Voices of August 2015: Your favorites?

What can I say?

Year Five of my guest blog project stirred in me a feeling that each year just gets better.

Voices of August has grown from a modest experiment intended to draw new voices to my Rough and Rede blog to something of an online literary and social event anticipated by many and loved by most. (If there are any naysayers, hold your tongues.)

vote-logoBut, seriously. We’ve just brought down the curtain on another month of stellar writing by new and old friends, family members, neighbors and former co-workers.

What I love — and what i suspect many of you do too — is that every day brings a surprise. You never know what topic a given person will choose to write about and exactly what words and images he or she will share to convey an idea, a feeling or an observation.

What I also love is that this has never been and never will be a forum for professional writers only. I love, love, love that so many people from so many different backgrounds accept my invitation to craft a piece. More important than the mechanics of writing, I believe, is the genuine desire to communicate — to be heard, to be understood.

That this annual exercise has become such a forum warms my heart. (Sorry, I’m getting verklempt.)

In this age of Twitter, when folks labor to compose a coherent thought in 140 characters or less, Voices of August allows people the room they need to say what they want and how they want to say it. (Yes, we had our first F-bombs this year and a vivid description of an overflowing toilet — but everything was in context and those words helped conveyed the writers’ shame, pain and fury in a way we won’t forget.)

Now we come to the fun part. Or maybe it’s the hard, hard part. Voting for your favorites.

The rules:

As with previous years, anyone who has written a guest blog (this year or previously) or who is simply a regular reader of VOA can vote for three favorite pieces.YOU decide if you’ve read enough of this month’s contributions to cast a ballot.

There are no criteria other than your own. What grabbed your attention? What resonated with you? What made you laugh or cry? What challenged your assumptions? What made you see things differently?

Please take some time to review the month’s posts here at the VOA 5.0 index page and then send the titles of your three favorites to me at ghfunq@msn.com. Your deadline: Sept 15, two weeks from the date of this post.

I will tabulate the responses to see if we have three clear favorites among us. If we don’t, I will ask for a second round of voting to narrow the field.

As you revisit this year’s contributions, please take the opportunity to leave a comment on one or more posts. Be generous with your feedback, both on Facebook and especially on the posts themselves. Writers love feedback.

Let the voting begin!

Image: Skidmore College

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