As frequent readers of my blog would know, I have participated in Alison Tyler’s smut marathon on 2013 and am now doing so again in 2014. I found 2013 to be quite a learning experience and therefore wanted to continue with it in 2014. In between the smut marathons of these two years, the idea materialized that I wanted to run the Dutch version of Alison’s idea. I asked her whether she would mind and was amazed at how enthusiastically she responded. She loved the idea of her marathon going Dutch.
Another thing that might be known with my readers is that I run a writer’s group in the Netherlands. The idea originated from Annie Player, when Afterglow Art was still Erotic Meet. On 1 December 2012 we started and in 2013 we had five meetings. The first meeting we only introduced ourselves and talked about our motivation for writing. Only four people, including myself, attended the first meeting. After the first meeting I created a website, which is slowly growing into what I had in mind. Slowly but surely the meetings started to take on form. Now, before each meeting the ‘members’ (21 in total at this moment, but sadly not all of them attend every meeting… yet) get a prompt to write to. During the meetings we discuss what they have written, give tips to improve and ideas of how to continue. The meetings are always very enjoyable and we all lunch together.
It was on one of these meetings that I informed the attendees that I would be starting the Dutch Writing Marathon. I wanted at least 15 people to get it started and had no idea whether this idea would even succeed. People listened and nodded, but there was no enthusiasm. I almost did not go through with it, but then on 1 March 2014 I posted a message on the erotic writers blog, asking for participants for the writing marathon. I gave people a month to decide whether they want to sign up. Three days later… yes, only three days… I had 15 people who wanted to participate in the writing marathon. Where I wanted to start the marathon in the second half of April, the participants received their first assignment on 15 March.
Two weeks into the first assignment, I asked some people and organizations whether they would be willing to donate prizes for the writing marathon. Again I had a pleasant surprise. I received so many prizes, that I now have prizes for the first, second and third places and not only for the first place as I initially intended.
We have just finished round 2 last weekend and in the meantime the authors who are through to the next round have their assignment for round 3. I cannot tell you how much energy I get from this marathon. It’s exciting, it’s great to see the creativity of the participants and I am building up wonderful contacts through this. It’s also a lot of work, especially round the closing date for assignments and in the week after, when the poll is online and the results have to be posted on the website. But even so, I really enjoy doing it and it gives me mountains of energy. So much so that I am already thinking about how to do this in 2015. You see, this first marathon is a learning curve and there will be some changes in 2015.
I am quite proud that I have gone Dutch with two different ideas – the writers group and the writing marathon – and both of them have turned out to be a success!
© Rebel’s Notes