2018 Bloggers Bash Award Categories are here!

THE BLOGGERS BASH AWARDS ARE BACK! 

 Now in its fourth year, the Annual Bloggers Bash returns bigger and better than ever. The venue is booked, and the committee is busy working behind the scenes to ensure the day is full of fun, learning opportunities, networking, and, of course, the blogtastic award ceremony. 

 The nominations will open soon but we wanted to share the award categories with you to give everyone plenty of time to think about who they feel deserves a nomination. 

 Get your thinking caps on and keep an eye out for future posts. Nominations will open on March 6th 2018. 

 Award Categories for the 2018 Bloggers Bash Awards 

BEST OVERALL BLOGGER  

 Who is the blogger that excels in a variety of categories? Who provides excellent content, is sociable and engaging with readers, shares other posts, or has a writing style that keeps you coming back time and time again? 

Whoever you choose needs to be an all-rounder. A blogger that is head and shoulders above the rest as that’s what makes the Best Overall Blogger. 

 FUNNIEST BLOGGER 

 Which blogger always makes you laugh the most? Whether that’s through humourous content, or their blogging manner. A blogger that has your sides aching from laughter and brightens up the blog-o-sphere is what makes the Funniest Blogger. 

 MOST INSPIRATIONAL BLOGGER 

 Who inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought provoking and inquisitive? Perhaps they’re a muse to you with the constant provision of inspirational content or imagery. Who’s the one blogger that touched your heart? This is what makes the Most Inspirational Blogger. 

 MOST INFORMATIVE (Original Content) BLOGGER 

 This award is for the blogger with the most informative and original content. Who creates fascinating content that you find yourself longing to read? Perhaps they’re a history blogger or they write about the craft of writing/blogging, or maybe they like archaeology or wine tasting. They could be an artist or musician. The topic is irrelevant, it’s the original content that counts. A blogger who shares a wealth of knowledge in an informative way is what makes the Most Informative & Original Blogger. 

 BEST BOOK REVIEW BLOG 

 There are so many wonderful book bloggers out there, but which one stands out for you? Whose book reviews do you enjoy reading and engaging with? It’s not the number of reviews that’s important, but more about the quality of them. Who has you clicking the ‘buy now’ button after reading a riveting summary, or

who has the most thoughtful reviews? A blogger who shares an abundance of book reviews in a memorable way deserves the Best Book Review Blog 

 SERVICES TO BLOGGERS 

 Which blogger goes out of their way to help others? Maybe this is someone who helped you kick-start your blog with tutorials or how-to guides. Perhaps they continually reblog your posts. It could be a blogger who consistently provides useful posts on how to boost your blog. Or maybe you want to nominate someone who provides an engaging platform for others. 

Someone who selflessly dedicates themselves to other bloggers is who deserves the Services to Bloggers award.  

 HIDDEN GEM 

 Have you stumbled upon a blog by change and discovered useful information, or thought provoking content? Is there a blog that doesn’t get the notoriety they deserve? Maybe they have such an original style you can’t help but read their posts. A blogger who you believe should get the limelight for a change is who deserves the Hidden Gem award. 

 NEWCOMER BLOGGER 

 A category for those bloggers who have been blogging less than a year (joined the blog-o-sphere after 1st June 2017). Did they join with a bang? Have they made an impression? Do they engage with readers? Are they funny, or well designed, or maybe share posts that make you smile time after time. A newbie blogger who deserves recognition makes the best Newcomer Blogger. 

 BEST PAL  

 Which blogger do you want to go to the pub with? Or maybe have dinner with? Who never fails to reply to comments, and has thoughtful things to say? Maybe they encourage the community through weekly challenges or blog parties. A blogger who makes the blog-o-sphere a better place is what makes the Best Pal. 

THERE’S STILL TIME TO GRAB YOUR BASH TICKETS!: 

 Tickets (available until 3rd May) £25 pp  

 Late Entry Tickets (available between 4th – 18th May) £30 pp 

 Please take note of the small print: 

  • Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled 
  • Tickets are non-transferable 
  • Tickets are limited on a first come first served basis 
  • Cost of a ticket is for entry to the event only (not for food or anything else) 
  • Those buying a ticket agree to comply with any health & safety rules set by the venue and to behave in a way that will not impact upon the enjoyment of other people 
  • The Committee reserves the right to change the venue and/or agenda of the event 
  • Payment for tickets via PayPal only. 

WHAT IS THE BASH? 

If you’ve never attended a Blogger Bash event before then you’re in for a treat. Created by Sacha Black and aided by her intrepid committee of eight bloggers, the Bash is open to any blogger, regardless of age or niche. Previous events have included speakers, competitions, a panel, and attendees from all over the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada.  

There will be an opportunity to network, eat cake, and meet some amazing online friends in person! The event takes place in a single day, and you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic time and a sore face from all of the smiling that you’ll do! 

Timings and the exact breakdown of the day will be available closer to the event, but it will start mid-morning and end in the evening. We will also announce the winners of the Bloggers Bash Awards, which you, the blogging public, vote for. You can see last year’s winners here 

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

Join Sacha and the committee in the Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/991165987611263/  

You can also join us for our weekly Twitter Hour every Sunday 7pm-8pm using the hashtag #BlogBashChat or join in the conversation on Twitter by using the #BloggersBash hashtag. 

Blogger Bash Award Rules: 

The Bloggers Bash Awards are given annually to the Blog with the highest number of votes in each selected category (here, a Category and Categories shall be construed accordingly). Categories are chosen by the Bloggers Bash Committee (here, the Committee) each year and may vary at the Committee’s discretion. 

Nominations to each Category are accepted from anyone, blogger or non-blogger who complies with the rules laid down for that year’s Award. These rules may change between years and the person nominating (here, the Nominator) is solely responsible for compliance with the rules applicable in any one year. Once a nomination has been accepted the person Nominated (here, the Nominee) will be eligible to have their blog (here, the Nominated Blog) included on the list of Blogs to be voted on in the nominated Category (subject to the rules permitting only one Category nomination per Blog – see below). The applicable rules applying to both the Nominator and the Nominee are as follows: 

No one can nominate their own blog. In the event of any doubt the Committee’s decision is binding. 

The Nominator is solely responsible to complete any specified Mandatory Fields that are designated at the time of the announcement of the Categories. In the event no Mandatory Fields are mentioned at that time they will

be deemed to include the full Blog address of the Nominee (i.e. http://nominatedblog.com) and the email address of the Nominee. Failure to include both at the time of nomination will render the nomination null and void.  

At any point the Committee may waive strict compliance with 2 above in their discretion. However no appeals will be admitted.  

Once a Blog has been nominated the Nominee will be notified by email. If the Nominee does not wish to have their Blog included in the Category the Nominee must notify the Committee by email within the specified time frame (and if none is specified within five working days of the date on which the email notification is sent). If no such withdrawal is received the Committee will include the Nominated Blog in the Category list for voting. 

In the event that a Blog is nominated for more than one Category the Nominee will be notified. The Nominee will be able to choose under which Category the nominated Blog is included. The Nominee must notify the Committee by email within the specified time frame (and if none is specified within five working days of the date on which the email notification is sent). If no such notification is received within the specified time frame (and this includes if the notification is for any reason lost or not delivered after being sent by the Nominee; the Committee accept no liability for any failures whatsoever to receive the notification) the Committee will include the Nominated Blog in such Category as the Committee determines in its discretion. 

Throughout the Nomination and Voting process only the Blog title supplied by the Nominator will be used; if more than one nomination for a Blog is received with differing titles the Committee will use such as it sees fit and accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions. 

The Committee reserves the right to exclude any Blogs form the voting process as it sees fit, without cause or giving reasons. In particular any R rated blogs, or any containing any offensive material (in the judgment of the Committee) will be excluded.  

Voting will be organized and collated by, or under the supervision of, the Committee. While every effort will be made to ensure the accuracy of the voting process no complaints or appeals will be countenanced.  

The results of the voting in each Category will be announced at that year’s Bash or in such a manner and format as the Committee determine.  

Any prizes awarded for a Category will be dispatched at no cost to the winner to an address within the United Kingdom. If the winner wishes the prize to be dispatched other than to the UK the cost will have to be deferred by the winner or otherwise (in the Committee’s discretion)  

In all circumstances the Committee decision final. 

Each Category winner will be able to include the winning Annual Bloggers Bash Award badge for that Category on their blog and in such promotional material as they wish. However all copyright in the Badge is retained by Nica Hawkins de Koenigswater on behalf of the Annual Bloggers Bash and such use is licensed until such time as it is revoked by the Committee in the event of misuse (as determined by the Committee in its discretion). 

No Nominator or Nominee may use the Annual Bloggers Bash Facebook page (insert details) or the twitter handle (insert details) [anymore?] for promotion/inappropriate material/promotion for votes for their Category or any other unacceptable use (as determined by the Committee). In such an event the Committee reserves the right to remove the Nominee’s Blog for the relevant Category.  

The Committee reserve the right to change the rules if they deem it appropriate or expedient at any time. No appeals will be considered. 


 

Wednesday Wandering…

It’s Wednesday again.

This is usually the time of the week when I go on a Wander. However, this week I’ve not had the chance to do my usual hunt for photos and research, despite (or perhaps because of) being out for a wander yesterday.

My Wednesday Wander posts take a bit of work. I enjoy doing them, and haven’t yet run out of places to feature. However, I’ve had a couple of books take me by the throat and demand I write them, so this year my focus will have to shift slightly when it comes to writing.

I do have more travel booked, a holiday planned for April to somewhere I’ve not been before, so I will definitely be writing more Wanders. However, they may not be every week – I hope you don’t mind.

I thought I’d take a look back and see how many Wanders I’ve written since the first post in November 2015, and was surprised to see there are 92! So, if you’re feeling that you might need a bit of a travel fix, there are 92 destinations right here on this blog, from Paris to Morocco, California to Wales. I even went to Dragonstone last year (though the Targaryens weren’t in, sadly). Just search Wednesday Wander, and you’ll see them all.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (wandering?), my most popular post, based upon the amount of comments and likes, was to a place not far from where I live. Highgate Cemetery, London, is the most popular Wander I’ve written to date – hop on over and check it out, if you haven’t already.

Thanks for coming on so many Wednesday Wanders with me – see you next time!


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

And don’t forget to get your Bloggers Bash tickets – follow this link to join the fun 🙂

Wednesday Wander – Royal Albert Hall, London

This week I’m taking a wander to somewhere I visited fairly recently. In fact, it was only yesterday.

It’s half term, so my daughter and I have been spending time together, and yesterday we went to London. We planned to do some shopping in Covent Garden, then head to Embankment to meet hubby. After that, dinner in Kensington beckoned, and a visit to somewhere we’d never been before: The Royal Albert Hall.

Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, the Hall was built as a memorial to her beloved husband, Albert, who died in 1861. Prior to his death, he had envisioned a series of public buildings in London, and the Hall, with its large monument opposite, was seen as a fitting tribute to his vision. Constructed of red brick and terracotta, the circular Hall is crowned with a huge steel dome, which was constructed off-site and brought in pieces to be placed in situ.

However, the massive dome, while seen as a miracle of engineering, also created acoustic issues – not ideal in a venue designed for performances. Various methods were tried to reduce the echo, but it wasn’t until 1969 that the issue was finally resolved, with the installation of fibreglass acoustic disks. The effect is quite beautiful, like an abstract artwork.

The Hall has seen many famous names grace its stage, from Wagner to Adele, as well as hosting events such as the Eurovision Song Contest and the yearly Proms. Last night it was Cirque Du Soleil, with their latest offering, Ovo. It was a beautiful, mesmerising performance – we were spellbound for the entire two hours.

When it ended, we went out into the cold night, walking past the dark mass of Hyde Park as we looked for a taxi. We sped towards the station and caught the next train home, our minds full of gilt and smoke and tumbling lithe figures.

Thanks for coming on a Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

And don’t forget to get your Bloggers Bash tickets – follow this link to join the fun 🙂

Bloggers Bash Writing Competition!

The Bloggers Bash writing competition was so popular last year that the committee is bringing it back (with a slight difference) for 2018. 

As you may have noticed, there’s another exciting event happening in London the same day as our Bloggers Bash. Although it won’t be as much fun as our event, the news of a Royal Wedding has undoubtedly given us a lot to think about. 

So, the Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition 2018 is on the theme of ‘Royalty.’ You’ve got a maximum of 300 words to share a flash fiction story, anecdote, poem, or another piece of work or writing on the theme of royalty. You might be inspired by Harry and his princess, or by the venue of this year’s Bloggers Bash (George IV). Or you might have another idea in mind. If you’re a photographer, then publish a post that includes photos of what ‘Royalty’ means to you. 

The Cost: £5 per entry or £8 for two entries – all proceeds go to funding The Bloggers Bash, payment accepted through PayPal only, at the bottom of the post. 

IMPORTANT – How to submit: Publish your entry(ies) on your blog and then drop an email to annualbloggersbash@yahoo.co.uk with the following information: 

  • The link to your blog post(s) 
  • The word count of all the words (excluding the title) in your post 
  • Your name 
  • Your Twitter Handle 
  • The identification number on your PayPal payment. 

 Use the email subject title: BB Blog Post Competition 

Prizes 

1st prize is a £100 Amazon gift card and a winner’s trophy 

2nd prize is a £30 Amazon gift card 

3rd prize is a £15 Amazon gift card 

We welcome entries from all over the world. The competition is open to all bloggers, regardless of if you’re coming to the Bloggers Bash or not. 

This year, we’re delighted to announce that our judges for the competition are Kaisha Holloway and Jo Robertson. 

Kaisha Holloway blogs at The Writing Garnet 

Kaisha won the top award for Most Inspirational Blogger at the 2017 Bloggers Bash and continues to inspire readers all over the world with her incredible book blog. She supports authors by promoting their books and helping with their social media presence. Her passion for all things book related is evident in the number of blog tours she participates in every year. 

Find Kaisha on Twitter: @kaishajayneh 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewritinggarnet/ 

Joanne Robertson blogs at My Chestnut Reading Tree 

Jo won second place in the Hidden Gem category at the 2017 Bloggers Bash and through her fabulous book blog she shares many hidden gems with her readers. She set up My Chestnut Reading Tree in 2016 and enjoys sharing crime and psychological thrillers as well as women’s fiction. As a Top 55 Amazon reviewer, you can rely on Jo’s reviews to guide you towards a great book. 

Find Jo on Twitter @jocatrobertson 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mychestnutreadingtree/ 

The Small Print – Important, Please Read Before Submitting Your Entry 

  • Only entries with the identification number of the PayPal payment and sent by email to annualbloggersbash@yahoo.co.uk will be entered into the competition.
  • Up to two entries per person are allowed. Anybody found to have entered the competition more than twice will be disqualified.
  • Members of The Bloggers Bash committee and judging panel are not eligible to enter. 
  • The competition closes at 23:59 GMT on Thursday 1st March 2018. Entries received after this date will not be included. 
  • Your entry must be a maximum of 300 words (not including the title) and can include: pictures, photos, videos, and artwork. 
  • The competition is only open to adults aged 18 and over. 
  • Winners must agree to have their full name and winning entries published on the blogs of the Bloggers Bash committee. 
  • No alternative prizes are available. 
  • The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into. 
  • By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules. 
  • Click here to make your payment for entering the competition. 

Winners announced at The Bloggers Bash on May 19th, 2018. 

GOOD LUCK! 

Click here to buy a ticket for the Bloggers Bash. 

NEW Bloggers Bash Website COMING SOON! 

 

#writephoto Sanctuary

Sue Vincent’s #writephoto is one of my favourite blog writing prompts. The photos she chooses are always so inspiring, and she gets such a variety of responses to the same image. I don’t always get a story but, when I do, they come immediately. This one appeared when I saw her image for this week:

‘So, this is the place?’

The man grinned, revealing chipped and blackened teeth, his hair blonde against the blood-spattered furs he wore. His similarly-attired companion shrugged.

‘It is.’

‘Some sanctuary. It doesn’t even have a door.’

‘Huh. C’mon. This is where she’ll be.’

They moved towards the small building, their boots crunching against the snow. More flakes swirled around them, catching in their long tangled hair, melting on the iron blades they carried.

***

She watched them approach, fear closing her throat. There was no one left to hear if she screamed, anyway. She closed her eyes, willing herself to stay still, pushing aside her grief. When she got through this, if she got through this, there would be time enough to mourn.

She could hear their breathing as they stepped between the pillars, the clank of their weapons.

They entered the sanctuary.

It seemed as though the forest itself held its breath.

‘What the-‘

From her hiding place she heard a clatter of metal on stone, then a thud. A tear escaped from under her closed eyelids. They had destroyed the offerings, from the sound of it. The bronze bowl she used for scrying now taken as a spoil of war, the stone pillar on which it had rested knocked over.

Anger curled in her stomach, combining with the fear. She felt sick. But there was nothing she could do except wait, and hope.

***

‘She’s gone.’

‘Bitch probably ran into the woods.’

‘Hehe, yeah. She won’t get far.’

‘Let’s go. If the wolves don’t get her, we will.’

They left the small temple, stopping in one final act of desecration to urinate across the threshold, laughing as their piss hit the snow. Then they disappeared among the trees, the crashing of their passage growing fainter until she could hear no more.

***

She took in a deep breath. Uncurled her cramped and cold fingers, shook the snow from her hair. She spoke a word of power, and the branches enclosing her opened, releasing her. She spoke another, and two grey wolves appeared, their soft fur brushing her hands as they circled her, awaiting her command. ‘Go,’ she said, and they bounded away, golden eyes sharp with the thrill of the hunt. She listened as the howling grew louder, thought she heard a distant scream. Then she stepped inside her temple and began the work of cleansing.

She hadn’t been able to save her village.

But she could still avenge them.


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

And don’t forget to get your Bloggers Bash tickets – follow this link to join the fun 🙂

A Blogging Blip and an Anniversary

Yesterday, as I usually do on a Wednesday, I put together my latest Wednesday Wander post and hit Publish.

But a funny thing happened. While my dashboard assured me that the post was, in fact, published, when I clicked the link to view it all I got was:

Oops, this page doesn’t seem to be here.

Strange, I thought. I went back into the dashboard, thinking perhaps I’d left the page too quickly, negating something mysterious in the process of click to publication. But my post was there, still insisting it was, in fact, published. I could update it if I wanted to, but it was definitely out there.

Except it wasn’t.

After trying a few more times I gave up. Perhaps the Happiness Engineers were tinkering with something, or perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be. I went to bed, planning on looking at it again this morning.

But when I woke up, there it was. My shiny new post, published as promised. Whichever gremlin had been holding it had released it from their claws. So that’s one less thing I need to do today.

There is plenty to do around the house this morning, but I plan on taking a moment of reflection. For today is an anniversary. Six years ago I returned to the UK, my family in tow, arriving on a snowy dark day to the land of my birth. I sometimes wonder what would have happened had we stayed in Australia. I’m not sure if I’d be writing the books I’m writing. I’m quite sure there are several wonderful friends I would never have met. But, as Aslan says, we are never meant to know ‘What if.’

I’m happy that we’re here, even though there are dear friends and family I miss in Australia. That is the lot of a wanderer, I suppose. And so today I will pause, to reflect on the past and celebrate the present.

Hope your day is wonderful, wherever you are 🙂


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

And don’t forget to get your Bloggers Bash tickets – follow this link to join the fun 🙂

Wednesday Wander – Rocher De La Vierge, Biarritz

Last summer, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Biarritz, located on the French coast. I absolutely loved it – the light, the water, the people, the food – it was just wonderful. I’ve written about it here and here, but for today’s Wander I’m going to go back to the town’s origins as a fishing village, before Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie made it such a fashionable place to be.

For centuries, the principal industry in Biarritz was whaling. It wasn’t until the 18th century that it became known as a town for bathing, and the 19th century when it became fashionable due to the patronage of the Empress.

Nowadays, there are splendid hotels and a casino along the water’s edge but, if you wander a little further along the beach, you come to the old fishing village and harbour, the water clear turquoise against curving ochre rocks.

The old harbour walls remain and are used today – we spent a few minutes there watching a group of men launching a boat into the water. In the mid 1800s, Napoleon III decided he would like to build a large anchor point and sea-wall, connecting a nearby rock to the coastline. A wooden walkway was built between the two, and a statue of the Virgin Mary was placed on top of the rock to watch over the whalers as they returned to harbour.

The sea can get ferocious in these parts, however, and in the 1880s the wooden walkway was replaced by a metal bridge attributed to Gustav Eiffel (known for a rather more famous metal structure bearing his name). Today you can walk out to the rock and take in the glorious views, past archways of stone over dark blue water, sea birds wheeling overhead.

The day we went was warm and hazy, the water calm, though we had heard that the waves can splash as high as the footbridge on more stormy days.  Also, I think I may have found my dream house…

The Rocher De La Vierge is easily accessed via the coastal walk that runs along the main beach at Biarritz, past the Casino and town centre and leading to the excellent Aquarium. The views looking back are beautiful, as are those beyond, and the walk itself is quite gentle – I highly recommend it.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

And don’t forget to get your Bloggers Bash tickets – follow this link to join the fun 🙂