What is the Young Adult Literature Convention?
Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) is a three-day convention style event with guest authors, stage panels, workshops and retail exhibitors celebrating all things YA books. The first YALC took place at LFCC in 2014 as Malorie Blackman’s major project as Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2013-2015.
Who runs YALC?
YALC is run in conjunction with the UK YA Publishers and Showmasters events who have over 20 years of event experience. https://www.showmastersevents.com/. Both are represented on the Working Group who put together the event programme.
Who is on the Working Group?
The YALC Working Group for 2020 is made up of representatives from:
Abrahams & Chronicle
Hachette Childrens’ Books
Penguin Random House
How big is the event?
The event has around 3000 attendees over the three days and takes place in the Central Level 2 Hall of London Olympia. We have over 75 guest authors and speakers as part of the programme each year.
When is the event?
The event is taking place Friday 24th July to Sunday 26th July 2020.
What is LFCC?
LFCC is the London Film & Comic Con which is a standalone event for entertainment lovers. At 11am each day the tickets to LFCC and YALC cross over so you can access both halls.
Where is the venue?
London Olympia is located in West London. Full details of how to get there can be found on their website https://olympia.london/visiting
What is the accessibility?
Full details can be found here
Is there a cloakroom?
The venue operates a cloakroom. Please note that items are left there at their own risk and will incur a nominal charge.
Is there security?
As with all large events we have security on site. You may be asked to go through a bag check upon entry. Please take heed of all the instructions issued to you from our crew or security teams.
Are there ATMs?
The venue does house an ATM in some halls but this can have long queues and can run out so we advise you bring enough cash with you in advance.
Is there Wi-Fi?
There is Wi-Fi provided by Olympia however with so many people trying to connect it may not be the most powerful.
What is the parking facilities at the venue?
Parking is limited and controlled by the venue. Details can be found here https://olympia.london/visiting/parking/book-parking
What refreshments are available?
There will be some places in which to get refreshments in the venue itself or you can visit the restaurants in the surrounding areas https://olympia.london/visiting/food-drink. You will be able to refill your water bottles at the venue refreshment outlets but please understand that these are subject to how busy they are. Some stands may have water coolers as part of their offering but these are not to be used to refill any bottles.
Where is there to sit?
With such a large scale event it is not easy to provide seating for all but YALC does provide a few areas for you to get off your feet:
- The Chill Out Zone: This is a quiet space for you to visit and relax
- The Stage Area: Why not have a seat and listen to one of our guest panels
- The Café: There is a café with limited seating located behind the info desk on the YALC floor
- Bring your own: Attendees are welcome to bring their own folding chairs. Please be considerate of others when choosing where to sit. A crew member may ask you to move if they feel you are blocking an aisle or fire route.
Can I leave the building once I have entered?
Yes. If you have a weekend ticket you will be given a wristband that should be kept on until the event has ended. This will grant you re-entry. If you have a day ticket you can get a hand stamp before you leave which will permit you to come back in.
What tickets are there?
There are a number of different ticket types available. Please visit our online shop for the full details. It is important to consider what you are wanting to take part in when purchasing your entry tickets.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets are subject to availability and can be purchased through our ticket shop
What is the refund policy?
We encourage you to think carefully before purchasing tickets as they are non-transferable or refundable.
How do the e-tickets work?
Our tickets are powered by Eventbrite. When you order you will be sent an electronic ticket in PDF form. These can be printed by you in advance or shown on your smart devices for scanning. You can also download the Eventbrite App which stores all your tickets in one place. Please note that the tickets will only scan once so each person wishing to take part in the activity requires their own ticket.
Can my child come?
Children under four come in free and can take part in activities with their parents as long as they have a fully valid ticket.
Can I cosplay?
Yes! We encourage people in costume.
Can I take photos or video?
With the guests:
We recognise that getting a photo with a guest can be important. Therefore, when you meet the guest to obtain your autograph, there is usually no restrictions for taking a photo with them.
However, as the day progresses, it does sometimes become necessary to stop photos in order that the guests can get through demand and meet more people, otherwise there would be fans that would go home not having met them at all.
Please also bear in mind that whilst guests are often willing to pose for photos with fans, there may be many reasons why they decline. If this happens please do respect their wishes - there will be signs clearly on display to indicate when photography is not allowed and this includes taking photos of them in the autograph area.
Getting memories of your visit is part of the experience so we do permit photography at the events. Please be respectful of any areas where it is advertised that it is not permitted. Also it is courteous to ask permission to those you are photographing. Many of our cosplayers want to share their outfits with you but be nice to each other and respectful of their wishes.
During the Talks:
We would please ask that during the talks you confine any flash photography to the first 5 minutes of the talk, as this can cause a distraction and be very off-putting to the guest and the rest of the audience.
The use of video cameras is permitted in the on the main hall room, although we would advise asking someone's permission before filming them. All we ask is that you use your discretion and not to film anyone that doesn't want to be filmed (this goes for fans, staff and dealers as well as guests).
Video Cameras and video/sound recording equipment (including the use of recording facilities on mobile phones) is NOT allowed into Guest Talks. This is for a number of reasons both legal and practical.
What does no posed photos and no photos signs mean?
When these signs are posted it means that the guest has requested either no posed photos taken or no photos taken while they are at their table. This can be requested for a number of reasons and we ask that you respect it.
How long will it take to get in?
Do to the sheer number of attendees coming to our event it takes time to process those in the queue. Although the event opens at 9am (10am on Friday) we start processing the queue from 8am (9am on Friday) which means that all tickets can be scanned and security searches can take place for when the doors open. Please bare this in mind when you are planning your day especially if you have scheduled activities and allow enough time for you to access the building and get to where you need to be.
Will I have to queue?
There will of course be some elements of queuing for activities but we have put in place a number of things that will reduce the amount of time you have to wait, leaving more time to enjoy the event.
What is a Virtual queue?
A Virtual Queue (VQ) is a queue that you don’t actually stand in until your number has been called. You collect a numbered ticket specific to each guest at the beginning of the day in the signing area from the crew member who is managing that line and return any time after that number has been called. Depending on your ticket number you can work out roughly what time your number will be called. Each person wanting to join the queue must have a VQ ticket which must be collected in person. We do advise that you try to get there early if there is a guest you are particularly keen to meet as VQ tickets are limited. Please note the VQ Ticket does not guarantee your autograph.
If I have a clash between activities what do I do?
We will only take clashes into account for paid for activities. In the event that this happens please talk to a crew member who will be able to advise you on which activity to do first and may be able to expedite you in the queue to allow you to get everything you have paid for.
Where can I send guest suggestion?
We all want the big names to attend the event and there are a number of factors that go into selecting guests. At the start of each year the publishers have the opportunity to submit their authors as potential YALC guests. The Working Group then go through a selection process to ensure we have a varied and relevant guest line up. The best way to get your favourite author to attend is to make sure their publishers apply.
How do the free talks work?
Entrance to the free talks are on a first come basis. The hall is emptied after each talk to allow fairness.
What can I get signed?
You can generally get any book signed. If we are aware of any restrictions for a guest we will communicate this. As the guests do not charge for autographs there may be a need to cap the amount each attendee is able to receive.
Can I still get autographs if I don’t attend?
We are afraid that this is not a service we offer
What is the Workshop area?
We run a selection of 45 minute interactive activities on a number of different YA topics. They are operated on a first come basis so you queue prior to the workshop starting. Each workshop can hold around 30 attendees. The workshop area is cleared after each activity. There is no signup or VQ process for this area of the programme
What is the Agents Arena?
The Agents’ Arena is your go-to hub for all things publishing-related. Whether you’re an aspiring author with dreams of being published or a bright-eyed hopeful seeking a career with books, this is the place for you.
What is an ARC and how do I get them?
ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy and is a copy of a book that the publishers give out prior to the official release of a title. Many of the publishers will be offering these throughout YALC. As they are in high demand each publisher has been given instructions on ensuring that these giveaways are done fairly and inclusively. Please keep an eye on the publishers’ official social media channels for the timings and mechanisms.
Who will be exhibiting?
We have a number of different exhibitors including publishing houses, self publishes authors, book related merch and the official YALC bookshop brought to you by Waterstones.
How do I get a stall?
If you are interested in becoming a vendor please see the exhibitors section of the website
How can I volunteer?
Please visit our volunteer information page
How can I pay for stuff?
The items sold by Showmasters can be paid for in advance through our online shop or on the day using cash or all major payment cards. We have a number of vendors in attendance but they may not all accept card payments so please bare this is mind.
Can I give the guests a gift?
As there are a lot of people who want to meet our guests their time is precious. If you do wish to give something the best place to do this is at the desk when you are getting your autograph. Please don’t be offended if they are not able to open it in front of you this is purely down to time constraints.
Can I just talk to a guest?
We have a number of people who want to meet our guests and as such it is not always possible to allow people to just come up for a chat, particularly when they have a large queue. If the guest has a quiet queue, however, you are welcome to have your chat.
Who do I talk to if I have a problem?
If at any point during the day you have any issues, your first port of call would be to speak to our Pit Bosses (our senior crew in red) but if for some reason they can’t help, you can ask to speak to someone on our info desk. Please note that it is very hard for us to rectify any issues you have after the event so please do highlight these at the time so we can assist in making your visit enjoyable.
What do I do if I lose something or find something lost?
If you find an item, then please hand it into a member of the crew who will make sure it gets to the info desk. If you lose an item, please visit the info desk with the full details of what it is that you have lost. If they do not have the item, you can leave your details with them in case it gets handed in at a later stage. After the event any items of lost property will be handed to the venue.
I need to leave early but have paid for activities.
Our activities can occur throughout the whole day so please keep this in mind when booking travel arrangements. We are not able to expedite you in the queues or move activities due to travel arrangements being made too early or late.