YALC may have been a month ago, but it’s never too late for a wrap up, right?
This was my third year attending YALC and as always, although I’ve come away with mixed feelings about the event and certain frustrations, I had the best time seeing bookish friends, some of who I only get to see each year at YALC!
This year, I went with the usual Manchester book crew – Amy, Beth, Lauren, Luchia, plus Lauren and Imi who we met up with in London. I’d say, despite some unexpected blips, this year was our best planned year in terms of organisation so far and it definitely made the weekend less stressful!
As I said, there were some downsides as always, but I’ve decided not to focus too much on these in this post purely because I don’t want to keep going over them.
I also won’t be talking much about things I picked up over the weekend – I did a separate post for that here!
This year, signings were a bit different. Rather than queueing and having a ticket given to you if the line got too long, all signings were ticketed, with tickets available to pick up in the morning. I definitely preferred this system, although it could’ve done with a bit more polishing, as people swarmed rather than queueing. This seemed to be sorted by Sunday, luckily!
I made an effort to take less books to be signed this year, as although I love meeting the authors, the queueing and hanging around has always been my least favourite part of YALC. I ended up seeing Sarah Maria Griffin, V. E. Schwab, Moïra Fowley-Doyle and Natasha Ngan. I also got a book signed by Deirdre Sullivan, although she wasn’t actually there for a signing. I’m really glad that this year I made an effort to only see authors I’d either not met before, were favourites, or I wasn’t likely to see again at upcoming book events (for example, there are a few YA authors I’ve already met at events once or twice this year and do events at least annually around the country). I’ll definitely be narrowing down my signing pile like this for future YALCs as it helped to make the weekend less stressful for me personally and meant I could focus on what I really wanted to do rather than sitting in queues or checking back on the virtual queues for hours.
On last years YALC post, I decided to do a list of all of the things I loved about the weekend, which helped me to narrow everything down and reminisce, so I’ll be doing that again below! Here’s everything that happened over this years YALC:
- Spending the weekend with some of my favourite bookish pals! I’m so glad it’s become a tradition to do YALC with these girls
- Seeing other bookish friends who I either only get a chance to see at YALC or other book events
- Having a tarot reading done by Deirdre Sullivan (as well as having a chat about guinea pigs, a topic which we’ve spoken about on twitter!)
- Gifting Sarah Griffin her first furby alongside Lauren and Beth – she decided to name him Small James
- Attending my first YALC panel – Mysticism in YA – and listening to some fab authors (as well as having a Momoa sighting)
- Of course, I bought another fluffy alpaca from LFCC. The herd is growing!
- Meeting publicists who I’ve worked with and spoken to online – this is always a highlight and it’s great to put a face to a name!
- Queue security doggos
- Spending far too much time laughing in the hotel room over memes and furby photos
- Winning an ARC of Wicked As You Wish from the Fairyloot stand after staring at it for at least half of the weekend
- Perhaps not a highlight but definitely something that made me laugh: I had at least one memorable baby brain moment – Amy and I had been looking around the floor for something ARC drop related, and as I started to walk over to her she stood and stared at me as someone passed in front of me. “Bec,” she says, “you do realise Jason Momoa just walked right in front of you?”. Somehow, I hadn’t noticed this…
- Having some chill time with bookish people! This is a bit similar to the earlier point but at past YALCs I haven’t really taken time to just sit down and talk to people. Since I sort of needed to be resting a lot this year I got the chance to do this more and I’m so glad of it!
- Taking a huge YALC sign photo of the UKYA Bloggers Discord group
I’m already so excited for YALC next year! I’d love to read your wrap ups of the week too.