The first-ever Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC)
The first UK Young Adult Literature Convention took place at the London Film and Comic Con in July 2014, and was one of Malorie Blackman's major Laureate projects.
What is YALC?
YALC 2014 brought together over 50 leading YA authors for a programme of talks, workshops and signings, a bookshop provided by Waterstones and publisher stands promoting new and upcoming titles.
The event was the first large-scale public literature convention dedicated entirely to teen and Young Adult books ever to be hosted in the UK, and saw thousands of young people attending a weekend of events celebrating reading.
YALC is no longer run by BookTrust. However, following the huge success of that first event, which was described as ‘a hit’ by The Telegraph and ‘a +1 for publishing’ by FutureBook, the event continues as a key legacy of Malorie Blackman’s laureateship.
Why did Malorie Blackman set up YALC?
YALC formed a key part of Malorie Blackman's wider campaign to champion books for young people throughout her two years as Children's Laureate.
From the moment she was appointed, Malorie passionately voiced her desire to get 'more people reading more': whether they chose a classic literary novel or Twilight.
The statistics at the time showed there was much work to be done in this area, with only three in ten young people reading daily out of class and one-fifth of young people saying they would be embarrassed if a friend saw them reading.
Malorie Blackman commented:
We are incredibly lucky to have such a wealth of fantastic children's authors and illustrators in this country who create incredible stories for young adults to enjoy.
It's so important to encourage, sustain and where necessary instil a love of reading in our teenagers. Reading opens doors and creates life opportunities. That's why I want to do my utmost to promote YA books for all our young (and older!) readers.