Voices of the Year (VOTY) Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you're new to BlogHer and have no idea what "VOTY" is or you've been to a handful of conferences but never actually submitted a post for consideration, we have answers for you. If you don't see your question addressed here, please ask it in the comments!
Who can submit post or photos? Anyone! You are welcome, in fact encouraged, to submit your own work, as well as your favorite posts or photos by other bloggers.
Do I need to be registered for the conference to submit posts or photos? No, you don't. Anyone can be honored -- conference attendee or not. However, in order to be one of the readers during the Community Keynote, you must be a registered attendee.
How long do I have to submit? Voting for the People's Choice awardee is only available for a short period of time each year, so the earlier you submit your posts, the longer you have to share your favorites. See this year's VOTY post for the exact deadline.
What is the date range for eligible submissions? Any post or photo published in the year preceding the conference is eligible for Voices of the Year.
Do more submissions of the same thing mean more chances for inclusion? Not at all. We have multiple committee members reading each post and reviewing each photo very carefully, and each post gets read by at least two people. So one submission per post/photo is all that is needed. In fact, if your community wants to support your work, it makes more sense to ask them to give the thumbs-up to a single submission of your chosen post, rather than to ask multiple people to submit that post separately.
How does People's Choice work, exactly? The one post or photo per category that has the most thumbs up from the community will be designated as that category's People's Choice honoree. It's that simple.
What if I already read during a past Community Keynote? You can still be honored as one of the Voices of the Year honorees, so submit away. Reading as part of the Community Keynote, however, is a once-in-a-lifetime honor reserved for new voices each year.
What happens if I am honored, but not chosen to read? We honor all Voices of the Year at the annual conference. Each of the honorees who attends the conference will have specially reserved seats at the keynote and will be invited onstage at the close of the keynote to take a bow and have photos taken. Additionally, honorees will be spotlighted online, and during the reception immediately following the keynote.
What if my submission is visual instead of words? We love visuals. That's why we have the Photos of the Year (PhOTY) for photographic submissions. If your submission is a blog post that incorporates video, illustration, or other art, we recommend you submit it in the most appropriate Voices if the Year category.
What are your requirements for PhOTY submissions? The photo must have been posted by the photographer within the last 12 months on any form of social media (Instagram, blog, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc.). The photo must be publicly viewable. When selecting a category, groupies/dualies should go in Friends/Faces/Family section (not Selfies).
Who chooses the Voices of the Year? One honoree per category is selected by People's Choice, and the rest are selected by a committee of past VOTY Community Keynoter readers and BlogHer staff. Please see this year's VOTY post for a list of this year's judges.
Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com. Find more at www.ritaarens.com.