On Saturday I went to YALC. For those of you who haven’t heard of YALC, it is the Young Adult Literature Convention and for the last five years it has been held at the London Film and Comic Con. I attended only for the Saturday as it was my first time going and I was not sure what to expect and also to save some money.
The day started off with me and the boyfriend missing our train by like one minute and having to wait about half an hour for another. Then our train got held up in Cambridge as the doors faulted, so by the time we got to YALC it was about 11:30. But that was fine, we didn’t let it stress us out and we still had loads of time to do all that we wanted to.
As I said this was my first YALC and it was also my first bookish event ever so I was excited, but also nervous. Prior to the event I tried to find all the tweets, blog posts and content I could about people attending YALC, so I knew what to expect and who I could bump in to.
I tried to comment and tweet as many people as possible in the hopes that I would make some new bookish friends whilst I was there, but unfortunately I met nobody and didn’t see anyone I recognised. I did find that it was a slightly lonely experience when I was by myself. Sometimes I needed to sit down in-between things and it would have been nice to sit and chat with some people about books. I didn’t quite have the courage to just sit down with people I didn’t know so I was just sat alone often.
Thankfully, there was a fair amount to keep me busy and I also was with my boyfriend for some of the day (when he wasn’t down at LFCC).
One of the first things I did was getting the boyfriend to take a photo this of me. There was a promotion going on for Only Love Can Break Your Heart and if you showed the publishers your tweeted photo, you could get a free pin badge. That was kind of the only free merch that I picked up, apart from a couple of bookmarks. Below are all the books I managed to accumulate (free or paid) in one day at YALC.
I managed to take part and receive ARC’s in three giveaways which was exciting! This makes it a totally even split of three ARC’s and 3 books I brought (I know, how did I control myself??). Honestly, I think I would have brought more if I’d been more in the spirit of it, but with feeling a bit alone and a bit anxious I didn’t get excited for many books that I didn’t already own. Plus my boyfriend was letting me fill up his backpack and we both kind of ran out of room in the end since I didn’t manage to get any totes.
The below photo/answer actually won me the copy of No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen (please ignore my wonky mouth!). I was actually tweeted saying I’d won, just as I had got to the train platform to leave as so I had to run right back!
I managed to get my hands on an ARC of Good Girls Guide to Murder by staking out the publishers (Electric Monkey) stand and waiting for the author; Holly Jackson, to run off to hide and give out raffle tickets for a copy. Unfortunately, every one under the sun had the same idea and so she was bombarded and just spun in a circle handing out tickets! Somehow, I managed to get a winning ticket!! I also spotted Holly later on in the day and asked her to sign my ARC and she was really lovely. We were chatting and she said really hoped I didn’t guess the ending/twist and if I did she’d give me a million pounds…. So I think this might be how I make my millions, but I also kind of hope I don’t work it out!
Later in the afternoon, I went to some signings and I managed to meet Laura Steven and get my copy of The Exact Opposite of Okay signed, and she was really lovely and nice and chatty! I also got my copy of The Lonliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James signed and got to be one of the first people to see her cover reveal for The Quiet at the End of the World… Isn’t it beautiful?! She has the best covers!
Our trip back was slightly worse than the one there as the trains from King’s Cross were really confusing, we finally worked out what we were doing and the train was crammed. We literally had to stand for at least an hour in the isle of the train, plus I had a woman behind me who was completely in my personal space! But we finally made it home at about 10pm and decided we definitely need three day tickets next year!