If you are a fan of YA Literature then you need to check out this book festival. It runs annually in London during the last weekend of July and the book deals are so good you’ll travel home like a pack donkey.
The book deals!
It’s easy to get carried away so here are some tips to help you curb your inner book dragon:
Here is what I bought:
The deal was three for £10 and a free Epic Reads tote. Because I chose a two hardbacks it bumped up to £12 which is still incredible value and I got the last tote!
The book nerd in me is looking forward to my showing off my new bag at my next library visit. I’m going to look epic!
These books from Bloomsbury were three for £10. They’ve been on my wish list for ages as I’ve seen people recommend them on IG. I’ve been warned they are steamy!
It was a total accident that all the books are by authors named Sarah. Did you notice? Do you like any books by a Sarah?
There is something amazing about meeting the mind behind a novel. Lots of the stalls are hosted by authors themselves and are happy to sign a copy of their book if you own a copy. In addition, the festival has panels and talks where the authors talk about their novels.
In addition, there are scheduled events where groups of authors chat to a live audience. Their is often someone asking questions and the talk is on a set subject.
Workshops by Industry experts
Experts from the industry deliver workshops during the festival. These are often run by authors, Literary Agents, Editors or publishers but the list is endless.
I attended a workshop in the Agent Arena by Zoe Plant talking about editing. Editing is one of the aspects that I find incredibly difficult with writing a novel as it is a massive task and I am not confident in my abilities. She had great advice on what to expect but not only was the talk really informative, it was also an opportunity to get to know Zoe too. I had not seen her before and she is truly lovely.
I also attended the Author & Agent talk between Literary Agent Chloe Seager and her non-fiction author Laura Coryton. Laura is a campaigner against Tampon Tax. I had heard about this before and think I signed the petition ages ago. It turns out that Chloe also signed the petition and decided that this would be a great subject for a non-fiction book to empower young adults. Chloe approached Laura to propose the idea and Speak Up! was born. It was fascinating to see how the non-fiction industry works in comparison to fiction novels. It was also extremely valuable to hear about Chloe as an agent as she has been a favourite of mine for a long time now.
Pitch to agents
If you are an author with a completed novel, looking for representation, then this is an awesome event to attend. Here, you get an opportunity to spend five minutes with a potential Literary Agent to sell them your novel. It’s an opportunity to be seen above the slush pile.
It’s not guaranteed that they will be interested. I pitched two years ago and wasn’t confident in myself. We ended up chatting about identifying my books place in the market but I did gain a little bit of experience in pitching, mainly what not to do.
This time, I felt more prepared (although still incredibly nervous) and I pitched to two agents who both asked me to send it to them. I also had a writer friend encouraging me to do it which really helped.
Fellow readers and writers
That leads me on to my next point. The festival is full of fellow readers as you would expect but a lot of readers are also writers. This year, I got to meet one of my online writer friends at YALC. She was so lovely we spent the day together.
The festival is full of competitions eager to get you to sign up and raise awareness. @hellomeitsyou tweeted to say I was their Sunday winner. I had already left so sent them my address so I can receive my prize. When I receive it, I’ll post a pic to IG.
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