So it’s Wednesday, I am back from YALC and I am SO sad to be home. BUT today and tomorrow (and possibly the day after) I will be sharing my YALC highlights – there are MANY, but I have tried to keep it to 10 (or so). These posts are not going to be short, so grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit (milk, one sugar for me and a bourbon thanks) for the ride!
So here goes… (they aren’t in any particular order, I have many feels)
YALC Highlights: Part 1
For those of you who didn’t know, #QuizYA was a quiz organised by the gorgeous author Non Pratt to raise money for charity and if enough money was raised Non was going to have her head shaved. The quiz was held in the pub across the road from Olympia and all the quiz goers were split into groups with authors as team captains. My gorgeous Welsh friend Kelly and I made our way on to #teamBarnard (because Sara Barnard is one of our faves) and we were on a team with some absolute lovelies! There were some intense timed rounds with missing vowels and an Only Connect round of ‘find the link’ – we bossed them both, cause we clever. Other highlights of the rounds included London Underground… “HOUSE” (trying to find the underground stations with all the vowels), Comic book heroes and YA Book shortlists. It was a tight race to the top but in the end the best team was victorious. #teamBarnard FTW.
Thank you so much Non for organising such an awesome night. It truly is one of the highlights up there on my list! Made my YALC experience even more memorable. Can’t wait for next year now!
Anyone who follows me on twitter will know that I stayed in an AirBnB with 2 of my most favourite humans in the world, Kelly and Cora. We met on SundayYA and have become really close friends, so when we decided we were all going to YALC, we decided to share a house. As you do when you share houses, you have takeaway (because it would be rude not to). #takeawayYA quickly became a thing and a lot of people commented on how fun it was to see what we were eating! From Prosecco, to wine, to diet coke, Indian food, Chinese food and pizza… it was all covered. (Plus, it saved us cooking AND washing!) Sharing a house with my faves made my experience even more enjoyable.
(see: Chinese, pizza, Nandos, Indians)
Another one of my favourite parts of YALC were the panels. There were some absolutely brilliant talks this year. It’s always really interesting to hear the authors talk about their books and discover more about the books and the authors that you love. I managed to make it along to all of the panels that I wanted to and tagged along with Kelly to some panels that she wanted to – this made me discover some authors I had never read and now that I really want to! The ‘Heroines‘ panel was a brilliant look at the highs and heroines in books written by some amazing female authors (Melinda Salisbury, Alwyn Hamilton, Laure Eve, Amy Alward, Sophia Bennett). ‘Writing What You Know‘ gave an insight into the authors and the well known phrase “you should write what you know“. This talk highlighted that whatever you write, be it what you know or not, that you need to treat the story with respect and do some research! (Alex Wheatle, Lisa Williamson, Rachael Lucas, Lisa Heathfield, Hannah Witton) I love when panels/talks introduce me to new authors that I never would’ve come across before and this is exactly what the ‘Myths, Magic and Fairy tales‘ panel did. In this brilliant chat, it was brilliant to hear authors talk about one of my favourite elements for books… MAGIC. I love any book that includes magic, so books that call upon magic and mythology are always a winner for me. This chat also introduced me to Deidre Sullivan, who is not only adorable but her books sound RIGHT up my street. I went straight over to Amazon to order a book or 2 of hers! It was also lovely to finally meet Paedar who wrote the incredible ‘The Call’ and hear about its origins (if you haven’t read this yet, what is wrong with you? Get on it!). Some brilliant myths were mentioned and I will definitely be reading some more! (Joanne Harris, Julia Gray, Laura Dockrill, Zöe Marriott, Deirdre Sullivan, Peadar O’Guilin) On Saturday, I also tagged along to the Laini Taylor and ‘Books that made me‘ panels with Kelly and they turned out to be really interesting. I haven’t read anything by any of the authors but I am definitely going to seek out Strange the Dreamer in particular. Laini seems like the loveliest person ever and Katie Webber did an amazing job chairing the panel (not just that one, she was an incredible chair all weekend!) Sunday brought me back to #teamBarnard as Sara was on the ‘Life advice‘ panel. This was one I KNEW I needed to get to from the moment I saw the schedule. It was a brilliant look at giving advice (or not giving advice and offering resources) and life. Sara was with Holly Bourne and Hannah Witton (who is gorgeous) on this panel and it was brilliant to hear them talk about everything from feminism to loneliness and bullies. The final panel I tagged along to was Patrick Ness (chaired by the awesome Juno Dawson). I was very lucky to have met both of these awesome authors in the past few months, but I went along anyway – it’s not every day you get to hear Patrick Ness speak! It’s always really interesting to hear authors talk and answer questions that I NEVER would’ve thought of.
My favourite quote of the weekend came from Joanne Harris when talking in the ‘Books that made me’ panel.
“The authors who make you are kind of your family. You get to choose them”
Being a twitterer (I do twitter on, I do apologise) I have made some amazing friends and I was super excited to meet them all at YALC. To say I was nervous however was also a truth. I was PROPER nervous. Here are a bunch of people who I have never met IRL and they’re finally going to see me IRL. I didn’t quite know what to do. Friday I was a bit shy and didn’t really introduce myself to many people but Saturday I knew I had to just bite the bullet. I am SO GLAD I did. (Seriously though, do it. GO say hi to those faces you recognise from Twitter. It is never as awkard as you think). Massive shoutout to one of my favourite humans in the world, Lucy (@ldlapinski on twitter, go follow her, she’s bloody awesome) for her amazing cosplay – look at how fierce she is. I was SUCH a fangirl and I apologise so much. (sorry for my face but LOOK HOW AWESOME)
I got to meet so many other wonderful twitterfolk and I REALLY slacked on the selfie front and it makes me sad, but here are some of my other fave faces and twitterpeople. (If you have a selfie with us in it, send me it! I want all of the memories!)
(See: Liv, Lizzie, Grace, Zoe)
I think that’s enough for one day! Sorry for my rambling! Come back tomorrow for more YALC highlights!