Thursday, November 21, 2013

2013 Ontario Blogger Meetup

Well, two and a half weeks later and I’m finally making time to talk about The Ontario Blogger Meetup, which happened November 2nd. I’ve been swamped with NaNoWriMo, promoting my new book, and a bunch of other things, so the recap kept getting put on the back burner. Oops!

This year was the third annual blogger meetup. I was invited to the first one, but I had no way to get to Toronto, so I wasn’t able to go. The same thing happened last year, but I was determined I would find a way to go this year. As soon as I found out tickets would be going on sale in August, I posted on Facebook, tagged my local blogger friends, and was able to get a ride with Kathy from I Write, I Read, I Review, who lives just half an hour away from me, and who I’ve known through blogging for over two years.


Kathy and I were two of the first guests to show up at Watermark Irish Pub in Toronto. I was glad we were early, because I hate walking into a room full of people, plus we got to have our choice of seats. We got settled, started organizing our books for trade, and then started mingling as people came in.
Kathy and me
There were a lot of people I didn’t know, but there were some familiar faces mixed in, people I was thrilled to finally meet in person, like Rachelia from Bookish Comforts, Ashley from Book Labyrinth, Kaley from Books, Etc, Meaghan from Feeling a Little Bookish, and Giselle from Book Nerd. There were also people I knew by name from Twitter, so it was fun to finally put faces to names.
Me and Rachelia
 Once tickets went on sale in the summer, a list was put up for people to swap and give away books. I’d been in contact with several people about trading books, and I was glad I had, not only for the books (believe it or not), but also because it gave me a reason to walk around, meet people, and chat. I’m already setting books aside for next year since that was a big reason for me to move around the room, talk to people, ask if they knew where (or who) so-and-so was, etc. 

Kathy and I were lucky enough to get seated at the same table as one of the guest authors, Gail Gallant. I think she asked us more questions than we asked her - she was fascinated with book blogging, and couldn’t believe how many of us there were, and how much we loved to share our love of books. It was a lot of fun to chat with her, and I also ended up getting her book in the goodie bag, so I got her to sign it.

Something else that was a lot of fun and helped with breaking the ice and getting people to mingle was the trivia sheet that was at each place setting. There was a great mixture of bookish questions, and we talked to a few people from our table and other tables about the answers. All the sheets were collected and put in a box and then names were drawn for prizes. Neither Kathy nor I won anything, but it was fun watching people pick their prizes, and it was also a great way to learn more names and blogs. 

The Ontario Blog Squad!
And, I can’t forget to talk about the food, since we got a lovely three-course meal. I had chili, fish and chips, and the most amazing peanut butter brownie cheesecake. It was nice to have a meal since a lot of people came from far away (a little over two hours for me, plus tack on an extra half hour for Kathy), and it gave us a chance to sit down and get to know the people at our table better. 

I have to give huge kudos (and thanks!) to the Ontario Blog Squad for organizing such an incredible event. I’ve been dreaming of this for the last couple years, and it exceeded all my expectations. I can’t wait to go again next year, meet up with old friends, and make more new friends!

All the books I traded for/was given
The contents of my super-awesome goodie bag. Kathy and I weren't going to open ours until we got home, but then we found out we all had a book from one of the two guest authors, so we had to see which one we had so we could get them signed!

You can see each of the books and who I got them from in my video book haul from weekend before last. 

Have you ever been to a blogger meetup?


  1. Great write up. :D I still need to do one too. (I'm dreading de-shelving the haul I brought home long enough to photograph it.) The great thing for us is we already know we have a ride. :D I absolutely love going to the Meetups each year; they're becoming the Blogger equivalent of Christmas (or some other joyous holiday) for me.

  2. Wow what fun. I've never been to anything like that. I'm missing out. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  3. It looks like SO much fun, Marie! I'm really really happy you got to go, meet people both old friends and new, and got so many awesome books. YAY!

  4. I'm so sad I missed it this year. I'll have to plan a visit back to Ont when the next one happens. It looks like it was a lot of fun!


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