readergirlz Urges Teens to Read Beyond Reality; Hosts Series of Author Chats

In Support of YALSA’s Teen Read Week, readergirlz hosts live author chats with many Teens’ Top Ten Nominees for 2009; featured authors include Cynthia Leitich Smith

(Seattle, Wash.) – Teen Read Week, a week-long celebration of literacy, is scheduled for Oct. 18-24, 2009, and will include live chats with top teen authors on, the most popular online reading community for teen girls.

Since 1998, Teen Read Week has been run by the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Service Association. This year’s theme is “Read Beyond Reality.” Teens are also visiting the YALSA website to vote for their favorite books from a list of nominees. Winners who’ve made the Teens’ Top Ten will be announced via a webcast during Teen Read Week.

In support of this tremendous literary initiative, the readergirlz divas will host nine young-adult authors – eight of whom are nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten – throughout Teen Read Week.

By visiting, teens will be able to chat with these author stars, live, to ask burning questions about the authors’ books, find out about their daily lives, and learn about their writing process.

The week’s chats will culminate with an online gala celebration, where Sylvia Engdahl, a pioneer in young-adult science fiction, will be hosted and honored for her contributions to the literary landscape.

Like the monthly chats readergirlz is known for, the five-day series of candid online conversations with authors includes giveaways of signed books and swag from Promising to be a stellar week, the complete line-up is as follows:

o Monday, Oct. 19: Beyond Imagination with authors Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), Alyson Noël (Evermore) and Zoe Marriott (Daughter of the Flames)

o Tuesday, Oct. 20: Beyond Hardship with rgz diva Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Elizabeth Scott (Living Dead Girl) and Lynn Weingarten (Wherever Nina Lies)

o Wednesday, Oct. 21: Beyond Daily Life with rgz diva Holly Cupala (Tell Me a Secret), Lisa McMann (Wake) and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Eternal)

o Thursday, Oct. 22: Beyond Our World with rgz diva Melissa Walker (Lovestruck Summer), Cassandra Clare (City of Angels) and Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go)

o Friday, Oct. 23: Into Our Beyond with rgz diva Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia) and pioneering YA sci-fi author Sylvia Engdahl (Enchantress from the Stars)

It all happens at the rgz forum ( beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (7 Mountain Time, 8 Central Standard Time, 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time), Oct. 19-23.

In conjunction with the author chats, readergirlz also will be hosting a Teen Read Week Tribute. Anyone who loves YALSA’s Teen Read Week is encouraged to let it out on their blog through a post or vlog, then send the link to (subject line: entrant’s name, TRW Tribute). readergirlz will collect all contributions and post them at the rgz blog in a tribute that will run October 23.

About readergirlz

readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors – Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Holly Cupala (Tell Me a Secret), Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), and Melissa Walker (Lovestruck Summer). readergirlz is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award, and the 2009 National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize.

To promote teen literacy and leadership in girls, readergirlz features a different YA novel and corresponding community service project every month. Twice a year, readergirlz holds special literacy projects, including Operation Teen Book Drop which has donated 20,000 new YA books to hospitalized teens.

For more information about readergirlz, please visit and, or contact