The Blog North Awards are part of the programme of the Manchester Literature Festival and are produced by Openstories in partnership with cultural blogs Creative Tourist (Manchester/North West) and The Culture Vultures (Leeds/Yorkshire). The latter three organise the Blog North Network, a network of bloggers across the region that organises regular cultural events, networking sessions and workshops. The Blog North Awards are funded by Arts Council England.

The Blog North awards has grown out of the Manchester Blog Awards, which were established by Kate Feld of Openstories in 2006 to promote the cause of blogging and independent writing in the North West. From the start the Manchester Literature Festival has supported the awards as part of its annual programme of events, in the belief that good writing can flourish outside writing schools and publishing houses.

Past winners of the Manchester Blog Awards have gone on to publish books, write national newspaper columns and start successful business endeavours based on their blogs. As blogging became firmly established as an integral part of the media landscape, the awards expanded to cover the entire North of England in 2012. More than 500 bloggers typically enter each year.