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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 27, 2012 12:40PM) (new)

Dear members,

Our fellow member, Gerard, has been in contact with me and some other members regarding a writing challenge for the group which I strongly support and am greatly excited by.

I intend to submit a short story for this project and I hope that some of you will join me.

The following message regarding the ins-and-outs of the challenge is his, (the highlighting is my own.)

Time for New Year resolutions.

What about making this the year you see yourself in (digital) print?

The Goodreads Ireland group has set itself a challenge to e-publish a collection of new writing from unpublished writers by 1st May 2013.

The purpose of the challenge is to encourage our keen readers to apply themselves to producing a short piece of writing. This is not a competition, not a 'best of' selection, not subject to an editor's subjective opinion - all submissions will be included (insofar as laws of libel, pornography etc are not breached!).

We invite members to submit any new writing, in any form (short story, poetry, essay, biography, anything you like), to be included in a Group e-book.

The deadline for receipt of submissions will be 28th February 2013.

As the purpose of the challenge is to encourage readers to become writers, the only exclusion is that existing Goodreads authors are not invited (they have already taken the plunge, and their participation may displace the very people we seek to encourage).

Theme: 2013 has been designated as 'The Gathering Ireland 2013 - a spectacular, year-long celebration of all things Irish'. As a loose theme for the collection, we invite you to apply your own interpretation to 'The Gathering' (without getting too hung up on the theme). See for inspiration - and then completely ignore it if you wish.

The submitted pieces will be collated and published as a Kindle e-book on Amazon.
The printed words will be as received from the individual contributors - there will be no editing, proof-reading or other professional input to your work - so it is up to yourself to be satisfied with it.

The published e-book will have its own ISBN number, but contributors will not be prevented from using their own work in future in other collections, publications etc.

The collection will be published and sold on Amazon. Any surplus income generated from sales will be donated to charity (as yet undetermined, but possibly a charity supporting literacy in areas of social deprivation).

To register your interest in the challenge, send a short e-mail to

In summary:
- writing invited from Group members who are not Goodreads authors
- all pieces will be included, no rejections (but keep it within the law!)
- the theme is 'The Gathering' - but make of that what you will
- any form - short story, poetry, essay, anything else you can think of except graphic (the e-book will only be text, no artwork or graphics to go with individual pieces).
-deadline for submissions is 28th February 2013
- anticipated publication date is 1st May 2013.

I would just like to reiterate that this project is aimed at encouraging new writers.

I hope that quite a few of you will join me in writing a piece for this challenge. I know from experience that a lot of people can be reluctant to share their work with others, but I think that that would be a terrible loss. I know that everyone has a story to tell, and I would love to read them. Please note that members intending to take part should use the aforementioned email address. I will leave this thread as a notice to future members who may be interested in taking part and as a forum for discussion about the project.

Hoping that you'll join us,

Declan. :)

message 2: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wenders) oohh I think I will have to give this a go :)

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Brilliant! :) I still haven't decided what I'm going to write about. I thought I would have started already.

message 4: by Ted (new)

Ted | 133 comments Well, I too will have a go at this. I'm not expecting much of myself, but it should be fun and interesting. I'll be eager to see what other "non-authors" come up with, I bet there will be some really good pieces.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

It's a long time since I've written anything and that was a school essay.

It actually makes me all the more excited about taking part.

message 6: by Bernie (new)

Bernie I have my thinking hat on too, but until I get back to reality after the festive season it is not going to happen.

message 7: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Just as a reminder, could everybody taking part e-mail me at I will reply with an attached word document templated with the font and paragraph settings that we will use as standard. This will make it easier to format all the contributions into the finished e-book.

After that, it's all up to you!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Awesome, I'm in or at least I'll try. Have aspired to write for several years and have joined a creative writing class BUT still I fin myself reluctant to write. I know weird.

message 9: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Good man, Stephen - This could be your contribution to the City of Culture!

message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I've sent an email and started thinking:)

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Great to have you on board, Barbara.

message 12: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments What a great idea. Is there a suggested length?

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I disussed this with Gerry previously, and anything up to 100,000 words was stated, with no lower limit mentioned.

Will you be joining us, Cathleen?

message 14: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Cathleen

A good thing about an e-book is that the word count doesn't really matter that much, so your writing is really up to yourself.
Maybe not everyone will write a short story but may submit poetry, an essay (old fashioned blog?), a short travel piece, personal memoir or something else that takes their fancy. Anything goes really, except graphics - we can only handle text.

I'm not contributing myself but, if I was going to, I'd imagine something between 10 and 15k words would be a realistic maximum target, given the deadline is the end of February. However, I suspect most people will be around the 5-10k mark, probably less for poetry and other forms, and the word count for all the pieces combined will probably be between 50-100,000 words.

All contributions will be included, but we won't be proof-reading, editing or otherwise curating the contributions, so the writers' words will appear as they send them, so they will probably want to revise, self-edit and, maybe, have a friend proof-read the submission before it is sent in.

The writing process itself is usually a solitary process but, in the spirit of the 'Group', maybe some members would enjoy collaborating with others in the process - either a writing partnership or supporting each other with proof-reading etc.

Anyway, I'm just about to e-mail out the standard formatting we'll be using, so I'll forward this to you as an e-mail attachment if you wish - just register your interest at

Good luck


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I have started working on a short poem. I am having fun playing with the wording.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I finally wrote something down. I've around 700 words done and I feel as though I know where I'm going.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I was never a fan of writing fiction as I would agonise over the use of colons and semicolons and such.

Now I'm doing it again. I'd really like to convey my thoughts in the manner in which they come to me, and I'm so out of practice that It's actually giving me a headache as I try to remember their proper use.


message 17: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Declan wrote: "I disussed this with Gerry previously, and anything up to 100,000 words was stated, with no lower limit mentioned.

Will you be joining us, Cathleen?"

I think I might give it a try :)

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Great to hear, Cathleen.

message 19: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Here is a link to the Booktrust website's page on writing tips and resources:

There is no right or wrong way to write, of course, but this might be of interest to any of you who are getting started with the writing challenge.

message 20: by Deirdre (new)

Deirdre Gosh, 100,000 words... that's quite a lot. Most novels are approx 80-100k word count. How will it work as a collation if, say, 25 people send their 80k novels/biogs/short story collections? Are you sure that shouldn't be 10,000 words as upper limit rather than 100,000?

message 21: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Deirdre,
you're right (see message 14 above).

We have e-mailed details to anybody who has registered their interest.

This is for new writers, so an existing writer with 80k words already completed on the theme of 'The Gathering' is out of luck, but we aren't setting any limits on the word count.

I expect most people would be happy to write between 5 -15,000 words before 28th February, but that includes setting aside time for as much revision and proof-reading as each writer feels necessary.

I'll be very surprised if the total word count (all contributions combined) is more than 100k, and I suspect the total will be closer to the 50k mark.

If anybody does produce a novel in that space of time, they would probably want to publish it under their own steam anyway, instead of having it published under our ISBN number.

message 22: by Deirdre (new)

Deirdre Thanks for clarifying that, Gerard - my poor little brain was very discombobulated by it all! It all makes sense now.

Gerard wrote: "Deirdre,
you're right (see message 14 above).

We have e-mailed details to anybody who has registered their interest.

This is for new writers, so an existing writer with 80k words already complete..."

message 23: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Gerard wrote: "Here is a link to the Booktrust website's page on writing tips and resources:

There is no right or wrong way to write, of course, but this might be of interest..."

An article on writing poetry on this site was very helpful and common sense. The author said that rather than sitting down to write a sonnet, haiku, etc., you should go with the idea and the form will work itself out.

message 24: by Ted (new)

Ted | 133 comments Gerard, I thought I might ask a question in this forum so that others can see the answer. The letter you sent out specifies a font and size. My question is, can the writer change the font size for brief pieces of text for some artistic reason? Can the writer use italics and bold if they want to? Or would any/all of these format alterations make the transfer of submitted docs to the e-format you envision a pain in the ass, or even impossible? Or perhaps the transfer could still be done, but the formats expected by the writer would not be implemented?

message 25: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Ted

It will be fine if you adapt the suggested standard font etc to your own particular needs. Changes in font size, use of italics and bold in brief pieces of text won't compromise the overall consistency of the e-book in total, so don't feel constricted by the standardised format.

message 26: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Deirdre

Do you think you might join us in this writing challenge?

message 27: by Ted (new)

Ted | 133 comments Thanks Gerard. And I hope Deirdre does join us. The more the merrier! And probably some will not complete the race, so more is definitely better.

message 28: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Ten people have confirmed their interest so far, and it would be good if there were a few more, so if anyone is still dithering about whether to participate please just take the plunge and join us.

message 29: by Deirdre (new)

Deirdre Gerard wrote: "Deirdre

Do you think you might join us in this writing challenge?"

Hi Gerard, afraid I'm not up to the challenge! I'm happy being a reader, and wish everyone who contributes all the best. I'll look forward to reading what everyone has written.

message 30: by Lyn (new)

Lyn Horner Suggestion for next year if not this one: Offer a separate category for published authors. Some writing contests do this. I would love to enter a short piece but since I've self-pubbed several books, I can't. Darn!

message 31: by Ciara (new)

Ciara (chizabubble) May I ask about what genres you are looking for? Any and all or sticking to just one or two to encourage readers? Actually, what kind of genre does everyone prefer?

I'll do any and all (excluding horror because I'm a giant baby)

message 32: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Ciara

We have suggested the general theme of 'The Gathering 2013' but there are no restrictions as to genre or form. Some members have indicated that they will submit a short story, others are working on poetry, and others on non-fiction.
The rationale behind the challenge is to encourage our keen readers to express their own creativity, so it is really more about being involved in the writing process than it is about delivering a product that will be attractive to the mass market of readers. It isn't a contest or an attempt to publish a best seller (although that would be nice), so feel free to interpret the challenge in whichever genre you feel most comfortable with.

message 33: by Darren (new)

Darren Gallagher (darrengallagher) | 9 comments I would participate in this only I am a Goodreads Author.
Sounds like a great idea, and good luck to everyone taking part! I look forward to seeing/reading the finished book..:)

message 34: by Ciara (new)

Ciara (chizabubble) Thanks for the reply, Gerard. I might give it a go.

message 35: by Mary (new)

Mary (mary62) I too would like to take part like Darren above but I have a collection on here so that is me out. I wish you all the best it is a great idea. Looking forward to the finished product :)

message 36: by Ken (new)

Ken Magee I wish everyone the very best of luck with this adventure. I've had a couple of books published (but not read much!), so I can't join in the fun.

Take the plunge guys, you'll not regret it.

message 37: by Tina (new)

Tina Pisco (goodreadscomtina_pisco) | 27 comments Why are these for alwaysunpublished authors! If you are short-I'd be happy to contribute an unpublished short story to your project...

message 38: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Tina

The reason for setting this particular challenge is simply to encourage unpublished members to try a short piece of writing.

Hopefully, some or all of the contributors will continue to write, and some may even become published in their own right. Also, as they are all keen readers, it will be interesting to see if they notice any change in their reading tastes or attitudes after taking part

message 39: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Good to have you with us, Edmund.
If you send me an email to, I'll send you a word document with the formatting we are using.

message 40: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Nolan (geoffnolan) | 3 comments Good idea - best of luck guys.

message 41: by Bernie (new)

Bernie OK, I have come up with an idea for the cover and I am half way through it. I think it will be ready next week and will get in touch when it is finished. I wo'nt go into detail but it is my take on the gathering and so far it is coming on well.

message 42: by Laura (new)

Laura | 258 comments I have no writings to contribute but wanted to say how impressed I am by the people who give it a go,

message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

There's over a month left to submit, Laura, so if you find any inspiration you'll have loads of time to write a piece.

message 44: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Here is a link to the BBC's 'Writersroom' website:

It is slanted towards scriptwriting for TV & Radio drama, but there is a lot of good advice that may be applied to any writing form.

message 45: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I was inspired by the poem read at Obama's inauguration tody and started a thrid poem:) All three are still works in progress.

message 46: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa You are going well, Barbara, keep going!

How is everybody else getting on?

message 47: by Jack (new)

Jack (jack_) When you finish your piece of writing do you email it to the address?

message 48: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Yes, please Jack. Send it to once you are ready.

message 49: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Gerard wrote: "You are going well, Barbara, keep going!

How is everybody else getting on?"

I wrote about 500 words at the weekend. Mostly dialogue. Lots of swearing. Hope I don't bring the tone of the book down!

Not too sure where it's going, I don't exactly have a masterplan.

message 50: by Gerard (new)

Gerard Cappa Good start, John. You'll probably recognise it when you get there.

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