Book Events

Event News: YALC Pop Up Event.


After a very successful YA Lit Con in the summer, this Sunday sees a pop up event as part of London Film and Comic Con Winter. From the YALC website:

We’re delighted to announce that YALC will be popping up at the London Film and Comic Con Winter event, on Sunday 19 October, with two special spin-off panel events.

At 1.00pm, Hey YA! will bring together YALC favourites James Dawson and Non Pratt with superstar US author James Frey to discuss all things young adult fiction – what YA is, who reads it and why we love it – chaired by YALC’s Katherine Woodfine. (James Frey will also be doing a solo event at 2.00pm followed by a signing session.)

At 3.00pm, join us for Female Characters in Fantasy Fiction – a panel discussion exploring gender and genre with Laure Eve, Zoe Marriott and Samantha Shannon, chaired by Liz de Jager.

Each event will be followed by a one-hour book signing, with books available to buy from our Waterstones bookshop. Events are free with a ticket to London Film and Comic Con.

Tickets to London Film and Comic Con will be available to purchase on the door from 9am, priced ay £15 for early bird tickets (entry from 9.00am) and £8 for standard tickets (entry from 11.00am). For more information about Winter LFCC and tickets, see the website:

This sounds like a great opportunity to hear some great authors speak – if I was in London I’d definitely be going along.

Blog News · Book Events

Under 14s Only Month at The Bookzone.

What’s this? Two posts in one day? Well after all of the excitement about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal nominations being published I wanted to pop back and mention something else that I’m currently very excited by.


Darren at The Bookzone is spending all of November focusing on books aimed at under 14’s. Like Darren I’m increasingly fond of books in this age band so I’m really excited that he’s taken over running the event previously run by the now closed My Favourite Books. He’s already featured books that have had me running straight to my wishlist and I know he’s been working really hard on getting others to contribute awesome posts. I can’t wait to see what exciting books get talked about this month (I’m contributing a review of a book I read over the weekend and adored) though I think my bank balance is probably less keen!

Blog News · Book Events

Disability in Kidlit month.

imageI wanted to blog today about an online project I’m really excited by. Disability in Kidlit is a month long project running throughout July focusing on disability and children’s literature. In their own words:

“Throughout July 2013, this blog will feature posts by readers, writers, bloggers, and other peeps from the YA and MG communities discussing disability and kidlit. There will be posts about people’s experiences, reviews of YA/MG books featuring disabled characters, discussions of tropes and stereotypes, and more!

Our goal is for this month-long series to serve as a resource for readers and writers hoping to learn more about the realities of disability, which are often quite different from what you read in books or see on TV. All our contributors identify as disabled themselves, and we hope to present a wide range of perspectives and experiences.”

Day Al-Mohamed’s introductory post is a brilliant start, explaining why this month is important. The issue of accurate representation of disability in children’s fiction is something I’ve been interested in for a long time, the more fiction aimed at children and young people I read the more I realise how infrequent disabled characters are let alone accurate, real characters with a broad range of disabilities. I’m looking forward to reading the brilliant posts this event is going to generate, and taking part in the discussions that I’m sure it will start.

In addition to the Disability in Kidlit site, there is a Twitter account and Tumblr dedicated to the project.

Book Events

London Book Fair 2012 – The Panels.

I attended London Book Fair again this year on Monday and Tuesday and went to 6 panels hosted by Booktrust. I took lots of notes at them and thought I would share them on my blog, whenever I tweeted anything from one of the panels someone responded saying they wished they were there too. The notes are all pretty long (each session was an hour long) so I’ve put each lot on a different page, you may wish to get a cuppa before reading any of them!

The panels I went to were:

The World into Words: Why Reading Non-Fiction is Vital for Children.

Growing up too soon: Fiction that asks if teenagers are ready for the adult world.

Discover Stories: Getting Children Reading and Writing.

Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Promotion with Julia Donaldson.

Express yourself: Bali Rai and a group of Young Londoners.

What’s the story? Listening to Deaf and Disabled Children.

The panels were all really interesting and gave me lots of things to come away and think about, and most of them provided me with a book or two to add to my wishlist!

Book Events

Ladies Who Love at Bromley Literary Festival.

I’ve got some pretty exciting news to share today. Acorn Independent Press are hosting the first ever Bromley Literary Festival this year and on 24th June I shall be hosting a panel as part of the Ladies Who Love day. I’m there representing Novelicious and will have the pleasure of leading a discussion between brilliant authors Dorothy Koomson, Victoria Fox, Julia Williams and Juliet Archer.

I’m really excited about this, I love that the organisers have chosen to devote a day of the event to celebrate romantic fiction so I’m thrilled that I’m getting to be a part of it. The idea is naturally a little daunting, public speaking has never been my favourite thing to do but I decided when I started this degree that I was going to get over my fear of it. I’ve done a couple of presentations over the course of the year and learnt that I’m actually fine at speaking in public, I just wind myself up unnecessarily in the build up. Every time I get nervous about this I’m going to remind myself of this – hopefully by the time the day comes round I shall be completely chilled and calm.

The line up for the whole festival can be seen here, there are some fab events – if I lived closer to Bromley I think I’d be going to quite a few of them.

Book Events

London Book Fair 2011.

I’ve been a bad blogger for the last few days, I’ve been pretty tired and I’m afraid blogging has been the last thing I’ve thought about doing. I have been doing plenty of reading though so there are some great reviews coming up over the next few weeks. I finished the second semester at uni on the 9th and travelled home for a day before going straight off to London to attend the London Book Fair (LBF) between the 11th and 13th.

I read a blog post some weeks back saying that one thing aspiring authors should do is to attend things like LBF. I didn’t know much about the event but when I looked into it there seemed little doubt that it would be an event I would get plenty out of attending. I booked my ticket and looked forward to three days of book related fun.

LBF took over Earls Court 1 and 2, including a number of conference rooms and meeting rooms. In addition to the exhibition floor (there were over 750 stands to explore) there were more than 150 seminars to choose between attending. I spent a long time whittling down the list of seminars, frustratingly for me there were some slots with not seminar that really appealed and then other slots when there were two or more that I had to pick between – particularly annoying when two of the small number of library themed seminars were scheduled at the same time.

Over the three days I attended the following seminars:

  • The Future Face of Publishing: How Diverse Will It Be?
  • Graphic Novels as Literature.
  • Children and Young Adult Books: Bestsellers, Top Movies and Brands. The Secret of Success.
  • E-Books and the User: In the Library, on the Desktop and on the Device.
  • The Importance of Prizes in Children’s Literature.
  • Through the Looking Glass: Interactive Reading Communities for Young People.
  • Library 2020 – Where Next for Libraries’ Digital Reading Offer?
  • Graphic Novels for the Boys.
  • How to Get into Publishing.
  • School Libraries: Who Needs Them?
  • Lauren Child and Anthony Browne in Conversation.
  • Drawing Out New Talent: Booktrust’s Best New Illustrators 2011.

Over the three days I learned a huge amount from the seminars. I picked the ones that interested me most both as a library studies student and as someone who hopes to become a published author for children and/or young people. The two seminars that surprised me the most were the final two I attended, both concentrated on picture books – something I’d never thought much about before. By the end of the two panels I found myself thinking about picture books in a whole new light and am now considering whether they are something I could write for.

In addition to attending so many seminars I spent plenty of time exploring the exhibition side of the event. I had some very useful chats with publishers and collected a mountain of book catalogues. I’ve only begun to browse through them but I’m already seeing lots of books due to be published later this year that I’m going to be adding to my wishlist.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event and found it to be a very valuable way to spend three days. I’ve already got next year’s pencilled into my diary.

Book Events · Book News

One Book One Twitter

After seeing the #1b1t tag on Twitter for a couple of weeks I finally decided over the weekend to google it and find out what it was all about (the fact that Neil Gaiman kept tweeting about it made me think it was something I might find interesting) and was really glad I did.

There have been a number of One City One Books over recent years, a communal reading program where a city chooses a book and everyone reads it at the same time. The city holds relevant events during the time that the book is being read e.g. discussion groups, author visits. It sounds like a great idea, but I’ve never been aware of it happening in the UK.

#1b1t is the tag for One Book One Twitter. The principal is the same as the city based scheme, it’s just been extended to Twitter to make it worldwide. The book has been selected via online polls, it is Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”. It all kicks off on 5th May, I’m not sure though what the weekly page count target is going to be. I have my copy of the book ready and waiting, I’m looking forward to reading another Neil Gaiman book (I’ve loved all of the ones I’ve read so far) and seeing how this scheme actually pans out.