The Essential YALC 2018 Guide

Here you can find out about early copies, proof giveaways, swag and fun activities at each publisher stall at YALC — you can find more information about signings, panels and workshops on their website. Keep checking back before YALC starts on Friday as there are still publishers we are waiting to hear from, or follow me on Twitter to find out when I’ve updated it.

This list was created thanks to help from Jenn at Jenniely and Lydia at Silver Wolf Reads, whose blogs this list is cross posted on. Special thanks to Jim from YA Yeah Yeah who made last year’s guide and was happy for us to go off to make this one.

For official YALC info, you can find the daily schedules here: Friday // Saturday // Sunday.

Want to add anything to this list? Email me at or DM me on Twitter.

Early Copies

Please bring enough cash for books at publisher stalls as they often do not have card machines — Orion, Harper360, HQ, BKMRK, Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber, My Kinda Book and Abram & Chronicle have confirmed they will have a card reader. Ink Road, Usborne, Scholastic, Atom Books, Andersen Press and Walker Books have confirmed they are cash only. Be aware that internet signal in YALC is unreliable, so card readers at individual publishers stalls may fail. It is recommended that you get cash out before you come to the show, as cash machines have long queues. There are several in the small shopping centre at Hammersmith Piccadilly and District line tube station (by the McDonald’s) and at the station at Kensington High Street.

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K Arnold. Andersen Press stall.

Show Stealer by Hayley Barker (sequel to Show Stopper). Waterstones stall.

The Island by M. A. Bennett (sequel to STAGS). Hot Key Books stall.

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne. Waterstones stall. Take proof of purchase to Usborne stall to get some goodies, or you can email proof of receipt to

Dark Queen by Josephine Boyce. Stall A6, labelled “Josephine Boyce” on YALC map, but is actually a stall of multiple indie YA authors. Go say hi!

The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess. Waterstones stall. Bring your proof of purchase to Andersen press to claim a free copy of Junk, Doing It or Bloodtide.

Vox by Christina Dalcher. Harper Collins stall. Early exclusive hardbacks.

Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein. Walker stall.

The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin. Chicken House Books stall.

Bright Ruin by Vic James (third book in Dark Gifts trilogy, released day before). My Kinda Books and Waterstones.

Jinxed by Amy McCulloch. Hashtag Reads stall.

Giant Days by Non Pratt. Waterstones stall. Exclusive reusable coffee cup from the Abrams & Chronicle stall with receipt showing purchase.

Colour Me In by Lydia Ruffles. Waterstones stall.

Friendship Fails of Emma Nash by Chloe Seager. Waterstones.

My (Secret) YouTube Life by Charlotte Seager. My Kinda Book stall.

The Hurting by Lucy van Smit. Chicken House.

Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton. Walker stall.

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber. Waterstones stall.

It Ends With You by S. K. Wright. Atom Books stall.

Special editions

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (signed copy, film edition). BKMRK.

New Special Edition of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Walker stall.

Signed copies of The Extinction Trials and The Extinction Trials Exile by S. M. Wilson. Usborne. On general sale and there are competitions to win them.

Proof & Finished Copy Giveaways

In light of the accessibility issues raised in proof giveaways last year, it appears that most publishers are doing raffles for proofs. We will add any specific tasks alongside the proof information as we receive it, though you may need to ask at the stall for this information where not noted below. Remember, there are often a limited amount of proofs so consider only turning up for copies you really want.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. 10 copies per day will be given away to people who have purchased a book from the Hashtag Read’s stall, chosen at random.

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold. Harper Collins stall at 11.30am on Friday. This will be operated through raffle, get there on time.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. My Kinda Book100 copies available on Friday at 11am.

The Caged Queen by Kirsten Ciccarelli (sequel to The Last Namsara). Orion stall. Giveaways on Friday.

Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon. Win early finished copies at the Usborne stall. 25 to give away. Winners announced 5pm each day, on Saturday by Mel Darbon herself.

Izzy and Tristan by Shannon Dunlap. BKMRK. Saturday, giveaways between 11-12 and 3-4pm.

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox. Harper Collins. 4.30pm on Saturday.

The Familiars by Stacey Halls. Hot Key Books stall. 5 copies to win over the weekend.

The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Chicken House stall. Win copies through their competition.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Egmont/EMT.

Pages & Co by Anna James. Harper Collins. Raffle tickets given out from 12pm on Saturday, and will close on Sunday afternoon when they will announce the winner.

Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes. Penguin Random House stall. 15 proof copies of will be dropped every hour on the Friday, via a raffle draw.

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. Harper Collins. Sunday 11am, exclusive early bind-up giveaway.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. Bloomsbury. Simply post a picture of you using our A Curse So Dark and Lonely Snapchat filter on twitter using the hashtag #BreakTheCurse and we will pick 10 winners!

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger. BKMRK. Friday, giveaways between 11-12 and 3-4pm.

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff. Harper Collins. Competition/giveaway on Friday.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang. Harper Collins. Competition/giveaway on Saturday.

The Chaos of Now by Erin Lange. Faber & Faber. Can be won at the stall.

Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand. Harper Collins at 3pm on Saturday. This will be operated through raffle, get there on time.

Easy Prey by Catherine Lo. Abrams & Chronicle. 25 copies available every day between 10-12.

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu. BKMRK. Sunday, giveaways between 11-12 and 3-4pm.

Killer T by Robert Muchamore. Hot Key Books, available on Sunday.

No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen. Andersen Press. Saturday and Sunday: Enter to win by joining in with our No Fixed Address quiz. Five winners will be selected at random each day.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. Hodder. Proofs to be given away throughout the weekend.

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti. Hot Key, be in with a chance to win by tweeting the trailer to win a copy (check the stall for timings).

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. Harper Collins. Competition/giveaway of the proof on Sunday.

Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner. Atom Books. Daily giveaways.

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Saturday 28th July, 2pm people in the signing queue will be given raffle tickets. Samantha will then be drawing 2 x winning raffle tickets for a proof giveaway and Bloomsbury will contact the 2 winners to come to the stand to collect their proof.

Beneath The Citadel by Destiny Soria. Abrams & Chronicle. 25 copies available every day between 3 and 5.

You Only Live Once by Jess Vallance. Hot Key Books stall. Roughly 20 copies available to giveaway. Tweet us your YOLO moment to win, six copies a day to giveaway.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth. Chicken House. Competitions to win a copy.Emily Eternal by M. G. Wheaton. Hodder. Proofs to giveaway throughout the weekend.

The Girl King by Mimi Yu. Orion stall. Giveaways on Friday.

Samplers and Fun Stuff at the Stalls

Some samplers are available freely, whereas some you can win at the stalls; check at the individual stalls to confirm.

A6, Indie authors stall:

    • Free bath bombs with book purchase, limited to first 30 sales.

Abrams & Chronicle:

  • Samplers of Stain by A.G. Howard. Win on their stall through a lucky dip — pull a purple flower out of the box to win.
  • All books discounted by up to 25%!

Andersen Press: all paperbacks £5, hardbacks £10.

Atom Books: Samplers of Every Colour of You by Amelia Mandeville, Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner and of a currently unannounced project.



    • Competition to win your very own Harry Potter House Common Room print signed by Levi Pinfold. Simply post a photo of yourself with your Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets House Edition with the hashtags #HarryPotter20 and #YALC on twitter or Instagram for your chance to win!
  • Friday 27th 1pm — 5pm: free Sarah J. Maas Nail Art in the communal area of YALC with two professional manicurists. Take your nail design from the book covers on offer – A Court of Frost and Starlight, A Court of Wings and Ruin, A Court of Mist and Fury or A Court of Thorns and Roses. Limited availability, sign up at the Bloomsbury stand via a sign-up sheet as soon as doors open on Friday.

Chicken House:

  • Party to celebrate the publication of The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin, 4pm Saturday. There are a limited number of goodie bags for people who buy a copy at this time.
  • Kiran Millwood Hargrave will be signing books from 12.30 on Saturday at the Chicken House stall.

Egmont/ Electric Monkey:

  • Holly Jackson will be available to sign proofs and samplers Friday at 11.30-12.00 and 15.30-16.00, Saturday at 10.15-10.45 and 14.30-15.00 and Sunday at 12.30-13.00 and 14.30-15.00.

Faber & Faber:

  • Samplers of The Curses (sequel to The Graces) by Laure Eve
  • Opportunity to win short story sampler Tales of Sand and Sea by Alwyn Hamilton at 2pm Saturday and Sunday followed by signing.
  • Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton tote bags and t shirts can be won at the stand
  • In Paris With You competition for a copy of the book and other goodies
  • Laure Eve will be at our stand to sign copies of The Graces on Saturday at 12pm

Firefly Press:

  • Kat Ellis will be on the stand to sign copies of Three Strikes and chat on Saturday 28 July from 12 midday.

Hashtag ReadsAmy McCulloch will be on the stall to sign copies of Jinxed on Saturday at 12.30pm

Harper Collins (one stall for Childrens, HQ, Harper Voyager & 360)

  • On Friday at 3pm, there will be a raffle based giveaway where you can win one of 50 Alice Oseman signed prints.
  • Friday at 2pm: VOX Jumper and Hardback Giveaway
  • On Saturday, there will be a Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth print giveaway
  • Charly Cox framed poem/photo giveaway on Saturday, 1.30pm.
  • Sunday: Fantastic Beasts super prize raffle
  • Samplers of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (sequel to Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue) by Mackenzi Lee; Fierce Like a Firestorm (sequel to Wicked Like a Wildfire) by Lana Popović

Hodder: Running several competitions to win a mammoth book bundle, a set of Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares proofs, and a Jasper Fforde hibernation pack! Check at the stall for details.

Hot Key Books

    • Alexandra Christo will sign To Kill a Kingdom on the stall 10-11am on Saturday.
    • M. A. Bennett will sign copies of STAGS and The Island 12-1pm on Saturday.
    • To Kill a Kingdom themed siren makeovers on Saturday 10-2pm. Check the stall to book a slot.
    • Samplers for The Wicked King by Holly Black and The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge samplers available on stand
  • Hot Key will be running the book swap stand again!

Ink Road: Samplers of Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman.

Interlude Press: 

  • Author Julia Ember will be signing sneak peeks of her new book The Navigators Touch, the sequel to The Seafarer’s Kiss.
  • All books will be discounted!

My Kinda Book:

    • Friday, from 2pm a chance to win Floored Converse.
    • Saturday 12-2pm, Children of Blood and Bone inspired lip looks with MDM Flow; from 2pm Children of Blood and Bone cupcakes and discover your maji clan.
  • Sunday: 1-3pm Vic James (Dark Gifts Trilogy) signing, followed by afternoon tea with Vic.
  • Double sided sampler of Muhammed Khan’s books, featuring I Am Thunder and their forthcoming release Kick the Moon.
  • Samplers of Enchantée by Gita Trelease.


  • Sunday there will be chances to win Mirror, Mirror by Cara Delevigne and fun activities to promote Overshare by Rose & Rosie.



  • Original short story in sampler format – Noah Goes Nuclear by Simon James Green!


  • Aisha Bushby will be singing copies of Change book from 1.30pm on Saturday.
  • #ProudBook cover reveal at 3.30pm on Saturday.
  • Sneak peek pamphlet from Proud Book will be available after the reveal.

Titan Books:

    • Samplers of The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman and Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
  • Pins for A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney

Walker: Samplers of Dry by Neal Shustermann


    • Friday: Kim Curran will be holding a ‘Slay your demons workshop’ and will be available to sign copies of Slay afterwards on the UsborneYA stand.
    • Sunday: Will Hill, YA Book Prize winner, will be signing copies of winning book, After the Fire, following his appearance.
    • Sunday: All attendees of Holly Bourne’s origami workshop will receive a #KindnessIScontagious goodie bag. Help Usborne spread the Kindness virus — visit the UsborneYA stand to find out more on the Sunday.

Witch for a Week by Kaye Umansky | 1 Minute Reviews

Some of my favourite stories come from the chapter books range, often known as 5-7 years in most bookstores. They’re so often silly and full of heart. I noticed as a bookseller the prominence of witchy books in this section – I had both The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy and Pongwiffy by Kaye Umansky as a child, and while working Sibeal Pounder’s Witch Wars series was gaining traction. The latest in this trend is the first in a new series from Pongwiffy author Kaye Umansky.


Witch for a Week is the story of Elsie Pickles who, after a chance encounter in her father’s shop, agrees to become a house-sitter for the magical home of local witch Magenta Sharp. Together with Nuisance the local stray and Corbett the curmudgeonly raven, Elsie must contend with a series of strange visitors and a mysterious package filled with love potion ingredients. Luckily, it appears that Elsie has a gift for magic, along with her knowledge of the Top Ten Rules of Customer Service.

The illustrations by Ashley King are whimsical and brimming with character. I particularly love the depictions of the Howler Twins — I initially received an unillustrated proof copy and only after I finished the book did I come across the illustrations, which are spot on!


Witch for a Week is a charming and very fun story about rising to challenges, capability and kindness. As the first book in a new series, children will be able to follow Elsie’s adventures exploring magic – with a new book due out in May 2018. And if your budding witch needs something to occupy them in the meantime, Umansky’s wonderful series Pongwiffy is being re-published, with the first book containing two stories out now.

Get it here: Hive (UK)Book Depository (Int)

What to read next:

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending a copy over to me.

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave & Memories of the Philippines

This last year has been a pretty wonderful one for writer Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Her first novel The Girl of Ink and Stars was published and instantly made a Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month, then shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and took the trophy for Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year. I absolutely loved The Girl of Ink and Stars so was eager to see what she would create next.


The Island at the End of Everything is a stunning novel of plucky girls, friendship and brave adventures, just as Ink and Stars was. Amihan was born on Culion, an island colony for people with leprosy, where she has lived all her life with her mother Tala. When the government sends a new administrator to shake things up on Culion, Ami and the other children without leprosy are removed to an orphanage the next island over. Fearing for her mother’s safety, Ami sets out to return to Culion together with her new friend, kindly and brave Mariposa.

Millwood Hargrave handles both leprosy and life as a disabled person gently and with great respect, even opening up a conversation about person first descriptions of disability – person with leprosy as opposed to “leper”. These topics are really important for people to be exposed to and I’m really pleased to see these conversations being approached in Children’s literature.

A small diversion into nostalgia, if you’ll allow me. There is a scene in the book that reminds me so much of a memory that I had to share it with you. Before I returned to my rightful world of books, I worked as a research diver in the Philippines. One weekend a small group of us needed to travel to the island of Cebu, a few islands over from where we were based in the Central Visayas, in order to pick up some new diving gear. While we were there, we decided to make a little holiday of it and visited Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, a small butterfly sanctuary, museum and art gallery.

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As ever Kiran’s writing is lyrical, rich in senses and transcends its middle grade genre. Honestly you need to read it. If you’ve not been reading children’s literature in recent years, I strongly recommend that you pick up one of her novels to see what you’ve been missing out on. Get it here.

What to read next:


Frogkisser by Garth Nix | 1 Minute Reviews

Let it be known that I love a good tongue in cheek fairytale inspired story.

We have such a wealth of tales well known to us, thanks to Brother’s Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen or even Walt Disney, and I absolutely love stories that take those tropes and mix them up.


Enter Frogkisser, the latest novel from Garth Nix – an absolutely glorious middle grade romp of Princesses, magic and transformed creatures. Oh, but be sure – this is not the story of the princess and the frog as you know it (this includes the much under-rated Disney version).

Princess Anya is determined to be a sorcerer; being second in line to the throne means freedom from worrying about ruling… although if her sister was a tiny bit more serious she wouldn’t have to worry so much. When their actually evil step-step-father Duke Ricard turns Morven’s latest suitor Prince Denholm into a frog, Anya takes pity and decides to set out to gather the ingredients for a magical lip balm to return him to his rightful form.

Allied with Royal Dog Ardent, Anya’s quest quickly becomes more complex, in no small part due to an honourable band of robbers, a very good wizard and a boy transformed into a giant orange newt. Can she return Denholm (and all the other transformed creatures desperate for her help) before evil Duke Ricard captures her?

With absurdism and wit reminiscent of Pratchett, Frogkisser is an absolute joy that had me weeping with laughter on many occasions. Nix captures dogs with such a knowing smile, and imbues Anya with such courage and kindness that you can’t help but root for her.

This is one of my favourite books so far this year. Pure joy, silliness and magic; really what more could you want?

Interested? Buy it here.

What to read next:

Thank you to Piccadilly Press & Bonnier Zaffre for sharing a copy with me!

The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell | 1 Minute Reviews

Have you been looking for something magical? An adventure to another world that mirrors our own?

The Crooked Sixpence, Book 1 of the new Uncommoners series, stands as one of my favourite middle grade novels of last year. Now is a great time to start, with book 2 coming along in June!


When her home is ransacked, Ivy escapes to the under London world of Lundinor with mysterious Valian and her brother Seb, to find out what happened to her gramma on the Twelfth Night. Lundinor, which reminds me ever so much of Diagon Alley, is a world where common objects possess magical powers and where Ivy realises she belongs after all, provided the Dirge don’t get her and her family first.

I’m positive, this is going to be The book series for this generation. Written by children’s bookseller, Jennifer Bell, The Crooked Sixpence contains all the ingredients for the perfect children’s book – magic, excitement, hope and freedom.

Recommended from ages 8 up as there are some scary bits with the Dirge, but if your child has read Harry Potter and is okay with Death Eaters, they will be with this. Adults will also love this – I recommend you pinch your child’s copy afterwards.

Interested? Get it here!

What to read next:

Thank you to Penguin for sending me the copy to review.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin | 1 Minute Reviews

The Thing About Jellyfish is an impressive middle grade book about coping with the death of a friend, growing up and growing apart, and an obsession with jellyfish.


When Suzy’s best friend drowns, she decides that it is jellyfish to blame, and sets out on a mission to prove to everyone that it was the jellyfish. Approaching the world of jellyfish with a fervour, Suzy reaches out to scientists, pouring her grief into determination.

Touching, sad and absolutely filled with fascinating jellyfish facts, I really recommend this first novel from Ali Benjamin. All editions also include stunning jellyfish illustrations.

Also, I recommend getting the hardback and removing the dust jacket – the yellow cover with the sparkly jellyfish is stunning!

Suitable for ages 9+.

Interested? Get it hereGet it here.

What to read next:

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for sharing this copy with me.

George by Alex Gino | 1 Minute Reviews

George is a girl, who just wants to be Charlotte, not Wilbur, in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. But everything keeps calling her a boy. Will anyone ever listen to her?


Alex Gino’s middle grade novel about trans girl George is simply a delight, that will be enjoyed by all ages 9+.

One of my favourite things is that Gino’s book uses “she” pronouns for George all along; simple but makes an important statement that trans people are the gender they say they are and always have been. George has always been a she, even if other people couldn’t see that.

This is a fantastic Own Voices trans novel to share with younger people.

Interested? Get it here in hardback or preorder the paperback here.

What to read next: