YALC 2018

Hi adventurers! Today’s post is all about YALC ’18!

First of all, just in case you’re unsure, YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention which is held in London alongside Comic Con. It’s three days of book signings, panels, workshops and meeting awesome bookish people, grabbing freebies and chances to win ARCs!

I’ve been to YALC only once before in 2016, but I was with two friends and we spent a lot of time on the Comic Con floor, rather than the YALC floor. So really this year felt like my first time at YALC! It was the first time I’d attended completely alone and I have to admit I was kind of terrified. I wouldn’t say I’m the most outgoing or confident person when it comes to social things, especially when I’m alone. For instance the first author I approached to get my book signed I literally just didn’t even know what the hell to say, so I didn’t really say anything and it felt so awkward. Thankfully, the more I talked to people I didn’t know, the more authors I approached, the more I relaxed; the easier it all became. I had such an amazing time, even though I went alone, which for me is weird. See I have this thing where, if I do something I deem as a social thing, like a should-be-done-with-friends-or-another-person thing… (for example, eating out, clothes shopping etc.) But I do it alone, I feel super awkward, uncomfortable, odd and like a bit of a loner, then I think other people must also be thinking that about me too, so then I just become more uncomfortable and ugh. But the older I get the more I see that clothes shopping for example, can’t always be done with friends or other people, it’s waaaaay too difficult with work, family and life to only go clothes shopping when you’re with another person. I’d never have any clothes! And if I’m hungry while out clothes shopping alone, I’m not going to starve because I don’t want people to think I’m a sad loner, so I’ll sit and I’ll eat alone. So yeah, that’s something I’m working on but anyway we strayed a little (okay a lot) from what we’re supposed to be talking about! So yes, I, Jordan, attended YALC ’18 alone and actually had a blast.

Day One – Friday 27th

Day one of YALC was probably the scariest, since it’s the first day, I’m totally alone, I didn’t plan to meet with anyone that day, didn’t really know anyone going that day. But I actually wouldn’t have changed it at all, by going alone I built up my confidence a lot, I had only myself to rely on, I had to force myself to stand in queues and talk to authors, to strike up conversations with people in queues and publishers at their stalls. Which then really helped me be a more confident me for the rest of YALC. So I’m so glad I went alone and didn’t meet anyone on the first day. Except maybe if I had met up with someone they could have stopped me from buying ALL THE DAMN BOOKS! I bought 20 new books on Friday and spent well over £200, I also bought three new Funko pops!

Books I got signed

The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green (this one was the first and super awkward one)

Rebel of the Sands, Traitor to the Throne, Hero at the Fall – Alywn Hamilton (she was amazing, so lovely and asking questions and just generally making you feel super comfortable)

The Testament of Loki – Joanne Harris (picked this one up in the Waterstones pop up shop on the day, it was gorgeous so I had to haha)

The Surface Breaks – Louise O’Neill (I’d been meaning to get this book for a while so I grabbed a copy at the Waterstones shop there so I could get it signed!)

Day Two – Saturday 28th

Saturday was much busier than the Friday and I actually knew a few people that were going, I met up with Hâf, a lovely fellow book lover that I’ve been talking to online for a long time! It was such a fun day and we worked so well as a team getting all our books signed. Probably the best thing was that it wasn’t awkward at all when we met and it was like we’d know each other and been friends forever, we spent pretty much the whole day running around like mad women or queuing for hours haha! I feel like spending the Friday alone really helped me to be more confident and less timid on the Saturday, which really helped with meeting Hâf and all of the other people I met, I actually just randomly spoke to people in the queue instead of trying to avoid talking to people!

Books I got signed –

To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo (this was a special signing that wasn’t actually on the official author/signing line up!)

My Heart Goes Bang – Keris Stainton (I didn’t actually get this signed myself, Hâf went and got it signed for me as I was in the queue for another signing :D)

Floored & State of Sorrow – Melinda Sailsbury (Melinda was lovely and she even added a cute stamp into State of Sorrow!)

Floored – Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Lisa Williamson, Tanya Byrne, Eleanor Wood, Non Pratt (Floored is written by seven authors and I managed to get my book signed by all seven, but it was no easy feat, there was a lot of running around and honestly if Hâf and I hadn’t worked together to get them all to sign it I don’t actually think it would have been possible with how long some of the queues were)

Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi (I was so lucky to have my book signed by Tomi, her queue was insanely huge and slow moving, she’s absolutely lovely and I managed to give her one of my candles (without shaking too much) I made of the Iku Clan!

The Bone Season & The Mime Order – Samantha Shannon (one of my favourite, auto buy authors and I was so happy I got the chance to meet her, she’s so nice! I didn’t take The Song Rising because it was already signed (but not personalised) and I knew she’d be super busy)

Eve of Man – Giovanna & Tom Fletcher (their queue was absolutely insane, you had to actually queue well before the signing to get tickets to queue for the signing, it was crazy! They were both super nice)

Day Three – Sunday 29th

Sunday was another day that I kind of spent mostly alone, I knew a few people that were also going and did meet up and chat with them a little, but we had different things we wanted to get done that day so we didn’t hang out all day! I had a really fun time though and met some absolutely lovely people in the queues I was in, unfortunately I didn’t get any of their blog/Twitter/insta names which sucks, but they made queuing more bearable, especially that long Sara Holland queue! I also attended my first panel at YALC, it was the dystopian ‘It’s dark in here, bring a torch’ panel and I really enjoyed it, I think next year I’d love to go to more panels and maybe even some workshops!

Books I got signed –

The Fandom – Anna Day (A fellow northerner! She was lovely and we had a nice chat, although there was a woman that kinda butted in and like just took over)

The Survival Game – Nicky Singer (grabbed this one after the dystopia panel, sounds so good and Nicky was lovely!)

Gilded Cage & Bright Ruin – Vic James (Vic was also on the dystopia panel and I really loved the sound of her books, plus the first had been on my TBR for forever, so I thought why not pick them up and get them signed? Unfortunately they’d run out of book two haha, so I got one and three.)

Everless – Sara Holland (Sara’s queue was also pretty big and honestly, it was my last queue on the last day of a very busy weekend and my feet were killing 😂 but she was really nice and chatted to me)

Books bought at YALC –

Talon, Rouge & Soldier – Julie Kagawa
The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw
The Extinction Trials & The Extinction Trials Exile – S.M. Wilson (both were signed!)
Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley
Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu
My Heart Goes Bang – Keris Stainton
Floored – Multiple Authors
Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian
The Book Ninja – Ali Berg & Michelle Klaus
Save the Date – Morgan Matson
Kingdom of Sleep – E.K. Johnston
The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton
Gilded Cage & Bright Ruin – Vic James
The Survival Game – Nicky Singer
The Fandom – Anna Day
All the Ever Afters – Danielle Teller
Sea Witch – Sarah Henning
The Testament of Loki – Joanne Harris
The Surface Breaks – Louise O’Neill
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – Ellen Oh
The Heart Forger – Rin Chupeco

See? I really needed someone there to stop me from buying literally everything!

I had such an amazing time at YALC this year, I met some lovely new people and some people I’d been talking to online for a while. I did it alone even though I was afraid and I feel like I got the best and most out of the weekend for me. One thing I know annoyed a ton of people were the way ARCs were given out, instead of them being handed out on a first come first serve basis, they were made into competitions and raffles to win them, so it would be fair for people with a disability, but it didn’t really feel like it was actually fair for people with a disability (or anyone to be honest) because you still had to get there quick/on time to queue otherwise they ran out so quick (yes even with them being giveaways) because there was only like 25 to be won, so if you weren’t there straight away then they were already gone by the time you got there! And no, of course YALC isn’t all about the ARCs and the free stuff, but I really do wish they’d brought more with them to give more people a chance of actually winning! I’m also not very lucky when it comes to giveaways/raffles so I was a little bummed out haha! Although actually, on Sunday I was lucky enough to grab a couple of ARCs since I didn’t have many signings to go to!

Have you been to YALC? Do you go alone or do you always go with friends? If you haven’t been yet, why? And would you ever go? ❤️

9 thoughts on “YALC 2018”

    1. It’s literally impossible to go to YALC for the weekend and not come home with all the books! Haha yeah my bank account is soooo not happy with me after that little spending spree! 🙈

      Honestly some of the queues for the raffles and luck dips were so long there was no point in even trying 😂


  1. Great post! I loved YALC and also had a great time. I’ll be writing my post up for this weekend but my highlights were definitely getting to catch up with people I know and meeting new faces. I’m glad you got to meet so many of the authors you wished to and also gained so many books – my back aches thinking of carrying that many! Go you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 Ooh I’ll have to check out your YALC post too. I think that’s one of the best things about it, getting to meet up with friends/meet new people, plus getting to meet the authors too! Haha I don’t think I could have bought so many if I had a backpack, I actually took a small suitcase, but then again trying to carry that around London Underground when it was full was an absolute nightmare 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was my first year attending YALC and I went alone as well. At times I liked it because I often prefer to do things alone, especially so I can take my time and wander round at my own pace, but there were times when I saw people go around in groups and I felt a little out of place. I met up with a Twitter friend on the Saturday and Sunday, who didn’t really do a lot to stop me buying too many books (28!), and it was actually rather nice to share that first experience with someone else.

    Your comment on ARCs is why I didn’t even try to go for one throughout the whole weekend. I’ve never really been that bothered by them anyway as I’m patient enough to wait for a book’s publication, but it didn’t seem worth it trying to queue for ages to only be disappointed. I wanted to use that time to get books signed, listen to the panels, and just take in the YALC experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m totally the same, when I first arrived on the Friday and saw how busy it was (I was a little late 😂) and everyone in their groups I did feel a little out of place and like I didn’t belong! Oh wow, 28 books, that’s a lot! Haha I don’t think if I had met up with someone on Friday that they’d have stopped me from buying all the books either! It is nice to share it with someone and especially to finally meet people you’ve been friends with online for a while, it’s one of the best things about YALC I think!

      I think a lot of people gave up trying to get ARCs after the first day, they made it so hard. Like they were supposed to make it easier/more accessible and it just wasn’t? Because of the limited amount they had to give out, the stampedes and queues to get to the publisher booths and be first in line to grab a raffle ticket, or play the lucky dip, were insane. And idk how that’s making it easier for disabled people either? Hopefully next year they make it more accessible for everyone and less like a free for all 🙈. I tried to grab a couple for the ones I really wanted on the Friday but gave up until Sunday, since I only had like two signings that day and spent the majority of my time wandering around. I’d love to go to more panels and workshops next time, which ones did you go to?


      1. I didn’t go to any of the workshops. The one I wanted to go to on the Sunday about translation clashed with a signing! In terms of panels I went to quite a few including Centenary of the Women’s Vote, the Space panel, one about travel, My Body My Way. There were a couple more but I can’t remember them off the top of my head.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Quite a few then, I wanted to go to the My Body My Way one as well, I can’t remember why I didn’t now though. YALC is such a blur now! The workshops looked like fun but man did they fill up fast, a lot of them were for writers too which is awesome, but I don’t write 😂


          1. Yeah, I think there were a limited number of people who could do the workshops and I think with the sheer volume of people, I wouldn’t have got in any unless I waited for ages beforehand.

            Liked by 1 person

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