That Time When #YA Authors Wielded Light Sabers

-This post comes from Aurora of BookPeople’s Teen Press Corps.


We met the three teen fiction writing contest winners before the game show: Nikhil (18), Jack (17), and Madeline (12). Nikhil said he’d been writing for a while and decided to enter because he loves it so much. He’s from Austin and wrote “Hell to Pay.” Jack found out about the contest through one of his mom’s Facebook friends. He’s been writing for a long time and is looking forward to going to the fiction workshop today. He’s from Dallas and wrote “Telling Time.” Madeline pursued writing through an academic interest class at school. This was her first success at completing a story. She’s from Austin and wrote “Glory of the Witches.”

Now let the Games begins!

As all of the authors here today were announced, some of them decided to do their own thing (i.e. running, jumping, climbing onto the stage, saluting, intense waving, or taking pictures of the audience.)

texas-throwdownThere were two sides for the game show and since it’s Star Wars themed, of course it was the Light side versus the Dark side. The Light side included Cindy Pon, Aaron Hartzler, and Jenny Han. The Dark side had Gareth Hinds, Pierce Brown, and Claudia Gray. Once the sides were announced, they had their very own Darth Vader and following come out.

For the first round of the contest, everyone had to perform their light saber move. Everyone could easily agree that the Dark side won.

Next, we had the Jedi Mind Trick Game, otherwise known as Taboo. If you aren’t familiar with it, you have to get your team to guess the word or phrase without saying any part of the name. The two representatives were Aaron and Claudia. Some my favorites for the light team were Hogwarts (and they couldn’t guess it!), Tank Girl (“caterpillar machine female”), Tartus (“it’s bigger inside”), and Spock. Now the Dark Side…wow! They were so fast, I could barely keep up just listening to it! Some of their funniest were Frank N. Furter (like a hotdog), Ginny Weasly (they got her confused with Hermione), Monty Python, and of course Yoda! Obviously, the Dark Side won (again).

The third challenge was Fluffy Bunny, now becoming a game show tradition. Usually you stick as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible while still being able to say “Fluffy Bunny.” But this time they used slices of bread and had so say “Boba Fett.” Aaron and Pierce were competing. At first, they both did really well, but at the third piece was when it got really funny. Aaron barely said it (still counted) and Pierce really just couldn’t. He tried so hard, but just couldn’t do it. It sounded like mumbling and the words were indistinguishable. So this time the Light Side won.

For the fourth and final competition, the authors were playing Pictionary on giant note pads. They brought up two tributes from the audience (one of which ran up and hugged Darth Vader) to help hold them. They had to draw The Force, Ewok, Cloud City, Jabba the Hutt, and Yoda. No one really won the round or the whole competition since we ran out of time.