My YALC Experience!

As you probably know, I spent the weekend before last in London, at the Young Adult Literature Convention. I’ve already put up a post about the books I took to get signed, and my haul will be up on Monday because YALC was not kind to my debit card. However, I had a lot of fun so I thought I’d tell you all about my experience and how I spent my weekend!

I hit the ground running, figuratively, on Friday. I went to the Claire Hennessy Creative Writing Workshop before rushing to her signing where she wrote me a lovely message in her latest book; Nothing Tastes as Good. Claire was so energetic, so kind and such a great way to start the weekend. I can’t wait to read her book.

From there, I went to my first panel; Behind the Magic: Magical Systems in YA with Sally Green, Taran Matharu, Melinda Salisbury and VE Schwab. It was absolutely fascinating, and really had me thinking about the magic in my own book. If you’re a writer, these panels will present questions to published authors that you need to also ask yourself. My story is definitely more logical now that I’ve forced myself to answer them. After that, I went to see Sally Green and she signed my copy of Half Bad which I read almost exactly a year ago to the day.

I took a break then to check into my hotel and rest. I can imagine that YALC is exhausting, even without health problems so thank you ibuprofen for getting me through! I did want to be back for the Fantasy London panel though. My mum is a big Ben Aaronovitch fan, and he was joined by Samantha Shannon and VE Schwab so it was a really fun panel. After that, I went to Samanthas signing and my mum, to Bens.

Before the day could end, I spent some time with Sarah from Behind on Books. We met at an event and saw each other again a couple weeks ago at another, so we’re event buddies and YALC was no exception. She’s lovely and writes a brilliant blog!

Lastly, I found myself at the front of the Michael Grant line for him to sign a book for my friend. Then back to the hotel, finishing an essay, and sleep.

Another early start with the Join the Rebellion! Resistance and Protest in YA panel with Alwyn Hamilton, Julie Mayhew, Simon Mayo and Kass Morgan. These panels were bad for my bank account because I ended up buying Julie Mayhew’s new book and a Simon Mayo book as soon as it ended. Hearing people talk so passionately about what they’ve written is my kryptonite.

Then it was time for my most anticipated event; Chris Riddells talk and signing. He is not only my most owned illustrator, he responded to that post by sending me a sketch that brightened up some dark days for me. Getting to tell him that in person was the highlight of my weekend- and probably one of the high points of this year.

After that, it was back to the hotel and a nap until Nicole Bursteins signing followed by her Secret Superheroes workshop where she sparked a great idea for my novel. Also, she was cosplaying as a Lumberjane. Actual queen.

By Sunday I was wrecked so Daisy and I just walked around YALC and LFCC before getting pizza. The YALC section was much more interesting, in my opinion. You paid for books but they were discounted, and everything else was included in the ticket price; the panels, the workshops, the agents arena, signings and all the freebies. Whereas the LFCC part was a money pit. You paid for panels, for signings, for pictures, and the whole ground floor was just one big geeky market.

YALC was great. It was exhausting and I’m still run down but it was great. Now- I have a heck of a lot of reading to do…

Did you go to YALC? How did you spend the weekend?


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