A Guide to YALC!

YALC
If you love YA, then you need find your diary and block out the 17th -19th July so that can you get down to Olympia in London. The 2nd Young Adult Literature Convention will be in full swing, and your favourite YA authors will be there (perhaps dressed up, but rumours aren’t confirmed…) The event is one of the many things we have to thank Malorie Blackman for. During her reign as Children’s Laureate, she set up this event which was a huge success and it’s now back by popular demand!

The event runs over 3 days and whilst it is recommended you experience the full 3 days, you can also buy a ticket for one day. The Book Trust website has details of the types of tickets available and the programme for each day. It is essential to read up on the programme of events and authors, especially if you are heading down for the day, but for those of you who just want the ‘need to know’ info, look no further…

Tickets
There are 2 types of tickets available for either the full 3 days or just a selected day. There is a general admission to the main Comic Con area, which will get you entry into the YALC section later on in the day. Whilst you can still come to book signings etc, it is recommended that you purchase the YALC tickets which will give you early bird access, priority entry to events and most importantly, a goodie bag! Tickets are selling fast so head over to Eventbrite to get yours before it’s too late…

Please note you have to purchase a Ticket Validation for each order (costing £2.50). You have to buy this to ‘validate’ the tickets and you won’t be allowed to enter without this, and you won’t get a refund. The best way to get around this is to bulk buy tickets for friends and family so that you can split the cost of one Ticket Validation between you, rather than having to do it singularly. If they can be cheeky, we can too!

Book Signings
The Book Trust website says that authors will be signing for 2 hours after their main event. If there is an author you particularly want to see, I recommend you attend their event so that you can be one of the first in line for signings. The Book Trust website says a full author signing schedule will be up soon, so it’s worth checking in every now and then to see if it’s up.

Biggest Authors and Main Events
*Please note that the below is a personal selection of authors who will be appearing. Please refer to the official programme for an extensive list and description of the itinerary.

Friday 17th July
2.30 – 3.15pm – Darren Shan, Matt Whyman and more
3.30 – 4.15pm – Moira Young and more
5.30 – 6.15pm – Derek Land
6.30 – 7.30 pm – Harry Potter Party!

Saturday 18th July (Main Stage)
11.30 – 12.15pm – Cassandra Clare
12.30 – 1.15pm –  Malorie Blackman, Hayley Long and Anna James
1.30 – 2.15pm – Charlie Higson and Arabella Weir
2.30 – 3.15pm – Carrie Hope Fletcher, Holle Smale and Malorie Blackman
3.30 – 4.15pm – Judy Blume and Patrick Ness

Saturday 18th July (Workshops)
11.30 – 12.15pm – Getting started with writing
12.30 – 1.15pm – How to edit
1.30 – 2.15pm – Writing YALC

Saturday 18th July – (Agent Area)
11.30 – 12.15pm – Publishing 101
1.00 – 2.00pm – Individual 1-2-1 sessions
2.30 – 3.30pm – Author and agent talk
4.00 – 5.00pm – Behind the Scenes in Publishing

Sunday 19th July (Main Stage)
10.30 – 11.15am – Annabel Pitcher, Matt Whyman, and more
1.30 – 2.15pm – Kevin Brooks
2.30 – 3.15pm – James Dawson, Lisa Williamson and more

Sunday 19th July (Workshops)
10.30 – 11.15am – Author and Editor
12.30 – 1.15pm – Book Blogging for Beginners
1.30 – 2.15pm – Taking your blog to the next level
2.30 – 3.15pm – Writing for screen and page

Sunday 19th July (Agents Area) – Same as Saturday

Some Tips
1) Bulk buy tickets to avoid being caught out by Ticket Validation!
2) If you are a budding novelist bring a short synopsis along to the Agent Area for publishers to have a look at. Try to get as much constructive criticism from professionals and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
3) Take as many books with you as humanly possible! I won’t lie, I have thought about carrying a small (large) suitcase around with me but somehow I think that might not be allowed…
4) Prepare your questions / love poems to your author before you get to the event… Star struck gaping won’t strum up an interesting conversation to brag about later on.
5) Enjoy and mingle! This is one of the best opportunities to be surrounded by other people who are passionate about YA literature and culture.

I will be providing a full review of Saturday 18th July which is shaping up to be the main day. So it’s time to start working on those costumes and thinking of conversations to have with the leading names in YA – see you there!

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