Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Writing Challenge: The 100 for 100 is back!

Stephanie Morrill is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com and the author of several young adult novels, including the historical mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, which releases in February 2017. Despite loving cloche hats and drop-waist dresses, Stephanie would have been a terrible flapper because she can’t do the Charleston and looks awful with bobbed hair. She and her near-constant ponytail live in Kansas City with her husband and three kids. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website.

Of all the events we've done on Go Teen Writers, none has been quite as popular as the 100 for 100 challenge.

If you haven't played along before, the challenge is to write (at least) 100 words a day, every day, for 100 days.

100 words is about a paragraph. You can likely do it in 10 minutes or less. Already, this post is 64 words long. So while it might seem like just a drop in the bucket, all those drops add up to 10.000 words in your manuscript by the end of the 100 days. And that's if you do the bare minimum! Not bad, right?

This writing challenge is open to writers of all ages! Here's how the challenge works:

1. You sign up on the form below saying, "Yes, I want to write 100 words for the next 100 days." You must be signed up by the end of June 1st if you want to play along. If you live in a place where our June 1st is your June 2nd, do whatever feels easiest for you. Either start on June 1st in your time zone or in ours.

2. Beginning on Wednesday, June 1st you write 100 words on the project of your choice. You must pick one project to work on for the 100-for-100 challenge. Only words for that that project count towards your daily words. Here are the exceptions:
  • If you finish your project. Hooray for finishing projects! If this happens, tell us so we can celebrate, and then pick something else to work on.
  • If you and your project part ways. This happened to me one year. The 100-for-100 coincided with a writers conference, and I pitched my 100-for-100 book to an editor at the conference. She told me they already had a book in the pipeline that was basically the same concept. And that was probably the last time I ever opened that manuscript file...
3. You write 100 words a day everyday until September 8th, and you keep track of it. At the end of the challenge, you'll send me your tracking sheet. Here's a link to one we've made, but you don't have to use this one. (This link will give you access to view it but not make changes. You can hopefully print it out or download it. If you're having trouble with it, let me know.) Somehow, though, you need to keep track of how many words you've written so that I can see. A few notes about your words:
  • You are allowed one "grace day" per week (sometimes life happens, plus many people take a day off a week for religious reasons and we want to respect that), and one "grace week" per contest. So if one week you only write 300 words, you just count up what you have, and press on.
  • You can write more than 100 words each day if you like. Most people find they do. But you can't write 700 words on Monday and nothing the rest of the week and still participate in the challenge. The idea is to develop a writing discipline. So some days you might write 1,000 words and others you might barely get in your 100.
4. When the challenge is over, you send me your form. Then three things happen:
  • You get my admiration and respect. I have actually never made it all the way to the end. I'm hoping this is my moment!
  • You get entered for prizes! Books and gift cards and critiques all sorts of fun writerly things that you'll like.
  • We post your name on a list on the website as someone who totally rocks. We also do fun competitions between the age groups to see who was the most productive. It's a lot of fun!
Some helpful tips:

Lydia Howe is a 100-for-100 challenge success story and she was wonderful enough to write a post several years about how she developed the discipline to write every day.

If you're looking for a community to do this with, the Go Teen Writers Community Facebook group is a fabulous place. Elizabeth Liberty Lewis, Lily Jenness, and Bethany Baldwin have been our moderators for almost a year now, and they do a lovely job. They're very careful about who has access to the group, so if you want to join, give them a head's up: GoTeenWritersCommunity(at)gmail.com.

We're planning several word wars on the blog this summer. The tentative dates are June 13th-June 17th and August 8th-12th. That can be a great chance to rack up words and make friends!

Have questions? Leave them in the comments below, and I'll get them answered!









52 comments:

  1. I just entered! I'm so excited for this challenge! Thank you so much for having it! I hope I make it all the way through.

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  2. Can we take a photo of out log and send it via email?
    I'm so excited for this. I can definitely do it

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  3. Two questions:
    1. Would another exception to the "Same project whole time" be if you're doing a NaNoWriMo event? Even though you seem to be doing the event early this year, Camp NaNoWriMo still occurs right smack-dab in the middle of it.
    2. Does rewriting count, or does this have to be a completely original project? (I could up the required count-per-day while I was rewriting, if that helps.)

    I'll still probably do this, whatever the answer ends up being; I'm just checking so I can figure out exactly what I'll be working on.

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  4. I do have a couple questions:
    1. Would an exception to the 'same project the whole time' be if one story just isn't working out, and starting a new one would probably be the best idea?
    2. Are we to email you every week with our word count for that week, or just keep track of it and then email everything to you at the end of the challenge?

    This challenge looks like SO much fun, and I'm definitely going to do it! And it came about at the perfect time, since I do have a project that I'm basically just starting right now :).

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    1. Yes, Savannah. If for some reason you're severing ties with a story, that's a fine reason.

      You'll keep track of your words on your own, and then at the end you'll email me your records.

      Glad the timing is working out well!

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  5. Would it count as one project if I say "short storys" but then write several storys in that project? Because I'm currently editing and trying to keep on writing with short stories next to that, so I would have to deide which to use for the challenge.

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    1. also, I turn 19 during the challenge, which age group do I choose?

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    2. I forgot to mention that! Whichever age you'll be for the longest during the challenge is our suggestion.

      And yes, short stories would count as one collective project.

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  6. Hooray! I was waiting for this :) So awesome. Can't wait to see if I finish!

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  7. This is such a good idea! I've never entered before but I think this is a great thing to try! I'll be sure to sign up and participate! Good luck everyone!!

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  8. I have a summer birthday. When the challenge begins, I'll be 12, and when it ends I'll be 13. Which do I sign up as?

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    1. Our guideline is to sign up for whatever age you'll be for the longest duration of the contest.

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  9. Unfortunately, I won't be able to participate this time. But I'll still be writing! (as much as I can with a crazy summer schedule) Wishing y'all the best of luck and happy writing!

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  10. First time signing up for this one! It's perfect, because I'm in the middle of procrastinating on a fanfiction series in which, ironically, each chapter is a hundred words long! A hundred more chapters? Yes, please!

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  11. Haven't been around for a while, but SO excited for this!! I've got a new project going so I'm SUPER pumped for getting AT LEAST 10,000 words added. WHOO, can't wait!! Thanks for hosting, Stephanie! :)

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  12. I've signed up for this, even though I know that I'll (probably) fail spectacularly. While I DO write all the time, I never really focus on the stories I'm supposed to write, so this SHOULD be helpful. Yay.

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  13. This sounds like such an awesome idea! I might participate :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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  14. Yay! I'm so excited about this! 100 words a day sounds a lot easier than 300, even if it's for 100 days instead of 30. I enjoyed the 300 for 30 challenge but that 300 mark wasn't easy to make. Sometimes I would exceed it, but often I was pushing for that fifty or so words which left me less enthusiastic for the next day. I can't wait to begin! :)

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  15. One project isn't going to be so easy though. I'm going to have to make sure that whatever I pick, it's something that I won't get halfway through the beginning of it and then discover that I need to stew on it (make notes, collect ideas, and develop it in my mind) some more before I can continue ...

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    1. We're glad you'll be joining us, Mallory!

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    2. Thanks! :) LET'S DO THIS THING! ;)

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  16. I believe that is the perfect opportunity to finally put my ideas into an actual book (or at least have it written down). I'm so pumped to begin. I looks as though that I will finally have a semi-free summer to sit down a write down more!
    Thank you guys so much for the opportunity to finally have a chance to get into a writing discipline!

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  17. Hahaha, at 24 I think that this is the first time I have been labelled 'old fogie' ;)

    Very excited about this! Now just need to decide on what project I want to do....

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  18. I just entered! The timing is perfect- I'll be ready to start writing for my current project by June 1, so this will be motivation to write! This is the first time that I've actually seriously written a book (in the past I've just done short stories and fanfiction), so I'm so excited for how this will turn out!
    Good luck to everyone and God bless you all!

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  19. Yay, I'm so excited! I have a new novel that I'm going to start for this project, so hopefully this will help me get a lot done of that (maybe finish the first draft?).

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  20. Can I enter if I'm new to this blog?

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  21. If I can finish outlining in a week this is ideal timing--I'm about to start on a new story and this should help a lot.

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  22. I'm excited! Word wars on this site two years ago were what interested me in the community of young writers and blogging in the first place! I haven't decided yet what I want to work on but are short stories okay? I would be switching projects a lot.

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  23. Can't wait! I've never done 100 for 100 before:)

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  24. If I'm expanding/editing a short-story for the month of June and then participating in Camp NaNo in July (with a different story), am I eligible to do this?

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    1. Yep! My books always grow when I rewrite :)

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  25. I'm signing up! Writing 100 words in one sitting isn't a problem, but doing that consistently has been my issue (yayyy for work :P), so hopefully this will help me get in gear. ^_^ I was glad to see the 19-21 yr. old range was available.

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  26. Do poems count too? I have already started a novel and am about 1000 words in already. Is it acceptable if I'll count words excluding the ones I wrote earlier?

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    1. It doesn't need to be a new project, if that's what you mean. You can just continue with what you've been working on. Poems would count if they're a part of that project OR if you decided to just do poems. Does that make sense?

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    2. Yeah, it does. Thank you so much :-)

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  27. Phew, I just made the deadline for signing up! I've heard of this challenge from several friends, but never checked it out until today. I'm so glad I did! I think it will definitely help me build a writing habit over the summer.

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  28. I am doing so bad at keeping up with this right now. I'll admit, life has been busy and I haven't been home for three weeks, but I have two and a half pages written after a month of work. I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am hoping to get caught up.

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  29. I lost, since the week goes Wednesday to Tuesday. I was so busy and tired I didn't even realize I'd missed two days in a week and I'd already gotten my grace week for an overnight camp. I'm really disappointed in myself, but it took some pressure off since I'm so busy this summer.

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