With YALC just a few short weeks away and a whole load of reading to be done in that time, I thought I could make today’s post about preparing for YALC– looking at some of the biggest authors who will be making appearances, some of the awesome books worth checking out, and what is still on my YALC TBR. For those of you not in the know, YALC is a part of comic-con in London and is a special floor just for YA stuff. It includes lots of publisher stalls, some merch stalls [Geeky Clean, Fairyloot and Book Box Club all made an appearance last year and will probably show up again this year] and there’s a Waterstones to buy books from authors to get signed, or to pick up signed copies after the authors have visited if you were too rushed to meet them yourself. There’s also panel talks, workshops, arts and crafts things, agent talks and ARC drops going on all through the weekend, so it’s a great chance to meet some friends and score some signed books and goodies.
In the interest of making this a much easier post to read, I’ll divide everything up according to the day things are happening, so as not to make everyone super-confused.
Okay, so starting with the Friday, and we’re launching into a very busy day signing-wise. First thing on the list of things that sounds awesome is a worldbuilding workshop with Kristina Perez, author of Sweet Black Waves. At the same time, Sally Green who wrote the Half Bad trilogy [which I wasn’t a fan of] and The Smoke Thieves [which I am a fan of] will be signing for two whole hours [slots are usually two hours btw, but it just seems so weird to me that someone could physically sign for so long]. Later in the day, Alice Oseman will be signing copies of her contemporary YA books, and Alwyn Hamilton, Joanne Harris and Matt Killeen will also be appearing at the signing tables at the same time. Then, during the last wave of signings for the day, Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood will be there. For those of you who want to run around for a bit, Ed McDonald [Blackwing] will be running a ‘fight like a pirate’ session at the end of the day that sounds like a good laugh, although as a person who fences I’m not sure if I’m going to love or hate this session :’D I’m also going to give a shout out to my friend Kate Dylan, who will be doing an author and agent talk with her agent, Dani Zigner in the early afternoon.
Recommended Books for the Day:
- The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
- I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
- Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Green
- Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
- Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez
- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Saturday promises to be the BUSIEST day at YALC, as it always is. It’s a day totally jam-packed with awesome signings, talks and workshops. The first panel of the day promises to be pretty interesting– it’s a talk about ‘growing up in the past’ with Frances Hardinge [The Lie Tree, Skinful of Shadows], Laura Wood [A Sky Painted Gold], Lucy Adlington and Karen David. Then there’s a talk immediately after that about politics in YA with Tomi Adeyemi and a few other authors. Otherwise, at the same time, the authors of Floored are signing all at the same time. These are: Melinda Salisbury [who also wrote The Sin Eater’s Daughter and State of Sorrow], Sara Bernard, Holly Bourne [How Do You Like Me Now? and It Only Happens in the Movies], Lisa Williamson, Tanya Byrne, Eleanor Wood and Non Pratt. At the same time as all those lovely authors are signing, Laura Wood and Frances Hardinge will ALSO BE SIGNING so it’s going to be a very hectic morning. Then at one pm, Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone will be signing and she’ll have what promises to be the biggest line of the weekend. After that we’ve also got another trio of wonderful authors signing books: Becky Chambers [The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet] Lauren James [The Loneliest Girl in the Universe], and Samantha Shannon [The Bone Season] as well as the authors of Zenith, Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. I’m not sure if those two will be on the same table, but I imagine so, and since they’re both big booktubers and authors too it’ll be interesting to meet them. For the last signings of the day we have Dhonielle Clayton [The Belles] and Laura Steven [The Exact Opposite of Okay] and for those who don’t want to go to those signings, there’s also a big YALC quiz happening at the same time. Phew!
Recommended Books For the Day:
- A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
- State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
- The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
- It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
- The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Books I Still Have to Read for Saturday:
- Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
- Floored by various YA authors
- How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
- Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
Sunday is a bit more relaxed, compared to the other days. This is usually when stalls start to wind down, so although some will be closed [boo] some also have fantastic sales on [yay]. Last year, in the final hour of YALC, I picked up Insurgent and Daughter of the Burning City for £1 each, and my friend grabbed a whole load of Stephen King books for the same price.
As for the events, there’s some really awesome ones on the Sunday. There are talks for how to get published, as well as a panel about suspense in YA novels by a host of suspenseful and thrilling authors. Signing-wise Elizabeth Klehfoth [All These Beautiful Strangers] is the first author I’m excited to meet. Sara Holland [Everless] will be doing a mocktail session at noon, which is likely to be booked up in the blink of an eye, so anyone really keen to join in should go straight away to get their name on that list. At the same time, Emily Barr [The Truth and Lies of Ella Black] and Cecilia Vinesse [The Summer of Us] will be signing. Later in the day, Holly Bourne and Akemi Dawn Bowman will be appearing in a panel talk about ‘real world, real me,’ while Anna Day [The Fandom], Vic James [The Gilded Cage] and Juno Dawson [Clean] will be signing. Holly Bourne will also be signing in the late afternoon, at the same time as Akemi Dawn Bowman [Starfish]. At the end of the day, Juno Dawson will be in conversation for a panel, while Christina Henry [The Mermaid], Hayley Barker [Showstopper], and Sara Holland [Everless] will be signing. Again, I can promise that Sara’s line will be super-long, so turn up in plenty of time to join the line.
Recommended Books For the Day:
- All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
- The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse
- Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
- Alice by Christina Henry
- Everless by Sara Holland
I’m hoping to try and participate in as many of these things as I can, and I’m planning on vlogging the whole weekend to post on YouTube [as well as taking pics for the blog and doing lots of posts about it] so if anyone isn’t going to make it, then can sort of virtually join in with me on my YALC adventures. I’m also hoping to potentially do some interviews with some authors on the Sunday to post on here so there’s going to be a lot coming up in August for you guys.
Is anyone else coming to YALC and is super excited for it like me? Let me know in the comment section, especially some recommendations on any good authors and books I might have left off this list. I’m also going to be around for the whole YALC weekend, so if anyone who is going wants to meet up and chat books, or grab coffee or something, let me know!
Happy Sunday everyone,