It’s the Week One Check-In for the 2019 Winter Writing Festival!!

The Ninth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is fabulously under way, with the Ruby Sisters and dozens of their always-talented friends writing their hearts out!

Yesterday we completed our FIRST FULL WEEK, so today it’s time to officially check in!

If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), jump on over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog ( the ruby-colored site, at and leave a quick comment about your experience with the Festival and your progress so far. That will put you in the running to win some of today’s Check-In prizes!!!! (See info on SWAG you could win, below!!)

A few bits of business before we move on:


A reminder to those who haven’t jumped in with the writing sprints yet: our Chat Room is open over at the site. The sprints have helped MANY Festival participants make amazing progress! You don’t have to be in first-draft mode either: the sprints work just as well if you’re in the planning or revision stages too. It’s just a great way to get butt-in-chair and stay focused for whatever chunk of time you want to stay for!

If you’re still unsure, or feeling a little shy, check out Kim Law’s really helpful post about how the sprints work right here.

2. We’re at EIGHT POINTS! (That’s where you should be at the end of the day today if you earned all the points you were supposed to this week. You should have nine points if you got the bonus for signing in on the first day! And some of you have been heaping up extra points–so if you’re ahead of that already, good for you!)

If you earned all your points for the week, please add a line in your comment in all caps saying I MADE MY GOAL!!! You will hear us cheering loudly!!!

If you’re a bit behind, NO WORRIES!! You can  always double up on later dates, OR revise your point-earning system if your original was a tad too ambitious. Really, seriously, it’s 100% okay to say, “I need to change my goals” or “I need to add in a less-hefty way to earn a point for my toughest days.”

The point is to KEEP WORKING and MAKE PROGRESS!! We can’t say it enough: the Festival is designed for YOU!

3. Git yer red-hot Festival Participant Badge right here:

If you didn’t get your badge up on your personal website yet, you can grab a copy right now.  Just right-click on the badge below, choose “SAVE IMAGE AS” and save it to your computer. You can then upload it to your own website as you please, or show your commitment on the social media of your choice!

4. Is it too late to join??? NEVER TOO LATE!!!

If you’re just discovering us, or if you’ve got friends burning with jealousy because they’ve heard of all of the progress you’ve made in the Writing Sprints, tell them to jump right in!! They can give themselves Super Bonus Golden Sunshine Points (or some less embarrassing name, if they prefer) to make up for any days they’ve missed so far, and move forward from there.

Want to invite friends? Feel free to borrow the image below to post on Facebook or Twitter:


Any participant who leaves a comment today will be entered in a random drawing for prizes, which include:

An ebook copy of THE DEVIL MAY CARE by Lara Archer, plus a $25 Amazon gift card

A print or ebook (winners choice) of Tammi LaBrecque’s NEWSLETTER NINJA, from Rita Nominee Kim Law

A Critique by two-time Rita Nominee Lizzie Shane of your first chapter and synopsis

Let us know how your week went!! We’re eager to celebrate with you!

51 responses to “It’s the Week One Check-In for the 2019 Winter Writing Festival!!”

  1. Rebekah Simmers says:

    Haven’t had a chance to check back in here this week but I’m happy to say I made my goals. My goals are writing some new and editing some “old” every day and I’ve been able to rock that. Not worrying about how long I’m in the seat each day – just getting there is the goal. Some days have been 30 min, others were a few hours. Yay!

  2. Susan Craig says:

    This has been a fantastic productive week!!! My goal was to write 500 words a day or edit, market, or learn craft for an hour. Most days I’ve accomplished much more than needed to meet goal. And SPRINTS ROCK!


  3. Melanie Macek says:


    I’m so thankful for the Rubies doing this. I participated in I think 4 of the sprints. They’ve not been as filled up as previous years, but it’s still nice to chat with other writers. My goal was 2500 words a week and I got 2682. The biggest accomplishment though was I wrote EVERY day!! Haven’t done that in over two years. So, yeah, I’m a bit excited to be a part of this year’s festival.

  4. Audely B says:

    I hit my goal! I’m very proud of this because it turned in to the kind of week where every day was a 10 hour day at the day job.

    I ended up changing my point system because I realized that editing and outlining are two very different tasks and they shouldn’t have the same reward (especially when I LOVE to outline and don’t quite feel the same about editing). So now I’m giving myself 1 point for outlining for an hour, 1 point for editing for 30 minutes, 1/4 of a point for making the 5 am writing club, and 1 point for 1000 new words.

    I’m at 9.25 points right now and hoping to move out of the outlining stage soon!

  5. Liz Talley says:

    So I am a week late to sign up. That’s okay, right? Last week was crazy busy and I just never sat down to firm up my goals for the WWF. So I didn’t make my goal cause I had none. But now I do. Here are my goals:

    Write 2k each week/edit 10k
    In order to
    Revise Montlake book
    Complete novella for FFTH project

    Congrats on those hitting goals. Off to work on achieving mine!

  6. Didn’t make my goal – I only got four points – but I DID get my edits and I have gotten started on them so I’m feeling very good about progress moving into next week. Let’s do this!

  7. Michelle Orloff says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! This rewrite has been painful, but setting a goal of time spent vs. word/chapter count has kept me moving forward. One of these days, things are going to click, and it’ll get easier (I hope).

  8. Lenee Anderson says:

    Doing well. Wrote everyday but yesterday but I’m cutting myself some slack for that because I flew for the first time and there was just no point at all in which I could write while I was desperately clinging to the arm rest, breathing heavily and imagining the dozens of things that could go wrong in the air resulting in my untimely death. As an odd outcome, I wondered if anyone had ever written a mystery about a pilot or flight attendant solving a murder on a plane. Would make a great closed door mystery.

  9. Marin McGinnis says:

    I did make my point goal, but I didn’t write everyday, so I didn’t make that goal. Here’s hoping week 2 is more productive!

  10. Kara A McLeod says:


    I definitely needed “to add in a less-hefty way to earn a point for my toughest days.” (I was a little too ambitious on the outset.) But I did that and progress is being made. Thank goodness for the WWF! Thank you everyone!!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Awesome, Kara!!

      I think having the wisdom to adjust goals is a huge strength!!

      Yes, we want to shoot for the stars, but we don’t want to set goals so high we end up giving up entirely.

      Slow and steady is good sometimes, too. (I know that’s what it’s got to be for me this WWF.)

  11. Debbie says:

    I didn’t make my goal. I only made it about a quarter of the way. So I gave myself 2 points. And I get the point for checking in the first day. So I’ve got lots of points to make up for in the coming weeks.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      OR, if there’s a clear reason why your original goals weren’t a good fit for your life right now, ADJUST them so you’re able to feel good about your progress and KEEP GOING.

      You can do this!!

  12. I haven’t made it to any sprints, but I did make my goal. GH entries sent, CP crits done, query list finalized, and a few new words in.
    Here’s hoping next week sees more words now that the “housekeeping” is done.

  13. Elisa Beatty says:

    So, I MADE MY GOAL!!

    Yeah, I set the bar really low: two sprints a week would get me all my points. BUT THAT WAS THE FIRST WRITING I’D DONE SINCE THE SEMESTER STARTED, so it was FABULOUS!!

    My 14-year-old is still exhausting (soooo tired of the struggle to get him through his schoolwork every night….I won’t do that Facebook #tenyearschallenge because he has single-handedly aged me 10 years just since he started high school). But at least now I’m carving out a little creative time for myself. So that’s a win!

  14. Meghan Bennett says:


    I’ve been stuck for about a month trying to figure what to do with my character. This week, I’ve spent a lot of my time brainstorming and outlining. Now my character has somewhere to go.

  15. Debbie says:

    Making progress toward my goals. So glad to be here. Thank you for organizing this each year.

  16. Brenda Lowder says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! I’ve been writing and editing like crazy! This week has been super productive despite a three-day migraine and my husband home because of the government shutdown. Yay for the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Challenge!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Hurray, Brenda!!

      And so sorry you’re getting hit by the shutdown! We’re all hoping it’s resolved SOON and our government employees get their paychecks. It’s so awful this is happening to you and to so many other families.

  17. Krystal Hernandez says:

    I set out to write at least 1400 words a week (baby steps because my life is chaos), and I find it exhausting but extremely satisfying to meet that goal. I also revised & edited 3 chapters and redid a character backstory. You have to follow where the character is taking you! Thanks Rubies!!

  18. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Failed miserably….but in my defense have been in the throes of selling my house & moving he**. So glad we have “make-up” time!

  19. Hywela Lyn says:

    Sorry – all behind like a horse’s tail again! BUT – I MADE MY GOAL. Yesterday (Thursday) was a no-pointer, because I was out all day and had my critique group meeting in the evening, but during the rest of the week I edited my WIP every day, wrote some new scenes, and attended some sprints (althoguh not as many as I’d have liked). It’s all progress and more thn4se

  20. Hywela Lyn says:

    Oops – not sure what happened there – I meant to say ….'(although not as many as I’d have liked) It’s all progress and more than I’ve done for several months. Thanks Rubies.

  21. Elisa Beatty says:

    And our swag winners this week are:

    Susan Craig
    Meghan Bennett
    Brenda Lowder

    I’ll be in touch!


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