Sunday, September 19, 2010

Writer's Challenge Winners

JAN: Well, it's officially over, the Jungle Red Writers' Write First Challenge.

But writers, it's never really over is it???

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated. It was terrific for me to meet you all (via blog of course) and to realize how many of us needed a way to corral our Internet use. This was more fun than I could ever have imagined when I threw out the idea.

Truly, this challenge was one of the high points of the summer. Writing is just so incredibly emotional, and this challenge energized me on a level that went beyond page count. Writing first was somehow symbolic. It reminded me that no matter how I sometimes try to avoid it, I am not happy unless I am a writer first.

But enough about me. Now it's time to talk about you.

I can only hope it was as valuable for you as it was for me. If it was, we are all winners. But here are winners chosen at random from the comments pages: First, second and third prize winners.


First: Annoxford
Second: Lora96
Third: Lynn (of the alpha smart)

Here are the winners chosen by category. This was really tough because so many people said so many inspired, insightful and helpful things.

Fourth: Most insightful: Pat Marinelli - for her line posted over my computer: I control the Internet, it doesn't control me.
Fifth: Most inspired: JM Reinbold - who managed to stay with the Writers' Challenge while dealing with family illness and hospital visits.
Sixth: Most helpful: James Montgomery Jackson - for how to strike a deal with Internet research while staying true to the challenge.

And a special new category I just added:

Honesty in cheating: Colleen Collins - who admitted to a FULL HOUR of prewriting Twitter (slapping wrists), but the part I loved, likened it to gorging on chocolates.

Winners must contact me at with email and snailmail address. First place winner gets to choose which book he/she wants. After that, I issue them according to what's left.

If I don't hear from you by Friday: I pick new winners.

Prizes (listed alphabetically, so egalitarian, don't you think?)

Royal Blood (Rhys Bowen)
Teaser (Jan Brogan)
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel (Hallie Ephron)
Dead Head (Rosemary Harris),
Asking for Murder (Roberta Isleib)
Air Time, (Hank Phillippi Ryan)

To make you smile, whether you get a book or not, I'm leaving you with this gift:

A really funny bit about dating writers. Hysterical. And true:

And thanks again for making my summer!!!


  1. So I didn't win... but the secret here is I did..

    Running with the challenge in my head, I produced more, made more productive use of my down time (half way through edits on my cozy mystery...) and learned a lot about ways to stay motivated.

    Thanks for the challenge it was fun.

  2. Lynn, Yes, you DO win! I hereby (by the powers vested in me by Jungle Red), annoint you the "First commment" winner! And you get the TIME book of your choice.

    Email me via my website!

    And I also announce this is not over. I will still WRITE FIRST!

  3. I confess, I bombed out on the challenge. I don't think it matches to my lifestyle, but it was certainly worthwhile. I'm happy to see it worked for other people. I hope you guys do it again next year.

    A Write-First Loser *wink*

  4. Ohhhh...heading over there now... Hank THANK YOU.

  5. Jan, thank you so much for picking me as the "Most Inspired" winner! I am thrilled. It is really hard to keep to a writing schedule when there is upheaval and sadness in one's family, but one page a day really helped me keep writing, even when I didn't feel like writing and one page was all I could do, and even when I sometimes had to do "make up" pages. This challenge was such a great expereince. I am going to stick with one page a day, every day forever!

  6. So happy to hear that Joanne! And congrats again.

    Lynn congrats -- that Hank makes things happen!!
    You are in for a treat!!

  7. I echo what Lynn said. These last six weeks have been more productive for me than the last six months. More importantly, I've rediscovered that a little discipline goes a long way. The official challenge may be over but I'll continue to challenge myself each day.

    Thanks for doing this.

  8. Jan, a big thank you for the challenge. I'd been doing 3 pages first for a while and I was happy to find a "community" doing the same thing. In fact, I found a couple of like-minded writers because of the challenge and we're continuing, acting as cheerleaders for each other. So I feel like a winner too!

  9. Thanks, Jan, for my award of “most insightful” for something I wrote totally by accident.

    I am still writing at least one page a day—sometimes four. This challenge help me meet my goal to develop a writing schedule. I may not write that page until later in the day due to uncontrollable events that we all have in our lives, but I never, ever go online until that one page is finished. I even wrote an article for our SinC-CJ newsletter about the challenge.

    My creativity has soared while on this challenge and I am not longer addicted to the Internet—well, I guess I’m still addicted but I control it, it no longer controls me. It feels wonderful.

    Okay, I am going to send you my information now.

  10. Hi Darlene,
    Thanks for participating. I totally agree on the community thing - it was such a relief to find so many people battling the same demon. I think the actual prizes are the least of the experience, actually, I'm so happy to have met you and heard your obstacles and successes!!

    Pat - even if it was an offhand remark, it spoke to me. ( and continues to speak to me, posted above my laptop!)

  11. I lost my rhythm yesterday. No, I still wrote before checking email or going online, but the temperature dropped below freezing outside and since we heat by wood, I needed to get a fire going in the wood stove.

    So I started the fire, began writing, checked the fire, continued writing, damped down the fire, finished writing, and added more fuel to the fire, but not too much so I didn't overheat the house.

    And all day long, I was nagged by the thought I had forgotten to do something. It was Sunday, I went through my normal "to do" list -- and went to bed with that nagging feeling still there.

    This morning I awoke, fed the cat and dog, started the fire (just barely above freezing outside, 62 inside) and then it hit me.

    I hadn't check in with you guys!

    Well, it was a good lesson: when routines change, it is more important than ever to keep the real goal in mind and that's what this challenge did for me in getting me back to writing new words.

    Jan, I'm pleased you found my ramblings "most helpful," as I found this exercise to be most helpful for me. For some, like Ramona, writing first doesn't fit their lifestyle, but I've always been a morning person and using those first hours more productively is a gift your challenge provided me.

    Thanks to all of you at Jungle Red and to all the others who commented during the contest.

    ~ Jim

  12. Jan --

    when I tried to email you the infamous mailer daemon arrived

    Lynn Steinmayer (AlphaSmart)
    PO Box 311
    Goshen, CT 06756

  13. I, like Ramona, nosed dived on this but it doesn't mean I can't try again and again until something clicks.

    Hope you have a challenge next summer. Thanks for everything!