MerMay Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my MerMay Giveaway for a chance to win a book token.

Entry was free and open to all. My newsletter subscribers got an extra entry.

I decided to use Miniwebtool.com random name picker, to choose from the entries from both Instagram and webform (link was in the newsletter ).

The giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.

The Book Token wasn’t the only thing I gave away during May!

Free eBook

To celebrate Ocean Heart now being available on Google Play, I made it free to all for the first week of May. In addition, to thank my followers on Ko-Fi, I provided them a link that enabled them to get Ocean Heart for free for the entire month of May.

Thank you to everyone that took advantage of my MerMay book deal and treated themselves to a free copy of Ocean Heart. Happy reading and if you have time, please write a review. Reviews are super important to authors as it helps our books get discovered. 💛

More Freebies

In April, I tried out the shop feature on Ko-Fi by offering a free digital Book Tracker. I made this product free and it’s still Free! Go download it now.

You can also buy Ocean Heart from my Ko-Fi shop and there’s an option to purchase a signed copy.

Charity donations

For MerMay I did an ocean themed spread on Instagram. It made me want to do something to support a cause that helps the sea and/or marine life.

Choosing a charity to donate to was harder than I thought. There are so many amazing charities out there.

I decided to use Miniwebtool.com random name picker again. This time I used it to select a charity from my shortlist. It picked Blue Marine Foundation

By working together, we can turn the tide on overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. By supporting BLUE, you can help to create marine reserves around the world.

Blue Marine Foundation

Don’t miss out…

The best way to make sure you don’t miss out on any future freebies or Giveaways is by:

💛 Subscribe to my newsletter

💛 Follow me on Instagram

💛 Follow me on Kofi

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

About Ocean Heart

Fund your creativity

15 Top Bookstagrammers

Ocean Heart on Google Play

15 Top Bookstagramers

There are so many amazing bookstagramers. It was hard to choose only 15, but I wanted my list to reflect the wide variety of accounts.

Each of these accounts bring something different but are united by a shared passion for books and reading. I’m hoping this list will be an inspirational starting point for anyone interested in starting a bookstagram account.

I hope you enjoy this list and I’d love to hear your recommendations too.

RainbowRogueReads by Sophie Critchley

Sophie takes stunning photos of her books like any bookstagrammer but what makes her account stand out is her incredible talent with makeup. Sophie creates makeup looks with a similar style/theme of her read. I think the account was previously called GoBookYourself.

Spoopyhol by Spoops

If you love books and makeup, check out Spoops, She also includes the ”making of” in her posts which I love – it’s like magic seeing an artist at work.

Elizabeth Sagan and James Trevino

I’m guessing this pair are a couple as they have a similar style and often appear in each others posts. The things they do with books is just wow!

View this post on Instagram

Where do you usually search for book recs? 📚 When it comes to the books I decide to read, I'm doing my best to go through everything that is sent to me, because for the most part, even though I have certain preferences and I'm a mood reader, I can easily pick up anything that falls into my hands and vibe with it. Once in a while there comes a book that I'm super excited for and I want to start as soon as it comes out, like in the case of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Midnight Sun, and now The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Oct 6), but between those, I like to feel "morally obligated" to read what's sent to me because that motivates me to read more on one hand and I like to support the authors of said books on the other and this way I got to discover some truly amazing gems that now rank among my favourite books ever. So in the next 8 weeks, I am to read (at least) 6 books, and those are: – The Wig, The B*tch and The Meltdown by Jay Manuel – ALONE TOGETHER: Love, Grief, and Comfort Duriny the Time of COVID-19 – David Tung Can't Have A Girlfriend Until He Gets Into An Ivy League College by David Tung – The Cyborg Tinkerer by Meg LaTorre – Ashen Shadows by Ewe Linka – The Cull by Rachel Glickler 📚 #bookstagram #bookish #angel #shadowhunters #supernatural #bookangel #cassandraclare #redhead #redheadpower #redheads #bookgirl #angels #bookstagrammer #booksofinstagram #booksbooksbooks #goodreads #epicreads #read #reader #reads #reading #yalovin #bookrecommendations #bookstagramer

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✨INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVEAWAY✨ 🍂 One lucky winner will get hardcover editions these amazing books: 📖 THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab 📖 TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini 📖 HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy (special omnibus edition including Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman 📖 SERPENTINE (illustrated edition) by Philip Pullman 📖 ENOLA HOLMES books 1-3 (including The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady and The Case of the Bizzare Bouquets) by Nancy Springer – paperback* 📖 GOOSEBUMPS (set including Monster Blood, Why I'm Afraid of Bees, A Night in Terror Tower, The Best from the East and Legend of the Lost Legend – all books in a special retro collector's tin) by R.L. Stine – paperback* 📖 THE BROKEN EARTH trilogy (including The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky) by N.K. Jemisin – paperback* 🍂 TO ENTER: 1️⃣ LIKE this post 2️⃣ FOLLOW @james_trevino, @elizabeth_sagan, @mybookfeatures, @lulumoonowlbooks 3️⃣ TAG 3 friends below (all in one comment) 4️⃣ DOUBLE YOUR ENTRIES by sharing this post on your Story and mentioning us 🍂 The giveaway ends Sunday, October 25, at 12pm EET (the winner, chosen randomly, will be announced in the following days on our Instagram Story – please do not send us DMs asking for the exact time; we will try to move as fast as we can so just regularly check our Stories). 🍂 We will contact the winner only AFTER the winner is announced on our Stories. Anyone contacting you otherwise or from another account other than our official ones is a fake! 🍂 This contest is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any of the authors or publishers. You have to be over 18 years old to enter or have parental permission. Good luck, guys! . . . #bookgram #bookcommunity #bookgiveaway #wizardingworldofharrypotter #humansofbookstagram #bookstagrammer #lovetoread #bookstagram #harrypotter #currentlyreading #hogwarts #youngadult #potterhead #writerslife #livrosemaislivros #libros #lectura #leitura #shadowhunters #sarahjmaas #calmversation

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Enchanted_Bookshelf with Colin the cat

This bookstagram features stunning hardback editions and a rainbow theme. Not only that, but fluffy Colin the cat features in many pics adding that extra enchanting factor.

Magicbookcorner by Laura D Child

If you want to discover new books to read, check out Laura. She is relentless in her pursuit of discovering hidden gems and actively supports new authors in getting discovered. She’s often one of the first to review the books she reads.

A_Bookish_Lass by Michaela Dieter

Michaelea shows how simple your gram can be. Her feed is mostly the book covers and her star rating. Her gram isn’t about arty book pics but helping her followers discover their next steamy romance. Michaela often reads Betas are ARCs enabling her to be up on the latest releases. She was in fact the first reviewer of Ocean Heart.

Booksshack by Noor

This feed is beautiful, it’s got an artistic aesthetic where every picture is unique but has the same colour tones. Then certain pics have been animated to give a hint of magic.

Bookstagram_Dreamer by Chloe

Chloe’s feed is very clever. It’s not instantly obvious, but she somehow finds objects/props to add to her pics to compliment the book. There are a few instances of her painting her hand, which is different.

BookBookOwl by Jen

This feed uses rainbows and flowers to present pretty bookish pics and start conversations about reads. Look out for the little finishing touches that makes this account stand out.

BewareOfTheReader by Sophie

Sophie is a collector when it comes to books, not just the books but the collectables that go with them. I saw a live unboxing of her getting a limited edition and the excitement was very real.

Nic_Reeves_Writes by Nic

This writer loves books and shoes, and this recent pic really sums up both. She’s a regular #footstackfriday contributor.

The_Book_Worms_Bookshelf by Abby

Abby is a book reviewer and writer. What I love about her feed are the pets that feature in her pics. I especially love her hedgehog. I once wanted a hedgehog but then found out they eat worms – yuck.

Mer.Reads by Mer

This booktuber is new to Instagram (appears to be). I really like her pop-culture vibe to her pics with the outline of her hand holding the books.

Fadedstardxst

This account is so new it started on 1st January 2021. But it already has an impressive feed. It has a rustic, country cottage vibe (like the fairy god mother’s cottage in Cinderella is Dead). I hope this bookstagram sticks around as I love the warmth and magic radiating off these pics.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ4Hn3yhHKu/?igshid=29m1i5o8s3iv

Redfae by Ally Aldridge

If you’re on Instagram, please give me a follow too. Like most authors, I also post about the books I am reading as well as those I am writing. Here’s my first bookstagram of 2021.

[kofi]

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Author & Me Show

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8 Reasons it’s good for YOU to write reviews

People often talk about why writing reviews are so important to authors but what about for you the reader. Here we go:

Your Reading History

If you read a lot, you can forget what you’ve read. You don’t want to waste time reading a book you didn’t enjoy, twice.

But on the flip side, wouldn’t it be awesome to rediscover the books you did love. You don’t want to forget those gems.

Reading Goals

If you enjoy a challenge, set yourself a reading goal. Celebrate your wins doing something you love.

If you discover your not getting time to read, it could help you identify that your life is too hectic and you don’t get to relax. Or maybe your energy is focussed elsewhere, which is fine. You can reduce your goal.

Favourite author

It helps you not forget the name of that author whose voice you loved. Now, you can discover more of their books.

You can follow authors you like on sites like Goodreads, Book Bub and Amazon. This will help keep you notified of new releases.

Better Recommendations

Over time your tastes may change but seeing what you enjoyed helps identify what you love. In turn, this will help you discover more fabulous books.

If you post your review to sites like Good Reads or Amazon, then algorithms will learn what you want and recommend what to buy/read next. This can save you time in finding your next great read.

Others will read your reviews, see what you like and be able to make intelligent recommendations.

Reading Buddies

You may connect with people with similar tastes, get reading buddies, and/or develop a book club. Reading can become a social activity, and thanks to the internet, you can buddy a reader anywhere in the world.

By talking about the books you read, you become someone people trust for recommendations. Imagine being an influencer for the books you love, someone others take notice of? If you’re good at reviews, this could be you.

Self Development – Reading

There’s more to reading than getting from page 1 to the end. When you write a review you reflect on what you read.

What was it about? How did it make you feel? Did you learn from the story?

Reflecting on what you read is a skill you are taught at school to deepen your reading but is often lost when you no longer have a teacher invested in your reading.

Self Development – Writing

When you write a review, you’ll think about what was done well and how you can use those techniques in your own work. Being a reader helps you deliver more of what readers want.

You will also be exposed to new words or phrases, expanding your vocabulary. You will visit places, meet new people, and explore plots that will inspire new ideas.

Free Books For Honest Reviews

Authors look for people that read their genre. If they are giving their book away for free, they want it to be to someone that will appreciate and love their book. If you apply to be a reviewer, your history as a reviewer could be checked.

The reason is, if you love their genre, their book is off to a good start already in your hands. If you have a following that enjoy your reviews on this genre, then you’ll be helping the right eager readers discover it.

When authors can see what you like, it helps them know if their book is right for you. Someone that enjoys gritty serious crime novels is unlikely to enjoy a sweet high school romance.

We’re all beautifully unique. It’s okay if YA Contemporary Fantasy isn’t for you, but I’m hoping those that do will love and review OCEAN HEART.

Have you preordered Ocean Heart?

If you buy a copy of Ocean Heart between 1 Oct and 1 Dec, you can enter my preorder giveaway. Visit my Giveaway Page for more details.

Where can you find my reviews?

Let me know the positives you’ve experienced from writing book reviews, and check out my reviews.

[kofi]

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Books

Ocean Heart

My To Be Read Pile

When I tell people I would love to read their book but unsure when I can because my reading pile grows faster than I can keep up with, this is what I am talking about…. I’m really not joking!

Here is my current reading pile… okay, so this isn’t even half of it, but these are at the top.

Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

The Sentinels (series) by Cassidy Reyne

Sea Witch Rising (series) by Sarah Henning

Number Eight Crispy Chicken by Sarah Neofield

A Court of Thorns & Roses (series) by Sarah J Maas

The Mirror Souls by Julia Scott

[More of] The Red Queen (series) by Victoria Aveyard

Join or Die by J Adrian Rut

The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Nobel

Dying Ember by River K Scott

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

As you can see this is a rather long list considering I’m lucky if I manage to read one a month. Have you read any if the above? Are any of these in your pile?

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Book Review: The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin

My Books

Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect:

Book Review: The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin

I can’t remember when I downloaded this book. It was just there on my Kindle, unread.  It was like finding a hidden treasure. It became the perfect companion to read during the late night feeds with Aria.

The Beginning

The novel quickly sets up the scene of the three main crowds.  It is told told from two points of view, Hannah’s and Cody’s.

Hannah attends a private school.  She is only able to go due to a scholarship she achieved thanks to her high grades.  She works hard to keep her place and never breaks the rules.

Then there is the ‘it’ crowd made up of the rich kids of the most influential families.  Cody was once part of this crowd but following the scandal where his pregnant high school sweet heart died in a drink driving accident, he is now an out cast.

Hannah realises she is going to finish school without ever doing anything wild or having a boyfriend. She sets her sights on Harrison, the high school king and famous for his exclusive parties.  To get invited you need to be given a key. 

The Middle

Considering that Cody knows the ‘it’ crowd but is no longer part of it, she singles him out to ask for his help.  Cody tries to talk her out of her plan.  He warns her the clique are not nice people but when Hannah resolves to blackmail him, he decides she might fit right in.

Hannah thinks Cody is a safe perfect practice boyfriend because there is no way she would fall for him.  Cody teaches her the rules of the elite and helps her practice her kissing.  Cody is rich and even pays for her to have a full makeover and wardrobe upgrade.

Cody pretends to be her boyfriend.  To keep up the pretence they have to spend a lot of time together.  They have their first kiss and more.  Cody continues to help Hannah to get noticed by the ‘it’ crowd and it works.

Now Hannah is being invited to hang out with the girls eager to gossip about Cody.  They want her to see the monster he is as they blame him for the death of their friend.  Being in the spotlight attracts the attention of Harrison and it looks like Hannah is going to get her wish.

The End

Hannah discovers that money, popularity and wealth isn’t as glamorous as she anticipated.  She discovers some ugly truths but is it too late to make things right?

Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book.  I wanted Aria to wake up in the night for her milk so I could read some more.  It was fast paced.  I loved the world building.  The twisted ‘it’ crowd reminded me of Cruel Intentions.  I love the misunderstandings and conflict between the two and the relationship was believable. 

Both characters were well developed and I really liked both of them – which is a tricky thing to do in dual points.   I would definitely be interested in reading more by Christina Benjamin,   

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Why I love YALC

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Review: The Gender Game by Bella Forrest


Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect with me

@Redfae

Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

I took my son to the library to exchange his books (or renewal and get more books).  Whilst he was struggling with the dilemma of  choosing his new books and returning books he loves, my husband pointed this book out to me.  I have always wanted to write a novel about faeries so this was to be a fun read and research into how someone else has done it.

The MC is a boy called Ethan Chase.  I don’t read many books with a male protagonist so this was a refreshing change and it was done well.   Skip to my final thoughts it you don’t want any spoilers.

Beginning

 Ethan is aware fae exist and has a troubled past with them.   In the opening chapters he shares how they are dangerous and the result of their interference in his life has lead to him being expelled from schools and blamed for a fire he didn’t cause. 

Ethan is starting another new school. On his first day, he stands up for a boy being bullied, Todd. Nobody else can see that Todd has long furry ears but it is because he is a half-fae.  Ethan doesn’t want to be friends with Todd as he distances himself from all fae.  He also doesn’t like Todd’s wee fairy companion.

Ethan also attracts the attention of Mackenzie, who wants to interview him for the school paper.  He tries to push Mackenzie away as anybody that gets close to him always gets hurt but she is persistent.  

Middle

A  deadly new type of fairy are consuming fae and half-fae.  Todd asks for Ethan’s help.  At first Ethan doesn’t want to get involved but he takes pity and agrees.  Unfortunately, Todd is taken and now the creatures are coming after Ethan.  Ethan is at a martial arts tournament where Mackenzie is trying to get his story but during the tournament the deadly fae come for him.  Nobody else can see them.  Ethan runs.  Mackenzie follows.  

Ethan needs to keep Mackenzie safe. He makes a choice to use a special object his sister gave him to transport into the fae world.  They are greeted by a cat, Grimalkin, who knows the way to the Iron Kingdom where his sister, Meghan, is queen.   The journey is dangerous but when they arrive his sister wants to keep him safe.  They are sent to a room to ‘rest’ but feels more like prison.  When Ethan and Mackenzie get the opportunity to escape with the help of Keirran. 

On their mission to rescue Todd, there are a lot of truths uncovered which I won’t go into.  Their are fights.  There were some very interesting characters along the way.  I liked Kierran’s love interest and the exiled queen and the cheeky little gremlin.  

They travel to the earth and are attacked again. They manage to escape to the in-between and learn how serious the problem is.  They visit Hyde Park to follow a lead but things get worse for the gang when the nephew is taken prisoner.

Something I really enjoyed was the slow burning romance between the Ethan and Mackenzie. There is plenty of conflict between them and good reasons why they hold back. I couldn’t wait for them to get together.  

The Ending

The build up to a battle where Ethan has to save his friends (and nephew) was worth it.  There were also some reveals that I hadn’t seen coming and I liked that the supporting characters were well developed too. 

Finally Thoughts…

There were a few times Ethan annoyed me.  He blames himself for Todd being kidnapped but I didn’t really see why it was his fault, after all, Todd was a fairy and hung around with the fae.  Ethan made it clear that doing that meant trouble was inevitable.  I got that he felt responsible for what happened to Mackenzie but she wouldn’t leave him alone.  She did bring it on herself too.  

What I loved was how all the characters were well developed.  You could easily tell who was speaking and they all had rich backstories.  There were plenty of magical creatures and I loved the world building especially the ‘in-between’ world.  

I hadn’t realised the book was part of a series (it’s book 5 in the Iron Fey series).  I was really pleased when I discovered that as I wanted to read more.  I wonder if some of the things that didn’t click with me is because I need to read the other books.  For example, I want to know more about Meghan and why she is the Iron Queen and why Ethan holds so much resentment for the Iron Fey.  


If you like this post, you will enjoy:

Why I love YALC

Book Review: Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

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Book Review:  Blind Tiger by Rachel Vincent


Click my Link Tree to discover more ways to follow me

@Redfae


 

 

 

 

World Indie Warriors Brochure

Who are World Indie Warriors

I love being part of World Indie Warriors.  They have been one of the highlights of my 2019.  The members are incredibly supportive and creative. They have encouraged me to push myself to try new things and above all, believe in myself.

We have been chatting online for a while.  We meet via video on Zoom.  And, some of us have even met up in person.  Together we are developing a community on Facebook to support more Indie Creatives.

The Indie Catalogue

One of the projects we are working on is to create a brochure with products by Indie Creatives.  We want to make discovering products and books by indie creatives easy.  The brochure can be downloaded or printed, and is accessible to anyone interested

We needed someone to create the brochure.  Guess who volunteered?  Me!

It was a bigger project than I anticipated. I had to juggle it around my other commitments and doing NaNoWriMo, but I pulled the first copy together in time for the deadline.

WIW Brochure (1)

The December edition is another great resource for gifts during the Holiday season.  You can discover the brochure on the World Indie Warriors website.  Please visit:  https://worldindiewarriors.wordpress.com.

Do you want to get involved?

Getting involved couldn’t be easier.  All you need to do is join the World Indie Warriors Members Facebook page or message us on Instagram (@worldindiewarriors).

We welcome all indie creatives and want to support each other.  If you are self-published, an artist, a musician or any type of creator, pop along and find out what we are all about.  You won’t be disappointed!

We also want to connect with small businesses that provide services to support indie creatives.  We love getting to know book bloggers and product reviewers.

I hope to see you there.

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@Redfae

 

Book Review: Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

I picked this book up at YALC and had no idea what I was getting myself in for. I was attracted by the cover, the blurb and the offer of a free tote bag.

This book is set in a fantasy world where people live on Island and are plagued by dangerous spirits.

There are people with the ability to control the spirits but they hide their power. If you are found out you are given a choice – join the queens guards and lose your identity or go to a deadly island where if you manage to survive you become an heir to the throne.

Beginning

The story starts with the MC getting married but her wedding goes horribly wrong when the celebrations are over run by spirits killing her guests. It’s so bad that the MC can’t run and hide, she stands up to the spirits and fights, revealing her hidden power.

She knows the guards will come and take her but her fiancé convinces her to runaway with him. He doesn’t want her taken like her sister a few years before. If they get caught, he persuades her to choose to be a guard as he can’t bear to think of her being hunted and killed on the island.

Middle

The lovers are tracked and caught and the MC is forced to make her choice. In that moment, hating the guards for attacking her injured fiancé, she chooses the Island. She can’t stand the thought of being one of them.

After a brief training session, where she makes two friends, they are taken to the Island for the test. The last cohort all died casting fear and doubt in the women’s minds. As the first women reach the shore, the spirits instantly start killing them off.

The MC manages to escape and hide by swimming underwater (a special skill she has). Whilst surviving, she runs into one of her friends and they team up against the spirits. This isn’t encouraged as it will make them a greater target to the spirits.

Together they uncover a secret about the island that sheds light on why everyone died during the previous test. They decide they must escape the island to inform the Queen.

The Ending

I’ll try not to spoil it. All I’ll say is there were plot twists I didn’t see coming. I was really impressed with the ending and all the lose ends were tied up brilliantly.

Finally Thoughts…

I loved this book so much that it is my favourite book for 2019! It has set the bar high.

I had no idea it is part of a series as it is a complete story but now I know, I want to read the other titles.

The book is described as a Fantasy version of Hunger Games and that’s a pretty good summary.

I highly recommend this book. If you’ve not read it yet, you really are missing out. Go order it now!


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Click my Link Tree to discover more ways to follow me

@Redfae


 

 

 

Why I love YALC

If you are a fan of YA Literature then you need to check out this book festival. It runs annually in London during the last weekend of July and the book deals are so good you’ll travel home like a pack donkey.

The book deals!

It’s easy to get carried away so here are some tips to help you curb your inner book dragon:

Here is what I bought:

The deal was three for £10 and a free Epic Reads tote. Because I chose a two hardbacks it bumped up to £12 which is still incredible value and I got the last tote!

The book nerd in me is looking forward to my showing off my new bag at my next library visit. I’m going to look epic!

These books from Bloomsbury were three for £10. They’ve been on my wish list for ages as I’ve seen people recommend them on IG. I’ve been warned they are steamy!

It was a total accident that all the books are by authors named Sarah. Did you notice? Do you like any books by a Sarah?

Author Panels

There is something amazing about meeting the mind behind a novel. Lots of the stalls are hosted by authors themselves and are happy to sign a copy of their book if you own a copy. In addition, the festival has panels and talks where the authors talk about their novels.

In addition, there are scheduled events where groups of authors chat to a live audience. Their is often someone asking questions and the talk is on a set subject.

Workshops by Industry experts

Experts from the industry deliver workshops during the festival. These are often run by authors, Literary Agents, Editors or publishers but the list is endless.

I attended a workshop in the Agent Arena by Zoe Plant talking about editing. Editing is one of the aspects that I find incredibly difficult with writing a novel as it is a massive task and I am not confident in my abilities. She had great advice on what to expect but not only was the talk really informative, it was also an opportunity to get to know Zoe too. I had not seen her before and she is truly lovely.

I also attended the Author & Agent talk between Literary Agent Chloe Seager and her non-fiction author Laura Coryton. Laura is a campaigner against Tampon Tax. I had heard about this before and think I signed the petition ages ago. It turns out that Chloe also signed the petition and decided that this would be a great subject for a non-fiction book to empower young adults. Chloe approached Laura to propose the idea and Speak Up! was born. It was fascinating to see how the non-fiction industry works in comparison to fiction novels. It was also extremely valuable to hear about Chloe as an agent as she has been a favourite of mine for a long time now.

Pitch to agents

If you are an author with a completed novel, looking for representation, then this is an awesome event to attend. Here, you get an opportunity to spend five minutes with a potential Literary Agent to sell them your novel. It’s an opportunity to be seen above the slush pile.

It’s not guaranteed that they will be interested. I pitched two years ago and wasn’t confident in myself. We ended up chatting about identifying my books place in the market but I did gain a little bit of experience in pitching, mainly what not to do.

This time, I felt more prepared (although still incredibly nervous) and I pitched to two agents who both asked me to send it to them. I also had a writer friend encouraging me to do it which really helped.

Fellow readers and writers

That leads me on to my next point. The festival is full of fellow readers as you would expect but a lot of readers are also writers. This year, I got to meet one of my online writer friends at YALC. She was so lovely we spent the day together.

Win competitions

The festival is full of competitions eager to get you to sign up and raise awareness. @hellomeitsyou tweeted to say I was their Sunday winner. I had already left so sent them my address so I can receive my prize. When I receive it, I’ll post a pic to IG.

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