

We did a lot of driving. Like, a LOT. And on those drives, there was a lot of singing. Like, a lot. There’s nothing quite so exhilarating as belting out 90’s tunes on a summer’s day with the windows down. I’m pretty sure we all went CRAZY when Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” came on (why is that song STILL SO GOOD?!).

In between the driving and events, we did some eating. If you scroll through our Tumblr, you can see that eating was a HUGE part of this tour. From pizza to sweets to fresh fruit, we were all about gorging as often as possible.

We also couch-surfed quite a bit (THANK YOU TO ALL OUR LOVELY HOSTS!!!), and whenever we had the time, we explored the areas we were in. From an adorable restaurant to a beach walk to aquarium scouting to some stunning botanical gardens, we made the most of our limited free time.

Sarah and I on the WGN Midday News in Chicago!

Sarah and I on the WGN Midday News in Chicago!

Oh, and lest I forget another huge highlight of the tour, we even wound up on TV! No joke—we were on TV!!! Thanks to our amazing publicists, we scored segments on two different Chicago stations.  Needless to say, we were all on the verge of puking leading up to our brief (and frighteningly LIVE) news segments, but I think we managed to pull it off pretty professionally. What do y’all think?

Of course, as fun and rewarding and inspiring as all the events were, I think I most enjoyed just hanging out with my friends. There’s nothing quite so bonding as road-tripping with your most favorite author buddies for 2+ weeks, and I have to be totally honest: I’ve now been away from Sarah, Erin, and Kat for 2 days…and I miss them. 🙁

BUT HEY, there’s always next year. 😉

To celebrate the awesomeness that was the Young Authors Give Back Tour, I’m giving away an ARC of the much-anticipated Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (that I snagged at BEA), a copy of the award-winning Fair Coin by E.C. Myer (we met Eugene in Philly; he is AWESOME), an ebook of Something Strange and Deadly, an ebook of A Dawn Most Wicked, swag from ME, and swag from Sarah J. Maas.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling us if you saw us on the tour—and if so, WHERE you saw us!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Susan DennardSUSAN DENNARD is a reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she writes novels—and not novels about fish, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues. She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband and Irish setter. Her debut, Something Strange & Deadly, is now available from HarperTeen along with the novella A Dawn Most Wicked.

Sarah J. MaasSARAH J. MAAS was born and raised in New York City, but after graduating from Hamilton College in 2008, she moved to Southern California. She’s always been just a tad obsessed with fairy-tales and folklore, though she’d much rather be the one slaying the dragon (instead of the damsel in distress). When she’s not busy writing, she can be found geeking out over things like Han Solo, gaudy nail polish, and ballet. Throne of Glass (Bloomsbury Children’s) is out now.

Kat ZhangKAT ZHANG is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing Spoken Word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next. What’s Left of Me—about a girl with two souls—is her first novel and is available now from HarperCollins.

Erin BowmanERIN BOWMAN used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. Taken is her first novel and now available from HarperTeen.


40 Responses to YAGB Tour Recap!

  1. Jennifer Jun 17 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Major inside squeeing from me when I saw that you went to my hometown library in Cockeysville, MD. I was one pillow and blanket combo shy of living in that library growing up! Sounds like an amazing- and heartfelt- tour!!

  2. Joni Jun 17 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Sounds like it was AMAZING. Wish I lived closer to one of the locations and had gotten to go. Thanks for sharing about your adventure- and thanks for the giveaway! ^.^

  3. Shannelle Jun 17 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Do that in the Philippines? Please? I really would have wanted to join that writing workshop. To get my work probably read by an author, especially one of you guys? How awesome would that be?

  4. Zoe Gasparotti Jun 17 2013 at 9:12 am #

    It was awesome seeing you guys in Cockeysville! I was on a writer’s high for over a week after that event; I could barely get my studying done (oops). Thanks again for taking the time to organize and run this tour. It was a truly beautiful experience.

  5. Vivien Jun 17 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Unfortunately I was not able to make the tour 🙁

  6. Danielle Nguyen Jun 17 2013 at 9:16 am #

    I was at Anderson’s on Friday night! My sister and I went together and had a blast. You ladies are all so smart – I learned a lot from you!

  7. An Jun 17 2013 at 9:19 am #

    I didn’t attend your workshops but I attended the Teen Author Carnival at Jefferson Library. It was fun! 🙂

  8. elena Jun 17 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I’m not entering but I’m SO GLAD it was such a blast! The story cube sounds like such a fun idea and I’m sure attendees really enjoyed the workshop as well. How can they not?? I wish I could have made it to a tour stop but it was still fun living vicariously through the YAGB updates. You guys were on TV and a newspaper and most importantly, SAW FABIO. Thanks for sharing this recap. If you ever do this again, I hope I can catch you guys next time! <333

  9. Michelle Roberts Jun 17 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Aw, man! Next year you guys need to tour on the west coast. I’d be overage, but I’d totally be there if you came to Seattle.

  10. Alex Ray Jun 17 2013 at 10:26 am #

    COME. SOUTH. PLEASE. Dallas, Austin, New Orleans – I know those cities like the back of my hand and could get to them with no trouble at all. JUST COME *dies*

    Dramatics aside, I am so glad y’all had such an amazing time! (now imagine that during Mardi Gras… okay, okay, I’ll stop!) But honestly I looked forward to just getting on twitter every morning to see updates (Fabio! I’m still flipping out about that!). Yall are just awesome. /end gush.

  11. Alexa Y. Jun 17 2013 at 10:40 am #

    The workshops sound like they were AMAZING! I wish I could have dropped by the one in Philly (and trust me, I was sorely tempted to skip work and do just that). You girls are seriously so amazing for coming up with this tour and for going out of your way to spend time with aspiring writers, encouraging them and sharing your advice!

    As for tour stops, I’ve heard from friends in different cities that it was incredibly fun (and I don’t doubt it!). You ladies are just really fun to be around, and everyone enjoyed them (or so I hear!) Here’s to hoping you do another one of these tours again, and that I see you wherever you guys end up going 😉

  12. Jen Jun 17 2013 at 11:03 am #

    It was by far one of my favorite signings. What a great thing you guys did

  13. Jen @ Almost Grown-u Jun 17 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I SO wish that you guys had a Florida stop, but I loved reading this recap! I’m particularly intrigued by the dice-rolling writing exercise! It sounds so fun!

  14. Tammy Sparks Jun 17 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    I wasn’t lucky enough to be anywhere near your tour:( So I did not see you, sorry! But it looked amazing, and I hope you visit the west coast soon. Thank you!

  15. Kassiah Jun 17 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I didn’t get to go to the tour, but my friends did. I’m so glad ya’ll had fun!

  16. Kate Jun 17 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I got to go to the Chicago workshop! My dad was the one who drove 6 hours. It was so much fun, and everyone was so excited! Thank you so much for doing such an amazing tour, I’m sure everyone who attended really appreciated it! 🙂

  17. Stephanie Scott Jun 17 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Anderson’s in Naperville is my hometown bookstore–aren’t they the best? I was so pumped to hear what a great turnout your event was, I saw the photo of the day in today’s Publisher’s Weekly email of your event. Cool! Very inspiring 🙂

  18. Kim Jun 17 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    I was able to attend the Pittsburgh, PA event! It was so great to hear about all of your writing process and journey to getting published. Getting all my books signed was amazing too!

  19. A. Barone Jun 17 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Tee hee! It really sounds like you guys had an amazing time! And thanks so much for the shout out on the blog entry! ^_^ The road trip to Medina was terrific and it was amazingly awesome to meet you all! ^_^

  20. Alexa Jun 18 2013 at 5:05 am #

    Wow, this sounds amazing, I wish I would have had a chance to take part. There’s no chance you’ll do that in Europe, hm? Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on hosting such a cool tour! 😀
    I wonder – is there a chance to get the workshop lessons in that picture, like downloading them or something? That would be super awesome 🙂

  21. Brooke Jun 18 2013 at 7:08 am #

    I didn’t get to go 🙁 I’m from Northern NJ/NYC area.

  22. Caitlin Vanasse Jun 18 2013 at 9:08 am #

    You bet I made it! I was so excited that you would actually be within range of where I currently reside! (Although if I was still in MN I might have talked my bff and fellow fan into trying to hit up Chicago with me, we’ve discussed that before.) Sorry for the copious exclamation points, I am still excited that I finally got to meet Sarah and Sooz and that I have now also met Kat and Erin and Jodi (who seem really great too.) Thanks so much for doing this tour and ‘m with the ladies above in voting that you do it again in new regions. (especially The South, they seem pretty ignored re: bookish events.)

  23. Lea Kaplan Jun 18 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m so glad that the rest of the YAGB tour went well! I got to see you guys early on at the Teen Author Carnival in NYC, and keep seeing the pictures we took pop up on my Tumblr feed. I’m honoured to have been a part of it. [: And how appropriate that tonight I’ll get to meet another Pub Crawl lady when I see the Fierce Reads tour. Whoot!

    You guys are awesome.

  24. Katlin Jun 18 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I wasn’t able to go to your tour, but I hope all of you had fun. It looks like you had a blast. Maybe, you can come to Louisville, KY?

  25. Bonnie @ A Backwards Jun 18 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I had so much fun meeting you (And Eugene!) in Philly!! It was so great to see you ladies!

  26. Llehn Jun 19 2013 at 7:56 am #

    I didn’t attend your workshops.

  27. Meg Jun 19 2013 at 9:47 am #

    As one of your 25+ workshop attendees, I appreciate you not kicking us out 🙂 You guys were so much fun and really inspiring, I’ve been writing short stories ever since. Thanks for stopping in CLE!

  28. Kelley Jun 19 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I only WISH I’d gotten to see the YAGB tour, but it didn’t stop anywhere near Texas. 🙁

  29. Erica Jun 19 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    It was so fun seeing y’all on tour at Andersons! 🙂

  30. Jessica R Jun 21 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    I wish I could have attended one of your workshops, but alas, I’m a Canadian student without a car. I did see you girls at BEA and Teen Author Carnival, though, which was wonderful! I loved the “She’s No Pushover” panel with Kat, Sarah, and Susan. Sounds like you all had an amazing time! 🙂

  31. Peggy Eddleman Jun 21 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I didn’t get to see you, but I wish I had! This looks like it was a blast!

  32. Amber B Jun 21 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    I didn’t attend your workshops, but I bet it would have been awesome.

  33. Sofia Jun 22 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Meeting you guys was incredible!

  34. Brandi Ziegler Jun 22 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    I didn’t see you on tour but like you said there’s next year!

  35. Macy J Jun 22 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    I am so happy that I was able to see you at the Teen Author Carnival, BEA and then the Pittsburgh Penguin shop! I already read Taken and Something Strange and Deadly and cannot wait to read the other two authors books! MEeting you guys was an amazing experience and I really hope I get to see you all again!

  36. Chenise J. Jun 22 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to the signing!

  37. Yuanting Jun 23 2013 at 6:35 am #

    The tour sounds amazing and I wish I could’ve been at any one of them except for the tiny inconvenience that I live in a tiny island far far away from the US. 😛

  38. Danielle Jun 23 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I did not get to go to the event because there wasn’t one in Florida 🙁 Sad face! It looks like it was a lot of fun though!

  39. Brandi Jun 23 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Wish I could have seen you all on the tour! I read Throne of Glass earlier this year and loved it. Looking forward to others you ladies have written!

  40. Kairee-Anne Cooley Jun 23 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Wow I was there to attend your tour! I hope you guys do it again next year!!! 🙂 You guys are a true inspiration to us writers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.