Northern YA Literary Festival – Signings, Stalls and Swag.

Oh my fangirl!

Northern Book Bloggers L-R: Steph, Louise [self], Charlotte, Liam, Cora, Rebecca, Kelly and Hannah. [Photograph taken by event managers.] 
What an event. The first ever Northern YA Literary Festival was held on Saturday 24th of March 2018. Previously I have told you about the author talks, but author talks are only part of a literary festival. There are other things going on. These can be summarised in three ‘S’s –

  • Signings
  • Stalls 
  • Swag

Beyond that the festival was a great chance to network. I spent the day with the Northern Book Bloggers. It was lovely to put faces to names and to realise that I have so much to say to these people outside of the Twittersphere.


Signed book alert. Between author talks there were chances to meet our favourite authors and have our books signed. Every single author took part in signings at some point in the day. I took four books with me, and purchased two more (The Fandom by Anna Day and The Exact Opposite Of Okay by Laura Stevens.) I’m digging those sharpies, and Samantha Shannon’s Scion stamp is a thing of beauty. There is something so precious about a signed book. A minute’s conversation with a favourite author can last in the memory for a lifetime.



There were several vendors at NYA. Waterstones were on hand to sell those books we had heard about and suddenly couldn’t live without, while the university’s own press was promoting its very first YA novel. There was a fab cupcake stall which I walked passed several times just for the pleasure of seeing those creations. 

I was particularly pleased to see Rebecca from Taken Moons. 

Rebecca is a Northern Book Blogger who began her own Etsy business earlier this year. Her candles are themed around popular YA books. Brave Of Heart is her Gryffindor candle. I kid you not, I take the lid off and sniff this thing several times a day. Check her out here and add a whole new dimension to your reading experience. 



The first place many people headed was the publishing pretties swag stall. This is like the ultimate bookish goody-bag experience. We were given tote bags upon entrance and filled them at the swag stall with posters and pencils, bookmarks and mirrors and postcards. And proofs. Don’t forget the proofs. Books were limited to two per-person, but when I got to my reserved seat I found a goodie-bag waiting with two more books. I picked up:

  • Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
  • The List Of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
  • Grace And Fury by Tracy Banchart
  • Fragments Of The Lost by Megan Miranda

Bookish merch. is more than a perk. If you love film or sport, chances are you can buy merchandise to express your hobby. Until the dawn of Etsy and smaller online marketplaces it was impossible to buy posters and badges to celebrate books. These freebies allow people to take their hobby beyond the pages of their books. 

If you missed out …

If you missed out, fear not. The University Of Central Lancashire plans to make this an annual event. The hope is that this will remain a free event. I can’t celebrate this enough. Literary festivals should be open to as many people as possible. I’m already looking forward to next year. See you there? 

Louise Nettleton.

Were you at NYA? What was your favourite part? Let me know in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “Northern YA Literary Festival – Signings, Stalls and Swag.

  1. I was there with a couple of friends and loved every moment of it! I’m so glad they’ve decided to make this an annual event because it is great having a book event that is within such an easy distance for me!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I’m glad too. Come to think of it, I think one of my friends and I spoke to you and a couple of the Northern Book Bloggers during one of the breaks. We lingered near the stage quite a bit as we were sat in one of the first couple of unreserved rows.

        Liked by 1 person

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