Announcing the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV! #BOAW2015

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” — Sam Levinson, The Beauty of a Woman 

Three years ago, when I was a blogging newbie, I decided to share a story from my experience with an eating disorder I was diagnosed with while modeling in Paris. I have no idea why it struck me that particular day, but it did, so I went with it.

The post, Does Dirt Have Calories? My Story, was longer than many pros suggest, but I believe all of our writing should be as long as it needs to be. And heck, I was sharing it because my gut said to, for cathartic reasons, I suppose, and because I figured a few people struggling with similar issues might read it and find a new glimmer of hope.

sunrise-eiffel

I was blown away when far more happened. For days, I received a steady stream of comments, emails and shout outs on social media. More importantly, I was connecting with writers, many of whom I consider friends today, and realized for the first time the power of this-thing-called-blogging.

Whether we pour our hearts out, let our goofy selves play or share wisdom, writing what we’re compelled to brings mega rewards.

We grow as writers, learn more about ourselves and befriend kick-ass, like-minded readers. The artistry that once brought fulfillment in solace evolves into connectedness as we build a community of mutual support. And we’re inspired to pay that all forward. I know many of you know what I mean! Successful blogging isn’t about “the numbers,” IMO, but authentically sharing and connecting, whether that’s with a few people, a few thousand or more.

As a thanks to folks who supported my story shortly after, I decided to host a blog fest celebrating real beauty. I wasn’t even sure how to host one (“Blog fests are a thing, right?”), but figured my best try couldn’t hurt. Again, I hoped a handful of bloggers would participate, yet many more did—poignantly, hilariously, masterfully. Thanks to hundreds of incredible writers and thousands of readers, BOAW has turned into an uplifting event I look forward to each year.

I suppose if there’s a moral to the story it’s this: Follow your enthusiasm, whether you feel skilled enough, confident enough, fill-in-the-blank enough or not. Gusto will not fail you, particularly when there are awesome people out there who likely share your interest. Why not let that spark evolve into a luminous flame? Uniting has that power, but only if we act on our inclinations. You veteran festers have taught me that. I’m so grateful for another chance to collaborate with you all next month!

I’m honored and excited to announce the 4th annual Beauty of a Woman BlogFest. WOO HOO!

Here’s how it works:

♥ Like last year, we’ll have two categories: Original, centering on beauty, however you define it, and Girl Boner, for exploring the beauty of female sexuality. While all posts will appear on the same day, they’ll be separated by category on the fest page.

♥ To participate as a blogger, register by posting a comment below indicating your desired category. Then write your post sometime before 2/23.

♥ Publish your post on your blog on Monday, 2/23 between 12am and 6am PST.  If you’d like to schedule your post to publish in advance and aren’t sure how, find instructions via Wordpress here and Google/Blogger here.

♥ Make sure your post includes the logo for your category, and a link to the fest page: http://www.augustmclaughlin.com/boaw15/, inviting readers to stop by to participate!

♥ On 2/23, your name and post link will appear on the fest page at 8am PST. Anyone who stops by between then and 8pm March 1 will have chances to win awesome prizes by reading participants’ contributions, posting comments, sharing the fest and more. (It’s so fun!)

♥ Prize winners will be selected through a digital raffle on the fest page, and announced on my blog in early March. All prizes are valued at $50 or more, and include artwork, gift cards, a style consult, intimacy products and more!

A fun new twist!

This year, I’ve decided to celebrate women entrepreneurs—because, well, you’re spectacularToward that end, I’ve commissioned artwork from two gifted artists to offer as prizes, and for use in this year’s logos. (I almost hated adding text to their masterpieces. Fear not! If you win one, yours will be text-free.)

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE….

Thanks to Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson, here is our logo for the original category:

Renee Jacobson art

And here is our Girl Boner category logo, featuring the artistry of A’driane Nieves:

Addey B Nieves

*SWOON* Aren’t they gorgeous? I hope you find them as inspiring as I do!

More on prizes:

In addition to these masterpieces, I’ll be giving away prizes from generous sponsors. Good Clean Love is contributing organic intimacy products, and Style by Rayne, has offered up a fab style consultation. I’ll also feature two participants on Girl Boner Radio, who will have the option of chatting with me on the air or having me read and discuss their post on their behalf.

If you’d like to sponsor a prize with a value of $50 or more, contact me by February 14. To donate a smaller prize, such as a book or smaller gift card, feel free to join up with others to create a goodie box!

Tips for bloggers:

  • To ensure more reads, use a creative or otherwise interesting title.
  • For more visibility on social media, include the hashtag #BOAW15 with your title.
  • If you’re wondering if you’re eligible for the fest, the answer is YES. The fest is open to everyone, including guys, poets, visual artists and blogging newbies. The fest is a great way to expand your network of readers, no matter where you are on your journey—all while having a fab, inspiring time.
  • Not sure what to write about? Consider these prompts:

What makes you feel beautiful? What’s helped you embrace your body/appearance as it is? What area are you still working on—or should you? What makes you feel sexy? What helped you embrace, rather than shame, your sexuality? What’s stopping you? How do you define real beauty or sex appeal? Who epitomizes beauty and sexiness, IYO? What advice would you give your younger self or a girl in your life about beauty and/or sexuality? 

Participants’ names and posts will appear in the order you sign up on fest day. The sooner you sign up, the better!

Ready? Set? Sign…up! Simply post a comment below, letting me know which category you’d like to enter: Original or Girl Boner. And feel free to invite your friends! The more celebrants, the better, I say. 🙂

**For updates and tips along the way, RSVP via the Facebook event page—optional, but recommended!

Leave a comment

144 Comments

  1. I’m in! Sign me up for the original. I’m looking forward to it, August!!!!

    Reply
  2. jsredmond

     /  January 23, 2015

    Sounds so exciting. Count me in, August!

    Reply
  3. jsredmond

     /  January 23, 2015

    Sounds so exciting. Count me in for the original, August!

    Reply
  4. Amber West, original category (Signing up for her due to technical difficulties. :))

    Reply
  5. I love this and have for the last few years. I’m in. For the original.

    Ps. Renee’s art rocks!

    Reply
  6. I must participate this year! 🙂 Can’t believe it’s a year since I discovered your wonderful blog.

    Reply
  7. This year, I think I have got a way to contribute, August. Sign me up for the original, please. Looking forward to it!
    Karen

    Reply
  8. This is fantastic! I’d really like to contribute, and I’d like to sign up for the original. Thank you. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Love this! I kinda, sorta write about stuff like this, but this gives me a much clearer direction–at least for the blog fest. Count me in for the original. But, if I’m moved to write something more in the Girl Boner category, can I move between the two?

    Reply
  10. I’m in! Not sure which one yet…and Feb. 23 is my bday!!

    Reply
  11. Yolanda Shoshana is in – Girl Boner edition!

    Reply
  12. August, I would love to be included on the original. Count me in!

    Reply
  13. P:ut me in the original section, August. Always glad to participate.

    Reply
  14. You know I’m in! Original category please. Already writing my post!

    Reply
  15. Absolutely sign me up. My first thought was the original but I’m thinking sexuality from the point of view of a slightly older (ahem) woman might be fun. Let me think on it thanks!!

    Reply
  16. This has become an annual tradition that I, too, look forward to! I would love to participate again in the “beauty” category.

    Reply
  17. I’m in, August!

    Reply
  18. Definitely in! I’m gonna go with the Girl Boner version. Oh! And I have a prize donation too.

    Reply
  19. I’m baack and I’m in the original category. I was just thinking about BOAW last week. thx August

    Reply
  20. I’m definitely in and will kick off my first entry in the Girlboner edition!

    Can I do both? Is that allowed? And I might have an idea for a small prize, but it might be silly. I will let you know.

    Reply
    • Yay! So happy to have you in GB-land, Jess. 🙂

      I’ve allowed folks to enter twice if they use different blogs for each. In other words, feel free to enter twice by guest posting on another blog for one category. Doing so would bring them lots of views, exposure and your FAB writing, so it’d be a triple win.

      Reply
  21. I’m down for the Original again, forever*

    *-Or until you introduce the extra-crispy category.

    Reply
  22. I’m in for the original! I love that you do this every year, August. 🙂

    Reply
  23. I’m with Jess – I wanna do both (and that I’m brave enough to try is in no small part do to that amazing in-person infusion of you I got last September!).

    I’m already plotting the posts in my head. The Burton Bunch will be in Oregon, visiting family on the 23rd (the kids’ first time on a plane; I need to get a handle on my nerves, because, well, I’m the Mom….), so I’ll make sure I’m all scheduled in advance. I’ll try to stop by here and there on the day, but internet might be unavailable.

    So happy to know #BOAW is back! I have been waiting!

    Reply
    • So stoked to have you, Shan! And seeing you in NYC was a HUGE highlight of for me. 🙂

      As I mentioned to Jess, if possible, dual posts should be posted on different blog sites. (One could be a guest post on another blog, for example.) Hope you have a happy, safe blast in Oregon! The posts will be around for your to pursue after—and the actual fest goes until March 1. So woo hoo, you can mix/mingle and prizes until then. 🙂

      Reply
  24. What an awesome idea. I’m totally in! I’ll do the original and plan to post a letter from my adult me to my teen me on my blog on the 23rd. I’ve donated a book to be part of a prize pack from the Addictive Reads authors, but I’ll also offer something on my site for passersby. Thanks for including me.

    Reply
  25. Ooh! Count me in. I’m back for Girlboner style…. I’m sure that comes as a shock to no one.

    Reply
  26. I’m in! Doing the original category. Can’t wait to participate again 🙂

    Reply
  27. Reblogged this on Greenwood Writer's Guild & Poetry Circle and commented:
    An interesting blog fest to participate in February.

    Reply
  28. fangswandsfairy

     /  January 26, 2015

    I would like to participate in the GirlBoner category with a book blog post – probably books that celebrate female sensuality or talking about Dr. Christiane Northrup’s new book releasing in mid-February. Thank you for organizing and promoting this. I will probably do a giveaway with the post.
    I am surprised you aren’t using a linked list like simply linked.
    My blog post will be here: http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/2015/02/beauty.html

    Reply
    • Welcome to the fest! I look forward to your post. 🙂 I’m not sure what “simply linked” is, but this system’s been working well so far.

      Reply
      • fangswandsfairy

         /  January 26, 2015

        If you go to simplylinked it is an automated system that creates a linked list. I have one on my Cliche Klatch challenge to see.

  29. With the best of intentions, I’m in. I really want to write about this. Scary!

    Reply
  30. Ooops ! Don’t know which category yet. Is that a huge problem? If so, put me down for Original.

    Reply
  31. Kourtney Heintz

     /  January 26, 2015

    I’m in for original August! Thanks for keeping this awesome blog fest going year after year! 🙂

    Reply
  32. Wouldn’t miss it, August … the original please. I signed with you on FB days ago but just in case … doing it again! I’ll donate copies of The Bridge Club and The Promise of Provence … both tell women’s stories!

    Reply
    • You’re in! Hooray, Patricia! And so kind of you to donate books. Feel free to give them away on your post! I can let folks know to be on the lookout. 🙂

      Reply
  33. How gorgeous! I’d love to do this, August, over at the Go Deeper Press blog. Girl Boner category would be great at my end, and we can throw in some e-books as prizes for commenters. Love, love!

    Reply
    • Perfect! You’re in. 🙂

      You can give ebooks away on your post. If you throw in gift cards or other goodies worth $50 or more, contact me directly and I’ll add it to the prize page. Thanks for the support!

      Reply
  34. I’m in! Sign me up for the original, please!

    Reply
  35. I’ve read BOAW posts each year and always missed writing one myself. So now that I know about it in time, count me in for Original, please!

    Reply
  36. Is it too late to get a spot? My safety net says go for Original, but my Triple-Dog-Dare voice is telling me to go for sexuality. I can never resist my Triple-Dog-Dare voice.

    Reply
  37. Hi, I’m new here, but I’d love to join in the fun please, the original category for me.

    Reply
  38. You know I’m in, GOTB! Original.

    Reply
  39. Hi, August! Haven’t done this since the first one. But I (Alicia) am back and in for the Original. 🙂

    Reply
  40. Would love to participate with some sexy girl boner content…

    Reply
  41. I’m new to this, too, but would like to participate with some erotic poetry in the Girl Boner category.

    Reply
  42. kaylacatherine4

     /  February 1, 2015

    The team at Color Him Father Foundation is in! We will do an Original post. Thanks August for this cool opportunity!!

    Reply
  43. Alrighty then, put me down for the original category. Beautiful artwork indeed, August!

    Reply
  44. Well, here goes nothing…or something, I hope. I am going to try my typing fingers out in the Original category. Thanks for all you do, August.

    Reply
  45. I’m in for the original category! Sounds fun and exciting, August! I’ll private message you also for a prize donation.

    Reply
  46. I’m in! Sign me up for the original.

    Reply
  47. Araceli rodriguez

     /  February 5, 2015

    Never participated in anything like this looking forward to it!

    Reply
  48. Crista Anne

     /  February 6, 2015

    I’m all about both, but if I had to pick one – Girl Boner all the way =)

    xoh to you!

    Reply
  49. Yay! Last year was my first – looking forward to doing it again this year so sign me up for the Girl Boner post.

    Reply
  50. morgaine620

     /  February 10, 2015

    Hi there August, thanks for this great Blog Fest. I have invited the participants of my “Love Is In Da Blog” blog hop to take part (https://justfoolingaroundwithbee.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/love-is-in-da-blog-special-announcement/) and I am going to take part in Original with my other blog “The Bee Writes…”. Am looking forward to fellow bloggers post. Just have to figure out what “between 12am and 6am PST” in GMT is :-).

    Reply
  51. Sign me up for original. I really enjoyed being a part of last years blog fest.

    Reply
  52. I would love to participate in the original category, please. This is awesome, by the way! 🙂

    Reply
  53. OleanderPlume

     /  February 10, 2015

    Hi there, I would love to participate, probably in the Girl Boner category. This sounds like fun, looking forward to writing, and reading!

    Reply
  54. August, I’m planning to participate in the original version.

    Reply
  55. August – I am also planning to take part in the original category. Thanks!

    Reply
  56. I would love to participate! GirlBoner version. 🙂

    Reply
  57. Hi August! I’d like to participate in this event! I’ll be posting to the original category! Thank you!

    Reply
  58. I would love to contribute a post, August!

    Reply
  59. I’m participating, August! I’ll be in the Original category. Thanks!

    Reply
  60. Hi! Is it too late to join? I thought I’d already commented but I couldn’t see my post above 🙂

    Reply
  61. Better late than never, I hope…please count me in for Girl Boner. https://joysaintjames.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  62. morgaine620

     /  February 22, 2015

    Reblogged this on Just Fooling Around With Bee and commented:
    Today is the day!
    From 12am to 6am PST (8am to 2pm GMT) we can post our “The Beauty Of A Woman” posts to Augusts Blog. Please link to the Fest Page here: http://www.augustmclaughlin.com/boaw15/ and if you want to “Love Is In Da Blog” too.
    Am looking forward to your posts :-): Now my darlings: go, create and have lots of fun!!!!

    Reply
  63. Hi August! Here’s my blog:

    http://www.ayeshahilton.com/body-maserati-station-wagon/

    Looking forward to the blogfest!

    Thank you!

    Reply
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