Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Fun Post: My Experience as a TBF Volunteer

Happy Friday readers! This week I get to share my TBF experiences as a volunteer with you!

So, I have been volunteering for the Teen Book Festival for six years this year, so my first year was 2012. Every year except the first I have been an author assistant so I think it's fair to say that I have the most experience in that area. That's what I'll focus on today.

Over these six years I could tell you a vast many of stories about being an author assistant but that could be a book in itself so I'll keep it brief. I think what I've come to value the most over time is the sense that I get to meet these out of this world amazing people on common ground. When thinking about people you look up to and idolize it's hard to imagine ever getting the chance to meet them. For me it might felt like I would be just a blip on the radar for them, one more fan in a crowd, but TBF allows it to be so much more than that, especially for volunteers. As an author assistant you get to talk with them, get advice, and share experiences. TBF has allowed them to stop being larger then life and start seeming like real people you can know. As an author assistant our job is to essentially wait on our author hand and foot for a day but it's absolutely a privilege to do so.

Among some of the authors I've worked with so far, I can proudly say that I've befriended Zoraida Cordova, discussed upcoming books with Janet B. Taylor, received writing advice from Cinda Williams Chima, and been dazzled by Lisa McMann. Without a doubt I've loved every minute of it.

If you get the chance, I would strongly suggest volunteering at TBF. It's a rewarding experience and without volunteers there wouldn't be such an amazing day for us to enjoy. Even if you can't lend your whole day you can still volunteer since each job is equally important. No matter what you choose, keep coming to TBF each year, and if you haven't been, it's so so worth it.

That's all for now!

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