1st Annual Book Blogger Meet-Up!

12:00 AM

On Saturday, November 5, almost 40 Ontario book bloggers descended onto the Duke of York in downtown Toronto to get together in a fun afternoon to chat about books, blogging and our shared passion for reading!

Before I continue, I must first give a shout-out to my fellow Ontario Blog Squad ladies! 

Christa ~ Hooked on Books

We've been planning this event for several months, having online chats to discuss details, exchanging hundreds of emails, and plenty more to organize everything... and Saturday was the day when everything finally came together!

Even though the event wouldn't begin until 2:00 p.m., all of us gathered at Nicole's office just after 10:30 a.m. to organize the special surprise we had in store for every person in attendance. I had so much fun teasing everyone on Twitter that we had a secret... 

We had some incredible support from Canadian publishers for this event and I know I'm not speaking for myself when I say how thankful we were for their generosity.

Simon & Schuster Canada sent along copies of the much anticipated Fever by Lauren DeStefano!

Hachette Book Group Canada provided novels for everyone as well, including upcoming 2012 releases such as A Midsummer's Nightmare and Belles, and gave us Twilight Saga lanyards too!

Scholastic Canada provided us with copies of Cleopatra's Moon, iBoy, First Day on Earth, and The Scorpio Races.

Penguin Canada provided some cool anticipated 2012 releases such as Bloodrose and Born Wicked along with a few t-shirts and plenty of bookmarks for everyone to definitely take more than one! We decided to have a raffle during the meet-up to give away their books...

Chapters/Indigo was also very kind to give us cute tote bags. Kobo provided swag such as stickers, buttons and t-shirts to be given away as well. And one very cool surprise which we had never imagined? They generously provided a Kobo Touch E-Reader to be given away!

Shannon from HarperCollins Canada also provided us with various anticipated 2012 releases such as Pandemonium, Incarnate and Everneath! And how cool was it that Shannon had a sticky-note for every single novel with her thoughts on them too? She also gave us signed bookplates by Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth along with bookmarks, but they're not included in the picture below.

Random House Canada sent out goodie bags filled with a book, mug, pen and various bookmarks. (And it's lucky they gave us those bags so we could put the other books in them too!)

It was so much temptation not to crack open one of the books and begin reading it right away! There must have been almost 200 novels in Nicole's office, which we sorted into the goodie bags to be given away. When we were finished, we loaded the bags into Jen and Jackie's cars before making our way to the Duke of York. And let me tell you, I'd never been so grateful that there were eight of us carrying the bags over after we'd parked because they were so heavy!

When we arrived, we were happy to see that some eager people had already arrived for the event! I had met some of the bloggers before at previous signings, but it was fun having the change to speak longer with them about our favourite books! And to those whom I hadn't met before, I loved getting the chance to finally meet them in person! In between eating the yummy appetizers which Jen generously provided for everyone to snack on (thank you again!), I tried my best to make my across the room and chat with as many people as I could.

I was so excited to meet Laura and Cathy, whom I feel like I've both known forever because I've been chatting with them on the Chapters/Indigo Online Community since before I started blogging. (Cathy! I hope you'll be able to stay longer next year so we can chat some more!) Laura, Simone, and I also had a chance to chat about our hopes/fears for the upcoming City of Bones movie. (Remember ladies, we're not panicking just yet about the weird portal we all read about.) I also had a fun time catching-up with Sara again and seeing her excitement that she now had a copy of Fever. And it was so sweet having the chance to meet Danya, whom I might not have had the chance to meet if not for her internship in the city since she's normally from across the country!

I also had a chance to chat about the upcoming Hunger Games movies with Laura and Simone, as well as Paul (our lone male at the event!) and Gwenyth... and we all pretty much agreed that it's so far so good for the movie! Weren't those recently revealed posters for the characters just amazing? And it was so much fun meeting Ashley and Audrey, two bloggers I've been chatting online for ages with as well but who I hadn't been able to meet until that day.

I kind of lost track of time afterwards, but I would say that around halfway through the event, we quieted the room so we could have some trivia questions and raffle away some of the books we didn't include in the goodie bags with tickets we had provided to everyone. And can you believe my luck? I actually won a Razorbill t-shirt and Nina LaCour's The Disenchantments! For a moment, I was second-guessing myself that I'd heard my ticket number being called! And for the grand finale of the giveaways at the event, the Kobe E-Reader went to Hayley after Sara passed on initially winning it, since she already owned one...

After that, I found myself on the other side of the room chatting with Carol. And then Chandra kindly listened to me completely fan-girl over Rachel Vincent's novels as we discussed her latest book Blood Bound and her amazing Soul Screamers series. (And yes, Chandra, I will definitely read Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade series someday soon!) I was also really happy to meet the incredibly sweet Lindsey from Random House Canada, who we were fortunate to have join us for the event! Lindsey also helps to moderate Bookurious, a great Canadian online community which you should definitely check out if you haven't yet done so!

Thanks so much to Michele, who took the picture below for me of the Ontario Blog Squad:

Needless to say, I had an AMAZING time at the first annual Book Blogger Meet-Up! It was so much fun getting the chance to meet so many fellow book bloggers and I'm already looking forward to another meet-up in the future! (You can check out the books and swag I received at the event on my recent IMM post.)

If you would like to keep updated for future Ontario meet-ups or for bookish-related news in the province, please follow the Ontario Blog Squad blog or follow us on Twitter!

If you would like to check out more recaps of the event, please visit this post on the Ontario Blog Squad blog. And if you attended the event and wrote a recap post of your own, please link up your posts to that link too. If you were unable to attend the event, we'll also be having giveaways there as well with the chance to win some great novels!

I am already looking forward to helping plan out next year's event! It's safe to say that the first Book Blogger Meet-Up was a great success!

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  1. I have to say, it looks like you guys planned an amazing event and had an even better turn out. That must have taken loads of preparation. Congrats on hosting such a fabulous event!

  2. I'm glad to hear that you had a good time. It sounds like it must have been a lot of fun. :)

  3. Haha I felt the same way about meeting you Liz! I can't over what a great event it was :D

  4. This sounded like such a great and well-coordinated event. Lol, you really did talk with a lot of people. Hopefully, I'll be able to attend next year if it becomes annual :)

  5. Wow! this sounds like a super awesome event!!
    I love all the pictures! :D

  6. It looks like you guys had so much fun! And love the pictures! I almost stopped at the top, because I couldn't rip my eyes away from all the Fever copies...

  7. *SQUEE!* What an awesome event hun!!! I wish I lived there! LOL! Enjoy all the awesome books! :)

  8. Sounds like it went off without a hitch. I really wish I had been there to meet everyone. It looks there was so much to talk about and I can't wait for next year! :)

  9. Ooh just reading all the recaps makes me excited again; it was so much fun!! =)

  10. Oh my gosh, this looks like it was SO much fun! :)