Ann Dee: Fevers and Marathons

We are all feverish here in the Ellis home so this will be short and sweet.

March Marathon

Date: March 18-20

What: Write your heart out. During those three days your focus will be writing. Think of this as national-write-a-novel-in-a-weekend weekend.

Grand Prize 1: We all have jobs, kids and responsibilities so it’s going to be a balancing act. However, grand prize of a first chapter manuscript critique goes to the person who writes the most words in those three days. These don’t have to be good words, they just have to words that work in a manuscript. No free write freebies.

Grand Prize 2: Because we want company, recruit your friends. The person who persuades the most writers to join the marathon will receive a copy of both THE CHOSEN ONE and EVERYTHING IS FINE.

Other Prizes Just as Grand: In addition to the grand prizes (and since we are all at different phases in our various projects/have different writing processes) we want to encourage all of you who sign up to make a personal goal  that you want to achieve during the marathon. Maybe it’s to finish revising that MG you’ve been working on, maybe it’s to come up with ten new picture book ideas. Whatever you need, whatever you think you can do that will help you jumpstart your writing, make the goal. Also decide what kind of prize you are going to give yourself if you achieve your goal. Make it good. Make it something you want. Want want. Like a pony. Or a dinner at Sizzler. Come on. For those of you in Utah, we could all celebrate at a restaurant or a park or Lagoon. We’ll party. If there are others in your area who join you in the marathon and make their goal, plan an extravaganza.

How to Sign Up: Leave a comment on this post. List your name, your goal, and your prize if you reach the goal. Also list who referred you to the marathon. We will put a link to this post until the beginning of the marathon on March 18-20


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109 responses to “Ann Dee: Fevers and Marathons

  1. Amy

    I’m in.

    My goal is to finish up my book. (Can I do it?)

    I want your book Ann Dee. I was waiting for it to come out in paperback…cause I’m cheap.

  2. Carol Bradley

    Name: Carol Bradley
    Goal: write the final chapters on my historical fantasy
    Prize: my favorite dinner at Mimi’s PLUS dessert

  3. I, Karen Krueger, am going to get through my horrid murky middles so I can get on with life and finish my darn first draft. As compensation, I’m going to reward myself with an entire half gallon of raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream. All to myself. And then start another March Marathon at the gym. Ha. Just kidding about the gym part.

    And even though I already knew about this, I also received an email from Chersti. So I’ll help her out & say she referred me. 🙂

  4. I’m in! By “I,” I mean Rachel Giddings, and I was recruited by Chersti.

    My goal is to write three chapters in my new novel (since I’ve been stuck in the middle for several weeks now), type them up (since I write on paper), and come up with an outline for the rest of it. As a reward, I will buy myself yarn! I’ve been eying some gorgeous sock yarn but haven’t been able to rationalize it; it’s nice to have motivation.

  5. Me, me, me!

    I WILL finish the first draft of the book Carol inspired me to write.

    My reward, a weekend in Cali with Carol, Ann Dee, and my A.E.C. I would’ve said Florida but I saw that picture of all those sharks. I don’t like sharks.

  6. Name: TA Demings
    Goal: get through icky middles, so I can finish and revise before June conference.
    Prize: fivefingers running shoes for my 1/2 marathon in May, the RedRock relay in September, and mayhaps even a full marathon probs in September as well.
    Referred by: Tiffany Demings

    I already have both of those books….what would I do with another copy of each? I almost wanted to say that Carol should give me a free copy of her new book, but I’ve already pre-ordered that as well. hmmm. you just wait. I’ll win. somehow. and find something good to do with those books.

  7. oh, also Carol has probably critiqued my first chapter a billion times by now. I”m sure it could use more work, but still. does it have to be the first chapter? hmmm or maybe I’ll choose a first chapter of something else….

    look at me. plotting to win, when we haven’t even begun yet. I’m just full of myself.

  8. I only have twenty pages so far, but I am WAY too tempted by the idea of an impossible goal, so I’m going to make a goal to have an ENTIRE first draft of my current WIP by March 20. For a prize, I’ll get to go out to dinner on, like, a date where I pay babysitters and order appetizers. Yum.

  9. I’m in, but I’ll turn down any prize. I already own both of those books!

    : )

  10. Carol

    Christmas gifts, Kim.

  11. I’m definitely in!

    Name: Amy Lavin

    My Goal: 5000 words of a new novel that’s been dancing around in my mind

    My Prize: Well, since I already have a lifetime supply of free ice cream, how about a weekend away without my kids? Ah, I can already imagine it …

    • Tavia

      My goal is to add 3,000 words or more to the novel I started over the summer. My prize will be a new swim suit.
      My good friend Amy Lavin referred me to this writing marathon. Thanks Amy! 🙂

  12. Sarah Steele. 30 pages.

    10 pages = a milkshake.
    20 pages = 20 songs from iTunes.
    All 30 pages = My husband said he’d surprise me with something. “Something better than flowers,” he assured me. Hmmm…

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  14. Name: Melissa
    Goal: Finish writing the mermaid novel
    Prize: Going to the aquarium in Sandy and getting sushi after 🙂

  15. Mark Ellis

    I am going to write 40 pages!! I think that might be worth a bag of M and M peanuts.

  16. Katie Pitts

    Goal: one whole essay. No outlines, no drafts, just one complete finished work with that can have “the end” after it.
    Prize: a Copeland t-shirt
    Referred by: Tiffany Demmings, who should win.

  17. PennyDreadful

    Can I do it if it’s a nonfiction book? I’ve got a book ms I need to chop in HALF, and I have already given myself THAT VERY WEEK off in my syllabi for this purpose. It’s *creative* nonfiction/essay; can that count?

    If so, GOAL: Complete, tight new draft
    PRIZE: Serious shopping/test-driving trip to the scooter store. (If said book sells: SCOOTER IS MINE)

    Oh, and Kerry referred me.

  18. Alison Randall

    Alison Randall: I’m in. My goal: to finish the first draft of YA mystery I’ve been working on for far too long.
    Reward: A trip to Cold Stone.

  19. Colin Murcray

    Okay, I’m in. Peer pressure and a contest may be the only sure ways of forcing me to clear the decks and just write. Hopefully it will also keep my mind off endlessly waiting for editors to make up their minds!

    My goal: 3,000 words on my new WIP.

    And Carol referred me through her Facebook post, but somehow I don’t think she needs copies of the books!

  20. Yeah! I need a deadline!
    I submitted 1st chapters to a contest and need to get my word count up on the stories I submitted. Sooo….
    I, Taffy Lovell, will write 6,000 words (my breathing is becoming erratic).
    I will enjoy lettuce wraps and The Great Wall of Chocolate with DH the following weekend (now I’m drooling).
    I got an email through Utah Children Writers, I think. I know one was from Carol.

  21. Hello. I’m Andria Robb, and I have to get my novel finished! 50,000 words in November…about 10 since then. Okay, maybe a few more. My goal is to push pass the icky middles and finish the book! My prize….hmm, maybe I’ll go spend a few days in Washington state. Wait! I’m already doing that. I must think of something else…

  22. Mona Read

    My name is Mona. My goal is to write 15,000 words, and win the prize for most words written, and help Tiffany get her goal of recruiting the most people 🙂 The hard part will be which of my 56 books I have in mylittlebookbox that I want to work on. I will buy a new computer for my prize, not too expensive, but a good one.
    I was refered by Tiffany Demings.

  23. Rachel Ashby

    Name: Rachel
    Goal: Two finished personal essays from the scraps of half-essays I have floating around my computer and have been meaning to piece together for months.
    Prize: A trip home to Idaho to see my family just because, and a trip to John Bennion’s office to talk to him about my Honors Thesis, although I think just taking a break from homework to spend the weekend writing is prize enough.
    And I was referred by Miss Tiffany Demings who should win because she is referring a lot of people.

  24. jmransom

    Name: Janessa Ransom
    Goal: Finish rewrites on my YA novel.
    Prize: Being finished with rewrites on my YA novel!

  25. tbronley

    Well, I can only do this the 18th and part of the 19th.

    My goal is to get 3,000 words in that time frame.

  26. Pingback: Contest: March Marathon « Typing with My Toes

  27. Tessa

    I have a commitment I can’t get out of that week, so I’m going to challenge myself to take the next weekend (26 and 27, mostly 27) and finish my novel. Since I won’t be eligible to win a grand prize, I will give myself a grand prize (if I finish and that’s a big if) of a new book.

  28. I am totally in!

    Name: Chersti Nieveen
    Goal: 8,000 words in the timeframe on my WIP
    Reward: bag of m&ms (I’m talking the large one, too)

  29. Kirk Kraft
    Ready to rumble through the middle of my fantasy novel – hopefully hit about 5k-10k words so I can do more than trudge through the middle.
    Hmmm…for a prize, the satisfaction that I can actually DO this, and that I am capable of finishing this baby and moving on to the next novel.

  30. Judo

    Name: Judo the Dissolver
    Goal: I will write 6,000 words on my new WIP with no backsies, no editing, and no obsessing
    Prize: I think I’ll go find a pair of jeans that really fit me, that aren’t too tight in the thighs or too short in the legs or that I have to yank up every five minutes. Does anyone know where I can get perfect jeans?

  31. Judo

    Oh, and I forgot to say that Ally Condie referred me to this awesome contest. Go Ally!

  32. You had me at “Marathon: meaning writing, not running.” Okay, you didn’t really say that, but I needed to be sure. I shall give it a go!

    I vow to: figure out the mystery in my mystery book. Maybe aim for a first half? Like, 20,000 words? Why am I using question marks?

    I don’t know, but I’m gonna find out. This is very exciting.

  33. I am going to finish my manuscript. I have 120 pages now and want to finish by the end of March… so I have a lot of writing to do!
    My prize to myself? Other than a finished manuscript (which I am very excited about), would be a large ice cream from the creamery. mmm I can taste it now.

  34. Laura L. Madsen

    I, Laura Madsen, will write a marathon. 26.2 hours in three days! I write picture books – so word count won’t be too impressive… I’ll go for time. (That is, actual writing time… with the internet disconnected. : )

    My family has a saying, “When you have a goal, make sure to have sugar and a stick.” A reward… which I must have too often, considering my rather plump caboose. And a punishment – as if we don’t beat ourselves up enough. : )

    My “sugar” will be… new pajamas from

    As for the stick… I will clean the oven. (We’ve lived here for 7 years… and I don’t remember ever cleaning it before. Is that bad?!? : )

    Oh… and with little ones at home, my husband will definitely need a reward as well – but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

  35. Becca Birkin

    Goal: finish my new book that’s getting close to the end (the fun part.)
    Second Goal: finish the revision outline for my other book (the not fun part.)
    Reward: buying a couple of great new books and eating them with chocolate. And I’ve already read both of those books, too, so I won’t be buying those 🙂

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  37. Robin Weeks

    I’m in! I already have a goal of 50,000 words by the LDSSM conference in April, and I’m supposed to be writing around 3000 words every week to reach it. Last week, I didn’t increase my word count at all, since I had to re&re&re-write my First Chapter for their contest. So during March 18-20, I will catch up. That’s 3000 words in addition to the 3000 words I’ll already owe that week. Since I work full-time, I’m hoping my muse is nearby every night! So my goal is to write 3000 words March 14-17, then 3000 more words March 18-20. If I slack the first half, I need to write more the second half.

    If I meet my goal, I get… to buy a book. 🙂

    Oh, and Brodi Ashton referred me. She says I get 10% off. Does that mean I can win with 10% fewer words? 😀

  38. Great idea! I’m in. I’m up for starting a new MG, although the dates proposed will be tricky since I work. But I should be able to pull something off at night. Here’s my goal toward that end: 5,000 words in 3 nights. My reward? Fly-fishing on the first warm afternoon that comes along.

  39. Judith E. Torres

    I, Judith E. Torres, will write 24 hours, not in one day, but in 3 days. That’s like a real job, which is considerable considering I’m retired! That’s craaaaaaaaaazy. I’m also a picture book author like my good friend and critique buddy Laura Madsen, who told me about this. And if I can’t win the 2 books, I’d like her to, that way I’ll know who to borrow them from.

    My prize will be a new handbag. Not just any bag, but a great handbag.

  40. John B.

    TA Demings made me aware of this contest. 100 pages of my new novel.

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  44. Okay. I’m in. I will write 5,000 words that weekend (don’t laugh, for me that is a lot). If I meet my goal, I get to have dinner from the Bombay House AND a mango lassi.

  45. Michael Bennett

    I, Michael Bennett, was referred to this by my English teacher, Amy Lavin. She totally blackmailed us, I mean gave us an incentive with the promise of ice cream, to the class that has the most of her students doing this. I’m in it for the ice cream! But I like writing too, so I suppose its a win win situation. (Hey Ms. Lavin, since I’m first that means I’m guaranteed ice cream right?)
    Anyways, my goal is to start and finish a short story, which if it goes right should end up being around 10 to 15 pages long.
    My reward: Ice cream. And also just the satisfaction of finally finishing a short story

    • Michael, you’re not supposed to mention the bribery!!! 🙂 (But I’m excited to read your short story!)

    • Michael Bennett

      I should probably change this goal a little, its a little unrealistic. The idea I had is too awesome to be able to finish in ten to fifteen pages. I don’t know how long it will be when I finish it. But my changed goal is to get at least 8 pages done of it, and then keep going on after that afterwards.

  46. Jared Peterson

    Name: Jared Peterson

    Goal: 15,000 words. 5,000 words a day is completely manageable, especially after late-night scrambling with NaNoWriMo.

    Prize: Haven’t thought of one yet.

    I was referred here by Amy Lavin.

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  48. The Writing Marathon is a terrific idea, and I might just make it a quarterly event in my world. I am most definitely in.

    My Name: Amanda Salisbury
    My Goal: 31,800 words from 12:01 am March 18th until 11:59 pm on March 20th
    My Reward: An honest-to-goodness date with my lovey. Babysitters, movie, and dinner, oh my!

    I learned about the marathon from Ally Condie’s blog.

  49. Name: Peioneti Lam

    Goal: 800 pages a day/night!!!

    Reward: Icecream for Eighth period J.A!! (and a new cell phone… hopefully)

    Amy Jo Lavin referred/bribed me. 🙂

  50. Katie Abbott

    Name: Katie Abbott
    Goal: 1 Poem a Day, each poem a minimum of 12 lines
    Reward: Ice cream for THIRD PERIOD!!!!! You’re going down Neddy!!!!!!
    I was also bribed with Icecream by Amy Jo Lavin.

  51. Sam Boldrin

    I, Sam Boldrin, was referred by the spiffendifferous english teacher, Amy Lavin, and will be setting a goal of at least a ten page short story. I’m in it to get this dumb short story out of my head, and for the free icecream of course. 🙂 Good Luck fellow authors!

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  53. Shannon Peterson

    Sounds like a lot of fun! I can’t wait. Hopefully i can think of somethings to write.

    My name is Shannon, and i was referred by my English teacher Amy Lavin.
    My goal is to write about 750-800 words per day.
    My reward is a very delicious ice cream party in my third period class (which of course will win)

    I better write down some ideas for this!

  54. CJ Madsen

    My name is CJ Madsen, and I was referred to this interestingly exciting March Marathon by my wonderful English teacher Amy Lavin. My goal is to complete a short story that has been rattling around in my head for the past three months. I am not sure how long my story is going to be when all is said and done, but I will complete the story whether it be 5 pages or 500 pages (though the page count will probably be somewhere between the two). My prize will be a victory peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and the satisfaction of getting this story written.

  55. Marriah Edwards

    my name: Marriah Edwards
    my goal: 2000 words
    my prize: a night out with just me and my boyfriend. my parents already agreed 😀
    i was referred by my english teacher ms. lavin and I am excited to do this so i can finish my retelling of Snow White

  56. oh curse the english teachers with power over many other people’s lives and grades

    • Oh, please don’t curse me! This isn’t an assignment nor does it affect their grade in any way. I encouraged them to participate because I thought it was a fun idea, and since some didn’t understand the intrinsic benefit of providing themselves with their own prizes, I set up a competition between class periods. I’m just happy that so many students are willing to write outside of school!

  57. I don’t really curse you. I promise, I’ve made no voodoo dolls or anything. I was only having a selfish moment, and wishing that I knew more people to convince to join the fun (mostly because I’m competitive and really no other reason). I’m actually glad you have such power (not just over grades). I’m glad you are encouraging your students to participate in this awesome marathon. Writing is good. And I love those who encourage young people (or really any aged people) to do it. Especially English teachers (that’s why I started writing, and how I learned I love it). Keep it up, Amy.

  58. I’m in! I found out about the contest on Ally Condie’s blog. My goal is to finish revising one of my novels. Dinner out or a party would be fun.

  59. I was referred here from Ally Condie’s blog.

    I’d love to participate! My goal is to write 15k on my novel in three days, 18-20. If I’m successful, I’ll allow myself to buy the two books I’ve been wanting to read. :]

  60. Davis Underwood

    I, Davis Underwood, was referred to this blog by my English teacher Amy Lavin. My goal for this March Marathon is to actually start my story writing goal with my cousin – we were going to create an idea for a book, and alternatively write the chapters in sequential order. I believed that this activity would benefit me greatly in my writing skills and territories. I hoped that it would become easier for me to just write and not sit and stare until the absolute perfect idea popped in my head. So now, I’m carrying out this goal – I will write every other chapter of this supposed story. Each chapter has to have a bare minimum of 1000 words, but I’m pushing myself. Hopefully, I can get at least three chapters done. My prize would be, of course, the satisfaction of my improvement of my writing skills, and maybe a triple header at the movies or something 🙂

  61. Nathan Peters

    I, Nathan Peters, was refeered by Amy Lavin. My goal is to write 500 words a day. My reward is ice cream for third period!

  62. I’m in. I’ve been a horrible slacker this past month and I want to get some serious writing done. I’m taking this week off from blogging and I plan to write 10,000 words this week. In those three days – I’m not sure – we’ll see what I can do.

  63. Oh and I read about this on Allyson Condie’s blog.

  64. Lisa D.

    My goal is to write 1,000 words and for my prize I’m going to allow myself to spend 50 euros in Spain! I was referred by my teacher Amy Lavin.

  65. Courtnie Holder

    I, Courtnie Holder, was referred to this blog by Amy Lavin. My main goal for the March Marathon is to get back in the habit of writing my many stories I started last year that I forgot about since the beginning of school, but I’ll start with a smaller goal. I would like to write at least 750 to 1,500 words a day, which will be easy, on a new story line that I have been thinking of. The prize that I would like if I accomplish this goal will be to go see a movie and hang out with my best friend from, well, since I can remember. I am excited and wish my internet wasn’t down so I could sign up sooner. I know I will have a good time with this challenge.

  66. My name is Aine Schulmire and I’m not referred from anyone – just a lone writer seeking to hang out with other writers. Sign me up for writing 2000 words each day during the days of the 18th, 19th & 20th. My reward will be a slice lemon meringue pie at my favorite restaurant with my sweetheart. No kids allowed. 😉

  67. I wasn’t going to do this because I’ll barely even be home those days, but what the heck! I’m going to find a way to get 1000 words in on my WIP each of the nights if it kills me. And if I do it I’ll give myself a box of Ferrero Randnoir to eat in one day if I want.

    Thanks a lot Aine (who referred me) for adding to my stress. 🙂

    Great idea, this mini marathon! Very cool.

  68. Travis B.

    My goal is to write 750 words. My prize will be having a ice cream party. I was referred by my teacher Amy Lavin

  69. Janessa Wilbur

    name: Janessa Wilbur
    goal: 1000 words
    reward: go to dinner and movie
    referred by: Amy Lavin

  70. Peter K.

    I was referred by my teacher Amy Lavin. I want that dang ice cream party, I think that my period will win. Anyway my goal is a 1000 words. Who knows if I’ll be able to do it, I have a lot to do on Friday and Saturday so more likely than not I will do it all Thursday. I also want to be able to make an original story on the spot that is at least better then decent. It doesn’t have to be amazing, but probably somewhere in between alright and pretty &%$# good. Ciao.

  71. Melissa G.

    I was referred by Amy Lavin. I joined up with this because I’ve always been interested with writing novels as a kid. Since then I’ve tried writing several books but I’ve always stopped somewhere in the middle either because of too much school work and I became discouraged or because my computer’s memory got erased and I wasn’t smart enough to print out copies beforehand. This will give me a good reason to start back up again and become motivated. I would also like to say that me doing this was provoked by my own self contempt only but that would be a lie. A promised ice cream party is my reward and I do love icecream. My goal is 1000 words. May the writing gods be with us all. =)

  72. Peyton T.

    Referred by: Amy Lavin

    Goal: atleast 1,000 words

    Reward: being able to say “Yeah, i wrote 1,000 words in three days, check it….word son.” <— not even kidding… 😉

  73. sara f

    I, Sara F, am officially caving to the bribery of my English teacher, Amy Lavin. My goal is to manage to write 750 words total in addition to the homework marathon I anticipate will occur this weekend. When I accomplish this I will take a nap and buy myself a 20 oz. skinny latte with whip.

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  76. I can’t believe I forgot to sign up! I even posted about it on my blog.

    Goal: Complete two chapters of my WIP

    Reward: A new pair of shoes

  77. I have a feeling the end of March and the beginning of April are going to be crazy with Script Frenzy and such but my goal is 15k.

    I was referred by Amy Lavin.


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  80. I’m committing myself at the very last minute (8:21 a.m. on Thursday morning). My goal is 3500 words. Now lest you say that is not lofty enough of a goal, keep in mind that I may very well be the world’s slowest writer.

  81. I am going to write 3000 words in the next three days. I have been trying to get myself to work on my middle of my YA novel all since Jan. 1st. So here goes.
    If I make my goal, I can buy myself a new spring outfit!

    Thanks for the marathon!

  82. Heather Taylor Price

    I’m in, and it’s all Ann Dee’s fault. =) (I was looking up all of your websites to add them to my school library’s homepage. Who knew I would get roped into a writing marathon!)

    My goal is to have a query ready to mail off Monday morning, and to write 3000 words on my current novel.

    My reward will be that I won’t feel like a guilty slacker when I run into former students from my MA program or WFYR groups!


  83. Add me! I’ve got a novel to finish and I’m worth the time it takes (away from daughters and hubs) to get that done! Count me in and color me embarrasado (I think that’s how you spell it in spanish, but if not oh well, imagine it) if I don’t! Thanks for this much needed kick in the arse Ann Dee! And BTW – Hi Heather! Go you! 😀 I’ve got one finished and querying, but WIP needs to get finished!


  84. Annalisa

    Janessa referred this to me. Last night when talking to her, I realized I had not written out my goal to make sure I do it. Since I’m working on rewrites, word count is meaningless to me. But, I will be done with my first section, somewhere around 15000 words.

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