Monday, 19 March 2012

People's Choice Featured Writer announced. Challenge No 34, Friday March 23 - She Wears My Ring and breaking news...

Hi all! And a warm welcome to our new followers!

Thanks for your People's Choice votes for RFWer's prompt, I Love You Because. The votes were much lower than anticipated but two writers received two votes each so we are happy to announce a tie for Featured Writer - Nancy Williams and Joy Campbell. Thank you to those who voted and congratulations to Nancy and Joy. Now members, you really understand what a difficult, no, really impossible task choosing a winner is.

When I conducted a poll some months back, the overwhelming reason writers submitted to RFW was to improve their craft. No one likes to judge entries (including yourselves it seems!) as it is not really comparing apples with apples. We value the diverse group we have become - novice writers, unpublished writers, poets, authors presenting extracts from WIPs and at times published books and those who write a fresh piece especially for the challenge. All of these are legitimate modes of entry, as long as all entries respond to the prompt. But it is really impossible to judge fairly. 

So how do you feel about not having FW or RU from now on, or only occasionally when we all write in the same genre for a special challenge? Non poets can try their hand at poetry and poets will get the opportunity to write prose. It would extend us all; perhaps we'll find talent we didn't know we had! Of course this would only be a limited event... We need your thoughts on this...Perhaps She Wears My Ring will be the last time we choose a FW and RU...

And the critique question. Don't forget this prickly one. Unless someone specifically asks for a full critique, just leave general feedback, highlighting the positive.

 I have to say excellent work everyone for your creative wide-ranging use of the prompt for I Love You Because. Awesome entries all. 

Now before I move onto our next prompt, I need to tell you that this is our last challenge until May 4.

After much deliberation, I have decided to close RFW for the month of April as this is A-Z Challenge time. Love it or hate it, this blogoverse challenge makes it pretty pointless to post if you're not in it. Already over 1,000 bloggers have signed up and hundreds who aren't accepting the challenge to post every day in April have been announcing on their blogs that they won't be posting in April as they know they'll be writing to themselves, well, not altogether, but close enough!

I, and some other RFW members will be participating in the April challenge. I won't have time to be posting prompts or writing to them, or reading entries, so thought it would be best to simply shut down the challenges for the month. That only means 2 prompts won't be happening. I'm adding the May 4 prompt to the end of this post so you can start imagining stories and poems to fit. 

When RFW re-opens on the 4th May, there will be some tweaking of the guidelines. There will be many other exciting changes as well, so stay tuned! You'll be so glad you did. And this is another chance for you to tell me any ideas you have for our writing group. I hope to receive some emails during April with your suggestions.

So, to our final challenge for the first trimester of 2012 -

The second prompt in our song series is 'She Wears My Ring.' Now this romantic song was recorded by many big names. Once again - Elvis Presley, then we have Roy Orbison et al, but my favourite recording is by Australia's own Elvis or Chuck Berry, Johnny O'Keefe, who rocked the Aussie song world in the '60s.

Here are the lyrics by the Bryants.

She Wears My Ring

She wears my ring to show the world
That she belongs to me
She wears my ring to tell the world
She's mine eternally
With loving care
I placed it on her finger
To show my love
For all the world to see

This tiny ring is a token
Of tender emotion
And in this pool of love
That's as deep as the ocean
She swears to wear it
With eternal devotion
That's why I sing
Because she wears my ring

Awesome lyrics. Once again, use this prompt however you wish, but we are looking for a story/poem that encapsulates the lyrics in some way. And the words: 'She wears my ring...' must be within the text.

Have fun with this prompt.

And here is a sneak peek at the Response to Image prompt for our return on May 4th. Just study this picture and see where the story takes you.

  • You must respond to the stimulus in some way.
  • From the image, choose who will be your viewpoint character.
  • Place your character/s in one of the following settings:
              * a nightclub
              * last day of high school/college
              * at a carnival/festival
              * a private party
              * an exotic island
              * audition for a part in the latest Romeo + Juliet production
              * a combination of two or more of the above settings...

Get your thinking caps on for this one. You have over 5 weeks to produce your best copy. I thought about raising the word limit to 600 words for this one. What do you think?

As always, I encourage you to leave a comment here or email me with your responses to issues raised in posts. Please know that your input is most valuable in the decision-making process. My email:

Denise (L'Aussie)


  1. Thanks ever so much to the members of the group who voted for my piece. I feel very un-supportive and undrserving as I still haven't managed to get around to all the entries.

    I don't mind if we don't do a featured writer or maybe it can be done every so often when there's some kind of special challenge.

    Good idea to postpone our challenge during the A-Z. I was crazy enough to sign up again and wonder how I'll manage it, but we'll see.

    Thanks to both yourself and Francine for all you do.

    1. Hi Joy. Thanks for commenting re the occasional FW and RU. Looks like we all agree so far. Our commenting will become even more important.

      Couldn't imagine doing RFW during April. I can hardly imagine doing A-Z. I thought my theme idea was going to be quick and easy, but when dealing with people...reminders, incomplete answers, forgetting, blah blah...But it'll be worth it I hope.


  2. Thank you Denise and everyone.
    Well now I am surprised. My faeries are over dusting in exuberance. I never thought to win to be honest, I just wanted a fun story. Thank you, thank you and congratulations to Joy.

    Life is crazy for me so I am not doing the A - Z Challenge this year. I don't mind waiting.

    I think it is difficult to compare apples with oranges. Making the challenge on occasion to meet either story form or poetry is a good idea. Perhaps we could add an award for new writers so they don't have to feel like their up against more accomplished writers. I still remember how intimidated I was back then, still am.

    I also just want to mention to all my favorite bloggers here, it takes a lot out of me to read your post. After 4 I am done in until much later. Once my health is back, this will change I'm sure and that depends on moving. We hope to be out by April 1.

    1. Hello Nancy.
      Wishing you well with everything.

    2. Hi Nancy. I hope you're a little better. May your move go smoothly! You'll be busy enough in April, settling into a new place, without A-Z!

      Thanks for your vote on the occasional FW and RU. We do have an award for new writers - the Encouragement Award. It's been given out a few times now.

      Please take care Nancy. If you're feeling well enough and think of any other suggestions for when we get underway again in May, please send an email or leave a comment.


  3. Hello.
    Congratulations Nancy & Joy. Your entries were fun to read.

    I am one of those who does not like comparison/critiquing. It's not fair to compare say a novice poet like myself to an experienced writer like some of those we have in the group. For me, it just takes the fun out of entering & may well explain why a lot more participants don't enter...too intimidating. I'm quite happy to do away with FW & RU & just save them for say special prompts.

    I think it's a good idea to postpone RFW until after the A-Z Challenge too. You're going to need a good vacation when it's done! I just don't have the time to enter. Good luck to those of you who are entering.

    Not heard this version by Johhny O'Keefe before, but I know the song. Hopefully, we'll have a good turnout this week. I've got a few ideas swirling in my head already. As for the May 4th challenge...looks kind of scary to me. I'll have to sleep on that one.

    Have a good week everyone!

    1. Hi Andy. I'm glad you've been honest with us about critiquing. That was the point of the critiquing postcard in the sidebar. You need to use the code from this at the end of your posts so RFW members know just to leave a general comment, or swoon, more to the point.

      Thanks for voting for FW and RU just on special, limited occasions.

      Now don't be scared by the May 4 challenge Andy. It's whatever you want it to be. It can just be fun! Lots of sleeps before it's due, lol!

      As always, thanks for your support/feedback Andy.


    2. Hello Denise.
      I've never been one to back down from a challenge yet. Still plenty of time to mull over May 4th. I'm sure I can drum up inspiration from somewhere within the depths of my imagination. lol
      For now, I'm still working on my entry for this week. I might not be able to post until sometime Friday, but I'll definitely be entering.

      Thanks for all your encouragement. Means a lot.

  4. Dear Denise and all other RFWers,

    Congratulations to the winners, Nancy and Joy! (What, no runners-up?)

    I am also impressed with Donna Hole's quick summeries of every single text. What a good reader she is! There is a lot to be learned from Donna. I would have liked to have given her an award for good critiquing. She is concise, fair and spot-on.

    I don't know if I will have time to post anything for 'She wears my ring'. I do have a few ideas, but I am still knee-deep in book-keeping and income-tax returns.

    For the very first time, I've signed up for From A to Z in April, but my posts will be more about design and the visual arts, rather that flash fiction, with the possible exception of some posts by my cat, Sara, who is a pretty good cat-poet and movie-buff. (Maybe Sara Cat can write something for 'She wears my ring', as a guest writer?)

    Best wishes,

    1. Hello Anna. No runner up because all other votees? only received 1 vote - not much point.

      Yes, I enjoy Donna's critiques too and yes, she should be awarded for all the time she spends on doing a thorough job, but as Andy says, it can be intimidating (not just Donna's critiques, but too much feedback at times can be discouraging unless it is very positive.) Critiquing is an on-going problem as some want it, some don't, and we each need to spell that out at the end of our posts.

      Tax time is brutal Anna, but I hope you receive inspiration as a challenge without you would be just about unthinkable. We all look forward to your entries I'm sure, because you always have a fresh, novel approach.

      A-Z does not have to be about flash fiction - it can be about anything, as long as you use the letter of the day. Your design posts will be fine, as will be your feline posts. Go for it.

      Now Sara Cat, get that ring going...


  5. Yay for People's Choice :) Congrats to Nancy and Joy - both excellent entries. All were awesome in their own ways.

    Thanks Anna for your comments.

    I am looking forward to the break in April. I've decided against A-Z as I don't really have the time to post or read that much. I'm hoping to write on some of my projects.

    I'm with Andy; the May 4 prompt look pretty scary. Eeek. I'll have to be back a few times to eyeball it.

    Nancy I hope you get to feeling better soon.


    1. Hello Donna.
      I'd have to agree with Anna. You've done an excellent job for RFW & you should be proud of all the hard work & effort you have put in. I sincerely thank you.

      Wishing you the best with your projects while RFW is on hiatus.

  6. OOooh, scary prompt. That must be why it's called a challenge, lol!


  7. Denise, You've done an excellent job for RFW & you should be proud of all the hard work & effort you have put in. I also give my thanks.

    I've decided against A-Z. I had planned to take a blog break but have a blogfest challenge scheduled for 17th April to fall in with the letter P.

    I like the sound of the prompt for this week, but may not have time to post up for it. Apols for being silent again recently on my submissions, life has just got in the way.
    Not sure about the picture prompt,though. Enjoy A-Z.

  8. Oh and congrats to Nancy and Joy :O)


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