From Friday 17th- Sunday 19th July, the YALC rolled out its bookish red carpet once again for another year of literature love. There were authors all over the shop and publishers pushing their new and upcoming titles all day long. Alongside these were panel talks, signings and workshops for people to really get involved with the YA community in a different way.
I was lucky enough to be the winner of the Champion Adult Blogger award at the UKYABA earlier this year and this lead on to being part of YALC. It still sounds weird now, reading back that sentence but it did happen. I was at YALC and I was part of a workshop panel on Blogging 101.
There were two panels on the Sunday, both chaired by Andy Robb (because of his role in founding the UKYABA):
Book Blogging for Beginners featuring myself, Andrew from Pewterwolf and Michelle from Tales of Yesterday.
Taking Your Blog to the Next Level featuring Viv from Serendipity Reviews, Lucy from Queen of Contemporary and Jim from YAYeahYeah.
I wasn’t nervous at all, which was odd, until about ten minutes before the event started. Michelle, Andrew and I were all in the green room with Andy (and his very LOUD comic book print jacket) and I could see a little nerves in everyone else and I think I absorbed it. We were taken to the workshop area and there were so many empty seats to be filled. What if no one comes? What if they all leave after five minutes? My brain was firing these questions out and I was making sure not to trip over a chair and break my nose.
People came, they sat and waited and stared at us. It was scary but I felt like, whatever questions they might throw at us, it won’t be anything that we can’t answer. If it is, I planned to hand the answering job over to Michelle or Andrew.
Andy introduced us and it went by so fast but I remember seeing smiling, nodding faces and even some laughs at the answers I gave. There was a lot of background noise from the author signing area outside so we really had to shout to be heard. Before I knew it, the final question was being asked and the next blogging panel was being set up. It was all a blur of loud chatter in my head.
I took the chance to stay and watch the second panel and take some photos and it was great to show my support to the other bloggers. They rocked it.
The YALC event was different from last year and nicer in some ways. It was lovely to have dedicated booths for all the publishers and more space to move around in. It was fab to see old friends and meet new ones too. I even got to chat a little with Malorie Blackman and her daughter who are both amazing people and completely easy to talk with. I didn’t really go to any panels or signings because I was only there the one day and was busy most of the time with the workshop stuff. Plus, I knew most of the talks would be tweeted about so I didn’t have to bother actually sitting in the hall and watching it.
Overall it was a great day and I’m so glad that the UKYABA gave me the opportunity to speak my mind about blogging and do something kinda cool. Thank you to everyone at YALC for all the hard work and thank you to UKYABA (again) for my award and giving me an chance to do something that not many people get a chance to do.
Hard work does pay off.