I’m a finalist! UK Blog Awards 2019 #UKBA19

What a start to 2019! I’m overjoyed to announce that I have been shortlisted in the Education category of the UK Blog Awards. I can’t believe it! I’m a finalist! It’s time to start practising my “gracious loser face” and, just in case, an acceptance speech. Maybe… Just maybe…

For the first time in UKBA history, the shortlisting process was based 40% on the public vote and 60% on the judges’ scores (it was previously based solely on votes). As a result, I’m honoured and thankful on two levels.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who voted. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it means the world to me. I’m overwhelmed! The thought that my blog is valued by fellow teachers is wonderful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your ongoing support. This blog is truly a product of my PLN. It is my teacher connections across the world that inspire it and push my thinking on a daily basis. Secondly, I’m very flattered to be recognised by the expert judges in this category. What an honour!

As I write this, I’m also thinking about the nominees who were unsuccessful this time. I remember how disappointed I felt last year. If any of you are reading this, keep your chin up and be proud of your nomination. Keep writing and continue to make a difference through your content. That’s what it’s all about. If your blog has a positive impact on you and your audience, then you’re a blogging superstar in my eyes. There’s always next year.

So, what next? In previous years, reaching this final round meant attending the glitzy awards ceremony in London. For several reasons, the organisation is moving away from this kind of event. This is partly due to the financial burden that was placed on the bloggers (travel to London, accommodation, fancy outfits, etc.). Especially for those who didn’t win, it was perhaps too much to ask. The change also allows the UK Blog Awards to focus on more helpful blogging events throughout the year (for UK bloggers, definitely keep an eye on their website/social pages to stay in the loop about these). Much like the best schools, the UK Blog Awards is evolving, questioning their routines, thinking of their ‘customers’ and challenging what is traditionally expected.

Instead, the awards ceremony will be live streamed through social platforms and a dinner celebration will be held a week later for the winners and the ‘highly commended’. This dinner event promises to be more intimate and purposeful, allowing the successful bloggers to meet and collaborate with the judges, fellow content creators and other partners that are relevant to the blogosphere. A red carpet event would have been lovely, but I agree that this sounds much more meaningful. It just means that one more step is required in order to get me an invitation. Wish me luck!

For those who are interested, the live ceremony will be streamed on April 12th (I’ll share more details as I get them) and the Winners’ Dinner will be held on April 20th.

In my previous UKBA post, I suggested that winning would be “a dream too far”, but now I’m reconsidering this. Although it’s a tough category, the dream suddenly seems within reach… maybe. Whatever happens, the judges and the voting public have already identified some value in my blog and, for that reason, I already feel like a winner. This blog post is an attempt to put my deep gratitude into words. Thank you!

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