YALC 2016 recap

It’s about time I put my YALC recap up so here it finally is!

YALC was just over a week ago and OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS AMAZING!!! I have never met any authors or been to any cons before and WHY HAVEN’T I??? It was fantastic to meet authors and get my books signed, as well as listening to some brilliant panels and get some new lovely books and some free bookish swag! I’m pretty sad YALC is over now and I still keep reminiscing about it but I am DEFINITELY going to try and make it to the one next year πŸ˜€

I went to the third and final day of YALC which had its advantages and disadvantages because it meant that a lot of popular books had already gone but it almost meant that a lot of the stalls there cut their prices and I got some books for next to nothing! I think the best days to go are the first and last days so if I went again I’d probably go for the Friday and Sunday next time.

My day didn’t start off that great because Sunday service meant that the overground wasn’t running till late and a large chunk of the northern line was shut for planned engineering works so I had a bit of a stressful journey involving buses and some switching of trains on the tube but I finally got to Olympia found the YALC floor which was brilliant! It’s set up so that there’s a huge section in the middle taken up for the panels and surrounding it on the other side are all the stalls and publisher stands with their books for sale. There’s also a little section at the back for some workshops as well as an agent part and lots of floor space to sit and read.

What did I do?

So the first thing me and my friend did was peruse around the stalls and just generally soak up the amazingness of the place. There’s loads of stalls there selling books that that particular company publishes and there was a mini Waterstones shop too.

We went to a creative writing workshop first which was really good and was run by Catherine DoyleΒ and she was really inspiring and helped with how to use films/characters/scenes to inspire and influence your writing (it also made me really want to get her book!). I found the workshop really useful and I loved how it was tucked away from the noise of the panels (though signings were right outside) and you were in a small group.

Next, I went to the Ask YALC panel which had Rosalind Jana, Juno Dawson and Holly Bourne answering any questions put to them which ranged from questions on writing to serious dilemmas and struggles, which was really interesting to listen to and I’m thinking of maybe trying out Juno’s book because she was such a good speaker and had loads of ideas. I went straight to Holly’s signing after the panel had finished and got four books signed including the Normal trilogy and the Manifesto book!

I love the little messages she puts in her books – Holly Bourne is brilliant and she was so nice when she talked to me! I showed her the screensaver of my cat and she recognised her as the cat that attacked her book when I tweeted her the photo! (See my post on my cat is destroying my books and you’ll understand.) I was so happy to have finally met Holly Bourne because her books are such an inspiration I only wish I had had them when I were younger – that was definitely one of the best moments of my day πŸ™‚

I also got my book signed by V E Schwab who wasΒ sitting at the little Waterstones shop and she wasΒ brilliant – she came every day in case some people could only attend the one day which was so thoughtful and nice of her! I told her I was going to the event in Birmingham the Thursday after as part of her UK tour for This Savage Song and she told meΒ they’re having a quiz in the style of the Essen Tasch games! I got a selfie withΒ VictoriaΒ and also one with Holly but I look so scared on them haha – I was a little star-struck I think.

Here’s a few of the books I got signed and the little messages the authors put inside them.


Whilst me and my friend were having a much needed rest and some lunch, I saw Alwyn Hamilton floating around so I quickly grabbed my book and went up to her and we had a great bookish chat. She even spoke to me about an idea for the title of the third book and its sounds amazing! I then found Louise Gornall at one of the publisher stands and she hugged everyone after signing their book; we also spoke about what she plans for her next book and I’ll be buying that, of course!

I loved meeting the authors because they are just so grateful and happy that people read their writing and enjoy it and they love chatting bookish with everyone! I also got to meet the wonderful Charlotte at Crowded BookshelfΒ as we were queuing for Louise Gornall – the first book blogger I’ve actually met in person!

The queue for the Maggie Stiefvater panel was insanely busy but I spotted some books I wanted to buy on a stand as I was queuing so it was actually quite lucky for me because I don’t think I would have spotted them otherwise! Maggie was HILARIOUS as she reeled off anecdotes and made us laugh with her ugly baby story and how John Green got set on fire (which wasn’t her fault!) and then the signing queue after was RIDICULOUSLY long. I was number 60 in queue and I was so tired by the time my books got signed I couldn’t imagine how she felt at the end of the day! We missed a lot of the Potter Party unfortunately, but I got a lot of cheap books and you can see which books I bought on the YALC book haul post I’ll put up soon.

There were lots of other little activities going on throughout the day for the Potter Party and SO MANY people were just sat on the floor or queuing for things reading the Cursed Child book – some people were half way through! The entire pile of books were gone by lunch time. I found the Usborne stand and wrote why I am a feminist and took a selfie with it so I won a What’s A Girl Gotta Do? lipstick from Holly Bourne’s book (red looks seriously bad on me though!) I loved the little activities they had going on at some of the stands and it was fun to just walk around and sit down and marvel at all the books. And the freebies were brilliant – I got a ACOTAR tote bag as well as some badges and little postcards. I just had to get the YALC tote bag and even though I only got four authors to sign it, they are all my favourites so I was happy πŸ™‚

Here’s a photo of all the bookish swag I got and the books I bought (left pile) as well as got signed (right pile).


Since I only went the one day I didn’t end up with much stuff but I got what I came for – to meet some truly fantastic authors and get my books signed which I did πŸ™‚

We were so tired at the end of the day and my shoulders wereΒ still in pain for days from the four bags of books I carried around all day (I took twelve with me to get signed and bought six) but it was totally worth it! I have some lovely signed and dedicated books now sitting on my bookshelf and I had the best time being surrounded by bookish people πŸ™‚ It was the best day!!

YALC was amazing and if you’ve never been, definitely try to go next year because even if you only know just a few of the authors going (and I had only read about six out of a lot of authors there) you will still have so much to do and see and you can discover some new authors/books like I now have!

I’ll miss you YALC, until next yearΒ β™₯





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