UK’s 1st Young Adult Literature Convention (#YALC) programme revealed

yalc picture

This isn’t exactly Shadowhunter related, but most (not all) of us who love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series also love other YA books.

Well… This year will see the 1st Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) being held in London as part of London Film and Comic Con.

There are loads of amazing authors going as well as lots that I’m looking forward being introduced to.

One of the main authors I’m so excited about meeting (again) is Cassandra Clare’s good friend and co-author of their new series being released this year – Magisterium – Holly Black.

I’m also excited about meeting Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl), Sally Gardner (Tinder), Natasha Ngan (The Elites) and Non Pratt (Trouble).

Check out the schedule below:

Saturday 12 July

Panel events 

11.30-12.15 It’s the end of the world as we know it: the ongoing appeal of dystopia
With Malorie Blackman, Sarah Crossan and Patrick Ness, chaired by James Smythe

With Divergent and Catching Fire achieving box office success and a host of hot new dystopian tales in the offing, the trend for dystopia shows no sign of fading. YALC curator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2013-2015 Malorie Blackman is joined by fellow authors Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan, plus chair James Smythe, to talk about why dystopian fiction appeals to young adult readers today.

12.30-13.15 Going graphic: from novels to graphic novels
With Ian Edginton, Marcus Sedgwick and Emma Vieceli, chaired by Sarah McIntyre

What are the differences between writing a novel and writing a graphic novel? How do you approach transforming an existing text into a graphic narrative? An adaptor, author and a graphic novelist come together to share their different perspectives on ‘going graphic’, with chair Sarah McIntyre.

13.30-14.15 Superfans unite!

With Tim O’Rourke, Rainbow Rowell and Lucy Saxon, chaired by Andy Robb

Superstar US author of Fangirl and Eleanor and Park Rainbow Rowell joins three other teen authors and self-declared superfans – Andy Robb, Lucy Saxon and Tim O’Rourke – to discuss the impact that being a fan has had on their writing.

14.30-15.15 Regenerating the Doctor: reimagining famous characters

With Charlie Higson, Andrew Lane, Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick, chaired by Steve Cole

How do you go about putting a fresh new spin on a much-loved character? Authors Patrick Ness, Charlie Higson, Marcus Sedgwick, Andy Lane and Steve Cole discuss how they approached rebooting famous characters, from Doctor Who and James Bond to Sherlock Holmes.

15.30-16.15 Bring me my dragons: writing fantasy today
With Frances Hardinge, Amy McCulloch, Jonathan Stroud and Ruth Warburton, chaired by Marc Aplin

With Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings making fantasy increasingly popular in the mainstream, what does it mean to write fantasy for young adults today? Four authors who each take innovative approaches to the genre come together to discuss contemporary fantasy writing with blogger Marc Aplin.

16.30-17.15 Heroes of horror
With Charlie Higson, Will Hill, Derek Landy and Darren Shan, chaired by Rosie Fletcher

Heroes of horror unite: Charlie Higson, Darren Shan, Will Hill and Derek Landy come together to discuss their work with SFX’s Rosie Fletcher.


11.30-12.15 C J Skuse: Planning and writing a kick-ass YA novel: useful tips and tricks

12.30-13.15 Bryony Pearce: Starting to write

13.30-14.15 Catherine Johnson: Writing historical fiction

14.30-15.15 Kim Curran: Finishing your writing

15.30-16.15 The art of blogging: with Holly Bourne, Natsha Ngan and Sanne Vliegenthart (Hot Key Books) chaired by Kat McKenna (Macmillan Children’s Books)

16.30-17.15 Emma Vieceli: Getting started with graphic novels

PLUS… Book signings with all the authors taking part in Saturday’s programme (see the downloadable schedule for individual signing times)

Sunday 13 July

Panel events

11.30-12.15 How to get published

With Phil Earle and Sally Green, chaired by Ben Horslen (Penguin Books)

Join award-winning author and industry insider Phil Earle, and this year’s publishing sensation Sally Green for a panel discusison giving advice on getting published, chaired by Penguin Books editor Ben Horslen.

12.30-13.15 I’m too sexy for this book!
With Cat Clarke, Non Pratt and Beth Reekles, chaired by James Dawson

How much is too much? Authors Non Pratt, Cat Clarke and Beth Reekles will be joined by chair James Dawson for a frank discussion about sex and sexuality in YA today.

13.30-14.15 Crossover: not just for kids
With Matt Haig, Anthony McGowan, Nick Lake and Meg Rosoff, chaired by David Maybury

With books like The Fault in our Stars and The Hunger Games being read as much by adults as they are by teens themselves, we investigate the phenomenon of so-called ‘crossover’ books. Award-winning authors Matt Haig, Meg Rosoff and Nick Lake, together with chair David Maybury, will discuss the appeal of young adult fiction for adults, and whether there are any books that are ‘just for kids’.

14.30-15.15 Sisters doing it for themselves
With Tanya Byrne, Isobel Harrop, Julie Mayhew and Holly Smale, chaired by Sarra Manning

Authors Tanya Byrne, Holly Smale, Isobel Harrop and Julie Mayhew will be joining teen queen Sarra Manning to talk about girl heroes in today’s young adult fiction, and the heroines that inspired them.

15.30-16.15 Sophie McKenzie & Robert Muchamore in conversation

Hear from two of the UK’s biggest names in YA, Sophie McKenzie and Robert Muchamore, at this special in conversation event chaired by Damian Kelleher

16.30-17.15 Holly Black & Sally Gardner in conversation

Bringing YALC to a close, this exciting event brings together superstar US author Holly Black with one of the UK’s biggest names in writing for children and teenagers, Sally Gardner, to discuss fairy-tales, magic and more with chair Jonathan Douglas.


11.30-12.15 Garen Ewing: Create your own amazing adventure comic
13.15-14.15 Alexia Casale: Finding your writing voice

14.30-15.15 Lucy Christopher: Into the woods: writing wild settings

15.30-16.30 Meet the agent: speed pitching for authors, with Amanda Preston & Louise Lamont (LBA Books)

16.45-17.30 Movellas: fan culture & communities, with Eva Caiden and Yvonne Biggins (Movellas)

PLUS… Book signings with all the authors taking part in Sunday’s programme (see the downloadable schedule for individual signing times)

Please note that the Book Zone space will also be open for the LFCC Preview evening on Friday 11 July, but no YALC events will be taking place


To attend YALC you will need an entry pass to London Film and Comic Con. Find out more about getting a ticket to LFCC

Once at LFCC, all YALC events and workshops are free, but ticketed. You will be able to collect individual event tickets from the YALC Information Point in the Book Zone from 9am on the day of the event in question. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.


What else will be happening at YALC?

As well as our events, workshops and book signings, the Book Zone will also play host to fun book-themed drop-in activities, publisher stands and our YALC bookshop provided by Waterstones. Stay tuned for more details of activities taking place at YALC!

So who else is attending? Not only is YALC happening on the weekend between the 11th – 13th July 2014, but also London Film and Comic Con (in the same arena) which lots of our favourite actors and comic writers/artists will be attending including Lena Headey (Jocelyn Fray).

YALC Saturday YALC Sunday


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