As some of you may already know, I am a card-carrying member of the Writer's Digest forum. I joined the forum almost a decade ago, looking to learn from other writers and develop my craft. Over the years, I have met many wonderful people and enjoyed the various challenges proposed by others. As my own personal contribution to the fun and games, six years ago I proposed having a Holiday Story Exchange (HSE). This is a type of writer's Secret Santa. One writer crafts a story that includes a second writer as the lead character, using a few pieces of information provided by the second writer (e.g., favorite foods, favorite movies, state of residence). The stories are posted to a invitation only site without posting the author's name. Then, once all the stories have been posted and read, the authors have the opportunity to try to guess who wrote what. In the past, as incentive for playing, we have given out gift cards ($10) to the winner.
2013 marks the seventh year of the HSE. Many of the old players are still with us, and a few new participants have joined in as well. I am making my last call to forumites this week, and thought I would post a shout out to fellow writers in the blogosphere. Here is my tentative schedule of dates for the 2013 HSE:
11/4: Completed Questionnaires Submitted
11/6: Names and questionnaires distributed
12/15: Submission deadline for completed stories
12/23: Release of stories on invitation only site
12/29 - 12/31: Guess who wrote what
1/1: Winner announced
For those of you who might be interested, you can find us out in the "Community" section on writersdigest.com. Joining the forum is free, and we enjoy the company of all newcomers. Once in the forum, you can locate the "HSE" thread under the Writer's Block Party header, where you'll find the questionnaire to complete and further instructions. We would love to have more participants.