Let’s Talk About the Writer’s Games- Group challenge!

As Round 1 of the Writer’s Games- the Individual Portion, simmers to a close tonight, the flames of friendly competition are already being fanned for Round 2- the Group Portion!

In case you blinked and missed it, over the past 7 weeks, hundreds of individual participants have written 7 short stories in 72 hrs as part of the Writer’s Games! If you can believe it, they each received personalized feedback from multiple judges, on each of their 7 short stories! Winning entries will be featured in the Writer’s Games anthology, to be published and sold later this year!

In this round, however, participants will work in Groups to conceive an idea for the weekly prompt, then plan, write, and edit their entry. An elected Team Leader will submit the entry on behalf of the team, and then the judging begins. Just as with the Individual portion, each Group will get personalized feedback on each entry from multiple judges, and the winning Team’s entry will be published in the Writer’s Workout Anthology later this year!

I know what you’re thinking, “I really want to join but I don’t have a group of my own!”. No Team? No problem! Here are three ways you can get on board:

  • Join an open team
  • Create your own team (of 7-12 members)
  • Leave it up to chance by selecting the “I NEED a team!” option. Balanced groups are carefully curated by the Writer’s Workout team based on participants’ strengths/weaknesses.  (Insider scoop: the two-time reigning Group champs, The Red Herrings, were one of these chance teams!)
Although Groups can have as many as 12 members, there is absolutely no room for spectators! Each team member is expected to pull his/her weight to produce consistent, on-theme submissions which read with one voice!
Here’s some important information to keep in mind:

The Who: The Writer’s Workout

The What: The Writer’s Games 2017- Team Portion

The When: Group Games Registration begins: July 1

Group Games begin: August 4

Anthology published: exact date tbd Fall/Winter 2017!

The How: Visit the Website or Follow the Writer’s Workout and the Writer’s Games on Twitter. Their Facebook page is very active, and the admin are incredibly responsive!

Watch this space to register from July 1! Who’s in?!

Team Plotters- Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament Winners!

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In a spectacular tour de force, Team Plotters wrote their way to Pacemaker NaNoWrimo Tournament victory! Congratulations are in order for the 33 Plotters who won NaNoWriMo by hitting their 50k targets, and in many cases flying over them!! Your profiles will be pinned with a golden Novel badge!

Congrats are also in order for each member of Team Plotters! Every single one of your words contributed to the massive final word count of over 2 MILLION words! Each Team member, therefore,  will be pinned with the Plotter badge for being on the Team with the higher overall word count, and most NaNo winners!

Although your Team did not start out ahead, and despite continuously having fewer team members, you hit your stride around week 3, after which you were unstoppable! You really exemplified the old adage, it’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish! And boy did you finish strong!

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Honourable mention is made to Team Pantsers which held the lead for quite a while but alas, could not sustain it to the end. You started out strong, consistently had more team members but, despite ending with impressive stats all around, couldn’t regain your lead over the Plotters. For your outstanding effort, each member of Team Pantsers will be pinned with the dark blue Pantser badge for participation!

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I don’t know if you can tell but at Pacemaker, we LOVE Tournaments and Group Challenges! It’s such a splended way to get to know a particular writing community, and the energy and fraternity which erupt around challenges like NaNo are palpable and contagious! We want to thank each of our Tournament participants for giving us the opportunity to host this Challenge and to jog alongside you, encouraging you, as you ran this race! NaNoWriMo is over, but a new work has just begun! You’ve got a substantial amount of words towards a new project. Follow through, keep refining it and who knows, you could someday look back on NaNoWriMo 2016 and think to yourself, “That’s when I started writing the greatest story ever written!”

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Oh, and don’t forget! You can keep the NaNoWriMo spirit going by creating a Challenge group of your very own with a Pacemaker Challenges Subscription!

New to Pacemaker Challenges- Discussion Boards!

We’re so happy to introduce the newest member of the Pacemaker family- discussion boards! Now, as part of our paid subscription based Challenges feature, not only will you be able to create interesting Challenges for your writing groups/classrooms, but you’ll have a space where participants can talk to each other! This has been a highly requested feature and something we’ve been very eager to put to beta. It’s pretty much version 1 right now- a very simple prototype of what users have asked for, so do be gentle with us if you find some bugs here or there :).

We’re always looking at how you, our beloved users, use the Pacemaker features, and orient our updates in the direction of those which are most popular and valued. So if you love the idea of a social feature, use it! You’ll likely see it develop into something much more sophisticated and intuitive!

Now’s a good time to stop by our NaNoWriMo Tournament and drop a note. Let us know you won NaNoWriMo, or that you didn’t quite get your writing project off its feet this year. Encourage someone who is almost there to make that final push! Tell us how much you’re looking forward to Christmas or how much you’re looking forward to Christmas being over! Just say something!

We want to make a more social Pacemaker; we hope this is a step in the right direction!

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Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament- Plotters vs Pantsers

We’re one week into NaNoWriMo and the Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament!

Now, we could’ve been nice and created an Open Pacemaker Challenge Group where we encourage participants to compete only against themselves. INSTEAD, we decided to start a bit of a fire… and then fan the flame!

We’re pitting Plotters against Pantsers to see who’ll come out on top!

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Each member of the Team with the higher total word count at the end of NaNoWriMo gets a delightful new pin to proudly display on his/her profile.

( See what we did there? 🙂 )

Over the past seven days each Team has enjoyed a few moments in the top spot.

Surprisingly (at least to us) there have always been more Pantsers than Plotters BUT, the Plotters seem to be producing more words per person than the Pantsers on average. We have a sneaky suspicion that the Pantsers are playing a bit of a numbers game BUT only time will tell, it’s still very much anybody’s game!

SO! Are you a Plotter- meticulously planning out the details of your novel pre-NaNoWriMo so that you hit the ground running, map in hand, November 1st? Or are you a Pantser, literally flying into NaNoWriMo by the seat of your pants, no plan, just a wing and prayer?

Whichever way, there’s a place for you in the Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament! There’s still plenty of time to join. Pick a side and make your word count, count!

 

 

Let’s talk about Writing Challenges!

We’ve got good news, and better news!

Despite the isolating process writing can be, writers have found ways to build deeply rooted communities around that common experience. One such way is through creating and participating in writing challenges!

We are particularly intrigued by the following ‘enigma’:

  • Writing is solitary- it requires a certain detachment and aloneness

BUT

  • Writers are sociable- seeking out and forming strong communities based on a passion for writing, a tortured understanding of the process and respect for each writer’s personal space and process.

To me, it feels a lot like dinner with friends- a group gathers somewhere for dinner and though each is eating his/her own dish, they are still eating together. Periodically (though not too often in our family) someone is so moved by what’s on their plate that they reach a filled fork out, or invite an unfilled fork in to their dish, for a sample. But eventually, each goes back to eating and savouring his/her own meal.

Writing challenges prove that you can write alone, together!

So, the good news is that there are TONS of writing challenges from which you can choose and an abundance of writing communities you can join. NaNoWriMo is perhaps the most widely known writing challenge out there, but we’ve come across so many others, some of which we’ll list here for your viewing pleasure:

The better news is that if you don’t find something that tickles your fancy, you can create a  Challenge of your very own with Pacemaker’s newest premium feature- Challenges!

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The Challenge Subscriptions allow users to create groups which take on writing tasks together. As the challenge creator, you can set rules and goals for the group, and each participant in a challenge will be able to browse the schedules and progress of others in the challenge, and track stats across the entire group.

You may all be working towards the same goal, or you may want to achieve your own separate goals over a common period of time. You might also split your group right down the middle and have (for the sake of argument) Team Android vs Team iOS racing for writing dominance in a match to see who reaches a certain word count first! Hey, you might even have a one day write-a-thon which works sort of like a fundraiser where everyone’s individual writing progress contributes to the overall goal. You can do all these and more with Pacemaker Challenges!

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Pacemaker Challenge groups can provide motivation, support, accountability and a bit of gaming fun to your writing! It’s ideal for teachers, writing centers, NaNoWriMo regional groups and anyone else who wants to add a sense of community and a bit of excitement to their writing. We hope you’ll try it today!