Last Wednesday evening, the great and the good of the Northern blogging scene assembled for the inaugural Blog North Awards. Spinning off from seven years of the Manchester Blog Awards, Blog North aims to capture, encourage and reward excellent blogging and writing in the North of England.
A partnership between Manchester-based Openstories, and Creative Tourist and Culture Vultures, the network stretches from Liverpool to Hull and beyond. Crucially, the Manchester Blog Awards and now Blog North have always been supported by the Manchester Literature Festival as part of their belief that good writing does not necessarily exist solely in printed media. This in itself represents how innovative the Manchester Literature Festival can be as it expands beyond books to digital media.
It is important for bloggers to get recognition, not only for the opportunities that nomination and winning could offer them, but also for the wealth of talent that risks running under the radar. Blogging has had something of an uphill struggle to get noticed in the world having been a niche interest in its early days. However, with the founding of Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress, there are numerous innovative and inventive ways of getting your message out there.
By uniting cities, towns and villages across the north of England this can only encourage collaboration, and above all competition for bloggers to up their game by producing engaging and enlivening content that is relevant, and of interest to readers.
A packed crowd assembled at The Deaf Institute in Manchester for the awards event. The evening was a tremendous success with readings from shortlisted blogs including the trials of working with I Never Knew You Were Such a Monster, the show stealing Her First Year and the diaries of a postman in The Most Difficult Thing Ever amongst others. Headlining proceedings with a reading and Q&A was acclaimed author Adam Christopher, reading from his smash hit superhero adventure Seven Wonders. Adam’s story, the first part of which can be read here, is an interesting one in itself as social media and blogging has played an important part in his career.
Certainly I wasn’t aware of some of the wonderful blogs that exist out there, and the seven categories highlighted blogs covering all areas, from food and drink to arts and culture through to young bloggers. With ample networking time before and after the event, The Blog North Awards will become an essential part of the calendar for all current and aspiring bloggers across the North of England.
Beat that London.
The full list of winners and runners up is below:
Best Arts and Culture Blog
The winner: A Negative Narrative
The runner up: Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second
Best City or Neighbourhood Blog
The Winner: Sevenstreets
The runner up: Unicycle Emptiness
Best Food and Drink Blog
The winner: Around the World in Eighty Bakes
The runner up: Squidbeak
Best Personal Blog
The winner: Her First Year
The runner up: A Different View
Best Specialist Blog
The winner: The Magic Square Foundation
The runner up: Fontilan
The winner: The Most Difficult Thing Ever
The runner up: Tiffers At: Otherwise I’ll Forget
Best Young Blogger
The runner up: Celluloid Wickerman