Monday 28 December 2015

2015: Best of the UKYA Community

I don’t mean to toot the horn of the community I’m a part of, but the UKYA community are pretty awesome and some great things have happened in 2015. Here are my favourites and highlights.

For the first time, the work we do as bloggers and book champions for the world of UKYA was officially recognised by authors and publishers and I got to watch some of my very favourite people win awards for all of their hard work. It was a lovely, lovely event.

Year of #ukyachat
Lucy of Queen of Contemporary is one of those bloggers/booktubers that I’m not entirely sure actually sleeps… She’s taken the UKYA world by storm in 2015 and made #ukyachat a huge success. Dozens of people join in with every chat, often featuring a star author and it usually ends up trending on Twitter as well! I leaves these chats with a renewed enthusiasm to dig into my TBR pile and a horde of books added to my wishlist; it’s a pretty dangerous hour, to be honest.

Ah, YALC. Last year, YALC debuted in the back of LFCC and it was hot, sweaty, cramped and a little unpleasant at times (especially with the queue for Stan Lee running down the middle of the Book Zone!), but it came back bigger and better this year. We had our own floor and entrance, tonnes of amazing author, loads of room for people to watch panels and lots of my favourite people. I'm so glad it’s been made a permanent feature of LFCC!

Funding Amber’s A-levels
The lovely Amber of The Mile Long Bookshelf has sent the last few years studying via an online school as her mental health issues prevented her from attending a physical school. But she wasn’t funded for her A-levels. Amber launched a Crowdfunder to raise money in order to continue her education and the community rallied. Amber is now doing her A-levels at InterHigh!

The lovely Daphne of Winged Reviews launched the first UK YA subscription box in the Autumn and of course I had to sign up immediately! Most of the boxes around at the moment come from the US and the shipping is extortionate so it’s lovely have free UK shipping! And it’s a wonderfully curated box and I highly recommend signing up for the February box.

Since graduating in 2013 I've tried to read classics off of my own back but never really succeeded until 2015. Stacey of Pretty Books runs the Classics Challenge and I joined in this year and managed to read a book a month all year! I knocked some biggies off my TBR, read a few I should have read at school and even discovered some new favourites. I’m already planning out my reads for the #2016ClassicsChallenge – come join me!

Surge in championing diversity and awareness
Although we still have a long way to go, the community has made huge strides in discussing, raising awareness and championing books with a focus on sexuality, mental health and race. We’ve had countless Twitter chats, readalongs and readathons and I hope it all gets bigger, better and more prominent in 2016. I genuinely think that we can make a difference.

What were your highlights from the UKYA community in 2015?


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