#Scrivathon16: the 24hr word sprint


I’m revising, of course. But somehow the more I revise and think the more my brain seems to stretch. So on top of taking a developmental editing class with the incredible Rhay Christou  and another editing class—Before You Hit Send— with Angela James, working my revisions, and learning all about literary agency PR as an intern for Inklings Literary Agency, I’ve been thinking about word sprints.

Word sprints are timed writing spurts with the goal of writing as much as you can, and resisting the urge to edit, usually in tandem with other writers. I did a few wordsprints on Twitter when I needed to do some background digging into my main character. The sprinting was great fun, and a wonderful way to connect with other writers while still being productive.

My brain pulled and twisted and folded the idea of word sprints… and I thought—why not make a marathon-like event? Instead of ad-hoc word sprints, a single event over 24 hours, much like the London Marathon, or Boston Marathon, bringing together a huge group of people word sprinting all at once. And like those wonderful running events, we could bring on a charity and make the event not only about productivity and camaraderie, but also about goodwill and helping others.

And that’s how Scrivathon 2016 was born.

With the wonderful hivemind of #PitchWars warriors, we chose a date in November to coincide with the final stretch of Nanowrimo so we could make those words really count for not only personal deadlines but declared challenges. #Scrivathon16 will start at 00:00 on 12 November 2016 and end 24hrs later at midnight. [Note changed the date to 12 Nov 16 so as not to clash with Nano’s Night of Writing Dangerously.]

The selected charity is Syria Relief, a UK registered charity whose aim is simply to ‘relieve the suffering and support the future.’

Syria Relief are doing an amazing job – I’ve been there, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. They really are saving lives, but they need your help. They need your donations.

 Dr David Nott, Emergency Trauma Surgeon, OBE and recipient of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award

Syria Relief has a solid network of committed management and logistics staff on the ground inside Syria—currently numbering at around 1,600—which means they can deliver humanitarian aid in all areas, including the hard-to-reach rural and some besieged areas. In the short space of time since its inception, Syria Relief has established its reputation as a trusted and efficient humanitarian aid agency on the ground, with a track record of the highest level of transparency and feedback.

We have the activity. We have the date. We have a great charity on the ground in Syria making a difference to people’s lives. All we lack now are the intrepid writers up for a challenge.

I see you jumping up and down, hands up, excited to be part of something that will make you feel good and put words on those blank pages. How do you join this fabulous event, I hear you ask.

There are so many ways to join. Choose your own #Scrivathon16 adventure:


  • Help us spread the word to maximise our impact. Details below.
  • Decide if you’ll donate according to a word-count goal (word-count meter to come), or a preset amount of cold hard cash
  • Offer writerly things as part of our raffle.


You can donate now until a month after the event at: www.justgiving.com/scrivathon.


1. Join our Thunderclap campaign here–a flash social media mob on FB, Twitter, and Tumblr. You only need to click the link, choose your platform, and Thunderclap will schedule your message to go out on the 5th October with the rest of the Thunderclap supporters’ messages.

2. Grab a badge below and tweet! Be sure to include the hashtag #Scrivathon16 and a link to this page aychao.com/scrivathon. Here are some ready-made tweets to copy and share:

  • Join us 12 Nov 16 for a 24 hour word sprint to raise money for Syria Relief #Scrivathon16 aychao.com/scrivathon/
  • #Scrivathon16 writers increasing their word count AND raising money for Syria Relief. aychao.com/scrivathon/
  • It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a writer’s work is solitary–except when sprinting with #Scrivathon16 aychao.com/scrivathon/
  • Get your muse on and sign up to a fabulous mash-up of productivity, camaraderie, and goodwill #Scrivathon16 aychao.com/scrivathon/


If you have something to offer as a raffle prize (first page critique, synopsis critique, signed books, anything literary and writerly related) please email me at aychao[at]aychao[dot]com).


I’ve put together easy step-by-step instructions here aychao.com/scrivathon/fundraising.