The national finals of the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards were held during the week, and yours truly was a finalist in the Books and Literature category. Before I go into how the night went, let’s take an X Factor style journey over how I got to the finalist stage.
The awards opened in June of this year, with the nomination stage running for two weeks until June 26th. As that’s the day before my birthday, I decided to wait and see if I would be nominated rather than popping myself in.
I was. Once you were nominated, the owner of the blog could then enter their blog themselves if they wanted to. You could enter in two categories, but the one I felt showed me best was Books and Literature. I popped in my details and waited for the confirmation email.
The longlist was announced shortly after, and was made up of everyone who had entered – over 300 of us. There were 22 blogs listed against me in the Books and Literature category alone. The longlist was sent to a panel of judges, who would then whittle it to the next stage.
The shortlist was announced on August 16, and the following day the public vote opened. The Books and Literature category was down to 15, and I was among them.
Public voting made up 20 per cent of the final tally, with the remaining 80 coming from another judging panel (I’m not sure if it was made of the same judges as before.)
The public vote was open for a week, and for that week it was just blogging vote pandemonium – Hayley’s #BloggerBlogAwards were also open for nomination that week, so both of my native blogging groups (Ireland and the UK) were awash with canvassing. I tried to keep it as quiet as possible, but also giving myself the best chance I could in getting a couple of votes.
To get to the shortlist stage was a win in itself, so finding out I’d made the finalist list was a huge shock.
I was in the final eight. I was listed among some incredible bloggers, some of whom are Internet Friends of mine and whose blogs I really admire. To even get this far is a great feat, but there was still the night of the blog awards to look forward to.
The Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards were held in Duffy’s Circus in Dun Laoghaire, a southside suburb of Dublin city. Thanks to the setting, the awards ceremony had a circus theme, but unfortunately I couldn’t source a tent outfit so instead I wore the same dress I wore in work that morning and added on a pair of heels.
It was an absolutely beautiful evening, right in the middle of the Indian summer Ireland was basking in. Before the ceremony kicked off, there was a gathering for bloggers with food trucks, treat stands and champagne.
The main event started after a circus performance from some acrobats and a clown act, and on the night Pretty Purple Polka Dots won a bronze award in the Books and Literature category. To say that was an unexpected surprise would very much be an understatement, as I had gone in with absolutely no expectations for the night. To have placed at all was a massive achievement, and as naff as it sounds it really is something I’m very proud of.
Congratulations to every winner from the night, especially to Magic Marzipan who won out the Books and Literature category, and to the new blogging friends I made on the night who came home with a plethora of awards – and a tour of Croke Park in Dublin to boot. Now the celebrations are over, it’s time to go back to the hard graft and prove to you all just why I got that bronze.