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The 2014 Creme de la Creme List is Now Open for Submissions

It is the ninth anniversary of the little Creme de la Creme, where we celebrate our corner of the blogosphere. 97 bloggers participated last 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 it’s revealed on January 1st. So, I hereby declare the 2014 Creme de la Creme list open.

I know this is loooooong, but please read this whole post before submitting your entry.

If you didn’t read or participate in this list in 2006 or in 2007 or in 2008 or in 2009 or in 2010 or in 2011 or in 2012 or in 2013, the impulse behind this list is a counterbalance to 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 2014 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 2014 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 97 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 150. 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 2014. 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 meerkat. Can I participate?

Er … a meerkat with a blog? An infertile meerkat 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 2014, you can participate. Even if you didn’t start your blog until October 2014. Just choose your best from the last two months of the year.

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?

To ensure that you’re on the list, please fill out the form by December 15th. No entries will be accepted after 11 pm EST on December 15th.

In the past, the list didn’t close until January, but as has been the case for the few years, the list will not be updated after it goes up on January 1st. December 15th is the only deadline, and it is a hard deadline. Meaning, no one will be added who hears about this project after December 15th.

Which is why I am asking you, begging you, pleading with you, to spread word now. Tweet it, Facebook it, Pinterest it, blog about it, email about it, talk about it with that random stranger in the fertility clinic waiting room. Spread word now because people will not be able to add themselves after December 15th.

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.

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.

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


1 Tiara { 10.21.14 at 8:20 am }

Thank you Mel, for doing this again! It’s a lot of work & I am grateful to you for doing it.

2 Donna { 10.21.14 at 9:32 am }

What a fantastic idea! Thank you for doing so much to support all of us in this community.

3 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.21.14 at 10:00 am }

Grateful to you for doing this.

4 Elizabeth { 10.21.14 at 11:26 am }

Confession time: I have never made it through the whole entire list even though I’ve participated on and off for years… but I do try. And I have found some really cool awesome fun blogs through the list over the years. So thanks for doing this! xo

5 emma { 10.21.14 at 2:10 pm }

Yay! I didn’t have a post that really stood out at me the way last year’s submission did I had to do some digging and re-reading before I chose one 🙂

6 Turia { 10.21.14 at 2:30 pm }

Thank you so much for doing this, Mel. I even got organized and submitted on the first day this year! I love reading through the list in January. I never get all the way through, but I do love it.

7 Lisa {Amateur Nester} { 10.21.14 at 7:49 pm }

I can only imagine how much work this is for you. Thank you so much!!

8 Colleen { 10.21.14 at 8:37 pm }

Thank you for doing this! I am sure this is an unbelievable amount of work and I am grateful to you! I can’t wait to read all the posts.

9 Katherine A { 10.22.14 at 7:48 am }

Thank you so, so much for doing this! I have no doubt it is an enormous amount of work for you, and just wanted to let you know how grateful I am to you for taking it on. Thank you again!

10 Mali { 10.22.14 at 9:34 pm }

You’re a star! Now all I have to do is remember and go through my posts. This is a time when I am grateful that I don’t post daily.

11 Mina { 10.24.14 at 5:53 pm }

Ditto what Mali said. 🙂
Thank you, Mel, from this corner of the world as well. I may not have time to blog or comment as I used to, but you made me post more often, and you made me stay connected. And I loved it that I did not once feel forced to. Which is wonderful. Thank you. You’re my blog crush. 🙂

12 Amel { 10.26.14 at 6:16 am }

AWESOME! Thanks so much for this, Mel. Sifting through my blog posts, now.

13 Jamie { 11.01.14 at 11:50 pm }

Hi Mel! I submitted my information and blog pick for this year using your form with the link above. I am curious if you received it or if I should resubmit it. Thanks!

14 loribeth { 11.03.14 at 3:31 pm }

Finally made some time to go through my posts & pick one. Thanks for doing this again, Mel. I have to admit, like Turia, I don’t think I’ve ever made it all the way through the list… but I certainly do have fun trying. 😉

15 Pamela { 11.24.14 at 3:45 pm }

Getting a bit nostalgic here. Realize this has become part of the fabric of the holiday, end-of-year tradition…

16 Kathy { 11.25.14 at 8:28 pm }

Yikes! I almost missed this…

17 JustHeather { 12.11.14 at 4:01 pm }

Finally managed to look through my posts and found something! 🙂 Just in the nick of time, too.

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