10 Things We Learned at LeakyCon

Authors extraordinaire Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman spent last week in Chicago attending LeakyCon 2012. Though the convention was founded for Harry Potter fans, it’s transformed into an annual celebration of books, readers, writers, and pop culture fandoms from Buffy to Doctor Who to, of course, Harry himself. (With plenty of wizard rock thrown in, because what’s LeakyCon without some floor-shaking, mind-blowing concerts?)

Maureen and Robin ran LeakyCon’s Lit Track, programming devoted to YA reading and writing. That’s three days of panels, signings, and special events with twelve award-winning, best-selling YA authors and agents, nearly four thousand rabid readers, and approximately one million tiny details to get exactly right. They’re here to tell you the highlights . . . and then they’re going to sleep for a month. 


1. Sleep when you can, where you can, no matter what. Or at least find yourself a hammock.

Maureen’s just chillin’

2. There may not be time to breathe, but there’s always time for ice cream.

3. If you’re going to spend an hour talking about yourselves to a roomful of strangers, don’t do it on four hours of sleep . . . unless you’re ready to give away all your embarrassing secrets to several hundred strangers you’ve never met.

Maureen terrorizes Robin. Photo by Sarah Soderquist.

4. And if you’re going to sacrifice three hours of your life to a live commentary on Breaking Dawn, make sure you have the assistance of a real-life vampire expert. (Also, bring warmer pajamas.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Amber Benson gazes in wonder at Breaking Dawn: Part I.

5. When you recruit Hank Green, Andrew Slack, Margaret Stohl, and Lev Grossman to debate on the resolution “Slytherin should be kicked out of Hogwarts,” make sure you allow them to cheat . . . 

. . . otherwise things might get out of hand and they’ll resort to arm-wrestling on the floor to determine a winner.

6. Even the most brilliant writers start out terrible.

6a. If you’re now a brilliant writer, you may want to dig up your childhood journals . . . and burn them before it’s too late.

Stephanie Perkins reads lovelorn entries from her teenage journal.

7. YA authors have many skills . . . opening a bottle without a bottle opener is not necessarily one of them.

John Green and Lev Grossman give it their all . . . and then some.

8. When it’s time for the Ball, better dress to impress . . . 

9. . . . because ain’t no party like a LeakyCon party. (And we’ve got the broken chandelier to prove it.)

10. LeakyCon will never let you down. Literally.

If you made it to LeakyCon, tell Figment about the most interesting/exciting/amazing/bizarre/unbelievable thing that happened to you there, and you could win a Kindle loaded with all seven Harry Potter books. Contest info is here, deadline is August 19!

If you didn’t make it to LeakyCon, there’s always next year—and in 2013, you get two chances, because it’s just been announced that there will be a LeakyCon Portland and a LeakyCon London.

We just don’t know how we’re going to wait that long to do it all over again!

2 thoughts on “10 Things We Learned at LeakyCon

  1. Grrrrr. I am very jealous of all of you. Also, what is this madness? They showed Twilight movies at a HARRY POTTER CONVENTION? More what is this madness: Slytherin being kicked out of Hogwarts? No. Slytherin is awesome. Shut up.
    Once I’m old enough to be allowed to choose to go across the country for LeakyCon, I will most certainly be there.

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