Over the last weekend of July, I got the chance to go to the Young Adult Literature Convention for it’s third year. I got to go last year but 2016 was the first time that I was able to attend on all three days and I had so much fun!

Also, ANNOUNCEMENT! I’m hosting a YALC GIVEAWAY of some signed swag I picked up whilst I was there (skip to the end for the giveaway)!

For those of you who don’t know the Young Adult Literature Convention is now part of the London Film and Comic Con and takes place in London in July.

It’s a weekend event that sees bookish fans come together to attend talks on a variety of subject and themes within young adult literature, attend workshops held by authors, illustrators and industry experts and to meet their favourite authors at signings.

Its an event primarily aimed at young people and those who enjoy reading titles marketed at young adults.  This year I just had to get there because my favourite author/illustrator Chris Riddell was signing and I had to get my copy of The Edge Chronicles signed- I’ve had them for around 16 years!

He asked me if I was in costume (I was, as Velma Dinkley from Scooby Doo) and I told him I had been a school librarian.

That led to a short discussion about the importance of getting young people to read, and of how ‘literacy’ had become to concerned with testing when it should be about fostering a love of reading. They say ‘don’t meet you heroes’ but in this case, I’m really glad that I got to.

Chris Riddell

I attended a talk about the upcoming film adaptation of Patrick Ness‘s A Monster Calls, with the author and starring actor Lewis MacDougall (Pan) who also signed my copy of the book.

It was a great talk featuring a screening of the trailer, a chat with Lewis about playing the part of Connor and how he got the role, and lots of gushing from Patrick Ness about the book being made into a film and Lewis’s acting skills.

I had to buy the copy that I got signed on the day because I borrowed the one that I originally read from the library. Thankfully, YALC’s own pop up Waterstones was on hand, selling books by most, if not, all of the attending authors.

So, I managed to get hold of an illustrated edition and I’m very glad that I did; the illustrations by Jim Kay are absolutely wonderful and add so much to the story.

Patrick Ness

Also in attendance was V.E Schwab, author of A Darker Shade of Magic and whilst she was signing my copy, I asked her why, as an American, she had picked London as the common point between worlds in her story.

It’s because it is a city so often used, she said, that she wanted to take the concept of the city of London and turn it on it’s head.  After all, except in name, two of her Londons really aren’t London at all, are they?

V.E. Schwab

There were plenty of stalls over the weekend, with some permanent fixtures such as the Electric Monkey ‘diner’ and the Penguin stand, as well as rotating stalls that included vintage makeovers, mini manicures and other such craziness.

The book wall was back (as pictured above) with bean bags and penguin deck chairs to sit and chill out.

I only wish that I’d taken more pictures. Next year I am determined to vlog the weekend!

Hot Key Books had their ‘Leave a Book, Take a Book’ shelf again, although I forgot to take anything with me to leave so didn’t take anything. Some independent authors had come along and set up their own stalls as well as some smaller publishing houses.

There was almost always something to do, and LFCC was just downstairs with a comic book section and some non YA authors too, if you wanted to keep the whole weekend literature based!

On the Sunday YALC hosted a Harry Potter party, which I’m going to guess was great fun for HP fans, but I didn’t attend because really, I’m just not that into The Boy Who Lived but I know that it involved a visit from a star of the films, giveaways and a cosplay contest.

Finally, another benefit to attending YALC is all of the swag that you can get your hands on– if you’re quick enough! There are badges, stickers, chapter samples and even the odd ARC or Proof ! I came away with so much loot, in fact, that I’ve decided that I just can’t keep it all to myself; I simply don’t have the room.

YALC Giveaway!

So, if you didn’t manage to make it to YALC, or you did but you didn’t manage to grab any or all of what you see below then you can enter my fabulous giveaway!

There’s a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize shown in the gallery below, and I may even send out small consolation prizes to those who don’t win too!

So what do you have to do to enter? Just retweet my giveaway tweet on Twitter, share on Facebook or leave a comment on my InstagramIf you ‘don’t do’ social media then just leave a comment below telling me as much and why you’d want to win a prize.

Closing date 1st October 2016. Open internationally.