I’m Amanda Quain, who you might remember as one of your emcee’s for the last few years of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival and, last year, its virtual coordinator. I’m a bookseller at One More Page Books, and NoVaTEEN has always been one of the best parts of my year. Getting to connect authors with actual teen readers is a privilege, and for all the blood, sweat, and tears that went in to making the festival happen, it was always a thrill to see it come together.
However, despite our love for the festival (in many ways, because of it), the NoVaTEEN committee and One More Page Books have made the difficult decision to end the festival.
Trust me when I say this wasn’t an easy call to make – it took months of everyone going back and forth, tossing out solution after solution to try and save one of our favorite events. The last scheduled in-person NoVaTEEN was March 14th, 2020 – as you probably remember, that one didn’t happen. In the three years since then, the libraries who worked with NoVaTEEN have seen staff turnover and cutbacks; the store staffing has changed, too, and getting the festival up and running just isn’t feasible anymore.
The rest of the team (or the NoVaTEAM, which is a joke everyone hates but I want to make while I still can) and I are enormously grateful for all the support we’ve received from the community over the years. We’ve connected thousands of teen readers with authors and created an intimate space for personal connection that we’re all immensely proud of. None of it would be possible without the help of our sponsors, publishers, authors, and volunteers who gave it their all to make NoVaTEEN the best it could be.
The first time I came to NoVaTEEN was in 2014. I didn’t work at the store yet; I was attending as a fan. And I knew, even then, that it was something special. When a group of passionate people put their minds together, they can create something truly magical for their community – and that’s what NoVaTEEN was. While it won’t be continuing forward, I know that the memories and friendships forged among its panels and signing lines will last a lifetime.
All books come to an end. The story of NoVaTEEN has been a great one. I’m so glad I got to tell it with all of you.
NoVa TEEN wouldn’t have been possible without the support of One More Page Books and our local public Libraries.