Monday, 16 March 2015

What I Want From YALC 2015

If you're part of the UKYA community then you have probably heard by now that YALC is returning for another year this year between Friday 17- Sunday 19 July at Olympia, London.

Although I was a little disappointed to hear that it is returning beside LFCC it's going to be in a bigger venue and the YALC team are well aware of last years crowding issues and are putting things in place to help YALC run as smoothly as possible.

Ray and I have booked our hotel and will soon be purchasing tickets for the event itself, however, I'm really sad to only be attending Friday and Saturday this year as I have to be home on the Sunday for my dad's 50th birthday celebrations.

Some fantastic authors have already been announced with more to follow and so that got me thinking about who I'd personally love to meet. I wanted to share with you my dream author lineup just for fun because I love making lists and a girl can dream right? This list doesn't include any of the lovely wonderful authors I have already met but rather new to me authors who I'd love to meet someday.

Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the Queen of Contemporary YA and is largely the reason why I love the genre after discovering it in my early teens. I know this is true for a lot of people and although I doubt she'll make an appearance at this YALC I really hope that she does a UK tour some day soon. She has such a large fandom over here and we are desperate to meet her!

Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen 
I met Lucy briefly at YALC last year but didn't get the chance to get my book signed because I didn't know she would be there. With Lobsters up for The YA Book Prize I think that they make an obvious choice for YALC 2015!

Marcus Sedgwick
Marcus was at YALC last year but had to leave early I think because he had taken ill? I was really sad to miss him and would love the chance to meet him this year.

Robin Stevens
Although the Wells and Wong books are Younger YA/ Middle Grade the UKYA community LOVE Robin's books. After reading them myself this year and falling head over heels in love with Hazel and Daisy I NEED to meet Robin (even though I already have my book signed). Also First Class Murder is due to be published at the end of July. Perfect time for promotion, no?

Melinda Salisbury
Because we can't have Robin without Mel really can we? The Sin Eater's Daughter has been the biggest UKYA Fantasy release in 2015. Melinda is an exciting new talent and I would love to meet her (even though I already have my book signed)

Virginia Bergin
The Rain had a lot of promotion at YALC last year and with both The Rain and The Storm now out I think that Virginia would make an ideal fit for YALC. I'd love to hear her talk about creating an authentic teen voice which is something she does brilliantly with her main character.

Sarah Rees Brennan 
Sarah was another author who was at YALC last year with her friend Holly Black. Sarah has so many fans and with Cassandra Clare already confirmed it makes sense to book Sarah too with the two being good friends and their work together on The Bane Chronicles.

Susan Ee 
Susan is an international author who has a large audience over here and with End of Days the last book in the Penryn and The End of Days series coming out in May, July would be a perfect time to meet fans of the series.

Zoe Sugg (Zoella)
With Girl Online breaking her into the UKYA world Youtube star Zoe Sugg would be a perfect choice for YALC. With Carrie Hope Fletcher also confirmed to attend the two together could draw in huge audiences outside of the book world reaching out to target audiences about UKYA and introducing them to similar books and authors.

Sophie Kinsella 
Adult Fiction author Sophie Kinsella has her first UKYA novel releasing in June so promoting at YALC in July would be perfect. A lot of older YA fans are also big fans of her current works so I'm sure she'd get a lot of attention.

Francesca Haig
The Fire Sermon is another big release for 2015 making UKYA author Francesca Haig a rising star. I think that one of the biggest UKYA releases of the year so far deserves a place at YALC, don't you?

Lisa Williamson 
The Art of Being Normal is Diverse UKYA at its best. Again, this has been a huge release of 2015. It's such an important book that YALC can shine a spotlight on.

There are so many authors that I could include on this list but these are just a few of the big names for me that I have my fingers crossed for! I'm excited to see if any of them are announced!

As well as meeting lots of brilliant authors I'm really looking forward to some thoughtful talks and inspiring workshops like last year. Some of the topics that I'd personally love to see discussed are...

 * Mental Health in YA
This is a topic close to my heart and is something I'd love to see being discussed. James Dawson (Mind Your Head) Matt Haig (Reasons To Stay Alive) Zoe Sugg (Girl Online) Holly Bourne (Am I Normal Yet?) and Sophie Kinsella (Finding Audrey) I think would make brilliant speakers with all of them having books out, or coming out, that deal with mental health.

 * Diverse YA
Nobody does Diverse YA better than UKYA in my opinion and this year more than ever has been fantastic for it. I'd love a talk about the importance of having characters that represent every type of person and situation ready and available in YA.

 * Book Blogging/ BookTube 
Book bloggers have had some much needed love showered on them this year with the two book blogger awards and I'd love to see some of my friends up there sharing their love of books and the industry and shining some light on what goes into being a blogger/vlogger.

So there you have it. These are some of my hopes for YALC 2015. I'm sure that no matter who and what is lined up it's going to be brilliant!

Let me know if you're planning to attend YALC this year and what you're hoping to get from it.

Find out more about YALC 2015 here.
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