News for the New Year @ #BlogBattle 2021

 Happy New Years Eve!

Hello everyone! It’s your errant BlogBattle Admin Rachael here.

Wow. Just wow.

2020 hit hard and didn’t stop from beginning to end. BUT you’ve stuck with us and kept at your beloved writing craft throughout all the highs and lows, so that’s definitely something to celebrate. Congrats!

Did you reach any of your goals for the year? Which ones? Did you come close? What are your goals for 2021? Share in the comments below! For the new year, I’m looking forward to reaching my 2021 New Years Resolution summed up in one word: Prioritize. What’s your one-word New Years Resolution?

Speaking of goals, we’ve got some new ones ahead in 2021. A resolution of sorts. We want to make BlogBattle easier and continue to make it fun and useful, so we’re making a few changes that start in January. Tomorrow, in fact! We think you’re going to be happy with the slightly new setup. After we share that info we’d like your input on a couple of other bits!

First, the Changes . . .

  • Not a change, but a reminder: we’re on Facebook, and we’re totally open to how you’d all like to interact there @BlogBattlers. There is also a private BlogBattlers Group on FB, but we haven’t used this, really, so I’m open for suggestions! What rules do you think are important for a group on FB?
  • We are now on Instagram @BlogBattlers where we’ll post the monthly prompt and stories info. What else would you like to see on our IG? I hope you’ll take a minute to give us a follow there!

We’re only making five super changes to the way BlogBattle will work moving forward:

  1. We’ve got a new, easier URL to share
    • bbprompt.com
    • blogbattlers.wordpress.com will still work and redirect to the new, shorter one
  2. Prompt Announcment Post is moving to the 1st Friday of every month.
  3. You’ll have 2 weeks to write your story.
    • Stories need to be posted & linked by Midnight PST of the 3rd Friday of every month.
    • This is the same date the Stories Post will go live.
  4. Stories Post is moving to noon PST on the 3rd Friday of every month (the date will be included with the prompt post).
  5. Word counts are changing!
    • minimum 250 words
    • maximum 2000 words

Yes! More words, and a concrete window for posts and plenty of time for reading!

Over the years, we’ve learned many of us find BlogBattle’s prompt inspiring in the construction of new chapters in current works in progress as well as for writing online serials and stand-alone short fiction. This is why we’re increasing the word count to up to 2000-ish words.

We also know that you are all capable of writing your stories on a tight timeframe, and we wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to take some time to read each other’s stories before the end of the month and a new word arrives, so the new timeline of 1st and 3rd Fridays gives 2 weeks to write a story and approximately 1-2 weeks to read the ones our fellow battlers post.

Your feedback on these changes is welcome! You can email us using the contact page.

Other New Years Ideas

Two things we’d like to have your feedback on right away.

  1. Would any of you be interested in joining a “BlogBattle Social Media Team” to share on your social media both the Word Prompt Announcement Post and the Stories Post each month? Incentive for this is that you’ll get to find out the next month’s word early! And, of course, continue to share yours and fellow battlers individual stories as you see fit!
  2. Who might be interested in the possiblity of starting up voting again? It would require a big commitment to not only read all the stories but to also be fair with our votes, not letting it become a popularity contest. With this, we’d each read all the stories for that month, and by the last day of the month we’d each vote on our top two favorites. Whoever receives the most votes would be “Top-Voted Story” for the month (announced the following prompt date).
    • As an alternative, if this isn’t something feasible, would be to give each regular participant a week where we share about you and your writing. This would happen once a month and would likely involve a brief interview. If you think this sounds more fun and/or doable, please let us know!

And that’s about it for now! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or use the contact page to send an email instead! Either way works. 🙂 Thank you so much for your feedback and for being a part of BlogBattle!


Updated Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First FRIDAY of every month.

Post your story by the 3rd Friday of the same month (this is the same date as the Stories post goes live, midnight PST).

RULES

  1. minimum 250 to 2000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less)-type Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
  7. Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
    1. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
  8. Have fun!
Any photos included with the prompt are only for your benefit as a pinch of inspiration. They don’t need to dictate your theme or story genre. Only the Word of the Month counts! Photos are thanks to public domain photo sharing sites like Unsplash and Pixabay.

31 thoughts on “News for the New Year @ #BlogBattle 2021

  1. Sorry, I missed this post the first time around! I’m happy to (try to) help out with social media sharing side of things. 🙂 As for the voting, it could definitely be a cool idea! But I think it might be tricky with everyone needing to read all stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Better late than never Joshua! The usual sharing thing is to do so from the actual story you’re reading via one of the share buttons. Tag it as #BlogBattle and link it to Rachael and me and it will get more retweets. If you’re ok with it I’ll add you into tweets I send out so you can retweet them too. That’s the stories…. as for the prompts they need better sharing to relevant hashtags such as #writingprompt, #shortstory and so on. Link us in on that too so we can retweet too. I think there’s a post on this aspect. I used to be in a group called Big Up Your Blog. That created massive traffic. I think we need something similar here

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s my mantra for writing and blogging, haha. Better late than never! Although I do like to think I’m doing better this year — let’s see if I can keep it up for all of 2021, eh?

        Sounds good, Gary. I think we can really boost awareness for BB and the regulars that write for it. 🙂 I’ll do my best, but please give me a kick up the… if I forget!

        Liked by 2 people

        • One month at a time and ensuring you see what’s coming in the mind before it’s too late! Like me today, feel wrong and I know why. Now it’s just a case of staying aware!!

          Brilliant, I’ll tag you in then. Also there needs a brain storm on profile raising. I know it’s not instant, but it’s nice to see a steady increase in interest.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. all they best to you and Gary and all BBs for this year. Hope it’s better!. I’m happy to chip in where I can but you’ll need to ask as I tend to think I’ve said yes to help and then haven’t. But just nudge me and if I can I will.

    Like

  3. all they best to you and Gary and all BBs for this year. Hope it’s better!. I’m happy to chip in where I can but you’ll need to ask as I tend to think I’ve said yes to help and then haven’t. But just nudge me and if I can I will.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Happy New Year!! I do like the Changes to Friday (both for the 1st and 3rd). I like the Social Media Idea and would be willing to help out with that and the Voting, if they are decided on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy New Year to you too. Seems the day changes are being well received. Social media we hope will increase traction and get new people interested. I think that is definitely an area to progress. Heck I bet I don’t even know the Twitter handles of most here. We’ll digest all the feedback and report back with calls to help!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year! Fantastic! Use the contact form to email us so we can get you on the BB Social Media Team. Thank you so much! Once we make a solid decision based on consensus, we’ll be sure to update about whether or not we’ll implement voting and what that’ll look like. We really appreciate your willingness to jump in and help! 😀

      Like

  5. Hi, Rachael and Gary and all BBers. The new 2000 word limit is great; in fact I’d up it to 3,000, which seems to be pretty much standard for many writing competitions and calls for submissions. I very much like the voting idea, especially if it also encourages detailed comments on what worked and didn’t work for various readers. If we are to be a true community of writers, I think we need to commit to making the effort to read and comment on all posts (and remove the Like button altogether 😉 ), so that we can grow and develop as writers. I also like the spotlight idea. May I also suggest that through your extensive contacts in the writing world, you invite a successful guest writer to comment on entries, say once a month. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the feedback, Doug! 🙂 We’ll see how 2000 goes this year, but we’ll be open to more if it seems feasible in the future. We definitely want to encourage writer and reader participation without adding more pressure since everything here is voluntary. We’re leaning more toward the spotlight idea, but we wanted to throw the voting thing out there because it is something we used to do. We just don’t want popularity contents becoming the voting go-to. Comments are definitely the best part! Lots of great ideas! Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Bit behind Doug and must respond to your comments! My resistance to voting straight away is it has scuttled the BloggersBash as it became friends voting for friends rather than for the best fit to each category. Folk were publishing or stating “Vote for me.” Great if you have a gazillion followers, not so if you don’t. With BB it requires everyone to read everything to be worthwhile. I’ve noticed those posting early tend to pick up greater responses. I’m always late to that party as a rule and so are a few others. I also think it’s less helpful if it leads to the same few people “winning.” Personally I prefer the spotlight system. It allows each writer to get a chance to say what inspired them, why they write and so on.

          That said the debates ongoing and all feedback will be in the mix 😊

          Liked by 2 people

        • Popularity is fine for the popular one unless said popularity goes to one’s head. Popularity in the sense of voting can lead to skewed results and also the crushing of the writing spirit of a fledgling writer who is “up against” more experienced, often critique-hardened writers. Ignore the likes, I say. I like seeing the likes, but I think they can also be a false security. I’d prefer voting to likes if the votes were based on concrete criteria, but the comments, both positive and constructive, are better by far in the case of our writing prompt, for sure. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  6. As Rachael said already – Wow! Looking forward to seeing how this works out.
    As far as feedback, I don’t do social media, so sorry, can’t help there. As much as I make it an effort to read all the stories and post comments, voting might be a little more than I can truly commit to. I do really like the idea about showcasing a regular participant each month. It’d be a great way to get to know our fellow battlers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 No worries on social media. We’re just looking at it as a way to connect with other writers and readers. Voting is a huge commitment–one we did in the past–and it’s not necessarily a favorite with everyone, so Gary and I are leaning more toward the spotlight idea instead. We are looking for feedback, so thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t really do social media, so FB and Insta? No input here.
    1st Friday of the month sounds good. I hope it’s the same for me in practice.
    2 weeks for writing instead of 1? I think it’s a good change. Hopefully, it will motivate me not to postpone the writing, which leads to potentially forgetting about it.
    Social Media Team? See first line – I don’t really use any of it (aside from basic Twitter).
    Voting sounds good. I’m not sure I’d be able to commit, though. This year is shaping up to be full of the unknown (nothing new for me).
    The author spotlight, though, sounds super cool!
    My plan, as I’ve mentioned before to you, is to write a story that will have 12 chapters, based on these prompts. I’m excited!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Totally understandable, Goldie! 🙂 Not everyone is a social media fan or user, so no worries there. I think Gary and I are leaning more toward the spotlight for various reasons, but we thought it would be a good topic of dicsussion with everyone involved. Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m looking forward to reading your book in 12 chapters! Hopefully the increased word count will be a great addition to your goal planning. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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