Friday, April 10, 2009

FaithWriters Writing Challenge

OK, so I actually got in a Challenge Entry this week. Woot!

Last quarter, the theme was geographical locations - You know, like Asia, Africa, India, Australia...hey, anyone who knows me is aware that the only topic from last quarter that I would have been qualified to enter was The United States. And even that would have been iffy. Geography is definitely not my thing.

Besides that, I was uber-busy. Yeah, that's it.

So, after taking more than a quarter off, which adds up to over three months, I took a look at the topic last week and immediately got an idea. I wrote and entered it in under an hour. I really like it, too, which means there goes my chance of placing in the top ten. That's usually how it goes anyway. :-)

But that's ok! It felt good to hit that submit button.

So for those of you who aren't familiar with the FaithWriters Weekly Writing Challenge, it is the most popular feature of FaithWriters. It is completely free to enter and does wonders in honing your writing skills by allowing you to experiment with different styles and genres. It also disciplines you to write to a topic, a deadline, and a word-count (150-750). Getting feedback from other members is just the icing on the chocolate brownie.

The top ten winners each week go on to be published in the FaithWriters quarterly anthologies. So far, there have been 11 books published. Due to some changes we're making with the publication of these antholigies, we're a few books behind but hope to get caught up in the next year or two. Check out previously published books here: CHALLENGE BOOKS

Oh...and you can even win cash! All forty #1 entries from the year (July to July) are judged for the title of Best of the Best (or BoB, as we like to call it). The top three winners receive a nice cash prize. How cool is that? Despite placing over 40 times in the top ten, including a few #1's, I have never won this coveted title. But I'm determined to win it one of these days! I have had the privilege of interviewing the winners, though, which was fun. Here's a link to those if you'd like to take a peek: BEST OF THE BEST WINNERS


Anyway, here's how The Weekly Writing Challenge works (taken from the FaithWriters site):

HOW IT WORKS

1. You may not use a previously written, published, or copyrighted work in the writing challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to write on the topic chosen and not to use a previously written piece.

2. Members, SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY to this week's challenge by clicking the orange SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY button. The challenge is to write an article about the topic for the week and your entry MUST be between 150 to 750 words MAX. You can now choose a level of entry. Level 1 – Beginner, Level 2 – Intermediate, Level 3 – Advanced, and Level 4 - Masters. Please choose the most appropriate level for your writing ability. REMEMBER, you will not see your entry displayed until the challenge week is up. Then your entry will be displayed along with all other entries where they can be read and commented on for one week. YOU CAN SUBMIT ONE ENTRY PER WEEK.

3. READ entries from the previous week. You can also leave comments and critiques on the entries of all members.

4. Once the submission week has ended, a new topic will be added and the previous week's entries will be displayed to read and make comments.

5. Each week, a new topic will be added for submission, the previous week's entries will be displayed for READING and COMMENTS, and the entries that were being read and commented on for the week will be tallied and 5 winners from each level will be chosen by our rotating panel of judges. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 2 Highly commended entries will be chosen. There are now 15 winners EACH WEEK!

6. A rotating panel of judges will be looking for their top 10 entries each week. These entries will be considered the EDITOR'S CHOICE and will be used in our quarterly book. EDITOR'S CHOICE winners will also be eligible for the yearly "BEST OF THE BEST" Grand Prize Winners! These winners will be chosen by our panel of judges from all of the EDITOR'S CHOICE winners throughout the year. First place will win $300.00, Second place will win $100.00, and Third place will win $75.00. Winners will be announced July 1st of each year.

7. Members can also leave comments on each article. Click the link "LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE" to leave your feedback to the author of any article.

8. READ PREVIOUS writing challenges in the challenge archives.

I highly encourage you to check it out. As Mikey used to say (for those of us old enough to remember)...Try it, you'll like it!

Or, in this case, you'll get ADDICTED to it! But this is one addiction that is allowed.

Ready to enter? Click here: THE CHALLENGE

6 comments:

Joanne Sher said...

LOVE the challenge. It improved my writing IMMENSELY since I started. And MY goal is to QUALIFY for BoB some day (nope, haven't placed first yet!).

Thanks for doing this FW "series" here.

Jan Cline said...

I entered the "Up and Down" challenge - my first one. Is that the one you entered? I will look for your story. I am a bit confused as to when they announce the top 10 and where. Shouldnt they have come out yesterday? Anyway, you are right...I can see how this could get addicting!

Lynda Schab said...

Yes, Jan, that is the topic I entered. It is a little confusing at first, but here's what happens:
When the topic was announced last Thursday, judges were judging as the entries came in. Because some members wait until the last minute to enter (they have until 8:59 AM on the following Thursday), it is impossible for the judges to rate them, get all the scores to the contest coordinator and have those scores tallied and the winners posted. So the winners aren't actually announced until two weeks after the topic is posted. Here's a rundown:

Week 1 (Thursday)- Topic is posted

Week 2 - New topic is posted, previous week's topic entries go "live" for reading and commenting.

Week 3: New topic is posted, entries from previous week go "live", winners from week 1 are announced.

And so on...

Hopefully this makes sense. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Don't forget, all of the winners are posted on the message boards, along with the top 40, overall, so you can see how well you did. :-)

Dara said...

I was actually able to enter an entry last quarter for USA. I really wanted to submit one for Asia, but I couldn't think of anything that wasn't related to my current novel :P

LauraLee Shaw said...

I entered only once in the country challenges, mainly because I was too busy. But I entered (along with everyone else lol) the up and down challenge. Writing for the challenge not ONLY keeps my writing skills fresh and improving, but it also gives me material for my writing ministry. Love it, Lynda.

Angela said...

Thank you so much for posting about this. I recently joined Faith Writers, but have nbot taken the challenge yet...