[The Little Contemporary Corner Guest Post]
It’s hard to believe it’s been over a week since YALC finished already. I still can’t stop telling people about it and my new-found love for Juno Dawson. <3 I’ve written a post about the books I got while I was there, but I still need to write a post all about what I did and who I met. I’ll get around it soon, I promise!
For now, I’m welcoming my pal Sarah from The Little Contemporary Corner to tell you all about her YALC best bits. Over to you, Sarah!
This isn’t Charlotte, I have been given the rights to the blog for today to tell you all about my YALC experience. As most of you must know by now, me and Charlotte both attended YALC this year together and had a wonderful bonding weekend over a lot of pasta and running.
For me, this was my second year of YALC (if you’re unaware, YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention, created by Malorie Blackman and a whole host of other really clever people. It’s held in London each year and is attached to LFCC). I attended a day last year and figured that yes it was fun, but a whole weekend is definitely worth doing. So that’s what I did! I spent the last weekend in July running for ARCs, meeting authors and listening to some absolutely hilarious talks.
I’m here to talk to you about some of my favourite bits, my highlights if you will, of this years YALC. Having spent the whole three days at the event this time, I have a better understanding of how it works and have a lot more memories from it. So here are my favourite bits:
This year the panels were excellent. I have always loved sitting and listening to authors talk about their experiences as an aspiring author myself, and as some of the talks this year were based upon one author alone, it was nice to hear their full stories. E Lockhart’s panel was very interesting as she revealed a lot about her previous novels and how strange it was to have her ninth book completely blow up (We Were Liers.)
Similarly I really enjoyed Patrick Ness’ panel. The very last one of the convention that was chaired by Juno Dawson. Seeing two friends on a panel together is always so much more interesting and I feel like you walk away knowing a lot more about them as authors. I really enjoyed this panel and it was full of laughs as per.
Surprisingly one of my favourite panels was the New Voice panel on Sunday. I’d been itching to go all weekend, as I completely fell in love with Simon James Green’s novel Noah Can’t Even, and the talk ended up being very interesting. There was a lot of chat about how they got to be authors and the process and set-backs their books went through in order to be sat there. I think it gave a little bit of hope to everyone.
This year I only attended one workshop, which in honesty I regret a lot. Me and Charlotte both attended the Writing Horror workshop on Saturday with Alex Bell. Having not read an Alex Bell book, I had no idea what to expect from this, however it was the best workshop I’ve attended at YALC. Alex really made an effort in getting us to start writing then and there and kept us on task with generating ideas. So often when in writing classes you’re told to ‘think of an idea’ and I think a lot of us think ‘how?’ But Alex shows us exactly that. How to generate your own ideas, and it was incredibly useful. I walked away with a whole middle-grade novel idea!
I think I ended up with near enough 20 signed books from YALC. That’s a lot of waiting in queues. This year the authors really surprised me with how talkative they were, aka no-one was moving them along to sign the next book ASAP. I ended up fangirling with Katherine Webber over Hannah Witton for quite some time, and had a somewhat heated discussion with Simon James Green about the fact he’s not read (or seen!) Harry Potter. Some of the signings were a definite highlight and my favourite thing about the con.
Other highlights of the weekend included watching Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivision and Juno Dawson chatting and then taking a photo together (what wonderful people they all are), meeting Patrick Ness (obviously, what a King) and without a doubt seeing Benedict Cumberbatch’s confused face as he walked through numerous people shaving Non Pratt’s head. How wonderful.
All that along with running for ARCs, book buying, eating numerous Tesco meal deals and A LOT of queues made for a pretty great weekend. Out of all the con’s I’ve ever attended, I think YALC 2017 was my favourite by far. I cannot wait for next year!
Thank you to Sarah for stopping by. I’ll be writing a post for her blog too, so go over and look out for that! She has plenty of other YALC posts and tons more, so please go and give her blog a follow!