Friday 4 January 2013

WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR and announcing our first challenge for 2013!

Welcome back my fellow Mayan Apocalypse survivors.  I hope you are as happy to still be here as I am.

RFW has experienced many changes over the last year--Francine stepped down as co-host--I came on board as partner--we gained and lost many followers and members--there were changes to our posting schedule and critiquing guidelines--a safety policy was implemented.

The biggest changes Denise and I noted were in the growth of our consistent authors. Many of the Challenges did just that; challenged our RFW authors to stretch themselves out of their comfort zones, to write in different POVs, different genres, or even different styles as poets wrote prose and fiction authors wrote memoir or other non-fiction pieces.

Judging for Featured Writer and Runner up became a conflicted challenge as authors submitted well polished and well written excerpts. The main purpose of RFW has always been a place for writers who enjoy a little romance to practice and hone their craft; to obtain critiques and writing tips, show off published works, or just write for the sake of writing and having a few laughs or warm and gushy moments.

RFW hosts thank all of you for your support of the site, the encouragement offered submitting members, and mostly for your participating in our prompt Challenges. Give yourselves a round of applause (and chocolate kisses) for a wonderful year of togetherness.

Moving forward into 2013, we expect more changes, and hope you continue your support and participation. We (Denise and I) would like you all to know that we have listened to your requests and complaints, even when we did not immediately respond. And your generosity and patience towards us as hosts while we figured out some complications and unexpected changes are greatly appreciated.

While many of our proposed improvements are still in the discussion phase, (we have been busy enjoying our families and holiday celebrations too), some changes we are able to implement immediately:

 - Posting schedule: we realize that our members all have day lives and writing obligations outside of RFW, so we will only have one challenge a month as of right away. Tentatively, we will post the linky during either the first or the second week of the month (on Monday, at least in January) and the linky will remain open for three weeks. We will do a short wrap up post during the last week of the month, and announce the next challenge within the wrap up post.
 - Word counts: with the decreased number of challenges, we propose an increase in the word count for the challenges--up to 1000 words (but don't feel you have to struggle to reach this maximum.) This should alleviate the frustrations participants have encountered in developing a story concept in the limited 4-600 words, while still keeping the story a flash fiction piece. (see the "flash fiction" tab above for guidelines)
 - Wrap up critiques: It has become habit for the hosts to post mini-critiques (which are more like synopses) at each Challenge wrap up. This takes a lot of time on the part of the co-hosts; we generally read each entry several times and compare notes, and ya know, it's quite involved and has become onerous with the increase in entries. For these reasons, we have decided that those types of critiques should be reserved for FW/RU Challenges only.

There are feedback codes posted in the tab labeled "critiques" above which should be used to annotate the level and kind of acceptable feedback on any submitted challenge. (If you don't tell your readers what type of critique is acceptable to you, you will most likely just receive a short - 'I liked your story')...As mentioned earlier, wrap up posts will include an introduction to the next challenge, but the Challenges tab will still contain usual requirements/suggestions/guidelines for the particular prompt, which will change each time.

As always, please feel free to email Denise or Donna with any private concerns, suggestions, or questions; or leave your comments publicly at the RFW site. Member input at the site only makes RFW an enjoyable site for all. We LOVE discussions!!

Some changes have been made to some of the tabs - such as the Submissions tab. These will continue to be tweaked.

Now...on to more fun things . . the first RFW Challenge of the New Year.

Lets kick start this NEW YEAR with NEW LOVE and a challenge to get us all back into the writing mode. In keeping with the theme "out with the old, in with the new", RFW wants to see our protagonist/s venturing anew into the dating world with a new look/dating plan.  Do tell - in 1000 words or less - what those New Years resolutions on the love life include.  Make a list, plan an event, seek an oracle (therapist/best friend) for advice, or dive in unexpectedly with a spur of the moment resolve to make love happen. We’re looking for intent, not outcome

And that's a wrap for our first post of 2013. Welcome back everyone. We are looking forward to another fun and exciting year of reading and writing about romantic life.

Look for our first linky list of the year on Monday!


  1. Can't wait to get this party started! Thanks for the post Donna!

  2. Sounds like fun...

    A Happy New Year filled with loving expectations, no better way than that to start.

    Happy New Year Romance Writers!

    1. Will be great to have you on board again Yolanda.

  3. I can't wait to see what everyone come up with for this challenge. I've missed reading the excerpts :)


  4. January 4th, 2013
    Dear Denise, Donna and other REWers,

    What a cool idea for a challenge!

    I have already said that I was "storied-out" in December; but this challenge gives me hope that I will be able to write again.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Writing long for me is a challenge enough as poetry is my niche ~ I am happy to read that its only once a month as the last one took a lot of time from me ~

    I will try to participate when I can ~

    Wishing everyone a Happy New Year !!!!!

  6. Heaven, we'll certainly look forward to reading your poetry. You don't have to write 1,000 words. That's an epic poem!
    Happy New Year to you!!

  7. Happy New Year to all RFW-ers here.

    Like the flexibility and the extended word count. Interesting first prompt to start the year off!

    Looking forward to it and the other challenges, thank you.

  8. Hi Donna and Denise.
    Sounds like a plan.

    Happy New Year

  9. Remember everyone: word counts are maximum acceptable. If you can write it in less we applaud your ability to be concise :)

    Good to see you again Heaven, Anna, Nilanjana and Nancy. I hope you had a good holiday season.


  10. I like the theme of this new writing challenge.

  11. Great prompt ladies.... HI, ALL! Wishing all my fellow RFW'ers a HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS 2013! 2012 certainly had it's ups, downs, and curve balls. Let's hope we are all prepared for what's coming and have the strength, tenacity, and heart to get through it.

    SO looking forward to the entries. THIS ONE should be VERY intriguing. I am thrilled to be able to keep with my film noir for this challenge. YAY! This way I get to work on my novella. I haven't touched it since the last challenge...


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