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YALC / LFCC 2016

Just a quick post about YALC this year, before I forget to do it! My two previous visits have been very much YALC focused, but this year Beth wanted to spend some more time downstairs in LFCC, and was interested in getting some signatures – it made for a busy two days!

(For those who for some reason don’t know, YALC = Young Adult Literature Con and LFCC = London Film and Comic Con. The former has become a permanent part of the latter!)

It was a Friday and Saturday visit for me his year, and on the Friday I met the lovely Tanya (@thefoundbird) and we were able to spend most of our time up in the YALC area, plus some time down in LFCC. We both met lots of authors and got lots of books signed, plus listened to Patrick Ness talk about he upcoming A Monster Calls film. We saw the latest trailer, and I can not wait to see it.. although I know I’m going to cry!

On Saturday Beth and I spent a frantic day running up and down between floors, trying to fit in some signings for her, and the bookish things I needed to do. For me, more authors were met and more books signed, whilst Beth spent some of her hard earned money to meet some actors from Game of Thrones. They were all lovely, and wrote nice messages for her, which are all now up on her wall.

As others have said, YALC has grown and improved every year. It now takes the whole upper floor, and is full of authors and publishers.. and BOOKS – lots and lots of lovely books! There were even proofs being given out, and the ones I managed to get were all great!

One thing which does shine out as you explore both LFCC and YALC is how adorable the authors and publishers are. Authors will sit and sign books for free, and are always happy to talk – I even managed to meet up with a couple of authors whom I wouldn’t be able to meet on the Sunday at their official signings. The publishers have great deals, and the afore-mentioned proofs, and there’s a BIG Waterstones stall! A book lovers heaven! 🙂

Am already looking forward to next year!

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Why is YALC so awesome…?

So this was the 2nd year that I attended YALC, and it was bigger and better than the first one. Twitter was buzzing with book talk all weekend, and it continued into Monday. There were some issues, of course, but these are mainly related to the venue, and were out of the organiser’s hands. On the whole though, YALC has been a massive success – so why is this?

I’ve been mulling it over, and for me, I think it’s success lies in the fact that there was something for everyone, and it was possible to make the weekend whatever you wanted it to be.

For some, this meant attending the panels, and hearing their favourite authors discuss various issues – whilst others wanted to grab that early spot in the signing queues! And when it came to the authors, it seemed that some had come purely to see a favourite author (Cassandra Clare and Carrie Hope Fletcher in particular) whilst others wanted to see as many as possible (there were *suitcases* full of books!)

The other lovely thing about YALC is that everyone is so friendly – I saw groups of people meeting up, chilling in the book area, and introducing their friends to other friends – and yet at the same time, it was perfectly ok to sit quietly by yourself, just taking it all in, or even reading that new book you’d just bought!

There were lots of freebies to collect, and lots of books to buy at some good prices. The publishers were lovely, and many of the authors were wandering around on the stands, as well as their ‘official’ signing space.

For me, I met loads of great authors, publishers, bloggers and book lovers – despite feeling shy, anxious, and rather tired. There were books I sadly left at home, due to lack of space in my bag, and books I had to sadly leave un-bought (but hey, have you *seen* my TBR pile?!)

But for others, the experience may have been completely different…

And that’s what makes YALC so awesome!

(PS Did I mention chatting to Chris Riddell?! Double awesome! 😀 )

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YALC 2015

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Last year I managed to go to the 1st ever YA Literature Convention, which I absolutely loved. So, when tickets were announced for this year, I knew I had to be there, and my weekend ticket was booked!

I only intended to pop up for a short visit on the Friday, but I was then invited to a publisher’s blogger’s bunch in the morning, so it turned into a long day. I arranged to meet someone at Victoria, so we could travel to the venue together, and once there I got to chat to the authors, and other bloggers.

We then moved on to YALC, which was so much bigger than last year. They’d managed to get a whole floor (well, shared with a small gaming section) so everything was spread out. There were lots of freebies, and loads of excellent publisher stands, as well as the gorgeous book zone, with bean bags and a book wall!

On Saturday I returned with my daughter – we started off by going downstairs to the LFCC (London Film and Comic Con) – this was also bigger than last year, and I think even more crowded. We did quite well until about 11:30, when it suddenly started *really* filling up – and after walking around in circles for a bit, we finally made it back upstairs.

Highlights for Beth were listening to the Carrie Hope Fletcher panel, and then meeting her whilst she had her book signed. She also met Holly Smale for the 2nd year running.

For me, Saturday brought the highlight of my weekend – Chris Riddell turned up to join in, and I got a book signed, we chatted, and I have my own Chris Riddell drawing! Beth was suitably impressed with his artistic skills.

On Sunday I awoke early with a migraine, so I couldn’t go until my medications got rid of that, but I made it back. Everything was just as busy, and I got more of my books signed.

For me, YALC continued to be about meeting fabulous authors, and getting books signed. A couple I had met before, but there were many new ones. It always amazes me how friendly they are, always ready for a chat as they sign, and often recognising me from twitter. A couple even recognised me from last year!

As well as this though, YALC 2015 was about meeting in person the people I chat to on twitter, as well as a few I hadn’t yet met – I said hi to some lovely publishers whom I’m often pestering about review copies, plus lots of lovely bloggers and book lovers from twitter.

I’m scared to make a list of whom I met, because I know I’ll miss some, but a special shout out to a few..

Michelle Toy (@chellytoy) – who let me meet her in Victoria, made sure I was introduced to people, and generally kept a eye out for me!
James Smythe and Alexia Casale – who both recognised me from meeting me last year.. that’s a good memory!
Fleur, Emily and Anne from Chapter 5 – one of my most favourite publishers! 
C J Daugherty – who was happy to sign my book, even though I hadn’t read it – and who seems to be one of the nicest authors on twitter.
Chicken House publishers – thank you for the brunch, for the review copies, and for introducing me to a bunch of new, awesome authors.
Helen Maslin – Darkmere really is that good, you know!
Rosy (@reviewdiaries) – who kept me company when we first got in on Friday
@catrad (I’m so sorry, I don’t even know your name!) who was so lovely, and we got to meet Sarah Pinborough together. 
Dawn Kurtagich – who was very lovely for someone who’s written a very disturbing (very good) book!
Chris Riddell – highlight of my weekend!

To EVERYONE involved in YALC, thank you so much for the experience – the wonderful organisers, the enthusiastic publishers, the passionate, friendly bloggers and book lovers who attend… and of course the AWESOME authors!! See you all next year!?

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YALC 2014

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I have always been a ‘reader’, but over the last 10 or so years this has grown to a passionate love of all things connected with books. Running my book forum (10 years old next year!) and reviewing books has put me in contact with authors, publishers, bloggers etc and twitter has been a great medium to keep in touch, and stay up to date.

So, when the 1st ever UK Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) was announced, I just knew I had to get there. The added bonus was that it would be part of the London Film and Comic Con (LFCC), something I was yet to experience. So, tickets were bought, and the excitement grew on twitter as the weekend approached.

On Saturday, after travelling up to Earl’s Court, I stood in awe of the queues formed outside. I had pre booked my tickets, but even that meant joining a queue. And when Patrick Ness tweeted a photo of the crowd inside, I nearly turned around and went home! But I stayed brave, fought my way through the general crowds, and reached the safety of the Book Zone.

The YALC team had set up an area with beanbags, books samples, postcards and other goodies, and there were some publishers there with goodies and very well priced books. Then there were the authors, signing books and chatting to readers.. it was heaven. I got to meet people I knew from twitter, and I got to talk to Patrick Ness and Jonathan Stroud. Everyone was so lovely it was amazing!

Being part of LFCC made things even more special.. I walked past famous people who were doing signings (but they were charging, and I was saving my pennies for more books!) and saw the most mind-blowing costumes. The general atmosphere is something I simply can’t put into words.

On Sunday I got up ready to do it all again, this time with my teen daughter to keep me company. This time we walked straight in, which was a relief, and we settled in for many more authors. I managed to see authors I’d met before, as well as those I knew only from twitter, plus a few new ones. Beth managed to meet Holly Smale and Cat Clarke, two authors whose books she enjoys. It takes a lot for a book to grab her attention, and Geek Girl and Undone most certainly had, so she particularly enjoyed meeting those two. We were also both persuaded to buy books by new authors, which I’m excited to get to.

booksAfter lots of wandering around the LFCC stalls, we also managed to buy a couple of mugs, some badges and a t-shirt.. and that’s on top of all the new books! We finally left feeling exhausted but happy, with lots of gorgeous signed books.  (You can see some photos on my facebook page.)

I have to say a massive thank you to every person who was involved in setting up and running this amazing weekend – and to every author we met there – you’re awesome! Here’s to next year’s YALC!

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These are all the authors we met – check them out, they’re all fabulous!

Cat Clarke / Holly Smale / Tanya ByrneNon PrattBeth ReeklesJames DawsonHolly BlackPatrick NessJonathan StroudAlexia CasaleKim CurranJames SmytheKit CoxIsobel Harrop (who kindly signed Isobel’s Journal just for Amy, who didn’t go.)

 

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