“S” is for “StoryADay,” “Superstars,” and “Scrivener”

My intention today was to write only about StoryADay (StADa). However, I am compelled also to write about Scrivener for Windows.

StoryADay originated in 2010 when Julie Duffy decided to challenge herself to write a short story every day in May. She invited a few friends to join her, encouraged them with daily writing prompts, and a vibrant writing community was born.  Although the May challenge to write a short story every day remains the centerpiece, Julie has continued to add features to the website. The Challenge is repeated in September, she hosts a weekly podcast, a weekly “Write on Wednesday” writing prompt, an annual “StoryFest” celebrating the May stories and their authors, a monthly Serious Writers’ Accountability Group (SWAGr), and a host of various writing resources. Writer’s Digest has, for many years, named StoryADay as one of the 101 Best Writing Websites.

The best part of StADa as far as I’m concerned is the “Superstars” community Julie created a couple of years ago. The original enticement for me was that she enhanced the May and September challenge prompts with her commentary and suggestions. As with the public website, however, she has continued to add features to Superstars. We have a private Slack forum, where we share our setbacks and triumphs, suggestions/news about workshops, places to submit, our blogs, and a weekly SWAGr thread. We have regular critique weeks for feedback on our May and September stories, daily writing sprints, and specialized workshops and master classes. “Superstars” isn’t free, but it’s the best investment I’ve made in my writing. Unlike other paid writing communities, Julie fosters a nurturing, non-competitive group, without any pressure regarding how much or little someone participates. Lurking is acceptable.

Join us on May 1st! You can write daily if you want or set a schedule that works for you. It’s a great opportunity to exercise your writing chops.

Now, for my thoughts on Scrivener. I’ve been an enthusiastic Scrivener user since I started writing fiction in 2018. After plowing my way through the Scrivener tutorial, I decided to invest in “The Scrivener Coach” Joseph Michael‘s, “Learn Scrivener Fast” tutorial (an excellent course, by the way). That’s when I discovered that Scrivener for Windows was an earlier, more cumbersome, version (Version 1) than the Version 3 available to Mac users. The course focused primarily on Mac but was very good about correlating the differences and providing instruction for Windows’ users when necessary. With that brief exposure to Version 3, I (and many Windows users) have been salivating for our upgrade which, at the time, was promised within months.

Months stretched into years. Luckily, Literature and Latte, Scrivener’s owners, promised a free upgrade to users who had bought version 1 in a particular timeframe. I signed up for their mailing list, checked for upgrades every time I opened my Scrivener app, and fairly patiently waited for the upgrade. While Beta versions were available, I decided against that route because apparently working in a Beta version didn’t jibe well with existing projects in version 1.

So, here it is, two and a half years later. I’m doing a Google search on some unrelated subject and accidentally discover that Scrivener 3 for Windows was released ONE MONTH AGO. Words cannot describe how thoroughly pissed I am that Literature and Latte didn’t deign to notify/email we legions of Version 1 users that the Holy Grail of writing software for Windows is here at last. Nevertheless, I am equally thrilled to have downloaded it and can’t wait to immerse myself after I finish this post. Just in time for the Story A Day May Challenge.

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