YALC Tips and Tricks

The Young Adult Literature Convention (or YALC as we all call it) is around the corner and a lot of us are starting to get ready for this huge event in the book community calendar.

I hadn’t planned on going this year as they moved the dates forward and stuck it during school term time, but my heart overruled my brain and I’m now going! I may regret the exhaustion come 6 o’clock Monday morning, but I know it will be fun and it is something to look forward to!

As it is a three-day event with lots happening, anyone going for the first time can find it incredibly overwhelming and anxiety-inducing (especially if they’re a lot like me) so I thought I would curate a guide of a few tips and tricks to make the weekend more fun and smooth-sailing. It won’t be deep and exhaustive, we’ll be here all day otherwise, but hopefully, someone will find something helpful to take away from it.

Wear comfy clothing and shoes.

Honestly, this sounds obvious, but you are constantly on your feet and the Olympia building gets hot. You want to be wearing relatively loose-fitting clothing and shoes that won’t make your feet break out into blisters. Knowing what the weather is always like (a combination of heat and heavy rain), trainers are always the best bet.

Plan ahead.

Whether or not you are going alone or with friends, make a plan of the panels, workshops and signings that you want to attend. Knowing all of this in advance is beneficial when it comes to packing books, the general timings of the day, making sure you have breaks for food, and if you want some time to wander round LFCC too. It also just makes it less overwhelming, which is good.

Have a named post-it note in all your books to be signed.

Certainly if you have a lot of books to be signed, this just speeds up the process and it means you get more of a chance to chat normally with an author rather than waste that time constantly spelling out your name. If I remember, this was brought in with the last YALC, NYALF (Northern YA Literary Festival) utilised this system a few weeks ago, and it definitely makes things easier.

Take an identity lanyard, card, badge.

I don’t mean for this to contain personal identity information, but your blogging, booktube, bookstagram, social media handles. It’s an easy, great way to meet people at YALC and recognise anyone you’ve interacted with online. I actually need to update the information on my blogging lanyard as it has changed from the last time I used it.

Make use of the bag hold.

There is a designated space on the YALC floor that is set out to be a secure bag hold and I’d recommend using it if you have multiple bags and don’t want to carry them around all the time.

Carry both cash and card

I know we have become very much used to contactless as a way of paying for goods but from what I remember, the internet connection in the Olympia is spotty and the card readers didn’t always work. Just have a little bit on you anyway, and if you’re conscious about how much you want to spend, that physical cash is simply a good indicator of what you have for the day.

And lastly, just make connections and have fun. You’re surrounded by a lot of like-minded people who are more than welcome and willing to strike up conversations, especially when books are involved! Even if you’re the most awkward and socially-inept of people (*cough* me), that’s the beauty of an event like YALC and in the end, it’s what we all take away from it.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will be useful and handy for anyone going down to YALC for the first time, or even for the seasoned visitor just as a reminder!

As I know I will have missed some off, what other YALC tips and tricks do you have?

As always, thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!

Published by Emma @ Turn Another Page

Hello, I’m Emma aka pageturner92, and welcome to my little corner of the online book world. When I don’t have my head in a book, I’m either working on an endless pile of crochet or knitting projects, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, listening to Disney music, or watching my favourite shows on repeat.

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