Worth writing home about: The Blog North Awards are open for entries

Kate Feld

Nominations are now open for the annual blogging event – and Kate Feld wants your entries.  

Every August I get the fear, a whingy little thing that says: What if all the good blogs are gone? Even though I have spent the last eight years telling people this will never happen, what if… (gulp) blogging really is over?  But then entries for the competition I run, the Blog North Awards, start trickling in and the fear subsides. Because look, here are four, five, a dozen, 37, 163, 541 wonderful, original and surprising blogs I’ve never heard of before. My faith in humanity is restored. I never really doubted you, bloggers. Honest.

Blogs are ephemeral creatures. I was reminded of this fact when taking the participants in a recent blogging workshop on a tour of last year’s shortlists. Not 12 months later, a few had already closed up shop. Some were project-based blogs that had come to their natural conclusion, other bloggers had gotten tired of the old place and started a new one. Some just disappeared. A good blog is hard to maintain as success in blogging (which we do, usually, for love) invariably leads to having no time for blogging. If enough people really like your blog they will want you to do stuff like write books or take pictures or sell things or run things for money. It’s fiendishly hard to say no to those people.

Blogs are genuine. Nobody has to write a blog. They do it because they want to

I think part of the reason we respond so strongly to blogs is because they come from this doing it for love place. Most of them lack that certain pat slickness we have all come to expect from our digital media products. I like that they are rough around the edges. They come from real people telling the world about the things they love and enjoy and get excited about, the things that matter to them. They are genuine. Nobody has to write a blog. They do it because they want to.

So if you live in the North and write a blog, enter it in our competition before 8 September. It’s free, and hey – you never know, right? If you regularly read someone else’s blog and enjoy it, enter it for them because some people are shy about things like entering competitions and they might not feel comfortable doing it themselves. And then we’ll never know about it. That would be sad.

You can vote on the shortlist after it is announced in September. And you can come along for the Blog North Awards event on October 16 at Gorilla in Manchester, where the winners will be announced, and hear some of the shortlisted bloggers reading their work. This year we’ll also be entertained by A Short Guide to The Future, a specially-commissioned piece by author Chris Killen, and the witty literary stylings of music + words duo Les Malheureux. Join us.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Wes Anderson comedies, martial arts epics, and radical 70s cinema are just some of the highlights coming to a big screen near you this month.

Exhibitions

From seductively immersive environments to the enduring magic of maps, August does not disappoint with an abundance of exhibitions in Manchester and further afield.

Power UP at the Science and Industry Museum

Families

As summer in Manchester turns out to be a scorcher, here are our hottest picks of some of the best outdoor and indoor family-friendly events and activities happening in Manchester and the North during the summer holidays and the coming months, featuring festivals, performances, gaming fun, garden visits and so much more.

Author Adam Farrer. Photo by Simon Buckley

Literature

There are online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers – and we’re building up to book festival season, so let’s get planning…

Music

We head into August with a whole lot of musical goodness to look forward to, from massive indie gigs to inner city electronic festivals.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

The new theatre season is nearly here. Liverpool Theatre Festival and the Women in Comedy Festival take top spots in this month’s guide.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North this August.

Tours and Activities

Break out of the old summer routines and try something different with roller skating, kite flying and more in this month’s Tours and Activities guide.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 14 August 2022, from £2.00

Heaton Park Pump Track

The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families Until 21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park
Families Until 28 August 2022, from £15.00

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Childrens Until 29 August 2022, from £28.00

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre

Activity Until 30 August 2022, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £1.50 for trail

The Lost Words at Quarry Bank

Festivals Until 31 August 2022, from £9.95

Flying Fighters of Taiwan at HOME

Great Northern Sandpit
Families Until 31 August 2022, FREE

The Great Northern Sandpit

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks