The Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) celebrated its fifth birthday with its busiest year ever and appearances from authors including Juno Dawson and Tom and Giovanna Fletcher.
YALC 2018 was held at Olympia London as part of London Film & Comic Con from 27-29th July. Organisers Showmasters said ticket sales were up 11% on previous years, while Waterstones—which had a shop at the event selling YA titles by many of the guest authors—sold out of several titles.
Authors who visited included Frances Hardinge, Lauren James, Louise O’Neill, Melinda Salisbury, Muhammed Khan, Alice Oseman, Sally Green and US writers Tomi Adeyemi and Dhonielle Clayton. Panel events covered themes from friendship, to the centenary of the Women’s vote and writing with political intent. YALC's Agents' Arena offered talks and pitching sessions for people keen to learn more about getting published or working in the publishing industry, while the Workshop programme included interactive sessions in areas such as book cover design, origami and writing tips from YA Book Prize winner Will Hill and shortlistee Emily Barr.
There was also an appearance from husband and wife team Tom and Giovanna Fletcher (pictured below), who spoke about their joint YA novel, Eve of Man (Penguin Random House Children’s).
On Saturday (28th July), Stripes Publishing held a cover reveal for its LGBT+ anthology, Proud. Over 100 people witnessed the cover ‘coming out of the closet’ doors on the Stripes stand, where author and activist Juno Dawson gave a speech about her involvement in compiling the authors for the anthology, judging the new voices submissions and amplifying LGBTQ+ marginalised voices in YA. She said: “I hope Proud is a book that young people will take pride in reading proudly at Pride”.
Also in attendance were contributing authors Simon James Green, Fox Benwell, new voice Karen Lawler and the Stripes team, including editorial mentee Lucinda Tomlinson. They handed out Proud pin badges and a sampler which included the first exclusive look at Dean Atta’s poem ‘How To Come Out As Gay’ and revealed which illustrators will be matched with which author, as well as the subjects of their stories.
YALC was launched by BookTrust and Malorie Blackman in 2013, with the running of it being handed over to Showmasters in 2016.