There’s nothing quite like attending a book con to force you back out of your writing slump. Three full days at the Young Adult Literature Convention in London means that I have an awful lot to tell you about.
This was my first year of attending YALC (same goes for the London Film and Comic Con which was on at the same time) so I didn’t quite know what to expect. Ok, so I knew that there would be a ton of authors attending and more book swag than you could imagine but I didn’t anticipate just how much stuff I would come back with, nor the amount of running around that I would do.
If I try to write a full account of the weekend then quite frankly I’ll be here all evening so what I’ll do instead is list everything that I took part in (including a few LFCC things) and then upload my photos.
Friday 29 July
- LFCC: Sylvester McCoy panel – very funny; he walked around the audience throughout and as I was sat at the end of a row it meant he quite often stood near me
- Sarah Crossan signing – got my copy of One signed
- Lisa Williamson signing – got my copy of The Art of Being Normal signed; she and her publicist were strangely surprised that I came prepared with my own named post-its rather than relying on the ones handed out in the queue
- Publishing 102 talk – picked up some useful tips about how to get a job in publishing
- A Monster Calls panel – discussion of the book to film adaptation with Patrick Ness and Lewis MacDougall
- Patrick Ness signing – so exciting to meet one of my favourite authors; queued for an hour; got my copies of The Knife of Never Letting Go, A Monster Calls and More Than This signed
- Harriet Reuter Hapgood signing – bought a copy of The Square Root of Summer to get signed (didn’t realise that the copy I picked up at the Waterstones stand was already signed so that was a little awkward)
- Sara Barnard – bought a copy of Beautiful Broken Things to get signed
- V. E. Schwab signing – queued for just over an hour; got my copies of A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows signed; couldn’t get a photo as they were trying to speed things up but was told to find her on a different day instead (which of course never happened)
Saturday 30 July
- Alwyn Hamilton signing – queue moved extremely slowly (was near the front but still had to wait an hour); got my copy of Rebel of the Sands signed
- Music in YA panel – Sophia Bennett, Non Pratt and Chris Russell talked about how music plays a part and influenced their latest books
- LFCC: Sylvester McCoy photoshoot – very quick and efficient; a fairly good photo of me for a change
- David Levithan and Nina LaCour signing – queue moved quicker than I thought it would so only had to wait about 45 minutes; got my copies of You Know Me Well, Everything Leads to You, Boy Meets Boy and Every Day signed; My Kinda Book tweeted a photo of me with the pair
- LFCC: Elden Henson photoshoot – very brief but nice to meet him; Dominic Monaghan walked right past me as I was leaving the area which was pretty great
- Annabel Pitcher signing – bought a copy of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece to get signed
- Alice Oseman – bought a copy of Radio Silence to get signed
- You Know Me Well panel – really fun panel with David Levithan and Nina LaCour chaired by Juno Dawson
- Poetry slam – I wasn’t planning on attending but thought I’d check it out; ended up being worthwhile with a mixture of authors and attendees performing their work
Sunday 31 July
- New Voices in YA panel – too many authors for me to list but they talked about their debut novels and gave lots of writing advice
- LFCC: 3 Doctors panel – good fun with Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann; had the audience laughing pretty much the whole time
- Frances Hardinge signing – got my copy of The Lie Tree signed; “May I draw a goose?” “Erm, sure, why not”
- Louise Gornall signing – bought a copy of Under Rose-Tainted Skies to get signed
- LFCC: Colin Baker photoshoot – the second time I’ve met him and the second time he’s called me “twinkle” which made me smile
- Maggie Stiefvater signing – number 238 in the queue which equated to 3 hours of waiting; bought a copy of The Raven Boys to get signed
Other books that I bought at the publisher stands were:
- Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley
- The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
- If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
- Sing by Vivi Greene
I also bought from the LFCC stands a Roo plushie for my car and a Doctor Who book.
All in all it was a really fun if exhausting three days and I’ll definitely be going next year.