YALFest, the Dutch Young Adult literary festival, is being organized for the third time in the Netherlands this year, but us Belgians got our own evening for the first time ever. While the Dutch version is a LOT bigger and has workshops, a small market and a cocktail party, our Belgian edition was like a younger sibling. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited to attend though.
Let’s start with a quick overview of the event. It was scheduled to be a 3-hour evening with an interview and a book-signing session with Sara Holland, Taran Matharu, Sarah Crossan, Laura Steven, Tomi Adeyemi and Kass Morgan. If I’m not mistaken, only 40 people could attend.
I haven’t had the best of experiences at YALFest in the past (I’m not going to go into any details as they have upped their game now), yet I wasn’t worried as I was expecting quite the intimate evening with so little tickets available. And it was.
The interview was a little… weird… The interviewer probably never willingly read a YA book in his life and his questions were… interesting. Always fun to hear five YA authors being asked to defend why they are writing YA stories. Luckily, every single author was awesome and took it amazingly. The signing session was a little chaotic, but to be honest, that was a big part of the charm. All the authors took the time for a short talk and a photo session.
The evening ended with an amazing goodiebag (hello THREE brand-new books) and a lot of amazing memories. I’m already looking forward to going next year! If you’re wondering whether to attend too, you should definitely come even if these kind of events make you nervous. It’s the most comfy, low-key relaxing evening and you’d seriously miss out of you don’t come. See you there?!
What do you think of this small YA con? Will I see you at YALFest VL 2019? Let me know in the comments!