Countdown to #AtoZChallenge

Less than two weeks until the blogging world's answer to a blogger's marathon - the annual A to Z Challenge, hosted by Arlee Bird and his grand team of assistants! There are several co-hosts, and each co-host as assembled a team of cheerleaders and helpers to manage a list of 1,143 blogs and counting. Last year, nearly 2,000 blogs stepped up to the plate, and I expect a flurry of sign-ups as April 1 approaches. I am very honored to be among Arlee's cheerleaders, so at least 100 A to Z Challenge participants will become very familiar with my comments as I check in and cheer you on!

The A to Z Challenge, for anyone unfamiliar with the challenge, is a month-long journey into blogging. The challenge involved 26 posts during the month, each beginning with - you guessed - the letters of the alphabet, in order, from A through Z. The possibilities for topics are limitless. There are no word count minimums or maximums - I've seen daily photos posted with no words, and I've seen intricate character studies and flash fiction entries approaching feature article length. I've seen blogs stick with a theme, and others blog on the fly, hopping around from one topic to another. The beauty of the challenge is - whatever works for you works for the challenge. It is all about community and networking, and it is an opportunity to really populate your blog.

This will be my third go at the challenge, and I look forward to a month knee deep in the blogosphere as I check on comments left on my own page, discover new blogs and revisit and reminisce with old blogging friends. 

My first round was when I was brand new to blogging, and it was just the boost I needed to gain confidence and readership. 

My second round, I had quite a bit of traveling and external deadlines during the month, so while I started off with a bang, I peetered out and lost steam when I dropped a bit behind. 

This time around, all the posts are pre-scheduled and SHORT, so that visitors can quickly visit, read the writercize, and try it out. It will not follow my standard format of intro, writercize and sample. In the interest of everyone's time, I will jump straight to the writercize, provide a sample for those interested in reading it, and hope to provide some inspiration and make some new connections along the way!

I would like to formally invite YOU to sign up for the challenge now, and leave a comment here to let me know that you'll join me! That way I can be sure to visit you and check in as we meander through the alphabet together.

Then, in true writercize style, I give you a task. Figure out your J, Q, U, X and Z post titles today - and give yourself a break by pre-scheduling at least five of your A to Z Challenge posts. (If you don't know how to schedule a post, read this helpful instructional. It works for blogger, though the screen print is an old version, the instructions are the same. Now the post settings are along the right hand side of the page rather than at the bottom.) Trust me, you'll thank me later!

Sneak Peak: Tomorrow I have a very special announcement for all of you about an opportunity to meet the Grand Host and Mastermind behind the entire challenge. Stay tuned! Especially all you bloggers in the Southland - an event is coming up very soon that you will not want to miss!


  1. Congrats on signing up! Good luck. This is my first year with the A to Z challenge, even though I've watched it grow over the last 3 years. I'm also taking part in the Reveal on the 21st. (I've actually got all my posts pre-scheduled!) I'm trying to share some positivity with my #WriteMotivation friends on Twitter (and to help keep me positive in the process)
    Hope to see you around, on my blog or on Twitter, or both :)

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

  2. Great promo, Alana!

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  3. This does sound interesting, I'll give it some thought, but am not sure at the moment.

    For now, though, here's how to pre-schedule posts in WordPress:

    Once you have written your article, take a look over on the right-hand side of the screen. Near the top, you will see a section labelled "Publish." In there, your will see something that says, "Publish immediately," with the word "immediately" in bold type. Right next to that, you'll see a link that says, "Edit." When you click that link, a new line will open, below that, where you can set the date and time to schedule your post.

  4. I am a new follower and this is my second year in the challenge. last year, I made it to letter V, then I got busy with school and other things. This year, I am being ambitious! I entered two different blogs into the challenge. The first, Living Loving and Learning is a blog that I created to combine several of my blogs into one. That one I am doing "Phobias A to Z" for my theme. The other one is simply called Stephanie M. Pawley and it is a blog I created just for my writing attempts. Things liekk flash fiction, short stories, NaNoWriMO, etc. Not sure what my theme will be on that one, but I definitely want it to be writer/writing/author related. Anyhow- looking forward to reading your blog!

  5. I love your blog Alana - I'm always looking for ways to improve my writing! This will be my first A-Z challenge. I'll be tackling a short-fiction serial - I'm expecting my coffee consumption will increase exponentially as the month progresses:)

  6. Love the excitement this challenge brings. I am still mulling the idea of participation. I'm fairly new to blogging and am finding it overwhelming to make time to write, blog and live. :) If I don't participate I will definitely stop by various blogs and cheer them on.
    All the best ,

  7. I made the commitment to start writing every day this year. So far, 77 days and blogging. I have a new nightly routine that involves checking and commenting on blogs I now follow and am looking forward to adding to my life. I do have a question regarding the linky list...I love the ideas of having a community of writers...How do I decide who to choose to comment? May sound like a weird one...also, should I attach the linky list to my blog or just use it as reference? Thanks, in advance, for the answers! Looking forward to the 1st and hoping I can have daily alphabetical inspiration! :)

  8. The A to Z challenge is a great way to meet writers. I indirectly met the founder of my writing "guild" from last year's challenge.
    Loaded and ready to go


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