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Northern YA Lit Fest 2023 in Preston

Friday, July 28, 2023

 As you may remember, I've been to Northern YA Litfest three times before, in 2018, 2019, and 2022. I really support it especially because it is held in the north, and I always have a really good time. This year, they didn't get the funding that they have had before, but decided to have a smaller conference, combining the YA and the children's stuff into one day. I think in general, you could tell there was less money and there were fewer volunteers, but in all, it was still a brilliant day and they had still done really well and I was glad to have gone. We will see what happens next year!

Lee and I set off around 8am and got to Preston about 9.30 even though the rain was really heavy on parts of the M62 (also I really hate the M62). I managed to pick up some proofs from the table which is always exciting, and I looked around some of the stalls. There weren't many but the ones there were were very cute! 

We headed into the "Getting Into Publishing" panel first, which was interesting even though I don't really want to get into publishing! I talked to one of the panellists later and it turned out she grew up in Wakefield like I did! Too weird! Next was "Demystifying the Author Journey" which had Danielle Jawando as one of the panellists. I really enjoyed one of her books last year so I really liked listening to her. She signed my book afterwards which was great too. 

Next was the "Being You" panel which was brilliant - I really enjoyed that one. Sara Barnard is always good and her new book sounds amazing. I bought it and got her to sign it afterwards. It is always a pleasure to see her on a panel. I will have to pick the book up soon! 

The cafeteria wasn't open this year, which was a shame, but I guess it's because it was out of term time. Lee went along to Tesco and got us some sandwiches which we ate in the atrium. That did mean that we were slightly late for the next panel, which was a bit annoying - it wasn't our fault, it was just because of lunch! 

The panel was "The Strange and The Sinister" which included Laura Steven and Cynthia Murphy, both of whom I was really excited to see. It was a funny and fun panel. I spoke to them both afterwards and got books signed. I only bought three books this year which is some kind of record for me! I did also buy some merch - you can see those photos at the end of this post. 

The last panel we saw was You Cannot Be Serious, which again was really funny. I spoke to Dee afterwards and she was lovely. We did another scan of the stalls and stuff, but decided to leave around 3.30. I think there might have been another panel afterwards, but the information wasn't really given, so we didn't know. But! We were glad to get home early and we ordered Chinese food for tea. 

I was wearing my Be Gay Solve Crimes t shirt which is to do with Robin Stevens, and there was someone else there in the exact same t shirt! There were many amazing outfits and some people were really dressed up for Barbie! It was so much fun. I had such a good day, as usual. 

In the very first panel

In the second one

Here's me and Danielle Jawando

And here's the Being You panel with a panel leader in a Topsy Curvy dress which was SO good

There's me and Sara Barnard. My necklace came from Black Heart Creatives in their closing down sale

The Strange and The Sinister panel. We had to sit a bit further up for this one, but this in general is a really accessible room and space for me

The last panel we saw

Here's my outfit when we got home

Here's the books I got! The first five were proofs and the last three I bought, all of which I'm very excited to read

And finally here's the stickers and pin I bought. The pin says "Hello I am a blogger" which I love!

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