So, last night was great. It made us realise that we’re part of something really important – that, despite spending most of our waking hours hunched over a hot Mac at home (or in Bold Street Coffee) we’re actually part of a family. It’s like Who Do You Think You Are, but without the subplot of finding Nazi sympathizers on your father’s side.

Yes, Blog North’s Award ceremony was like a family reunion. Yorkshire postmen (as funny and piercingly observant as Alan Bennett) sharing stories with Geordie Sonnet writers. Moss Side photojournalists mingling with Liverpool diarists. And everyone reaffirming something very, very important.

The old ways are over. The bloggers are taking over.

Honestly, there was so much talent gathered together in the Deaf Institute last night it’s little wonder the old models are dying on their newsstands.

That everyone who’d been shortlisted had created something for the simple urge to reach out and share their stories with others showed the cynical splashes of the Echo’s headlines, and the pay-for-editorial policy of Liverpool’s nasty lifestyle magazines for the last gasps they really are. If you’re looking to get under the skin of who we are, where we come from, and what we hold dear: the two dozen or so blogs celebrated last night are pretty much all you need to compile an authentic reconstruction of our DNA. Of how we live, here, and now. In York and Liverpool and Lancashire and Leeds and Manchester.

So well done Blog North (Creative Tourist, Culture Vulture, Double Negative and everyone involved) for making even grumpy old us feel something strange stirring beneath our plaid shirts. A warming of the heart.

Big, big respect to those shortlisted. We were especially proud that Liverpool had such a strong representation, with Amy Roberts delivering a wickedly funny account of her travails in an apparel shop selling American-inspired leisure wear. Kudos to a sense of place, Little Red Courgette , I Never Knew You Were Such a Monster, and the winners, of course.

Check out the winners. Our favourite was The Most Difficult Thing Ever, a side-splittingly funny account of what the (Huddersfield) postman saw. And we’re big fans of Liverpool’s own (runner-up in the Young Blogger category) Celluloid Wickerman writings of Adam Scovell.

We’ve talked of our distain for awards ceremonies before. This wasn’t like that. No trophies. No triumphalism. Just a meeting of minds, a physical hug for the virtual community, and an affirmation that honest, engaging and exceptional writing has a very safe future around here.

Thanks to everyone who voted for us.

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