The last weekend of July saw the fifth Young Adult Literature Convention as part of the London Film & Comic Con, and the festival was filled with agency authors and agents.
The first YALC took place at LFCC in 2014 as Malorie Blackman’s major project as Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2013-2015. It has since become a yearly celebration of the very best books for young people.
Children’s agent Chloe Seager headed up the Agent Arena, where aspiring authors could learn all about the submissions process, cover letter do’s and don’ts, editing and what comes beyond signing with an agent. There were also daily opportunity to pitch to the agents, including children’s agent Alice Sutherland-Hawes.
Agency author Holly Bourne talked mental health in her ‘Be Kind To Your Mind’ panel and origami-based workshop. Non-fiction authors Sam Pollen and Laura Coryton talked about their inspirational books; Laura on her ‘Not All Books Are Fiction’ panel and Sam on his ‘What is Masculinity?’ panel alongside David Owen and Nikesh Shukla. Laura also gave insight into authoring in an Agent Arena talk alongside agent Chloe Seager, where agent and author discuss the publishing process from both sides.
Meanwhile, exciting samplers were available from Namina Forna, Danielle Jawando and Jennifer Iacopelli, whose YA books will debut in 2020. Proofs of Ben Oliver’s The Loop, also out in 2020, were available for the first time.
It was a busy and exciting festival for the agency all round, and we’re already looking forward to next year!