Thursday, December 24, 2015

#30mdare 2015!

Do you want to write ALL THE WORDS this holiday season? Yes. Yes, you do. And the best way to make that happen is by playing #30mdare (it's basically a word count Christmas miracle).

How #30mdare Got Started

In 2013, Rebecca Petruck launched a spontaneous writing challenge during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day for a bunch of us from OneFour KidLit, a collective of MG and YA authors whose books debuted in 2014. We “dared” each other and anyone else who wanted to play to write the most words during 30-minute writing sprints with winner choosing the others’ Twitter avatars. And there were some doozies! In five days, fifteen of us wrote a total of 53,000 words. (See the Publishers Weekly article here.)

Last year was even better/stronger/faster with 38 participants, 74, dares, 6 manuscripts completed, and 242,296 words. Let's just pause for a second to let that number sink in. 242,296. That's a lot of words.

It would be fantastic to break 100,000 words again and encourage even more participation so writers everywhere can leap into 2016 feeling as energized and inspired as we all did last year. Please spread the word via your blogs, social networks, critique partners, and other friends.


Official Week: 12/26/15 – 12/30/15, beginning at midnight, ending at midnight ET (for you Night Writers and non-ETs)

A Dare: Anyone may moderate, but a minimum of three must sprint together.
Check the #30mdare hashtag on Twitter to check if anyone is about to launch a dare. If not, put the call out that you would like to sprint at X:XX and see if you get any takers.

I plan to lead several dares a day. Twitter: @rachael_allen. Also keep an eye on Kaye M. @gildedspine, Jaye Robin Brown @JayeRobinBrown, Christina Farley @ChristinaFarley, Pat Esden @patesden, and Elizabeth May @_ElizabethMay in particular, though all will use the #30mdare hashtag, so you should be able to find a dare anytime. And remember you may always lead one yourself!

Dare! The moderator will call the official Start/Stop of the 30-minute writing sprint, collect the word counts, and declare the winner. The winner will choose an avatar for the others in his/her dare.

Avatars: Must be “worn” a minimum of 12 hours or until your next dare. Avatars should be funny, embarrassing, or both—but not indecent or otherwise inappropriate for a group of mostly kidlit authors! (You know who you are, stinkers!) 

IMPORTANT! Moderators please immediately post your date/time, participants, word counts, and a link to the assigned avatar to the shared spreadsheet! This is ESSENTIAL for those who wish to win fame and the right to crow outrageously on social media. Let’s hit 100,000, dare-junkies!

I'm making the spreadsheet public so that anyone can jump in to moderate a dare and update the spreadsheet info. Here is the link for everyone to check stats and add information.


Winners of the following categories will be featured in a #30mdare 2015 wrap up blog post and receive the adoration of the people:

Highest total word count 

Highest single-dare word count

Most dares completed

Most dares won

Completed manuscript!
Your personal avatar will be photoshopped with a crown to use at will.

Funniest dare avatar (to be determined by a not impartial panel of judge(s))
Your personal avatar will be photoshopped with a mustache to use at will. (There may be daily or otherwise multiple winners.)
HONOR SYSTEM: The dares and prizes are for fun, and most of us are proud to wear silly avatars (except that one time because Jaye Robin Brown is Ee-Vill). Nothing we do here is worth building up bad karma! Simply have fun and be inspired.

Let’s make this a #30mdare Holiday Blitz of Awesome!

Also - a huge thanks to Rebecca Petruck for A) thinking of this, B) taking the helm on it the past two years, and C) letting me use her blog post and spreadsheet as my templates. She rocks and so does her book STEERING TOWARD NORMAL, and you should totally follow her on Twitter here: @RebeccaPetruck

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

YA Lit Truth or Dare Jenga

I really love dares. Enough to make all my best friends bachelorette dare lists. Enough to write a book about girls completing a list of dares as part of an elaborate plot to get revenge on the football team. And now, enough to make a YA Lit Truth or Dare Jenga set. Enjoy :)

How to Play: It’s just like regular Jenga, except you have to do what’s written on the tile you pull.

How the Points Work: There’s points. The points are bad. You can think of some ultimate dare punishment for whoever has the most points at the end, if you want. And if you want a game that’s more NA than YA, you could substitute a more grown up activity for the points. Like the kind for grown ups who are 21.

(Note: I put in book links in case people don't get all the references.)

1)    Categories (Pick a YA lit-related category – Harry Potter spells, Laurie Halse Anderson books, etc. First person to mess up takes a point.)
2)    Mila 2.0 (Do the robot. Feel free to crank some theme music.)
3)    Carrots (If there are any gingers at the table, please refer to them as “Carrots” for the duration of the game.)
4)    Sisterhood of the Traveling… (Swap an article of clothing with someone.)
5)    The Boyfriend List (You get to assign 1 point for every YA Book Boyfriend you can name in 20 seconds.)
6)    Fangirl! (What is the most embarrassing fan fiction you’ve ever written? Or read, if you’ve never written any.)
7)    Katniss (Volunteer as tribute whenever the Prim of your choosing is assigned points. But just until you’ve had your next two turns. Also, you know you have to do your best Katniss impersonation whenever you do this, right?)
8)    Dauntless (Group gives you a Dare.)
9)    Dauntless
11) Veritaserum (Group gives you a Truth.)
13) Alethiometer (Spin your Jenga tile, and whoever it points at has to answer a truth.)
14) Walk Off! (Challenge someone to an epic Beauty Queens-style walk off. Ladybird Hope would be proud.)
15) OCD Fan Story (What author are you so obsessed with that you made a total fool of yourself in front of them? And, yes, you have to tell the story, obvs.)
16) The Commandant (You make a rule that everyone must follow for the rest of this Jenga game. Feel free to torture anyone who disobeys – but, like, not really.)
17) Etienne St. Claire (Shortest person takes a point.)
18) Cricket Bell (Tallest person takes a point.)
19) Simon Says (If anyone is wearing a blue shirt/dress/yoga pants, send them flirty text messages whenever it’s their turn. Bonus if you can working in Oreos.)
20) The Renesme (Pick someone to imprint on and go sit in their lap until your next turn.)
21) Sons of Adam (Guys take a point.)
22) Daughters of Eve (Girls take a point.)
23) Bruxis/Scuppy (What would you do if you had a bruxis right now? And no, you can’t pick world peace. What would you do if you had a scuppy?)
24) Ship it good (Pick a Team – Team Jacob, Team Peeta, Team Will. Anyone not on your team takes a point.)
25) Professor Trelawney (Make a prediction about who you think will knock the tower down by pointing at them and saying “You have the Grim!” If you’re wrong, take 10 points. If you’re right, give 10 points.)
26) 17 First Kisses (Assign 1 point for every person you’ve kissed that you can name in 20 seconds.)
27) TTYL (You are only allowed to use teen girl internet speak until your next turn.)
28) Cinder + Iko (Pick a BFF. Whenever one of you gets or gives points, the other does too.)
29) Shahrzad (Tell the group a story about you that no one else present knows. And it better be a good one, or you’ll be executed. Or at least be given 5 points.)
30) Dumplin’ (Lip-sync Jolene by the legendary goddess Dolly Parton. If you’re half as good as Willowdean, someone at this table is guaranteed to fall in love you.)
31) Winterkill (Everyone has to say mayhap instead of maybe and if you forget, 1 point!)
32) Being Sloane Jacobs (Everyone says what character in YA lit is their Doppleganger.)
33) The DUFF (You are now the designated drink and snack getter for the rest of the game. But you’re not ugly. Or fat. In fact, your hair looks really great today. Also, the other players will refer to you as “Duffy” when asking, and if they forget, you get to give them one of your points.)
34) Pretty Little Liar (What would A use if she was blackmailing you? Don’t lie.)
35) Beware theWild (The bathroom is now the meanest swamp in Louisiana. If you go into the swamp, you have to pretend to be a YA character when you get back – at least, until someone guesses who you are.)
36) Wake (Please tell everyone about the last strange embarrassing dream you had.)
37) The New Hotness (Assign 1 point for every YA debut from this year that you can name in 20 seconds.)
38) Bella Swan (Pick someone else to put this tile on top of the tower for you because, let’s be real, you would knock over THE WHOLE DANG THING.)
39) Suitcase! (Cram yourself into a suitcase Open Road Summer-style. If there is no suitcase to be had, cram yourself into a space that is similar in its comical smallness.)
40) Puck (Puck’s a bad ass. Girl or not, she’ll ride in the Scorpio Races. And when she plays Jenga, you better believe she doesn’t pull the center tiles. And now neither do you.)
41) Gallagher Girl (Shhh. Be cool. Be cool. You mission: Touch your finger to your nose. The last person at the table to do so gets a point and is clearly not cut out to be a spy.)
42) Compose a toast for your favorite YA villain. (My money’s on The Darkling.)
43) Hate Spinnerbait! (Assign 1 point for every Sarah Dessen book you can name in 20 seconds.)
44) Just Visiting (Vic from JV has basically the hottest make out scene ever. And it’s in a field. What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever “Just Visited”?)
45) Genovian Princess (After you place this tile on top, do a royal wave that would make both Mia Thermopolis and the Queen of YA proud.)
46) Be the Bookshelf (Please demonstrate your best planking skills.)

I only made 46 even though there are 54 Jenga tiles because it’s always good to have some blanks in case of awesome tile epiphanies. Let me know if you have any!