Announcing the 2017 Winter Writing Festival!!!

Needing a special gift for your writer self?


If you’ve joined us for the Winter Writing Festival any time during the past six years, you know it can be a tremendously productive time, with lots of inspiring support and the magic of REGULAR WRITING SPRINTS held in our cozy Ruby Chat Room!!

It’s completely free, and all writers are welcome—the more the merrier!

Through the bleakest part of winter—January 10 through February 28—the Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning, with camaraderie, encouragement, fun prizes for participants, and as much virtual hot-chocolate (and virtual cookies!!) as you please. ‘Cause nobody’s Muse can resist a party!

Here’s the beauty part:  unlike NaNoWriMo and other writing challenges that (much as we love them!!) have a one-size-fits-all approach, the Ruby Winter Writing Festival is designed for you.

No matter what stage you’re at right now (brainstorming, plotting, free-writing, fast-drafting, slow-drafting, revising, layering, polishing…or any combination of the above) the Ruby Winter Writing Festival wants to give you fuel for your winter writing fire.

We use a “point” system, with a goal of earning one point per day–and YOU DEFINE WHAT IT TAKES TO EARN THAT POINT!

Everybody gets one bonus point on the first day, Tuesday January 10, for stopping by the Ruby blog and making a public commitment to take part in the Festival. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including January 10), you work to earn an additional point, according to your personal point system.

Here are some examples of the sorts of things you might define as worth one point (you fill in the variables with the amounts that work for you):

-writing X number of words or pages

-deep revising Y number of pages

-polishing Z number of pages

-freewriting / brainstorming for Q number of minutes/hours

-doing R number of 20-minute writing sprints

-keeping butt in chair and hands on keyboard for S number of minutes or hours

For instance, one person might commit to earning points according to the following terms:

-writing 500 words per day  OR

-deep revising 10 pages per day OR

-doing a final polish on 25 pages per day OR

-participating in an hour of writing sprints

Any day that person meets ANY of those goals, she gets a point.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN’T PREDICTABLY WORK *DAILY* BUT KNOW YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH SET GOALS BY THE END OF A *WEEK*, we’re also officially giving you permission to set a weekly instead of a daily goal, and then give yourself 7 points when you make it!! (See? It’s SUPER CHILL AND FLEXIBLE around here.)

You can also give yourself BONUS POINTS for auxiliary goals, like writing new words every day for seven days in a row, or reaching a certain word count by the end of a week, or writing THE END on a manuscript. Be creative with how you set up earning your points. Make them work with your personal writing style and writing needs.

If you don’t earn your point on any particular day (or week), you can certainly double or triple or quadruple the points you earn on another day (or week) to catch up.

And if you know ahead of time that you can never work on certain days (say, Saturdays) feel free to add something like “Keep balance in my life by taking Saturday off” to your personal list of ‘ways to earn a point.’ Yes, really, you can get a point for taking a planned day off!! Don’t be shy.

Remember, we all have different life commitments and different approaches to our writing lives, so we all need to set our own point systems. All approaches are equally worthy. This isn’t a competition, it’s a supportive process for MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR WRITING.

Check in on the Ruby blog every day during the Festival to report your progress. If you reach Feb 28 with at least 50 points, YOU WIN!!

Because we’re the Rubies, and we like to do things up right (and…okay, because we have the awesome Liz Bemis of we’ll even have a special sister website up and running during the Festival which you can access by going to or by clicking the blue “Ruby Winter Writing Festival” button which will soon appear near the top of the Ruby site.

Everyone who commits to participating on January 10 will be able to download a cool “Ruby Winter Writing Festival Participant” badge to post on their own website or blog.

Plus, everyone who checks in on our Tuesday Check-In Days reporting that they’re on track with earning points will be entered in random drawings for cool prizes, like books by the fabulous Rubies, craft books, gift cards, chocolates, and expert critiques from the Sisters!

If you check in on Tuesday, February 28 and report you’ve WON, you’ll be able to download a “Ruby Winter Writing Festival WINNER” badge to post on your website or blog.

And of course you’ll have the satisfaction of achieving a small boatload of wonderful shiny writing progress (not to mention eternal fame and glory…and cookies!).

What’s not to love?

Decide on your personal terms for earning points, and join us back here on Tuesday January 10 to get started!! And spread the word on your loops, Facebook, and personal websites! The more writers who join us, the stronger we’ll all be!

9 responses to “Announcing the 2017 Winter Writing Festival!!!”

  1. Woohoo! I can’t wait. I’m going to spread the word because I know there are some waiting for the date.

    AJ(Oiling her whip)

  2. I’m in! Can’t wait!

  3. Ooh, I’ll be in revisions for most of January and then working on finishing the next book in February.

    I’ll definitely be back to look for the Ruby Winter Writing Festival button in the new year so I can join!

    Thanks for setting up such a great support system!

    Happy Holidays!

  4. Marin McGinnis says:

    I am SO excited for this I can’t even tell you. I have two books to finish!!

  5. Emily Allen says:

    I can’t wait. I need this to get back on track with my writing.

  6. Yes! So looking forward to this! I got so much writing done last year and made amazing new connections! I’m posting it all over my Social Media!! Thanks, ladies!


Subscribe to the Blog

The Latest Comments

  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: I love the first snow of the year. It always feels so magical. Happy holidays, Bev!
  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Yes! I love just falling into the season headfirst. 🙂
  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Oooh, yes! Use those wacky traditions! The wackier the better!
  • Bev Pettersen: I’m feeling a little Christmas in the air now. We also had our first snow today so this is...
  • Darynda Jones: I love it!!!! I love Christmas movies and books and stories and pretty much anything I can get my...