YALC Survival Guide

I am somewhat of a self-titled YALC veteran. I have attended the event since it began, meaning I have picked up some valuable tips over the years on how to get the most out of the weekend. If you are unaware what YALC is, it is the Young Adult Literature Convention happening in London in the last weekend of July. For 3 days, Young Adult readers get together with over 100 authors to celebrate reading, with panels and signings throughout. It is needless to say that a lot of fangirling goes down. 

If you wish to know what the event is like, here is a link to my vlogs from last year...or a write up of my whole weekend. 

Before the event...

1. Plan ahead

I am definitely a planning person and I cannot function at YALC without having a concise plan of what I need to do each day. Every signing, panel and actor photo shoot and free time is scheduled in, one year I even made a spreadsheet. That is how hardcore I am.

If you are travelling to the event, make sure to look up weekend train schedules as they differ to the weekdays. 

2. Read the books before meeting the authors 

In my experience, it is far better reading a book before getting it signed as you can actually have a detailed conversation with the writer about what you thought. In instances when I did this vice versa, I always regret it as I come up with a huge list of things or questions I wished I could've told the author. 

If like me, you're in a reading slump, below are my top 5 tips for getting over it!

3. Pack food and Drink

DO NOT FORGET TO HYDRATE. It is so easy to forget this step when you're rushing from one signing to the next. Learning from mistakes I now buy water and food before the event as the lines for the restaurant and cafe can get incredibly long (and it's more expensive too).

4. Consider bringing a suitcase

Every year thus far I have accessorized with a small suitcase that I use as a carry on whenever I fly. It is undeniable that you have a long list of books that you wish to get signed over the weekend. Let me warn you, it is most likely you will buy even more as the publisher stands often have incredible deals!

Judging by previous events, there is likely to be a cloakroom where you can leave your bag when it starts getting full. 

During the event...

5. Explore the whole of London Film and Comic Con

Many people that have purchased a YALC specific ticket are not aware that this lets you into the whole of LFCC. The other floors have actor signings and dozens of merchandise stands as well as cosplay areas. To see what goes down outside of YALC, make sure to watch my vlogs

6. Keep an eye on Twitter

Many publishers hosts giveaways of posters and books, which they announce on Twitter throughout the weekend. To never miss one, I'd suggest following all the publishers on Twitter and turn on notifications, this is a huge help!

7. Socialise 

Waiting in author signing lines can be a very long process, especially if you turn up early. Everyone around you is in the exact same position and most likely also a huge fan of the books of the author you're in line for. Break the ice and talk to them, you can make new bookish friends and share fangirl theories. 

Are you going to YALC this year? Which author are you most anticipating?

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