I Have Been Doing Things: YALC and Beyond

Yes. I know - it's been a while since I posted anything here. What can I say? Life keeps happening. I've found some time to write a brief update, though, mostly because so many Good and Exciting things have happened this month. I'm in the UK right now, and because of that I've been able to make it down to London for a couple of book-ish events.

First, the Children's Book Circle Summer Party. I hadn't really been planning on going, Jim Dean from YAYeahYeah told me it'd be fun, and he was not wrong.  The get-together - which is, as far as I can tell, mostly to celebrate making it through the first half of the year without all of publishing going mad - was held in The Library, a club just off Trafalgar Square. It was noisy and packed and great fun. I hung out with David Owen, who wrote Panther, and managed to avoid seeing Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends, coming out in January) mostly because it was a bit hard to move around. There were probably other people I didn't see, but that was all OK, because (for me) the party was really just a warm up for...

I'm a bit late in posting my YALC update, but... I don't care. YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) is only in its second year, but that didn't diminish its popularity. The idea behind the whole thing is simple: Why doesn't the UK have a gathering focused just on young adult books? YALC was held as part of London Film and Comic Con and - for me - provided a calm and much more relaxed counterpoint to the chaos and vibrancy of the rest of the con.

It was awesome.

There's too much to share here, really, so I'll pick some highlights: Finally meeting Kat Ellis (Blackfin Sky), spending more time with David Owen, finally meeting Non Pratt (Trouble, Remix), seeing Patrick Ness and Ben Aaronovitch, visiting the Atom stand and finding paperbacks of Eren, seeing Cassandra Clare, meeting some readers (!), and - perhaps best of all - seeing how many people, young and old, were happy to spend two and a half days talking about their love of books. In a world with library closures and arts funding cuts, it's invigorating to see passion and honest love of stories.

For more of a feel, check out Booktrust's round-up videos:

So, that's what I've been up to. I will be posting something else exciting tomorrow - but until then, take care.

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