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. Alessa says:

    I’m a newbie, but this is exactly what I need to kickstart my writing in 2015!

    I will earn my daily points in one of the following ways:

    1. Write at least 1500 words.
    2. Attend a writing sprint.
    3. Spend at least one hour critiquing CP’s pages.
    4. Write a blog post.
    5. Send out 10 queries.

    • Liz Talley says:

      Don’t worry about being a newbie – you will jump in and feel like you’ve been here forever 🙂 Great goals and we’ll be here to cheer you on!

  2. This couldn’t come at a better time! I’m SO in!!!

    I will earn points for…
    1,000+ words a day,
    editing 50 pages

    That should get me to my deadline!!

    OH, PS…I’M HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME REGISTERING. I’ve changed my password twice now and it still won’t recognize it.


    Thanks for this! I love the RSSWWF!!

    Lisa A. Olech

    • Liz Talley says:

      We’ll get it sorted out. No worries. It can be temperamental at times, especially when there are a lot of users. You’ve set your goals here and we’ve got them. Hope to see you in the chatrooms 🙂

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Sorry about the technical glitches….

      But no worries at all…as long as you leave a comment here, you’re part of the Festival!!! You don’t have to officially “register.” (We don’t check.)

      Of course, if you do register, you get the benefit of a cool little progress bar you can use to keep track of your daily progress. I always find those kinds of things motivating!

  3. delia says:

    I’m so excited about the WWF starting up again. I went through some major life changes last year (moving to a new state, starting a new job, and few other things) so I lost my writing mojo for awhile. I’m hoping to get back on track with the writing sprints. They’re my favorite part of the festival 🙂

    Here’s how I’m going to make my goals:

    -write 500 words a day or
    -deep revise 5 pages a day or
    -brainstorm, outline, or free write for 30 minutes a day or
    -read 1 chapter in a writing craft book or
    -take a day (one day a week) to relax with family and friends

  4. I will win my points by:

    – working 90 minutes M-F on my WIP
    – working 15 minutes S-S on my WIP

    Thanks for hosting this festival–I’m looking forward to participating!


    I will earn points by:
    -Writing 1k words a day, no excuses.

  6. Deanne says:

    1. Write at least 2500 words.
    2. Keep butt in chair and hands on keyboard for 20 minutes a day
    3. Write a blog post.
    4. Attend two sprints.

  7. M. C. Rohweder says:

    1. Writing 750 Words per day
    2. Deep revising 20 pages per day

    Good luck to everyone!! 🙂 Happy writing, and happy RSSWWF!

  8. Y’all are fun! I just discovered this today, and am jumping in with both feet. My points are:
    1) write 1000 words
    2) revise 2 chapters

    Hopefully I’ll do more than that on a regular basis, but these will be the ‘big rocks’ in my jar.


  9. Christi Snow says:

    Wow…I just stumbled on this at the perfect time since I have a book to be completed by Feb 28th.
    So my goal is going to be simple…
    *write 2k/day

  10. Cecilia says:

    I’m a newbie and not sure what I’m doing, but I’m excited to be here! I just saw the link to this site for the first time minutes ago via Darynda Jones. Thank you very much, btw. I’ve registered, though I haven’t received my password yet.

    I will earn my points for:

    – Writing 1,000 words per day.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      WElcome, Cecelia!

      The password thing seems to be a little glitchy today. I’ll let our webmistress know about it.

      But no worries…you’re part of the Festival as long as you declare your intentions here!

  11. Anna says:

    Reward system! Love it. So excited this started today. Normally I just put stickers in my work planner when I reach my daily goal, the more whimsical the sticker, the better. I’m excited to collect points too. 🙂 I have several balls in the air at the moment, so my point system is based on working on any of those items.

    I will earn one point by doing one of the following:

    – Write 1000 words
    – Edit for one hour
    – Write two pages longhand

  12. Shannon says:

    I just heard of this today from a writing group. This sounds like the inspiration I’ve been waiting for. I’m taking classes this month, but I’m finding I’m not moving forward on finishing the d#*! book. So I’m pulling together my list very loosely.

    Write 400 words a day except for Fridays (2400/week) OR
    Revise a scene from WIP1 for one hour except on Fridays (6 scenes/week) OR
    Do a classroom exercise from one of my classes OR
    Attend a Saturday or Sunday sprint (no need for Friday exemption here) OR
    Work on contest entry for an hour, this includes manuscript or synopsis (except on Friday)

    In case you haven’t guess it, I come home from the day job on Fridays, I an practice the absolute bliss of not doing anything and not going anywhere, unless I really feel like it.

  13. PA DePaul says:

    What a great way to kick off a new year!

    My Goal:
    To write 1000+ words a day. As Darynda said earlier, NO EXCUSES. 🙂

  14. I can’t get a password to work. It has rejected the last five attempts. I need to make dinner now. Grrrrr.
    I’ll try again later,

  15. Happy to be here and up my productivity after a long holiday break!

    My goal:
    500 words per day
    1 chapter of edits per day
    1 chapter of polish per day

    Good luck everyone and happy writing! 🙂

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Glad to have you here, Celia!!!

      We love holding the Festival at this time of year, when the holiday frenzy is over, and we can all spend a little more time in the writing cave. (And, with the group working together, not succumb to hibernation.)

  16. Ericat says:

    My goal is 500 words a day or 5 pages of revisions.

    I’m excited to get further in my novel. 🙂

  17. Cheril Vernon says:

    I will earn a point by:

    1)Writing at least 500 words a day

    2)Attending a writing sprint

    3) Writing a blog post

    4) Attending an RWA chapter meeting

    5) Reading a craft book

    6) Taking at least one day off each week

    I’m looking forward to trying the sprints.

  18. Vicki says:

    Greetings RSS!
    This is my first time ever participating in a collective writing group. Looking forward to sprints. This is just what I need to keep me motivated and on a productive path. Thanks Piper Hugehley for the post you shared.
    My Goals: 🙂
    brainstorm, outline, or free flow writing for 30 minutes a day
    Revise 1 Chapter per day.
    Write for 1 hour (no less than) per day
    Read Publishing and or character development manuals 1 hour each day
    Wish me luck. I look forward to this interesting experience.

  19. Rachel Kolodziej says:

    Thank you to Darynda Jones for letting me know about this! I am looking forward to sprinting and getting know you fabulous writers.

    My goals are:
    1) Write 500 words per day
    2) Attend a sprint at least 3 times per week
    3) Edit/revise one chapter a day
    4) Keep butt in seat and fingers typing away on keyboard for one hour a day

  20. Pamela says:

    Put me in, Coach!


    3K words per week.
    Try out sprinting.
    Try to keep making forward progress, save editing and revising for later.
    Work on WIP at least one hour per day.

    • elise hayes says:

      Right on, Pamela!

      The focus on making forward progress is a big one–it’s soooo easy to get tempted into tinkering with what’s already on the page. But you can do it! At 3K per week, you’re going to make some serious progress this winter!

  21. Amy Kennedy says:

    So need this!
    My goals:
    1K per week.
    1 sprint per week.
    1 blogpost per week.
    7 laugh out louds per week. 😉
    Yay! I feel as if I have been out of this for too long. Thank you Ruby Sisters!

    • elise hayes says:

      Great goals, Amy! I’ve been noticing that a number of people have been setting weekly goals. That’s a really interesting approach, one I haven’t tried before. Hmm…I haven’t yet declared my own participation rules. You’ve given me something to think about, especially since my schedule this winter is so intense during certain points that I know I can’t succeed with daily goals. Thanks! (and good luck!)

  22. fleursdartifice says:

    Write for 20 min without interruptions/distractions OR
    Write 750 words OR
    Spend half an hour doing research OR
    Take scenes from novels, figure out what you liked about it, and try to emulate it

  23. Kate says:

    This is my first time, and I’m so excited. I have definite goals, as I need to finish a manuscript and promo a new release, so…

    I’ll earn my daily points by:
    writing a minimum of 1500 words per day (and extra points for every 1000 words after that!),
    doing one thing to help new release a tweet, a review request, a follow-up on a contact), and
    giving myself permission to take one mental health day per week.

    • elise hayes says:

      Kate, I *really* like plan for the extra points. That’s really worked for me some years, as it lets me get ahead (or catch up) during my slow times at work.

      And the festival is fabulous for pushing people (erm…me) out of winter, non-productive doldrums. Welcome!

    • Glad you’re here, Kate. Good Luck!

  24. donnas says:

    I am excited about this starting up again. I tried last year but due to pesky RL emergencies didn’t finish. I am excited to do it again.

    Goals per week:
    5 chapters (1 per day new until the story is finished or revised when it is)
    2 days to do whatever
    and I want to try the sprints when schedule allows, hopefully 1 per week

  25. I’m in! And I’ve never sprinted or done Nano or any of that good stuff, so I’m excited. 🙂

    Here’s what I’ve got to do to earn my points:
    – write at least 500 words per day OR
    – 1 hr of editing per day OR
    -attending a writing sprint OR
    – an hour of plotting/brainstorming.
    Thanks for the warm welcome and the great suggestions.

  26. Mac says:

    This sounds like such a blast. I’ve never done anything like this before. I can’t wait to jump in. (Thank you Darynda Jones for the tip!)

    So, to earn my points, I plan to:
    – attend at least two sprints per week
    – dedicate 15 min a day to brainstorming blog post ideas
    – spend at least 30 min a day (outside of sprints) on WIP
    – take at least one day a week off

    Thanks for hosting this event. I look forward to getting to know everyone. And I wish everyone the best of luck in meeting their own goals.

  27. Laurie says:

    Hi everyone – this is exciting. My goal is 500-750 words per day while staying OFF Facebook and ignoring all the other distractions aroun….oh Cena (my dog), you need to go out? Go tell daddy!…where was I? Oh right – around me and actually focus on something that is very important to me but I keep back burner-ing. Maybe create a new language?? Good luck all!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      “Go tell Daddy!” Yup…that’s a powerful way to keep the writing productivity up.

      Also try, “Sweetie, can you make dinner tonight?”and “Time for somebody else to clean the bathroom!”

  28. First year participating and I can’t wait to get started! My goal is to get 700 to 800 words every morning. My dream job will take precedence over the day job between the hours of 6:00 and 7:30 am. I will not be distracted by emails or Facebook. I will carve out this quality time for me, my tablet and coffee. I will finish Ill Fated and begin Payable On Death during this challenge!

    • Kate Parker says:

      Good luck. I love those titles!

    • elise hayes says:

      Ah, a fellow morning person (or, if you’re not a morning person, you’re being mighty brave 🙂 Getting your writing in first thing, before the distractions of the day, is fabulous. One small tip, since I’ve set similar goals for myself: the time you actually want to focus on is the end point (assuming you have things you need to get to after 7:30 and thus can’t just keep writing at will, even if you’re in a groove). In other words, if you accidentally sleep in a bit later one morning and can’t start until 7 a.m., you should still start…and still stop at 7:30, because the point is that you still put in your daily writing. You can do it!

  29. KnitChick says:

    This is my second time doing this festival. Though, I did take a couple of years in between. I’m ready to get started!

    I will earn points by writing at least 30 minutes in total a day.

    • elise hayes says:

      Thirty minutes a day is a great goal…because some days you’ll be insanely grateful to stop at 30 minutes on the nose, while other days things will be flowing and you’ll clock in a lot more time…and a lot more words. For me, the 30 minute goal is all about making certain I sit my butt down in the chair daily. Good luck!

  30. Reese Ryan says:

    I also stumbled on the Winter Writing Festival today. The timing is absolutely perfect. So excited to jump in.

    My weekly goals, good for 7 points:

    Write 7000 words per week.
    Participate in sprints 1-3 days per week.

  31. Marcia says:

    My goals are to write at least an hour or more a day and focus on completing the book I am working on by end of March.

    • elise hayes says:

      Yay on the goal of finishing the book! And the great thing about the hour-a-day goal is that often at the end of that hour, you’ll be in the groove and you’ll just keep going. Write on!

  32. Emily Allen says:

    Just got an email. About the Winter Writing Festival and I’m so happy. I haven’t been able to participate in a whike, so I’ll be re-signing up. I can wait ti jum p in tomorrow.

    My goal is 1000 a week.

    Hooe to praticipate in 1-3 sprints a week.

  33. Brenda says:

    This is coming at the perfect time!! I am ready to focus and get this book that’s been living in my head to jump onto some pages!

    My points goals will be:
    1 – Fingers on keyboard for uninterrupted writing one hour a day
    2 – Researching / plotting.

    Plus a bonus for doing 3 sprints a week.

    Thank you for hosting this! I’m so excited!

  34. Elizabeth Thompson says:

    I will earn my daily point by writing 500 words a day including planning, character sketches and so forth.

    I am committed to earning 50 points by March 2nd.

    This is my first year here. I look forward to writing with you.

    • Addison Fox says:

      Wishing you a wonderful WWF, Elizabeth!!! So glad you’ve joined us!


    • Jeannie Lin says:

      Wonderful seeing so many freshman this year! I think we should have some sort of special recognition for first timers….if we don’t have something already.

      Welcome and happy writing!

  35. Pamela Stewart says:

    I will earn my points by writing 500 WAD for 5 days with an average of 2500. I also will deep edit 2 pages at minimum.

    First year virgin, be gentle.

  36. Kate Parker says:

    My goal is to spend 3 hours every day in the chair working madly on my writing. I’ll probably be rewriting for the whole festival, so I thought I’d better make my goal a time one this year.

    Good luck, everyone!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Awesome, Kate!!

      It’s so interesting all the different approaches people are taking….and all with the same productivity goal!

      We will ROCK it!

    • elise hayes says:

      Awesome goal, Kate! I’m hoping it’s the next Georgia Fenchurch book that you’re working on finishing, ’cause I want to read the next installment! Picture me pinning you down in your chair every time you start to think about standing back up… 🙂

  37. elise hayes says:

    I’m still contemplating my goals. The next four months look so insanely ugly with all the work from my day job that I’ve been considering skipping the festival…but I *really* want to write.

    I’ve been seeing some folks set weekly goals, and I think that might work for me. I’m in the revising/editing stage, mostly trying to polish and cut, so I think I might set the goal of cutting 500 words per week, or revising/editing 50 pages per week (whichever I manage to do first, with possible bonus points is I cut more than 500 words in a week)…but my starting point will be next week as this week is one of the crazy ones (so I’m giving myself two weeks–this one and one other–where I can just work on surviving the day job).

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I hear you on the crazy work months coming! (Spring semester is MARGINALLY less crazy for me than Fall, but there is no sane time.)

      And YES, YES, YES!!!! It’s so important to carve out writing time for yourself NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

  38. J. Collette Smith says:

    Perfect timing for this festival and just what I need!

    I’m new here and looking forward to it!

    My points goals:
    1- Deep revising 5 pages per day
    2- Brainstorming new ideas/notes 30 minutes daily
    3- Participating in sprints when time permits

    Thanks 🙂

  39. Teresa says:

    Just ran across this in a post on FB and decided to give it a try. I’m so new, I’m green around the gills! I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, so I’m making my goals teeny-tiny baby steps (hopefully realistic and attainable enough that I won’t quit). No snickering please!
    Here’s my plan:
    -Write 500-1000 words a week.

    -Participate in a sprint.

    -Research/plot/plan 30 minutes a week.

    Ta-da! Looking forward to participating! Thanks for the opportunity!

    • Shea Berkley says:

      LOL Don’t fret. No goals are too big or too small. We are all about supporting what you want to accomplish. We’re just tickled you want to play along. Thanks for joining us!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Hurray for you for diving in!!!

      And we’re all in favor of baby steps! That’s how we all start walking…and running.

      Stick with 500 to 1000 a week, and the pages will start to add up before you know it!

  40. Ursula Renee says:

    This is my first year participating.

    My goals for the next 50 days is:

    -Edit pages a day or
    -Write 1000 words a day.

    I hope to achieve these goals working during my commute in the morning and by participating in the sprints.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Ursula Renee! What a cool goal–to get your word count in on your daily commute!! (Of course, I’m really hoping you take the bus or train and aren’t driving!)

      Good luck! See you in the sprints!

    • Jeannie Lin says:

      Welcome! Working during your commute — that sounds awesome. Having s set time to write every day really helps me with my goals. Good luck!

  41. Dawn says:

    This is my first time participating as well. I’m excited!

    My goal for the next 50 days is:
    — sit myself in a chair & write for 30 uninterrupted minutes.
    – participate in one sprint a week

    I’m desperate to make this a priority.


  42. I just heard about the festival this morning, and have been debating jumping on board all day. This is my year to kick my writing into high gear, though, so I’m going to give it a whirl.

    My goals are:

    -write 500 words
    -edit/revise for a solid hour
    -complete an assignment for my revision class (I’m taking an online workshop in February)

    I’m looking forward to joining in on some sprints!

    • Jaycee! So glad you could join us! Your goals are great as is your attitude. Hope to see you in the sprints!

    • elise hayes says:

      Welcome, Jaycee! You’re going to be so glad you decided to try the festival. It’s worth saying that I didn’t make my goals last year, but I wrote SO MUCH MORE last winter because of the festival than I ever would have without it, that it still felt like winning, even when my day job didn’t always let me get to my story.

      You’re definitely going to get kicked into high gear this winter–write on!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Good for you for jumping in!!!!

      You’ll be glad you did!

  43. Hi Rubies!
    I’m back for Festival after skipping last year, and despite the number of books I now have under my best, I still find challenges like the WWF so helpful! I have a March 15 deadline for a whole book that’s only barely started–so I am truly looking forward to hanging out with the other participants and the sprint leaders!

    My goals are to write 2000 words a day or edit four chapters a day. Cross your fingers!

    Thanks for hosting this–the Rubies rock!

  44. Lilly says:

    So, total newb here ,but I saw Darynda post about this and I just couldn’t help myself. I’ve been toying with writing something for some time now and this feels like the perfect push to get going!
    I’m holding myself accountable for the following:

    -sitting down “butt in chair, hands on keyboard” for 30-60 mins.

    – Research/planning/brainstorming 30-60 mins. a week.

    – Writing a minimum 500 words a day.

    – Editing/revising twice a week for 30 mins.

    Excited to get started! Happy writing everyone! 🙂

  45. Elisa Beatty says:

    With all the craziness of getting the Festival off the ground, I haven’t gotten around to posting my own point system yet!!!

    Okay, here goes:

    -500 words a day OR
    -minimum of 30 minutes writing time a day OR
    -minimum of one writing sprint a day

    I set my goals at a very manageable level, and am hoping to exceed them…..

    I vow to have my 50+ points by March 2!!!!

  46. Elisa Beatty says:

    And if you’re just now joining us, and wondering if it’s too late to join the Festival:


    Remember, we’re all about the flexibility, so hop in whenever you’re ready, and we’ll make you welcome!!

    Have fun, friends!

  47. Well I managed to eek out 600 words today. I’m getting up early tomorrow to get a fresh start. Forgot I signed up for RWA’s Romance 101. Wishing everyone a great start. I’m inspired.

  48. Jeannie Lin says:

    What a crowd! How awesome is that?

    My overall goal is to finish the second book in my Gunpowder series — tentatively titled Clockwork Samurai.

    I’ll be writing 1 chapter a day (10-15 pages) except for Sunday, which I’m leaving to do other little projects and such.

  49. Susan says:

    this is my first year joining in and i can’t wait! i will earn points by:
    1. writing blog posts
    2. writing two chapters a day
    3. taking a break on sundays to rest and reinspire my muse
    4. attend a writing sprint

    here it goes!

  50. Bec Mc says:

    Total newbie here, but I love writing challenges. Nothing inspires me more than ticking goals off my list!

    My points will be earned by:
    – 1500 words a day
    – Hour of deep editing
    – Hour of free writing, brainstorming etc.

    Cheers guys!

  51. Stephanie B. says:

    Alrighty, gonna give this a try. Gonna nail the writing thing this year!

    I can earn points by:

    -writing 1000 words per day OR
    -participating in a daily sprint OR
    -researching/outlining for 1 hour

    Best of luck to everyone!

  52. Hi everyone! 🙂

    I’ll earn points by
    – Writing 1000 words
    – editing for one hour
    – brainstorming/researching for one hour
    – one hour spent working on branding (website or cover design) for my two pen names

    Good luck to all of those participating!

  53. Jennifer says:

    I’m new to the festival, but I love the idea and am excited to start this endeavor with you all!

    My point goals are:

    500 words a day
    3 writing sprints per week
    5 chapters read in a craft book
    30 minutes of uninterrupted writing

  54. Elisa Beatty says:

    Congrats, Festival Goers, on taking the first step towards MASSIVE WINTER WRITING PRODUCTIVITY by signing up for the WWF today!!!

    I’m about to turn in after a long, festive day, but FIRST the really fun part: AWARDING TODAY’S SWAG PRIZES!!!!

    Thanks to the good graces of, I have seven winners, chosen IN THIS ORDER. I will be contact them all by email to arrange claiming their prizes.

    Rashelle R
    Holly Mortimer
    Jill Q

    Congrats, folks!! Be watching for an email from eliseam.

  55. Elisa Beatty says:

    And for anyone joining us on after this message goes up:

    YES!!! You can still join the Festival!! Just leave a comment with your personal system for earning points during the Festival, and GET WRITING!!!

    The more the merrier!

  56. I’ll be earning my points by:

    – Going through one file per day (editing)


    – Writing a minimum of 100 words


    – Attending one sprint

  57. So great to be here! Thanks to all the Rubies for hosting!

    I pledge to
    – sprint for 2 hours daily OR
    – write 2,000 words, revise 10 pages, OR research and outline for 2 hours daily
    – OR take a family day on the weekend

  58. RJ Garside says:

    Hello everyone!
    I’m late posting my goals, but I was so excited to register yesterday! This is such a great motivational tool to keep me on my resolutions to write daily.

    I pledge to:
    – write 750 words a day for the challenge

    I think this is something that I can maintain through the challenge and not burn myself out which NaNo tends to do.

    Thank you for offering this!

    R.J. Garside

  59. Kate Fall says:

    Hi everyone:

    This is such a great idea. I will earn points for:
    — any day I spend my lunch hour writing or outlining
    — any time I participate in a sprint chat
    — attending my crit group meetings

    Now I’m going to register so I can see my progress.


  60. Pam T. says:

    OK, I’m in. 45 minutes, 5 days a week. That’s my goal.

  61. My goals are going to be:
    1, to write 750 words a day


    2. one hour of deep editing

    I stumbled on this and it was just what I needed!

  62. Laurie Logan says:

    I saw an announcement today about this festival and I’m convinced it’s just the thing I need to get back to writing. I’m going to go really basic for my points.

    30 minutes a day on my story – everyday (the plan is to use this time as a springboard to really take off).

    Bonus points for sprints, RWA chapter meetings, reading craft books, or taking writing related classes.


  63. Mia Bishop says:

    I’m in for my second year in a row.

    I will earn points for:
    – writing 500 words a day (or a total of 3,500 a week, because sometimes life with my kids gets out of hand and writing has to take a backseat to doctors appointments and school)
    – join in on sprints at least twice a week
    – deep revisions on my WIP for 30 minutes a day.

  64. I’m SO excited to join you all. I’ll earn one point daily for any combination of the following:

    500 words written
    1 hour pre-writing or brainstorming
    1 hour on business plan, website, or email newsletter
    Day to recharge (Saturday)
    Day of rest (Sunday)

    And… I’m off!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Cheri! We’re delighted you’re here!

      I hope you’ll stop by the Chat Room to try some writing sprints…they really are fantastic way to get writing done.

  65. I’m on sabbatical, I’ve got a plan and I’m IN!!

    I will earn points for any one of the following:
    500 words/day on new manuscript
    2 hours spent on education myself about marketing
    2 hours/day on revisions of a first draft

    Mustn’t linger, must get going! Thanks for creating this!

  66. I’ve registered and logged in, but I don’t see where we update our points to a progress bar. Anyone?


    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Go back in through the Member snowflake on the site. Log-in (which is the top of the two options when you click that snowflake.)

      That should take you to another screen that has all your info that you’ve typed it. Scroll to the BOTTOM of that screen. Type in the total number of points you have each day, and update. Your progress bar will keep scooting ahead in a very satisfying way!

      Let me know if you have any technical trouble.

  67. Melanie Bruce says:

    I pledge to:

    * write at least 500 words per day 6 days per week
    * revise 10 pages every week

    Thanks, I’m excited about joining!

  68. Brenna Ash says:

    I’m a day late, sorry!!

    I pledge to:

    1. Write 500 words a day
    2. 30 minutes of plot work a day

    Good luck everyone!!

  69. Patti Macdonald says:

    Hi Rubies 🙂

    I’m a day late and a zillion words short.

    My goal this year is to get back to writing daily. No big word counts or unreachable promises since I have to settle my mom’s estate, including remodeling and selling her house. Y’all are JUST what I need during these short winter days to keep me moving forward.

    ~Hugs all around~
    Patti 🙂

  70. Well life has been throwing fast balls at me this week but I managed to get 549 new words yesterday. I got up early and made myself get on the computer before work, I typed 494 words before work. Last night while reviewing the Romance 101 class after my meeting, (I have one nearly every night this week-ugh) I knew I only had six more words to make goal so just before midnight I was in her finishing up and had to make myself quit and go to bed so I could get up early this morning and write some more. It may be another late night.

  71. Pamela Mason says:

    So I’m two days late, but I started already, so I’m counting that!
    Yesterday wrote a rough beginning synopsis + 1056 words; now the daily goal is 500 words minimum, with the ultimate goal to complete half of a rough draft of 3500 – 4k by March 2.

    Here I go – wish me luck!

  72. Steefsel says:

    2 days late, i cannot believe it. But I finally managed to make it to the party. Another newby over here but my ruby pumps are eager to get started.

    My goals are:
    – Writing 500 words a (week)day (but I’m hoping to make up for my lost days during this upcoming weekend)
    – Do research on story topics for at least 1 hour
    – Do 20 mins writing sprint
    – Keeping butt in chair and hands on keyboard for at least 2 hrs

    I can make those 50 points by doing just research alone 😉

    So, without further ado, if you’re looking for me, I’m working on adding my first point by doing research.

  73. I’m so glad I signed up for this, I’m pushing myself to write daily, getting up a half hour earlier to have time to write, today I got 731 words. Tomorrow I may miss due to work and other obligations but I’m trying to keep the momentum. I want to finish this novel by the end of the festival. I hope everyone is meeting their goals. Good luck y’all. Sherri

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      That extra half hour in the mornings can work wonders!!

      See if you can sneak half an hour at lunch or something….keeping it a daily habit helps the momentum build.

      You will finish that novel!

      Also, have you been over on the special Winter Writing Festival site? I’m still checking on this post, but there’s also a daily check in down on the Brag Blog if you scroll down just a bit, and that way you can also see how other people are doing. It’s

  74. I’m late to the party… but I’M IN!!

    I have to finish the edits on one manuscript before the end of March, so that’s what all my efforts will be towards. I plan to join as many sprints as I can manage.

  75. I didn’t get anything done today but I did get 781 yesterday. It’s been a hectic week but if I can do it this week I can do it anytime. I’d like to make this a permanent goal. Thank you for the push or kick in the butt. I needed it.

  76. Darcy says:

    This is my first Ruby Winter Writing Festival! So excited to be here. And just what I need to help kick-start a new year. 🙂

    My goals are:

    – Write 500 words a day (at least 6 days a week)
    – Participate in 20 minute sprints
    – Spend at least 1 hour a day, EVERY day, with wip, (new words or editing or research)

  77. I am so impressed with everyone’s dedication and I am inspired. I had a bit of rough week missed Thursday due to work and other obligations but managed to get a total of 1029 for Friday and Saturday and did 20 pages of edits.

    We are all busy people with more in our lives than just writing but it is so great to see everyone tackling their own hurdles and reaching their goals. I think the true success is making this commitment. Whether we make all of our goals or part of them, we’ll have come farther just by pushing ourselves.

    Thank you for this program.

  78. This is awesome! Thank you for putting this together! This is me diving in late because I’m late for everything. 🙁

    My goals are:
    -write at least 200 words M-F
    -write at least 1000 words Saturday and Sunday
    -finish this WIP by March!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Welcome, Lindsey!

      And, you know, the point system is VERY flexible. You can add “7 points for finding the Festival, even if it was a week late” to your point-earning menu, and start fresh RIGHT NOW!!!

      Go, go, go! We’re delighted to have you on board!

  79. kjustk says:

    I’m going to tag onto Lindsey’s comment above, because I am learning about this today and am making a commitment. I am scared (read terrified), because this is my first time making a commitment to finish a book. So my points:

    – write for 30 minutes a day at least four times a week.
    – find out what a sprint is and participate at least two times.
    – finish this work (at least a solid draft form) by March.

    I am doing well by having the first part reviewed by a friend who is a published author (I won’t divulge her name unless she wants me to – but she is fantabulous!) and she has motivated me to write, to finish, and to follow this site!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      How awesome!!! Finishing your first book is a scary process, but YOU CAN DO IT!!! Glad you found us!

      Check in next Monday and let us know how you’re doing (and you can also check in daily at our special Festival site,, which is also where you can find the chat room for our writing sprints, which just shouldn’t be missed!)


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