Tales Events – UKYA Extravaganza Birmingham


SLIDE On Saturday the 28th February at Waterstones Birmingham High Street a celebration of all things UKYA took place and it was AMAZING!  The event sold out in hours of the tickets being on sale and everyone was excited about the event!

On the 4th floor of the fabulous Waterstones building 33 awesome authors (originally a whooping 35 authors, but due to personal reasons 2 authors could not attend) gradually entered the room!  That’s right!  33 creative minds all unique and diverse in their own way!  All in one room and all organised by the wonderful Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery.  Wow!


What an amazing accomplishment!

What was clear from the offset is that this was a celebration!  We are British and our authors are amazing and awesome and full of diversity so to celebrate Emma and Kerry organised one memorable afternoon that I, as well as everyone who attended I’m sure, will remember for a very long time to come!

To find our more about why and how Emma and Kerry set up the event click here

The afternoon was full of fun, laughter, readings, stories, signings and CAKE!  Yes there was cake!  And lots of it too!  Nom Nom Nom

What more could we ask for?

Well okay… books of course and my my my there were sooooo many books to buy from all of these wonderful, amazing, diverse, authors that I actually heard my bank account cry…or maybe that was just my husband who knew I wouldn’t be able to resist!

I think I can honestly say that most people attending this event, myself included, left with shoulder ache or bags upon bags of books and swag which included bookmarks and postcards also.

I actually broke my husbands precious bag that I “borrowed” as “it would be a sturdy bag for books” I said and just as I got home “snap!” went the bag. “Well at least it didn’t happen whilst I was at the event” I said, cheesy grin on my face whilst my husband mourned his poor bag!  RIP BAG!  Thank you for not breaking on me at the UKYA Extravaganza!  Phew!

The day flowed really well and was kind of informal in a way which was ace.  We were able to mingle with authors, bloggers, friends and family, have our books signed, pictures taken, have a good natter and eat cake!  For me this gave the day a very personal relaxed feel and made it super fun as all the authors were so approachable, fun and easy to talk to.  I got to meet so many new people and authors and also people and authors I already knew and just mingle and eat lots of cake!

There were also reading panels every 20 minutes or so enabling us to sit down and enjoy if we wanted or carry on mingling.  The reading panels were fun as authors were given a few minutes to read a passage from their books or tell a story.  One great story that I sat and listened to was from Alexander Gordon Smith who made the audience howl with laughter with a story about a horrifying game in P.E at school which he told with such comical tone it was hilarious!  It was also fun seeing the authors under pressure with the count down timer counting their minutes down till their time was up.

The end of the day bought us some fab speeches from Emma and Kerry, where they were presented with presents of thanks from the other authors.  I was touched completely by being mentioned in their speech I almost did a Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars and started crying 🙂

It was an absolutely amazing day as you will see below!

When Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery asked me to do a write up of the UKYA Extravaganza following the event I was completely over the moon!  Immediately my mind began racing about things I could possibly do for the write up or feature on the write up and with Emma & Kerry’s approval I started mapping out exciting ideas.  So here’s some of those ideas bought to life!

35 Authors & 35 Bloggers

The full UKYA Extravaganza line up was revealed on #ukyachat which is run by Lucy over at Queen of Contemporary.  Upon hearing about the blog tour from Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass which was the idea of Sofia who runs The Reading Fan Girl I wanted to create a place where people could catch up on the tour, read about the authors, find the authors links and see what the authors actually look like.

The Big Blog Tour post was born!  35 authors and links to websites and the 35 fab bloggers websites and guest posts all in one place including a link to an awesome reading list!

Click here to have a look!

Picture Montage

Check out some pictures from the day mainly taken by my lovely husband, Kevin in a super UKYA Extravaganza Picture Montage!  With Music!

Event Footage

Myself and Kevin also collated some videos throughout the day to share with you all especially if you were unable to attend.  Check it out!

Author Quickfire!

I managed to find some willing victims….I mean authors to sneak into a corner and film them answering some quick fire random questions to help us get to know them a little better!  What I didn’t bank on was that some of the answers would be completely random with hilarious reactions.  Check out the video below!

A huuugggeee thank you to the authors I managed to grab and take part in this!

I hope this gives everyone an insight into the day and how fab it was!

I also caught up with the lovely Rosie from Eat Read Glam and the ever awesome Stephen from Dark Reader Reviews who were kind enough to let me know what they thought of the day on video!

**The video clip comes with a cake warning!**

*Gives round of applause to Rosie and Stephen*

I also posted a question on twitter asking what new authors people had discovered following the UKYA Extravaganza event – here are some of the responses 🙂

For me I discovered Kendra Leighton and Kate Ormand and Bryony Pearce as new to me authors….well basically I will be making sure I own a  book written by every single author from the event asap as they were ALL awesome!









I also asked about what people enjoyed the most about the UKYA Extravaganza – here are some of the responses I had 🙂




















As you can see UKYA, it’s authors and the community are so important and special!  What Emma and Kerry and all of the authors and every one who attended including Waterstones Birmingham who hosted have created a warm, welcoming fun way of sharing our love of books, their authors, each other and has proved that the UKYA community opens it’s arms to everyone, whoever you are and gives us all one big tight squeeze of love!

Well done Emma and Kerry for an extraordinary event – you should be so so proud of yourselves!


Well done and thank you to all the authors who attended, thank you to the lovely staff at Waterstones Birmingham for doing such a fantastic job in hosting and most of all thank you to everyone who attended!  We have all made this a huge success…..and with that in mind I can now reveal I have an awesome exclusive!


There will be another UKYA Extravaganza! *jumps up and down in excitement!!!!*

I will pass you onto Kerry and Emma for the reveal!

Yes that’s right!  Nottingham will be the next host for the UKYA Extravaganza in October 2015 at Waterstones Nottingham with date and time to be confirmed asap!  Wow!  UKYA can only get stronger and bigger from here on in!


For more buzz and love about the UKYA Extravaganza check out the hash tag on twitter –  #UKYAextravaganza on follow the official account – @UKYAX



I also have  quotes from the organisers of UKYA Extravaganza the lovely Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery about the event –

Emma & The Hound“What’s really made organising the UKYA Extravaganza worthwhile for me is all the people saying how much fun it was, and how great it was to be able to chat to authors and discover new books they might not otherwise have known about. It’s so great to have been able to bring authors and readers together like this.”


“I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to the UKYA Extravaganza.  I think what’s stuck in my head the most is the wonderful sense of community and belonging, the friendliness of everyone involved and the huge support and love for all things UKYA from teens, authors, readers, bloggers and grown-ups too”.

 Also there have been some fab blog posts about the event with some super photos and details – here’s the links to some of them 🙂

Author Emma Haughton – here

Blogger Maia Moore – here

Blogger Sofia – The Reading Fan Girl – here

Author David Owen – here

Blogger Sally – The Dark Dictator – here

Blogger Lucy – Queen of Contemporary – here

Blogger Priya Appleby – here

Blogger Georgina Tranter – here

Author Susie Day – here

Olivia Levez – here

Author Bryony Pearce – here

Author Kendra Leighton – here

Author Lou Morgan – here

Blogger Rachel Kennedy – here

Authors Rhian Ivory & Kat Ellis – here

Author Kate Ormand – here

Kat Ellis – here

Enchanted By YA – here

Author Helen Hirons – here

Blogger Lisa Golding – here

Author and UKYA Extravaganza Organiser Emma Pass – here

There has also been write ups in the Guardian!  So well deserved and fab articles!

What’s it like to meet virtual friends in real life? 

UKYA Extravaganza Event Report

I’ve loved putting this post together so thank you to Kerry and Emma for asking me to do so and thank you for this lovely message (and thanking me in your speech) on twitter it really made my day 🙂 xx


Don’t forget to follow @UKYAX on facebook here

And the UKYA Extravaganza now has its very own website – www.ukyax.com!  Check it out for all the latest news!

Did you go to the UKYA Extravaganza?  What was your highlight?  What books did you buy?  What new authors did you discover?  Are you excited for more events?  I would love to hear from you!  Please feel free to leave a comment or why not tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy ?

Happy reading and eating cake as all this talk of cake as made me hungry! 🙂



Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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20 Responses

  1. Maia says:

    Reading this makes me wish it was Saturday all over again. Great write up, hope I can make it to the Nottingham one!

  2. Kerry Drewery says:

    Great write-up Michelle, clearly a LOT of work and thought and effort gone into that! Much appreciated. You are a star!

  3. Jesse Owen says:

    Oh I so wish I could have come – I have a lot of post catching up to do now.

    Such a brilliant write up and round up of the day – thank you so much for compiling this is! 🙂

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