Monday, 8 August 2016

My Life (#7): YALC 2016


A week ago on Sunday, I attended the Young Adult Literature Convention at the London Film and Comic Convention for the first time and I had the most brilliant time! I went with my friend Emma, who I know from university, and whose idea it was to go, and of course we had to go on the day that they were celebrating Harry Potter's birthday and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I have now read and will be posting a review of in the future)!


The first thing we did when we arrived was attend the New Voices in YA panel, which I thought was so interesting to listen to, with the authors (Natalie Flynn, Harriet Reuter Hapgood, Julia Gray, Claire Hennessy, Rhian Ivory, Pete Kalu, Martin Stewart and Chris Vick) talking about publishing their first young adult novels and giving some great writing advice.


After that, Emma and I wondered around looking at the stalls, got ourselves some freebies, and bought ourselves some books (more on that in a bit), and found this amazing cake of Harry's cupboard under the stairs! I didn't quite believe it was a cake at first, it was that impressive.


The next panel we attended was the Morally Complicated YA panel, with Melvin Burgess, Louise O'Neill, Manuela Salvi and Emerald Fennell. I thought it was a great discussion that covered some of the really significant issues that come up in YA, and showed that it was good that these topics are covered in YA because an open discussion of controversial topics helps young adults deal with them when they come across them in their own lives.


Once that panel was over, we had another little wander and found this brilliant book wall, which I was happy to see included Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, which I really enjoyed reading.


The final panel we went to was Maggie Stiefvater in Conversation, which I thought was brilliant, as Maggie was very funny and intelligent, and told some great stories! Emma and I went to her signing afterwards, and managed to get copies of The Raven Boys signed, which I have yet to read but am very excited to! It was lovely to meet Maggie, and she told us that, when she was deciding what name to change hers to before she chose Maggie, Emma was one of the contenders!


Then, of course, the Potter Party started, and there was an amazing costume contest, which the brilliant Gilderoy Lockhart won, and deservedly so. We were very surprised and excited to see Natalie Tenna (also known as Tonks!) present the prize for the contest!


We had a fun time playing some games in our houses, overseen by some brilliant authors as our heads of houses, which were Non Pratt and Lisa Williamson for Gryffindor, Alwyn Hamilton and Lucy Ivison for Hufflepuff (which is the best house, not that I'm biased or anything), Catherine Doyle and Samantha Shannon for Ravenclaw, and V.E. Schwab and Melinda Salisbury for Slytherin! Emma and I were very happy that Hufflepuff tied with Ravenclaw for the house cup.


So that was the end of our wonderful day at YALC! We had a fantastic day, and I was very happy with the purchases I made, How Not To Disappear by Clare Furniss, Love Song by Sophia Bennett (a signed edition), The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (a signed edition), A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (which, as I said, I got signed in person)!
The day was a wonderful experience, especially wonderful as the first time that we had gone to the convention, and I am definitely going to go again next year if I can!

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