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A YA Convention?

Right, chaps and chapesses of the blogging world – and everyone else who might be interested!

I would like to gauge interest and content relating to a possible YA convention.

This is not promising that we shall help to organise one, but it is gathering the information that might help make an informed decision on it happening.

It would be UK based. Sorry, overseas guys, but this would need to be on our doorstep so that we could organise. It would be two days. It would have panels, reading, ask the editor/publicist style workshops and probably a creative strand (possibly involving cupcake decorating). There would be evening entertainment. It would be open to those under 18, but we would be asking guardians to come along too! (although we would offer them a break-out room where they can relax).


I want to know thoughts from you.

How much would you pay? Would you be prepared to pay a deposit upfront so that a location and authors can be booked?

Would you be happy for this to take place outside of London?

What would you like to see particularly on the programme?

Publishing peeps – would you want to come along, have a dealer room, offer books for prizes and goodie bags?

Basically, any thoughts that you have – even if it’s just a yay to register interest – would be fantastic. And then we’ll see where this can be taken!


Jennifer Williams

That sounds neat! Cupcakes should appear on more con schedules, if you ask me.


If organised in the UK, would it be open to UK residents only? That’s a big question to tackle, I think.

Speaking from a non-UK point of view, I would prefer it to take place outside of London, as I’m sure accomodation would be easier/cheaper to arrange.


It would be open to anyone who was prepared to book and attend! The adult SF conventions have attendees from all over the world (I attended Worldcon in Chicago for example), so no issues there. Would be good to have people who wanted to travel!

Laura Lam

Yes to outside London. Preferably further north! I’d be pay about what Eastercon/Fantasycon etc costs. I think it’d be great!


It would depend on location (how far from home) and also on format – I’m not a fan of the ‘pay one large amount and see all events’ packages but prefer to be able to just see the authors I choose. Though with that in mind it would need to be substantially different to author events at local bookshops to be worthwhile travelling.


I would love for there to be a UK based YA convention! That would be so much fun! It would be great if it were in the school holidays, maybe, or at least on a weekend… Really hope this happens! :)


This sounds incredible. I would definitely attend and I would participate and offer as much help as possible if you needed it.

Selfishly for me, London is the best since I live here, but also I think it would be easier for those traveling from outside the UK to get to.

Make it happen Amanda!


If it’s outside of London, it needs to be a central location with good transport links and preferably lots of accommodation nearby. That’s one of the reasons London works so well but obviously not so good for those up north (though my brother commuted from Edinburgh to London for a couple of years so not impossible).

I think a deposit is fair…though as an event that would attract a lot of people in education I’m not sure on price. I would happily pay £60 for the weekend but I know that is way too high for a lot of bloggers, let alone younger readers.

And definitely, cake! Maybe a social thing on the evening too.


I like this idea quite a bit, even if I wouldn’t be able to attend. I can think of a number of people that would be interested that CAN travel, though.

Nina (@serifinaxxx)

I love the idea of this! Two years of being envious of BEA and wishing for one over here, and you guys start thinking of one :D
Pay, er, MCM expo is about £10 for children, this’d be similar, I’d say about £20 entry. I’d be ok with a deposit.

Laure Eve

I would be very up for this, both as an author and also from a publisher standpoint.

Maybe a bit of survey monkey consumer research through people with access to YA enthusiasts (publishers, authors and teachers with school contacts, and generally through social networks) would give you an idea of what teens/parents and adult YA lovers would be prepared to pay and would like to see at the con.

Really hope this happens, and would love to be involved if it does, in whatever capacity :)


How much would you pay?
Anywhere between £40-80.
I know that’s not much, but that’s an honest answer. Unfortunately I have very little money available to spend on cool things like this.

Conferences like the Winchester conference (£160 for two nights inc lunch) are usually too expensive for me, but I would pay a little more to help out a new ‘startup’ con.

Would you be prepared to pay a deposit upfront so that a location and authors can be booked?
Sure, but again I couldn’t put down much — maybe £50? I suppose if the payments are spaced out, I might be able to pay a little more on the con.

Would you be happy for this to take place outside of London?
This would actually be a must-have for me. London is ridiculously expensive for me to travel to from Scotland, and I get a little intimidated trying to find my way around there.

What would you like to see particularly on the programme?
Agent events (e.g. 1-to-1s/pitch sessions, which can have an extra charge attached) are always good for writers in the query trenches. Stalls to buy books and other merch and book signing sessions are great too. :)

Best of luck with this plan, Amanda!


I’d definitely be interested, and like Laura said, happy to pay usual smaller con rates. Perhaps under 18s wouldn’t pay? Or you could do 2.5 days, and the first half day be totally targeted at teens? For me, getting young adults at a young adult con would be amazing.

As for outside of London, be interesting to ask other cons about their attendance rates to see if you really do get a much higher attendance at a London event.

If not London, agree, good transport is essential. And with things to do outside of the con hotel itself would make it more appealing to me.

As for content, I really enjoyed the masterclasses at FCon, as they were so practical focused. And readings! Loved the readings. :)

Anyway, great idea. And happy to be involved in organising it.


A YA con here in the UK sounds amazing, I’m always a little of jealous of all those amazing sounding cons inthe US. Selfishly, London is by far the easiest place for me to get to, and it is easily accessible by public transport although I realise it is more expensive.
I’m not sure how much is reasonable to pay, but yes to a deposit. Also I think that once you have paid your fee all the events should then be included. It sucks when you have to pay more once you are there for certain workshops etc.
I hope this is something that happens!


This is such an awesome idea! I’d say London, because that’s where I live. A convention isn’t something I would book accommodation for, as great as the event would be. So if the event was outside London, unless it was near somewhere where I have friends/family living who would put me up, it’s highly doubtful I would go. I’m not a fan of prices for accommodation.

As for price, considering it’s YA – so teens would want to come – and under 18s need to bring parents, I don’t think the price should be too high. I think £20 max. But still, thats £40 for a teen and an adult, and more often than not, I think the adult will be paying, and that may seem a little steep. So.. I don’t know.

AE Rought

Sounds awesome. I would Totally go to it.


I’d love a YA-focused con, even if I have to travel from overseas to get there! Cost is not an issue for me, since if I go it’s the least expensive part of the trip (airfare and lodging will kill me, though). I’d be happy to pay a deposit to get things started, or you could offer a “membership” fee for those wanting to help financially but who can’t attend.

It would be nice to hold the con in a city that doesn’t get a huge amount of tourist traffic, both to keep prices down and to give the locals a bit of a boost. If I’m spending that much to fly over and attend a two-day con, I’d probably want to stay a few extra days and explore the area too.

A summer date would be good, both for (hopefully) warm weather and also for attracting people who have to travel a good distance to attend. That way the under-18s won’t have to worry about homework and getting back early in time for school the next day.

Carly Bennett

YES I am completely up for this! Outside London isn’t an issue for me but central would be good as I’m so far down south – though, tbh, I have to travel to get anywhere and this sounds amazing so I’d probably come wherever it took place :) x


It sounds like a fantastic idea and I’d love to attend, as a writer and as a publisher.

Some ideas of locations have been circulated above. I think most attendees would enjoy a location outside London, as long as it is accessible by multiple means of transport (road, rail etc.).

Cost wise – I’d happily pay upwards of £100 as entrance fee for 2 days.


I would be SO interested in this and would be happy to travel anywhere to be honest.
My only worry is that I’d be allowed to attend as I am well over 18 sadly?!


YA readers will be welcome, in all their forms! :-)

Sofie Baekdal

How much would I pay? For me, personally, it all comes down to the panels. Not as much who’s on them as what they’ll be talking about. I’ve gone to author events before for YA fiction and while some people might be interested in how long it took the authors to write their books and how it got published, that just doesn’t do it for me (no, no, no, no, no offense. I don’t mean to sound harsh, it’s just – well, the harsh truth, isn’t it?) – mainly because I write myself, do writing degrees, know that not everyone works the same, which means that at the end of the day, that bit of information seems really redundant. I think most writers know how they write best, and as for the publishing bit – well, if you’re serious about it, I suppose you have already looked into that (or will be soon enough, anyway). Again, not information that, to me, feels super important in the grand scale of things (Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook FTW).

I’d be more interested in hearing writers be more (in lack of a better word) analytical of their work (yeah, that really sounds like a no-no word, but there you go). Thoughts on their characters, how they came about, what they mean to them, if there were things they had to change about them, either in editing or because the novel just couldn’t really work with a character having a certain trait perhaps. A panel title such as ‘Kill Your Darlings’ springs to mind – the tough decisions: what were they and why did they have to be made? Also, as a (potential PhD in Creative Writing) writer (who’s choosing a fantasy work as her project, which made one of the two lecturers she really wanted for her project sigh (because he’s 1660-1830 – you know, “proper” literature)), I think it’d be really interesting to hear about what it’s like to write for Young Adults. There are stigmas (at least, I feel there is, though it may just be the ones I carry around myself) – have they felt that? Do they think about it when they write?

A panel on originality, perhaps? It seems to me (and correct me if I’m wrong) that a lot of YA fiction follows certain formulas (traditions. Call it what you wish) – do the writers think about this when they write? Do they think about reader expectations? Do they worry about whether or not they should put that scene in because they know that three others have ones that are practically identical?

Lastly, I think E.Maree is on to something with the one-to-ones. Charge extra for it if you have to – it’s a brilliant idea. Or maybe the opportunity (for unpublished writers) to read aloud to an audience (assuming people would show up for that)? (:

Whichever way you decide to do it, I think it’s a really interesting idea and I welcome it wholeheartedly. No matter where in the country I’ll have to go to attend (:


Kate’s idea of a membership fee sounds excellent to me. There could be a members-only option where, if you can’t attend the actual con, you could view videos of the panels afterwards.

Beth Kemp

I’d definitely be interested, especially if it were not in London (Birmingham is nice and accessible…). It would be great to hear panels discussing issues in YA.


HELL YES! I have been dying to have the man power to organise such a thing for years! Its so difficult for a publisher to be in charge of it though as that might put other publishers off that it would be biased, or equally that the publisher in charge ends up fronting most of the cash. But I really think there are so many booksellers, bloggers, librarians etc that would love a central forum to geek out at. I know I would happily represent HC and get involved if this happens. Next summer?! If you had a bookseller on board too they might be able to contribute to some costs as they’d get plenty of sales? Ahh so exciting! Count me in!

R B Harkess

I’m certainly in

J.A. Souders

As a published YA author, I think this is a fantastic idea!! I would def. want to come along (even though I’m in the US) and send books and stuff for a goody room.

Lynsey Newton



As you might know, a lot of us UK bloggers have been talking about this for a VERY long time. We’re desperate to have some sort of UK convention along the lines of BEA and I know a lot of authors would love to come to England :D I’d even be happy to HELP YOU organise it, just say the word my friend!

In terms of cost, I’d be happy to pay a fee although I’m not sure how much I could afford – up to £50 maybe? I would definitely be willing to pay a deposit and also very happy for it to be outside of London although you’ll need to think about cost for authors (especially if they are international) and whether they would prefer to come to London so they can do other booky things whilst they are here like attend meetings with their publisher and so on.

What would I like to see on the program? I’d like to see it be a bit like BEA with book signings, meet the authors, maybe some talks about writing and some from publishers. I’d also love there to be a huge blogger input or involvement too and again, I’d be delighted to be involved.

nea barabea

YESS!! But please don’t say it will be this month!! I am moving to UK in 2 months and I would LOVE to attend!! :) :) For a resonable price ofcouse :P :P I’m a student so my financial status isn’t that big :/ GREAT IDEA :) :)


I would SO be up for a UK convention. It sounds like a fantastic idea. When I’ve gone to other conventions, I’ve usually paid around £80-£90 for the weekend, and thats included any autographs for guests or whatever. I know that it’s usually the venue that costs the most, so of course the price would depend on that. If you need any ideas on venues, I can help, although my knowledge is limited, i at least know a couple of places you could look into. :)


Omgosh yes please,
I would love it being outside of London as I live in the northwest and London is expensive to get to/stay in. Places like Birmingham, Nottingham etc might be good!?
I’d be willing to pay around £75-90 I think and happy to pay a deposit, it can’t cost much more than that though because people will have to stay over and get there so that bumps the price up :)
Thank you for trying to sort this, really hope it happens!

James Dawson

I would LOVE a UKYA convention, obviously. Some thoughts…

1. Price: Needs to be affordable. YES, a lot of working adults read YA, but in my early twenties as a teacher I wouldn’t have wanted to pay much over £100 for a weekend o fun. I think the £100 mark is very important actually. Even £95 feels less hideous somehow. What would suit younger readers is a festival style ticket where you can pay £40 for one day or £70 for both.

2. Location: Transport links are essential. Getting to Mid Wales and finding accom there would probably cost more than central London when all added up. I reckon a ‘second city’ (Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds) would save on London money and hideous local train nightmares.

3. Content: You’d HAVE to have a BIG NAME on the bill to really get the crowds. I’m thinking a Cassie Clare or a Lauren Kate. Agents and publishers would also lure in the writers as well as readers. The panels, as pointed out elsewhere, should go beyond ‘how I got published/this is my book’ and into debate and discussion. Workshops led by authors for young writers would also be amazing.

4. Perhaps this is just me being mushy, but a summer camp feel where younger readers could meet and make new friends would be great – so it doesn’t have to be cupcakes, but activity sessions sound lovely.

I think this could be a bit hit! MAKE IT SO.

laura h

I’d be all over a con like this and the idea has been in much demand from uk bloggers for some time. The issue would be the price and what you’d get for the money. Most weekend con’s I’ve done I’ve paid around 90 pounds for and then travel and hotels but obvs less price would mean I’d spend more on books when there.

I’d expect panels and talks from authors and publishers. Talks about issues in YA and publishing like dicussion panels. Q+A’s signings and a chance to buy books as well as a way to meet and network as such. See people face to face and hear about up and coming authors and books and maybe get ARCs or samples.

London would be best but places like Birmingham etc aren’t too far away if it’s a weekend event.

If it’s made ahead of time then people can save and plan to go and also maybe arrange interviews over the weekend if they want etc.

I’d love to go but a voice in what happens from all parties would be highly recommended so everyone can be happy


Emma Petfield

I’m personally thrilled with this idea! There is far too few meet-ups for bloggers and readers! Convention prices vary dependant on location for example, if the price included say one nights stay at a hotel (if the convention were at a hotel) but I would be willing to pay about £100 for it (and a bit more if it included a nights stay). I’m excited that it wouldn’t be in london because being a Northerner it makes it more and more expensive to go to events there. I think somewhere in the midlands would be a fair place to set it that way everyone has to meet in the middle. :)


I would definitely be interested! I’m a little over the target age range, but I’m an avid YA reader (and aspiring author as well, but that’s less important). I have no issue with it not being in London, but would prefer it’s somewhere I could get to easily by train if necessary.

All your ideas sound wonderful. The writer in me would love to see agents or ask-the-author sessions to learn more about their creative processes as well.

I DEFINITELY do not have lots of money. I am a student, and poor even by that standard. I could probably scrounge up £40-£80 pounds, like E.Maree suggested, but anything over £100 would be wildly out of my price range.

Vivienne Dacosta

I would love this! Many YA bloggers have talked about the possibility of this for ages.

Brighton is hosting a huge con next year and would be an ideal location if not London would be be a better bet.
As it is YA, many teenagers are going to want to come, so I think you would have to keep the price low. I think £40 a ticket would be enough.



Also, needs more frictionless duck.

Molly Ker Hawn

Oh, Amanda, yes please! I’ll echo James Dawson’s comments, especially that if it’s not near London, it ought to be in a Manchester/Birmingham/Leeds-type city to keep transport costs and logistics reasonable.

I’d love to help, if I can. I feel a brainstorming session coming on, preferably over some cake, or a a nice bottle of cabernet.


I would be so up for this.

That is all.


Okay, just to keep you all updated! I have contacted a venue which looks very nice to talk about dates and prices.

At the moment I am looking at 13th/14th July next year, max 200 attendees (depending on room sizes) and an entry fee of £20. This WON’T INCLUDE food or accom. You will have to sort those out – but this venue is in the centre of Birmingham from what I can tell, so those will be available freely.

Hope that whets your appetite and that I’ll have more news for you soon!!


Ooooh!! On my birthday! Pricing and place and date all sounds brilliant!! Definitely sounds brill to me :D

Cara Fielder

All sounds great to me. A good price, plenty of notice, exciting!

Lynsey Newton

Sounds awesome Amanda :)

Molly Ker Hawn

Amanda, are you thinking there’d be a sales/dealers’ area? Just musing.


It is something that all adult conventions have and I would certainly be looking to include one, if poss. And not just for books. Local creative talent (jewelry and such) could be included!


I’ve just had a thought. If you separate the events, so that the events for readers are on one day – author panels, signings, reading related publishing panels, blogging events etc, and another day for the writers – the agent events, the author panels giving writing advise, writing related publisher panels – then costs can be kept down for those that don’t want to attend one or the other. Obviously those who want to attend both can, but then those who are only interested in certain events aren’t spending a large amount of money when there are events spread over the weekend they’re not interested in. Just an idea.

CJ Daugherty

Hi there — I thought I’d chip in, too! I love the sound of this. It sounds inclusive and affordable and open — which too many book conventions aren’t.

Love the idea of truly creative writer/agent panels — it sounds like there are a lot of great ideas for panel discussions right here on this page! As a writer, I’d love to hear writers talking about things like getting their break, doing things wrong (NB: I’m very good at that one), plotting, character building and destruction, learning to deal with reviews without having a nervous breakdown, and other similar things.

I’m happy to do anything I can to help! Maybe we can convince Amy Plum to come over from Paris…



Amazing idea!
Some thoughts:

-Audience: Sounds like you’d want to get a strong program of both writer-focussed and audience-focussed scheduling – I totally agree that programming to actually get young people to said convention would be important! Perhaps one day, like a Sat, could be particularly focussed on that in terms of programming, since a younger audience may have less income for a weekend and want to come for a day?

-Audience programming – for a younger audience, I think things like workshops and demos would be amazing!

-Writer’s programming – As mentioned by others, more in-depth panel discussions, as well as practical programming – workshops/masterclasses, maybe industry speed networking, writers and industry drinks reception, crit sessions…

-Pricing – Perhaps a low core attendence fee (like £15 one day, £20 both), with add-ons for extras, could make it more accessible to young people? Extra’s could include things like crit sessions, drinks reception, writer’s workshops, and could either be by-event, or there could be a general attendance ticket and then a higher-priced writer’s weekend ticket that included these types of events?

Personally I’d be hoping to be able to book a table for selling, and price-wise for that would consider up to £80 as a small press/independent rate.

Location-wise, I actually think it’s brilliant to have events outside of London now and then! Somewhere central with good rail links like Birmingham or Nottingham could be a good bet.

And last note: I’m a freelance comic creator with my first YA graphic novel coming out next year, and if I can be any help / you want to knock about ideas on comics programming, please feel free to drop me a line (sally [at]!

All the very best w/ this if you go ahead! :)


I’d definitely go providing there was a good range of authors and events. In terms of cost – I would say £75 would be a good amount, especially if you’re wanting to get students in. One would need to bear in mind travel costs and, should they be staying for both days, accommodation. It all quickly adds up and particulary in the current climate. Furthermore if you want under 18s to come with guardians that’s double the amount.

As to location, I don’t think it matters. It would be great if it was in London (that’s on my doorstep) but I actually think so many things are London-centric it would be quite nice to go elsewhere.

Also would you include those from the Self Publishing world, and not just the authors in that arena?

All in all though I would be a definite attendee!

E.C. Myers

I would definitely be interested, especially if my book actually becomes available in the UK one day. After attending to so many conventions where YA is overlooked, ignored, or marginalized, having YA be the focus for a change would be refreshing and long overdue. I agree that we should do whatever we can do to make the event more appealing to teen attendees. Writing workshops seem to be popular, though they add layers of complexity to do them right and make them useful. The model they use for the Wiscon writers workshops, where the author and students in the workshop read everyone’s work in advance of the convention and then meet for a group critique, might be worth looking at.

laura carter

I would definately go to this sort of thinh. There isnt enough book events in the UK. As for location i think somewher very central would be the best.


Great idea. YA agents, publishers, authors, of course sellers too. Could be a massive chance for so many.
Opportunities galore. I can see fringe events popping up around it too. Price is great, too :)


I would LOVE a YA convention! Would definitely go if I could afford it. I like the idea of a non-London event, further north. Maybe in Nottingham or Leeds, somewhere like that?

I think in terms of price, perhaps around £40-50 for a weekend event, around £15-20 for a day? That seems to be a reasonable price based on other cons I’ve seen in the UK. :-)

If you decide to organise it and need any help with anything/redshirts, just let me know! Would love to be a part of making this a reality!

Christian Schoon

Jeez, too bad you’re not getting any feedback on this idea, Amanda… :D
I’ll have to talk to Yank S.C. authors about lining up a bulk-discount party jet to bring us all over for the event.

Stephanie Burgis

Would it be just YA or also younger children’s fiction? (My published books are all in the 9-12 age range, so I’m trying to figure out whether I would fit the conference!) I love the idea of a UK conference and would love to attend.


I think this is a FABULOUS idea! I’ve been waiting ages for something like this to finally happen!

I think a non-London venue would be good, because it’d probably cost a fortunate for travel and accommodation. But I might just be biased because I live in Manchester and London is too far for me to go by myself. I would be prepared to pay about £20-30ish for entry because I’ll be sixteen then and won’t really have any money and that’s just if I’m actually allowed to go, haha! A deposit would be fine. I think over a weekend, or late July, when school is over would be best so that actual teenagers would be able to attend. It’d be such a cool after-exam treat!

Panels on trends in YA (stuff like love triangles, 1920’s, etc) would be a good idea, and I like the idea of being able to talk to publishers about how a book gets published and stuff like that. You could perhaps get publishers to do a presentation on their ‘big’ books? Book signings and author talks would also be super awesome!

R Morgan

This sounds amazing. I spend way too long salivating over the similar USA conventions.

I edit/acquire YA for a small established press, and am in Birmingham anyway. If you’d like somebody to take pitches or speak for a smaller house, I’d be delighted to get involved that way (email included above!).

Amy Plum

I would definitely come from Paris if invited! There aren’t enough YA events on this side of the Atlantic!

Bev Humphrey

This sounds great and I’d definitely be up for it, and I think so would many school librarians too. Price wise would be happy to pay the £20 a day you’ve suggested. Love the idea of not just book stalls but also local craftspeople.

Mary Hoffman

I’d be happy to participate as a speaker/panel member.


Brilliant idea. Personally, somewhere central, perhaps Birmingham would be good. Cost might be an issue, I’m pretty poor, but I think 60-80 sounds manageable. I know my daughters would love it, they’re obsessed with reading at the moment. And it would be good for some of us not so young adults to mix too!

Lucy Coats

Excellent idea. Price, as many have said, will be key, as will efficient organisation. I think you will have to get publishers on board, if only to sponsor their own authors to come. The idea of a small conference to start is sensible, but 200 at £20 is only £4000 and that won’t go far if (as I think you will be) you are asked to pay fees to speakers. £150 per day is the normal festival rate, and big names will expect that. I’d really love to see this happen and will watch with interest.


This is a great idea, I’d be very interested in attending.
There is a mini convention happening this weekend 6th October in Liverpool, Scarefest 3. There will be 8 top YA authors in attendance giving talks and workshops. There is even a play, the premier of the Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. Check out for details.

Anna Baggaley

Hi Amanda,

As a YA Editor (at MIRA Ink – I’d love to be involved and take author/editor pitches or as part of a panel etc. I think its a wonderful way to encourage new UK YA writing and we’d love to come and meet as many potential authors and readers as possible.


Anna Baggaley

Susan Mann

Sounds good, Scotland would be a great place ;)

Keren David

Brilliant idea! As one of the founders of the UKYA website, we’d love to be involved, and it would be great if the convention could celebrate British YA as much as the imports from the US.


I might be up for something like this but I would not buy in for definite until I saw a list of authors attending, panels, etc. As a blogger who focuses on books for boys I would not be interested in attending if the only (or main) focus was on authors whose main target market are teen girls. I know this puts me firmly in the minority, but I’m just being honest.

As far as location is concerned, if the panels, etc fit the above then I would be happy to travel as far as Birmingham, but unlikely to go as far as Manchester, Leeds, etc.

Jim from YA Yeah Yeah

I’d love to attend and £20 a day sounds like a great price to me. (Personally, I’d be happy to pay more but think there have been good points made about needing to keep it affordable for teens, especially if parents are coming as well and paying for 2 people.

Birmingham sounds like a fab location!

Michael Molcher

We’d be interested, Amanda – we’re just launching our YA imprint, Ravenstone. First title is out in June…

Louisa Reid

I’d love to attend (speaking as both a reader and writer of YA) and think the suggestions so far are fab – especially the idea about workshops so readers can get really involved.

Sue Ransom

Sounds interesting – I’m not a blogger but an author, but hopefully would be allowed! And as an ex-Chemist myself, particularly keen to support.


The suggestions for a day rate and a weekend rate are a really good idea. I think teens would less likely make a weekend of it, so a low cost day rate and events tailored to the actual target audience could happen on Saturday. Then a weekend rate could include a social event on the Saturday night (nothing fancy) and extra on the Sunday. Maybe a blogger panel?

Perhaps local bookshops could get in on it too and hold stuff over the weekend “in association”. Would be beneficial to them but also adds to the weekend without much extra effort.

Vendors are an excellent idea. We all like having a good browse and would bring in extra money!

Sarah @ TotalTeenFiction

This sounds brilliant! When I first started my blog I was jealous of all the brilliant conventions abroad and so a UK one would make me extremely happy.

Outside of London would be my preference on cost (I’m trying to budget for Leakycon London at the moment and everything is so expensive) so anywhere with good rail links like Birmingham would be perfect. Ideally it would have to cost less than £100 (and that’s really the top end) because I’d be factoring travel expenses.

A blogger panel like Ellie said above would be great! Any way of bloggers getting to meet up and get to know each other of would really appeal, as it seems to be at the centre of other cons I’ve heard about. I’d love places to buy books and merchandise, too. I think separating events that would appeal to readers and writers would be good. I’m a writer but my blog is all about reviews and reading so if I’m attending as a blogger then I’d really just be looking at those events.

I look forward to hearing more about this!


Might be worth contacting CILIP YLG (Youth Libraries Group) and CILIP SLG (School Libraries Group) as they could help promote it to teenagers and interested adults – they also have experience of planning conferences and contacts across YA publishing.
I’m on the YLG London Committee and am a School Librarian and would love to see if I was allowed to bring a group of students with me to such an event!


This sounds awesome, Amanda!

Megan Farr

Hot Key Books would LOVE to be involved. Brum sounds like a very good choice. Keep us posted and let us know how we can help.


I would LOVE a YA convention! It sounds like a fantastic idea!

Joanna Delooze

Birmingham would be awesome.

Get Patrick Ness as a speaker!!!
Agree with Sophie above, character & novel structure analysis would be interesting. Kill your Darlings idea as well.
maybe a workshop on taboo subjects in YA literature and how to get past ‘gatekeepers’ without compromising novels too much?

This woudl be so brilliant, I am from ‘the states’ but live here now and have really grumbled about lack of this kind of stuff here in the UK!


Great idea, and although now living in North Wales, would find the Midlands a good venue, though happy to travel to London. I have not published for YA before, but am in the throes of writing a book for that age group. It would be useful to meet published authors in that group, and-anyway-good to get away and be in the company of fellow scribblers!


I absolutely love the idea of a UK YA convention and would definitely be up for attending. I’m not too worried about where the location is as long as there are good transport links and or parking facilities nearby.

I’m not really too sure how much UK conventions cost – I paid about $200 to go to the Authors After Dark con in America which included 3 days of events, signings, panels, publisher events, blogger programs, 2 evening meals including entertainment and various different parties sponsored by different authors / publishers (eg a group of authors got together and held a chocolate party for the bloggers where we all got to chat about books, get things signed and were given lots of chocolate to nibble on along with other swag like bookmarks and arcs). All of the events were included in your ticket price it was just a case of choosing which things you wanted to attend and turning up for them but we paid extra for other meals and for our hotel.

I’d be happy to spend money to go to a UK con as long as I have enough time to save up for it. As for paying a deposit I think that would be a must or you’d end up with people letting you down at the last minute. In fact I would have thought that you would have to pay the full price upfront – that’s what I had to do for AAD and what they’re doing for Fantasy con next year.

I know cost could be prohibitive if it is too expensive but I’d rather spend a bit more and get more out of it. If I’ve got to pay for accommodation and travelling then it’s got to be for something worthwhile.


Love the idea of a YA convention and would certainly come along. Don’t mind where as long as good public transport links and would pay deposit.


This would be amazing.
London and Brighton would be super easy for me to get to but for this kind of event I would be happy to travel.

Michelle Harrison

Inspired idea! I’d gladly take part, whether as an author or a reader. I love some of the ideas that have been mentioned for panels – the ‘killing your darlings’ stood out as this sort of thing will really provoke good discussion and different information than what a lot of us already have on our websites/blogs. I also think it’d be brilliant to hold this somewhere other than London, further north ideally.

For an evening event, how about a book themed costume party for attendees to dress up as their favourite character? Book swag for best outfits. (Any excuse to dress up!)

Best of luck with it, look forward to seeing how it develops.

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