Announcing the 2019 Winter Writing Festival!!

The holidays are over, but we bet you could use a special gift for your writer self!


If you’ve joined us for the Winter Writing Festival any time during the past eight years, you know it can be a tremendously productive time, with lots of inspiring support and the magic of REGULAR WRITING SPRINTS held in our cozy Ruby Chat Room!!

It’s completely free, and all writers are welcome—the more the merrier!

Through the bleakest part of winter—January 10 through February 28—the Winter Writing Festival is here to keep your creative fires burning, with camaraderie, encouragement, fun prizes for participants, and as much virtual hot-chocolate (and virtual cookies!!) as you please. ‘Cause nobody’s Muse can resist a party!

Here’s the beauty part:  unlike NaNoWriMo and other writing challenges that (much as we love them!!) have a one-size-fits-all approach, the Ruby Winter Writing Festival is designed for you.

No matter what stage you’re at right now (brainstorming, plotting, free-writing, fast-drafting, slow-drafting, revising, layering, polishing…or any combination of the above) the Ruby Winter Writing Festival wants to give you fuel for your winter writing fire.

We use a “point” system, with a goal of earning one point per day–and YOU DEFINE WHAT IT TAKES TO EARN THAT POINT!

Everybody gets one bonus point on the first day, Thursday January 10, for stopping by the Ruby blog and making a public commitment to take part in the Festival. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including January 10), you work to earn an additional point, according to your personal point system.

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 10 pages per day OR

-doing a final polish on 25 pages per day OR

-participating in an hour of writing sprints

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

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN’T PREDICTABLY WORK *DAILY* BUT KNOW YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH SET GOALS BY THE END OF A *WEEK*, we’re also officially giving you permission to set a weekly instead of a daily goal, and then give yourself 7 points when you make it!! (See? It’s SUPER CHILL AND FLEXIBLE around here.)

You can also give yourself BONUS POINTS for auxiliary goals, like writing new words every day for seven days in a row, or reaching a certain word count by the end of a week, or writing THE END on a manuscript. Be creative with how you set up earning your points. Make them work with your personal writing style and writing needs.

If you don’t earn your point on any particular day (or week), you can certainly double or triple or quadruple the points you earn on another day (or week) 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.’ Yes, really, you can get a point for taking a planned day off!! Don’t be shy.

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

Check in on the Ruby blog weekly (on Thursdays) during the Festival to report your progress. If you reach Feb 28 with at least 50 points, YOU WIN!!

Because we’re the Rubies, and we like to do things up right (and…okay, because we have the awesome Liz Bemis of we even have a special sister website up and running during the Festival which you can access by going to .

Everyone who commits to participating on January 10 will be able to download a cool “Ruby Winter Writing Festival Participant” badge to post on their own website or blog.

Plus, everyone who checks in on our Thursday Check-In Days reporting that they’re on track with earning points will be entered in random drawings for cool prizes, like books by the fabulous Rubies, craft books, gift cards, chocolates, and expert critiques from the Sisters!

If you check in on Thursday, February 28 and report you’ve WON, you’ll be able to download a “Ruby Winter Writing Festival WINNER” badge to post on your website or blog.

And of course you’ll have the satisfaction of achieving a small boatload of wonderful shiny writing progress (not to mention eternal fame and glory…and cookies!).

What’s not to love?

Decide on your personal terms for earning points, and join us back here this Thursday, January 10, to get started!! And spread the word on your loops, Facebook, and personal websites! The more writers who join us, the stronger we’ll all be!

24 responses to “Announcing the 2019 Winter Writing Festival!!”

  1. Jennifer Whitney Bray-Weber says:

    Super stoked! I’m ready to get PRODUCTIVE! Let’s do this!

  2. I just put away the last holiday decorations and I’m so ready to get back in to the swing of things too!

  3. Woot! So excited for the festival. It always gives me such great energy to kick off my writing year. My goal for this week? Kick this bug I’ve caught so I’m ready to dive in on Thursday. 🙂

  4. Love the Ruby Festival and how it stokes everyone up, from brainstorming to writing or editing.

  5. Darynda Jones says:

    So excited!!!!

  6. Jennifer Jung says:

    Yay, I’ll be joining in again this year! Love all the support, inspiration and comeraderie I get from you guys!!!

  7. Elizabeth Langston says:

    I’m looking forward to the WWF too!

  8. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    W00T!! Looking forward to it!

  9. Stephanie Baassler says:

    I’m gonna give it a whirl again this year!

  10. Janet Walden West says:

    WWF–the best part of Winter.

  11. Hywela Lyn says:

    Looking forward to it – I started late last year and didn’t do too well but I aim to do better this year and get that darned novel deep revised!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      So glad to see this, Lyn! I remember you didn’t get the word until partway through last year, and was planning to email you tonight to make sure you knew the date this year. See you in the chat room, I hope!

  12. Rebekah Simmers says:

    Fantastic! Did this last year and I’m excited for it again this year. Woot!

  13. […] the bleakest part of winter–January 10, 2018, thru February 28, 2018–the much-anticipated NINTH Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning with support, advice, inspiration, and regular […]

  14. Willow Croft says:

    I think I would like to try. Day job starts this week, but I will give it my best effort. I need to revise/rewrite my NanoWriMo manuscript.

  15. I am a beginner and working hard at staying positive. I just had my 70th birthday and ask myself, “what am I doing here with these young people”, well life experiences should count for something. All I have is an idea and I would like to see how far that takes me.

  16. Brenda Lowder says:

    Sounds like fun! I’m excited to do it!


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