So, YALC 2019 is coming up and now that we have the author list and program, I thought it was about time I started planning! This will be my third year at YALC so I feel like I’m pretty well versed in how things happen now, and one thing I know is that planning for the weekend is key (even when you know not all of your plans will play out how you expect!). Since I imagine we won’t get information on the stalls that will be there and giveaways etc until nearer the time, I thought I’d write a bit about the planning I’ve been able to do so far.
Although I’ve definitely not started packing for an event taking place in over two months yet, I have put together my packing list (even down to which outfits I want to take) and organised which books I’ll be taking, because I just love being that organised.
I make sure to pack all of my stuff in a wheelie suitcase. Small cases are allowed in the venue and there’s a storage area, so it’s a better plan to bring one of these so you can stick your books in once they’ve been signed (and put the new ones you get in too) rather than breaking your back carrying them all in a backpack. Since the venue’s very warm, it’s important to bring a large water bottle and a fan, as well as packing clothes that you won’t be too warm in and comfy shoes. Remember, you’re in a busy room, full of people with no air con, in the middle of July! A lot of publishers post ARC drops and giveaways on Twitter, and you’ll need your phone for photos too, so bring power banks since plugs are usually reserved for the stalls. I also bring tote bags to put in any extra stuff I pick up that won’t fit in my main bag, my notebook with plans for the day in, snacks as although there’s a cafe it’s very expensive and the nearby Tesco usually sells out of food quickly before the event starts each day, and blog business cards. Some stalls only accept cash, so make sure to bring some as well as a debit card, and I believe you can use your Waterstones points card at their stall too! Bringing along a floor plan and a programme of the day can also be helpful, although you usually get given these once you sign in at YALC. Last year, I also wore a name tag on a lanyard with my blog on, and this helped identify me to some people who I knew online who may not have recognised me otherwise!
Authors and Panels
So far besides packing, I’ve planned out the authors I’d like to meet, books I’ll be bringing and which panels I’m hoping to attend!
Authors: Renée Ahdieh – The Wrath and the Dawn duology
Alice Oseman – Heartstopper vol. 1
Authors: V. E. Schwab – The Near Witch (Forbidden Planet edition)
Sarah Maria Griffin – Other Words for Smoke PB, US HB & US ARC, Not Lost, Spare and Found Parts US HB and US ARC
Holly Jackson – A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Juno Dawson – Meat Market
Laura Bates – The Burning, Everyday Sexism
Panels: Mystical YA with Melinda Salisbury, Sarah Maria Griffin, V. E. Schwab, Vic James, Yaba Badoe & Zen Cho
Authors: Adrienne Young – Sky in the Deep
Christine Lynn Herman – The Devouring Gray
Kristen Ciccarelli – The Last Namsara, The Caged Queen
Natasha Ngan – Girls of Paper and Fire HB and UK ARC
Panels: Monsters and their makers with Justina Ireland, Kristen Ciccarelli, Natasha Ngan, Samantha Shannon, Eleanor Pender & Taran Matharu
Friday is definitely my quietest day but over the past two years I’ve found that this works best for me, as Friday is often the quietest day for attendance, so it’s the easiest day to explore the stalls without crowds of people milling around you. Usually, once you’ve visited a stall, everything they have there will be what’s there all weekend, so there’s no need to visit again unless they do a giveaway, ARC drop, or you want to go back to buy something later on. I’m really happy with how my basic plan for the weekend is looking and I’m also hoping to attend a couple of the workshops.
So that’s my basic plan for YALC so far – let me know if you’d like me to do more of these posts as we get more info about the event when it gets closer, or any more tips for attending if you haven’t been before!