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

Valentine’s ideas, hard-to-see queer cinema and the best in new releases — we’ve got it covered.

Kimsooja, To Breathe. Photo © Jaeho Chong

Exhibitions

Inspired by the meditative qualities of space and eastern notions of the Void, Kimsooja’s mesmerising installation at YSP’s historic chapel heads our top pick of exhibitions this month.

Big Up! Courtesy Theatre Rites / Helen Murray

Families

See Mer-folk in a Human Aquarium, experience Trouble at t’Mill and the world of nocturnal animals after dark. Then break all the rules in new show Big Up!

Writer Nicole Flattery.

Literature

Those darling buds are coming back to life in live literature land as 2019 gets properly underway, and we’ve plenty to look forward to – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.

Music

We have some hotly anticipated gigs coming up in Manchester and the north over the next few months! Read about them here!

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

A Salford leisure centre, a city centre library and a Manchester museum – theatre can happen anywhere. Here’s our guide to the best performances popping up across Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

In this month’s roundup of best Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North, we highlight the pottery and craft workshops giving you some cathartic and creative opportunities to get making.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Families 18–22 February 2019, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Trouble at t’Mill at Quarry Bank

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

SparkPlug at HOME
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry