#CTC29: Writing Challenge FAQ’s

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Community

Conquer the Craft in 29 Days (#CTC29) is off to a fantastic start! Already we have over 500 writers participating in this DIY MFA writing challenge, and Twitter is a-buzz with people sharing updates and progress. I’ve had a few people email me with questions and I’ve noticed a few that have come up again and again. I figure if a few people have asked the same questions that chances are many more might be wondering the same things. So, I’ve decided to post a handy-dandy set of FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) here today.

Q: “I just found out about #CTC29 but you’re already on Day 5. Is it too late to join?”

A: It’s not too late and we’d love to have you be part of the fun. The more the merrier and you can join anytime in the month of August. But the sooner you sign up the better because it will give you more time to do all the prompts and connect with other writers in the challenge. Come September we’ll be closing the challenge headquarters and it won’t reopen until we run the challenge again later this year.

To join, just sign up and jump in on whatever prompt is live that day. Prompts go out via email at 5am each day, but we’re also posting links to all past prompts at our Super-Secret Headquarters webpage. You’ll find the link to that page in the welcome email you get when you sign up.

Q: “I didn’t get today’s prompt. What happened?”

A: First, check your spam filter and make sure to whitelist DIY MFA so you don’t miss emails. If it’s not in the spam filter, then the email probably got eaten by the gremlins of the interwebs. But don’t worry, you can still find all the prompts listed on the challenge headquarters page. That way if you miss a prompt or join part-way through the challenge, you can always catch up.

Q: Once I’ve written something, what am I supposed to do with it?

A: That’s totally up to you and what you feel comfortable with. You don’t have to share your work at all and if you want to just store your pieces away in a notebook on your desk, that’s totally fine. The last thing I want is for the pressure of sharing your writing to get in the way of your actual writing.

That said, some intrepid writers have been blogging their prompts and sharing their progress each day, then tweeting the links with the #CTC29 hash tag. Sharing your work is a great way to keep yourself accountable. An alternative to this is to “play catch” with another writer. All you have to do is email each other your daily piece. The other person doesn’t have to read or comment, just catch it and keep you accountable. When you know that someone is waiting for your piece, it be the difference between dragging yourself to the desk to write, or giving into the temptation to skip a day.

At the same time, I totally understand that many writers would rather not post their work publicly online. (In fact, if you do post your work, keep in mind that once you hit that “publish” button on a blog, the writing is considered “previously published” and you won’t be able to publish the piece in a magazine or market that only accepts unpublished work.) To resolve this, I’m working on the possibility of a more private online space just for writers in the challenge. I will definitely keep you posted if we’re able to go ahead with that.

Got other questions not covered here?

Just email me or a member of the DIY MFA team and we’ll help you out. In the meantime, get ready to do some serious writing.

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