Tuesday, 21 August 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Challenge No 43 - Friday August 24 - The Romantic Picnic - Do join us for a feast!

 Our bure for the night in  Navala
Hello there!

I'm back from my 6-week holiday in Fiji. It was awesome. More on that later...

I don't often do a post completely devoted to the lovely group of writers, RomanticFridayWriters, but this week we're doing a promo, hoping to get more writers involved. For those of you who don't know who we are, we are a group of 50+ members, prose writers and poets, who write to fortnightly/bi-monthly challenges.Considering it is an ongoing blogfest we feel we do well to average about 15 postings each prompt, but of course we'd like to see more.

Francine Howarth
Donna Hole
RomanticFridayWriters was the brainchild of yours truly, ably assisted by author Francine Howarth in the early days. Francine continues to write for us, but my current co-host is Donna Hole, who has added another perspective, especially regarding critique, to RFW.

The aim of RomanticFridayWriters is to provide a safe, supportive writing environment to practise our writing and to receive as much feedback or critique as we desire. Often published author members find an excerpt from their current WIP that fits the prompt and use it as an opportunity to gauge reader's likes and dislikes regarding their current story. 

Francine created this postcard for RFW feedback requests
All of us believe we have found a place to work on our craft. Keeping to the 400 word limit is certainly good practise for editing out superfluous words. When a story's really itching to be told in more words, writers often continue the story in another prompt, like a serial. Commenters often offer suggestions on how a story could continue. A good way to gauge if your story is striking a chord with readers. (I use reader reactions to see which stories to submit to magazines.) Another member's serialised story was so gripping she has been urged to turn it into a novella, with an author member offering to assist in its production.

In between prompts, we host Guest Authors who inspire us in our craft. Currently we are hosting RFW members who are regaling us with their authorial successes - Madeleine Maddocks, Kiru Taye and Joy Campbell. Go here to read their stories.

Our prompts are very wide ranging with the hosts taking turns in dreaming up challenges. We are not all hearts, flowers, chocolates and hotness, we are writers who are all about telling the story. There is often only a small romantic element in our stories and more often than not, no HEA, but that is entirely up to the individual writer. 

Overall, we have serious fun!

Each Wednesday after the previous Friday challenge, there is a Wrap Up Post, where each entry receives a short critique. Writers return for the lively discussion. See  an example here...

Challenges are always posted ahead so writers can think about the upcoming challenges. There is a Challenges Page at RomanticFridayWriters website which offers further guidelines and suggestions for each prompt, but only two at a time so we don't get confused.

For special challenges which often offer a 600 word limit, and occasionally a 1,000 word limit, we offer a prize for Featured Writer and Runner Up. The prize is a badge to post on the winner's blog which is an accolade to the writer for work well done. We don't write for specific prizes other than the praise of our fellow writers. 

So this Friday's prompt is The Romantic Picnic. It is Donna Hole's prompt, and I quote her from our Challenges Page:

The "Romantic Picnic."  

- Who initiates the picnic; is this a first date or dedication to the continuing relationship? 

- Is there an agenda to the picnic: marriage proposal, pregnancy announcement, promotion or new job assignment? 

 - is the picnic all about the continuing romantic relationship: one lover affirming their devotion to the other, or a mutually shared, opportune moment of togetherness?  

***Any genre, any POV; just remember to include a romantic element and a picnic, in 400 words or less.***

This should be fun! 

I hope you can join us. A Linky goes up at RFW on Thursday morning AEST. Read the Submission process, then fire away! We'd love you to join us - prose or poetry...Any questions, ask me in the comments...


Challenge #43 - Aug 24 -  The Romantic Picnic
Challenge #44 -  Sept 7 -  I Should Have Kissed You  FW/RunnerUp
Challenge #45 -  Sept 21 -Oh How I Hate My Beautiful Friend
Challenge #46 -  Oct 5   -  Birthday Madness 
Challenge #47 -  Oct 19 -  Halloween – House of Horrors FW/RunnerUp


  1. As well as new entries perhaps some of our established members can find the time to post for some of the upcoming challenges. It would be so great to see a good turnout.

    1. You're so right Sally. It would be great to see.

  2. I'm excited!! I've been dealing with writer's block lately but I think I'm coming out of it.. And I was looking over the challenges, and two of them stood out to me the most, and they happen to have a lot to do with my favorite subjects!!! I can't wait.. especially for the Halloween post!! Gonna get started on my post today, also, have a new wip that I intend to actually finish! Fingers crossed! I can't wait for FRIDAY!! YAY! Thank you all for giving us so many wonderful writing challenges!

    1. Crystal, glad your writer's block is broken. Looking forward to your entry on Friday as always!

  3. Dear Denise,
    Welcome back! I can't believe your six weeks have come and gone already. I too hope we have a fairly good turnout. I'm off to do some promoting! (LOL) See you again soon.

    1. Me either Andy. That 6 weeks went by in a flash. Thanks for the FB event! My picnic blanket is spread under the palm tree...

  4. Ya know, I don't think I've ever written a picnic scene in a novel. It's something to cut my teeth on.

    1. Hee hee Joy. Always good to think outside the square...

  5. Hi Denise .. in about two months I'll probably join you in this .. for now I still have things I need to sort and clarify .. but could be good for me this Challenge.

    I presume you had a wonderful wonderful time .. just such a great holiday to be able to have .. looking forward to seeing more photos and stories ...

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary pretty excited that you might join us in a couple of months. These challenges are great.
      Yes, had a wow of a time in Fiji. I'll try not to bore everyone with too many photos...

  6. Hi Denise
    I thought I'd share a little about my own RFW experience here. There was a time when I believed I couldn't write short fiction. However, RFW has shown me that not only can I write short fiction, I can do so in a compelling way. For any writer, if you're new or if you have tons of experience, writing a short compelling piece is a challenge that can only improve your skills. I love RFW because of this and because of all the wonderful friends I've made.

    1. Nancy thanks for sharing this positive comment re your RFW experience. We so missed you when you weren't able to post.

  7. It's a wonderful initiative. I wish I had more time to take part. I certainly love popping in to read your stories from the prompts.

  8. I might join you one of these weeks (or fortnights), Denise. It sounds great. As long as you don't mind a bit of twisted romance, I find it hard to write the straight stuff! For now I'm polishing my manuscript for GUTGAA, the agent blogfest.

    1. Nick it'd be lovely to have you. Twisted is fine. You read my Cinderella post didn't you? How twisted was that!
      The best for the GUTGAA...

  9. Beautifully said Denise. I thoroughly recommend RFW as a great way to practice Flash fiction.

    I'll try to be at the picnic, though at the moment my mind is trying to get into crime thriller writing for a competition entry. I'm also still preparing for the new job and nursing a tooth infection.

  10. Hi Denise!

    Love your header photo! And you have an inspiring post about starting with Flash Fictions today.


    1. Yes, Nas, remember that magical night we took this photo? Lovely isn't it? And now my flash fiction stories are set in Fiji!

      Glad you're feeling better!

  11. Hi, Denise,

    What a fun prompt for this RWF. I hope to have something wonderful to submit. This week I've finally done some new writing. YAY! AMAZING... Still fine tuning BG to send out next week. Nothing I can use in there, that's for sure. Have the heat, but no picnic. LOL.

    Thanks for the lovely invitation. I hope more writers get involved. Glad you had an awesome time in Fiji... what an awesome experience that must have been. Did you get to meet up with Nas at all?

    1. Michael I'm so pleased that you're accepting the invitation. Can't wait to read it.
      Spent 3 days with Nas before she left for the US but left before she returned. D.

  12. I always love reading the prompts you come up with on Fridays! What a great group.

  13. Mmmm this always sounds like a great idea, but I just never seem to find time to write short pieces, even if I want to. :-/

  14. Dear Denise,
    Great description of RFW! Hope more people give it a try. It has certainly helped my writing!

    Thank you for posting a list of the coming themes through October. I will probably need to travel again in October, so I will need to work early and schedule.

    Also, I need time to think. Ideas come to me as I am doing the dishes or cleaning the cat litter-box.

    Best wishes,
    RFW No.43 - 'Romantic Picnic'


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