Get Ready for the Winter Writing Festival 2015!!

rss_winterfestival-participant-badge 2015Okay, folks, the holidays are over, and we’ve all had a chance to catch our breath. 

So if you’re ready to buckle down for some SUPER-POWERED WRITING PROGRESS, mark your calendar for the FIFTH ANNUAL RUBY SLIPPERED SISTERHOOD WINTER WRITING FESTIVAL, which starts Monday, JANUARY 12!!!

If you’ve joined us for the Winter Writing Festival any time during the past four years, you know it can be a tremendously productive time, with lots of inspiring support and the magic of REGULAR WRITING SPRINTS!! (Not sure how writing sprints work? Stop back this Thursday for Kim Law’s quick and easy explanation.)

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

Through the bleakest part of winter—January 12 through March 2 this year (since February ends during a weekend)—the Winter Writing Festival will be 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 flexible “point” system, with a goal of earning one point on average per day.

Everybody gets one bonus point on the first day, January 12, 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 12, you work to earn an additional point—and YOU DEFINE WHAT IT TAKES TO EARN THAT POINT.

Here are some hypothetical 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 A GOAL BY THE END OF A *WEEK*, we’re also officially giving you permission (not that you ever needed it!) 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 can’t meet your goal on any particular day (or week), you can certainly double or triple or quadruple your goal on another day (or week) to catch up.

And here’s a real beauty part: 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 goals. All goals 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 every Monday during the Festival to report your progress. If you reach March 2 with 50 points or more, 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 going to or by clicking the blue “Ruby Winter Writing Festival” button which will soon appear near the top of the Ruby site.

Everyone who commits to participating on January 12 will be able to download a cool “Ruby Winter Writing Festival Participant” badge (similar to what’s at the top of this post) to post on their own website or blog.

Plus, everyone who checks in on a Monday reporting that they’re on track with earning points will be entered in random drawings for cool prizes, like gift cards, Ruby books, and expert critiques from the Sisters!

If you check in on Monday, March 2 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 on Monday January 12 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!

38 responses to “Get Ready for the Winter Writing Festival 2015!!”

  1. Yay! Looking forward to it. I have a book to edit and a book to finish so this is perfect. The writing sprints really help me focus.


    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Really cannot say enough about the miraculous power of writing sprints.

      EVERYBODY needs to try at least one–the focus and positive energy are truly transformative. People rack up amazing word counts (or make great editing progress)….far better than spending the same amount of time going it alone.

      Again, Kim Law’s easy guide to writing sprints will be posted here on Thursday, for those who aren’t sure how the sprints work.

  2. Hope Ramsay says:

    Woo Hoo! So looking forward to the start of this. I have a brand new book (and series) that I’m starting. And in 50 days I’d like to have it more than half done. The Winter Writing Festival could not have come at a more auspicious time.

  3. Huzzah! Oh, how I need this at this point in my writing life.

    My fall was full of rejection and reassessing, but it is past time for me to MOVE FORWARD WITH MY WRITING!

    I’ve got a new MS going, and will start my goals with turning what I have into a polished proposal, and then moving on to finish the rough draft of the MS.

    Looking forward to joining the WWF!

  4. This sounds like exactly what I need to keep me on track this winter.

  5. Laurie Kellogg says:

    I’m in for the month of January! My goal is to have the book I’m reworking to my editors by February 1st! We’re moving during February, so I have to get a lot written in just 3 weeks.

  6. jbrayweber says:

    Just the kick in the butt I need! Hooray for RSSWWF!

  7. I am really looking forward to this. I need to finish the 4th book in my More Than A Game series, revise the first book in my Swift River Adventures book, and get a regular posting schedule on my pathetic blog.

  8. Woohoo! I SO need this right now. Time to dive into a new book and a new series for a new year! 😀

  9. Debra says:

    This is really exciting. I’m so looking forward to the Writing Festival. I just need to figure out how to assign points since I’m focused on creating the outline/proposal first and then I am going to begin the writing (pantser in training to be a plotter). I want to write the pitch,the short & long blurbs, the outline, and synopsis. I also want to continue my journaling and I have any pages written as those awesome bonus points, I guess. 50 days is a long time and I’m confident I’ll meet all those goals. This will be awesome.

  10. Diana Layne says:

    Good timing, starting a new book! Looking forward to it!

  11. Jeannie Palmer says:

    I’m on board! Sounds like a lot of fun!

  12. Love the positive energy this Festival creates. It’s great to have a little kick this month!

  13. Liz Talley says:

    Woo Hoo! It’s my most productive time of the year again!!!

    Just started a new book today so I’m primed and ready for some serious output.

    Okay, guys and gals, it’s time to do this. Let’s all get our goals set and get down to business. I’ll be in the chatroom twice a week and hope to see some of you there.

    Yay! It’s “go time”.

    • I’d love to do the sprints but I can never get the times right. Or they’re not at a time convenient to me. Oh well. That’s what I love about this event, the flexibility.

  14. I can’t wait!!!! This year will be difficult at first. I’m in the middle of revisions and then have to outline my next Charley book before I can start. I’m hoping to be finished and ready to start by the time the beach retreat comes about. My goals until then will vary. Oh well, that’s why this festival is the best!!!!

  15. This is good…glad to be participating to help meet a March 1 deadline. It’s a bit of a departure book for me, and I’m enjoying it–a lot! It may be the first book in a series. Thanks everyone.

  16. June Love says:

    The Winter Writing Festival is such a motivational way to start the year. I will have to miss the first few weeks, but I’m looking forward to jumping in with both feet at the end of the month.

    Thanks to my Ruby sisters who work behind the scenes to get us to this point each year. You are definitely appreciated!

  17. I will be working on the first of two sequels to my novella A Perfectly Dreadful Christmas. I’ll be working on A Perfectly Scandalous Bride and I hope to “Finish the damned book!” by the end of the festival. It may be rough, but I want it done! I am definitely looking forward to it!

  18. I just may do this, though I fear I may lose track of the points bit. I’ll look for ya’ll on twitter and come back Monday 🙂


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