Last weekend saw the brilliant day of YAShot finally come upon us and what a day it was! From authors to awards, coffee to chilling, friends to feelings… lots of fun was had by all.
YAShot is a brilliant, one day bookish event held in Uxbridge, which features tons of brilliant authors doing panels, workshops and in conversation events. There’s also the chance to go to signings and generally just have a lovely bookish day! I went down with my gorgeous Kelly on the Friday and we met some fellow bloggers for tea. It was so lovely to meet some new faces – ones I’ve been talking to forever online! That’s the other beauty of these events… people who you talk to online become people you’ve spoken to in real life. There’s nothing quite so surreal as “You’re Steph, aren’t you?”. Yeah, that’s weird.
On Saturday, Kelly and I had arranged to do ALL of the same panels because that’s us. We come as a pair now.
The first panel we went to was Power, Privilege & Inequality, which saw Helena Coggan, Mark Huckerby, Vic James, Nick Ostler and Samantha Shannon, chaired by Phyllida Shrimpton. It’s always interesting to hear people talk about their books. Having read Gilded Cage, I was excited to hear Vic James speak. I now need to read some of the other books because the authors made some interesting points!
The next panel we stayed for was How relationships shape women’s lives featuring Holly Bourne, Emma Craigie, Leila Rasheed & Sufiya Ahmed. It’s always really interesting hearing about different authors and their influences behind their books. I love hearing Holly Bourne talk, she’s so effortlessly cool and funny. There were some very interesting points made in this chat, which hit quite close to something that was going on in the YA world at that time.
I then found myself sauntering off to Uxbridge Library to hear my absolute fave Melinda Salisbury talk with Alwyn Hamilton about their books. The title of the ‘in Conversation’ was Stories for Change. I just adore these two women and their books. It was so gorgeous to listen to Mel and Alwyn talk together about their books with such love. It was clear from the conversation that they’re both clearly fans of each other’s books! Hearing interesting information from the two ladies, along with a lot of laughter is ALWAYS a good thing.
Following the in conversation with Mel and Alwyn, Kelly and I went down to get some books signed! We both took our Goodbye Perfect proofs and finished copies to get signed and Sara Barnard was darling enough to sign them both! It’s mad seeing authors I love for reals actually recognise me and WANT to speak to me. We also pestered Mel and Alwyn for a moment or two… sorry signing queues!
After a quick bit of lunch and a cup of coffee with a friend, we then checked out Privacy, entertainment & technology featuring Lauren James, Laura Steven (who is just a babe, I love her a lot), Nicci Cloke & Kerry Drewery. There were interesting conversations had around portayals of social media in books, the dangers of technology and why its important that they’re included in YA books.
Then there was a mad dash to go get signings from Laura and Lauren back at the library!
In our bags was a 10% off code for Waterstones Uxbridge, so Kelly and I took this time off to go and explore Waterstones and see what delights they had for us. We both picked up In Your Light by Annalie Grainger after the recommendation from none other than Katherine Webber (who is a firm fave of ours!)
The final panel we watch was Family, Faith & Identity featuring Sita Brahmachari, Simon James Green, Antonia Honeywell, chaired by the gorgeous Katherine Webber. This was a brilliant panel, which at one point I definitely did not cry at. Story telling is amazing and I am definitely moved by it… a lot!
And there you go! Those were all of the in conversation and panels I went to at YAShot. Come back tomorrow to find out all about the UKYABAs!