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The Yearly Creme de la Creme List is Now Open

It is the sixth anniversary of the little Creme de la Creme.  364 bloggers participated last year.  I’d love that number to jump past 400 this year.  If this is your first time hearing about the project, this post should tell you everything you need to know.   If you’ve participated in years past, you know how much fun the list is when its revealed on January 1st. So, I hereby declare the 2011 Creme de la Creme list open.

I know this is loooooong, but please read this whole post before submitting your entry. Every year, the rules change slightly in order to streamline the process.

If you didn’t read or participate in this list in 2006 or in 2007 or in 2008 or in 2009 or in 2010, the impulse behind this list are the ubiquitous award ceremonies that crawl out of their hiding spaces usually around December or January. Awards are nice — it’s good to honour someone and mark big accomplishments. But we all have a best post tucked into our archives. We all have words that have moved another person or ideas that have kicked off a series of musings. Bloggers are writers, and all of us deserve to be celebrated.

And we’re doing just that.

This is the way it works. If you want to participate, read through your archives from 2011 and choose a favourite post. You can leave all sorts of comments below telling me how fantastic I am, but fill out the form to send in your submission (do not leave it in the comments section–the point of this list is also the surprise of seeing the choices revealed on a single day). If you post your link below, I will delete it. Again, feel free to leave love comments below — in fact, please do leave love comments below — but not your submission for the list. Let’s keep it a surprise until the list is ready to go up.

You can only choose one entry. You cannot be modest. Everyone has a best post. There is no such thing as a boring blog. Even if you don’t think you have any readers because you’ve never received a comment, you have a best post. The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish. The one that would be the post you’d put forward if an editor called you tomorrow and said, “I have this great writing job for you that will pay a million dollars an hour. You just need to submit one blog entry to get this job so we can check your writing style.”

Even if you just found my blog because you read about the Creme de la Creme on another person’s blog, you are not only welcome to submit; you are encouraged. It is the best posts of 2011 for the ALI community and that community includes anyone who writes about infertility, adoption, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, neonatal death, assisted reproduction, pregnancy after infertility or loss, and every related topic — from living child-free after infertility to parenting after infertility. Everyone on the blogroll (or could be on the blogroll) is welcome to participate. Really, you don’t need to be a regular reader of my blog to join in. It’s open to everyone in the ALI blogosphere. I can’t say this in more ways than that. Which means you don’t need to write me a note asking if it’s okay to participate. The answer is yes. Okay?

Actually, it’s not only “yes;” it’s “please do.”

The list will be posted January 1st, and I promise that you will use up a good portion of the beginning of the year reading through the most stunning posts you’ve ever seen. We had 364 posts last year, and I’d really like to top that this year. My goal is all 3000 blogs currently on the blogroll, but barring that, let’s aim for over 400. Which means that not only do you have to participate if you’re reading this, but you need to spread the word and get other bloggers to participate (more on that below). Link to this post, send out a note to other bloggers you like, and suggest favourite posts to bloggers from this past year.

Um…other FAQ-like things:

How many posts can I submit?

You can only submit one. Please don’t submit two and ask me to choose. Submit one.

How will I know that you received my entry?

When you hit submit on the form, you should get a screen telling you that I have my entry. If you don’t see that screen, I don’t have your entry.

I sent in a post last week but I just wrote one that I love more! Can I switch my submission?

The short answer is no. The reason is that I write up the blurbs that appear next to each entry. This takes a lot of time. When you change your post, I have to write another blurb. Therefore, think carefully. But get your post in early so it’s high up on the list. But take your time picking it so you’re positive it’s the one you want on the list. But don’t give this too much thought…

If you just submitted it an hour earlier and realized you sent the wrong link, email me quickly so I can change it. Once I write the blurb, it’s set. I mean, you can pull your blog from the list, but you can’t submit a different link.

How do I know which one is my best?

Think of this list in sort of the same vein as those “Best American Short Story”-type collections except that it’s blog entries and everyone in the blogosphere should be represented with a link. The idea of the creme de la creme is not to put out there “the best” by someone else’s definition of “best.” It’s to put out the entry that means the most to you. Everyone has a best entry from 2011. It’s the one you would cry about if it was ever eaten by your computer. Even if it’s only meaningful to you.

I’m having a lot of trouble choosing my best one.

Why don’t you give a few choices to a friend and get their opinion? Don’t get hung up on the word “best.” It’s more about presenting a small taste of your blog. A lot of people read the list each January and it’s a chance for them to get to know your blog in one post. The goal, of course, is not only to honour every blog, but to also introduce everyone. Think of it like a cocktail party. You certainly think about what you wear, but everything doesn’t hinge on this one outfit.

I want to submit a post about my dog/favourite recipe/vacation in Hawaii. So … er … it’s not about adoption/infertility/loss. Can I? Or I want to submit a post but it has pictures of my baby in it. Do you think this is okay for an IF list?

Well, this list is sort of a pu-pu platter of the ALI community. Therefore, if your post is about your ski trip last winter, it doesn’t really show any emotion, thought, or event flitting through the community. Still, people have submitted off-topic posts in the past. If you have any part of the post that if ALI-related, all the better though.

The second question is a sensitivity one. Personally, I think that babies are part of the community and territory. The reality is that we’re all working towards parenthood or were once working towards parenthood. And children are included in that. I try to always mention in my blurb if it’s about a baby or if there are photos so people are given a heads up before they click over. So, yes, send posts that have photos in it and I will make sure that people know the gist of the post before they click over if they’re in a sensitive space.

I’m a man. Can I participate?

Are you part of the ALI community? Then didn’t you read above? EVERYONE is invited to participate. Male, female, young, old, married, single, gay, straight, everyone everyone everyone.

I’m a golden retriever. Can I participate?

Er … a golden retriever with a blog? An infertile golden retriever with a blog? I guess … I mean … I did say everyone …

I just started my blog in October. Can I participate?

As long as you’ve had one post in 2011, you can participate. Even if you didn’t start your blog until October 2011. Just choose your best from the last two months.

My blog is password protected. Can I participate?

If your blog is password protected and you want to participate, choose your blog entry and create a free blog at Blogger or WordPress and post that single entry. Then send me the link so I can place it on the list. I can’t link to password protected blogs.

When is the deadline for getting in my submission (and this has changed since last year so pay attention)?

To ensure that you’re on the list on January 1st, please fill out the form by December 15th. If you submit after December 15, you will be on the list, but you will probably go up after people have started reading on January 1st.

The 2011 list doesn’t technically close until January 5, 2011. Therefore, if it is after January 1st and the list is already up, you can still submit as long as it is before 11 pm EST on January 5, 2011. After that point, the list will be close to new entries and I’ll be working to get up the last remaining few.

So, just to reiterate — (1) if you submit before December 15th, you will be on the list on January 1st. (2) If you submit between December 16th and 31st, you may be on the list January 1st, but more likely, you’ll be on some point after January 1st. (3) If you submit between January 1st and 5th, you’ll go up on the list as soon as possible. And then the list is closed until next year when the new one opens.

What about those prizes and special spaces on the list thing you were mentioning a few weeks back?

We have 18 prizes.  The 18 slots that will get to pick from the pool of 18 prizes are 36, 54, 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162, 180, 198, 216, 234, 252, 270 288, 306, and 324.  Also the person in the 18th slot on the list will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon from Attain Fertility.  An enormous thank you to all of the prize submitters.

  1. Babylegs (Here We Go Again)
  2. A curated list of 10-20 good book suggestions (for an adult or child) based on reading preferences, mood, etc. I’d throw in a copy of a book or two that ends up on the list as well (I Lost a World)
  3. My Hopeful Journey — a web organizer for treatments (My Hopeful Journey)
  4. Mugs (First Time Twins)
  5. Israeli chocolate (Mommy Odyssey)
  6. $10 Starbucks gift card (Are You Kidding Me?)
  7. Personalized notecards (PB Creations by Virtue75)
  8. Custom-made scrapbooking banner (Lessons from an Infertile Social Worker)
  9. Glass jewelry (Battlefish)
  10. 3 phone charms (Battlefish)
  11. 2 bookmarks (Battlefish)
  12. A handpainted mizuko jizo watercolour (Still Life with Circles)
  13. A cigar box purse. One of a kind design (Denver Laura)
  14. Handmade crocheted scarf (CD1 Again)
  15. 6 digital scrapbooking pages (Tears are for Babies)
  16. 1 adoption profile review (Profiles that Get Picked)
  17. Crocheted afghan (Wistful Girl’s World)
  18. Watercolour (Jess Rowe Art)

This is how it works.  If you fall on one of the prize slots, I will email you with a link to the list of prizes.  As prizes are claimed, they’ll be removed from that list.  You can choose any item off the list, and I’ll connect you with the prize giver so you can arrange for the delivery of the prize.  The first person (#36) will have their pick of all prizes.  The last person (#324) will get the remaining prize.

What about how you said that you were holding a few spaces near the top of the list…

Yes, some prime real estate is being held for three bloggers: slot 2, 4, and 6.  The second slot will go to the winner of the upcoming commenting contest (more news on that in the next few weeks).  Slot 4 is being held for a random IComLeavWe’er from November.  And slot 6 is being held for a random IComLeavWe’er from December.  Add your post regardless — don’t wait — because I will move you into that slot in the future if you win one of them.  Of course, it may end up that someone wins a prize because they’re in a prize slot and then moves into one of those top slots because they won that random contest, but I think we should all just marvel at their insane luck rather than grumble about them.

Can you post another link to the form right now because I’ve decided to submit.

Sure, here’s another link to the form. Just fill it out and hit send and it will go into the Creme de la Creme spreadsheet.

If you don’t want to participate, do nothing. With the Creme de la Creme List, I never add a blog or highlight a post unless the author has sent it to me. Therefore, no hurt feelings. If your post isn’t on the list, it’s because you haven’t sent one. If you see someone missing from the list after it is posted, go bug them and tell them to submit a post. But don’t send me a note asking me to add them without their permission. I really would like this post to be what the author believes is their best post, but if you are feeling shy and can’t choose, enlist a friend to help you narrow it down and choose your best work.

Lastly, there is another section of the list that needs your help: blogs that closed in 2011. These are blogs that closed entirely — the person stopped blogging and said specifically that they were not going to post any longer — not blogs that went password protected or the person moved their blog to a new space. If you read a blog that closed during 2011, please send me the title of the blog. It doesn’t matter if it was read by one person or read by 5000 people, all blogs should be honoured and recognized. And all blogs stand on the same plateau here.

Spread the word with the following button on a post or your sidebar to encourage others to send a link:

The code for adding the link to your blog can be found here You can also use the social media buttons at the bottom of the post.

Everyone has a best post. It is your personal best. It is not best by any other standard. Stop comparing yourself. Stop feeling shy. Stop thinking it’s immodest to toot your own horn when I’ve told you to toot your own horn. Start reading through your archives. Reflect on the year. And then send me a link for the list.

Wheew. Sorry about that last part. But everyone in the blogosphere should be represented and honoured.

26 comments

1 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.20.11 at 9:05 am }

I got up early for this. Cheers (tips a glass of creamy milk)!

2 Kathy { 10.20.11 at 9:20 am }

You’re awesome! :)

I submitted my post, put the button on my sidebar and even wrote a post (yesterday actually) about the Creme: http://chicagobensons.blogspot.com/2011/10/creme-my-top-ten.html

Thanks again for doing this! Can’t wait to see the list!

One of my favorite parts, besides of course reading and commenting on others’ fav blog entries, is getting to read what you write about the post that I submit every year. xoxo

3 knottedfingers { 10.20.11 at 9:59 am }

Woohooo!!!! This is my first year so I’m super duper excited <3

4 JW Moxie { 10.20.11 at 10:17 am }

I just submitted my post. Last year was a BAD year and there wasn’t a single post that I felt I could have shared. I just wasn’t with it – with *myself* in particular.

In the past couple of years, I have viewed The Creme as something that is the first thing I look forward to in the new year – seeing the best of others’ words is like a New Year present that I get to open.

I didn’t really look forward to anything last year. I was in what I call “The Void.”

It feels good to have expectations and hope again, even if I have a different set of hopes to look forward to.

5 Suzy { 10.20.11 at 10:30 am }

I’m so excited to participate again this year. I love reading the posts from list. Thanks for doing this again!

6 JustHeather { 10.20.11 at 10:56 am }

I submitted my post! I feel quite strongly about this one and I think I’ve written it well. :) This will be so exciting!

Thank you Mel for all the hard work you do. You are very appreciated!!!!

7 St. Elsewhere { 10.20.11 at 11:04 am }

So excited about this….my fourth year doing it.

Glad to be here!

8 Sarah { 10.20.11 at 11:16 am }

So excited about the list! I was stalking your site around 9am (you might notice a million refreshes from uky.edu :) And RIGHT after I signed up was when the fire alarm when off and we had to leave the building. I would have been SO ANNOYED if it happened right before the list went up instead of right after!

I can’t wait to read everyone’s post. It is my favorite thing on New Years Day!

9 May { 10.20.11 at 2:20 pm }

You are such a star for doing this. Thank you.

10 A Field of Dreams { 10.20.11 at 8:26 pm }

I love the Creme! I have enjoyed reading every single one since I discovered it last year and have submitted one for this year. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this. You’re awesome…

11 Heather { 10.21.11 at 3:39 am }

Thank you for all the hard work you put into this project every year!

12 Leslie { 10.28.11 at 10:19 pm }

Just chose one of my shorter posts.. actually kind of like a poem, but it describes both my grief and my longing for fertility treatments (that are successful!). Thank you so much for continuing to do this year after year.. I admire all of the time and effort you put into this project!

13 Kim { 11.04.11 at 9:11 am }

It’s my first year doing it, so I’m a little excited. To be honest, the post that I submitted wasn’t one that I felt that was the best, but I did feel that it was the one that I put a lot of feelings into. Though they were primarily “butthurt” feelings, I got a lot of steam out. Not the best post per say, but definitely the best in terms of opinion.

On my blog anyway.

14 Her Royal Fabulousness { 11.12.11 at 9:49 am }

Thanks so much for doing this :) I really love your blog.

15 Urmila sharma { 11.13.11 at 5:28 am }

It’s my first time

16 nursejayton { 11.28.11 at 9:10 am }

I think i submitted a post , but im not sure how this works, can anyone offer a little help as to what i have to do ! thanx in advance!

17 nursejayton { 11.28.11 at 9:20 am }

yes i did get to that page, thanks for answering, btw did u read my blog post?

18 caitsmom { 12.11.11 at 6:38 pm }

Happy to participate again. And looking forward to new reads!!!

19 Brooke { 01.01.12 at 8:10 pm }

Sorry for my tardy submission. Hopefully I’ll make the list! Looking forward to reading the other posts. Thank you for doing this.

20 Tania { 01.02.12 at 5:41 am }

I just submitted my post! Very excited to be part of such a supportive and amazing community. Reading others experiences makes IF more bearable.

21 Sean S { 01.02.12 at 11:44 pm }

I submitted my first post. Yikes! I’m nervous and one of the few, the proud, the daddys. Hopefully live up to the ladies standards!!!

22 Lanie { 01.05.12 at 11:35 pm }

I think I just posted 15 minutes late of the deadline. I’m in CA. Did I make it!? :)

23 nursejayton { 01.06.12 at 5:47 pm }

how do i get to see the list

24 Jennifer { 01.07.12 at 2:29 am }

Ugh, I just found out about this and really want to participate again this year. I just submitted my entry but I’m worried that I’m to late :(

25 Jennifer { 01.07.12 at 2:40 am }

Darn east coast time difference!!!

26 Heidi Faith { 01.19.12 at 9:28 pm }

I JUST FOUND THIS! Please let me know if you’ll accept my entry! I saw that you didn’t have the list up yet and I’m hoping that I can join! I’ll email you the post if you email me to let me know I can participate.

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