I stole this info directly from the Opening Ceremony post at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood site (although the photos disappeared en route).  If you need a boot in the butt to get your writing on track or just want some encouragement through the Dark Ages of winter, this is for you.  Add swag and a chance to win a $250 Gift Card (of your choice), and what’s not to love?


The 2014 Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival OPENING CEREMONIES!!

We now declare the Fourth Annual Winter Writing Festival OPEN! Let the Games begin!!

To get your BONUS point for today, add a comment on the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) in which you:

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


2) declare your commitment to earning 50 points by the end of February. (Further details on goal-setting follow below).

That’s all you really need to do–we’re a pretty casual bunch around here. (Leaving a comment today 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 give out in random drawings every Friday from now until the end of February!!)

This year we’re also offering a GRAND PRIZE!! A $250 gift card to the online merchant of your choice–and we’d like to point out to those planning to attend RWA Nationals that we can give it to you in the form of a gift card to Marriott Hotels or the airline of your choice!

To be entered in the random drawing for the Grand Prize, you just need to:

a) check in every Friday during the Festival on rubyslipperedsisterhood.com

b) confirm on the final check-in on February 28 that you met your 50-point goal!



To get the most from the Winter Writing Festival, leave your comment today on rubyslipperedsisterhood.com, then jump over to our special Festival site, rsswwf.com, 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!)


The very BEST thing about the rsswwf.com site, though, 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 rsswwf.com site (right under “Sprint Schedule), and you’ll jump to the chat. Give yourself a name, 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, 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 run non-stop from 9a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Jump in anytime!!!


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.  (You can also find the Participant badge in the About section of the Writing Festival site.)

You can also check in daily at the Brag Blog (scroll down towards the bottom of the rsswwf.com 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 Friday 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:

1) An autographed copy of Last Chance Book Club by Hope Ramsay (USA ONLY)

2) A Ruby Slipper wine Topper and $25.00 gift certificate to wine.com by Liz Talley

3) An autographed copy of Seized By Darkness by Autumn Jordon (USA ONLY)

4) A $10.00 Amazon gift certificate from Shea Berkley.

5)A Kindle copy of Romanced By The Redneck by Lindsey Brookes.

6) A $15.00 Starbucks gift certificate from Rita Henuber.

7) A first chapter critique (any genre-25 pages) by Tamara Hogan

What’s not to love? (Our thanks to mega-talented Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of bemispromotions.com 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.

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.

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 Friday during the Festival to report your progress (and be entered in random drawings for some of the Festival Swag and to build up eligibility for the Grand Prize).

If you reach the end of February with a nice round 50 points, YOU WIN!!

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

Good luck all, and GET WRITING!!

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