Two weeks ago I attended YalfestNL 2016, the first kind of ‘book con’ in The Netherlands. I can’t believe it’s over already! I remember finding out about it in September or October and posting about it on here (read fangirling) and now it’s already May and I’m blogging about the actual event itself.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on here, but while I live in Amsterdam I don’t study here; I go to school in Utrecht, which is where YalfestNL was held. So obviously I had no trouble finding the venue right? Right?
I almost went the wrong way. Almost. So that’s good right. I didn’t actually get lost. I almost did. I’m still ashamed though. But in my offence I don’t spend that much time in Utrecht so it’s totally okay.
Anyway there was already a line when I got there, but not a really long one so I quickly joined the one for the Writing workshop which I had signed up for. While finally entering I noticed purple hair so I figured that was Sophie from Dande Leander haha. I saw her again inside when I unknowingly sat down next to her for the authors’ event.
Since we had to wait for the event to start though, I decided to take a look inside the goodie bag.
The bag itself is probably my favourite item (next to the authors’ signatures). It’s just so cute and I love that everyone had the same bag. That way we book junkies were really united.
Everyone got a different new book from Blossom Books; I got Riders from Veronica Rossi. The other book consists of sneak peeks of some of Blossom Books’ new releases. Of course we also got some cute bookmarks and a quill that I already owned from the Efteling (a theme park here in The Netherlands).
Instead of having to drag your books with you to the event and stand in queue with the risk of not getting your books signed, we all got these to stick in our books. In order: Stephanie Perkins, Ransom Riggs, Tahereh Mafi, Arwen Elys Dayton, Becky Albertali, Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen. We also got another bookmark. While I love the colour and the dress, the girl really freaks me out haha. Oh and actually my favourite thing is the sheep keyring that is also a flashlight. When you push the button he also bleats. It’s not funny how much I love it guys
LOOK AT IT
Soon it was time for the main event with the authors. THEY WERE ALL SO CUTE AND FUNNY GUYS. Especially Becky Albertali. She is so smol and cute omg. And it was adorable how humble and in awe she was since Simon is her debut and that this was her first event outside of America.
The host first asked them all some general questions that they each answered. One of the questions was how they deal with negative reviews and poor Tahereh said that one time she just read ALL of the negative reviews for Shatter Me in one sitting and it still haunts her. She doesn’t recommend it.
After that it was time for a competition (I’m not sure what the price was, but it was some sort of candy). They had to answer questions about each other and their work and had to write down A, B or C, but they often just wrote down another answer and Ransom even drew his answers haha. One of the questions was about a story Tahereh wrote as a kid and what it was about, but she couldn’t remember it herself. You could see her eyes lit up when the host read the answers haha. Ransom won by the way, probably because of his drawings (wish I could’ve taken a picture but it was really hard to take proper pictures. The one below is my only good picture).
To end the event the audience was allowed to ask questions. I really wish I remembered everything in detail and could write it all out for you, but um. Yeah. My memory sucks. Oh! I don’t remember if this was an answer to an audience question or a question from the host, but Becky said that after writing she found out a certain Oreo dish didn’t exist anymore (I don’t remember what it was) so she had to change it to a different dish, which was really hard on her emotionally haha.
DID I MENTION THEY WERE ALL SO CUTE AND FUNNY BECAUSE THEY WERE. And it made me feel so guilty that I hadn’t read Lucy, Tom and Arwen’s books. And that I didn’t really like Hollow City. And was in the middle of Library of Souls and wasn’t enjoying it at all (review for the trilogy to come soon! I’ve written it, just need to take a picture) Oh and I realise I haven’t said anything about Stephanie Perkins specifically but she was really lovely too. It’s just that my memory is fuzzy and I can’t remember that many details. BUT THEY WERE ALL LOVELY.
We had one hour for lunch and to take a look at the stand. There weren’t that many and they weren’t all bookish. There was one stand that sold jewellery and it had nothing to do with books at all. The other stand that sold jewellery did though, and they sold other fandom related jewellery as well. There was also a ‘tattoo’ stand (fake tattoo), a guy who wrote poems, a girl who drew portraits in a really cute style and a stand in which you could get covered in glitter (which didn’t really have anything to do with books either but of course there were bookworms covered in glittery runes and glittery lightning scars. I especially liked the latter). Sophie and I got poems written about us and I really like mine! I’m not going to translate it as it wouldn’t be the same anymore, but it’s about all the stories inside my head haha.
The writing workshop was… Well motivating, but honestly someone can just say the word ‘write’ and I’m fired up to write. So it doesn’t take that much for me to get excited to write. The woman who gave the workshop was nice, but she just didn’t say anything new, which was disappointing. Plus since it was a workshop and we were told to bring pen and paper I thought we’d be writing ourselves, but that wasn’t the case.
After the workshop was done there were some posters laid out on a table (they might have already been there but I didn’t notice them before) and I managed to snatch this beauty:
Ignore my ugly floor haha. I still need to put it up but I don’t have any poster buddies (do you call them that in your country too or am I just confusing all of you lol)
While we had a half hour break, we decided to stand in line for our photo moment (one half of the group had their workshop while the others had their photo moment and the other way around) so that we wouldn’t have to stand in line for long and that we could immediately get in line for the girl who drew portraits (we had already tried it before and while the line wasn’t that long, she took her time).
Of course we were quite anxious because we only had one photo and so many things could go wrong. As I got on the ‘stage’ I just looked down because I was so scared I’d trip and nervous to look the authors in the eye lol. Becky was once again adorable and cheerfully said ‘Hi!’. Oh and they all said thank you after I said thank you for getting a photo with them?? Like why are you guys thanking me. These authors are too precious for this world.
Isn’t the decor cool? It really fits Miss Peregrine’s setting haha.
There was a ‘store’ nearby the stage so we decided to take a look before we got back in line for our portraits
Yes this is all I bought haha. All the books they sold were in Dutch and I prefer to read in English. I really love these though, plus it was good for my wallet
So we got back in line to get our portraits drawn and it took so long that we were afraid that we’d end up without one. Thankfully we still got one though! I really love mine and need to look for a spot to hang it on my wall.
So yeah I forgot to take a picture of the drawing and now it’s too dark to take a proper one.. Oops. If I don’t forget I’ll post it in my weekly wrap up tomorrow though!
All in all it was a fun event and I still can’t believe all those lovely and amazing authors were actually in my smol country. I’m not sure if I’ll go next year though, as I don’t know any of the authors that they’ve announced so far. They’ll announce more, but I’m keeping in mind the possibility of the event being sold out before that happens. I’m already really happy I got to go this year though!
Have you been to a book event/con? Have you met any authors? Who would you REALLY want to meet? Let me know in the comments!