Top 5 Authors I Met at BEA and BookCon

By Kylie Widseth

Wow. I would be lying if I said I was fully recovered from BEA and BookCon. I’m still recovering but in the absolute best way possible. I’ve always heard that the conferences are a ton of fun, but I honestly never expected it to be that much fun. I keep thinking to myself that I wish events like these happened way more often I’m still trying to process the fact that I met so many amazing people, whether that be people in the industry, authors, or even just fellow booklovers.

One of the most exciting things about these events are getting to meet authors that you’ve always loved. I compiled a list of my top five authors that I met at BEA and BookCon this past week. Yes, five. Trust me, coming up with just five was quite a feat.

5. Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul


I know it kind of seems like I’m cheating because I just listed three people, but I promise they are a package deal. Now, most people either REALLY know who those three are, and others REALLY don’t. Ever heard of Dear Evan Hansen, the musical that’s nominated for too many Tony’s to count? Before I go on a tangent about how utterly beautiful Dear Evan Hansen is (and trust me — it is) their book is basically a script of the entire musical. I don’t think I was supposed to take a photo, but I totally did. It was one of those signings that I ended up hearing about by eavesdropping on someone’s conversation in line (10/10 recommend doing if you want to hear about all the good signings and ARC drops). Still shocked that I had a chance to meet such genius writers.


4. Colleen Hoover

IMG_6029-4Honestly, I myself, am shocked that Colleen Hoover is number four on this list; in any other world, she would definitely be at the top of any list, but that just goes to show the caliber of authors that were at these events. I love, love, love this author! The only sad part was that since this signing took place at BookCon — also just because of how outrageously popular she is — the signing went almost too quick for my liking. Even she herself on Facebook said that she didn’t like how quickly she had to sign at the event. She had also just revealed her next book cover a few days prior, which made it even more exciting. Not gonna lie, I had sorta hoped there might be a small chance that she would have some ARCs of the book, but I know that would have ended in chaos.

3. Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

IMG_5948Again, I question how these women are number three on my list and not number one. I should have just made a five-way tie for first. First of all, if you haven’t read any of their books, you really need to. It upsets me how underrated these two are — their books are phenomenal. I know that I’m not in the exact target audience for their books, but I still really, really like their books. I get all my friends to read their books, and luckily, my friends have loved them just as much as me. The most exciting thing about meeting them? They recognized me from my social media!

IMG_60332. Stephen Chbosky

I never in a million, trillion years thought that I would say I met him. This is what I mean when I say that I’m still processing everything. He is one of the sweetest and nicest authors I’ve ever met (but I also haven’t had many bad author experiences). He’s only ever written one book, Perks of Being a Wallflower, but he has written multiple screenplays. The limit for his signing was three books, so I naturally brought three copies of Perks — he kind of laughed at me for it, but does anyone really blame me? Shout out to him for giving me the most stressed moment of my entire life when he asked what my favorite quote was so he could write it in one of my books. That’s next to impossible. Ironically he signed my most beloved copy of the book that has all my favorite quotes highlighted, but trying to come up with your favorite quote on the spot is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Spoiler alert: I couldn’t even come up with one. Still in utter shock I met the man who can craft the most beautiful phrases of words I’ve ever heard.

1. Adam Silvera

IMG_6105I met Adam Silvera twice during the weekend, so I would argue that’s a large reason he took the title of number one author. Don’t get me wrong, I do absolutely love him, and that’s a large reason why I took the time to meet him twice. He is also one of the sweetest and most kind authors I’ve ever met. It’s so cool that he is still able to just walk the show floor. I very much admire the fact that he is not only an author but also just a genuine and true lover of books. I saw him so many times on the show floor that I lost count. As I was leaving BookCon, he was at the OwlCrate booth dressing up in Harry Potter attire to take a photo. I mean that’s honestly how cool he is, and if that doesn’t prove it then I don’t know what will.

I’m grateful for BEA and BookCon because now my list of authors I’m dying to meet has dramatically shrunk. And hey, who knows maybe they will be at next year’s BEA and BookCon!


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