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The 2018 Writing Olympics

Buried in the Slushpile | 2 comments

Writing Olympics

Sadly, the 2018 Winter Olympics have ended—and some how I managed to not see a single moment. Not the historic triple axel or the Norwegian Curling team’s pants during play. Nothing.

But just because Olympic glory is over for the athletes, doesn’t mean it has to be over. Introducing the 2018 Writing Olympics.

Join me as we all compete against ourselves for medals in 5 writing categories: the Writing Biathlon, Synchronized Writing, Outlining, One Page Synopsis, and the Querying/Self-Publishing events.

Below, I’ll describe each event, when they’ll happen, and the way to medal in each:

Event: Writing Biathlon

Like all Biathlons, this event has two components: daily word counts and daily consistency. The goal is to write at least 1000 words a day for five days in a row. Medals will be awarded for the following:

  • Gold: At least 5000 words total with words being written for 5 consecutive days
  • Silver: At least 4000 words total with words being written for 4 out of 5 days
  • Bronze: At least 3000 words total with words being written for 3 out of 5 days
  • Life Got in the Way: At least 1000 words total at some point in the 5 days

We’ll kick off today and go through the end of March. Pick any 5 days during that time for this event.

Event: Synchronized Writing

This is inspired by both Synchronized Swimming (which is in the Olympics) and Synchronized Ice Dancing (which as far as I know isn’t an Olympic sport). The idea behind this is that we are all stronger as a team—even solitary writers. So, I’m going to host 3 virtual writing times on my Facebook page during the Writing Biathlon. The links to the Facebook Invites are below. Show up to write for forty-five minutes, and then we’ll chat about our WIPs, writing, and whatever else you all want. And since these are really mini-Facebook parties, there will be giveaways. Medals will be awarded for the following:

  • Gold: Attend one full party
  • Silver: Attend for at least one half hour to one party
  • Bronze: Attend for at least fifteen minutes to one party
  • Life Got in the Way: Consider going, but not actually be able to make it

Facebook Party Dates are 2/27/18, 2/28/28, and 3/1/18. Click on each date for more information. Each writing event will take place on my Facebook Page.

Event: Outlining

Now we get into the nitty gritty of writing. For this you need to create an outline of either your WIP or a manuscript you are ready to query. Of course, I recommend my Story Slices outline, but any type of outline will do. Medals will be awarded for the following:

  • Gold: Full outline by 2/28/18
  • Silver: Half outline by 2/28/18
  • Bronze: Quarter outline by 2/28/18
  • Life Got in the Way: Blank outline, but you at least printed one out

Event: One Page Synopsis

Taking that outline you created for the previous event, use it write a one page synopsis. This will later be instrumental in the next event.

  • Gold: Complete synopsis by 3/7/18
  • Silver: Half synopsis by 3/7/18
  • Bronze: Quarter synopsis by 3/7/18
  • Life Got in the Way: You started the document but didn’t get very far.

Event: Querying/Self-Publishing

This is the culminating event, and I realize that people working on their very first WIP won’t be ready for it yet. That’s fine. You can catch this event in our next Olympic challenge. In this event, there are two tracks: the query track and the self-publishing track. Medals will be awarded accordingly:


  • Gold: Research and send 5 queries to agents/editors by the end of March
  • Silver: Research and send 3 queries to agents/editors by the end of March
  • Bronze: Research 10 agents or editors to query your WIP during 2018
  • Life Got in the Way: Make a list of 20 agents or editors/publishing houses to research later


  • Gold: Set a release date for your book and schedule your editor and graphics person so you’ll be ready in time, start formulating your marketing strategy
  • Silver: Set a release date for your book and schedule your editor and graphics person so you’ll be ready in time
  • Bronze: Set a release date for your book and schedule your editor so you’ll be ready in time
  • Life Got in the Way: Decide on the format for your book and set your release date

Medals will be awarded on an honor system. I’ll be making them in early March and posting them on Facebook. Grab the image for the one you’ve earned, and proudly display it on your site, Facebook, or wherever. Personally, I’m aiming for a five medal gold sweep, but the realistic side of me says to aim for a more silver/gold mix.

Join me so we can cheer each other on.

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