Closing Ceremonies for the 2017 Winter Writing Festival!

Oh, my goodness! Is it just me, or does the WWF go faster every year?

Once again, we’ve reached DAY FIFTY! That means this is our final Check-In Tuesday, and time to extinguish the famous Writing Festival torch for another year. 

You still have ALL DAY today to work towards your goals–nothing ends until midnight your time. (As always, the Festival is always about YOU.)

And we know everyone who stuck with the Festival is finishing up with LOTS AND LOTS of fabulous writing progress, and has Creative Fires blazing that will carry them forward for a long time to come! 

For now, let us know if you made your goals!! 

Good news: Thanks to popular demand, SPRINTS will continue in the Chat Room as often as possible!! The wonderful Autumn Jordon has already volunteered to keep the morning sprints going, 7:30 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday!  Let us know what other times you’d most like to continue, and let us know if you’d be willing to help host!

We’ve got a Twitter hashtag #rubysprints, which you’re welcome to use to put out a call for anyone who wants to jump in for some spontaneous sprinting. 

We also hope you’ll continue joining us right here on the Ruby blog for your daily dose of writing inspiration as we continue on our collective writing journeys.

In the next few weeks, we’ll begin counting down to the Golden Heart and Rita Nominations for 2017. And be sure to join us on  March 21 for our raucous CYBER-PARTY as the finalists’ names are announced. We’ve got our fingers crossed for some of the WWF Participants’ names being announced and want to pop a bottle of cyber-champagne with you!!!

But now, grab a steaming mug of cyber-cocoa and some of our scrumptious Festival Finale cyber-brownies, and leave a comment below (jump to the Ruby blog, if you’re over on the WWF site) letting us know if you made your goal for the week, and if you made your overall goals for the Festival! If you did, grab a copy of the WINNER badge and post it on your Facebook or website, or tweet your victory to the world!


Of course, since we’re the Rubies, prizes are involved. Anyone who leaves a comment today will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following:

  • A signed copy of any Grave Series (Charley Davidson) Book from Darynda Jones. (USA only)

 Thanks again, everyone, for being with us for the Festival!

 As always, it’s been an honor to share in your incredible energy and creativity! Keep those embers burning!

We’re hoping to meet as many of you as possible in person at Nationals…and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of Festival books on the shelves before too long!





45 responses to “Closing Ceremonies for the 2017 Winter Writing Festival!”

  1. Kathy Crouch says:

    Aww is it really over? I’ve joined Candace Havens’s Fast Draft/Revision Hell. It has helped up the word count because they focus on pages and I’m used to counting words. Odd thing, I always heard 25 lines per page equaled approximately 250 words but I’m finding way more on some pages one had over 400 words. I really don’t like doing page counts because if you aren’t at the top of a page the only way to get it is to divide by 250, the only way I know to figure a page when you started midway down a page to pick up from the day before.
    Here’s the total word count since 1 Jan 2017: 38,946 words 1 Jan – 26 Feb for me. Piddling at today’s still.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Almost 40,000 words in two months is FABULOUS output!!! Congrats to you, Kathy, and thanks so much for joining us for the WWF!!

      I’m glad you’ve got the Fast Draft party to go on with!!!

  2. Addison Fox says:

    Congrats to everyone!!!! I have to agree with Elisa – the WWF seems to go faster and faster every year. But here’s to productivity, camaraderie and a heck of a lot of fun!!!!


  3. Lenee Anderson says:

    Well, the month of Jan went really well. I wrote consistently and a lot of words. The month of Feb…not so well. I’ve been mired in self doubt and insecurity and at times terribly discouraged. However, if I had to come out of that time with positives, I would say that I have the chance now to look again at this project and, perhaps, put together a road map for the rest of the story. Another positive is that in spite of all of my feelings of self loathing and failure, I still got up in the morning and tried to work on this story. If the definition if insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results then I am clearly insane. Whether this determination is born out of sheer bloody mindedness or something deeper in indescribable, I don’t know. If determination is the will to succeed, then I guess I’m not a failure after all.
    Thanks for everything that you do and for everyone’s hard work!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      You are absolutely NOT a failure, Lenee!! You got in there in the Chat Room and kept plugging away, and that’s the key to getting books done.

      Everybody goes into periods of self-doubt and frustration. EVERYBODY. But you have to keep working through those until you find your confidence and your flow again. It will come if you stick with it, and let yourself keep learning. You’re doing great!!!

      Thanks for joining us for the Festival!

    • Lenee, You are official a writer. Welcome to the crazy sisterhood. After six weeks you’ve learned the importance of not only writing everyday, but also of tearing your work apart and looking at it objectively. You’ve also sought advice and used it. I’m so proud of you.

      Books aren’t written in six weeks. Read Tammy’s Friday’s post. Keep up the good work.

    • Don’t listen to that hateful little voice. The snippets you’ve posted have been wonderful, and you have a great premise. I want to read this book one day.

    • Lenee,
      Don’t listen to that ugly little voice. The snippets you’ve posted are wonderful, and you have a great premise. I can’t wait to read this book one day.

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      You are certainly not a failure, Lenee. Here’s another positive…you helped inspire me to get up & do it! Knowing you time zone meant you were up way before I was so, thank you:)

  4. Elise Hayes says:

    I did it! FIRST TIME EVER. My goal was a very, very modest one: write at least four times per week, for at least 10 minutes each time (usually once I get started, I keep going…it’s the getting started that blocks me). For the first time since I’ve joined the WWF, I actually made my goal.

    And I did write in mostly small chunks of 15-20 minutes at a time, with occasional longer days on weekends. I have to say, even though my word count is low–10,000 words since January–I’m in the word-building stage and keeping the story fresh in my mind with short daily writing made *such* a difference. It’s kept the story in my mind even when I’m not writing, so that I get those lovely insights into character, setting, or even dialogue snippets that can come when you’re just doing daily things like dishes or walking from office to office.

    Just as importantly, the past two months have taught me how to carve out the time to write during the week: I have to take a 15-20 minute shuttle twice a day for work, and I’m now using that time for writing. That means I’ll be continuing with this slow-but-steady writing beyond WWF this year!

  5. MS Panthera says:


    This was my first complete year for this festival. I found y’all late last year and then my health didn’t allow me to complete.

    However, this year is a totally different experience. I was given clearance to participate as long as I did not over do. Well, I tried hard not to but I really wanted to completely edit the second short story in the five story series.

    I not only completed the edits, (on Sunday night), but I finished the rewrite of it by 7AM Tuesday morning by typing all night. The rewrite was not part of my goals for the festival officially. It became a secondary goal when I had a couple of days left to work.

    I will now send this copy to my editor for her to edit and while she has it, start writing the third story of this series.

    • MS Panthera says:

      Oh I forgot to say, I would not mind helping out with sprints if ya need it – like at 10PM – 12PM M – F

      Just let me know.

      • Elisa Beatty says:

        Thanks, Panthera!!

        Don’t overcommit yourself to that, either, but if you’re up and writing and feel like being in the Chat Room, it’s great that other people know they might find you in there and get some sprinting going.

        Good luck!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      That’s fabulous news, Panthera!!! You rock!

  6. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, this is the first time I’ve attempted something like this and have found it to be so very helpful in so many different ways.

    I learned to discipline myself to write even when I don’t quite feel like it. I’ve learned that days when there are few words are just as important as days when they are pouring out of you. I’ve learned a whole bunch of new acronyms:) I’ve learned that “goal, motivation and conflict” are three very important words.

    I am so glad that the sprints are going to continue! Thank you, Autumn! I’ll there as often as I can continuing to work on my WIP and soaking up all the good advice and encouragement.

    Oh, & btw, I already have 5 pairs of Ruby Slippers!

  7. PennyH says:

    Well, it was a no go this year. I guess I was trying to do too much. I ended up with both parents in the hospital, life, home, and everything else changes over the last 5 weeks. Still powering through. It’s been great to see everyone’s progress and enjoy some side benefits from touching greatness. Thanks for hosting this each year. This was my third year on here. I hope to do better next year.

    • So sorry life got into the way of your goals. It happens. The good news is the chat room will remain open and we will continue to work everyday. Join us. Many have found just jumping in for thirty minutes has helped them so much.

      I applaud then you are year or a third year. You’re not giving up on your dream.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Oh my gosh, that sounds so tough, Penny! But good for you for trying to make some progress, anyway! May the rest of the year be calmer and more easily productive for you…and we’ll see you back next year!!

      And remember, the Rubies blog year-round with lots of cheerleading and inspirational advice, so keep stopping by in the meantime!!

  8. Love the WWF and getting to sprint with all of you in the chat room! Thanks for joining in the fun! Happy Writing : )

  9. Marin McGinnis says:

    I’m so sad it’s over, but I’m absolutely delighted the sprints will continue! I will be in there as often as I can, should anyone want to join me. 🙂

    So I had three overarching goals this year–finish two books (they were both mostly done), and start querying the first one. I hit two out of three, and am still working on the third. I finished the first book and started querying. I’ve already received both a request for a full and a rejection–balance is good, I guess. 😉 Thanks to the Rubies and all the great folks I met in the chatroom for the encouragement and the occasional kick in the pants. You all rock.

  10. Kate Parker says:

    I met my goals this year in what seems to be an ever shrinking amount of time. Elisa is right, it does go faster every year. And since I’m a solitary writer by choice, I particularly enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on Tuesdays, cheering and commiserating in equal measures. Can’t wait for next year, which will probably feel like next month. Good luck, all!

  11. Mac (Kara A. McLeod) says:

    This was my first year actually doing any serious participating in the festival, and I had an absolute blast. Those sprints were exactly what I needed to get me back into the swing of things. I exceeded all my goals, and I somehow managed to get 42K words on screen!! It was amazing.

    Thank you all so much for all your hard work, dedication, and encouragement.

    Happy writing! I hope to see some of you in the chat rooms while we bide our time until next year.

    (PS – I’m totally game to host if you need someone.)

  12. I claimed my badge his morning and posted it to Facebook. I’m proud to say I made my goal and more. I’ve put in over thirty hours each week in the chat rooms and thus completed a novelette (10K)and published it, work on both plot and characters for my next romantic suspense, and finished the first draft of my next contemporary.

    Thank you to all the ladies who sprinted with me. And to Hope for her amazing plotting sessions.

    See you all in the chat room.

  13. Congrats everyone for going after your goals. It’s motivating just reading the comments!

  14. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’m about to claim my badge!

    I set my goals low and reasonable this year because I knew I was going to be dealing with a lot of complicated ups and downs with my family. And that let me keep making progress, very slow and sorta steady, which is way better than nothing.

    And now on into the springtime!!!

    It’s always a delight doing the Festival. I’m really, truly grateful to everyone who took part and added inspiration!

  15. Hywela Lyn says:

    I wasn’t able to participae in the WWF As much as I would have like to, or as much a sin other years, real life just got in the way this year. I did manage some sprints though and am getting back into the zone with revising my currentWIP So pleaed the chat room will continue – thanks Autukn. I’m five hours ahead of US time being in the UK, and am away most afternoons, but I’ll try and to some sprints around noon my time if I can.

    Thanks again to all the Rubies who work so hard to help us be more productive! xxx

  16. I just typed The End on the story I swore I would finish (but secretly believed I wouldn’t).

    3200 words today and 40K-ish over the Festival, after writing only a few thousand in the last 6 months.

    Thank you to all the Rubies, especially Cheerleader Elisa and Sprint Queen Autumn. The sprints the last few weeks pushed me over the edge.

    Between you guys and the other participants, this is the most welcoming, encouraging group ever.

  17. I MADE MY GOAL! For this week and for the overall festival. I felt disconnected this year bc I wasn’t able to get to almost any sprints but like others I had a lot going on. I ended up doing most of my work on the weekends when there weren’t many sprints. But it’s ok! I’m still very happy about my progress in editing that I made!

    Thank you to the organizers and to everyone I bumped into in the sprint rooms. Happy writing this year and see you next year!! (BTW, it did go by WAY too fast.)

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I’m thrilled to hear you made your goal, Scarlett!! Sorry we didn’t manage to host more weekend sprints…weekends are usually my best time to write, but with family issues this year, I could only commit to a couple hours hosting on Saturdays.

      Maybe next year we can have more on the weekends!

  18. Rachel K says:

    It always goes by so fast! I MADE MY WEEKLY AND OVERALL GOALS! I didn’t get a chance to do the sprints as much as I wanted to due to computer issues but I did lots of writing and finished several projects. It was a very productive festival!
    Thanks to everyone who worked to make this happen! I look forward to next year!

    PS. I would love to do sprints during the week between 11 am and 2 pm and/or between 6 and 8 pm.


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