YALC (1): The Event x My Thoughts

Warning: I will be dragging on my YALC posts, and what I mean by that is that I won’t have 1 giant YALC post. Today’s post is a review of my experiences of YALC and the London Film and Comic Convention (LFCC). However, I’ve written another post concerning my tweets (I did that a lot) and bookish hauls. As I said, I’m dragging it out.

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At YALC they asked us to ‘lie’ to them! So I said that I hated reading. Well it’s a lie right!

I ordered tickets ages ago (Early-Bird for Saturday) and on Saturday I woke up at 5AM to get on a bus to get to the con at 9AM. I got there at 8:45 (Woooot!) and I’d been warned about the awful lines but what I saw was ridiculous. Now, anyone who knows me knows that lines stress me the hell out. They stress me out so much, and when I stress, I stop breathing properly (sucks to my ass-mar!). I was on the line for about an hour and during that time made a complete loop around the building, twice. But finally, at 10, I was in!

And hit with a full onintroverted semi-panic attack. There was heat and a lot of people. A lot, and I was early so I was staggered for a second, what the heck will this place look like when they start letting everyone in?! However, I’d been told by Daphne that YALC was in the back so I kept walking. I was thankful at times that my Bahamian upbringing had taught me the value of pushing through crowds, cause goodness me, I had to push to make it past the wings and capes, and careful not to read on swords or beards or giant shoes. My biggest regret from the day is that I didn’t take more pictures. I’m very careful about having my phone out in public after it was stolen that way!

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Katniss is a bit tired, me thinks.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Next time, either give YALC a bigger space at LFCC or maybe, be its own convention!

The YALC section was amazing! They had signing posts (if you were into that sort of thing), a sectioned area for talks and workshops, lovely bean bag chairs that I forgot to take pictures of, a book wall and my favourite section: books being sold by a few stores! One of my biggest quips from LFCC is that I wish YALC had more space, it was a nice cosy area but felt cramped because there were GIANT queues for people taking photographs with Stan Lee and was also next to some big signing posts for the LFCC part.

IMG_20140712_145812_resizedClaire’s 5 Cents: More book selling sections! Or maybe a blogger section?

I’m not huge into book signings so I was a bit sad to see only a few stalls for books being sold. Waterstones had a huge section and I admit, I dropped a few couple (read: a lot) of pounds on books from Hot Key Books (which will come up in another post). But it was lovely to talk to the staff from these places, so many were enthusiastic and you could see on their faces how much they loved books. If I glanced at a book they didn’t give me the sales pitch but rather went into the story and why they liked it or didn’t and I really appreciated that. So I want more book stalls! And also maybe sections or perks for book bloggers? Maybe a book blogger pass or special tag? I met so many book bloggersbut some people I walked right by and didn’t realise till I went on twitter that they were book bloggers or booktubers!

My friend took this picture. Do you get what I mean now when I say it was crowded.

My friend took this picture. Do you get what I mean now when I say it was crowded.

Claire’s 5 Cents: Better organization!

That line to get in was all kinds of chaos and I don’t blame YALC for that but LFCC. YALC was pretty well organizedbut LFCC was almost a veritable mess. It was confusing and cramped. My biggest quip is that there needed to be better control of queues for photographs, signings and everything. There queues everywhere, oh my goodness it was horrible. There was some lack of organization at YALC as well, though but like I said earlier, it wasn’t so but I do remember hearing complaints about a 2 hour line for Rainbow Rowell…

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Panel at the Fantasy talk.

Claire’s 5 Cents: What’s with calling YA readers teens?

They kept talking about teens in the panels. I’m sure this is my looking to deeply into things and by then I was really exhausted and just happy to have a chair to sit on… but a number of authors referred to YA readers as teens. I get why, the genre is ‘YA’, however, I’m 25. I primarily read YA and I’m not a young adult or teen or anything. Now, I know this is cultural and young adult can encompass a whole range of ages depending on the individual’s perspective, but I know many 5o years olds that read YA. They’re not teens, so I’d like YA readers to be acknowledged as all encompassing. Again. I was tired. I’m interested in hearing about what others thought of this as well.

I found geeky cupcakes!

I found geeky cupcakes!

Overall: FUN!

I enjoyed the event overall though as a relatively shy person I found the environment itself to be a bit challenging. I had so much fun, I was exhausted, my feet ached and though I brought buckets of food and water, it was not enough. I loved every moment of it and I wish I could have gone to the Sunday portion as I hear from Hanna (Broc’s Bookcase) that Sunday was more enjoyable overall because of the smaller crowds. I enjoyed the talks, the range of things discussed, the books, the amazing staff, and of course, meeting all of the book bloggers (coming soon)! If it wasn’t for the amazing people I met, especially Rinn and Hanna whom I hung out with the most, I think I’d have crumpled into a confused heap! YALC is something I’d love to come to again and I’d love to also see it become its own thing, a convention of its own. LFCC was good, but I’d go to that on a Sunday next time, for sure! Below are a few other shots. I apologise for the quality of these pictures!

I got some stares trying to take this shot...

I got some stares trying to take this shot…

Obligatory blurry shot of Adam Brown! I also saw HODOR and PODRICK PAYNE! Ahhhhh for the geeky actors!

Obligatory blurry shot of Adam Brown! I also saw HODOR and PODRICK PAYNE! Ahhhhh for the geeky actors!

Bracelet from chapter 5 books.

Bracelet from chapter 5 books.

Abercrombie signing

Abercrombie signing

Upcoming YALC posts:

  • YALC in a Tweet (or more)
  • Freebies + Bookish Hauls
  • Meeting Fellow Bloggers

For more pictures from my adventures, check out my instagram page.

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About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in A Well-Read Jaunt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to YALC (1): The Event x My Thoughts

  1. Pingback: Sharing the Bloggy Love <3 |

  2. I really liked Amy’s comment (I think it is based on her publishers slogan), YA is not an age range, it is a state of mind. I took that home with me 🙂

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      No I agree! I quite liked that quote but there was one author that kept calling ya readers teens and that just confused me. I agree tho that it’s a state of mind

  3. Tammy Sparks says:

    YALC sounds like our San Diego Comic Con but on a smaller scale. I’m going to SSCD soon and couldn’t be more excited. The lines are super crazy there too, but it’s VERY organized and strangley enough, everyone is very polite and calm. But I’m glad you had fun, despite the crowds!

  4. thebookheap says:

    It looks like it was awesome, and I’m so jealous I didn’t get to go- but I definitely agree it looks far too crowded for such a small space. Granted they underestimated how many people would be going and it was the first year so they will definitely improve on it next year due to the success of it but yeah, they should’ve anticipated more people.

    Also, I 100% agree, YA readers are not just “Teens”, that is hinted at in the title of “young adult” which in my mind is 18-30 year old. Most YA fiction is set in secondary school but more and more are branching into this “new adult” genre where the protagonist is an early twenty something

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      I’m confused about this New Adult genre which I’ve dabbled in. One of the books I read was about a 20something college kid saving hte world. Awesome. I love it. BUT every other page was filled with sex! Seemed a bit excessive. What do you think of NA?

      • thebookheap says:

        I’ve not touched anything claiming exclusively to be “NA” to be honest, I didn’t know it existed until the other day. It basically looks like a genre filled with what publishers deem to be “explicit” content (be it good or bad)

        • I think the best thing I have heard about NA, was at the ‘I’m too sexy for this book’ when it was referred to as “NA is YA but with more sexy bits.”
          They didn’t seem to think it was a real thing, but just a way for publishers to get away with writing books with the explicit content for the ‘younger then adult’ generation without getting bombarded by complaints from parents.

  5. I’ll be posting mine early next month, but probably all in one go 😀 I remember spotting that board, it was at BEA too I think!

    I was really panicking after your messages about the queues. I think we queued for 45 mins or so? The queue was still super long but at least it was constantly moving. Plus we almost joined the wrong queue, AHHH. Seriously, there was not enough staff there at ALL.

    YALC definitely needs it’s own space, I think they seriously underestimated how many people would be interested. Plus they needed a much lower cap on people in the building, it was ridiculous! Shortly after we parted ways when you went off to a talk, me and Kerry needed to get more drinks. The cafe queues were insane so I thought I’d go to the toilets and fill up my water bottle there, but that queue was even worse. I was actually getting quite panicky because I dehydrate SO quickly in a normal atmosphere, so you can imagine what I was like there, and I was expecting the migraine to end all migraines D: It was really bad that they didn’t have people handing out cups of water for free or something.

    As for the stalls etc at YALC, I was really surprised by how small it actually was :/ I dunno, I was expecting a lot more? But then again, I was also trying to NOT buy any books so… maybe I blocked it out 😛

    Completely agree with your conclusion! I kind of wish I’d gone on the Sunday too now, I was looking at photos from yesterday and my first thought was ‘WHERE ARE THE CROWDS??’. It looked way more manageable, more like I expected it to be.

    I’m kind of annoyed that I didn’t really read anything about Joe Abercrombie signing. He’s not on the YALC schedule (unsurprisingly as his books are rather adult :P) but the LFCC website is REALLY bad for trying to work timings out. Grrr, would’ve loved to have met him!

    Looking forward to the rest of your posts, and sorry for the essay comment D: Haha!

    • Sunday definitely was less crowded, I didn’t go through nearly as much water as I had on Saturday and I even got a beanbag chair to sit on, which was impossible on Saturday!
      I’m hoping that after the success of this year they make next year bigger. I guess it was hard for them to know how popular it was going to be. I totally agree with you on the stalls though, I needed more! Fingers crossed for next year 🙂

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