Summer 2012

It’s been a busy (and wet) summer, but it hasn’t been all work around here, as you can see from this photo of St. Lunaire, Brittany. But when I haven’t been chasing my kids around tidepools, I’ve been busy working on a very big project. I started The Manchester Blog Awards seven years ago, and this year it becomes the Blog North Awards, in partnership with Creative Tourist, Leeds’ awesome Culture Vultures, and my own writing organisation Openstories. Entries are now open until 7 September at blognorthawards.com, we’ve lined up a gratifyingly awesome judging panel, and the winners will be revealed at an evening event 17 October at The Deaf Institute in Manchester, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. Between now and then I will be spending much of my free (hah!) time putting blogs into spreadsheets, reading blogs, longlisting and shortlisting. It’s a good thing I enjoy reading blogs so much, isn’t it?

In other news:

I’ve been asked to serve on the board of directors of a new digital publishing organisation that is currently in the planning stages. I can’t say much more than that right now, but I’m very excited about working with this group.

I’ll be teaching some blogging workshops targeted at arts organisations and  professionals for the Arts Marketing Association in London and Birmingham in early 2013. It’s early days, but the workshops are up on their website and booking already.

After a long break I’ve returned to writing restaurant reviews, for Creative Tourist’s newly expanded restaurant coverage, and I’m really enjoying it. Here’s one I recently did for The Alchemist New York Street. I’m still writing the (very occasional) post for Manchizzle, too, like this one about two new gastropubs in town.

I’ve read some great books this summer: Alice Munro’s The View from Castle Rock, John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and George RR Martin’s entire Game of Thrones series (read in a back-to-back frenzy) probably top the list.

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