All I can say is better later than never, eh?
I am perfectly aware that it is now about three months since the 2019 Young Adult Literature Convention took place and I apologise for the lateness of this post. Life has been a bit overwhelming since July, hence why this post has only existed in my Notes app for rather a while.
I was so, so excited to attend my first ever YALC and took a close friend with me. I’d saved up for months to treat myself after a hectic, stressful couple of months. Luckily, my day overall was brilliant and I will definitely be going again next year.
The Day Itself:
I could only go to the Friday of YALC, as I went on holiday the very next day. That’s something that I want to change next year, because I ended up trying to fit so much in and carrying far too many books on my back.
After an early start, long train ride and quite a few Tube stations, my friend and I arrived at Olympia. We went to the gate that YALC has promoted on social media, only to realise once we were in that it was completely wrong. It took us an hour to eventually find our way to YALC and causing my friend to have two panic attacks. The staff were really nice and helpful to us, especially in those horrible moments, but it still wasn’t the best start to our day.
However, once we got there, it was a fun, intense whirlwind of bookish brilliance. I met so many of my favourite authors and my personal highlight was getting to speak on a Blogging Tips panel with Beth and Imi, both of whom are bloggers that I massively look up to. Thank you so much to the UKYABA Awards for inviting me onto the panel and for the lovely awards ceremony that took place later in the afternoon.
Photographic proof of my complete inability to look at a camera
I also owe a massive thank you to everyone that nominated and voted for me in the Best Newcomer category, as I never expected to be nominated, let alone shortlisted! That was one of my highlights of the year so far.
Personally, I had some massive issues with the official social media accounts and communication, but also witnessing some accessibility problems. I was at the drawing of a raffle where a winning ticket was pulled, but because the person wasn’t there, they subsequently redrew and whoever that person was lost out on their ticket. Now, I get that the time was announced beforehand, but YALC was a busy place and it is highly inconsiderate of someone with mobility issues and/or a chronic illness who may have been tired or unable to make it to the draw.
As someone with a disabled family member, accessibility issues are a key concern of mine and I’m actually glad that they didn’t come to support me, because it then would’ve had a massive impact on their enjoyment of our holiday for the next week. The following posts discuss the issues far more articulately than me, but the same point stands: it needs to change.
All the books I bought
Out of this huge stack, I have read all of them apart from All The Invisible Things, so I think I have justified my splurge.
All the books I got signed
Obviously a massive highlight of YALC for me was getting to meet some incredible authors that I have loved for ages! All of the above books are special to me in so many different ways and trying to articulate that to some of these amazing people meant so much to me.