Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Who Shot YA?

I spent yesterday at the inaugural YA Shot, a one-day event bringing together Young Adult and children's writers and readers for a packed programme of panels and workshops.

I made it to far-off Uxbridge with no problems, collected my glittery wristband from the Civic Centre, and met up with slightlyfoxed, who had alerted me to the event in the first place. We went to one panel together, on historical fiction; for the rest our tastes diverged, and we met in between to compare notes and, at 2PM, to enjoy lunch in a nearby greasy spoon.

The most useful panel for me was probably the one on writing humour, and the most enjoyable the one in which we were given party poppers to fire if we objected to an author's statement or got bored and wished the discussion to move on.

The most memorable line from an author reading was "When the scouring-pad drew blood, it became apparent that the penis on my forehead was permanent" from, I think, RJ Morgan's Fifteen Bones, and the best thing said on a panel was "I'll get you next time, Gaiman!", out of the mouth of Stefan Mohamed.

I bought his book, Bitter Sixteen, because I'd heard good things about it and because he came across as a nice guy, but mostly because one of the characters is a talking beagle. When Stefan signed it he asked what my superpower was, so I said "Talking to dogs!" and he wrote "Do they talk back? Woof!" Sweet.

(Oh help, he's followed me back on Twitter and will no doubt think I'm some kind of dog-obsessed weirdo WHEN NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.)

It was a long day and a packed programme, with events running concurrently in four venues (two parts of the Civic Centre, the library, and Waterstones), from 10am until twenty past eight in the evening. Certainly well worth £20 of anyone's money, but perhaps a little overambitious; attendance overall was good, but individual panels were sometimes sparsely populated. I hope they get to do it again next year!
Tags: books, writing

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