Announcing the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival

Craving some serious writing productivity this winter? Need to clean up the mess you left in the second half of your Golden Heart full entry? Want to finally, finally fix that pesky plot hole in your WIP? The Rubies have your back!

Through the bleakest part of winter—January 10, 2011 thru the end of February—the much-anticipated Ruby Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning, with support, advice, inspiration, frequent live chats, fun prizes for participants, and as much virtual hot-chocolate (or virtual champagne or 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 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’re going to work with a “point” system, with a goal of earning one point per day.

Everybody gets one bonus point on the first day for stopping by the Ruby blog and making a public commitment to take part in the Festival. Then, for each of the 49 days of the Festival (including January 10), 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 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

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. 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.’ 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 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 on the Ruby blog every Friday during the Festival to report your progress. If you reach the end of February with a nice round 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’ll even have a special sister website up and running during the Festival which you can access by clicking the blue “Ruby Winter Writing Festival” button which will appear near the top of this page.

It’ll be your place to register, keep track of progress, and stop by anytime to use the special chat rooms, brag on that awesome new scene you wrote, or find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on when that gripping Black Moment you had planned is turning out to be a disappointingly dull shade of beige. You’ll probably find some enlivening advice, and afterwards you can even pick up some excellent Ruby Winter Writing Festival swag!!

We’ll be posting on both sites throughout the Festival with words of inspiration and support, craft pointers, and bits of wisdom from our own writing lives. We’ll share excerpts from our own works-in-progress, offer participants chances to ask for specific advice with their own plot problems or style snarls, and set up times for writing sprints in the chat room.

Everyone who commits to participating on January 10 will be able to download a cool “Ruby Winter Writing Festival Participant” badge (similar to what’s shown at the top of this post) to post on their own website or blog.

Plus, everyone who checks in on a Friday reporting that they’re on track with earning points will be entered in random drawings for cool prizes, like copies of craft books, copies of books by published Rubies, and expert critiques from the Sisters!

If you check in on Monday  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).

What’s not to love?

Decide on your personal terms for earning points, and join us back here on January 10 to get started!!

97 responses to “Announcing the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival”

  1. Kim Law says:

    I can’t wait!!!! Hmmm…how to set my goals… I’ll have to give this some major thought.

    OK, off to tell all my friends about this and get others just as excited as I am!

  2. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’m excited, too! Those are my goals given as examples up there…. I think I’ll probably add in “one hour BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keyboard)” for my less-focused days!

    Spread the word, everybody! The more the merrier!

  3. Shoshana Brown says:

    Yay! Can’t wait to get started.
    I don’t know whether I’m going to be writing new stuff or revising, so I love that our goals can be flexible.

  4. I love this idea! It sounds so deceptively simple, though: I get to decide what my goals are.

    That could be trouble. Sometimes it’s easier if someone else tells me what my goals should be. I think that’s how I’ve gotten so much accomplished recently … I was getting ready for the Golden Heart, then doing NaNo, and through it all, trying to reach the goal for my chapter’s Word Count Challenge.

    Although, with so many possibilities, I should be able to come up with a combination of this, this OR that to allow me to come out a winner.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Hee hee! If you want, Arlene, we can set some truly draconian goals for you!

      Or your goal can be to achieve the NaNo standard, or half the NaNo standard, or something like that.

      You DO need to publicly announce your specific goals on the very first day, so that will give you something concrete to work for!

  5. Gwynlyn MacKenzie says:

    Fabulous! I sooooo need this. Three books to polish to a bright shine–or, at least, a nice glow. How to set the goals will be difficult because there is much yet to do, but I’ll put my thinking cap on–after Christmas!

    When Hubble was in school, the guys called the time after New Year until Easter “The Dark Ages;” no holiday leave to anticipate. It’s a great time to hibernate and how better to use those long, dark days? YAY!

  6. Jeannie Lin says:

    I’m so excited. I’m plotting out a book right now that I need to get done in January/February so this is perfect!

    Nothing a couple of supportive Ruby Sisters to keep me on track!

  7. gillian layne says:

    Ok…COOL! Rubies, you know how to kick off the year with a bang. And I’m so happy you’re waiting til the 10th.

    Did I ever tell you my Ruby slipper charm is absolutely gorgeous? It is! I hope you all have one. It’s a pleasure to look at. 🙂

  8. Diana Layne says:

    Oh, this is stupendiferous (or whatever Tigger says-ok, I hang out with kids too much). I love it!

  9. Laurie Kellogg says:

    I am sooo in for this! Between now and January 10, I hope to wrap up two unpolished projects so I can work on something new!!!!

  10. Tamara Hogan says:

    What perfect timing! I need to set some goals that help me keep focused on finishing CHASE ME while TASTE ME promo is kicking into gear.

  11. Just what I need!! I’ve got so much to finish and definitely need the motivation!

  12. Elise Hayes says:

    I can’t tell y’all how much I need this. I utterly failed to incorporate writing into my work life in the fall (I think I wrote on about 5 days, total, from Sept through mid-December). Ugh.

    So I’m thinking my point system will be a very simple “one hour a day, with one weekend day off for balance of life.”

  13. Elle Filz says:

    What a great idea!! I’m already thinking of ways to earn points. This silly manuscript must be done. 🙂

  14. Rita Henuber says:

    Setting goals to meet my requirements is a step in my process. I’m in. And, WOW, we have own very special site for all of this. Liz is brilliant!!!

  15. Brenna Ash says:

    This is great! I’ve got a project I need to complete for April so this is perfect timing. I can’t wait!

  16. Jenn! says:

    I’m going to use the WWF to, hopefully, finish my book. Looking forward to it!

  17. Carla says:

    Great timing! I need motivation to keep me in motion, be it writing a page (or ten), keeping the idea fresh in my head, or just daydreaming where the WIP is going to go next. Count me in! Thanks!!

  18. Liz Bemis says:

    Elisa — this was SUCH a good idea! I’m excited about getting back to writing again. I have a book to polish (AND START SUBMITTING!) and I have 2 more that I want to write. So this will be the perfect impetus for that.

  19. Sarah Hoss says:

    This sounds like a great idea, count me in!

  20. I am so in. Used to be great at sticking to a word count, but a few rejections recently have drained my stick-to-it-ive-ness. This will help get me back on track!

    • Anne Barton says:

      Hang in there, Christi. R’s happen (and they’re confidence-shaking). To use Nora’s analogy, jump back in the pool and keep swimming. I’m doggy paddling myself.

  21. Kelley Bowen says:

    I am so excited; I might cry. Seriously.
    The GH rush was great but I’ve fallen into a kind of Christmasy stupor: gifts, cookies, gifts, cookies, gifts…you get the idea. The Ruby WWF is exactly what I need to snap out of it! Thank you all so much. Can’t wait!

  22. Just heard about this and have marked my calendar! Looking forward to participating.

  23. Awesome 🙂 I’m going to add this to my planner today and start thinking about my goals.

  24. I am so excited for this! And I can’t believe how seamlessly it came together. Liz Bemis ROCKED that site out without being asked.

    I love that Jenn and Kelley called it the Ruby WWF.

    So, goals…

    Since I plan to finish polishing Loving Abandon before I leave for Christmas, that means I’ll be working on Midnight Possession, which is a disaster. I’ll have to commit to some sort of deep revision goals, plus, possibly, polishing goals (presuming I get the revisions done before the end of the RWWF.

    WELCOME TO ALL NEW RUBY FRIENDS, by the way. It’s fantastic to see new faces on the board.

  25. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeannie Lin. Jeannie Lin said: RT @jamiemichelebks: Finally! A writing festival that doesn't span a major holiday. You know women are running it. […]

  26. Joan Swan says:

    WOW!! You girls never cease to amaze me! What a fantastic idea! Perfect timing, nice format, awesome support. Seriously, your creativity and willingingness to support other writers is so inspiring!

    I’m proud to be a sister!

    Am revampng the website and will post it there, as well as blog about it, tweet about it, facebook about it…you know the drill. 🙂

    You girls are fanstastic!! And now that my second book is (mostly) polished, I’ll be able to spend more time with you.


  27. Contessica says:

    Hi all I am a newbie to the site so checking things out. This is a great idea and fun way to start the new year.

    My goal so far is to write 1k per day for five days a week.

    Now I just need to be patient and work on current projects until January (which is just around the corner anyway, which I can’t believe). 🙂

  28. Love it! What a fabulous idea! I’m in. Off to share this great plan with other writing buds.

    • Gwynlyn MacKenzie says:

      Jen! So glad to see you here! Missed everyone at NJRW this year. Hope you and the LIRW gals enjoy this venture into accountability! {{{Hugs}}}

  29. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome Contessica and all the other new folks visiting today! We’re so thrilled to have so many people already planning to join us for the Festival! It’ll be a blast!

  30. Hope Ramsay says:

    This should be fun.

    Even with professional writig deadlines looming, I plan to participate.

    I’ve never much liked the NANO contest because it focuses on words and not time spent writing, which, to me seems more important. I love that I get to set the goal.

  31. Cate Rowan says:

    Wahoo! I’ll be in revisions most likely, so I’ll have to think about the right goals. I’ll probably choose a time amount per day. I love my Ruby peeps. 🙂

    Off to FB & Twitter this…

  32. […] The gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood have just announced the details of their new Winter Writing Festival and I can’t wait to dive […]

  33. Katrina says:

    This sounds amazing! I actually want to skip Christmas and get straight to January 10th! Okay, maybe not. But I am excited and I might just buy my 2011 calendar tomorrow so I don’t forget to write this down.

  34. Eileen Lloyd says:

    Ohhhh…. I’m totally in! I have my NaNo ms to polish up and a new idea to begin. I love the flexibility you’ve built into the “festival.”

  35. Great idea! I’ll be participating for sure!

  36. Joan K. Maze says:

    Perfect. I’m going to use this to finish the book I “finished:” on NaNo. Unfortunately, this year I did the last half of the book I started the year before, but couldn’t get credit for it. But I finished the first draft and now I can seriously work on it. Thanks for the opportunity.


  37. Dara Young says:

    Where can I sign up? This is perfect!!!

  38. Kristina Mathews says:

    This is exactly what I need to focus more time on writing and less time on learning how to write. I’ve vowed for the New Year, no new workshops, other than my Chapter meetings, until I have a complteted manuscript.

  39. YES. I’m in!! No holiday, except for Valentine’s day, but I can ask for quiet and delivery pizza or chinese instead of chocolate and dinner out.

    Do I finish the wip or write the short that has been poking me? I’ll need to think hard, but I’m so in.

  40. So fun!!!!! Just trying to decide what to tackle. I’ll figure it out.

  41. Liz Selvig says:

    Hey Rubies,
    What a great treat it will be to write with you all! I have had fantastic luck with Club 100 and 50-day challenges; if anyone hasn’t tried them, let me say this: they changed my writing life and made me look at each day as a writing day! But, you ladies have the best atmosphere for this–I can’t believe anyone will fail her at the RSS!

  42. Sherry Isaac says:

    Fabulous idea! I’m in. Thanks Autumn. Now to think of the goals. And, what a hoot to find the incomparable Joan Swan here!

  43. Anna says:

    This sounds so awesome. Y’all are so creative! What a great thing for the romance writing community. Count me in. 🙂

  44. Tina Joyce says:

    I’m so excited about the WWF! Like lots of other folks, I need to figure out if I’m going to start something brand new, or do revisions. But either way, I know I’ll be in great company!

  45. Donna Goode says:

    I love it! Count me in.

  46. I’m in too 🙂
    I’m writing a new project Jan-Feb, so this is perfect!
    You guys rock!!

    M-C 🙂

  47. I want to Fast Draft my WIP. Since the projected word count is 80,000 words, that is sixteen days of solid writing, everyday, from Jan 10 (or maybe a bit before).

  48. Chris says:

    Love this idea.


  49. Haven Riains says:

    This is perfect. I did the NaNo thing and have been procrastinating the revision process. I find I work really well with a goal in mind and a reward is awesome. Haven

  50. Haven Raines says:

    Great, my first post on a blog and I just realized I can’t even spell my own name. Haven

    • Rita Henuber says:

      Haven, was checking the comments and saw yours. WOW! so excited we are your first blog comment. Hope you come around often and make a lot of comments.
      Don’t worry about the spelling-we aren’t picky. Grin

  51. Love this idea and will sign up today! Thanks for the push ladies.

  52. Teresa says:

    Set my own goals! I’m in.

  53. Debby Lee says:

    Hi everyone, yes, I’d absolutely “love” to participate. Count me in and just keep me posted on what we’re doing. Thanks so much for the wonderful invite. Have a great day.

  54. Dara says:

    SQUEE!! This is exactly what I needed to kickstart my writing again! I am so participating! 🙂 You Ruby Sisters are awesome. 🙂

  55. Ishana says:

    Oh this is amazing! Will definitely join in this.

  56. Sabrina says:

    I’m totally in. Thanks for hosting this!

  57. Okay, I’ve been staring at the same two pages for five days. I think I’ll challenge myself to figure out why I’m stuck and MOVE ON!! Hopefully before Jan 10, but then I’ll have to think up new goals. 🙂

  58. I think I’m in. Sounds like the kind of boost I need to get through the winter blahs.

    Now…to work on my goal-setting before the 10th.

  59. […] I had set up for Jan/Feb of the upcoming year? Well thanks to Dara, I’ve learned of the Winter Writing Festival hosted by the Ruby-Slippered […]

  60. Karen Hood says:

    So what do we do to sign up for this challenge? Do we just post a goal or is there something more to do?

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      You can just come back here on January 10 and post your goals as a comment. Also, the special Writing Festival website will be going live in the next few days (there will be a link to it directly from this page, but the URL will be announced on January 6).

      Glad to have you with us, Karen!!

  61. […] Jan. 10 will be here before I know it. That means it’s time to craft my goals for the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival. […]

  62. […] in an extra layer of motivation to write this winter, the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood has a Winter Writing Festival starting January […]

  63. hywela Lyn says:

    I really need something like this – I have two manuscripts to revise and i Just need to get motivated!

  64. […] Winter Writing Festival is less than a week […]

  65. […] Ruby Sisters are hosting a Winter Writing Festival. Come join the […]

  66. […] in writing challenges. Try the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival. Yes – I am plugging my fellow Rubies and our up-coming challenge to help you with your writing […]

  67. […] you need about the Writing Festival at the special site under the “About” link, or click here to read the original […]

  68. […] 01/05/2011 WWF goals Posted by Arlene under Ruby WWF | Tags: goals, motivation, Progress | Leave a Comment  As many of you know, I’m proud to be a part of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival. […]

  69. Laura Kaye says:

    I’m in! And so excited! Thanks for a great idea (And for not scheduling this over a major holiday, lol)!

    Ready to earn me some points,
    🙂 Laura

  70. Beth says:

    I’m signing up with my fellow critique group partners–
    hi Laura Kaye, Christie, Joya, Teresa and anyone I missed!

  71. Lea Nolan says:

    I’m in!!! This is exactly what I need to kick my procrastinating butt!

  72. Rachel Lynne says:

    Oh wow do I need this! I’m taking Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer workshop this month so I already have my goals defined, I just need the incentives to keep my behind on track: the WWF will fit the bill nicely!
    Thanks so much for doing this, what an awesome idea.

  73. Rachel Lynne says:

    Ok, leave it to me not to follow instructions 🙂
    Goals for WWF
    1. write 1265k per day, every day of the week = 1 point
    2. write blog post every day of the week=1 point
    3. Read and Review 2 books per week = 1 point
    4. write 1 episode of blog serial story per week = 1 point
    5. keeping butt in chair until all is completed? PRICELESS 🙂

    Rachel Lynne
    Secrets, Lies, Murder … Southern Style!
    Ring of Lies, available at The Wild Rose Press

  74. Loni Lynne says:

    Is it too late to join? I would like to try–even with a few family issues this week. Writing when I can helps me to take my mind off of things when I have time.

  75. Jazzy says:

    So far so good. I committed to 2 hours of research and actually did 3. Forgot the time. Maybe if I keep this up I’ll revise more than 30,000 words, as I planned.

    Only thing is, I am finding so many interesting things while researching I’ll have enough for many more books.


  76. […] is also the first day of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival. If you already know about it, skip this paragraph.  The Festival continues to the end of […]

  77. hgh says:

    Salutation there I equal your blog. Do you demand to visitant create on mine at whatever restore? In that sufferer eliminate certain you let me pair by way of email or perhaps reply this particular message but due to the fact We subscribed to notices and can know should you decide.


Subscribe to the Blog

The Latest Comments

  • Fenley Grant: Hi, Elly! I loved hearing more about you, my fellow Omega, and can’t wait to meet you in NYC! To...
  • Elly Kate: I’m doing my best to get it published, but you know how it is… 🙂 Some day, I hope. I...
  • Elly Kate: Oooo I watch basically zero movies, but I DO want to see that one! I’ve heard only good things about...
  • Elly Kate: Can’t wait to see you there!
  • Elly Kate: Oh, yes – as someone with some chronic health conditions… And I’ll be real here,...