Here is the last YALC Countdown of the year. Well it’s less of a countdown and more of an overview of my time there. I have been putting off writing this post because I don’t think I can do the weekend justice. It was one of the best weekends I have ever had and I don’t know how to put it down into words, but I will give it a try with the help of some photos I took.
Firstly let’s have a look at some photos of the YALC floor itself. Apparently last year they only used half the floor, which made it very cramped. But this year we had the whole floor to ourselves which made it feel like there was a lot more breathing room. People weren’t on top of each other like I feared and there was plenty of space to plop yourself down on the floor to have a few minutes to sit down and relax (often with your latest buy).
Look how much space we had! Plus isn’t the book wall amazing?! What you can’t see is that there were deck chairs and bean bags for you to sit in as well. YALC really know what us bibliophiles like. There were so many stalls there and freebies everywhere!! I received so many proofs, badges, bookmarks and postcards to last me a lifetime…or at least until next year. The next great thing about YALC was of course meeting my favourite authors. I originally chose to go because of Alwyn Hamilton (she is adorable!) but I then drew up a YALC reading list and ended up finding some new fave authors, including V.E Schwab, Maggie Stiefvater, Catherine Doyle and Taran Matharu. Within a month I had found myself drawn into these amazing new worlds, falling in love with characters and then actually getting to meet the fantastic people who had created it all. YALC is definitely every book lovers dream. Well for Young Adult Lit lovers anyway.
I still can’t believe I met these amazing authors! They signed all the books I brought and were even nice to take photos. However, I have to admit that trying to work out where the lines were going to be could be quite stressful. They only put the signs up half hour before signing but that didn’t stop people hovering. It was often a mad dash when the sign went up so you wouldn’t find yourself at the back of the queue. Usually I didn’t mind waiting but unfortunately on the Sunday I had to leave early to catch my bus back to Wales. However, the Maggie Stiefvater signing was near the end of the day which left some worries about if I was going to get to meet her. But a few of us were sneaky and managed to find someone nice enough to tell us where the line would be. So we lined up for and hour and a half before the signing. I was pretty impressed to be 8th in the queue. That meant I had time to meet Maggie and even check out the Harry Potter party.
Unfortunately lining up early often meant missing the panel the author was a apart of. Next year I plan on staying an extra day so I don’t have to leave early. I want to go to more panels next year. I went to the Rebellion and YA setting one and I really enjoyed them. The authors are so much fun and will answer any question. It was a great way to get an insight into the authors. There were also workshops available. I went to Catherine Doyle’s creative writing workshop. She was amazing! She told us all about her love for films and how to use them to create your own YA novel. I could have listened to her for hours. It also helped that she was dressed as Lucius Malfoy. It seemed to add something to the workshop lol. Talking of her costume you need to go to her twitter and see her Malfoy walk, I was in stitches!!
There were plenty of things to do when you weren’t at signings, panels or shopping for more books. There were giant colouring posters stationed around the floor, book cover revealings and of course almost every store had something for you to be apart of.
Of course there were Harry Potter related items to look at on Sunday to celebrate Harry’s birthday. MuggleNet also had fun competitions and activities for the Sunday. I made a potion with Melinda Salisbury. Didn’t think I would be saying that before that weekend.
I think I am going to call it Wolf’s Courage 😀 Of course the main reason we go to YALC is for the books and boy did YALC deliver. I went will 11 books and came back with 40! I probably would have gotten more but I couldn’t actually lift my suitcase anymore (the tube was a real struggle!).
This picture isn’t very clear. But basically the books on the left are the ones I got signed, the middle one are a few I bought but that aren’t signed and the ones on the right are the free books I received. I think my favourite proof had to be A Torch Against the Night, I almost trampled someone’s foot racing to get a copy!
And last but definitely not least meeting all of you guys was definitely one of the best parts of the weekend. I met people that I have spoken to online for months and I met new people. Everyone was so friendly and we all just started tagging along to signings with each other or hanging out in the queue. I had so much fun meeting every single person. It was so great to be surrounded by people who love reading just as much as you do. To meet people who know what you are talking about when you fangirl about a book or don’t judge you when you sit down to read your brand new copy of Cursed Child (yes I did that and I wasn’t the only one). I met Anissa the founder of Fairyloot. She was so lovely and I even ended up joining her and the girls giving out Fairyloot tote bags (which everyone loved!). I even had people come up to me asking me if I was the person who ran the #YalcChat. It was an amazing feeling to know people enjoyed them. I will definitely be doing them next year.
All in all I had an amazing weekend and I cannot wait to go next year. I hope I will see you all there!!
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