Over the past several weeks we’ve been talking to bloggers, industry leaders, and even academics about the latest news, trends and advice that impacts us as parents and bloggers. As a result, we’ve put together an amazing lineup of speakers. This list is ever-growing, so make sure you check the BritMums Live site often to see the latest.
Our advice is to purchase your ticket now at the very low price of £49.99 before they sell out.
John Arnold is an old geek and computer programmer turned photographer and video dude. He started his video training podcast, photowalkthrough.com in 2006, where he provides free photoshop and photography video tutorials. He runs workshops and classroom training courses in Photoshop, Lightroom, creativity and composition with Welshot in Wales and the North West.
John also runs a video production company, Little Pickle TV, specialising in producing corporate videos, with a particular focus on live events. In his spare time John also enjoys working with his wife Ruth to make video blogs for BritMums. John and Ruth have two children, a four-year-old daughter who is a real Daddy’s girl, and a one-year-old son.
Ruth Arnold is a geeky, technology-loving mother of two pre-schoolers (a daughter aged four and a son aged one). She has been blogging since 2005 and podcasting since 2007. Ruth launched her geekmummy blog in August 2010 as a maternity leave project, as looking after a newborn and a toddler clearly wasn’t enough to keep her busy!
In early 2011 Ruth started working with her husband John to bring his experience of video production to her blog, and geekmummy.tv was born. Shortly afterwards Ruth joined the BritMums video blogging team, and she regularly features in the BritMums featured topic discussions. Ruth is very proud that geekmummy.com recently won the MAD blog award for Most Innovative Blog.
Responsible for adding to the world’s population, blogging about it and then writing a book telling others how to do it, Tim Atkinson has accidentally become something of an authority on child care.
His status as an author (five books and counting) is also something that owes more to chance than planning. Having given up full-time paid employment to stay at home and keep an eye on the children, he was looking for part-time work-from-home opportunities when a publisher approached him and asked if he’d like to write some text books.
The rest, as they say, is history. Or it would be if he wasn’t still doing it. Current projects include a book on Creative Writing and a new novel.
Tim Atkinson has an MA in Education and a Diploma in Creative Writing. Oh, and a certificate for swimming.
I am a working mum with three lovely loud children, my twins are five-years-old going on 15 and my beautiful baby just turned one this year. Despite being born and bred in the North I have chosen to raise my family in the South meaning my children are incapable of pronouncing ‘bath’ and ‘grass’ correctly.
Before I started blogging I found myself striving for the work/life balance. I have been blogging since August 2010 and now find myself striving for the perfect work/blog/life balance…
Recent winner of the Mad Blog Awards about family life I try to present a humorous view of parenting in order to preserve sanity in my home!
Julia Boggio is one of the UK’s leading wedding and portrait photographers. She is a regular, popular columnist for Photo Professional magazine and, in the past few years, Julia has achieved over 30 magazine covers, including Cosmo Bride and You & Your Wedding – the magazine that gave her the Brides’ Choice award in 2010. Julia and her husband run a family, couple and boudoir portrait studio based in Wimbledon (www.juliaboggiostudios.com). Known for their fun and boutique style, their images decorate the walls of hundreds of homes across the southeast of England. Julia has won admiration not just for her photography, but also for her business acumen; she was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Merton in 2010 and 2011, the latter while she was on maternity leave after giving birth to her first child in May.
Julia and her husband, James, are also internationally infamous for posting their first dance from their wedding on You Tube. Their Dirty Dancing video spurred a worldwide trend in choreographed first dances and they’ve appeared on news shows across the globe, including Richard & Judy, BBC Breakfast, and GMTV in the UK, Sunrise TV in Australia, and The Oprah Winfrey Show in the US – where Julia danced with Patrick Swayze. Considered to be one of the first “You Tube phenomena”, Julia writes about what happened next to the Dirty Dancing couple in her successful mummy blog, www.icarriedawatermelon.co.uk
Dawn is a Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales) who runs her own practice, ABC North East, specialising in small business accounting and tax advice. She set up her own business after spending 10 years working for major companies and accounting firms in roles such as Finance Manager, Internal Audit Manager and Head of Risk Management.
Katie left her job as a producer at BBC Newsround two years ago to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. She now writes features and edits recipes for a variety of websites including parentdish.co.uk, lovefood.com, and the goodfoodchannel.
Katie’s family food blog Feeding Boys and A Firefighter is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea! The blog is regularly in the top 20 Wikio gastronomy rankings and has been shortlisted in the best food blogger category for the MADS 2011 awards. Katie lives in West London with her two young boys and yes, her firefighter husband.
An award-winning editor and writer, having contributed to titles such as Marie Claire, the Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, GQ.com, Vogue.com and the Metro, Carla Buzasi is editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post UK (which she thinks means her parents might finally give up on their dream for her to return home and edit The Stroud News & Journal).
Emily Carlisle is a freelance writer living in the Cotswolds with her husband, four year old son Joshua and three-year-old twins Evelyn and Georgia. Her ‘extreme parenting’ blog www.morethanjustamother.com has been shortlisted for a number of blogging awards and regularly appears in the national press.
Emily runs blogging workshops for writers and journalists, illustrating how social media can be successfully used to pitch for work, find agents, and attract publishers by demonstrating a writer’s online influence. Having found her own literary agent via Facebook, Emily is currently working on the rewrites of her first novel, an extract of which can be found on her freelance site, www.allaboutemily.com.
Antonia Chitty is an award winning entrepreneur and author, with a passion for helping mums make money and work flexibly. She is the author of 15 books, including Start a Family Friendly Business, Family Friendly Working, The Mumpreneur Guide, Blogging the Essential Guide and Marketing the Essential Guide.
She started blogging about Family Friendly Working in 2007 and still blogs about business and flexible work. Alongside writing books and blogging, Antonia helps women in business through ACEInspire and Become a Mumpreneur. Antonia is mum to D, 10, J, 6 and K, 3, and lives on the Sussex coast.
Kate Davis-Holmes was raised by her adoptive family in Yorkshire. After studying Law at Cambridge, she joined the third sector. She has experience of working with local, national and international charities. In her early career, she specialised in debt counselling.
Later, she devised media strategies for organisations, promoted volunteering and facilitated learning groups and multi-sector partnerships. Kate currently lives with her husband, elderly father, three school-age children and a range of pets on a smallholding. Kate enjoys writing, reading, cookery, bargain-hunting and family life. She blogs at kateonthinice.wordpress.com.
Erica Douglas is one of the UK’s leading parenting bloggers. She writes on life and parenting at www.littlemummy.com and is mum to Erin, 6. Over the last few years Erica has made the journey from mum blogger to business owner. She founded the Mum Blogger eCourse, which has helped over 1,000 mums start or improve their blogs.
She now works with Antonia Chitty to help women in business by offering flexible and affordable training through ACEInspire and helping mums start earning through Become a Mumpreneur. Alongside this, Erica is studying for a degree in Enterprise and Marketing.
Sarah Ebner began her career as a graduate trainee on the Daily Express, where she was twice shortlisted for young journalist of the year. She then became a feature writer on the Daily Mail, before moving into television as a producer and occasional reporter on Newsnight.
After having children, Sarah freelanced for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She was shortlisted for the British Press Awards’ specialist writer of the year in 2003 (for her family features) and feature writer of the year in 2008. She also moved online, as editor of Supernanny.co.uk.
In July 2008 Sarah joined The Times as editor of their new education blog, School Gate, which was subsequently named as one of the 20 best education blogs in the world by the Washington Post. She has made a number of media appearances – including Woman’s Hour and BBC1’sThe Big Questions – as a parenting and education expert.
Her first book The Starting School Survival Guide is published by White Ladder.
Melinda is the widowed parent to four young people (two boys, two girls) aged 23, 20, 16 and 13 and blogs most days about ‘The Gibberish Generation’ (teenagers). When she’s not writing about their antics, she writes about life and occasionally bereavement.
HerMelness is Melinda’s black and white, back to basics, ‘old school’ don’t-let-me-get-the-hose alter ego. She is from the parenting world of ‘Because I Said So’ where children don’t rule the world because they do not yet have the experience to do so. HerMelness is an amalgamation of every strong woman and no nonsense mother Melinda ever knew growing up.
“All of this madness would usually have been lovingly absorbed by Bronnie, my late husband,” says Melinda, “in lieu of that… I blog”.
Paul is a highly experienced and qualified Social Media Networks and Digital Marketing specialist, marketing director and consultant. He publishes academic research on social media marketing and communications with Oxford Brookes University.
Paul is also lecturing MBA business managers at Henley Business School on social media marketing and communications. As a recognised specialist, Paul often speaks and host panels at Digital Marketing and Social Media conferences. He has been a Course Director at the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is a member of the eConsultancy.
Liz Fraser is the best-selling author of the internationally-successful books The Yummy Mummy’s Survival Guide, The Family Handbook, and A Spoonful of Sugar, funny, sexy, sassy looks at how to survive motherhood and family life without going insane or becoming incontinent.
She also writes a much-loved and popular blog about her life as a writer/mother/runner/presenter/wife/Tweeter/laundry-folder/general dogsbody, and is a Mumsnet Blogger.
Liz appears frequently on BBC Breakfast, News 24, Daybreak and This Morning, but only after lots of make-up has been slapped all over her knackered face. Liz is a regular guest on BBC FiveLive, BBC London, Woman’s Hour and the BBC World Service.
Liz guest presents the 3-hour Afternoon Show for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, has a weekly parenting spot on BBC Radio Oxford and has written for many publications including The Sunday Times, Red, SHE, Grazia, The Daily Mail and Marie Claire.
She lives in Cambridge with her husband of 15 years – gulp – and their three children.
Toni is a Brit who lives in Chicago, with her American husband, three Geordie/Yank kids and a mutt with selective hearing. In between her mom duties, she is a published author and writes regularly for a variety of web sites, including In the Powder Room and Expat Focus. Toni blogs as Expat Mum and co-hosts Pond Parleys, a blog that discusses UK/US issues.
She has appeared several times on TV and radio in the US (as well as BBC 5 Alive) to discuss Brit things such as the 2011 Royal Wedding. Toni is also the President of a registered charity, Caring Kid Connections, which funds the Tuskegee International School in Ghana, West Africa.
In a past life, Diane was a high powered City executive who spent her days shouting orders for multi-million pound deals. When she became a parent to three feral children, she traded life in the fast lane for life on the hamster wheel and subsequently spent her days shouting orders about tidying bedrooms and finding lost items of school uniform.
Her salvation came in the form of online writing, which allowed her to release her Inner Git without being arrested for civil disobedience on a daily basis. Her experiences led her to co-found the website In the Powder Room a place for women across the globe to exchange their wants, likes, desires, trials and tribulations in an open and honest forum.
Her motto is “Why be an example to your kids when being a warning is so much more effective?”
Best known for her hugely successful BBC3 documentaries, Cherry is insightful, witty, challenging and compassionate about the subjects she covers, with a genuine desire to give voice to the true character of the contributors she encounters. She is now working on three new projects for BBC One and BBC Three.
With a Degree in Drama Education/Drama for Social Change from Central School of Speech and Drama, Cherry has a particular interest in women’s ever-changing roles in society – giving light to new cultural trends in a (sometimes painfully!) honest and entertaining way. Whilst studying, she set up a company teaching dance to kids at risk of exclusion in community centres and Cherry has written for several publications including Grazia, You Me Baby magazine, and Cellardoor online.
She is a drama, hip-hop and break-dance teacher, having herself competed in several national competitions (and has also been a backing dancer for the infamous Ice T!). She also played lacrosse for the county whilst at school!
To read more about Cherry see www.cherryhealey.com.
Jeanne Horak-Druiff is a born-and-bred South African who has been living in London since 2002. Her internationally recognised blog CookSister! has appeared on the Times Online’s list of top 50 food blogs in the world and Saveur’s 55 top global food blogs list. She is a four-time winner of Best Food Blog in the South African Blog Awards.
Her writing has been published in National Geographic’s 500 Food Journeys, 500 Secret Journeys, and Creating a Meal You’ll Love, as well as various magazines. She speaks regularly at blogging, writing and photography workshops and conferences in Europe and South Africa. Her blog encompasses her three obsessions: food, travel and photography.
Steve Keenan is online travel editor for The Sunday Times and is an expert in travel social media, video and site curation. He was travel editor of The Times online for five years and deputy travel editor of The Times for five years before that. Dubiously credited with being the first national travel journalist to make the transition to online, he now regularly speaks on digital travel trends to travel companies and at conferences. But he still retains a healthy love and respect for print journalism, enabling him to see both sides of the fence – and occasionally having to moderate between the two.
Kate Morris has published three novels, The Single Girl’s Diary, The Seven Year Itch and Seven Days One Summer, which is out now. Kate is currently working on two more books, one fiction and one non fiction. She is also a journalist, contributing to magazines such as Conde Nast Traveller, You Magazine, Vogue, and The Times. She wrote two columns for Tatler Magazine, and more recently a column on Marriage for the Times. She loves writing, reading, having friends for supper, going to the theatre, walking along the river, stroking the cat, and snuggling up with her two children, Jude and Belle.
Kate lives in London, but often wishes she lived in the country. Her husband Luke White is a photographer. Kate blogs at www.writingandmoaning.blogspot.com and writes a beauty and health blog at www.mindbodybeautyhealth.wordpress.com and wastes too much time on Twitter at KateMorris1. Kate has had some experience mentoring new writers and is happy to discuss the idea.
Erin has worked in publishing for over 20 years. She started as an editorial assistant at Simon and Schuster in the Touchstone/Fireside paperback division for several years; then moved over to Harper Collins as an editor. She then went to Avalon Books as the Editorial Director for nearly 10 years. Finally she changed gears and became an agent at Folio Literary Management in New York.
Erin has edited many authors including Leon Uris, Stuart Woods, Buddy Valastro (the Cake Boss), Jeremy Wade (River Monsters), Hillary Rodham Clinton, Phyllis Richman, Michael Lee West, Debbie Fields (Mrs. Fields cookies), Erica Jong, Brenda Maddox, Lawrence Otis Graham, cowboy romance queen Carolyn Brown, and Joan Rivers. She has 27 NY Times bestsellers to her credit. She is also a mum to two children and an avid blogger at Cross the Pond.
In this instance ‘Typecast’ is an oxymoron. Breaking the mould is what it is all about. Nickie started her blog to release a few demons and tell the world about her difficult and unusual experiences of parenthood. Once she started, she couldn’t stop.
With one finger on the pulse and the other on the keyboard, Nickie is not afraid to say it as she sees it. She works hard, is a true procrastinator, drinks wine, is occasionally published and is a Nana in her spare time. In the words of Raymond Babbitt: “She’s all sparkly. She looks like a holiday.”
Michelle is wife to one, mummy to three adorable but loud terrors (JJ age 8 and 4 year old twins Miss M & Miss E), a part-time HR Manager and full-time grafter. She started her blog, Mummy From The Heart… in 2008 on a whim and 3 years later it has become her sanctuary where she takes time out of her busy life….. to write about her busy life! Michelle’s blog is a very honest place where she shares tales of imperfect parenting, being a Christian and recovering from compulsive overeating. She also takes time each week to be thankful for all the blessings she receives by hosting the weekly #R2BC (Reasons to be Cheerful) blog hop. Life is a journey, join Michelle on hers…
Lisa Pearson is a 42-year-old mum of two kids, who works part-time as ‘The Mummy Whisperer’ helping Mums feel more contented. She won a MADs award for her blog in 2011, and published her book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum’ to the Kindle.
Lisa feels that we often start at the ‘wrong’ place with parenting techniques, teaching Mums to rely on ‘gurus’ to ‘fix’ the kids, rather strengthening the Mum so they can use their own innate knowledge of the family. She is full of unusual but effective ways of dealing with bullying!
Kerstin Rodgers aka her blogging name of Ms. Marmitelover was the pioneer of the underground restaurant movement in the UK. She blogs about all kinds of things (politics, film, astrology, dating) but mainly about food. Her blog marmitelover.blogspot.com is one of the most read food blogs in Britain. She has developed new ways of marketing events and promoting food via social media. Her Underground Farmers’ and Craft Market, which takes place at her house, encourages entrepeneurs to start up food businesses via a ‘dragon’s den’ talent panel.
Although she trained as a photographer, cooking has become her job. Her supper club The Underground Restaurant specialises in highly researched original menus. She’s the author of ‘Supper Club: recipes and notes from The Underground Restaurant’ published by Harper Collins in 2011. She’s appeared on TV (The One Show, News 24, Vanessa), radio (Woman’s Hour, Bob Elms Show, Chris Evans show) and in the national press. She’s also singlehandedly raised an 18 year old daughter. She agrees with Roseanne Barr who once said “I figure if my kids are alive at the end of the day, I’ve done my job.”
Cari worked as a TV producer for (what felt like) several hundred years and became a writer after the birth of her daughter in 2008.
She is a columnist for the Jewish Chronicle and her first book – The Secret Diary of A New Mum (Aged 43 ¼) – was published by Ebury in 2011. She has learned the hard way that by choosing this title she has destroyed any further opportunity to lie about her age for all eternity.
She has written for a number of publications and websites (including The Times, The Express, Irish Tatler etc) as an expert on older motherhood and spends far too much time in Tesco.
Her favourite thing from her career to date is this review from one of her readers: “I laughed so much I almost wet myself. But then I do have a urine infection”.
Kate Sutton writes at the wonderfully eclectic lifestyle blog, WitWitWoo.
A mother to two boys, (aged seven and sixteen,) she has a knack for making the most banal things much more interesting than they actually are.
Normally found talking about cake, sausages and Riverdance on Twitter (@IAmWitWitWoo,) her considerably sized, Titian hair can be seen a good five seconds before the rest of her.
Kate started blogging in July 2010 and has written for the Huffington Post, Tescos online, In The Powder Room and Dropout UK – a music and entertainment website, where she likes to pretend she’s 18 years old and totally cool. At WitWitWoo, she talks about the loss of her Mum, getting stuck on childrens’ rides and posts the occasional, slightly tipsy karaoke video.
She has been known to street dance, wrote a radio play about Shakespeare and laughs a lot. Her fiercely competitive streak has now earnt her the title of world record breaker. She has added this to her existing list of assorted accolades, which include Apprentice interviewee, Smirnoff model and ex-majorette. You can follow Kate’s entertaining tweets @IAmWitWitWoo.
Sarah Trivuncic packed in her 10-year trade union career after maternity leave thinking “if I go back, my life will never change”. Soon after in 2009, she started blogging after making cakes for her Big Lunch street party and then threw herself into learning about food photography and web design.
Maison Cupcake is now one of the best known and longest established baking blogs in the UK; frequently a Top 3 Wikio Gastronomy blog, named number one in the annual Cison Top 10 Baking and Confectionery blog chart, nominated as best family food blog in the MADS 2011 and named “best for good advice” amongst Channel Four Food’s “Best Baking Blogs”.
Sarah’s site – full of her own recipes, videos and reviews – has brought her to the attention of sugar craft publishers David & Charles who commissioned her to write a book to be published in summer 2012.
Ben Wakeling is dad to two boys, who lives with his wife and kids in the sleepy town of Kenilworth, which during the day is infested by old people.
Ben started writing his blog – ‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts’ - when his wife fell pregnant with Noah, giving a dads-eye view of the sticky nine months of pregnancy. He published his entries in a book once his son was born, with a bunch of other dad-related stuff to pad it out a bit. This book was swiftly followed by ‘Teething Pains’, which deals with fatherhood and parenting for the first four years of a child’s life.
In a change from his usual humorous writing, Ben is currently writing a book for the charity SANDS, with all royalties from each copy sold going directly to this worthy cause.
Laetitia Wajnapel aka Mademoiselle Robot is a journalist and consultant. Originally from Paris, she is now living and working in London. She launched her blog in 2007. It is a space for her to showcase her sources of inspiration, personal style and also to share her various adventures. Wajnapel currently works full time on freelance projects and writes for the Huffington Post and Glamour UK.
MademoiselleRobot.com has been featured in numerous UK and international publications such as The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, Grazia, Vogue, ELLE Girl, Company, Marie-Claire, Stylist, The Sunday Times Style, MTV, Channel 4.
Maggy Woodley is an Austrian mum of two living in the UK and married to a Brit. She started her craft blog Red Ted Art in order to share her craft ideas for both children and adults – hoping to inspire others to ‘have a go’ and ‘have fun’ with their children or to discover new crafts and ideas for themselves.
Passionate about crafts, she feels that crafting is something for all and that everyone can have a go! Her weekly How Tos are aimed to be ‘easy to follow’ and inspirational for both adults and teens, whilst her Kids Craft aims to please toddlers to 10-year-olds!
BritMums Live! is the UK’s largest parent blogging conference, make sure you secure your ticket now at the unbelievably affordable price of £49.99 before they are all gone (yes ladies, they WILL sell out).