If you are a bookworm, or a publisher, or an author, or just anyone who loves books, this is something you just have to do, because it’s book heaven.
YALC stands for the Young Adult Literature Convention. It’s been going for about 6 years now, and was started by Malorie Blackman when she was Children’s Laureate (I actually finally got to meet her this year!!). There are bookstalls, workshops, signings and panels galore.
I have been to YALC for the past three years now and I’ve loved it every time. I’m not a big fan of crowds, or cities, so being in London, and in a place so incredibly busy, is really nerve wracking for me but it is worth it. Especially because I am pretty much the only bookworm in my school, or at the very least I’m the only one in my year, so I don’t often get to share my book craziness. Plus, YALC is such a welcoming place that I feel at home there, and u can be just a bit more wacky than usual, and I even wear things I wouldn’t usually wear.
It’s brilliant getting to see so many authors of books I’ve read, and even getting to talk to them (if I can work up the courage to ask a question that is) and also getting to see authors and publishers I know, and have met before, to chat with them.
The workshops are really fun, they have a mix of everything, from activism to arts and crafts, and of course, it’s all related to books. I love the workshops and did a lot of them this year.
Then there’s the panels which are quite long, so you have to make sure you’re interested in what they’re talking about (because you don’t want to be one of the people walking out half way through!). When you pick the right panels though, the talks are great because, you can hear new opinions on subjects you’re interested in, and you get to hear some of your favourite authors opinions in things.
There is also the agents area, I’ve never been to any of the activities there but, it’s a great idea and I’m sure it would be really helpful for anyone interested in trying to publish a book.
Lastly there are the stalls. There are such a huge variety of publishers and other stalls at YALC – you have a big Waterstones stand selling all the books by authors attending, then alongside loads of publisher stands you also get other stalls, like the one this year that was selling book covers, or the ones for Fairy Loot and Illumicrate, or the one that was selling hand drawn posters. But, whatever stall you like best, expect to be spending a lot more money than you probably should!
Oh, and not forgetting that YALC is on the floor above the London Film & Comic Con, so you can always go downstairs and see some celebrities, and look at everyone’s crazy cosplay, because those people are seriously dedicated. And this year I got a picture with Tom Felton, which is amazing, but at the time it was terrifying and I was slightly worried I would pass out because I’m not a fan of people (as in talking to them, or looking at them, or anything like that), so having to take a picture with this stranger who was in some of my favourite movies of all time was horrifying, however I am now VERY glad I did it
So yes, YALC is amazing and I do suggest it for every book person, but i guess it’s probably best for Young Adults as that’s what it says in the title …but honestly it can be enjoyed by everyone.