CHICAGO — The nation's largest blogger conference returns to its Chicago roots this weekend.
The annual BlogHer conference is expected to attract more than 4,000 women in social media Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Sheraton Chicago, 301 E. North Water St. and McCormick Place in the South Loop.
The city has hosted the conference twice before in its nine years, and serves as a good halfway point for bloggers from the coasts and across the country, a spokeswoman said.
"BlogHer also likes to bring their annual conferences to areas where attendees want to visit," she said. "The city is really part of the whole experience."
Seminars and workshops address both the editorial and business sides of professional blogging, with days focused on health and wellness writing, publishing and digital photography and video.
Several prominent local bloggers make up the more than 200 speakers, including:
Patrice Yursik, Afrobella
Yursik's beauty blog is a "celebration of natural hair and women all shades of beautiful." She recently created a custom lipglass with MAC Cosmetics called "All Of My Purple Life."
Jenni Prokopy, ChronicBabe.com
Prokopy, who has fibromyalgia, a disease that affects the musculoskeletal system, provides an online community and resource for “younger women with health issues who want to be their best.”
Mary Bowers, MMB Chicago
Bowers, a writer and graphic designer, blogs about about food and parenting for lesbian couples.
MJ Tam, Chicagonista
Tam is the force behind lifestyle blog Chicagonista and City Connect Media Inc., which runs a series of sites about Chicago, trends and women.
Rae Lewis-Thornton, raelewisthornton.com
Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning activist and a “diva living with AIDS.” Her stereotype-busting blog often weaves her personal experience into her activism. She is one of the closing key-note speakers at BlogHer.
Sheila Quirke, Mary Tyler Mom
Quirke's post “The Hole in the Middle of the Bed,” is on the "Voices of the Year" shortlist, one of 100 stand-out blog posts recognized by the conference. A former social worker, Quirke's ChicagoNow blog "Mary Tyler Mom" centers around loss, parenting and her late daughter's battle with cancer.