Thank you to everyone who came up to me after I read to hug me, tell me their own stories and reach out to me just to let me know they heard me.
In 2011, Elisa Camahort Page (BlogHer co-founder), Deb Rox and I conceptualized a space at BlogHer where writers could read their work. In addition to the high profile and highly-selective Voices of The Year keynote event, we consciously created a new space at the BlogHer annual conference to provide even more reading opportunities. Our goal included providing an alternative to the party scene–a smaller, quieter, less socially-focused space, where people who might never otherwise consider it could throw their name in the hat and read their work before an audience. The Open Mic Salon was born, and attendees flocked to the space to listen to the incredible talent of their fellow bloggers at the podium, and some with hopes of sharing their own work.
Last Friday night in NYC, Listen To Your Mother teamed up again with our national media sponsor BlogHer to bring another Open Mic Salon to BlogHer12. The conference keeps growing–this year boasted nearly 5000 attendees and keynote speakers such as Katie Couric, Martha Stewart, and…President Barak Obama live via internet video (yes, really).
The Open Mic Salon keeps growing too, providing a lovely cafe-like setting for hundreds of BlogHer attendees to gather in celebration of the written and spoken word.
LTYM:NYC 2012 Director Amy Wilson kicked off the evening, reading her hilarious post about Buckyballs from her site When Did I Get Like This. Dozens of others followed suit, putting their name in the hat in hopes of reading.
The following lucky bloggers got chosen at random to read:
Randi Chapnik Myers – momfaze.com read “Hey Who You Checking Out, Perv?”
Karen Gilmour – wornoffnovelties.squarespace.com read “The Hourglass”
Nancy Davis Kho – midlifemixtape.com read “The Drunk Diet”
Misty – mistyslaws.wordpress.com read “Dinner time is my Vietnam”
Arnebya Herndon – whatnowandwhy.com read “You’re Welcome”
Jen – portlandiamom.blogspot.com read “Kids are Assholes (I mean people) too”
Rebecca Keenan – playgroundconfidential.com read “Ten Years Today”
Annie – PhD in Parenting read “I don’t know”
Ellie DeLano – singlemomtism.com read “Equality”
Stephanie McCratic – evolvedmommy.com read “Happy Joyous & Free”
Kate Rehill – careandfeedingofyourmilennialmonster.com read “A Boy Making a Man’s Decision”
Laurie McDermott – thelifeexpert.com read “Surprise”
Jessica Bern – bernthis.com read “The Cockblocker”
Jana Anthoine – janasthinkingplace.com read “From a Pecan to a Majestic Magnolia”
Kristen McClusky – motherloadblog.com read “Stocking Up”
Julia Roberts – kidneysandeyes.com read “On This Day of Suicide Prevention.”
And our fabulous LTYM:Austin director Wendi Aarons sent us off with a reading of the internet sensation–her Always maxipad letter.
Thank you so much to all of the attendees who chose to spend their precious NYC/BlogHer Friday night with us
The salon readers made us laugh and cry (and laugh until we cried), and the salon audience acknowledged not just their words–but the writer within each of them.
As with every LTYM event, we chose a non-profit cause to donate to. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s Open Mic Salon attendees, we raised $140 for Violence Unsilenced. Thank you to Renee Ross (Vice President of VU’s Board of Director) for sharing her personal story, and to VU’s founder and Executive Director Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz, for raising awareness around not only Violence Unsilenced and its mission but also about domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and violence in general. Renee’s introduction prompted another one of our salon readers to self-identify as a survivor, which gave voice and meaning to the issue and the statistics in real time at our event.
Thank you again to BlogHer and their staff who helped create the Open Mic Salon again in 2012. Hope to see you next year in Chicago at BlogHer ’13!
If you’d like to link up a post you read in the salon, hoped to read at the salon, or would’ve loved to read had you attended–please link up below: