500 Word Snatch Challenge

Does the thought of writing a full length novel fill you with dread? It’s easy to feel despondent when you consider the commitment and time required – particularly when you’re juggling a family and a full time job – but the truth is you can make a long story short by taking small disciplined steps every day. As Jack London said,  “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club”.

The Challenge

500-WORD-SNATCH-BUTTON360x3Write 500 words a day, for a full 365 days – if you’ve completed NaNoWriMo you’ll find this very easy. 500 Word Snatch is ideal if you have a long-term goal, or need sustained support and encouragement, and we’ll be there to rally you, every step of the way.

Obviously, you’re not restricted to writing a novel, you can use the challenge for many different writing forms; outlining, a daily blog, a book of poems, short fiction, non-fiction or even revision; we don’t care what you write, as long as you write. Look at it as an exercise in disciplined creativity.

Snatch Rules

Aim to write 500 words a day. You’re not restricted to a single WIP, in fact we encourage you to work on numerous projects, just write those 500 words every day, for a full year.

If you choose to use our badge please link back to this page.


The best way to meet a goal is to track it. Svenja Liv offers various spreadsheets for writers. We think these are perfect for our challenge. There are also some wonderful free word count meters available on the web, our favourites are from Critique Circle, Svenja Liv and Honorless.

If you’re easily distracted, try a full-screen text editor such as WriteMonkey. It cuts out all distractions, so you can simply concentrate on writing.

If you’re given to the odd bout of writer’s block, you might like Write or Die. You set your word goal, or the amount of time you want to write, then choose a punishment level (in case you fail) and just write. Perfect!

Online Meets

We’ll be holding regulars meet-ups on our writing sim in Second Life® at 2am Pacific Time on Monday – Friday, 8am Pacific Time on Monday – Sunday, and at 12 noon Pacific Time on Saturday. There’ll be an additional Snatch at Book Island in Second Life® on Sunday at 12 noon Pacific Time.

Join our Second Life® group for event reminders, and follow the #500WS hashtag on Twitter for daily prompts.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit our virtual writing community in Second Life®, then make some time this January. You’ll find an incredibly diverse and active community of writers and the level of support is second to none.

Our Second Life® Word Snatch meter will be up and working on the 1st January at our virtual writers’ camp. You’ll need to join our Virtual Writers, Inc. group in order to obtain a participant titler (which displays your overall word count above your avatar’s head). To update your word count, wear your Virtual Writers, Inc. group tag and put your total count into the blue alarm clock (found on the round table at the camp), which in turn will update your Second Life® titler.

When you drop by the writers’ camp in Second Life®, be sure to pick up the free goodie bag for 500 Word Snatch participants.

Please feel free to visit Milk Wood and take a wander through our beautiful woodlands and meadows. Our virtual writers’ cottages are for rent and are perfect for your online office base; we currently have four large cottages and a farmstead available, plus eight smaller writers’ cabins. We also have several well-positioned stalls at the Dead Wood Book Fayre. Your books can be displayed and linked to your online bookseller or author’s website, allowing instant purchase from many outlets. If you need help with creating a Second Life® version of your book, please email us using the contact form on this website.

If you’d like information on connecting to Second Life®, so you can attend some of our events, then please check out the following article.

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