Open for Business

We’re officially open! If you’d like to read at Blog Out Loud 2015, now is the time to submit. Have a look at your blog posts from the past year and pick out your favourite (going back as far as January 2014). You can submit up to two posts for consideration.

Posts at the event should be able to read aloud in five minutes or less, but don’t worry too much about the length right now. If it’s your best, send it in, and we’ll work with the timing – if it needs to be edited down later, we’ll let you know.

What are we looking for? Posts that are funny, sad, angry, or moving; posts that tell a story or express an opinion; most of all, posts that show us who YOU are and showcase YOUR personal voice.

Just a reminder that the event is on Tuesday, April 28, so if selected you’d need to be able to come out and read that night.

I’m also looking for another judge or two for the selection panel, so if you’re interested in being a part of the evening but can’t submit or don’t want to submit, then consider joining the background team.

To submit, send a link to your selected posts BY SUNDAY, MARCH 29 to:

Write to the same email to ask about becoming a judge.

More Tidbits About BOLO 2015

Blog Out Loud 2015 is officially booked for Tuesday, April 28, 2015! It’ll start at 6:45 p.m. and end around 8, with lots of time for socializing afterwards as there’s no Writersfest event booked after us. It’s in a new location this year – still in the downtown core, but that’s all I can say for now. More details on the location coming soon.

Submissions for posts to be read at the event will open March 2, 2015 – next Monday. So dig out your favourite post from the past year and get it ready!

Blog Out Loud 2015

Just a quick post to put the rumours to rest – yes, BOLO 2015 is happening! We’ll be working with the Ottawa International Writers Festival again this year, so the venue and format will be similar to last year. BOLO 2015 will be part of the spring festival so it will occur sometime in the last week of April – I should have more details on the exact day and time shortly.

Submissions will open in the first week of March so take a peek around at your posts from the past year and start giving it some thought – do you have a favourite?

See For Yourself

It’s been a while since Blog Out Loud 2014 happened at the Ottawa Writers Festival, but video of the entire event has just been posted on the festival’s vimeo channel. Cool!

You can watch it in several parts:

Part 1 – Tanya Snook of, Claire Foles of Foodieprints, and Catherine Brunelle of Bumpyboobs

Part 2 – Ross Brown of The Brown Knowser,Krista Gray-Donald of Life in the Hutch, Laurie Kingston of Not Just About Cancer and Janet Lalonde of Cartoon-Coloured Glasses

Part 3 – Karie Dufour of Pub Patio Playdate, Jordan Danger of Girl, Crafted, Brenda Labelle of Bjütie, Jen and Luc of Me Woman You Man/Me Man You Woman


Photos and Videos

Some photos and videos of BOLO 2014 are rolling in – thought I’d share a few here.

First of all, you can read the Writer’s Festival’s own review of the evening over on their blog.

Here’s a great video of Ross’ reading, over on his blog The Brown Knowser. If you liked Ross’ story, you’ll find this follow up post fascinating – since his mother was at BOLO, she was able to bring some new facts to light.

Here’s Catherine’s perspective on reading at BOLO over on her blog, Bumpyboobs.

And lastly, I have some great pictures to share – some of these are my own but most are courtesy of Neeroc over at One Day This Blog Will Have a Snazzy Name. Thanks so much, neeroc!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Blogging Out Loud 2014

Laurie Kingston at Blog Out Loud 2014
Thanks so much to everyone who came out last night. It always amazes me how great the audience is – and without you, this event just would not work. Thanks especially to the Ottawa International Writers Festival, who were absolutely amazing, and without whom I would not have had the heart to run this event again. Thanks also to all our readers, who were so brave and bold and well-spoken, and to the volunteers who made the evening run smoothly.

Here’s a link to all the posts that were read, if you want to revisit some favourites or catch up if you missed the evening. Hope to see you next year!

Everything You Need To Know About BOLO

bigSidebarLogoIt’s almost here! Blog Out Loud 2014 is TOMORROW NIGHT. Looks like it’s going to be a rainy one, but don’t let that keep you away – it’s warm and dry inside and there is coffee – not to mention some really great readings. Hope to see you there!

Here’s all the details:
Where: Knox Presbyterian Church, at 120 Lisgar – this is the corner of Elgin and Lisgar, right next to City Hall. The “front door” of the church is actually on the Elgin side, but to get into the Writer’s Festival hall, you’ll need to enter via the side door, which is to the right of the main door and set back from the road. Think of the church as a big upside-down L-shape – the BOLO door is the lovey peaked door on the small part of the L.

The church’s website has a fantastic map showing you all the parking options nearby – it’s here. There’s street parking along Elgin too, if you get lucky. Remember to leave plenty of time to find parking, you don’t want to be late! Coming by bus? See this page for details on bus routes that stop nearby the church.

When: Our Writer’s Festival time slot is 6:30 to 8 p.m., and we’ll be starting on the dot in order to have time for all the readers to read.

Those of you who have been to the event before know we usually have a three-readers-then-break style to the evening, but this year, because of the strict scheduling, that will not be possible. All the readers will read one after each other, and then we hope to have some time at the end for mingling and talking with the readers.

Who: Check out the blog posts from the past few weeks to see a profile of all the readers.

How: It’s a free event, so no ticket is required – just show up and walk on in. The doors officially open at 6.

Inside, there’s a book shop featuring all the books by everyone who is appearing at the festival this season. Three of our BOLO readers have self-published books out – Laurie Kingston, Catherine Brunelle, and Ross Brown. All three of their books will be available for purchase (and signing!!) at the event.

There is a small food stand inside as well, but it’s not a full restaurant. You can buy muffins, sandwiches, and snacks like granola bars and chips. There’s also coffee, beer ($5) and wine ($7).

I’ll have name tags available but they’re optional – put one on if you’re looking to be discovered by other bloggers. There’s also the usual sign-in sheet – put your name down if you’d like to be listed as an attendee or receive notification about future events.

That’s all I can think of for now – please post any questions below!

Join Us on Facebook

Just a quick post today to mention that there’s a Facebook event up for Blog Out Loud 2014.

If you’ll be there, let us know over at the Facebook page. We’ll keep an eye out for you!

Come and Hear…Jordan Danger of Girl, Crafted

Girl, CraftedJordan is a work in progress. She’s still figuring things out, and on her blog, Girl, Crafted, she shares her thoughtful, bold, and adventurous explorations of what is means to really live life to the fullest. Sometimes she hits upon a smashing success; sometimes she fails; but always, she learns and shares and remains enthusiastic about going to new places and trying new things.

She’s always got a project on the go, and her blog is just as much about sharing recipes, crafts, and reviews of cool events and places around town, as it is about sharing parts of herself. You’ll find yourself quickly tapped in to a DIY world where you’ll feel inspired to create, grow, and get out and about in Ottawa – or at least, to do it vicariously through Jordan.

She’s not shy at all about sharing her rough spots, too – her ongoing struggles with anxiety, her efforts to figure out who she wants to be and how she wants to get there. She’s totally open about her geek-girl status, even starting a second blog where proud female fans of comic books, fantasy, and sci-fi can share their stories and even get together on occasion. Her personal posts are moving and insightful, and all are illustrated with her warm, funny, fantastic sketches that bring her words to life.

Jordan’s energy and spunk are definitely worth getting to know. Come and see for yourself at Blog Out Loud 2014.

Come and Hear…Janet Lalonde of Cartoon-Coloured Glasses

Cartoon-Coloured GlassesJanet has a real knack for turning the tragic into comic. As a mom to two young boys, she uses her blog, Cartoon-Coloured Glasses, to spin tales of those tough parenting moments into sheer comedy gold. She shares charming tales of those moments we can all relate to – times when you struggled to get everyone to just look at the camera at the same time for a family photo; times when your two-year-old came to you with urgent questions about how bees make honey, right in the middle of your important conference call; times when your older son “helps” the baby get some peaceful nap time by slamming the nursery door shut.

Instead of heaving a big sigh (as would be quite understandable), Janet manages to find the funny in every situation – and then, she draws it out. Every blog post is adorned with her sweet sketches of herself, her boys, and her husband, all caught out in the most delightful of been-there happenings. She manages, often in a single frame, to embody those moments that we know we’ll laugh at later – and then make them funny right now. Art, words, and a wonderful sense of humour all come together to bring a smile to the face of everyone who has had to deal with a small child.

Janet actually manages to make you believe that these young parent years really are the best of your life. Those crazy parenting days become magical memories, as Janet shows us that we’re really all in this together.

What kind of charming moments will Janet find for us this year? See for yourself at Blog Out Loud 2014.