For those who have been with us before, it's that time again: The Holiday Story Exchange. So pop on over to the Writer's Digest Forums to sign up. The list is located in the "Take It Outside" threads. For those who are unfamiliar with HSE, here's how it works:
Each participating writer will fill out a brief questionnaire with a few personal facts. Then, like a Christmas gift exchange, those questionnaires will be shuffled and distributed so that one writer will have the fact sheet from another writer. Using those facts, then, the goal is to craft a story about your secret writer, which will then be given back as a gift. In December, all of the stories will be released using a secure website, thanks to my good friend Cindy (aka "Gooblink" in the Forums), so that only the participating writers will be able to read. The stories will be originally posted without writer by-lines so that it then becomes a guessing game as to who wrote a story for whom. Once everyone has the opportunity to read all of the stories, they can submit a list, trying to match up the writer with the story. The one who guesses the most correctly will have special honors.
The HSE has always been about having fun, as well as giving a personalized gift for the holidays. In the past, we've tried to collect all of the stories into one PDF document that is then distributed to everyone for their e-library. We'll attempt to do that again this year.
While the HSE has been about fun, it has also been the source of inspiration. Cindy recently announced that one of her HSE projects has become the seed for a novel in progress. As for me, with permission from Cindy (my subject), I submitted my 2008 HSE project "Don't Mess With The Moon Goddess" to Long Story Short, which was accepted and then selected as story of the month for March 2010. To see an example of what we try to do with HSE, you can read a copy of my story on the Long Story Short webzine.
As a timeline for the interested parties, we'll try to stick to the same deadlines. We'll keep the sign-up list open until October 15. During this time, once you've added your name, take the time to fill out the brief questionnaire (details to follow) and then submit your responses. On October 16, we'll distribute the collected facts, and then you can write your story. All stories should be submitted by November 30, 2010, after which they will be posted on the secure website. As to when we can collect them into a PDF document, those details will also be forthcoming; however, the plan will be to release the completed document prior to Christmas.
Okay, I think that's enough details for now. Feel free to post any questions you have, and don't forget to visit the Writer's Digest Forums for more information and to sign up.
Until next time...