Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Featured Writer - Challenge No 25 - Haunting! And what's happening at Romantic Friday Writers. New Challenge December 2!

This post has to be long, so I've divided it into sections with our blood rose. 

Haunting! was a great challenge to have around Halloween. A warm welcome to 7 new participants - sHoNA, Simran, Deniz, Priyanka, The Solitary Writer, Leo and Michael. I hope if you haven't already, you'll join our membership and post on a regular basis. Please read the Submissions Page then sign up using the Linky in the sidebar. It's free and it puts you in the running to receive awards. Thanks to those of you who publicised the theme and invited your blogger friends to join us.

The stories and poems were entertaining as always, and it made a change to have a dash of blood and paranormal amongst the mix. Most of your offerings maintained some element of romance which is sometimes a bit harder to do when you go a-haunting.

Due to gremlins at work we had to relocate RFWers here. The old site has been practically demolished. All that's left is the 91 Followers, most of whom haven't yet joined this site (well, I just checked and now this has been removed so I cannot contact the rest of our members!) If you haven't joined this site, please do or you'll miss updates!

The biggest change around RFWer is that Francine Howarth, my co-co-ordinator has already relinquished admin duties but will be submitting to themes as other commitments allow. In recent months Francine's writing projects have really taken off which is so exciting.

Francine, thank you for sacrificing so much of your time in helping me get RFWer operational. Your input has been invaluable. You put the site together, saw to the interior decorating features (you know where to find great stuff!) and wrestled with me as we tried to discover the best ways to run our burgeoning group.

Francine and I took turns in coming up with themes each week. She was the one filling the sidebar with the theme and adding stimulus to the Challenges Page and so many other tasks. She ran the group single handedly while I jaunted around overseas for a month and she didn't have an easy time of it with critiquing blues happening that were never resolved satisfactorily due to my absence.

So Francine, please accept this bunch of roses from me and those at RFWer who will miss your jaunty presence. RFWer would not be as successful today if not for you, so my Pommy friend, it's been great working with you and I wish you every success in your e-publishing career and in traditional publishing.


As usual it was excruciating to have to choose a Featured Writer and Runner Up this week. It's taken up to three readings to make a decision.

There are many writers who need an honourable mention - Nancy for taking us on a Zombie Crawl with Tod, who manages to find romance, Marsha who treated us with an excerpt of Anson's life of bondage to the witchy Zandra, Deniz' sweet, yet spooky tale of Devran, Andy's Unknown Spirit...so many good stories. I can't mention them all! We are blessed at Romantic Friday Writers. But I had to choose...

So, ta dah! There were so many different things happening this week, but reading Adura's prose rather than poetry was an unexpected treat. Thank you Adura, our Runner Up this week, for prose as soulful as your poetry. Didn't we all enjoy Grandma and Grandpa's waltz?! The Runner Up badge is yours to display on your blog.

Our Featured Writer for the Haunting theme must go this week to Madeleine for her Bewitching Hour. Who wasn't shaken to the core by Madeleine's carefully-crafted tale of Jack and Rosie? As Francine said in comments - 'stunning, simply stunning...' It was a heart-breaker, yet oozing with romance. Congratulations Madeleine. There is a special badge this week to display on your blog. I loved the image for Haunting so much I didn't want to say goodbye.

So everyone, I hope you agree with my choices. Huge applause to our winners this week.


You may have noticed that RFWer will be on hiatus until December. What this means is that I need time to regroup, as well as time to participate in NaNoWriMo, which I find very beneficial. Are you in? I have plenty of on-going themes waiting in the wings for RFWer, but don't have the time to be writing/reading/posting etc...

From now on I'll be running RFWer alone. It's a huge task, yet lots of fun. However, looking at the long-term, I feel weekly posts are too much for me to sustain if  I want to achieve other writing goals. I want RFWer to continue, so this is what I've come up with:
  • For a trial period, at least until the end of this year, Romantic Friday Writers will become a monthly, rather than weekly blogfest. There may be special themes from time to time as well.
  • There will usually be guest posts on Wednesday each week during November, so check in. I'm asking guests to give us tips on writing flash fiction and romance. 
  • Because we only have to write one story or poem monthly, the word limit can be upped to make it 400-600 words temporarily. You can of course submit 200 words if you so choose!
  • The challenges will be broadened - to include response to a photo, an image, or you might be given phrases to begin your story with. There may or may not always be a theme. 

Here's our first challenge - responding to an image. Christmas is big at our house, but I know not everyone celebrates, or celebrates this holiday in different ways. So rather than making a Christmas blogfest, I'm giving you the opportunity to respond to this image in whatever way you wish - it reeks of a ghostly romantic tale to me, or we could have a 'lost in the woods' poem or story, or it could be a Christmas story (obviously not an Aussie Christmas!) Over to you! Stun us with your masterpiece. You have a whole month to write your piece, and you have extra words to play with. Don't forget we are Romantic Friday Writers.

How about posting the challenge on your blog? All the more fun to read.

I'll be looking forward to reading your December stories.

Let's get writing people!

  • I'd appreciate any comments/suggestions on this post. 

Denise (L'Aussie)

(I'll be adding the First Monthly Challenge section to our Challenge page.


  1. Good luck with the new format, Denise. I haven't been able to participate recently because I was madly editing my latest ms. But I'll have a think about the cottage - in between NanoWriMo - I'm there as PaulaMartin if you want to friend me!

  2. Hi Paula!

    It'd be great if you were able to pen for us again. I know what you mean about editing. I'm madly trying to get my first short story collection together for publication!

    Looking forward to the December post though! So many possibilities!


  3. Wow! Thank you for my runner up (harlot) badge, Denise. I'm so happy as there were a variety of eerie offerings I enjoyed reading too. Congrats to Madeleine. Her story really was stunning.

    The change to a once-a-month challenge couldn't have come at a better time as I'm also quite busy.

    Good luck with your short story collection, Denise. Hope it all goes well. Looking forward to December!

    By the way, all my poems and short prose pieces have been moved to a new blog: "Adura's Eyes". It opens from November 1st (today). So I now have three blogs! My own work would now be published on "Adura's Eyes". Would appreciate if you and other RFW members could sign up to follow. Thank you:)

  4. Sorry, Denise. Forgot to leave the link for the new blog:


  5. Hi Adura.
    I'm glad monthly posts will suit you. I'm sure i'm not the only busy person on the planet. All the best for your writing projects!

    Thanks for coming back with the link. I hope other RFWers will pick it up and follow there!


  6. Congrats to both winners. The writings were awesome - stunning.

    I will miss Francine's voice here. The two of you have taken on an awesome task - I know I could never moderate such an undertaking. My patience leaves something to be desired . .

    I will be thinking about my December post, and I'll post this link in my sidebar. I know there will be a lot of cool christmas posts :)

    Good luck on your NaNo write Denise; I'm not participating as I find it too hard to work a day job and consistently write :) I have too many unfinished projects to start a completely new one anyway. Some year, I will join the challenge.

    Any assistance I can give you, just ask.


  7. Hi Denise,

    Well done Odura!

    And Madeleine, your virtual mantelpiece must be turning purple with envy! ;)

    Good luck all, I'll be posting up pieces as and when I can. That cottage has its appeal!!!!

    Roses for moi. Oooh, thank you so much. Can almost smell them. They are one of my fav flowers next to Lilies. I adore vases of blooms in a house. Kind of like bringing a bit of the garden inside, if but for few days.


  8. OH wow thank you soo much and a special badge too. My blog will wear it with pride.
    Congrats to all the other awardees.

    Good luck to both Denise in continuing with RFW and to Francine with your own writing endeavours.

  9. Changing to a monthly or even fortnightly challenge sounds like a great idea and adding picture prompts too.

    I have to say I like the 400 max word limit rather than 600 word limit, as I find it helps me tighten up my writing and also helps when doing the blog hop rounds in terms of time constraints for reading other entrants' writing.

  10. Oh and I forgot to add I like the idea of guest posts on writing Flash Fiction and also Romance and maybe even critiquing?

  11. Hi all!
    It's lovely to have some feedback. Seems those who've commented quite like the idea of monthly posts. It was getting a bit much every week. I'm hoping I'll get more time to craft my pieces as I usually post new writing.

    Madeleine likes the idea of keeping it at 400 words. What do others think? Glad you like the idea of guest posts from time to time - Wednesday starting from tomorrow I hope! Great idea to have a post on critiquing too. I'll keep my ear to the ground on that one.

    Please keep the suggestions coming.


  12. Congratulations to Madeleine, well deserved. I loved your story.

    I think once a month will be easier for many people and I like the increase in words. There have been many times that I had to cut sensual words in order to bring it to 400 and everyone knows, sensual is romance.

    Good luck on NaNo and see you in December.

  13. I have a lot of experience critiquing and would be delighted to guest post on that subject.

    I also want to mention that the 2nd of every month is another blogfest hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Just saying if the 2nd happens to be a Friday a lot this coming year that will make it difficult. But no problem on a rare occasion.

    I also forgot to say thank you to Francine for all you excellent input. Good luck on all your writing projects. I too have multiple stories in the mix.

  14. Thanks for your input Nancy. I'm glad you like the increase in words. To add the romance element I agree it can be difficult but so far we've managed pretty well. We'll see how the 600 goes. As Maddy says, it's difficult to read long stories when you have a lot of them, but doing it just once a month I thought we might be able to handle it.

    Just remember, our changes are a trial. I'll look at it next year when things aren't as crazy.

    If you're talking about Alex's Insecure Writers Group, I'm a member and it's the first Wednesday of every month - unless there's something else. But there'll always be something else on at the same time so we'll just have to work around it.

    Will be in touch re critiquing post. It'd be good for our members to share from their area of expertise from time to time.

    Happy writing!


  15. Hello all.
    Congratulations to Madeleine & Adura. Each were enthralling entries!
    Well done to everyone else...we had a great turnout this week.

    Francine, thanks again for all your hard work with RFW. Your roses are well deserved!

    I too like the idea of monthly posts. Not too sure about the word increase to 600 though. I tend to write short pieces & the increase in word limit may make it difficult with regards to time constraints...we'll see how it goes.

    Adura, thanks for link to your new blog. I'll be over soon to follow.
    For everyone else who is inundated with projects & more projects, my best wishes & much success!

  16. Dear REWers,
    Congratulations to Madeleine and Adura for their well-deserved awards.

    Thank you so much, Denise and Francine for giving us this lovely blogfest as a meeting-place. I have become acquainted with such interesting writers. It has been a delight.

    I wish Denise the very best and hope she will be able to continue RFW on a monthy basis. Why not invite guests to help you out? Book them in ahead of time so that you have someone to help out with the critquing etc. There are several candidates among us. Not me. (I don't have enough experience and I am such a bad speller!), but there are at least four writers who could be asked. I won't mention any names here. I think you know which ones I mean.

    Thank you, Francine for your part of the administrative and critiquing work and if you are behind some of the ideas for themes, they are brilliant. One of my favourites is 'Whispers'. (Even if my texts were not that hot, I can still think of lots of ideas for stories/poems for that theme.)

    As far as word count is concerned, I am open to shorter as well as longer texts. 600 words is ok if I have a month to do it. I have already started writing my Christmas story. But I am not good at writing longer poems; 50-100 words is what I can do.
    Would it be possible to give participants a choice of word count? We say what our word count is anyway.

    Good luck with all of your on-going projects, short-story-publishing and novel-writing!

    See you all in December!
    Best wishes,

    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 25 - 'Haunting'

  17. Congratulations to Adura and Madeleine.

    I personally think a monthly challenge is a good idea. As you suggested, mixing up the challenges with photo and word prompts should be good too.

    I look forward to many more good things from RFW. Thank you, Denise for keeping the engine running.


  18. Hi my romantic friends! Isn't it funny how words can mislead? Some of you are worried about the increased word limit. Don't be. I said in the post if you want to write 200 it's fine with me! So please, write as few/many words as you like, but not over 600.

    We had a few barny's about the miserly 400 word limit at the beginning of RFWer, but after the initial difficulty in writing to 400 words, it seems we're comfy with that limit. I was just thinking when we have a month we may like to make more of a story. Let's see how we go.

    Thanks for your continued interest in RFWer.


  19. Anna: Yes, I've thought of that. I may ask a different writer to help me judge each story/poem.


  20. I've been here just the one week, but I've had fun... Thanks! And good choices for the features too! Congrats to both of them :)

    I know it's tough running a meme! RFW is a wonderful place, and maybe I'll be the only one backing the fortnightly version I suppose! :) A whole month for one poem or story seems a lot, once in two weeks (if of course, L'Aussie can manage it) seems a nicer option from my view!

    To L'Aussie,

    Have a wonderful NaNoWriMo :) Hope you complete the 50K words!

  21. Leo, thanks for your input. Next year we may well go back to more posts, but at the mo, once a month will have to be it in the interests of keeping going.

    Looking forward to your entry for Dec 2nd!


  22. Hi everyone. I think I was one of the earlier commenters on this post so it's useful to come back and read other people's opinions about the changes. Thanks Denise for keeping RFWgoing. I feel really fortunate to be here with so many fine writers. About the word limit, is it ok to actually formalise it here on the blog as between 200 and 600 words? (I say this because...for those of us writing mostly poetry, anything more than 200 words becomes a bit of a struggle.) It's also helpful to those thinking of joining us to know what the actual word limits are. Thanks, Denise. You're doing a fab job.

  23. That was a great challenge, Denise, thanks for letting me play!
    I'd love to commit to RFW - maybe after NaNo, though...


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