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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 (rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) in which you:

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

and

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!!)

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WHAT IS THE WINTER WRITING FESTIVAL???

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!

TO REGISTER:

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 (rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) stating how you’ll earn your Festival points, then jump over to our special Festival site, rsswwf.com, 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!)

WRITING SPRINTS:

The very BEST thing about the rsswwf.com 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 rsswwf.com 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
 
 

PARTICIPANT BADGE:

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 rsswwf.com 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.

 

FABULOUS SWAG:

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 bemispromotions.com for designing and maintaining both sites!!)

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A QUICK REVIEW OF THE GOAL-SETTING AND POINT-SCORING RULES:

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!!

The Latest Comments

  • Laurie Kellogg: What a wonderful post, Beth. I hope your book helps to educate the public on the challenges of Autism.
  • Kate Parker: Lovely post, Beth. And yes, romance writers are very supportive, even of mystery writers!
  • Elizabeth Langston: So many people could be thanked, but it’s nice to get an opportunity to give a special word...
  • Julia Day: Yes, and you’ve been great and supportive, too. I can thank you enough!
  • Bev Pettersen: This is a lovely post, Beth. From the very beginning, I was astonished and grateful at how generous...

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