Welcome readers to *adopts Lloyd Grossman voice* throoooough the keyhole! July is a very exciting month because it will see the first ever Young Adult Literature Convention take place at Earl’s Court and this is A Very Big Deal. Whilst the USA has had events like this for a few years, there’s never been anything like it in the UK. It was a good two years ago that blogger and Strange Chemistry editor Amanda Rutter tweeted asking if there would be interested in a UK YA Con and there was a huge wave of responses. The internet had spoken and the publishers listened – I was at HarperCollins at the time and was equally desperate for this event to happen so I went along to a humongous meeting with all the big publishers where we all sat around and talked about how we could make it happen. But the big problem was that no one publisher could possibly take on the logistics or the programming. It had to be someone impartial and there had to be someone working on it as a project because it would be an enormous amount of work. So it sadly faded into the background… But then in June 2013, Malorie Blackman was announced as the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate and suddenly things fell into place – the first Laureate to be known as a teen author, she had all the enthusiasm, knowledge and interest in programming and Booktrust who manage the Laureate role would be able to take on the immense amount of work involved in running the whole shebang. Publishers had already identified the London Film and Comic Con as the ideal location to run the convention as it already had an audience and a convention set-up and staffing, and crucially an ex bookseller working in the Showmasters team – the amazing Gemma! So there were many a meeting between the queens of organisation at Booktrust, LFCC and Showmasters, publishers, Waterstones and of course Malorie herself, not to mention the crucial sponsors ALCS and Prudential, and now finally, on the 12th and 13th July, there will be a whole BOOK ZONE and the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) will be born!
Hot Key are super excited to be sending some amazing authors – James Dawson will be chairing a panel all about sex in YA, Natasha Ngan will offer her top tips on blogging in a workshop and Julie Mayhew and Isobel Harrop will join the amazingly named “Sisters Doing it for Themselves” panel. They will all of course be signing books too. We’ll also have a Hot Key Books stand with our very own staff ready to answer your every question, and there will be a publisher area jam-packed with activities, giveaways and general awesome happenings. Check out the full schedule here. There are about 60 authors in all, so there’s something for everyone and not only this but your ticket will give you general entry to the London Film and Comic Con which has a huge array of film and tv stars giving talks and doing signings. So in short -an unmissable weekend! Some people have found the ticket purchasing system a little confusing, as you can buy tickets for the film talks and signings on the same page, so here in short is my GUIDE TO BUYING A TICKET FOR LFCC:
If you just want to attend for ONE DAY:
There are two tiers of ticket price – one for early bird entry from 9am (£15 per day), and another for standard entry from 11am (£8 per day). You can no longer buy the standard day ticket in advance so would have to buy on the door on the day – WARNING, there are big queues so if you want to attend the first event in YALC you might want to get there early. To buy the early bird ticket in advance go here for Saturday or here for Sunday.
If you want to attend for BOTH DAYS:
You can buy an early bird weekend ticket, which includes a preview evening on Friday and entry from 9am on both days here for £32. Standard entry weekend tickets are no longer available in advance but are £20 on the day and include Friday evening and entry from 11am on both days. Child tickets are available at concession prices for under 12s. There is no need to buy a separate YALC ticket, the Book Zone will simply be part of the main arena. My TOP TIP is to just buy early bird tickets in advance, because then you can relax safe in the knowledge that you can walk in when you arrive and won’t miss any action. You can’t buy tickets for the individual YALC events in advance – free tickets will be available on the day from the information point in the Book Zone. Finally, if you can’t wait for YALC to come then just check out the brilliant idea that several bloggers have put together – the YALC readathon, which will run from 23rd – 29th June. The idea is to read as many books by YALC authors as possible, and there will be a host of tied in blog posts from authors and people involved in the convention. Brilliant idea! We’ll see you there!