Opening Ceremonies: Ruby Winter Writing Festival 2015!!


Quick Festival Update:

If you’re joining us after January 12th and wondering if you can still join,


Just add a comment to the thread below, and JUMP RIGHT IN!!


Oh, how we adore saying these words:

roaring-fire_657x600We now declare the Fifth Annual Winter Writing Festival OPEN!
Let the Games begin!!

To get your BONUS point for today, Monday January 12,  add a comment on the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog ( in which you:

1) define how *you personally* will earn your Festival “points”


2) declare your commitment to earning 50 points by March 2, 2015. (Further details on goal-setting follow below).

 Leaving a comment today on the regular Ruby blog also puts you in the running for some cool prizes–the first round of our fabled Festival Swag, which includes lots of gift cards, awesome Ruby books, and the ever popular WRITING CRITIQUES, which we’ll continue giving out in random drawings every Monday from now until the end of the Festival on Monday, March 2!!)



To get the most from the Winter Writing Festival, leave your comment today on, then jump over to our special Festival site,, and officially register. Click on the “Member” snowflake near the upper right of that page, then click on “Register for the site.” When you log back in throughout the Festival, you can add points to your progress bar and see how far you’ve come. (Should there be any technical problems, don’t worry! Just leave your comment here–we’ll consider you part of the Festival no matter what!)

(FYI: Throughout the Festival, you can quickly jump over to the Winter Writing Festival site by clicking on the blue Participant badge in the upper right of the regular Ruby Home page.) 


The very BEST thing about the site is the CHAT ROOM, which we use for writing sprints. Those of you who’ve participated in the Festival before can testify that writing sprints are pretty darned miraculous at helping writers be super-turbo-powered productive–even if your busy life normally makes it hard for you to get much written.

You just click on the Chat Room link in the box near the upper left of the site (right under “Sprint Schedule), and you’ll jump to a screen where you can type in the name or nickname you want to use during the chat. Hit enter, and you’ll find yourself in a virtual space with other writers also eager to get work done. A Sprint Hostess will be there to greet you and show you the ropes. Sprint Czaress Kim Law has some great instructions here.

Typically, we chat (via typing) for a few minutes between sprints, then write like crazy for 20 minutes (or 45 minutes at some sessions), then come back and chat some more. Just knowing other people are writing while you are–and waiting to hear your new word count when you chat again–will keep you in your seat and cranking out those words. You can get inspiration, great advice, and (in half the chats I’ve been in) just laugh yourself silly. DON’T BE SHY!!!! It’s fun and easy…and practically magic!

Writing sprints start TODAY and happen daily. Jump in anytime!!! And if we don’t have a sprint scheduled at a time that works for you, feel free to find a buddy and come in on your own. Here’s the schedule so far (all times are EST):

Monday mornings with Heather McCollum (9:30 – 11:00 AM)

Monday evenings with Darynda Jones (7:00 – 9:00 PM)

Tuesday mornings with Liz Talley (8:30 -10:30 AM)

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons with Laurie Kellogg (2:00 – 4:00 PM)

Tuesday and Thursday nights with Addison Fox ( 10:00 PM – midnight)

Wednesday mornings with Liz Talley (8:30 – 10:00 AM)

Friday mornings with Heather McCollum (9:30 – 11:00 AM)

Saturdays with Elisa Beatty (11:00 AM – 2:00 PM)

Sunday afternoons with Tamara Hogan (2:00 – 4:00 PM)


To help keep you inspired between writing sprints, grab yourself a Participant badge (right-click on the one below and then click on “save image as”) to upload to your personal website.  

rss_winterfestival-participant-badge 2015 

You can also check in daily at the Brag Blog (scroll down towards the bottom of the site), where you can report on how your writing day has gone, and celebrate whenever you earn a point! You’ll also find inspirational daily quotes and links to Ruby posts on craft to pull you through when you’re feeling a little stuck.


Also, check out the fantabulous Winter Writing Festival swag you have a chance to win during Monday Check-Ins if you meet your goals each week. (You can also purchase some cool Winter Writing Festival swag yourself–including coffee mugs, tees, sweats, and totes with the Festival logo–at our Cafe Press store.)

The Swag you can win today just for leaving a comment on the regular Ruby site includes (print books available USA only):

1)  Writing Critique of first 25 pages by Hope Ramsay

2)  $25 Amazon gift card (from June Love)

3)  copy of MUTINY OF THE HEART by Jennifer Bray-Weber + $10 Amazon gift card

4) THE SWEETEST SEPTEMBER and SWEET TALKING MAN by Liz Talley (digital or print, print US only)

5) Print copies of first two books in Dragonfly Chronicles (PROPHECY and MAGICK) – by Heather McCollum

6) CAUGHT IN THE ACT by Kim Law (digital or print, print US only)

7) Autographed copy of THE COUNTERFEIT LADY by Kate Parker (US only)

8) HOW TO FIND A MAN IN FIVE DATES by Tina Beckett (digital or print, print US only)

What’s not to love? (Our thanks to mega-talented Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of for designing both sites!!)

If for any reason you have technical problems registering today: don’t panic!! Just leave us a message here in the comment trail, and get started earning points for the Festival.  We’ll make sure you get registered ASAP.

Be sure to visit the Chat Room: you don’t want to miss out on those sprints!!



Everybody gets one BONUS point TODAY for coming to the Ruby blog and leaving a comment that makes a public declaration of your commitment to take part in the Festival and a public announcement of your goals. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including today), 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 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 for one hour 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. (For more advice on how to set up your goals, see here).

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.’ Really. You can earn a point by taking a planned day off!! Don’t be shy.

And if setting your goals by the week works better for you than setting them by the day, go for it!!!

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 at the Ruby blog every Monday during the Festival to report your progress (and be entered in random drawings for more Festival Swag.)

If you reach March 2 with a nice round 50 points (or more), YOU WIN!!

Spread the word to all your writer friends–all genres are welcome!!!

Good luck all, and GET WRITING!!

422 responses to “Opening Ceremonies: Ruby Winter Writing Festival 2015!!”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    Welcome, welcome, welcome, Festival Goers!!!

    I’m so thrilled to be starting the Winter Writing Festival again. I’ll be back in a bit to list my personal “point-winning” formula…. I’m looking forward to seeing all of yours!

    Oh, one more piece of advice on goal-setting:

    This may seem radical, but I think it will keep more people in the saddle for the full 50 days.
    Remember how you can make yourself a “menu” of options for getting a point? Since life can be unpredictable, and many of us have day jobs / kids / houses / elderly parents whose needs occasionally derail our writing plans, give yourself a super-easy menu option for “Bad Days.”

    For instance, literally, say, “50 new words on a really tough day,” or “10 minutes at the keyboard one day a week when I get too frazzled.” Or give yourself five “Free Pass” days that you can use any time during the Festival.

    Figure out a buffer that will work for you.

    Only choose that option for getting your point when you’re really desperate, but GIVE yourself the point. It will keep you from giving up in frustration…and keep you much more productive in the long run.

    • Laura J. Henson says:

      Formal Commitment to the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival

      1) 800 words a day or
      2) 1 1/2 hours revising daily or
      3) finish short story (Keep it from turning into a novel) or
      4) Submitting finished work for publication somewhere.
      5) oh and I need Feb 14th off to cook dinner for a hundred.

      Hope I did this right. I am really looking forward to this keeping me on track.


  2. I am committing to 1 point earned for every 3 pages written. Wimpy, I know, but it is a start. Don’t forget I work at Walmart, the one place guaranteed to sap IQ points the moment you enter the door.

    And I am definitely committing to earning 50 points by March 2, 2015 – hopefully more.

    Phew! So let it be written, so let it be done.

    (I do love Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments.)

  3. Amanda Brice says:


    I will earn 1 point for every 4 pages written, or 10 pages edited, or new selfpublishing channel added, or foreign language edition published, or significant progress toward marketing.

    • Amanda Brice says:

      I’m adding the following:
      1 pt each for
      Attending a WRW meeting or reading the RWR
      Volunteering at the “What is Love?” conference at the Library of Congress
      Critiquing for another writer
      Brainstorming with a writer friend

  4. 1) 1000 words OR
    2) 1 hour editing or 2 hours promo + 500 new words on WIP
    3) participating in #1k1hr regardless of final word count OR
    4) participating in Ruby sprint, regardless of final word count OR
    5) 1 day “off” a week = 100 words or 15 minutes brainstorming/editing/drafting by hand.

    I would LOVE to reach March 2 with a draft of my WIP. That’s my big overarching goal for the festival. Good luck to everyone!

  5. I’d like to start out with 500 words per day for five days a week at one point a day

    Revisions and editing, one point for every 10 pages

    one point for each 50 sent to critique partner (working on getting one)

    one point for each blog posted or article written

  6. Whoo-hoo for the WWF! I’m aiming for a minimum of 500 words a day, six days a week. (I’m taking a cue from Sherri Hollister, and giving myself a day off.) It’s well into Jan 12 here and I’ve just gone over my target at 531 words. Hoping to do more after dinner.

    Good luck to all!

  7. Vivi Andrews says:

    I’m starting off the WWF with jury duty, so probably not the strongest beginning for me, but I’m planning to be a beast through February, so here we go.

    I will get one point each for:
    1) 2,400 words on new ms.
    2) Judging a RITA book.
    3) Judging a GH entry.
    4) 4 productive hours of writing business stuff (including committee biz)


  8. I plan to write no fewer than 500 words per day, with no limit. By march 2 I plan to have 50 points. lets get creative, Tracey

  9. Kim Law says:

    I’m with Vivi. I want to be a beast too!!! I think I’m starting that off right since it’s 5:30am where I am and I’m JUST NOW going to bed. Yep, been up writing all night!

    So my points will come in this fashion:
    1) 5 hrs writing/editing
    2) 2,000 words written and edited
    3) Judge a RITA book
    4) Since I’ll be in a 4-day workshop next month, one point for a day of workshop
    5) Free day for release day (1/27)
    6) At least one day off a week

    Whew! Let the games begin!!! Good luck, everyone!

    • Debbie says:

      Hi, Kim,
      Your new release is on my birthday :)Thanks again for giving me the heads up about this festival. This time of year zaps my energy and creativity, but the WWF and the RSS is the perfect antidote.

  10. I totally almost missed this. Just saw Kim’s notice on Facebook about it. I love this time of year and since I have one book that needs finishing and another begging to get started my goals are as follows:

    1) Write 1000 words a day or
    2) Revise at least 50 pages a day.

    I’m probably setting this goal low, but I’m in need of some success here as I’m feeling a bit sluggish in my writing lately with a lot of life crap going on.

  11. I’m just starting the outlining process for my next novel, so my goal is to work – be it on character sketches, research, even a rough scene or two – for one full hour a day. I have a full-time job and have also been unfortunate enough to have been summoned for jury duty (federal, no less) in February so even though I’m hoping for the best, I’m planning for the worst. Good luck to everyone!

  12. Woot! I’m very excited to join in this year. In the past, I’ve just moderated the chat room but haven’t tried to meet my own goals (too much health and family drama), but this year I am.
    My goals are as follows:
    1)Edit 2 chapters a day until book is edited
    2)Then write at least 2000 words a day on current WIP
    3)Exercise at least 30 minutes everyday
    4)Post on Twitter/FB/Pinterest once a day
    5)Take weekends off (of writing)to spend time with family

    Whew! Let’s see if I can stay on the path with flashy, annoying, alluring distractions around. That’s what the WWF helps writers do. I’ve seen it happen for so many others, so this year I’m really hoping I’ll set up some awesome habits too.

  13. Lenee says:

    I’m going to write 500 words a day on my WIP. Not a lot, but slow and steady wins the race!

    I’m excited to meet new people and it will be awesome to see my friends again!

    Now, bring on the sprints!!

  14. Rashelle R. says:

    I can do this…
    1500 words (5 days a week)
    writing sprint (1-2 days a week)
    free pass (revise writing/30 minutes of brainstorming)

  15. Pintip says:

    Yay!! I’m so excited for the Ruby WWF to begin!
    I will receive one point for:
    1) writing 500 words
    2) editing 20 pages
    3) spending two hours plotting, synopsis writing, brainstorming
    4) spending two hours judging GH and other contest entries or critiquing
    5) spending two hours thinking about title, cover, blog post, anything else business-y
    6) participating in one Ruby sprint
    7) going to friend’s wedding in MX!

    With all these myriad ways of earning points, I am determined to be super productive and have MORE than 50 points! That’s right! I’m not sure I’ve ever even won before , but this year, I’m determined to get back on track.

  16. Hope Ramsay says:

    My goal is to write 5000 words each week. At the end I hope to have the book I am starting today halfway finished.

  17. Trish Dechant says:

    Hello everyone~

    I am excited to participate in this writing event! I have a manuscript that NEEDS to be finished. To date, I have written 65,237 words. I have no clue how many words are needed to complete book, but I am guessing around 70,000-80,0000. I have 12 chapters written. It is my first manuscript and a contemporary romance. Here are my goals:
    1. Finish the dang Manuscript by 1/23/15
    2. Write 500 words a day – minimum
    3. Participate in chats daily for motivation
    4. Editing chapters 7-12 with necessary revisions made.
    5. Have final manuscript edited by 1/23/15
    6. Reward self for completing manuscript by 1/23/15 by taking a day off.
    7. Start brainstorming for next book in series.
    8. Write rough draft for next book in series.

    I have never finished NaNo or a writing event, so this year, my ultimate goal is to stay motivated and complete the Winter Writing Festival.



  18. Jennifer Moorhead says:

    First time here and so looking forward to it!

    One point for:
    1) one hour of editing
    2) one day at a conference or writing group
    3) 1000 words
    4) starting/ posting to blog
    5) updating Facebook page
    6) sprinting

  19. Ash Krafton says:

    It’s always been difficult for me to set goals early in the year–my day job has its most stressful volumes in the first quarter and it always made a great excuse to NOT set goals.

    Not This Year.

    This year, the art will survive life 🙂 thanks to #WWF inspiration…. and I’ll earn a point for:

    1) 2500 new words in a project per week
    2) every 10 pages edited of current project
    3) overhaul current project’s synopsis
    4) every two hours reading/judging Rita entries
    5) every post that helps support another author in their own efforts
    6) every two hours spend getting my chap book ready to launch
    7) a bonus point if I get my chap book or my current novel project ready for ARC by end of festival.

    Thank you for the inspiration to break out of old routines and PERSEVERE, everyone!

  20. Kim says:

    This sounds like fun. First time doing this.
    One point for:

    1. write 1,000 words
    2. An hour of editing, tightening previous MS
    3. Sprints

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Kim!!! I think you’ll make fabulous progress with those goals!

      Definitely get into a writing sprint as soon as you can manage. They’re powerful.

  21. I am pumped for this! And it’s perfect timing for me, too.

    I have to finish revising a short story before I return to my novel, but my primary goal is to get back into the writing habit. That includes blogging, finishing this revision to get something accomplished this month, and of course completing a darn novel.

    So I’m giving myself one point for each hour I spend with my butt in my chair at my writing desk. Not the downstairs desk where I take care of household paperwork, not the sofa, not sitting up in bed with my draft and notes in my lap trying to cram in my goal work right before bedtime. Sitting at my great-grandmother’s antique secretary with my WIP before me. One allowable alternative is writing fiction in the library of the historic mansion where I volunteer. For those busy days or travel days, I will give myself one point for reading a novel or writing craft book for an hour to refill the tank of inspiration, so to speak. But blogs, FB, and Pinterest do not count. A book.

    So, my menu:
    BICHOK at my writing desk, 1 hr
    BICHOK at the mansion, 1 hr
    Reading a novel or writing book, 1 hr

    And here we go.

  22. Addison Fox says:

    Happy Happy WWF!!! (why do I always feel the need to do a smack down when I write those letters?!??!) 🙂

    I LOVE this time of year!!! Count me down for 2K per day as my formal goal. I also loved Heather’s addition of exercise into the mix so I’ll add in one point a week for a minimum of 3 days of exercise.

    Wishing everyone an incredibly productive WWF and I can’t wait to see you in the sprint room!!!!


  23. Liz Talley says:

    Woo Hoo! Let my kickin’ some ass begin!

    So I’m going to do an overall goal for the festival of 35 K written and an entire book revised. It’s very ambitious but I know I can be more productive this time of year, so I’m going for it.

    I’m going to shoot for 1500 words per day/or 1.5 hours of revision. Getting the book revised takes precedence, but I’m hoping I can get the new words written, too.

    Good luck everyone!

  24. Holly Mortimer says:

    I am committing to:
    1) 1000 words per day
    2) finish the endless polishing of my first ever book and publish it (self-publishing) and let it go into the universe 🙂
    3) use Scrivener every day instead of going back to Word every time I write.
    Thanks to this festival. I started my first book here last year and without this blog and festival, I wouldn’t be working to become a “real” writer. Thanks Rubies!

  25. Hywela Lyn says:

    Great to be back with the Ruby Sisters at the Writing Festival again.

    I have a number of projects on the go, including a re-write of a novel which I aim to complete by the end of February at the latest, and a rough draft which needs revising.

    I will give myself 1 point for each hour spent writing or revising (Not Facebooking, researching or blogging or other internet activities not directly connected to writing!)

    1 point for reviewing or blogging since this is something I have committed to doing alongside my writing.

    Wishing everyone a very productive and enjoyable WWF


  26. Piper says:

    The Rubies are always a lot of fun! Here’s my list:

    1. Edit 20 pages or
    2. Write 2k or
    3. Read 100 pages of a contest entry.

    I’m looking forward to it! See you all in the chat rooms!

  27. Jus Accardo says:

    Hey guys! I’m super excited to be doing the WWF this year. Looking forward to kicking some wordy ass. 😀

    I’m planning on one point for any of the following:

    1. 2500 words
    2. 30 pages edited
    3. 1 blog post (because I suck at keeping up with this!)

    Good luck to everyone!

  28. Joyce says:

    Good Morning!
    My goal is to write a minimum 300 words a day to finish a manuscript that is already at 51,000; more if the muse is cooperating. I was aiming for at least 70-80K words, but will be happy as long as the story is told in it’s entirety and ends at less.

  29. Tamara Hogan says:

    I’m so excited to see so many new ‘faces’, and some familiar names! Those who’ve done Sunday Sprints with me in past years know that on Super Bowl Sunday, we spend at least a little time squeeing over The Puppy Bowl. 😉 Join us, and get some writing in before the game starts!

    My WWF goal is: At least two hours BICHOK, at least six days a week.

  30. Sonja says:

    At this point, I am just beginning to be serious about writing, and my main goal is to develop a habit and WRITE everyday…not even necessarily anything of particular interest or something I want to pursue, but to just make a habit of putting words on paper (or screen) EVERY SINGLE DAY. To that end, my goals are probably pretty simple.

    1. Write EVERY DAY. Writing Exercises, Blog Posts, Short Stories, Poems, Writing Assignments for class…anything works, as long as I am consistently writing!

  31. Lisa Wells says:

    This is my first time attending this party and as an introvert, it’s a little scary coming by myself. 🙂

    My points will be earned by:

    1. 1 point for every day I write at least 500 words
    2. 1 point for every sprint I attend
    3. 1 point for finishing the book
    4. 1 point for every chapter edited in the book

  32. Katrina says:

    Looking forward to this event again this year!
    I can earn a point for:
    – writing at least 600/day
    – editing for an hour
    – focused plotting/planning for the novel for an hour

  33. Jill Q. says:

    I’m trying to find a balance after spending some time away but also feeling antsy to catch up so –
    1 point for each ten pages I revise
    1 point for each outline written
    1 point for each synopsis written
    1 point for every 500 words written
    1 point for submitting the book !

  34. I am committing to 1 point earned for every 4 pages written long hand or 1,000 typed.

    I am also committing to earning 50 points by March 2, 2015! Lets do this!

  35. I am committing to 1 point each for:
    * 500 words in a day
    * 1 hour of editing
    * 1 hour of promotion
    * participating in a sprint
    * taking Saturdays off to spend with my family
    * submitting a book to my editor
    * submitting a new synopsis to my editor
    * a new blog post

    And 50 points by March 2.

  36. Is it bad that I jumped straight to the chat schedule to see who would be in the room? LOL Looking forward to nights with the Rubies. Maybe we can come up with more foreign “Words of Curse”. LOL

    Anyhoo… Here are my goals. 1 point for accomplishing at least one of the things on the list. They’re going to be light because it’s crazy time at the Evil Day Job (EDJ)
    1)5 pages edited
    2)Post about NON-writing things on social media
    3)Judge a RITA book (my first time!!!)
    4)3 comments on other peoples posts, a response on Twitter, etc.
    5)Schedule a book post in advance
    6)Actually schedule a blog post. I’ve recently fallen off the blogwagon and need to get back on.

    Good luck to everyone participating. I encourage everyone to join in at least 1 chat room chat. They’re fun, productive, and addictive.


    • LOL, Melanie. We did enjoy some very interesting chats last year, didn’t we (in between sprints, of course). See you in the chat room!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome back, Melanie!!!

      I’m sure I’ll see you in the chat room.

      And just to remind everybody: if there are no scheduled chats at times that work for you, find a buddy and set up your own sprint! The chat room is always open.

  37. I’m in.

    I have about 20K words to finish on my fourth book. I will commit to 750 words a day.

    I also want to revise book 1 of my whitewater guides series. I thought I had started the second book, but I’ve only been able to find chapter 1. So I also want to outline the 2nd and 3rd book. I will commit to reading one chapter a day.

    I’ll officially register on the WWF site this afternoon, and figure out my official points.

  38. Casey says:

    I’m a Ruby Slippered Sisterhood newbie!

    For one daily point I have to both of the following…

    -Deeply revise five pages of completed manuscript per day
    -Write at least 500 words a day on my second book

    Nano really lit a fire under me so I’m looking forward to the next 50 days to keep me focused on my forward progress and to talk to some great people!

  39. I’m a newbie as well and am excited to be here!

    My daily goal: 500 words on my summer novella

    I have a little one and a WIP that I’m trying to get out the door, so this is above & beyond what I’ve been able to do in terms of drafting. I’ll be so glad when I’m through editing/revising :))

  40. This sounds like a lot of fun.

    1 point for 1K
    1 point for brainstorming for an hour
    1 point for editing for an hour
    1 point for marketing for an hour

  41. Janet says:

    Good day for motivation–it’s pouring buckets here, barely above freezing, and since it’s only the first full week of classes, campus is close to deserted 🙂

    My plan is to revise my current ms. My first goal is rewriting or polishing 5 chapters per week.

    I’m also 60K into a romantic suspense but stalled out over the holidays. So goal two is finishing this bad boy by the end of the Festival, so it will be ready for a couple of April contests/feedback.

    Oh, and a bonus point for every writing sprint.
    And one if I can remember my sign in password from last year 🙂

    • LOL, hope you remember that sign-in info so you can get that point. 😉

      And welcome back! It’s gray and dreary here, too, but reading everyone’s goals is infusing me with creative energy. 🙂

  42. Sabrina says:

    So excited to be back with you all at the WWF!!!

    Thank you Rubies for having this very productive outlet for us to join you in.

    I will earn 1 point for any of the following goals:
    1) at least an hour a day of writing
    2) at least an hour a day of editing
    3) joining a sprint
    4) 5 days of grace to use during Festival (traveling)

    I will reach 50 points by the end of the Festival and if I get my rear in gear I will finish one of two WIPs!

    I look forward to sprinting with some familiar faces and meeting some new ones.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  43. I’m excited for this! Challenge groups really help me stick to my goals. My goal is to finish this draft by March 2 (currently 8k written)

    I am assigning 1 point for:
    1) 1000 words (goal 7k per week)
    2) 1k/1hr sprints
    3) 1 hr brainstorming on plot/character
    4) 1 hr brainstorm/plan on a different MS
    5) incorporating feedback from critique group

    • Welcome, Stephanie. You and I are about in the same place. I only have about 4k of my WIP, but want to finish a rough draft by about 3/2. I think the good energy here and in the sprints will really help. 🙂

  44. Julie Findlow says:

    I am so excited that the WWF is here! I had a blast last year and can’t wait to get started this year.

    I commit to earning 50 points by March by doing the following:

    1) 1 point for every day I either write 1000 words OR spend at least 2 hours on writing activities (plotting, revising)
    2) 1 point for one day off on the weekend
    3) 1 point for completely reading a writing craft book
    4) And if I need bonus make-up points . . . 1 point for every 2000 words written above my daily 1000 word goal

    See you in the sprints!

  45. I just finished my first sprint. LOVE IT!! My goal is to finish my next romantic suspense about 30K.

  46. Hello: I just registered for my first Winter Writing Festival-thanks to Heather McCollum, who is a great published author from the Heart Of Carolina Romance Writers!
    My daily goal for 1 point is:

    500 new words daily for WIP#1 AND
    Editing 10 pages a week on a draft of WIP#2
    Overall, I hope to finish my current WIP and catch-up on editing on WIP #2 by the end of the Winter Writing Festival.

    Thanks for coordinating WWF!

  47. JL Gibbs says:

    After a pretty horrid 2014, I’m using WWF to restart my writing. So my goals are pretty small, but my heart is full to begin writing.

    Here goes (and they are all or, not and!)

    1) Edit 500-1000 words a day with one day off a week
    2) Write 500 words a day
    3) Post in the Happily Ever After (#TeamHEA) Forums twice a week
    4) Critique or brainstorm with a #TeamHEA partner

    Can’t wait to catch you all for the occasional Sprint!


  48. I commit to earning one point for each 300 words per day. I will enjoy Saturday with my hubby doing fun things to earn an extra point.
    I work a full-time job, so every day writing is a dream to me…making a pledge to sit down every day to write should help me finish my 4th MS rough draft and start the 5th.

  49. Keeping my goals simple this year…if I finish the draft of the second book in my series…I win! And I will get extra bonus points for spending some fun-filled time with my family on the weekend. 🙂

    Looking forward to it all.

  50. Wow, I’m feeling a creative rush of energy just reading through everyone’s goals. Here are mine…

    I earn 1 point for:
    1.) Writing 1,000 words of my WIP.
    2.) Judging a RITA book.
    3.) Attending my local RWA meeting or reading the RWR.
    4.) Writing a blog post.
    5.) When I need a break, taking a day off or reading for pleasure for 1 hour.
    6.) Getting 20 minutes of exercise.

  51. Penny says:

    Winter Writing Fest was super fun and helpful last year- glad to be back! Going for the full 50 for sure!

    5pt for one decent chapter or,
    1pt for each sprint of 400 words or more or,
    1pt for 400 words or,
    1pt for 20 min of actual plot, chapter, character, story detailing, free-writing/diary, or,
    2pts per blog post of 400 words or more,
    1pt for taking a day off per week for “sad puppy” maintenance (I have 3 & they don’t like writing time so much 😀 ).

  52. Points for :
    2000 words Monday-Thursday.
    500 words Friday-Sunday.
    Exercising for 20 minutes any day.
    Attending a RWA meeting.
    Writing a blog post.

    (Totally copies Anne Marie’s ideas, because they were really good and just staring me in the face while I typed this!)

  53. Mia Sosa says:

    What a fabulous idea. I’m looking forward to my first Ruby Winter Writing Festival.

    My point-winning formula:
    1 point per 500 words added to WIP
    1 point for each blog post
    1 point for 100 words on a “super busy” day
    1 point for each hour of participation in any substantive activity related to writing (critiquing, editing, plotting, attending chapter events, etc.)

    Good luck, everyone.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Mia!!! We’re delighted to have you with us!

      I think you’ll find the Festival will give you a great boost through midwinter. Be sure to join the writing sprints–they really are the best!!

  54. Cia says:

    Happy to be back! I plan to earn my 50 points with one point for any of the following:

    1. Writing 500 words minimum on a new ms per day
    2. 1 1/2 hours revising existing ms per day
    3. Participating in one sprint
    4. 1 1/2 hours planning/plotting/brainstorming/learning Scrivener per day
    5 Bonus Point for 1 day off per week OR 3 days walking 1 mile per day

  55. Laurie Kellogg says:

    Just finished my first sprint of the festival. Can’t wait to go back!

  56. Jamie says:

    Hi all! I’m so excited to participate in WWF. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I need the motivation!

    I’d like to earn one point for:

    1) writing 500 words
    2) revising/editing a full chapter
    3) having a critique session with my critique partner
    4) taking one day off per week to spend time with the hubster!

    Let’s do this!!

  57. My first time, and I’m so excited to
    1. Finish the dang Manuscript by 1/31/15
    2. Write 500 words a day – minimum
    3. Participate in chats daily for motivation
    4. Editing second MS with necessary revisions made.
    5. Have manuscript edited by 1/31/15
    6. Reward myself with a day of pampering.
    7. Start outlining the next book in series.
    8. Do aerobics three times per week.

  58. Savannah Verte says:

    To earn my points, I am committing to writing for 2 hours per evening. I have larger goals, but as life happens, I know I can make that work even in the most dire circumstances.
    I hereby commit to making 50 points PLUS by March 2, 2015.


  59. Debbie says:

    Here are my 2015 Goals:

    *10 hours/week BICHOK (re-establishing my routine and writing focus)
    *1000 new words or 2 hours sprint participation
    *revising and editing 10 pages or critique session
    *workshop participation or other professional development activity such as reading the backlog of writing-focused material
    *have rough draft completed of Nano project by 3/2/15

  60. Shantele Summa-Martin says:

    Hello ladies! I’m a newbie as well attempting to shake off the winter blah’s after seeing Kim Law’s Facebook post. My #WWF goals are as follows:

    *write 1,000 fantastic new words

    *revise the suck out of 5,000 words

    *critique a chapter & encourage a fellow writer to achieve her dreams and then buy me celebratory presents 😉

    *conquer my inner introvert and attend a workshop, conference, or MCRW meeting

    *conquer the beast (aka write synopsis. Ick!)

    *bravely send 5 queries off to the winter wolves… er, I mean industry professionals with great hair & spellbinding wit

    *spend 2 hours drooling over other’s turns of phrase & literary genius (reading a novel or writing craft book)

    *complete a row on my new plot board (4 rows per new story – USE ALL THE COLORS & OFFICE SUPPLIES!!!!!!!)

    *write a blog post (Hey, it will happen one day!)

    And for balance:

    *take one day off a week to spend with family so they don’t whisper too much behind my back or forget how I look freshly showered and wearing grown folks clothing (Ok, just kidding on the clothing. Geeky t-shirts for the win!)

    *spend 1 hour on writing activity (writing/plotting/character development) when I’m REALLY not feeling it. (Future me: This means a max of 1 point per month allowed – NO WHINING! FINISH THE DANG BOOK! THEN WRITE FIVE MORE! DO NOT GIVE ME THAT LOOK! MOVE IT MISSY!)

    I am looking forward to the chats & camaraderie! 🙂

    • “revise the suck out of 5,000 words”

      LOL – love that! Welcome, Shantele. Looks like you have plenty to keep you busy! 😀

    • Snowa Fox says:

      Awesome! I can help ….provides chapters for critique, promises a wonderful present and bats eyelashes…please? !!!
      Other ways I can help….judging the geeky t-shirt competition…you win!
      Kicking Muses Bottom when she doesn’t show….and chit chat encouragement anytime!

  61. Debra says:

    So excited. This is going to be my first RSSWWF. How I will earn my points (working on a new series):

    -journal characters/plot OR
    -write short blurb OR
    -write long blurb OR
    -outline series OR
    -write synopsis OR
    -write first 25 pages OR
    -outline future books in series OR

    This is going to be great.

    Good luck to everyone!

  62. I’m really looking forward to this. I meant to do it last year and then didn’t. 🙁 So this year it is!!
    For each point I will:
    –write at least 500 words or
    –edit 20 pages or
    –read 50 pages of a Rita entry or
    –write and post 1 blog or
    –plot/brainstorm for 2 hours
    and I’m determined to put up a social media post every day, but it would be too easy to make that a point.
    Thanks!! I plan on getting tons done!

  63. Karen McCoy says:

    So glad I saw this on Facebook! Yipes!

    Here are my points measures this time around:

    Make daily word count on new project: 5 points

    Edit two chapters in messy old project: 5 points for hand-edits, 15 points for nitty-gritty revising and editing after hand edits are complete

    *waves to everyone and goes to register*

  64. I am so glad I saw this on Facebook. I need someone to kick my butt and this has me inspired. I’m awaiting copy edits for my first book that will be published and I need to finish the sequel. My 1 point will be earned by:

    1.) Butt in chair for 2 hours, revising.
    2.) !,000 words written in a day.

    Best wishes to everyone. 🙂

  65. My writing pal Bonnie Gill told me about the Winterfest 2015, and I enjoyed it so much last year I decided to join again this year.

    I commit to earn 50 writing points in the 2015 RSS Winterfest by the following 1 point productivity markers.

    1. Attend 3 sprints
    2. Deep edit 5 pages of current WIP
    3. Write 1000 new words
    4. Write/edit 1 blog post
    5. Thoughtfully critique/developmental edit 10 pages of my writing buddy’s work.
    6. Brainstorm a new story – and write out a complete 2 page synopsis


    Thanks so much for opening this great opportunity for accountability and fellowship to us all, Ruby Slippered Sisterhood – you gals ROCK!

  66. Snowa Fox says:

    This is my first time jointing this group! Thank you for taking time to do this, I loved the help of goals during NaNOWRiMO!
    My goals to earn the 50 pts are
    1. Polish 10pages a day minimum
    2. Write 2000 words a day
    3. One day off a week to read and review books
    4. 5 points if I finish 80,000 words by Feb 2015 of current WIP
    5. Five days off during this contest for family time, but points if I do character playlists and book inspired pinning, learning about covers, e-book formats and other such stuff on those “off” days!
    6. Attend a sprint at least twice a week in this chat room
    7. Make new author friends!/critique partners and beta reader and blogging friends too!

  67. Ok… I’ve been staring at this post for 3 hours now, trying to come up with my points list. I don’t want to make it too easy, but I don’t want to make it too challenging, either. I’m recovering from surgery, plus have a full-time job and a family, and as much as I want to make writing my priority, “LIFE” has a funny way of getting in the way. SO… this is to help me find a way to make it a priority!

    Facebook is a huge time-suck for me, as much as I wish it wasn’t. So, for this reason, I’m going to award myself 2 points for every day I do NOT get on Facebook at all, and 1 point for every day that I *only* use Facebook for writing-related things (promotion, writing group, etc.). I’m so horrible with Facebook that I doubt I’ll even get one point here, but I’m putting it up here for the challenge to myself. LOL

    Additionally, I will award 1 daily point for:
    • 1000 new words OR
    • 1 chapter edited (basic edit) OR
    • 1 hour of deep editing (plots, rearranging, etc.) OR
    • 1 blog post of substance (book review, promo, or personal—must be more than 1 or 2 paragraphs)

    Here goes nothing! Thanks for having me! 🙂

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Glad to have you with us, Michelle!

      I love the “points for no Facebook” idea.

      Facebook isn’t a time suck for me, but stupid video games on my iPhone are, and so is Tumblr. Maybe I should add avoiding those to my list….

  68. I’m in!

    I will award myself a daily point for:
    1) 2 hours of BICHOK time
    2) 2000 new words written
    3) 50 pages of editing
    4) 2 hours of active plotting or research. (Email and Facebook are not research, Liz 😉 )

  69. I’m in! With the new day job, it’s more important than ever to make time for writing.

    To earn a point, I will:

    — write at least 250 words
    — self-edit 5 pages
    — edit 1 chapter for editing client
    — attend chapter meeting or take care of chapter dues
    — pay RWA dues
    — read a book for fun (up to 5 points)
    — write a post for my writing blog

  70. Gwyn says:

    As much as I dislike winter, I look forward to this time of year and the WWF. I’m hoping to get my Sci-Fi out by the end of the month, but the blurb is driving me mad. So, my goal is to get the blurb done! Once I’ve done that, I’ll be back to getting my historicals ready to go. So, rather than word counts, I’m just going for BICHOK time. AT LEAST, two hours a day for the course of the WWF.

    BTW, it’s great to see so many familiar names. So happy the WWF works for so many.

  71. Michelle says:

    I’m a newbie and so happy to have something official to track my deep revision re-write of my MG fantasy novel. At least one hour a day for me – starting from the structure on out. I hope to clock about 1500 words/day to get the entire draft done by the end. My weekends are going to be the catch-up days I’m sure but really looking forward to the daily discipline. Meanwhile I’ll be keeping up with my revision on another novel that is in with my critique group. I don’t need points for that – my group feedback is reward enough. Thanks for this opportunity

    • Liz Talley says:

      Glad you’re here, Michelle! It will be fun making headway and at the end, even if you didn’t meet every goal (that sometimes happens to me) you have made such progress that it just feels good.

  72. Tiana says:

    Hello Ladies!!!! I’ve missed y’all!

    I can’t believe it’s that day all ready. I almost thought about not doing this, but then I remembered November, and what a bust that was, and I can’t stop writing just for the sake of learning, now can I. That’s counter-productive. So here I am… Again, setting goals and determined to finish this darned book, already.

    My goal metrics are pretty simple: Write for 30 minutes, OR revise 5 pages OR attend workshop and write/revise 1 page OR read in craft book while riding a minimum of 2 miles on exercise bike.

    Make up point options: 2/week max: Research for future stories, minimum of 1 hour OR Cook dinner for the family.

    Sounds simple right… if only it was… Let the fun begin ladies, because I need all the nudging and hand slapping I can take this time, I must finish this book. I must. Failure is not an option.


  73. Lya says:


    I’ve done this three previous years, and while I’ve never finished a book during it, I get great ideas and I write a lot. I love sprints.

    This year I’m going to be in India for a week and a half during this. I might be able to make some morning sprints because of the weird time difference, but I might not.:(

    What I want to earn points for:

    – 300 words a day

  74. So glad it’s that time again. You ladies are just the boost I need.
    I have a book to revise and I’m trying to get healthier. So I have two options for points.
    One point= Revise for 2 hours a day
    One point= Exercise 3 times a week

  75. Woo hoo, so glad it’s winter writing festival time again! My daily one-point goals are:
    1. Write 1,000 new words. Or
    2. Deep revise 10 pages. Or
    3. Catch up on critiques.

    Let the fun begin!

  76. This is my first time participating, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I have a question at the bottom re points, for anyone who might know.

    My goals for the 2015 Festival:

    Finish and polish a draft of the WIP
    Read all my RITA books
    Brainstorm a new series

    To accomplish the above and earn my 50+ points, I will do either a minimum of two (or multiples of one) of the following tasks per day and will earn one point for each task:

    – write 3 new pages
    – edit 1 scene
    – polish 5 pages
    – brainstorm for .5 hour
    – read three chapters in a RITA entry
    – take one rest/refill the well day per week
    …in any combination or multiples of the above.

    I’m not sure if I understand the point system. Will someone in the know, please holler! Above it mentioned doing 50 points or more. So…if I do multiples of the above in one day, that equals extra points? Example: write 3 pages + write 3 more pages + brainstorm + read RITA entry = 4 points? Thanks!

  77. Diana Layne says:

    Wow, the blog is hopping, woohoo! I didn’t join in last year, sad face, but I’m back again this year. Points:

    I love the idea of exercise, so I’ll go with that, too.

    Exercise 20 minutes any day.
    Write 500 new words
    Edit 1 scene
    work 2 hours on any writing biz stuff
    participate in a sprint

    Ready, set, go!

  78. Susan says:

    I procrastinate.

    1. To write all my ideas down instead of spouting them to my sister.
    2. To write a 100 words a day.

  79. Tamara Girardi says:

    Hi, everyone!

    I’m so glad to be back. I LOVE this festival. It helps keep me on track through the dark days of winter. The sprints even helped me write my doctoral dissertation a couple years ago!

    My goals will have to be a bit flexible this year, too, since I’m having a baby…probably this week 🙂 If no labor by the weekend, I’m going to probably induce, so…yeah. Schedules will be crazy.

    Still, here are my ways to earn points:

    1) Participate in a chat/sprint
    2) Revise 15 pages
    3) Cross one Revision Note off To Do List
    4) Write 500 new words
    5) (Since I have some baby weight to say goodbye to), exercise 20 minutes & brainstorm while I do
    6) Read one book a week while nursing
    7) Writing in 5 free days, too…

    I think that should do it! These are good goals, I think. Thanks for the boost!


    • Diana Layne says:

      Wow, Tamara, good luck! And congratulations with the baby-I hope it sleeps well! I know with my fifth one (I have six) I had high hopes of writing, but she was a screamer. Sigh. We’ll hope your baby takes long naps so you can get the writing done!

  80. Mina Khan says:

    Okay, I’m copying Sherri H. for the most part:

    1.I’d like to start out with 500 words per day for five days a week at one point a day

    2. One point for each 50 sent to critique partner (working on getting one)

    3. One point for each blog posted or article written

    4. One point for each sprint participated in (aiming for at least 1 per week)

    5. One point for each edited.

  81. Tammy says:

    This is my first time for the challenge. Thanks so much for doing this. Life got in the way for several years, so I’m just getting back into writing and I’m excited about it. I’ll earn my points by
    1.Plotting for an hour.
    3.Write 500 words per day.
    4.Edit a chapter.
    5.Exercise for 30 minutes.
    6.Finish my “Chicken Soup” story and submit it.
    7.Read and review books.
    Thanks for giving me the boost I needed to get started again. My critique group closed several years ago, so it will be nice to have other people to work with. I look forward to getting to know you.

  82. This is my first time attending this festival. 🙂 I’m so glad to be here and excited to get started. I’m comitted to earning my points by writing 1,000 words a day in my current WIP.


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