Let the 2018 Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival BEGIN!!!

**Finding out about the Festival after January 10? No worries!! Just jump right in and join us. Give yourself however many bonus points you need to catch up, and get writing!!!**

And here come some of our favorite words of the year:

roaring-fire_657x600We now declare the Eighth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival OPEN! Let the Games begin!!

To get your BONUS point for today, Wednesday January 10,  add a comment here on the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog ( in which you:

1) define how *you personally* will earn your Festival “points”


2) declare your commitment to earning 50 points by Feb 28, 2018. (Further details on goal-setting follow below).

 Leaving a comment today on the regular Ruby blog also puts you in the running for some cool prizes–the first round of our fabled Festival Swag, which will include gift cards, awesome Ruby books, fun treats, and the ever-popular WRITING CRITIQUES, which we’ll continue giving out in random drawings every Wednesday from now until the end of the Festival on Wednesday, Feb 28!!)



For those who haven’t been with us for the WWF before, it’s an online writing festival, kind of like NaNoWriMo, but designed by busy, hard-working women: i.e., we schedule it for AFTER the hectic rush of the holidays, and we let you DESIGN YOUR OWN approach to “winning” so it actually fits in with your real life!!

For fifty days through what’s otherwise the dullest part of winter, we cheer each other on to make serious progress in our writing, with regular check-ins, celebratory prizes, and (for those who want more direct support) lots of friendly, online Writing Sprints!! (More details on all these things below.) 

The WWF is open to writers in ALL GENRES (not just romance), and it’s 100% free to join!


You don’t really have to register officially–just declaring your intentions here is all you need to do. But if you like having a formal spot to chart your progress, leave your comment today on the regular Ruby site ( stating how you’ll earn your Festival points, then jump over to our special Festival site,, and officially register. Click on the word “Member” near the upper right of that page, then click on “Register for the site.” You can set up a profile with a list of your own specific terms for earning points. When you log back in throughout the Festival, you’ll be able to keep track of your points to see how far you’ve come. (Should there be any technical problems, don’t worry! Just leave your comment here–we’ll consider you part of the Festival no matter what!)


The very BEST thing about the site is the CHAT ROOM, which we use for writing sprints. Those of you who’ve participated in the Festival before can testify that writing sprints are pretty darned miraculous at helping writers be super-turbo-powered productive–even if the chaos of life normally makes it hard for you to get much written.

You can click on the Chat Room link above, or look at the box near the upper left of the site (under “Sprint Schedule), and you’ll jump to a screen where you can type in the name or nickname you want to use during the chat. Hit enter, and you’ll find yourself in a virtual space with other writers also eager to get work done. A Sprint Hostess will be there to greet you and show you the ropes.

Typically, the group chats for a few minutes, then starts a timed sprint when everyone jumps into their individual manuscripts and writes like crazy for 20 minutes (or 45 minutes at some sessions), then comes back for another quick chat when the “time’s up” bell sounds. During chat time, you check in about how much progress you made, share tips for productivity, get advice and feedback, or just blow off steam and get to know some new friends (and probably laugh yourself silly). Then you jump back into another sprint. DON’T BE SHY!!! Sprints really keep you in your seat and cranking out those words. Stay as long as you like, and say goodbye whenever you need to! Zero judgment, 100% moral support. It’s practically magic!!! Ruby Sister Kim Law has some great instructions here.

Also note a new feature this year: the wonderful Hope Ramsay, plot-builder extraordinaire, is hosting a special PLOT BRAINSTORMING SESSION every Wednesday evening!!  Get in on that if you can!

Writing sprints start TODAY and happen at various times daily. Jump in anytime!!! And if we don’t have a sprint scheduled at a time that works for you, feel free to find a buddy and come in on your own. Here’s the schedule for the next week (all listed times are EST):

Wednesday, January 10th:

6:30am – 8:00 am – Autumn
9:00am – Noon – Hope
4:00pm – 6:00pm – Vivi
7:00pm – 9:00pm – Brainstorming Session with Autumn & Hope

Thursday, January 11th:

6:30am – 8:00 am – Autumn
9:00am – Noon – Hope
Noon – 2:00pm – Laurie K.
2:00pm – 4:00pm – Shelley
4:00pm – 6:00pm – Darynda
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Autumn
9:00pm – 11:00pm – Addison

Friday, January 12th:

6:30am – 8:00 am – Autumn
9:00am – Noon – Hope
3:00pm – 5:00pm – Vivi

Saturday, January 13th:

11:00am – 1:00pm – Elisa

Monday, January 15th:

6:30am – 8:00 am – Autumn
9:00am – Noon – Hope
Noon – 2:00pm – Laurie K.

Tuesday, January 16th:

6:30am – 8:00 am – Autumn
9:00am – Noon – Katie G.
Noon – 4:00pm – Shelley
4:00pm – 6:00pm – Darynda
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Autumn
9:00pm – 11:00pm – Addison


To help keep you inspired between writing sprints, grab yourself a Participant badge (right-click on the one below and then click on “save image as”) to upload to your personal website.  

You can also check in daily at the Brag Blog on the site, where you can report on how your writing day has gone, get a quick pep talk if you need it, or celebrate whenever you earn a point! You’ll also find inspirational daily quotes and links to Ruby posts on craft to pull you through when you’re feeling a little stuck.



Also, check out the fantabulous Winter Writing Festival swag you have a chance to win during Wednesday Check-Ins if you meet your goals each week. (You can also purchase some cool Winter Writing Festival swag yourself–including coffee mugs, tees, sweats, and totes with the Festival logo–at our Cafe Press store.)

Today, Autumn Jordon and Lara Archer will EACH be giving out $5 Amazon gift cards to random commenters, and four more winners will each win their choice of a digital copy of their choice of book from Liz Talley‘s Morning Glory series!!

 And here’s a list of Swag you’ll have a chance to win if you leave comments updating your progress on any of our Check-In Wednesdays (print books available USA only):

Week 1 (1/17)

Lizzie Shane – First chapter critique (No genre restrictions, though Lizzie is most well-versed in contemporary & paranormal.)

Liz Talley – $15 Amazon gift card

Tamara Hogan – PRIZE BUNDLE: print copy of ENTHRALL ME, plus a $10 Starbucks gift card. (US only.) 

Addison Fox – $20 Amazon or B&N gift card – winner’s choice

Week 2 (1/24)

Autumn Jordon – Twenty page/first chapter/2500 word Critique of contemporary or romantic suspense

Hope Ramsay – first three books in the Chapel of Love series

Laurie Kellogg –  PRIZE BUNDLE: an electronic version of any Laurie Kellogg books PLUS a $10 Amazon gift card


Week 3 (1/31)

Katie Graykowski – First Chapter Critique (any genre except erotica)

Kate Parker – $20 Amazon gift card

Heather McCollum – PRIZE BUNDLE: $10 gift card to Starbucks and a digital copy of THE BEAST of AROS CASTLE


Week 4 (2/7)

Anne Marie Becker – First-chapter critique (25 pages max)

Lizzie Shane – a signed print copy of ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID (US Only)

Bev Pettersen – PRIZE BUNDLE: $10 Amazon gift card and an electronic version of  a book series


Week 5 (2/14)

Darynda Jones – 5,000-word Critique, any genre

Katie Graykowski – $20 Amazon gift card

Gwynlyn MacKenzie – PRIZE BUNDLE: cute writer’s mug and $10 Amazon gift card


Week 6 (2/21)

Julia Day – Critique of synopsis and query letter

Rita HenuberThe Emotion Thesaurus: A Writers Guide to Character Expression. Paperback. (US only)

Jacie Floyd – PRIZE BUNDLE: 3 e-books of the Billionaire Brotherhood series and a $10 Amazon egift card


Closing day

Lara Archer – prize BUNDLE: print copies of all three of my steamy historical romances (THE DEVIL MAY CARE, BARED TO THE VISCOUNT, and HOLD ME CLOSE, US only), plus a $25 Amazon gift card

Ava Blackstone – prize BUNDLE:  $15 Amazon e-gift card + an e-copy of any of my Voretti Family books (winner’s choice)

Jennifer Bray-Weber – prize BUNDLE: cute Ruby heel picture holder + signed print copy of THE LAIRD’S RECKONING (US only)


What’s not to love? (Our thanks to mega-talented Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of for designing and maintaining both sites!!)



Everybody gets one BONUS point TODAY for coming to the Ruby blog and leaving a comment that makes a public declaration of your commitment to take part in the Festival and a public announcement of your goals. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including today), you work to earn an additional point—and you define what it takes to earn that point.

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 for one hour per day OR
-doing a final polish on 25 pages per day

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

YOU set the goals that meet your personal writing style and writing needs. (For more advice on how to set up your goals, see here).

If you can’t meet your goal on any particular day, you can certainly double or triple or quadruple your goal on another day 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.’ Really. You can earn a point by taking a planned day off!! If it keeps you on track, DO IT!!

We also highly recommend having a “emergency / bad day goal” for when life gets in the way–like just 50 new words, or 5 minutes looking at your manuscript, or something really, really manageable–so you don’t let a bout of flu or late day at the office throw you off completely. Just promise yourself you’ll only use those for the unexpected bumps in the road. That way you’ll feel like you’re still on board, and won’t just drop by the wayside.

And if setting your goals by the week works better for you than setting them by the day, go for it!!! Same with setting goals by the month, or just having one big 50-day overall goal!!

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

We want the Festival to work for YOU!

Check in at the Ruby blog every Wednesday during the Festival to report your progress (and be entered in random drawings for more Festival Swag.)

If you reach Feb 28 with a nice round 50 points (or more), YOU WIN!!

Spread the word to all your writer friends–all genres are welcome!!!

Good luck all, and GET WRITING!!

160 responses to “Let the 2018 Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival BEGIN!!!”

  1. Rebekah Simmers says:

    Good morning! Excited to be taking part in the 2018 RSS Winter Writing Festival! My goals are ten hours per week of rear in chair time and at least two days checking in to the chat room. Thinking a point for each hour to reach at least 50. Working on my WIP which is a fantasy romance. Our family is stationed in Germany, so my time is off from when most people are in there, but sometimes I can time it right to catch a few. Really looking forward to this 🙂

    • I hope I can catch you in some sprints, Rebekah! Good luck hitting your goals! You’ve got this! 😀

      • joan ramirez says:

        Hello Rebekah:

        Years ago, I was in Frankfurt doing research for a romantic suspense novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much to see and do and people were so kind to me. Keep in touch and good luck with your writing. I look forward to reading your work.
        Joan Ramirez
        (offline email:

    • Hope to see you in the chat room sometime! Good luck! 😀

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Rebekah!!

      We usually have a few participants who are in Europe…one often joins our Saturday sprints, which come shortly before dinner time for her.

      Maybe you can join up with some other folks in your time zone and arrange sprints at times that work for you. The Chat Room is always open, and all WWF participants are welcome to use it whether or not Ruby Hosts are in there.

      Delighted you’re with us!

  2. Alyssa Henderson says:

    Super excited to be participating this year. The end of last year got a little wonky for me and threw me off big time. I’m ready to jump back in (and I need a good kick in the pants). Weekly goals work better for me and I am committing to a minimum 10 hours a week editing and rewrites (1 point for every 2 hours) and a minimum of 2 sprints/ chat room visits a week (1 point for every visit).

  3. So excited to start. LOVE, Love this time of year.

    Heading to the chatroom to kick off the sprints now. Join us.

  4. Lenee Anderson says:

    Well, I think my goal will be to finish a detailed outline of a mystery (which I’m going to consider a first draft and it would be a big deal because I always said I would never write a mystery) and start writing on on the story again. Another secondary goal might be to try to write more after work.
    Thanks for all you guys do!

  5. Elise Hayes says:

    I’m so excited to be here today! I’ll admit I’ve been away from my manuscript from far too long, so the Ruby Winter Writing Festival is perfectly timed for me.

    Last year was the first year I successfully reached my goal. My work schedule is a bit lighter over the next two months, so I’m feeling more ambitious.

    I’m setting my goal at an hour of writing time per day, 5 days per week (any five I can manage). I’m also following the blog advice and giving myself three 5-minute trade days for the 7 weeks of the festival (where I can trade my hour for a 5-minute writing session, if need be).

    Happy winter writing to all!!

  6. Lille says:

    I am excited to be here with you all. My WIP is a Romance/Time Travel. Just need to get my first draft finished and that is my goal for WWF. Then I can spend the rest of 2018 to polish it off and completely finish this project.

    • Nice! Good luck with that first draft, Lille!

    • Elise Hayes says:

      Hi Lille,

      It was great “meeting” you in the sprint this morning! Best of luck with the WWF!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Lille! So glad you jumped right in with the sprints!!

      Do you have bite-sized goals to help you get to that big goal? I find it really helps when I’ve got something concrete and manageable to aim for daily (or weekly).

      Honestly, just getting in to a sprint daily, or even a couple times a week, will make the progress add up quickly!

      • Lille says:

        Thank you all for your replies. I got a good start today by taking part in 3 sprints! I just couldn’t stop! But taking it in small bites is great advice and that is how I plan to do it….probably about 500 words/day and doing some studying and going over my notes from a class I took last year.

  7. Thrilled to have this opportunity to add accountability to my writing practice! I’m working on edits to my NaNo contemporary romance. I’ll earn points by deep revising for one hour per day or writing 250 new words. To keep my life in balance, I’ll also award a point for one day off per week, but that “day off” should include 30 minutes of reading books or posts on writing craft.

  8. Rachel Kolodziej says:

    I can’t believe its time for the festival again already! I’m looking forward to working with you all again. I am working on getting myself into a daily writing routine and trying to finish a specific project. So here are the ways I will earn points –
    1. Write for one hour every day.
    2. Do that for seven days in a row and get a bonus point.
    3. Edit for one hour.
    4. Submit one query or story for publication.
    5. Read one craft book.
    6. 1 point for every 5 sprint sessions.
    7. Finish the outline for my WIP.

  9. Debbie says:

    So excited to be a part of this. I discovered the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood right after the festival last year. So glad I get to be a participant this year. I do better giving myself daily goals so I’m shooting for 2 hours editing 6 days a week on my rough draft and 500 words 5 days a week on my new manuscript. Time off for good behavior though – as in I get money in the bank that I can use elsewhere in the week for working over 2 hours or writing more than 500 words on the WIP. Sunday I get a point for recharging and hopefully reading.

  10. I AM SO EXCITED. I love the festival and I can’t wait to dive in. I do best with daily goals. This year I will get one point for:

    1) 2,000 words on my new WIP.
    2) Judging a complete entry (RITA or GH)
    3) Reformatting one of my kdp backlist books for epub and/or a box set.

    (And if I double any of these on a single day, I get to carry that point forward for the weekend since Sundays are tricky.)

    Let’s do this!!!

    • Elise Hayes says:

      Great goals, Vivi!

      And thanks for introducing me to the chat room this morning–the sprints were fun. I will definitely do those again!

  11. Cynthia Huscroft says:


    This will be my second year participating in the WWF and have to say the first time was such a blast as well as a major learning experience for me. That being said…aiming for less lofty goals than last year:)

    1. Make and use an outline (for the next several chapters) – panster only when absolutely necessary.
    2. Write twenty minutes a day – every day though it will sometimes need to be cumulative over the week for the first couple of weeks – 1 pt
    3. 200 words a day – again may need to be cumulative over the week – 1 pt.
    4. Revise/review and listen to each chapter as it is finished – 1pt.
    5. No beating myself up if I don’t make my goal…think I remember someone mentioning to NOT compare yourself to others.
    6. Refuel and recharge on Sundays…but if the muse moves me…WRITE:) – 1pt.

    Happy Writing!

    • Excellent goals, Cynthia! I especially love #5. I might have to borrow that one. 🙂

    • You did fantastic last year! I’m so proud of you. And you’ll knock it out of the park this year.

      • Cynthia Huscroft says:

        Oh, Janet, thank you so much!! I had lots of help from “The Chatroom Ladies” and managed to land myself a terrific CP (wink, wink)in the process – you all know who you are but others don’t. So, in no particular order, thank you Autumn, Lenee, Hope, Debbie, Monica and those occasional visitors like Rita, Rebekkah, Alyssa and Julz…hope I didn’t leave anyone out!


    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Fabulous list!!! Scaling back to what REALLY works and holding on big-time to #5 are sooooo important for all of us!!!!

  12. Liz Talley says:

    Woo hoo….it’s that time again!

    I have lots to get done – mainly new words on the last Morning Glory book which is way past due. But I’m going to finish it here during this festival. My goals are simple:

    1200 words a day
    complete RITA books for judging
    Work to promote April release (1-2 hours a week)

    See y’all in the chat room for sprints!

  13. Hi, everyone. Missed this last year (day job), so am extra excited to be back this year. My over all goal is to have the WIP finished andready for submission, plus keep up with the promo work for my February release. I will earn a point every day I
    1) write 500 new words
    2) spend an hour on revisions/deep editing.
    Best wishes for a successful RSSWWF to all!

  14. joan ramirez says:

    Hello, Happy New Year to everyone.
    I’m excited about my romance coming out in paperback. Be on the lookout on Amazon and B&N for Secret Desires by JL Regen. It will be followed up by a prequel.
    1) I write every day
    2) I spend a lot of time on revisions
    Good luck to all
    Joan Ramirez

  15. Squee!!
    This is my favorite time of year–it’s even better than Christmas, since I don’t have to do last-minute shopping and cook for out of town guests. 🙂

    I’ve got all the goals this Festival.

    1) Send out another batch of queries on my Contemporary.
    2) Research publishers/small press for my revised UF.
    3) Write at least 1K on my new story, five days a week.
    4)Get back in the chat room for sprints with The Crew–they are the best cheerleaders ever.
    5) Not stress over taking Saturdays off to be Sports Mom, and Sundays to refuel.
    6) Not wait until the day before to write my blog posts.

    And today’s goal–format my Golden Heart entry and hit send.

    Good luck to everyone!

  16. Catherine Moore says:

    Hi everyone!
    I’m a newbie. This sounds like just what I need to finish the first draft I started during NaNoWriMo. It was the first time I’d ever done it, too, and I only got to about 25,000 words. I’m determined to finish this first draft in the next 50 days.

    I’m going to make my goals simple:
    1) No zero days even if that means only 50 words
    2) An extra point for writing over 2000

    Good luck to us all!

  17. I’m looking forward to this year’s festival. It really helped me establish regular word count when I was just starting out. I’ve been in a funk after having to push back the deadline on my seventh book, and am hoping to get back on track by

    writing 750 words per day, or a total of 60 minutes writing time (not research, social media, or flailing about at promo time, actual WRITING time).

    A point for attending my RWA chapter meeting, which I’ve also let slide.

    A point for attending the Women’s March in Sacramento, to recharge, inspire, and connect with my greater community.

  18. Nicole Terry says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks! Last year was a disaster for me. I think I made it too complicated for myself. I also (recently) discovered daily goals make me feel pressured and restricted.

    So I’ve given myself one BIG goal: have 100 pages on my ST contemporary romance.

    That’s it.

  19. Julie Findlow says:

    Yay! LOVE LOVE LOVE the Winter Writing Festival.

    This year I will earn one point for the day if I do any of the following: participate in a sprint, write 500 new words, read through and analyze 100 pages, revise 15 pages, spend one hour brainstorming or plotting, take one day off per week to spend with family.

  20. This is year #8 already?! Wow, does time fly. 😀 I’m glad it’s time for the festival again. I need it!

    I’ll be working toward points by:

    1.) Reading the RWR or similar craft-related articles, blogs, or books.
    2.) Writing for 1 hour or 1000 words
    3.) Judging a RITA entry
    4.) Recognizing when I need a break AND taking one. 🙂
    5.) Working out (because physical health impacts my creativity).

    Good luck, everyone!

  21. I’m so excited to be participating for the first time! I have a book I need to finish so it’s perfect timing.

    I’ll earn points by:

    1. Write 300 words a day.
    2. Judge a RITA entry
    3. Take breaks when needed.
    4. Spend 30 minutes brainstorming
    Bonus point if I finish this thing.

  22. Kim Hardin says:

    I can’t believe it’s time for the RSSWWF already! New year, new great things!

    I’ll earn points by:
    1. 1000 words per day, 1 pt.
    2. Writing sprints, 1 pt.

    See you ladies in the chat room! 🙂

  23. Darynda Jones says:

    I’M SO EXCITED!!! I love the Winter Writing Festival so much. This year, I’m setting my goals…how should I put it…realistically. Hehehe.

    1 hour of BICHOK
    1,000 Words/Day


  24. Panthera says:

    I have been waiting for this to start. Hopefully, I cam break through the writer’s block I have been in. As for my goals: I have two short stories back from my editor needing finished and I worked on two other stories during November which I would like to at the least get more work in on. At the most, I would love to finish them ready for me to do editing.

    My MS is active this year so I won’t stress myself out. Since I can’t guarantee I will be able to work everyday, my point system will be set to store towards days I am not able to work.

    1 point for working 30 minutes on rewrites.
    1 point for writing 1000 words on either (or a combination) of the two stories needing finished.
    1 point for remembering to attend writing sprints (I am having trouble remembering)

    I will update later if I think of anything else or if I find I am falling behind in points and need something to push me up in points.

    Glad to be here again this year.

  25. First timer here and very excited about this! (Or maybe that’s because I’m sneaking on here during the day job!)

    My goals:

    1. Two 20 min writing sessions a day
    2. Read craft book
    3. Thursday’s off
    4. 15 mins on Simply Fit board
    5. No comparison, no competition

    1 point a day if one goal is met
    Extra point if 3 of 5 are met
    Dove Chocolates with caramel if all 5!

  26. Kali says:

    I’m so excited to do this again! I just wished my schedule matched up with sprints more often.

    I’ll be doing points by the week since I’m a stay at home mom and if there’s no school I don’t get to work much. I’ll earn points for:

    *1000 new words written = 1pt
    *one chapter deep revisions = 2pts
    *one chapter edited for grammar and stuff = 1pt
    *contest entry submitted = 2pts
    *staring at my screen for at least an hour trying to force my brain to function when I don’t get enough sleep = 1pt

    Any combination of the above for 10 points/week is my goal.

    Looking forward to working (playing) with everyone for the next few weeks!

  27. Kate Parker says:

    Oh, am I ready for this!

    1 hr per day BICHOK
    1000 words/day

    Good luck, everyone.

    • Elise Hayes says:

      Good luck, Kate! I’m doing the 1 hour of BICHOK per day, too (5 days per week, anyway). I like the alternative of 1,000 words, though…I might need to borrow that qualifier for my own goals.

      Happy writing!

  28. I’m in! This will be my very first time. So excited! My points will be for:
    500 words written
    1 writing sprint completed
    1/2 hour of writing time

    • Elise Hayes says:

      Great goals, Crystal! I love this festival–every year that I participate, it gets me writing WAY more than I would have ever accomplished without it. Good luck with the writing!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Crystal!! So glad you found us!!

      Please do be sure to try out the writing sprints in the Chat Room! They work wonders!!

  29. Julia Day says:

    Oh, wow, it’s great to see so many familiar names. And we love having new people too.

    You’re going to love this!

  30. PennyH says:

    I got badly burned out coming into 2017, then 2017 sucked wild donkey butt – bigtime. I tried but only got a couple weeks into Winterfest last year when I ended up having to spend gratuitous time in hospitals with parents. I only wrote a couple of short stories last year and I arted. I’ve been having ideas come up and smack me around a lot lately. I don’t want to burn myself out instantly and I need to maintain some balance and be more gentle with myself (still dealing with a lot of stuff between work and caring for parents). But I just love Winterfest and am hoping I’m ready to get going again.

    – set up my foolsCap outline…1 pt for each of the 6 core areas. (Nail my genre and sub-genre with any tie-ins I think I’ll have… this includes defining the obligatory scenes for the genre/mash-up)
    -5 points if I can get an opening scene for class by Monday. (1 pt each for completing class assignments)
    -1 point for art piece – dbl points if it is related to my story
    -1 point for generating a soundtrack that matches up with my obligatory genre scenes
    – 1 pt for 20 min of writing, a sprint, revising, actual research, brainstorming, qi gong
    -nap or walk with girls (schnauzers)

  31. PennyH says:

    Ruby Winterfeast 2018

    I got badly burned out coming into 2017, then 2017 sucked wild donkey butt – bigtime. I tried but only got a couple weeks into Winterfest last year when I ended up having to spend gratuitous time in hospitals with parents and running around like a crazy person. I only wrote a couple of short stories last year and I arted. I’ve been having ideas come up and smack me around a lot lately. I don’t want to burn myself out instantly and I need to maintain some balance and be more gentle with myself (still dealing with a lot of stuff between work and caring for parents). But I just love Winterfest and am hoping I’m ready to get going again.

    – set up my foolsCap outline…1 pt for each of the 6 core areas. (Nail my genre and sub-genre with any tie-ins I think I’ll have… this includes defining the obligatory scenes for the genre/mash-up)
    -5 points if I can get an opening scene for class by Monday. (1 pt each for completing class assignments)
    -1 point for art piece – dbl points if it is related to my story
    -1 point for generating a soundtrack that matches up with my obligatory genre scenes
    – 1 pt for 20 min of writing, a sprint, revising, actual research, brainstorming, qi gong
    -nap or walk with girls (schnauzers)

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      So glad to have you back with us, Penny! And I’m delighted to hear those story-energies are making themselves felt again! Sometimes we need to just give in and decompress for awhile, and then the thing we originally loved about writing (the stories! the stories!!) can wake up inside us again!

      I hope 2018 is a truly FABULOUS year for you!!!

  32. Your timing is PERFECT!! I’m starting a new project! So my goals are:
    1 point for each 1K words written per day…or
    1 point for each hour of research per day…or
    1 point for curbing my internal editor, pushing ahead, and not backtracking during the week.

  33. I am IN! Goals are either writing 600 words or editing 10 pages, exercise 30 minutes, and reading either a craft book or a novel. I also get a point for putting the butt in the chair for 100 words, or editing one page, on days when I just can’t. do. it. 🙂 And now I suppose I should get to work!

  34. Jaycee says:

    I’m so glad to see this festival up and running again. It’s just what I need to get back in gear after the holidays, and the chat rooms are the best.

    My points are for:
    1 point for finishing a rough draft chapter
    1 point for 3 sprints (about 60 mins)
    14 points for returning the MS with edits complete (my editor letter is supposed to arrive during the festival so I want to give myself space to focus on that when it happens!)
    1 point for attending my local RWA chapter meeting, because face time is important

  35. Ruby2 says:

    I just retired and that means I am busier than ever (not what you expected, right?).

    I will try to earn 50 points by Feb 28, 2018 and I define a point as either:
    –writing 500 words
    –outlining a chapter
    –spending an hour doing editing

  36. Michelle Alerte says:

    I am very excited to be part of this festival. This is my first time doing it and I’m looking forward to the flexible ways I can earn points. I’m looking to finish my first draft this month so my goals will be focused on that and beginning to revise in February.

    For now my goals are:
    Earn two points for sitting through a 3 hour writing session (not sure what days I’ll do this)
    reading a chapter of Story Genius (1 point)
    participating in a sprint (1 point)
    participating in a brainstorming session (1 point)

    In February I’ll have to begin setting more revising goals. But I’ll wait till I’m closer.

  37. Jennifer Brodie says:

    This writing festival is a light in a very cold, dark NE winter! Looking forward to participating in Autumn’s writing sprints – they fit in with my work schedule and tie in perfectly with my goal of 1 point = 90 minute writing session.

  38. Meghan Bennett says:

    I’m excited about being apart of the Winter Writing Festival. There’s something about being surrounded, even if only through the internet, with others who love to write that helps encourage you to just keep writing.

    My point system:
    1 point for any research or reading I have to do in my craft
    1 point for brainstorming
    1 point for editing and revising
    1 point for each time I meet my daily word count goal
    1 point for taking a break/having family time instead of writing
    1 point for talking and collaborating with other writers
    1 point per minute per sprint

  39. Francine Infortunio says:

    This should help me get out of the winter slumps.
    1 pt. each day I write 250 words,
    1 pt. extra each day I write 750 words or more,
    and 1 pt. for revision of a chapter.

  40. delia says:

    I’m so excited that it’s time for the WWF! Looking forward to participating in the writing sprints. My goal is to get the rough draft of the WIP finished. I plan to earn points by”
    Brainstorm for 30 minutes or
    Edit 5 pages or
    Rest day or
    Spend one hour reading a book on writing craft or
    Write 500 words.

  41. Sonja says:

    My goal is to write EVERY weekDAY, and to try to catch some of the sprints. With seven children in my house on a daily basis it gets a little crazy around here. I just want to make time.

  42. Colleen says:

    This sounds like so much fun! I’m going to join you this year for the first time.
    I will earn points by
    Editing for an hour or
    Writing for an hour or
    Studying a craft book for an hour

  43. Monica Herald says:

    I have to come up with my points-earning, still. However, my goal is to write 5 days a week– the three days I’m not working my PT job, and then two of the other days before I go to work. I’m excited to join this go around!

  44. Rasha says:

    Hi this is my first time doing this so here goes. Over the next fifty days I’m going to finish a manuscript that has been harping on my brain. For various reasons I have started it and stopped several times. It’s time for me to finish the series. So I plan on writing 10,000 words each week. Which roughly translates to 3 four hour writing sessions per week.

    I also need to maintain my social media status so each week I will post twice on any of my social media forums

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Rasha!! Delighted to have you with us!!

      And as other have said, the writing sprints are fabulous! Be sure to check one out in the Chat Room ASAP!

  45. I am IN!!! It’s been so difficult not being able to participate in this the last two years. I switched jobs and becoming a teacher has taken a HUGE chunk out of my writing time and energy. I’m using this to help kick off the new year.

    1 pt if I write 3000 words a week. There’s no way to set a daily goal, as I get most writing done on weekends now.
    1 pt if I write “The End” on the current WIP by Feb. 28th.

    I’m looking forward to jumping into a few sprints over the festival.

    Good luck everyone!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Awesome, Melanie!! So glad you’re back!!

      Yup, teaching is a time-eater. A good time-eater, but big one.

      But I know we can carve out a little writer me-time if we commit to doing that!! Go, go, go!!

  46. Paula Huffman says:

    Hello, All! This is my first year participating in the WWF and I hope it will give me the momentum I need to finish writing and revising my current manuscript. It started as a New Adult but it’s becoming a true YA, so I have some adjusting to do! I will earn points by:

    1. Writing one hour on a weeknight (1pt)
    2. Revising a chapter (2pt)
    3. Participating in a WWF Sprint (1pt)
    4. Participating in a WWF brainstorming session (1pt)
    5. Revising backstory document (1pt per hour)
    6. Study craft for 1 hr (1pt)
    7. Significant writing on a weekend (1pt)
    8. Entering a contest (2pt)
    9. Polishing manuscript for 1 hour (1pt)
    10. Researching or brainstorming 1 hr (1pt)

  47. Jolie Mohn says:

    I just discovered this event today through a friend and I’m excited to participate! My goal for the 50 days if very simple. I will write a minimum of 500 words per day. It’s the same personal goal I had already set for myself for the New Year, so why not? At the end of the 50 days, I should have at least 25,000 new words, which is pretty awesome!

  48. Patricia Mohn says:

    I want to create a better writing and editing habit. So my points are as follows:

    1 point for writing 500 words a day.
    1 point for editing 1/2 hour a day.

  49. Betsy Gray says:

    Another first-timer here. I’m looking forward to participating in this.

    I will earn points by:
    30 minutes of writing – 1 pt
    45 minutes of reading a writing craft book – 1 pt
    60 minutes of brainstorming/plotting – 1 pt
    Hitting my Fitbit goal – 1 pt
    Entering a contest – 1 pt
    Finishing my current WIP by 2/28/18 – 10 pts

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Betsy!!

      We love first-timers!

      Be sure to check out the writing sprints in the Chat Room–they can be life-changing for writers trying to develop a daily habit!

  50. Geena Gallardo says:


    My butt has diligently kept silent on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood page, but have been an avid follower (due to one of my favorite authors Darynda Jones also a huge inspiration for me.) Therefore, I decided to take a leap (new year, new me right?) and participate in the festival!

    I’ve been apart of Nanowrimo and had some great success in writing my first manuscript, that I am just sitting on. Therefore, I hope to:
    1. Spend 1 hour every day deep revising for 1 point.
    2. Research/brainstorm ways to develop plot points and character growth, this one will be for 2 hours a week at 1 point.

    I have another manuscript I am working on because my inner-Hallmark loving romantic heart has found a new duo to write about.
    1. Write 500 words a day – 1 point
    2. Participate in writing sprints to encourage my brain. – 1 pt every writing sprint
    3. Edit this one for half an hour a week for 1 point

    Also, a point for continuously scheming and thinking up ideas every day/taking notes, and really engrossing myself in how to fine-tune both manuscripts.

    And yes, I’m going to give myself a point for a., watch hallmark all day for inspiration and b. take a rest day from writing/editing. (hopefully, this counts! I’m chuckling as I write this.)

    Anyway, thanks for having me!!!! So inspired by all the ladies here.

  51. This is perfect timing! Here’s my goals:
    1. write for 20 minutes – 1 pt
    2. edit 1 scene – 1 pt
    3. read for research for 1 hour – 1 pt
    4. complete 1 character sketch – 1pt

  52. Jolie Mohn says:

    I thought I posted earlier, but I don’t think that it went through. I’ll keep it simple. 1 point for each day I write 500 words.

  53. Phyllis Mohn says:

    I know it’s not a lot, but it will get me in the chair writing every day, so 1 point for each day I write at least 100 words.

  54. Hana S. says:

    This is my 3rd Winter Writing Fest, and I’m so excited! I’m going to give myself 1 point for every 500 words/day.

    I’m a morning writer, and I live for the chatroom at RSSWWF so you’ll find me in there. 🙂

    Here’s to reaching all our goals!

  55. Stephanie Baassler says:

    Oh this is just the kick in the pants I needed!

    My points will be for:

    1. Write 500 words, 1 pt
    2. Sprint, 1 pt

  56. Elisa Beatty says:

    I guess I’d better state my point system, too!!

    Super simple and lowkey this year since my evenings are spent helping my 8th grader with ADHD get his homework done:

    minimum of 30 minutes a day, though that can be averaged out over each week.

    I CAN DO THIS!!!!

    • Thanks for the lovely kick-off, Elisa! I love that you’re keeping flexible to deal with family life. Smart, smart decision this year. And yes, you got this, Ruby Sis!!!

  57. Catherine Moore says:

    My post from yesterday must not have gone through?! Newbie issue, I guess?? lol

    Since I’ve never done this before, I’m going to keep it simple!
    1) no zero writing days even if it’s only 50 words – so 1 point a day for writing something on the WIP I started during NaNo
    2) bonus point if word count is over 2000

  58. Jo Jackson says:

    Only just found out about this but as they say – better late than never, eh?

    My writing goals for last year included finishing the current draft of my WIP and start editing it for what I hoped would be the final time but the end of the year got away from me and so there’s a lot of writing/editing in my goals for this festival.

    I’ll give myself 1 point for every 500 words I write/edit and 2 points if I manage to write/edit 1000+ a day.

    Bring it on! 😀

  59. Hywela Lyn says:

    Yikes I nearly missed this again! (My excuse is I have a heavy cold, been mega busy+with ‘real life’ over Christmas and beyond and still trying to catch up with 500 plus emails! I must get this dratted novel edited so giving 1 point for every hour I manage to work on it and 2 points for doing posts for the blog events I’m involved in, as well as doing the editing on any one day. I can do this. I can!


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