2019 Winter Writing Festival CLOSING CEREMONIES

Somehow it’s happened again: It’s DAY FIFTY of the Winter Writing Festival! And that means this is our closing day for this year. 

I’m never sure whether to cheer or heave a melancholy sigh…but I’m so, so proud of all the wonderful hard work that’s gone on since the 10th of January, and I hope each and every participant is looking back with pride at what they’ve accomplished!!

Today is our final Check-In Thursday and Closing Ceremonies combined, but you still have ALL DAY  today to work toward your goals–nothing ends until midnight your time. (As always, the Festival is all about YOU.) 

After that, though, the great Writing Festival Torch 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 for the week, and for the Festival as a whole!! 

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!




Special thanks go out once again to our wonderful and amazing Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of Spark Creative Partners, who built both our websites and kept them and the Chat Room running! We could never have held this Festival without her!

And we’ve got a bit more Festival Swag to give away to ANYONE who comments today:

Good news: Thanks to popular demand, the Chat Room will remain open for SPRINTS!! The morning sprinter group plans to continue working together there, and you’re always welcome to grab a buddy and jump in! 

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 2018. 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!!!

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

 It’s been such an honor to share in your incredible energy and creativity, and wesnow print 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!

35 responses to “2019 Winter Writing Festival CLOSING CEREMONIES”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’ll go first: I MADE MY GOAL!!

    It wasn’t particularly shiny or fancy, but I said I’d attend two writing sprints per week in the Chat Room, and I DID IT, and I made good progress on revisions on the book I’m moving to a different heat level.

    It had been a while since I’d made regular time in my busy school-year life to focus on my writing, and it felt really good!

    Congrats to everybody who joined us for the Festival! I’m looking forward to seeing you all next year!!

    • Lenee Anderson says:

      Thanks so much for the work you do! I always have a good time when you host sprints!

  2. Melanie Macek says:

    I didn’t even come close to winning.

    While there were a few sprints that were helpful (Thank you Autumn and Hope), there were about 7 times I went into the chats and no one, not even the host, showed up. Honestly, it might be more than 7 – I lost track. I sat in there for an hour one night waiting. Those were the nights I really needed to have someone to chat with to get my mind off what was going on and get into a fictional, happy world.

    I still love the Rubies, and will probably participate if there’s one next year. I did end up starting a children’s story that I’ve been thinking about writing for years, so I guess that’s a good thing.

    Thanks for all the work you did put in. You don’t have to do this, and even though lack of participation was frustrating, I do appreciate the time you take out of your lives to do this for other writers.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Oh, no, Melanie! I’m so sorry that happened. I’m not sure what was going on.

      We did have a smaller crew this year…just one of those things.

      Hopefully we’ll be back up to our usual robust numbers next year.

      I hope you’ll be back with us!

  3. Michelle says:

    I MADE MY GOAL! Now, my while some of my goals *changed* during the WWF (bye-bye, adding a second POV), I made my goal of sitting in my chair every morning to revise or write. I ended up with what I hope is a solid revision, a bonus short story, and an outline for my next WIP. Definitely more than I had 50 days ago. Thanks, Rubies, for the support you provide throughout the WWF.

  4. Elizabeth Essex says:

    While I didn’t make my over all goal—finishing my draft on my WIP—I am very close, so I am very pleased with my progress. I also consider it a victory to have tried NEW THINGS during this year’s WWF—I went to the chat rooms for sprint for the first time and found it extremely helpful. So helpful that I am making the morning spring group—which you mentioned WILL STAY OPEN throughout the year—part of my daily writing practice. Many thanks to Hope, and the other chatroom hosts who kept us all on track.

    And thanks to all the Rubies who continue to make the WWF such a boon to our creativity.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Huzzah, Elizabeth!!

      I so wish that morning chat room time worked for my “over on the West Coast, have to leave home by 7 am” life.

      But will have to go for it during my Spring Break and summer!!

  5. Heather McCollum says:

    I definitely made huge progress during these 50 days! I plan to even type THE END today on my WIP!

    I just love the sprints in the chat room and plan to stop in twice a week throughout the year. When I’m focused with a timer on, the words seem to roll out of me faster.

    Thanks to all my sister Rubies for putting this together, and thanks to all the participants who remind me that even though writing is a solitary pursuit, I’m definitely not alone : )

  6. Hywela Lyn says:

    My main goal was to try to get at least an hour’s revisiion in most days, and this I achieved.While there were a few days when I wasn’t able to write, I made up for it on the other days and went over the number of points I needed. so I’m counting that as a ‘win’. 🙂 I didn’t quite make my overall goal of finishing revising the complete first draft of my first novel, but am very close, and would probably have acheved it today, but unfortunately have to go out to meeting. Having said that, I’ve written new scenes, filled plot holes and whipped what was a very disorganised first draft into something that now has structure and a much stronger plot. I even managed to attend a few chats.

    Thanks Rubies I doubt if I’d even have been close to where I am now if it hadn’t been for you giving me incentive and encouragement!

  7. Susan Craig says:

    And that is a huge thing for me, as I am famous for tailing off towards the end.
    The encouragement, the sprints, the blog posts… all of these have been incredibly helpful. The morning sprint group is amazing! Thanks, Rubies, for doing this.
    I completed revisions on three books preparing for relaunch and finished my WIP. Never would have been so productive without y’all. THANK YOU!!

  8. Brenda Lowder says:


    For the week and for the Festival, and I have to say this has been a huge help to me! I am more dedicated to the everyday-ness of writing than I have been in forever. The idea of ticking that box–and wanting to feel the accompanying sense of accomplishment–was so motivating to me. Thank you so much, Rubies! This was amazing! Can’t wait to sign up for next year!!

  9. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    I am in the “didn’t even come close” category for the first time ever. *sigh*

    Many Congratulations to all of those who made their goal!!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      BUT…you were moving house, and that’s probably second only to having newborn twins in terms of turning your whole life into 24-hour chaos.

      You’ll be settled soon, and I really hope you’ll be back with us for the 2020 Winter Writing Festival!! It’ll be back before we know it!

      • Cynthia Huscroft says:

        Thank you!! & I plan to get back in the swing soon w/the “off-season” chatroom sessions. So very glad they are going to continue:)

  10. I didn’t type “The End” on anything this Festival, or get into the chat room with the fabulous Sprint Crew,
    both firsts for me.

    But, I knocked out a lot of new words, and finished up 90% of my writing-related busy work.

    Which means I’m far ahead of where I was 50 days ago, and as always, grateful to all the Rubies for the cheerleading and their hard work. Thank you!

  11. Marin McGinnis says:

    I didn’t finish, for the first time in a few years, and made very little progress on my WIP. The dreaded day job reared its ugly head and consumed not only my time but all my creative energies as well. I know that this too shall pass, but I’m sorry that I missed opportunities to get to know more of you lovely writers. I will be in the morning sprints when time permits, and I will hope to see y’all there. Thank you, Rubies, as ever, for all you do to put on the WWF, and I will see you next year.

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      Right there with you, Marin! Moving and adjusting consumed so much of my time an energy…still exhausted. However, we’ll push forward! See ya in the chatroom:)

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Danged day jobs…

      But keep that promise to yourself to do some regular morning sprints, and you WILL get back in your groove.

      As a teacher, I know how all-consuming the day job can be…

  12. Congratulations to all those who participated. Giving everyone a big pat on the back! And also a shout-out to the Rubies who work so hard to keep this festival an annual event.

  13. Zoe Burton says:

    I did not make my goal, sadly. But I didn’t win NANO the first year, either. I’ll be back for another try next year!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Definitely come back for another try, Zoe!!!

      I’ve had up years and down years myself (with Nano and the WWF), but not giving up is soooo important, because the up years do come back!

  14. Lenee Anderson says:

    I…did not make my goal this week. The last two or three days the words just dried up. It was as if my whole life got stuck in the rut of drinking coffee and going to work.
    But! Considering how much progress I’ve made since the middle of January, I’m not at all upset.
    Last year during the Festival, I stopped my WIP to plot out the entire story with note cards. Since then, I’ve come a long way both personally and as a writer. Not one single time did I tell myself that I sucked or that this story sucked. Not once did I feel any of those uncomfortable twinges of perfectionism.I woke up, drank coffee and wrote. It. Was. Amazing! I may have been frustrated once or twice, but that’s not the same thing at all.
    I can’t tell you how many scenes I finished. Every time I turned around, I was starting a new scene. Makes getting up at 4am totally worth it! So for the festival as a whole, for me, it was a huuuuge success!
    Can’t do it alone, either. I really appreciate all the people who come into the chatroom. It’s the best part of my day!

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      Chatroom…one of the best parts of my day as well, Lenee…!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Yes, Lenée!!!!

      THIS. RIGHT. HERE>>>>>”Not one single time did I tell myself that I sucked or that this story sucked.”

      That is the whole ballgame, sister!!!!!!!!

      Keep on going!!

  15. Elise Hayes says:


    This is the first time since I’ve been taking part in WWF (erm…since its first year) that I’ve made it. I’m incredibly pleased to have found a time of day when I actually do write on a regular basis (and it’s NOT the end of the day when I’m exhausted). Woot!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      YEEEEEESSSSSS, Elise!!! Love hearing that!!

      And, yeah, ain’t it magical when you put the writing FIRST (like chronologically, in the day) so it gets some of the best of you, instead of the end-of-the-day dregs?

      Go, go, go!!!

  16. I’m late to the party – as I seem to be with everything festival-related this year – but I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who got progress out of the festival!

    Considering I was sick as a dog twice during the festival and still managed to complete my first round edits for my October book AND write 67K on my WIP, I am taking this as a WIN.

    Now lets KEEP WRITING, y’all!

  17. Jennifer Jung says:

    I hit my 50 points! Didn’t finish my first draft like I was hoping to, but still did amazing and had fun in the chat rooms with you lovely people!!! Thanks for doing this Rubies!!!! 🙂


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