Books, Uncategorized

Northern YA Lit Festival

As I say on nearly every post I write, hello!

That might sound like a bit of a bizarre beginning to this post but I’ve been listening to some etymology and explanation behind this simple greeting (curtesy of Stephen Fry and his English Delight series on Audible) and I can’t stop thinking about how this simple word doesn’t really have a definition and that it’s hard to pinpoint precisely where it originated from. To me, that’s super intriguing and mysterious at the same time.

Anyway, I didn’t come here to ramble about etymology or the English Language. I’m here because I’m still fangirling about the Northern YA Lit Festival this past weekend in Preston. Yes. I’m never going to get over seeing some incredible authors, and even gush about a favourite author (Laini Taylor) with another favourite author (Samantha Shannon). That truly made my day! Oh, and of course catching up with two of my closest friends! Beth and Rachael – we need to do this much more often than we do!

fullsizeoutput_cbOf course, I couldn’t go to a book event and not come back with more books and bookish goodies. Although, I did lose my YA Lit Fest tote bag at some point with a few other little bits inside – a bit of a bummer because I was sure I stashed it in my rucksack and never took it out again. Hmm. Luckily, I still have all the books I took and came back with!
fullsizeoutput_cf fullsizeoutput_ce

I also managed to pick up two Fairyloot pins, a couple of candles (one of which smells very strongly of liquorice), and a couple of posters for The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas and The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse.

Book wise, I picked up two ARCs. The first two I have ever owned!!


Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda which comes out on 5th April in the UK
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood which is released sometime in July.

I don’t actively ask for ARCs or get sent any so the fact I managed to pick a couple up for free is super exciting! Both sound really intriguing books and I don’t know which one I will pick up first.

And it wouldn’t be an event with book signing if I didn’t get 13 books signed! These were both a mixture of books I took with me, and those I bought from the Waterstones stand.

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Orphan Monster Spy by Mark Killeen
Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
The Last Beginning and The Next Together by Lauren James
The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Stevens
White Cat by Holly Black

Already mine:

Rebel of the Sands trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton
The Bone Season and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (I didn’t take The Song Rising as it was already signed)
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

And now thanks to Holly Black’s interview with Samantha Shannon, I’m now even more intrigued by White Cat. When asked about her favourite fairytale, she gushed about this old French fairytale about three crown-thirsty princes and a mysterious cat. It was hilarious, captivating and all-round amazing. White Cat is one book of hers that I didn’t recognise at all so finding out that it is a retelling of that story makes me even more excited to pick it up!  Also, me being me, I want the original French story too. If anyone knows where I can find it, I will be eternally grateful!

So, now I need to gush about other signed books and all the panel events because I certainly came away with lots of amazing writing advice and motivation:

be inspired by everything around you,
don’t fall into the trap of perfection,
push that brand new idea aside when focusing on a main story,
actually finish a project.

It’s everything I need to remember and so much more, particularly the latter.

This one wasn’t said but Samantha Shannon also gave me a little motivational push with her message in my copy of The Mime Order – ‘words give wings.’

It wasn’t long after that when I having a small heart-to-heart with Beth and those three simple words started to get me thinking. I’m still thinking about it now and perhaps all of it is giving me that push to sort things out and stop feeling scared/kind of anxious about where things are right now. Oh gosh, that’s turned deep very quickly, but when I muse about things like that long-term what do you expect? It’s me after all!


I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but I got two different vibes from all four events. Getting into Publishing and Feminism in YA were the informative panels, where as Samantha Shannon’s panels with Alwyn Hamilton and Holly Black felt more laid back and spontaneous. The chemistry and interaction between them was fabulous and it certainly made for two witty discussions.

I now cannot wait to see if any of them will be at YALC because I need more. Seriously, there is nothing I want more right now than local-ish book events with my favourite authors! If any of them could hop on over to Warrington’s Waterstones any time soon then that would be incredible. A girl can dream!

I don’t think I have much more to say on it. If you want to check out some of the photos and are on Twitter then I highly recommend looking at those on the Northern YA Lit Fest account. I would have loved to have taken some but battery power on my phone and iPod was dodgy. Shame.

Nonetheless, it was still an amazing day with two of my closest friends, so from where I stand, it couldn’t have been better!

Was anyone else at the festival?

Do you have plans to attend upcoming book festivals?

Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!









6 thoughts on “Northern YA Lit Festival”

  1. Glad you had an awesome time Emma! And congrats on your first ARCs, it’s always an exciting feeling to have a book before it’s released. That cover of A Sky Painted Gold looks gorgeous too! I love your slideshow of photos too, how did you embed it in your post? Also if you’re going to YALC this summer hopefully I’ll get to meet you 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. It was fun and such a great experience! I agree, the cover of A Sky Painted Gold is so beautiful.

      I got the slideshow up through the media insert on the post. Once you click on the photos you want to use, there’s a list of formats (thumbnail, square tiles, individual photos etc) and slideshow is one of the options.

      I’m now super excited for YALC although a tad anxious too because big places and I don’t always get on very well. I also hope that we get the opportunity to meet. It will be nice. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like you had an amazing time and those two arcs have absolutely beautiful covers! I’ve never heard of either so I’ll definitely be checking them out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I can’t wait to see what happens with future events. I think I’d heard of A Sky Painted Gold before picking up the arc but I’m pretty surprised I hadn’t heard of Fragments to the Lost because it is already out in the US.

      Liked by 1 person

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