Sunday, December 11, 2011

WINNERS: Write First Pre-holiday Writer's Challenge

JAN BROGAN - Well, I don't get a prize, but I'm a winner -- mostly because I found a system that really works for staying away from email and increasing writing productivity. The setting my I-phone alarm for four times a day and not checking email unless it rings has been a life changer (or at least a routine changer.) I'm not sure why this works while other systems have failed, except I really like the sound of that little bell. I must have a Pavlovian dog thing going on, but hey, I'm sticking to it.

And while I did not get a lot of pages written, I made big progress on a Herculean task of starting a historical novel, which has meant A LOT of reading, a lot of highlighting, a lot of printing out from the Internet, and I sincerely thank Avi Love for the great advice on how to handle Internet research without getting too distracted, and tips to make research feel as productive as writing.

Okay, now for prize winners.

The three winners chosen at random are: (To be counted in the raffle you had to comment as least three times, and you could not be a certainly retailer - who shall remain nameless - who spammed the comments page pretty much the entire contest.)

Ann Oxford, Silver James, and Avi Love.

The prizes - offered on a first come, first choice basis are: signed copies of Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen; Dead Head by Rosemary Harris; a US galley of No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie, ABM of The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan, and a signed hardcover copy Teaser by Jan Brogan.

Although many contributors were inspirational, this time the contest prize will go to Shizuka, for recommendation advice on the kitchen timer and the Freedom and Concentrate programs. The prize for this is a signed copy of One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer Fleming.

Molly Swobada gets the prize for most brutally honest: "Discipline My name is JELLO."
Signed copies of Roberta Isleib's Asking for Murder and Deadly Advice.

All winners - please email me at with your address.

Winners who were chosen at random winners should include a first and second choice for the book prize.


  1. Whoa. How lucky am I to be a winner? (Quick, go buy a Lotto ticket.)

    This Writer's Challenge was a breakthrough for me. It brought me a new discipline of doing my quota of writing work before checking email or going online. Great for my productivity and self-esteem. Somehow I feel more playful with my writing, too. I feel enabled, like I could try anything (in terms of writing ideas). Nothing short of a miracle, really.

    Thank you, thank you.

  2. Oh Avi,
    That makes me SO happy to hear you say that. I'm glad. It really helps me, too, I seem to need certain prescribed periods of FOCUS imposed on myself!

    Thanks so much to taking part and don't forget to email me with your address .


  3. Congrats to all the winners, and a big hooray to my friend, Shizuka (who is as talented as she is disciplined.)

    And thanks to Jan for organizing, and to all of you who contributed such helpful tips.

    I was derailed by back problems, but am feeling much better (can actually sit in desk chair for more than ten minutes) so am looking forward to getting back to my own Write-First.

  4. I get the booby prize for this Write First challenge. I Wrote First on about 5 days out of 30. Lousy will power. In awe of you all.

  5. Hallie, I think I beat you out for that booby prize. I did really well on the first two challenges but on this one...I was SO bad. I think I only wrote before checking the e-mail once the entire timer. I'm going to try the timer idea. I bought one, just didn't use it. Again, my bad. I really have to focus on writing first.

  6. Hurray for all the winners! Though I think all of us who participated won just by gaining a little more focus during that difficult time.

  7. I started to add, as promised to Halllie, my Mexican cookie recipe. And WOA, found I was a winner in the writer's challenge. Thank you, Jan. And congratulations to all winners and all dear Jungle Reds. (Recipe will be posted at the end of Hank's blog.

  8. I'm thrilled I won. I loved the month-long challenge and hearing how other people were working on writing first.

    Hope your back keeps getting better, Deb.
    Because I adore you, but also because selfishly I want to keep reading your books!

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