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This is our very own blog, where you can find out what's going on in the run-up to BlogFest. We'll update you on all the behind the scenes activity at Bloggers HQ and share our latest news and exciting announcements.

16.10.12 - Miriam González Durántez confirmed as opening keynote!

Miriam González Durántez

We are delighted to announce that Miriam González Durántez will be kicking off proceedings at BlogFest, giving our opening keynote.

Having spent 12 years working at the EU, including several as a senior policy adviser to the UK Presidency, Miriam is now a Partner at international law firm Dechert in London. She is married to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, though she notably refuses to play the 'leader's wives' game - memorably brushing off the relentless media interest in her appearance and personal life with the comment: "The sidebar stuff is like noise."

Gracefully juggling her high-powered career with family life, via what sounds like a remarkably equitable political marriage, Miriam also raises awareness of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan which helps provide lifesaving transplants for patients suffering from leukaemia and other serious blood disorders.

We can't wait to hear from Miriam - what a great voice to start our day.


10.10.12 - One month 'til BlogFest!

Alyson Walsh

Excitement is high at Bloggers HQ with just 30 days to go... We've no doubt that our blogtastic event will have you all jumping for joy, shooting through the roof of the Millbank Tower come the 10th November (lucky there are so many floors!) We're not the only ones getting giddy - gear up for the event with blog posts from Dillytante, Liz Fraser and Slummy Single Mummy.

We're delighted to announce another fabulous speaker - journalist and fashion blogger Alyson Walsh will be joining the Blog Beautiful panel to share her many tips and talents. Alyson lectures on fashion journalism, writes for a range of glossy and online titles, as well as running her on-trend blog That's Not My Age. We've also got two more savvy professionals joining our Blog Clinic – PR and digital marketer Emily Leary will be sharing her social media expertise, and senior editor Claire Bussey will advise on working with brands.

Blog Fest logoIf you've snapped up a place and are itching to get on the blogging trail then head on over to JaxB's BlogFest linky, where you can put a few names to faces and introduce yourself, or drop by Elaine's meme to discover other attendees' deepest darkest secrets ahead of the day. StitchThis is also looking for eager beavers to report back from BlogFest and give other bloggers a glimpse of the day's events in her Blogalong so if you're keen to get involved do bagsy your place.

If you're yet to buy a ticket and are busy umming, aahing or dilly-dallying then hurry up and seize the day! What are you waiting for? There's still a few precious tickets available but they won't be there forever and we would hate for anyone to miss out <wonders how many extra people we could sneak in under a super-sized coat…>

See you this time next month, bloggesses!


04.10.12 - Tickets selling fast and more wonderful voices

Fi GloverWe've been completely gob-smacked at the swathes of you who've already signed up for Mumsnet BlogFest 2012. Hooray for us - we're *so* looking forward to meeting you all on Saturday 10 November! If you're still mulling, or haven't quite got round to registering yet, a gentle nudge: we're already at 80% capacity, so please don't leave it too late <mumface>...

On to other news: we're thrilled to announce that we've snagged the wonderful Fi Glover to chair our Private Lives on a Public Stage panel. Fi's dulcet tones will be familiar to Radio 4 listeners following her long stint presenting Saturday Live, and now the Listening Project. Fi was chair of judges for 2009's Orange prize for women's literature, and is a director of Sound Women, which works to improve the profile of women in radio.

Gaby Wood

We're equally excited that our Finding Your Voice session will be chaired by the lovely Gaby Wood. Gaby's head of Telegraph books, where she interviews literary giants aplenty as well as reviewing the latest releases. She's also author of Edison's Eve, which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US.

School Gate StyleJoining the Blog Beautiful session is fabulous Mumsnet blogger Avril Keys who started her friendly and unpretentious fashion blog School Gate Style just this year, but has already gathered a large and loyal fan base and works regularly with a number of well known brands.

Darren BaldwinCarrie BarclayFinally, we're delighted that the lovely chaps at DIGITAL bungalow will be leading our Photography for Bloggers session in the Blogging Lowdown strand. They'll be helping you brush up your snapping skills, and taking you through ways to use photography as a social media tool.

Watch this space for more announcements - and hurry, hurry if you've not yet registered!

27.09.12 - More speakers: Vagenda, Commando Dad and Geraldine Bedell

commando dadThis week we've confirmed even more great speakers at BlogFest 2012 including fashion editor Erica Davies, twentysomething blogger Holly Baxter and ex-army officer Neil Sinclair.

Holly co-founded the Vagenda, a side-splitting grrl blog which went viral with 60,000 hits in its first 24 hours. She's talking about feminism and women's magazines at Blogging Can Change the World.

Geraldine BedellWe're chuffed that Neil Sinclair, the ex-commando turned stay-at-home-dad, is also on board. Neil bagged a book deal on the back of his site last summer, so we'll be taking notes when he speaks at the Getting Published session. Chairing the session is Gransnet editor Geraldine Bedell, who's a whizz with words and the author of two novels - as well as a lovely, if untended, blog.

As if that's not enough to shout about, we've also confirmed Erica Davies, the Sun's fashion editor and beauty blogger, to chair our Blog Beautiful session. And tiptop parenting blogger Liz Fraser will be talking about how to tackle trolls...


17.09.12 - Our first BlogFest post! Ready for launch...

To do listHello from Mumsnet Bloggers HQ, where we've been running around like loons serenely putting the finishing touches to the launch of BlogFest 2012.

The idea for BlogFest first came up earlier in the year. After a flurry of meetings - should we, shouldn't we? - we decided to take the plunge, convinced that the chance to hear some great speakers, put names to faces (and perhaps make some new bloggy friends) would appeal to our bloggers. Plus, we wanted to meet you!

Altitude 360The decision made, we started piling through a giant To Do list. First there was the venue to be booked - we schlepped around a heap of grey-ish venues before, a bit disconsolate, we hit upon Altitude London at the top of the Millbank Tower in SW1. One look at the glittering views across London from the 27th floor, and we were sold.

With the venue in place, we turned our attention to content. With help from the lovely SaraMumsnet, who's come on board to help organise the event, we canvassed some willing Mumnset Bloggers on the kind of panel sessions and speakers they'd like to see on the Blogfest schedule. Sara came back with loads of great ideas - far too many to fit into one day! - and together we began the painstaking process of whittling it down to the subjects that we thought might hit the spot for the maximum number of bloggers.

Our schedule roughed out, we drew up a wish-list of speakers for each one. There was near-universal agreement amongst the team on who they should be - but a wee bit less confidence that we'd be manage to snag 'em. So, with more hope than certainty, we set about rifling through our contacts books, and those of everyone we knew...

Mumsnet bloggers networkIt's an incredible endorsement of the writing talent on the Mumsnet Bloggers Network that nigh on all of the writers and bloggers we've approached have agreed to take part. In case that's not clear, we're talking about you lot, and the talent, effort, commitment and humour that you manage to pour into your blogs each week. We're flattered and excited at the calibre of our guests - and we do hope you will be too.


Keep an eye on this space for more updates on the progress of BlogFest 2012. And if you're keen to join us, register now.