Announcing: Voices of the Year '13 Submissions Are Open!
Today we are thrilled to open submissions for one of the centerpieces of BlogHer's annual conference: The 6th annual Voices of the Year!
The Voices of the Year initiative (or VOTY, as we sometimes affectionately abbreviate it) gives the entire BlogHer community a chance to spotlight and celebrate the work that touched us most deeply over the past year. Up to 100 well-written, thought-provoking, heart-tugging, and laughter-inducing posts and visuals will be honored as the 2013 Voices of the Year online, including one People's Choice Honoree per category, and then in person on Friday July 26th at the 9th annual BlogHer Conference in Chicago, IL. 12 Voices of the Year will be invited to take the stage for our Community Keynote, reading their posts out loud for thousands of their peers. Following the Community Keynote, all of our Voices of the Year honorees will be recognized, and their work displayed, as part of the Voices of the Year reception.
This year, we are searching for your favorite posts (written word or visuals) in the following categories:
Op-Ed: Deal with it. Bloggers are bringing fresh perspective to current events... and sometimes bubbling up subjects the mainstream wants to ignore. Make us smarter. Make us ashamed. Make us take action. Make us think. Make us feel the power of your voice!
Humor: Laugh at it. No need for sitcoms with bloggers on hand. From snark to sweet, bloggers bring the funny.
Heart: Work Through It. Sometimes we blog our epiphanies, and sometimes our blog posts cause the epiphanies. What have you revealed, divulged, uncovered, bemoaned, celebrated, unveiled, dissected, eviscerated, put, finally, to rest?
Inspiration: Explore it. How does who we are and where we come from inspire great blogging? How do we help inspire the next generation? What inspires us by taking us back... smells, tastes, photographs? What inspires us to care about the future... friends, family, strangers half the world away?
Visuals submissions can be made in any category and will be pulled out and recognized onscreen during the Community Keynote and throughout the conference.
How long do I have to submit? Submissions open today, and close on May 15, 2013. Voting for the People's Choice awardee also closes on May 15th, so the earlier you submit your posts, the longer you have to share your favorites
Who can submit posts? Anyone! You are welcome, in fact encouraged, to submit your own work, as well as your favorite posts by other bloggers.
Do I need to be registered for the conference to submit posts? No you don't. Anyone can be honored -- conference attendee or not. However, in order to be one of the readers during the Community Keynote, you must be registered before May 15th, 2013.
What is the date range for eligible submissions? Any post published between March 2012 – present is eligible for Voices of the Year.
Do more submissions mean more chances for inclusion? Not at all. We have multiple committee members reading each post very carefully, and each post gets read by at least two people. So one submission per post is all that is needed. In fact, if your community wants to support your work it makes more sense for them to give the thumbs up to a single submission of your chosen post than to have multiple people submitting that post separately.
How does People's Choice work, exactly? The one post per category that has the most thumbs up from the community will be designated as that category's People's Choice honoree. It's that simple.
What if I already read during a past Community Keynote? You can still be honored as one of the Voices of the Year honorees, so submit away. Reading as part of the Community Keynote, however, is a once in a lifetime honor reserved for new voices each year.
What happens if I am honored, but not chosen to read? Each of the honorees in attendance at BlogHer '13 will have specially reserved seats at the keynote, and will be invited onstage at the close of the keynote to take a bow and have photos taken. Additionally, honorees will be spotlighted online, and during the reception immediately following the keynote.
What if my submission is visual instead of words? We love visuals. We absolutely encourage you to submit your pictures, images, videos, doodles, infographics -- whatever you've got. Visual Voices of the Year will also be honored along with all of the other category honorees, and their work displayed prominently.
Who chooses the Voices of the Year? Four are selected by People's Choice, and the rest are selected a committee of past readers and BlogHer staff. This year's committee includes the following former Community Keynote readers:
- Annie Urban from PhD in Parenting (VOTY '11);
- Arnebya Herndon from What Now and Why? (VOTY '12);
- Britt Reints from In Pursuit of Happiness (VOTY '10);
- Cecily Kellogg from Uppercase Woman (VOTY '11);
- Doug French from Laid Off Dad (VOTY '08);
- Dresden Shumaker from Creating Motherhood (VOTY '12);
- Elan Morgan from Schmutzie (VOTY '08);
- Elizabeth Jayne Liu from Flourish in Progress (VOTY '12);
- Issa Mas from Single Mama NYC (VOTY '12);
- Jane Byers Goodwin from Scheiss Weekly (VOTY '12);
- Laurie White from Laurie Media (VOTY '08);
- Neil Kramer from Citizen of the Month (VOTY '12);
- Sarah Kimmel from Tech 4 Moms (VOTY '10);
- Varda Steinhardt from Squashed Mom (VOTY '12);
- Vikki Reich from Up Popped a Fox (VOTY '12)
So remember: Submissions and votes are open now through 9pm PST on May 15th, 2013. If you are interested in being a part of the Community Keynote itself, you must be registered by May 15th, 2013. Each of the Voices of the Year will be honored on-stage during the closing keynote on Friday, so we encourage you to start submitting all your best-loved posts from the past year here!
Conference Programming Manager