Weekend 13-14 July 2014 saw a momentous occasion in the history of Young Adult Fiction when publishers, authors, bloggers, super-fans, readers, and a rogue Wookie descended on London Film and Comic Con, where the first ever Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) took place. As well as a huge publishers stand where attendees could take hundreds of freebie gifts, there were tons of activities, book swaps, a bookshop and even bean bags for attendees to rest and read some of their new found loot! And then there were the events.…
Curated by Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, with Booktrust and the super team of YALC, Committee members and authors including Patrick Ness, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy, Darren Shan, and Meg Rosoff took part in 12 panel events over two days (not to mention ten workshops).
Pan Macmillan had a strong contingent of authors represented at the panels; kicking things off was Andrew Lane, who took part in a discussion about Dr Who and re-imaginary legendary characters, where he was joined by Young Bond authors Steve Cole and Charlie Higson, as well as Patrick Ness, Marcus Sedgwick and Malorie Blackman. Andrew, as a Sherlock and Dr Who aficionado, talked about his love of the series and how important it was to keep these seminal characters alive for new generations. Frances Hardinge took part in a fantasy panel with Amy McCulloch, to name one of many, talking about how much the genre has evolved today and where those fans are now.
And last but not least, Rainbow Rowell, fittingly, took part in a panel about super-fans! As expected, Rainbow was a massive hit at YALC. Not only was every single one of the 300 seats in her talk reserved, with crowds also standing around to listen to the panel, but the queue for Rainbow’s signing was so long that by the time she sat down, it was being closed! Rainbow signed books for two hours straight, meeting over 300 fans with unwavering smiles and enthusiasm.
In the evening there was a celebratory party, joined by Kim Slater and Virginia Bergin for a celebration of the success – it was fantastic to see so many bookish fans all buzzing in one place, book sales and signings were incredible and the authors were all absolutely thrilled!
Bring on YALC 2015!