Why The Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Committee Should Select Me

The. video above gives you a taste of what a Wine Bloggers Conference is like and why I am applying for a scholarship to attend this year’s conference in Walla Walla, Washington where the emphasis on tasting, tours, and education will be on Washington wines. As a Californian who lives near the Santa Barbara wine region, I have access to tasting and purchasing an abundance of excellent California wines. Being near LA, I am also invited to industry events and wine tastings and can learn about wines from other regions.
But there is nothing like a Wine Bloggers Conference to really get to know the wines of the region that is being showcased. In recent weeks, in order to learn more about Washington wines and to write about them in the hopes of winning a ride on the WBC-Or-Bust bus (see the badge on the side bar?), I’ve been trying to find and taste Washington wines and have come up woefully and surprisingly short. Trader Joe’s and Vons offer little in the way of Washington wines (they offer mostly the same ones!), and my favorite wine store, the Ventura Wine Company, carries mostly California wines with only a smattering of wines from other places, and very few from Washington. And I’m not one of those wine bloggers being bombarded with wine samples either!
Even a trip on my own to Washington wouldn’t provide me with anything close to what the Wine Bloggers Conference can do when it comes to tasting a large variety of Washington wines, getting to know the different regions and what they have to offer, meeting the wine makers, and touring the facilities.
So it’s no surprise that the Wine Bloggers Conference sold out on Thursday way before the conference begins in mid-June 2010, and so the scholarship deadline has been moved up too. Learn more about the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship here and how you can help send a wine blogger to Washington! More funds are still desperately needed to meet the goal of sending 10 wine bloggers to Walla Walla. Learn more about the Wine Bloggers conference itself here.
Here’s my application about why I want to go and why the committee should select me:
  1. Full Name:
    Gwendolyn Alley
  2. Contact information:
    gwendolynalley AT yahoo DOT com
  3. Blog addresses and what you’re all about:

    Art Predator
    http://artpredator.wordpress.com is my main blog and has the most readers with an average of 350 page views a day. On it, I follow Coleridge’s definition of the aesthetic as that which engages the whole soul. Wine, food, literature, travel, environmental activism, art and more engage my soul and so I write about an eclectic range of topics there.

    Wine Predator https://winepredator.wordpress.com As I wrote more and more about wine on Art Predator, I decided to start a blog dedicated to my adventures in wine: what I was drinking and what I was learning. Because of my background in literature, writing, education, and environmental studies, I am most interested in writing stories about wines, the people who produce them, and the land where they come from. I posted extensively on this blog about the Wine Bloggers Conferences that I have attended as well as wine related news that catches my attention and which I think will interest my audience. I often cross-post between the two blogs.

    The Write Alley http://whisperdownthewritealley.wordpress.com focuses on ideas about writing and literature. While my primary audience is my college students, my readers there come from all over the place. When my wine blog posts have literary merit, I’ll cross post them here.

    bikergogal http://bikergogal.wordpress.com discusses how to develop a bicycle culture from rides to cycle chic to bicycle travel. Mostly, the blog helps readers know about the ArtRides that I lead once or twice monthly. Since Anacapa Brewery sponsors our rides, I more often talk beer on this blog than wine!

  4. Requested funds – please be specific, and indicate if you need the registration fee, full or partial hotel, full or partial airfare.  Remember, that times are tough and a lot of people need assistance, so please be honest and realistic about your requirements.In order to attend, I need to have most of my expenses covered: my full registration fee ($85 as I’m an Open Wine Consortium member), my full hotel (approximately $300 for a shared room for three nights), and most of my travel funds (about $350). I am therefore asking for $700 from the WBC scholarship fund to pay for my hotel and registration and to reimburse me the remainder toward my travel.
  5. In 250 words or less, please tell us why you would like to attend the WBC and why we should consider your application.

Have Macbook, will travel! And blog too about this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference in Washington! That is, if you offer me a scholarship!

Why choose me, an established blogger who has live blogged at the 2008 and 2009 WBCs in Santa Rosa and in Lisbon, and at WordCamp etc? Because I promise to enthusiastically live blog again, bringing WBC to those who can’t attend, AND I love wine, love to write, love the WBC, need a job and need the help! Select me because

1) I love wine: it’s a complex, confounding, incredible, wild, beautiful experience.

2) I want to write about wine, and do it better: capture it, find the words for it, understand the story behind it, get to know the people and the land that created it—and share those stories with readers.

3) When I attend the WBC, I get to taste A LOT of wonderful wines, to meet the people who made the wines, and to see and smell and walk the places where the wine came from: I connect with the source.

4) I am an underemployed college writing teacher trying to transition into employment in social media, wine writing, and the wine industry. At the WBC, I learn so much from my fellow bloggers and other industry professionals. They are wonderful, fun, smart people.

5) I need help this year: it’s far (previous years, I drove and slept in my car), I’m unemployed right now, and my husband is on disability because he broke his neck (details: http://artpredator.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/how-lots-of-good-friends-a-hard-head-saved-a-neck-other-great-news/)

2 thoughts on “Why The Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Committee Should Select Me

  1. Ms. Alley truly deserves this experience. She is a person of stellar character
    who has endured much this year with a style and class that inspired others.
    Her dedication to family and friends merits something special in return. All who know her would be happy to see such a fine and valued person rewarded accordingly. Please consider her.


  2. Thanks, Greg!

    I realize that I should point out that my trip to the EWBC09 in Portugal was hosted by Enoforum Wines and I am deeply grateful. Read about the details on the contest on the EWBC 09 page or on the Alentejo page.


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