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Thursday, 17 July 2014

DO's and DON'Ts at YALC

Whew! What a weekend that was! I thoroughly enjoyed going to YALC (the first Young Adult Literature Convention) at Film and ComiCon at Earls Court - what an experience! Lots of people have blogged write-ups already (it's taken me this long to recover!) so instead, I thought I'd share a few pearls of wisdom I gleaned over the weekend...

DO Check the details before you go (Entrance is opposite West Brompton station. Great!)

DO Check transport weekend engineering updates before you go (Tube from Earl’s Court to West Brompton station closed, but rail replacement bus in operation. Great!)

DON’T expect TFL to run smoothly (ie don’t expect rail replacement bus driver to actually stop at all the stations on the route – he may well glibly ignore your stop and take you miles out of your way. Doh!)

DO allow time for unforeseen detours (ie catching bus back again from Fulham Broadway, chatting to driver, who says the best place to get of is – doh – Earl’s Court, where I started half an hour ago!)

DO buy your entry ticket in advance to avoid queuing THREE TIMES in order to get to YALC events. (Sigh)

DO take an umbrella. (This is England, and you will be queuing for about an hour outside – it’s bound to rain!)

DO take coffee - it's a long day!

DO take a camera (Some people’s costumes are AMAZING!)

DO wear a costume – it’s much more fun!

DO wear layers and take water!  - It’s HOT in there!

The incomparable James Dawson, "Queen of Teen"
DO double-check the stewards know what they’re talking about.
(Me: Where do I get tickets for the YALC panel events, please?
Steward: I think it’s this queue in the middle, [pointing to HUMUNGOUS queue amid 6 different queues for autographs/time-slots for Stan Lee/Princess Leia etc.]
Me: Are you sure?
Steward: No. I’ve never heard of YALC.
2nd Steward: The YALC events are right at the back on the left.
Me: Thanks! [Phew!])

DO get tickets for the talks you’re interested in – in my case ALL of them! They were funny, interesting, insightful and entertaining (and some were so popular people without tickets missed out.)

DO bring books to get signed and/or buy books there – how often do you get so many fantastic authors in one place?!

DO sign up for free ipad giveaways (some companies even give you cool tote bags for entering!)

DO sign up for workshops (what an opportunity! Free workshops!) But DO sit near the front if possible, as the acoustics weren’t great.


DO check out the rest of the event – (Dragons, Transformers and Thrones - oh my!)

DO meet your favorite TV/film stars, but DON’T think that if they agree to give you their autograph, it’s free – IT’S AT LEAST £10! *Didn't see the sign till afterwards - Ouch!*

DO get selfies (no charge!) with heart-throbs such as Jack Donnelly from ATLANTIS *Swoon*

DON’T get your McGann brothers mixed up (and REALLY don't tell Paul McGann you really loved him in The Upper Hand (that was Joe McGann) DOH! *Disclaimer: Overheard; naming no names*

Paul McGann: "Don't worry, I get it all the time!"
DO make plans to go again next year! I’ll definitely be there!


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