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. 


 

Join Us on Twitter for #BlogBashChat!

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED THE #BLOGBASHCHAT TWITTER HOUR YET?

Every Sunday evening between 7pm and 8pm(BST) bloggers from across the globe unite and take part in the Bloggers Bash Blog Bash Chat using the hashtag #BlogBashChat

It’s an hour of introductions, learning, connecting with fellow bloggers, and fun. The Bash Chat following is growing and the engagement is incredible. One of our dedicated bloggers is Australian and gets up at 5am his time just to take part!

We don’t want you to miss out on this fun interaction. It’s just an hour out of your Sunday (which goes very fast!), but the possibility of finding answers to your blogging questions, making new friends, and discovering alternative blogs to follow is worth your time.

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 inperson! 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 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 announce the winners of the Bloggers BashAwards, which you, the blogging public, vote for. You can see last year’s winners here.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Join your Blog Bash Chat host, Suzie and other members of the committee every Sunday on Twitter https://twitter.com/BloggersBash– don’t forget to use the hashtag! #BlogBashChat

NEW Bloggers Bash Website COMING SOON!

Playing with Prisma

Publishing independently costs money – there’s no getting around it. A professional edit, typesetting, a cover design – while you don’t have to pay for any of these things, they can make a difference to the look and feel of your finished book. However, independent publishing doesn’t, for the most part, make much money – the majority of authors these days, whether traditional or independently published, rely on secondary sources of income to keep going. So, if you can save money here and there, it’s a bonus.

I’ve written before about using photography, including the potential pitfalls of using images without permission, the different types of stock images available and the effects you can create using your own images. I still believe that, as independent authors, using our own photography wherever possible is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to promote our work. So, when I heard about the Prisma app, I knew I had to give it a try.

IMG_2622This is a photograph I took with my phone the other week, of the ruined cathedral in Coventry. Not a bad photo, if I say so myself. However, when I put it into the Prisma app, it changed completely:

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The Crypt – or – a Tale With No Ending (Yet)

IMG_2594Wow! On Saturday night, as a bit of fun, I posted a story that Craig Boyack had started based on a photograph I’d taken, in the hope we might get a few other writers to contribute to the tale of the archaeologist in the crypt. And we did! So many comments, in fact, that I’ve decided to collate them here in the order they were received, so that hopefully we can finish the story and get this poor archaeologist out of the crypt, or into the monster’s lair, or Janine’s embrace, or wherever he ends up. I won’t tag the commenters – if you want to see who added what, head over to the original post and scroll through the comments. So, here we go:

For over a thousand years, the ancient evil remained walled up behind a blessed doorway at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
In the summer of 2016, an overzealous archaeologist detected something behind the wall using electromagnetic sounding equipment…

…entering through the old crypt, the archaeologist made their way through the vaulted chambers, footsteps echoing as they headed deeper into the dark…

The smell of moss and rot filled their nostrils. The light failed. A slight dragging noise came from farther down…

… the smell grew stronger, but with a hint of something darker, like smoke from a funeral pyre. All at once the archaeologist was aware of the great weight of stone pressing down from above…

Go back. Wait for the others, that would be the sensible move. A dark mist, present and palpable seemed to ooze from the floor, tendrils curling and clawing at the archaeologist’s feet, impelling them onward, deeper, consuming the pale beam of the torch. To hell with the others… a cold smile and a glint of teeth in the darkness…

A low rumble filled the tunnel and the torch light sputtered out. Squeezing his eyes tight shut the archeologist opened them again hoping to see through the velvet black that filled the tunnel. He felt something drip on his face. Looking up two green eyes greeted him.

The archeologist wanted nothing more but to turn and flee, but alas his legs had turned to jelly. Frozen in place, his only option was to wait like a lamb to slaughter as those piercing green eyes drew nearer.

Out of the darkness the eyes moved towards him, the creature’s feet scraping along the floor.

Not for the first time, the archaeologist thought about all the other career choices he could have made, choices that would have included nice offices and bright lighting, not dusty crypts and lurking monsters. He closed his eyes, bracing himself. Then a hand gripped his shoulder.
‘What the hell are you doing?’
Janine. He exhaled in relief. That was one thing he never regretted about becoming an archaeologist – the fact that he had met the extraordinary Janine.

Janine smiled at him, revealing two fangs and a tongue that had the shape of the end of the Devil’s tail. She hissed at him, making him jump back in terror. What on earth had happened to the woman he had so much wanted to ask out?

Janine said, “I want you to meet my mother.”

“Er, Janine, hi. I was about to call you on your cell…” (Always thought it felt a little strange when we did a bit of tonguing) “Can meeting your mother wait, I’m kinda caught up in the middle of something right now.” The archaeologist puts on his innocent smile and shrugs.

Archie shook himself. This was getting too bizarre – like something out of a nightmare. Wait – *was* this a nightmare? He squeezed his eyes shut, took a deep breath, counted to ten, then pinched himself, hard. Ouch! His eyes snapped open, and his gaze met the crumbling stone vaulting of the crypt. He shone his torch up, down, and behind himself. Nothing. A slow sigh of relief escaped him, and he chuckled to himself. How silly of him! Janine, with drooling fangs, wanting him to meet her mother! He directed the torch beam ahead and took a step further into the vault. He was an archaeologist, a scientist – he had no time for silly fancies.
From out of the deep shadows, the green eyes glowed as they watched him, narrowed in speculation.

It would make sure that he met her mother all right. On a cold slab in the deepest portion of the crypt. After all, a mother had to put out the welcoming mat…

The archaeologist, unaware of the shadowy watcher, pressed on, wiping sweat from the back of his neck as he moved further into the crypt. According to the old plans, he should be almost at the other side of the sealed door- He stopped short. A wall was in front of him, blocking his way. Shining his torch on it, he could see it was built of the same ancient stones as the rest of the crypt, and that it stretched for a couple of metres in either direction.
‘Christ Al-‘ Then he stopped, remembering where he was. Right. What to do now? This was almost his last chance to make that elusive big discovery, every archaeologist’s dream. And there was no way he was letting hallucinations and old stone walls stand in his way…

He took his rucksack off his back and, on opening it, took out a hammer and chisel. He would hack away at some of the old bricks and try and dislodge them so he could shine his torch through the gap and see what was on the other side of the wall. Just as he was about to make the first blow, he was shocked to hear some tapping come from on the other side of the wall.

And in the dark he heard her scream. Her scream was abruptly cut off and he heard a thump to the floor. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the glistening of her hair on the floor and with his lantern he couldn’t bare to move it to the right. What would he find? Her eyes wide open and dead with the glaze of fear? He felt a fog come over his shoulder and as he willed to escape, his body betrayed him when he needed it most. The scent was a foul, sour burning. The breath of a dark, obscure, ancient beast for sure. For as the scent drew nearer, the wheezing of the beast enclosed him further.

He wouldn’t let that stop him though. He’d looked death in the face more than a few times. Now, where had Janine disappeared to? It wasn’t like her not to be down in the depths of things with him. Just a little further, that’s all he needed. Blood speckled his shoulder…

The speckles rapidly developed into great gobbets of thick, foul smelling liquid that was more than just blood – it glistened like saliva…

And it was coming from high above his head…

He brushed the gobbets from his shoulder. ‘Bloody pipes,’ he thought as he kept working at the wall, hoping to dislodge more of the great stones. The tapping became louder, as he pushed one through to the other side…

The red eyes glared at him. While he had been distracted, the archaeologist had completely forgotten about the beast, and now it was almost upon him…

He backed away, stumbling over a brick on the grass behind him.

“Do be careful,” the beast licked its teeth. “I would hate to have to explain your death to the Queen. Follow me,” it turned mumbling something about clumsy humans…

And there we have it, folks. I think there’s the makings of a great story here – thanks again to Craig for starting the ball rolling with his story idea. Let’s see if we can take it all the way to the end – we have until Thursday, August 4th to make it happen!

 

Bloggers Bash 2017 – Part 2

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Boss Sacha holding court!

There have already been several great posts about the recent Bloggers Bash in London, held this past weekend. And I’m here to add my voice to all those saying, ‘What a fantastic day!’

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Luca during his presentation

First of all, congratulations to all the award winners, and huge thanks to the organising committee, Sacha Black, Geoff LePard, Ali Isaac and Hugh Roberts – your tireless efforts and excellent organisational skills created something completely wonderful.

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Sacha and Hugh handing out awards

I arrived early for the Bash to meet several bloggers at a pub near Euston Station, where we greeted each other like old friends. And it did feel that way. A lot of us remarked on the fact that, even though many of us were meeting in person for the first time, it was as though we all knew each other already through our interactions online. Of course, there were familiar faces from last year’s Bash, but plenty of new faces too, familiar to me only from their blogs. But nametags helped us to break the ice and, really,  it felt like walking into a room full of friends, rather than strangers.

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Me and Steve from Steve Says and Talk About Pop Music – we finally got to meet up!

So what else can I add? Food, drink and good company, plus a blogging/social media presentation by Automatic/Wordpress employee Luca, made for an afternoon that flew by all too quickly, and before we knew it we were saying our farewells, a last group of us heading out into damp streets before parting.

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Love this photo! Me and Suzie from Suzie Speaks

I arrived home worn out from a great day. And the next day I even felt a little hungover, even though I hadn’t really drunk anything. Rather, it was the languor that descends after a big day out, when you just want to sit and remember it all (although, having to be at a 9am dress rehearsal for my daughter’s dance show kind of got in the way of any relaxing!). Facebook is heaving with photos of the event, and the date for next year has already been announced – June 10, 2017 – so put it in your diaries!

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Lucy from BlondeWriteMore and Esther from Esther Newton Blog – I look a bit manic here because I couldn’t get my phone to work!

So who knows where we’ll meet up next year? Last year when we were in Pizza Express, The Royal Albert Hall was discussed as a possible venue, as was Buckingham Palace. Joking, of course. But the event is growing, and the difference between this year’s Bash and last year’s was easy to see. However, one thing remained the same. A group of people from all walks of life united under one common banner – blogging. And even though I didn’t get to speak with everyone there (which was a shame!), it was a wonderful way to share our passion for the written word.

Here’s to a wonderful Bloggers Bash 2016 – roll on next year! xx