Hi everyone! Over the last 3 days I’ve been attending YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) in London and I wanted to share my recap. Before you say EVE, THIS POST IS SO PROMPT: I’m actually going away this evening so I had to write it right now. Nothing like working under a deadline, right?
I’ve been to YALC twice before, but instead of going only on Saturday, this year I went for all 3 days on my own. It was quite a different experience! I don’t know if I’ll go for 3 days next year since I did get pretty tired and I’m an awkward bean so sometimes I didn’t have anyone to talk to. But I did have lots of fun too.
My first signing on DAy 1 was with Non Pratt. I’ve loved Non’s books for AGES and I’d sadly missed her at the last YALC so I was very happy to get mine signed here! Along with an early copy of her new novel Giant Days, I picked up Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber. I actually read it all in one sitting this morning!
Next up was the Can we be friends? panel with Alice Oseman, Gayle Forman, and Lauren Price, moderated by David Owen. I’m so glad there was a panel on friendship, since although I enjoy reading romance, my friendships are far more important in my own life and sometimes I feel like I’m doing something wrong for not having an epic romance. (Not every teen falls in love, folks!)
I got my books signed by Alice Oseman and David Owen who drew a cool alien in the front. 🙂 I also picked up a sampler for David’s new book, yay! It sounds so good!
After wandering around for a bit, I went to the Where will you be in 5 years? panel with Katherine Woodfine, Non Pratt, Sara Barnard and Sally Green. It was really interesting the about the origins of YALC and the careers of all the authors. On a similar topic, I’d also like to note that this weekend we saw some more statistics showing that the number of author of colours in the UK has decreased since 2006, following findings by CLPE that only 1% of children’s books published in the UK featured a BAME main character. You should read this thread by Wei Ming Kam on Twitter on the situation and writers of colour to look out for in the coming years.
Saturday began with a rocky start when I forgot to check the trains and realised one of them wasn’t working so had to improvise with public transport. Note to self for future: ALWAYS CHECK THE TRAINS ARE WORKING.
The first panel I went to was Politics on the Page with Alice Skinner, Karen Gregory, Sarah Shaffi, Tom Pollock, Tomi Adeyemi & Yaba Badoe. This was one of my favourite panels of YALC and I found it very inspiring. I’m now keen to read the books of the other authors who I didn’t already know! I wanted to get my copy of Children of Blood and Bone signed but the queue was really long (which is awesome!) so sadly I didn’t get round to it.
Next was the Amongst the Stars, a panel with Becky Chambers, Lauren James, Samantha Shannon & Sasha Alsberg discussing all things space and sci-fi. *whispers* I actually love sci-fi a lot and I wish I read more sci-fi books.
I bought a whole bunch of books today which you can see above and throughout this post! They are: Giant Days, Only Love Can Break Your Heardt, Starfish, Done Dirt Cheap, Run Riot, Far From the Tree, A Closed and Common Orbit, Floored, and Noteworthy.
Finally, I went to the Loud & Proud panel with Josh Martin, Keris Stainton & Simon James Green which discussed LGBTQ+ representation. I’d have liked to see more discussion of identities beyond gay characters but I did get some good recs.
On Sunday it RAINED! Finally! The workshop I’d intended to go to was full, so I went to a panel on travel with Cecilia Vinesse, Clementine Beauvais, Emily Barr & Rutendo Tavengerwei which was super interesting. Then I had lunch and headed off to Real world, real me with Akemi Dawn Bowman, Eve Ainsworth, Holly Bourne, Lisa Williamson & Lydia Ruffles. (Okay, I know this is getting rather factual but trust me, it was good, I’m just tired.) I saw the cover reveal for the Proud anthology which sounds great!
I also got to meet many online friends like Elm, Helia, Megan and also some wonderful new people! I’m so glad that I got to do this and it was one of the highlights of YALC this year. 🙂 Thanks everyone I met!
Aand that bring me to the end of my YALC recap. I’d also like to point out that there were serious issues with accessibility at YALC (see this thread by @redrocketpanda on twitter for some details) which is completely unacceptable and needs to be improved for next year.
Once more, I’m going away until the 20th without any internet and I won’t be able to reply to any comments, emails or tweets and such. But I do have 2 more posts scheduled, and I look forward to talking to you when I get back!