Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Writing Marathon and Pantomimes

Around about this time of year, for the last five years, I have taken part in a 12 hour writing marathon with an international online group of writers, all in aid of charity.

This year it will take place on Saturday, 30th October. We will start at 2pm GMT to allow for time zones around the world. With people joining in from UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, all over Europe and far and wide, it's difficult to find a 'right' time to suit all but we try.

We have previously raised funds for Children in Need, Alzheimers research, Jeans for Genes, Volunteer Reading Help, and a Cancer charity. It's difficult to collectively raise money around the world for a single cause so this year we are choosing our own special group. I have selected the Ehlers-Danlos Support Group. I guess you know why ; )

Writing marathons are great fun but hard work, especially around eight hours in  - the mind is flagging, the fingers are weak and the urge to collapse is strong. A tot or two usually helps at this stage. Last year I managed to write 33 pieces of poetry/short stories. I hope to improve on that this year - but with a break-off for food and Strictly and having to listen whilst the kids watch Xfactor, I might be struggling!

This year though, to help us through, I have added a special, exciting twist - I have collected prompts for inspiration/ideas from some great writers - Ian Rankin, Katie Fforde, Nicola Morgan, Colette Caddle, Jan Jones, Leigh Russell, Jane Smith, Gillian Philip, Sally Quilford, Nik Perring, Jon Pinnock - and more if I can get them. How inspiring is that? To write to a prompt from a great?

If you fancy joining in - all you have to do is sign up for free membership to the Write Idea forum

http://www.helenwhittaker.net/phpBB2/index.php

and create a just giving page (like mine above) for your chosen charity. It doesn't matter if you can only contribute an hour, three hours, ten hours or less - every little helps. The idea is to write poems/short stories (up to 500 words)/non-fiction - in fact, anything you want. You can start a novel if you wish! It's also a great way to write - it produces some fabulous ideas and work that has gone on to greater things. I've used writathon pieces as background for much longer stories that have gone on to be published.

If you aren't a writer, please consider encouraging me on the day with messages of support and perhaps a donation. I promise to write something just for you!

And whilst I build myself up for Saturday, I really must make some moves on the pantomime I hope to pen for my nursery - The Christmas Footprint - think Cinderella meets the three bears and Father Christmas and the three wise men - or something like that - after I've tackled Mount Vesuvius that is my ironing.

Have a great autumn week everyone.

6 comments:

  1. I'm boggling a bit at just how much you wrote last year during the Write-athon. 33 pieces of poetry/short stories?! Wow.

    All the best of luck for this year and great idea to have collected writing prompts in advance - and from such terrific writers!

    Good luck with the panto, as well. Like the sound of that. I'd say ignore Mount Vesuvius, the just-got-out-of-bed-after-having-slept-in-your-clothes rumple is so in this year.

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  2. Thanks Kath - I keep trying that look but just can't carry it off with confidence ;-)

    As for those 33 pieces of writing - some were just a 100 words long, or 6 lines - and it's rough, not polished - that comes later.

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  3. Good luck with this. It sounds fab x

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  4. Thanks Helen - it's great fun and hard work but worth it!

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  5. Even if some of your 33 pieces of writing were relatively short, I'm still impressed!! That's still 33 different prompts/sources of inspiration within a limited time under pressure. :)

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  6. Well, not sure I'll beat it this year but anything is inspiration for future full length stories. Some get the cull, others hopefully go onto great things : )

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