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Year of Writing: A 2018 Writing Challenge

2017 is about to end, 2018 is yet to begin, and we wait anxiously to welcome the New Year with hopeful excitement for the endless possibilities, experiences, and accomplishments the following 365 will bring to our lives. We look back at the past 12 months: the memories we’ll treasure forever, the obstacles we’ve overcome, and the successes we’ve celebrated. In this retrospective reverie, our future becomes clearer: we’ve come this far throughout 2017, how much farther would we like to go in 2018?

New Year’s resolutions are a subject of much debate. Admittedly, we won’t magically become someone completely different when the clock strikes midnight and we take the first breaths in the new year, nor will our resolutions bear much fruit if we don’t put in the effort to uphold them. Regardless, for writers and readers, New Year’s resolutions can be powerful tools to help us assess our current bookish habits, decide what we want to accomplish throughout the year, and keep us focused on our goals.

This 2018, we challenge you to undertake Books & Quills Magazine’s Year of Writing Challenge.

Without further ado, we present this year’s challenge!

Year of Writing (“YoW!”)

The pen is mightier than the sword, and you, the protagonist of your life, have been sent on a journey to wield the mightiest weapon and make your mark among the literary wizards of the world.

Quests

It is your solemn duty to complete the following quests:

    1. Hero’s Quest – Every hero has their own agenda. What’s yours? By the end of your journey, on December 31st, 2018, what literary accomplishment would you like to have completed? Perhaps you plan writing the first edited draft of one book (or two). Perhaps you’d like to start blogging regularly and have 365 published posts by the end of the year. The choice is yours! Whatever it is, it should be a huge undertaking which will last you throughout 2018.
    2. Wizard’s Quests – The Wizards of Haven need your help. Every month, to be exact! Each month, a new monthly challenge will be presented to all participants. Use these monthly sub-challenges to work towards the completion of your Hero’s Quest. Consider these your “side quests.”
    3. Main Quest – In order to become a true “Epic Questor,” you must undertake each of the 12 Wizard’s Quests and successfully complete at least 6 of the 12. With your loyalty and determination, you will become the most renown Epic Hero in all the Literary Land!

Wizard’s Quest

Jumpstart January – Plan / Edit

It’s time to start our literary journeys for the year! Let’s focus on preparing for the coming months by fixing up an existing project or taking the first steps of a new journey.

Sample Goals:

  • Outline the plot for a new novel
  • Edit a Work-in-Progress (WIP)

Flash Fiction February – Write

This month, work on writing all sorts of things using flash fiction! We’ve got a surprise to help you out, don’t worry!

Sample Goals:

  • Write 4 short stories in the month

Miracle March – Edit

You’ve had a month to prepare and a month to write, now it’s time to turn what you have so far into a true gem like the miracle-worker you are.

Sample Goals:

  • Complete the first edited draft of a WIP

April’s Camp NaNoWriMo – Write

It’s time for April’s writing getaway. Pack your bags and work hard during Camp!

Sample Goals:

  • Write 25,000 words of novel-writing
  • Write a 100-page screenplay

Mapping May – Plan

Every story needs a world, and most worlds do have some form of a map. Spend this month preparing the scene and drawing your maps! Get ready to know the ways (around) the world!

Sample Goals:

  • Create a major world map with names of at least 5 towns
  • Complete the 30-Day Worldbuilding Challenge

June Journaling – Write/Plan

A journal can be a great way to get to know the world around you and yourself! Use that fact and start working on a journal- whether it’s for you or your characters!

Sample Goals:

  • Write a personal journal entry every day
  • Use a bullet journal to plan your next novel-writing steps and keep relevant notes and information

July’s Camp NaNoWriMo – Write

Get ready to head back into the wild, it’s time for Camp, summer edition!

Sample Goals:

  • Write 25,000 words of novel in the month
  • Write 50,000 words and treat it like NaNoWriMo

Ambitious August – Edit

So far, you’ve had three months to write, a month to prepare in between- but with all those words, it’s gonna take a lot of ambition to edit it all! Work hard, hero! Persevere!

Sample Goals:

  • Edit ⅔ of WIP
  • Edit 2 WIPs.

Systematic September – Plan

Every story has a system or five. Whether it’s language or beliefs, the laws of the land, or something else entirely… It’s time to figure out those systems and prepare them for the journey’s greatest challenge to come!

Sample Goals:

  • Set up languages for two species/locations
  • Set up the belief system of the people of YoW

October Odds-n-Ends  – Plan

If you’re working on the great challenge of Chronicling the journey of YOW!, now’s the time to bring the odds and ends together and tie any loose strings. No matter what you’re working on, find the holes and prepare to fill them! It’s time for the odds to even out!

Sample Goals:

  • Finish 3 character sheets for secondary characters
  • Organize all notes for story
  • Decorate your notebook for your novel

NaNoWriMo – Write

Your greatest challenge in the literary world, it’s time to cram a novel in a single month. Don’t forget you’re not alone- you have allies at your side, and have much equipment from your preparations. Use them wisely and flourish!

Sample Goals:

  • Write 50,000 word novel

Drop-It December

You’ve worked hard and the year’s nearly up. It’s time to take the breather you deserve and look back on your accomplishments, Hero! Whatever you do, don’t touch your NaNovel! Stay far away from it….for now!

Sample Goals:

  • Start reading all the books you bought but haven’t gotten to read yet from writing all year
  • Find 3 new musicians to enjoy
  • Start writing a new WIP that came to mind this year that you haven’t started yet because of concentrating

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

It’s dangerous to go alone. As you face the perils of literature, find refuge in our Writer’s Haven, where wizards, pirates, questors, and–of course–writers from all over the world form a virtual community of support and shenanigans. We write together, give each other advice, share useful information, laugh together, watch movies together, and build an unending wealth of memories.

You are more than welcome to participate on your own, but why not participate surrounded by the support and shenanigans of an entire community? Our Writer’s Haven Discord Server, an online community of writers from around the world, will spend this upcoming 2018 participating in “YoW!” and it’s monthly challenges.

The portal to Writer’s Haven can be accessed by simply clicking this link: http://baqm.co/WritersHaven

Spotlights

Questors who join our Writer’s Haven and participate in “YoW!” alongside our virtual community will have the chance to earn the opportunity to be featured in our literary magazine, social media, or articles. Keep an eye out for these opportunities in our Writer’s Haven!

Chronicles of “YoW!”: Birth of a Legend

Join the story and help write ours with our special YoW contest! Join the adventure and pave your way to literary greatness!

Contest:
Write an original work of fiction based on the world and characters of the Chronicles of “Yow!” …. which you get to create!

Eligibility:
Must join “YoW!” in our Writer’s Haven by January 20th

Deadline:
Midnight on Halloween, PDT GMT-7

Rules:
-Minimum 5,000 words; Maximum 25,000 words

How to Win:
Entries will be read in November and winners will be chosen in December. The winner of our Chronicles of “YoW!” Contest will be featured on our site. Their winning entry will be published in our Literary Magazine. The winning author will also receive a permanent “Chronicler of YoW!” role in our server.

Haven “YoW!” Events

Havenians will be questing and writing year-round. We’ll have a month-long writing competition, as well as several 24-hour competitions throughout the year. The details are a surprise (no spoilers!), but the basic premise is that participants will be split up into two teams. Both teams will compete against each other throughout a set timeframe during which all participants will try to write as much as possible.

We also have a few participation and achievement roles for members who are participating in “YoW!” within our Writer’s Haven:

Participation

Saga Questor
–Joined “YoW!” by Jan 20th

Questor
–Participant Joined “YoW!” after Jan 20th

Achievement

Epic Questor
–Prerequisites: Saga Questor
–Permanent Role
–Complete the Main Quest for “YoW!”

Chronicler of “YoW!
–Prerequisites: Saga Questor
–Permanent Role
–Win the Chronicles of “YoW!” Contest


which wizard’s quest you most look forward to? let us know in the comments! happy writing! 

Features

Weaving the Words

I spent an evening with a friend tonight–one I haven’t seen in years but have kept in tenuous contact through the wonder of Facebook. We shared a glass of wine and caught up with all the things that we couldn’t share online.

She knows, and probably always knew, that I’m a writer by trade and while talk would soon turn to that, what we talked about tonight was the reason for my visit–weaving. Yes, the same type of weaving that is used to create fabric. Only, instead of it being about fabric swatches from a large supplier and from a factory, Jo is an actual weaver. She has a few looms of her own that sit in her home. Some of them are portable (she loaned me one tonight) and others not so portable.