It's been a long, hot and busy day, but the atmosphere at YALC 18 was every bit as good as in previous years. I chose to attend on Friday this year as I hoped it would be a bit quieter, but also because it offered a day full of some of my favourite YA authors!
First up for signings were Non Pratt, Sally Green, Sara Barnard and Katherine Woodfine. Having read something by each of these great authors, I was keen to get them signed. I was particularly delighted to get my hands on a copy of 'Taylor and Rose Secret Agents: Peril in Paris' by Katherine Woodfine - a must read for my ever increasing summer 'to be read' pile!
Next were speakers who work in the industry and have written books themselves, allowing them to have an idea of the industry from both sides. I was particularly keen to meet Chloe Coles whose book, 'Bookshop Girl' really appeals to me for obvious reasons! She was as delightful as I hoped and has the best hair-do!
By this time, the temperature was soaring, but everyone- authors and public alike- continued to be friendly and nice. One of the things I like most about YALC is the incredible mix of people you find there, many of whom are in costume. The signing queues were really long, but it was easy to chat to others who were waiting and each author greeted you with a smile! David Owen, Gayle Forman, Alice Oseman and Lauren Price had some particularly long queues as they chatted happily as they signed copy after copy of their books.
Alwyn Hamilton, Katherine Webber, Sally Nichols and Sheena Wilkinson formed a panel talking about the centenary of women's suffrage- a session much discussed in the signing queues (I sadly missed this one!). I started 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' on the train to London this morning so was very keen to meet Katherine Webber as I'm thoroughly enjoying it!
There were plenty of panel talks, workshops and 'Agent Arena' sessions on the go, but the room was also full of publishers enticing us all with a fabulous range of titles- and there was a Waterstones! Temptation was too great much for me and I had a wonderful time selecting a range of new reading material!
I was delighted to bump into Penny from Firefly Press and have a look at their new titles. So much choice!
Somerset publisher, 'Chicken House' were also there- it would have been rude not to support them! At this point, I must remind anyone who is thinking of going to take cash with them as most of the publishers did not take cards. Take lots of cash- it's very easy to go through!
Would I recommend a day- or a weekend- at YALC? Yes, absolutely! There is so much to see and so much to do, so many wonderful authors to listen to and so many lovely people to meet! Treat yourself- it's worth it!