Book Events

My YALC Experience – Part 2

So in my previous post about YALC I wrote about the issues I had with the event, which you can read here. But this post will be all about my favourite parts of YALC!

Of course some of my highlights include just generally nerding out with my sisters and the others who were there because we all shared a love for books! I bumped into a few people I know through bookstagram and it was lovely to finally meet them but it was so crowded that even though I knew some others were there I literally could not find them all day! Hopefully I will get to meet them another time.

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My favourite day was definitely Friday as I got to meet some of my absolute favourite authors! The reason why I actually decided to book the tickets so I could finally meet them.

Renee Ahdieh: I had to get front row seats to her panel and then of course was ridiculously excited to meet her! I have been waiting for absolutely forever for her to come to the UK so I could not miss this opportunity. She is absolutely lovely and I really hope I get to meet her again! I was also seriously fangirling when I gave her a painted book of TWATD and she loved it and gave me a hug!

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Eoin Colfer: He is one of my favourite childhood authors and I never thought I would actually get to meet him. I also gave him a painted book and then I had the most surreal moment where he asked me to sign it for him. *dies* He was so funny and me and my sisters had a great chat with him while getting our books signed.

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Yasmin Rahman: I also met Yasmin on Friday after chatting to her on twitter and absolutely loving her book. I finally had a book that dealt with mental health but also from the perspective of a Muslim girl. It was also amazing to see an author who looked like me there. Seriously I cannot explain how much it means to me. She is so lovely and funny and I hope I get to meet her again!

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I also went down to comiccon in search of Cake in a Jar and it was so worth it! Her cakes are delicious!

Then on Saturday I met another two authors that I love!

Vic James: Talking to Vic James was amazing! I love all of her books and I loved talking to her about Sanctuary as it was so relatable and the parallels to the real world were pretty terrifying. I could have honestly talked to her for ages.

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Alwyn Hamilton: It’s no secret that I love the Rebel trilogy and when she said she would be at YALC to have an exclusive event for her new book I just had to be there! Discussing theories with her and now I am absolutely dying for her new book!

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I wasn’t too fussed about winning ARCs when I went but I really wanted to win The Fowl Twins ARC or Kingdom of Souls ARC and on Friday I actually won The Fowl Twins and I literally could not contain my excitement! I am so ready to be back in the world of Artemis Fowl!

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Lastly I want to add that I loved meeting Bex Hogan at the BKMRK stand and talking to her about how much I loved Viper! And I spent ages at the Harper Voyager stand talking to them about my love for The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

So I did have a good time overall and I am especially glad that I got to meet some of my favourite authors and attend some really great panels.

Book Events

My YALC Experience – Part 1

This year was the first time that I had booked tickets to attend YALC for all three days and I was so excited about going and a little nervous as I wasn’t sure I would manage such long days with my health. But my sisters were going to be there with me so at least I wouldn’t be on my own if I needed help.

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I did mostly enjoy being at YALC, it was amazing to be surrounded by so many bookish people and the atmosphere was awesome! My favourite day was Friday as that’s when the authors I really wanted to see were there and it was the absolute best being able to finally meet them!

But before I talk about my favourite parts I want to talk about the issues that I had with the event.

My main issue was issues with accessibility. I found that there was a lack of seating that was available. There were literally no seats anywhere except the main stage where the panels were. For someone who suffers from chronic pain it made it really difficult for me during the day as sitting on the floor is really difficult for me and the standing for long periods meant that it made my pain really bad, especially carrying books or anything else I picked up during the day. (Even though I did use the cloakroom and have a suitcase to put my books instead of carrying them)

They said they had a chill out zone but again it was literally an empty space where people were sitting on the floor. This combined with the heat and humidity triggered my pain and anxiety. So much so that the pain made it impossible for me to even attend the Sunday which I am really upset about. I hope that there will be more seating available next year as it will really be the deciding factor on whether I can attend or not again and as much as I would love to go I don’t want to trigger my pain to the extent that I can barely get out of bed. It’s just lucky that I had my sisters to help me.

Another thing I want to mention is that some places were first x number of people get the ARC and I felt this was unfair and put those with disabilities at a disadvantage. We cannot stand outside and queue hours before YALC opens or rush to get there to be first. I also felt this could be pretty unsafe as the crowds could cause injury. I know most places did a raffle which I felt was much fairer and accessible to everyone and I hope that everyone will adopt this for next year.

I also wished they were a little more organised with the virtual signing system. It wasn’t clear whether we had to get a ticket for every author before but on the day we found out by chance we needed to get them for each author. We had to repeatedly come and check if we could get in the queue and while I understand that, that is necessary, if we are told to come back three times, after being told every time come back in 10 minutes it does get frustrating. My sister was told to come back at a certain time for an authors signing but when she came back at that time (which she was told by staff to do) the author had finished signing and left so she actually missed out on meeting the author she was most excited to meet.

The last thing I want to mention is that there was very few authors of colour and when I saw the author line up I was a little disappointed, although not surprised. I do hope that there are more authors of colour there in the future. It’s a little ironic that white authors are there talking about their books with PoC, yet authors of colour are few and far between at the same event.

Another part of diversity that I want to add is the lack of promotion or anything really, geared towards boys. I spent ages looking for something there that would interest my husband that I could say that he would enjoy if he came but there wasn’t much. Although I do have to say that this isn’t solely an issue at YALC but in general, book events are marketed towards girls.

Okay so I know I’ve gone on about the issues I had with being at YALC and I will probably not go again for all three days unless the seating issue is dealt with appropriately. But I will be posting another blog post about my highlights tomorrow!

Did any of you experience any difficulties of being there?