Barnes & Noble Is Celebrating Teen Books with a New Three-Day Festival

B-Fest bannerIn May, Minnesota’s Teen Lit Con celebrated its third year of panels, workshops, and exhibitors for lovers of young-adult books. Now, starting in June, they’ll have company: Barnes & Noble just announced its first-ever B-Fest Teen Book Festival, three days of free YA-centric events at B&N stores around the country June 10–12, including all of the locations here in Minnesota.

In addition to a set schedule of activities happening at all stores throughout the weekend—like trivia, giveaways, and a spelling bee, with advance reader’s copies of yet-to-be-released books as prizes—individual stores have been hard at work booking authors and groups to join in the festivities. Everyone I contacted was eager to talk about everything going on for the event.

“We are super excited,” said Janet Waller, who manages events for the Roseville location, which is tied with Mall of America for the largest number of author appearances scheduled. “Super excited” were the same words used by Regina Eckes at the Eden Prairie Center store, who added, “We want to be the place to go for teens, for YA literature, and celebrate everything it has to offer.”

Theodore Evans at the Ridgehaven Barnes & Noble in Minnetonka noted that not that long ago, the YA section was almost nonexistent—something that’s changed for the better in a big way over recent years. “The teen section has really blossomed, and anyone who’s anyone reads it,” he said.

B&N-Wide Events

The following programming will be going on at the same time at all Barnes & Noble locations:

  • Friday, June 10, 7:00 p.m.: B-In the Know
    We’re kicking off the festivities with Trivia Blast, created by Penguin Teen and Random House’s First in Line. One winner in each store will win advance reader’s copies of the most anticipated new books for teens.
  • Saturday, June 11, 11:00 a.m.: B-First
    “Come check out exciting giveaways, plus sneak peeks of new stories from favorite authors, including James Dashner, Ransom Riggs, and Veronica Roth.”
  • Saturday, June 11, 2:00 p.m.: B-Part of the Fun
    “Join us for a spelling showdown, story ball, games, and activities featuring popular teen series, plus a chance to win prize packs, swag, and more!”
  • Sunday, June 12, 2:00 p.m.: B-Creative
    “Join us to participate in a story development workshop created by Adaptive Studios and learn how to write a log line, create a spark page, and reimagine popular characters.”

Store-Specific Events

Each of the stores around the Twin Cities and beyond is doing a little something different for B-Fest, and I’ve collected everything into one big list just for you. Names marked with an asterisk (*) indicate authors who will be visiting more than one store during the course of the weekend. Note that some stores are still finalizing their event lineup, so there may be some additions between now and June 10.

This list was updated June 9, 2016.

Minneapolis—Calhoun Village
3216 West Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Facebook event page

  • June 10, 5:00 p.m.: Carrie Mesrobian* (Cut Both Ways) and Shannon Gibney* (See No Color)
  • June 11, 11:00 a.m.: Pete Hautman* (Godless)
  • June 11, 1:00 p.m.: Laurie Wetzel* (Unclaimed)
  • June 12, 1:00 p.m.: B-Mighty with Mighty Media—“Join us for the inside scoop on publishing and get a sneak peek at the upcoming The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee by by Erin Petti!”
  • June 12, 3:00 p.m.: Meet Monica’s YA Writing Group—“Sneak a peek at the process with a local group of budding YA authors. Join the discussion with and work through the writing with the star of our store’s Kids section.”

RSM Plaza
801 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Burnhaven Shopping Center
828 West County Road 42
Burnsville, MN 55337

Duluth—Miller Hill Mall
1600 Miller Trunk Hwy. #L25
Duluth, MN 55811

Eagan Promenade
1291 Promenade Place
Eagan, MN 55121

Eden Prairie Center
8251 Flying Cloud Dr., #3000
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

  • June 11, 11:00 a.m.: Kristin D. Van Risseghem* (The Passage, a Dance, and a Little White Dress)
  • June 11, 1:00 p.m.: “From Page to Screen” discussion with film critic and blogger Paul McGuire Grimes
  • June 12, 1:00 p.m.: Molly Beth Griffin (Silhouette of a Sparrow)
  • “Diversity in Teen Fiction” discussion
  • “Fun for Parents” discussion

3225 W 69th St.
Edina, MN 55435

HarMar Mall
2100 North Snelling Ave.
Roseville, MN 55113

Mall of America
118 E. Broadway, Suite 238
Bloomington, MN 55425

Maple Grove
8040 Wedgewood Lane
Maple Grove, MN 55369

  • June 10, 3:00 p.m.: Roseanne Cheng (The Take Back of Lincoln Junior High)
  • June 11, 12:00 p.m.: Nick Hupton (Stone Ridge)
  • June 11, 4:00 p.m.: Shannon Gibney* (See No Color)
  • June 12, 1:00 p.m.: Besodiah J. Nolen
  • June 12, 5:00 p.m.: Nick Healy, Pete Hautman*, Melody Heide, and Kasandra Duthie (editor and some of the contributors to the collection Love & Profanity)

Maplewood Mall
3001 White Bear Ave. North, Suite 1030
Maplewood, MN 55109

  • June 12, 2:00 p.m.: Lea Richardson

Northtown Mall
710 County Highway 10 NE
Blaine, MN 55434

Ridgehaven Mall
13131 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305

  • June 10, 7:00 p.m.: “Rock the Genre” writing class by English composition teacher and Loft instructor Gail Milstein, covering poetry, fiction, and nonfiction
  • June 11, 11:00 a.m.: Dawn Klehr (The Cutting Room Floor)
  • June 12, 2:00 p.m., Nora McInerny Purmort (It’s Okay to Laugh)

Apache Mall
1201 12th Street SW, Suite 425
Rochester, MN 55902

Woodbury Village Shopping Center
7020 Valley Creek Plaza
Woodbury, MN 55125

  • June 12, 2:00 p.m.: David Oppegaard (The Firebug of Balrog County) and Pete Hautman* (Godless)

So, where will you be for B-Fest?


  1. By Elizabeth Bolinger


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