This weekend I attended my first ever YALC! (Young Adult Literature Convention) It is part of London Film & Comic Con and runs from Friday to Sunday. I attended Saturday and Sunday. Me and my boyfriend spent Friday travelling, getting settled in our hotel and preparing for the weekend ahead. I decided to write a post outlining how I found my first experience at YALC 2019 and London Comic Con. So without further ado, here’s what went down:
Books, Books and More Books
I absolutely loved the atmosphere at YALC. Compared to walking into Comicon, I felt instantly more relaxed walking into YALC. It was cooler in temperature, there was less people and I was surrounded by other people who love books just as much as I do! Furthermore, I loved walking around all the stalls. Seeing the displays the publishers had gone to so much effort to create was great. There was books for sale, ARC/Proof giveaways, raffles, competitions, bookish merchandise and more. It was book heaven and I was really impressed! I also loved the Chill Out Zone. A space like this is so necessary especially for me because I get bad pains in my legs. I really, really appreciated it.
Brilliant Book Panels
Throughout the weekend YALC hosted several book panels. Each day offered a different array of panels by authors and the like. We attended two on Sunday while waiting for a singing at 5 PM. We went to the New Mascilinity Panel by David Owen (Chair), Nikesh Shukla and Samuel Pollen. They gave an incredibly insightful discussion on masculinity in young adult fiction and their experiences with masculinity growing up and in literature as a whole.
The second panel we sat in for was Monsters and their Makers By Eleanor Pender (Chair), Justina Ireland, Kristen Ciccarelli, Natasha Ngan, Samantha Shannon and Taran Matharu. It discussed creating characters as monsters in writing and where those characters originated from. I loved hearing Samantha explain more about her inspiration for the dragons in The Priory of the Orange Tree.
I went to my first ever book signing on the Sunday. I got my copy of The Priory of the Orange Tree signed by Samantha Shannon. It was the whole reason I wanted to attend YALC 2019 in the first place. I was so excited and she was so lovely! She signed my book, wrote a beautiful quote and even signed my art print too. I am so inspired by her and I adore how interactive she is with her readers. This was one hundred percent the biggest highlight of YALC 2019 for me!
After we queued up for Samantha we joined the queue for Natasha Ngan to get a copy of Girls of Paper and Fire signed for a lovely friend over at AstrumReader. Natasha was super friendly and I loved getting to meet her too!
Overall, I had the most epic time at YALC 2019. I got some amazing deals on books. Got to meet one of my favourite authors. Attend some insightful panels. Above all, Spending time in a space surrounded by like-minded people was the best. I really hope to return for YALC 2020! Stay tuned for a haul post on all the books I purchased.
Did you attend YALC 2019? What was your favourite part about the convention?