A Writing Sprint To The New Year

On Writing

Because of everything that’s happened this fall—Dean’s accident, food poisoning (mine Thanksgiving week), school shooting (good God)—I’ve been a bit distracted (which is the understatement of the century).  I’ve learned, though, that fiction writing is a refuge and a release for me. But I can be and often am distracted by everything. If I’m in my office making things up, though, I’m doing well.

I had a deadline to meet last week for a Spade/Paladin story for the new collection, and that got me into my office. I had fun writing, even with all the other horrid stuff going on, and that got me to thinking.

I want to spend the last part of the year writing, and for that, I would like some help. So Dean & I set up a writing challenge, something I almost never do. We’re calling it Sprint To The New Year with Kris. We’re going through Teachable and making it official, or I won’t do it. (I don’t do vague friendly challenges. I do ones with something on the line. Those are the only deadlines that work for me.)

So the deadline is December 31. See if you can finish more “consumable words” (see definition below) than I do. I’ll be reporting to the Teachable group only.

You need to sign up before the start date, which is Monday, December 18.

I know many of you will be involved in holiday events. I also know that for some of you, this time of year is one of the few times you don’t have real world job obligations and you hope to get some writing done. This challenge might help.

I actually think this will be fun. It’ll give me a focus, that’s for certain. I hope you join me.


Here’s the write-up from Dean (and on the Teachable site):

The challenge is to write as many consumable words from Monday, December 18th through December 31st 2023 as Kris writes.

What are “consumable” words?

— Any fiction of any type (no requirement to publish during the challenge time)

— Any nonfiction that others will consume such as blogs, introductions to collections things like that.

You can NOT count emails and comments on Facebook and other social media or comments on blogs. They do NOT count.

No genre limitations.


1… Every day Kris will send a letter through the class email system to just those in the challenge talking about the words she wrote the previous day and her experience. There will be a running count on the class of Kris’s total words every few days.

She will not talk about the content of what she is writing. And neither should you.

2… The cost is $300.

(No credit from anything, I am afraid. Can’t buy in with credit to get more credit.)

3… If you do NOT write as many words as she does in the two weeks, you get $300 credit toward any online teaching, such as Pop-Up series or lectures or classics or lifetime workshops.

So in essence, you are buying at least $300 credit and getting the chance to watch Kris and see how you stack up against her writing output.

4… If you beat Kris’s word count at the end of the 14 day sprint, you get $600 in credit for anything on Teachable to be used at any point for anything in the future (except other challenges.)

Kris will report each day about her previous day’s writing through the email program in the Teachable class, but only to those in the challenge.

5… On January 1st you will report to Dean your word count in the 14 days to get your credit.

Kris is excited to do this. She usually doesn’t do challenges, but since the two of us are both coming out of a long fall, she thinks this two week one sprinting to the end of the year will be great fun.

This is a win/win/win challenge. Jump in, should be fun and get your writing fired up for the new year! And you get an up-close look at how Kris writes on a daily basis.

Questions, write me at dean.wmgworkshops@gmail.com

And he has a blog post this morning answering some questions, which you can find here.

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