Winter Writing Festival Closing Ceremonies

Amazingly enough, DAY FIFTY of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival has already arrived!

This is our Final Check-In Thursday and Closing Ceremonies rolled into one.

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.)

After that, though, the great Writing Festival Torch (yup, it’s real, carved out of a gigantic ruby and guarded by handsome cabana boys…right here next to me as I write) will be extinguished until next year. But we know the embers will keep on glowing, and the Creative Fires will continue to burn bright inside each one of you!

In the end, let us know if you made your goals!!  Once you’ve have reached 50 points based on your personal goals,  you can copy the fabulous .jpg below and post it proudly on your own website:




We 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.

Be sure to stop by the Ruby blog next Wednessday, March 6, to share your Reflections on the Winter Writing Festival–after you’ve had a few days for it all to sink in, tell us what you’ve learned in the process, and give us advice and ideas for making the Festival even BETTER next year.

Also, starting in the next couple weeks, we’ll begin counting down to the Golden Heart and Rita Nominations for 2013. And be sure to join us on  March 26 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!!!

I want to take a quick moment now to thank our wonderful and amazing Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of who built both our websites! We could never have held this Festival without her!

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) summing up your WWF experience.

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:

snow print

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

It’s been such an honor to share in your incredible energy and creativity, and we wish you the best on your journey forward!

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

83 responses to “Winter Writing Festival Closing Ceremonies”

  1. Oh My God. I’m first to comment – even before the blog!

    Yes, I’m up indulging in a little late-night writing action, racing toward the end of my submission. More points! More Points!

    I’ve taken some giant leaps during the WWF, participated in a number of sprints and enjoyed myself immensely. I feel like I’ve met enough of my goals to call the experience a win! And,as always, I enjoy hanging out with you lovelies – so thank you, Rubies. Let’s do it again next year.


  2. elliemurasaki says:

    I wrote another sonnet. It broke a hundred words, so it’s my fiftieth point!


  3. I MADE MY GOAL!!!

    I ended with 57 points and I’m thrilled. I do not, however, have a finished book this time around. This I am less thrilled about. I did write around 45k, try some new promo, and critique some AWESOME stuff and had more fun doing so than ever before. I loved the sprints.

    To anyone checking in who didn’t make 50 points, I have been in your shoes during many, many challenges–even if you only have a few hundred more words than you had in January, celebrate that. Don’t get too discouraged–I know before when I’ve done NaNoWriMo (and I almost never hit 50K) that the final day when everyone is all hooping and hollering is kinda of hard–but you deserve to be proud too. If not more so! It took me a lot of years to look at my 20k whatever NaWriMo words and be happy and proud that I pulled that off–so WHATEVER you pulled off, celebrate it. We’re all winners 🙂


  4. Liz Talley says:

    So awesome to see that the WWF made such a difference for so many.

    I made the first part of my goal. I wrote 43K in January. Turned in the book and took a week of rest. I did get in some research in February (though not enough) and I didn’t get my goal word count written of 15K. But still, I enjoyed the inspiration and the sprints on Tues and Wed mornings with my crew. I’m still planning on going back and doing some Tuesday morning sprints so I hope we can keep that chatroom open? It’s a great place to meet 🙂

    Congrats on all of you who made your goal. You rock!


  5. Mary Sutton says:

    I rounded things out with a total of 71 points and, more importantly, I accomplished both of my goals. Now on to the next round of revisions!


  6. I’m so proud of all of the writers who accomplished anything, but especially those who made the 50 points.

    I’d like to thank the group who showed up every Sunday to keep Tammy and I company. Your enthusiasm pushed me to make my own goal.

    I’m putting away my whip, for now, but I hope to be in the chat room often. I hope I’ll see you there.


    • I loved our Sunday morning sprints Autumn. It gave me a great start to each week–because I started nice and early (I’m on the West Coast) with you then kept the momentum going, I usually ended up with 3 points every Sunday. That nice cushion really helped. Happy to hear you’re thinking of returning to the chat room.


  7. Congratulations everyone who made their goals. And for those who are like me and fell short, remember you’re still further ahead than you were when you started. 🙂


  8. Amanda Brice says:

    I met my goal, which was finishing the book I was working on, and turned it in. I’m getting edits back today (squee!).


  9. Kristina Mathews says:

    I didnn’t make the fifty points. I think I’m suffering from growing pains as a writer.

    The good news, I queried another agent, and she requested a full. So, now I have a big goal for the weekend, to go back through my MS and make sure it’s as perfect as can be before sending it off.

    As for my current WIP, I keep trying to remind myself that first drafts are supposed to suck. Get over it already. I watched a documentary on PIXAR and they didn’t get TOY STORY right on the first try, so why do I think I can do it?


  10. Addison Fox says:

    Yay, yay, yay on all the good news!!!! Congratulations to everyone who made their goals!

    And huge congrats to everyone who made progress. Here’s to many book sales in 2013!!!!



  11. CONGRATS EVERYONE!!! I hope everyone is pleased with their progress. I did pretty well, but I didn’t have a choice. LOL. Prolly not fair.

    If you didn’t make your 50 points, THAT’S OKAY!!! Keep writing. Never give up. All that perseverance stuff is true, so don’t stop now. You’re on a roll, tumbling head over heels toward publication. It may seem slow going now, but you are building the foundation you will need later, I promise.

    Best wishes everyone!


  12. I can’t say I made my goal this week, but I am satisfied with what I accomplished during the festival. Thank you to everyone who participated in the sprints – I had such a blast and they were so productive! I was able to finish my book on deadline by Feb 1st. After that, I had (*high*) hopes to finish the rough draft of another book. I was able to do 20k. Not the 60k it would have taken to finish, but that probably would have killed me. 😛


    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Congrats on making your book deadline!! And then making some SERIOUS progress on the next one!! (And I’m glad you didn’t push yourself past your limit. That was a healthy choice.)


  13. June Love says:

    Congratulations to all of the participants! A huge thanks to my hard-working Ruby sisters who carry the WWF torch for those of us unable to do so. Ladies, you’ve made this another successful year for the WWF.


  14. Thanks so much for all the support and laughs at the WWF! I had a wonderful time and have loads of new words to cherish.

    Did I make my goal? Well, I missed my dialy goal several days over the month of February – including two days this week. It’s been a crazy month with things cropping up and unexpected family stuff pulling me away. But I’ve still got the one book finished up and the second half done, which puts me right on track for finishing next month.

    More importantly, I’m back in the habit of daily writing, which I find so helpful. I’m going to need that discipline next month which is going to be crazy busy with outside commitments.

    I’ll try and stop by the chat to sprint with Liz, and will keep an eye out for everyone else.

    Thanks again! *hugs everyone*


  15. Colleen says:

    I made my goals for the festival!!! I can’t believe it’s already over, though! I felt like I got so much accomplished…not only did I finish the first draft of my sequel and turn it into my editor…but I finished final revisions on my first novel (coming out in June, woot!) AND I finished a novella.

    SO MUCH PROGRESS! =0) Can’t wait to read how everyone else did, too.



    I kind of lost track of counting my Points at 42, but I’ve been working on something almost every day … and on Wednesday, I shipped off a submission for Carina Press’ Holiday 2013 novella collection — a couple of days before the March 1 deadline.

    I also paid my RWA dues (always a struggle) & judged one of the GH entries that’s been waiting for me. Seven more to go …


  17. Vivi Andrews says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! And that includes everyone who didn’t get 50 points but made good progress on their projects that they wouldn’t have made without the WWF push. Fruity umbrella drinks all around! And happy writing for another ten months of 2013. 😀


  18. Kate Parker says:

    Congrats to everyone with all their progress these past 49 days. Winter’s almost over and we’ve got a ton of new words out there.


  19. Cia says:

    I MADE MY GOAL! At least I did this week 😉

    I did so much better in last year’s Festival, but after much angst, I decided my mss may not be irredeemable and buckled down to revisions this week. Ah, the writing life.

    I also worked on craft pretty consistently although that was not one of may goals. If chats continue, will they be posted on the blue site?

    Thanks, Rubies, for this great event.


    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Congrats, Cia!!!

      It’s a great thing when a lost manuscript suddenly takes on new life. Go, go, go!!

      I’m not sure how we’ll handle sprinting at this point. Let me check in with the Rubies about that, and I’ll talk about it next Wednesday when we have our “reflections” day.


  20. First Congrats to all those who made it to 50 and beyond. I’m ending the WWF with 51 points. I structured it pretty tight so there were no opportunities for extra. (slave driver, lol)

    I’m going to miss chatting with the Rubies and other participants. You ladies do a fantastic job putting this together, imparting words of wisdom and encouragement and I appreciate you all!

    While I didn’t write a book this time around, I did start on a series I hope to publish this summer. Also, the two books I worked on during last year’s WWF are published and about to be published. I don’t think I would have gained the confidence to do so without the encouragement of everyone last year. It really made a difference and I’m reaping the rewards this year.

    Keep writing everyone and hope to see you all next year!!!



  21. delia says:

    Congrats to everyone whether you made it to 50 points or not! It’s hard work writing in the middle of cold and flu season. I barely scraped up my 50th point last night. Recovering from the creeping crud put most of my WIP on hold. I was able to get lots of research done this WWF but not as many new words on the WIP as I had hoped…but honestly, I know that every time I sit down to write that I will probably never get as many words as I hoped. I loved the sprints and the encouragement from everyone. I will miss that. Here’s to seeing everyone at next year’s WWF!


  22. Debbie Hancock says:

    I made my GOAL! I feel like a little hobbit writing “There and Back Again”. I bypassed the 50 points awhile back, so I didn’t have that carrot dangling in front of me. It was the blog posts, the sprints, and the genuine encouragement of the RSS hostesses and the other participants who swept me along to a strong finish. I added 41,000 new words, developed new writing habits, set attainable goals to move my unfinished projects to completion. The new writing buddies were the reward at the end. Thanks so much!


  23. My goals shifted during the festival. Initially I was going to write a full but very rough draft, but by the time I got to the last few chapters, I realized there was so much that needed to be tweaked and rewritten for me to understand my characters and how they would behave in those last moments of the book. So I went back and started doing that work. I still put my nose to the grindstone and worked as hard as I could, getting points every day (or a couple extra on some days to fill in for a few off days 😉 and I’m totally satisfied with where I’m at and the decision I made. I consider myself a winner and I believe I will have a full and polished draft to send off to my agent in early April, which was my ultimate goal beyond the fest, so whatever gets me there! Thanks so much for hosting this! It really helped!


  24. Lyn says:

    MADE MY GOAL – 50 Points. I could probably have awarded myself a couple more as I worked really hard the last two weeks, and had several Blog Posts to compose as well, but I’m happy!

    I can’t believe the Festival is over now either. It has helped my motivation immensely and the Sprints ensured I reached my goal of finishing reading through my WIP draft and doing as much rewriting and revising as possible.

    I still have more rewrites to do, but I’ve clocked up several thousand extra words and identified several plot holes, and hopefully the means of filling them. I hope to be able to continue the schedule I set up for the Festival and keep to it (unlike last year! 🙂 ) and hopefully have this MS ready to submit within a month or two, after my crit partners have got their teeth into it.

    Thank you SO much Rubies, and congratulations to everyone who stayed the course, whether you made the 50 points or not.


  25. Tiana says:


    That being said, sadly I must confess that I threw Algebra under the bus so that I could write. Do I really need to know slopes and graphing to know if I am being paid according to my contract? I didn’t think so either. I have been quieter than usual this year, but I was still writing each and every day… in between finding out just how flammable magnesium is and how ::shudders:: energetic second graders are. If nothing else, it’s more things to find a place for in a book someday.

    Thank you to each and every one of you for always being around when needed, and for keeping me on track, even if you didn’t know you were. Just knowing that I was only one of many writing in the festival kept me going.



  26. Lisa Olech says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! And the edits are DONE!!!!! Thank you Ruby Slippered Sisterhood! YOU ARE THE BEST!


  27. I ended up not keeping track of points, but I’m happy with my progress. I finished my revisions (I ended up rewriting 1/3 of the book), and I’ve gotten 11,000 words written on a new book (which is due in to my editor on April 1st–yikes).

    You guys have been so inspiring! It’s part of what kept me pushing ahead. Great job!!


  28. I just wanted to pop in and congratulate everyone for all their hard work and for getting those pages written!

    Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore
    Amazon/B & N


  29. Diana Layne says:

    So exciting to see so many make their goals, Congratulations!!!


  30. Elise Hayes says:

    Congrats to all who took part in the Winter festival! I didn’t quite make my goal, but I’ve been writing consistently every week, so I’m still pleased.

    Happy continued writing to all!


  31. Patti Macdonald says:

    I MADE MY Weekly GOAL and my Festival GOAL by the skin of my teeth. (Gotta wonder where that phrase came from since I didn’t know teeth had skin.)

    I’ve been writing daily but haven’t made it into the sprints recently because I’ve been visiting family for the last week and a half out on the west coast. We celebrated my mom’s 95th birthday last night!! 🙂

    Congrats to everyone for all their points! Whether you reached your goal or not, you’re ahead of where you were 50 days ago.

    And as always MANY THANKS to the RUBIES!

    ~BIG Hugs~
    Patti 🙂


  32. Elisa Beatty says:

    Woo-hoo, Patti!!!! Way to go!

    And congrats to your mom on her 95th!


  33. Congrats to all who made their goals, and as Patti said, even if you didn’t you’re still ahead of where you were. Keep writing everyone!


  34. Karen McCoy says:

    I just squeaked by with 50 points! I finished drafting the second book in my series and did a ton of revision to the first! Thanks for the lessons, motivation, and awesome interactions!



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