First: Thank you.
Thank you for being part of this wonderful community of writers: writing for the joy of being creative, writing for the love of the short story, writing because we just can’t help ourselves!
2014 was the fifth year of StoryADay and you helped make it a doozy.
StoryADay 2014 In Review
This time last year we were a pretty big writing army.
This year, there is a full 33% increase in the number of people who have joined our movement. Thank you and keep spreading the word. The bigger our tribe, the more peer pressure we have to stick to our goals! There are well over 1000 writers routinely hanging out and taking part in challenges at StoryADay now. Wow.
Yeah, Neil Gaiman gave us a writing prompt to kick off StoryADay May this year. Neil Gaiman.
Also: we had guest prompts from the lovely and talented:
- Heidi Durrow, NYT-bestselling author of the The Girl Who Fell From The Sky
- Therese Walsh, novelist and founder of WriterUnboxed.com
- Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo-award winning writer, novelist and co-host of the Writing Excuses podcast.
- Debbie Ridpath Ohi, writer and illustrator (most recently of the new edition of Judy Blume’s books)
- Elizabeth Spann Craig, mystery writer and blogger supreme
- Charlotte Rains Dixon, writer and host of the wonderful Wordstrumpet blog (she hosts writing retreats in the South of France. Check it out!)
- Gabriela Pereira, host of the marvelous DIYMFA site
- Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, co-authors of The Emotion Thesaurus series of writing guidebooks and hosts of Writers Helping Writers[1. Amazon links on this page are affiliate links]
After the party in May was over, people wanted to stay connected, to keep each other honest, to support each other, and I couldn’t have been happier. So, I launched the monthly (and sardonically-named) Serious Writers’ Group (SWAGr).
On the first of each month you’re invited to come to the blog, post your achievements for the past month, goals for the next, and support for your fellow writers. It helps. You should try it.
SPREADING THE WORD
I was fortunate enough to be asked to talk about creativity and short stories at a number of venues this year (WANACon, DIYMFA‘s online conference, and the Main Line Writers Group).
I love getting together with writers and talking about what I’ve learned about creativity since I started writing a StoryADay In May back in 2010. Maybe I’ll turn up in your neck of the woods this year and we can hang out?
If you know of conferences or events you’d like to see me, drop me a line or, better yet, tell the organizers why you think I’d be a good guest.
TUESDAY READING ROOM AND WRITE ON WEDNESDAY
Every Tuesday and Wednesday here at StoryADay.org I bring you regular features:
Tuesday Reading Room, is a weekly review of a short story I’ve read and my thoughts about it, from a writers’ point of view. Reading short stories is a wonderful way to warm up your brain and loosen up your creative muscles. The Tuesday Reading Room aims to provide you with a reading list of sorts, if you’re having trouble deciding where to start.
If you would like to submit a review of a short story for the Reading Room, submit it here.
Write On Wednesday is a weekly writing prompt, designed to keep you writing even when you don’t have a clue what to write about.
For extra credit, write the story within 24 hours, post it in the comments (understanding that doing so means your story has been ‘published’ and may not be eligible for publication elsewhere). This is a wonderful way to share your work with other writers. It’s not a contest, but an exercise in quick creativity.
If you’d like to submit a writing prompt, do so here.
COURSES, WORKBOOKS AND CONSULTING
I’m not going to lie to you, running StoryADay is not free. There’s hosting fees ($300 a year or so), domain registrations, technical support services for when the glitches get too much for me, fees for cloud storage, photo hosting etc etc etc. And my time.
So, although participation in StoryADay May will always remain free, I also offer courses and workbooks, the collected StoryADay May 2014 Writing Prompts ebook, and some consulting services. You’ll occasionally see emails from me about Things You Can Buy to support StoryADay, but if you ever feel I’m leaning too heavily on the commercial side, let me know. Just reply to any email from me and tell me what you need.
As I plan for 2015, and StoryADay continues to grow, I’m thinking about other options to keep the budget ticking over here. Ideas include sponsorship, partnering with larger organizations, taking donations, offering premium content for a fee (though I don’t love that idea), and developing new courses and workbooks. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you would value/hate/love.
OTHER WAYS TO GET A LITTLE StADa IN YOUR LIFE
Don’t forget you can follow writing news and blogs by following StoryADay on Twitter @storyadaymay
I post quotes from writers and writing craft articles/books at Tumblr
Get short story recommendations from our sister site: ShortStoryMonth.com (which is looking for volunteers to help update listings, gather review copies of upcoming short story collections, etc. Let me know if you’re interested!)
Apart from the Write on Wednesday challenges and the 2015 StoryADay May, what are you planning to write this coming year?
Lots and lots of short stories? A novel? Blogs?
If you could use the support of your community to keep you honest while you try to reach your goals, check back in tomorrow for the very first Serious Writers’ Group Check In of 2015.
Happy New Year And All The Best For You And Your Writing In 2015!!!!