By kate at 26 October, 2012, 10:45 am
What a night. On 17 October, the first ever Blog North Awards drew a capacity crowd to Manchester’s Deaf Institute to enjoy readings from shortlisted bloggers, indulge in some light boozing and/or schmoozing, and hear the long-awaited announcement of the 2012 winners. Impressively, we had people traveling from all across the North for the night’s event. Next year, we’re introducing geographic shout-outs: “Is anyone here from Sunderland?” “Can I get a Rotherham in the house?”
First on the programme were readings from four of this year’s shortlisted bloggers. They were expected to be pretty good, but they definitely exceeded those expectations. Liverpool blogger Amy Roberts (I never knew you were such a monster) shared her barbed tales of retail fascism, Simon Moore (Sonnet Reviews) read his totally original poetic cultural reviews, the wry observations of Huddersfield postie Kevin Boniface (The Most Difficult Thing Ever, winner of the best writing award) had people actually crying with laughter. People were tearing up for a very different reason during Len Grant’s reading, accompanied on stage by the young family at the centre of his documentary blog Her First Year (winner of the best personal blog award): Frances, Hassan and scene-stealing Mia.
The night’s headliner, author Adam Christopher read from his new superhero novel Seven Wonders (Angry Robot) and shared the secrets of his literary success in a frank and wide-ranging Q and A (a hint: blogging and twitter played important roles.) He even fielded random questions about robots with impressive finesse. Go buy his wonderful book.
And then, to an improvised drumroll provided by the audience’s feet, the winners were announced. Oh, how it made us proud to hear what an enormous cheer each shortlisted blogger got. Even though only one winner can be crowned – or okay, sometimes two; we did have a tie in the Young Blogger category this year – everyone really is a winner here. Now go forth and blog. We’ll see you next year. In the meantime, click on the thumbnails above to admire pictures of the event from photographer Roshana Rubin-Mayhew courtesy of Manchester Literature Festival.
The Blog North Awards are produced by writing organisation Openstories in partnership with Creative Tourist and The Culture Vulture. They are an annual feature of the Manchester Literature Festival, and are proudly sponsored by 34SP.