So last weekend (oct 14th and 15th) I attended Ireland’s one and only YA convention Dept Con 2 in Dublin. I also attended the first ever dept con last October (150 attended) and can I say dept con 2 has widely expanded this year. Featured were twenty four authors and four hundred in the audience as the event was completely sold out.
Friday’s panels began at around four in the afternoon with a panel featuring authors David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. Both of these writers write separately but they also co-write a lot producing books such as Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. In the panel the authors read a bit from their latest novel and spoke about how they got writing together. Both authors provided very interesting points on writing advice, Rachel Cohn suggested setting yourself small goals which will eventually become part of a bigger goal.
Following the panel there was a signing which provided me with the chance to get my books signed and also have a chat with the authors. This was the structure of every author panel.
Also on Friday featured the amazing Holly Bourne, author of Am I Normal Yet? talking about feminism and I felt so lucky because I got the first copy signed of her new novella in the Spinister club world due to be released in Novemeber.
The funniest panel by far was the panel containing Derek Landy author of Skulduggery Pleasant. Also featured on this panel was Cecelia Ahern, author of PS I Love You and Eoin Colfer author of Artemis Fowl. Every time I encounter Derek Landy (I think this was my fifth time) he never fails to make me laugh. I don’t know where he gets his sense of humor from but he had the whole audience dying of laughter and of course Cecelia Ahern and Eoin Colfer had their part to play in this also.
Coming up last on Friday night was Sarah J Maas, author of Throne Of Glass and her panel was just fantastic. It was so interesting to listen to her talk about her writing habits, favourite shows and fighting with her publishers to let her keep Manon in Heir Of Fire (thank goodness they let her!!). Even getting to chat with Sarah J Maas for a few minutes whilst she signed my books is a memory I think I will always have with me. Sarah J Maas will more than likely have her own post dedicated to my experience of her panel at Dept Con so watch out for that!
Opening up on Saturday morning with an early start was Laini Taylor, author of Daughter Of Smoke and Bone. I particularly enjoyed listening to her talk. Laini Taylor said something that I found very interesting, something I thought was odd for a bestselling author. She said that writing doesn’t always come easily to her and sometimes she has to sit down and force herself to write. This was something I found I agreed with and when meeting her I told as much. Her advice to me was to set myself goals (similar to Rachel Cohn) otherwise my book will never get written and she is quite right so I plan to put this in action; hopefully I will be able to manage writing two chapters a week.
Up next was Estelle Maskame and Eilis Barrett whom were part of the young published authors panel.
Estelle Maskame is just nineteen and already has three books published in her Did I Mention I Love You? trilogy and she is currently working on a contemporary standalone novel which I am so excited for.
Eilis Barrett author of Oasis is just sixteen years only and already she has her first book out in the world, she is currently working on the sequel to this. I was very interested to read her novel after hearing her talk at Dept Con 1 last year and I have to say she did a very good job. I really enjoyed the story and I await the sequel. Eilis made me realise that my dream is achievable and I plan to work really hard on my own novel to get it as good as it can possibly be.
Both of the above authors have two very different views on the publishing of their novels. When asked (by me!) during the Q and A about their experiences of publishing, Estelle Maskame responded by telling everyone in attendance about her experience of writing for fun. She explained how when she was thirteen, she locked herself in her bedroom to write a chapter a week for keen readers on Wattpad. She had said that it was always a dream of hers to get published but outlined her shock when she came home one day to discover she had been offered a book deal. Estelle Maskame is very big on the idea of writing for yourself first and she views all her fans and readers as an extra bonus. However Eilis Barrett has a very different perspective stating that she never uploaded any of her novel to the internet because she always knew she wanted it to be published.
The next panel I want to discuss is the panel with Peadar O’Guilin, author of The Call moderated by David Maybury who photobombed my picture with Peadar O’Guilin. The panel itself was hilarious and the signing was great also. As I said above my picture was photobombed which was so funny and the picture is so good! I got my copy of The Call signed along with a copy for my school libarian.
The last two authors of the night was Sarah Crossan, author of One and Brian Conoghan, author of The Bombs that Brought Us Together. These two authors I believe have wrote a book together called, We Come Apart and this will be released on Febuary 9th 2017. When speaking to Brian Conoghan at the signing afterwards he told me not to give up on writing my novel which I very much appreciated.
Overall Dept Con was just fantastic and amazing and wonderful. I would like to say a special thanks to everyone at easons who made Dept Con 2 happen. Until next time!