November marks one year into the life of this community, and what better way to celebrate the All The Kissing anniversary than with a huge online party? Last week we did just that, kicking off a whole month of celebration with an hour-long online chat event. Couldn’t be there? We missed you! Here are all the highlights from the party:
- 66 participants
- 60 minutes of chatting
- 8 romance-writing discussion questions
- 175+ comments
- 6 critique package winners
- 1 helluva fun night!
We chatted our way through a wide variety of topics including introductions, writing backgrounds, current projects, and so much more. It turns out a lot of us have been writing for a long time! One *All The Kissing community member commented, “I wrote my first ‘novel’ in second grade. I was hooked ever since!” Another added, “I used to make my mom fold notebook paper in half & staple it, and then I’d write ‘books.'” We’re a dedicated bunch.
When the topic of craft advice came up, we had endless brilliant comments pour in (dang, y’all are a smart bunch!).
Some were quick to call out beat sheets to keep pacing in line. Personally, I like this one by Jami Gold.
“Write the book of your heart,” many said, because you’ll be working on it a loooooong time. “Butt in seat,” others suggested. In other words, the story won’t come on its own—you’ve got to put your butt in the seat and do the work. To that end, several of you pointed out that you can’t fix what doesn’t exist, no matter how rough your rough draft (and we’ve all had some ROUGH ones). It must first be written before you can shiny it up.
Toward the end of the night, I asked what everyone enjoyed most about All The Kissing’s first year. I won’t lie, y’all. Some of these made me tear up. Aside from #FridayKiss on Twitter, the resources on the blog, the amazing podcast, and many other responses, the overwhelming answer was the community.
“Just being a part of a community devoted to romance.” — All The Kissing Facebook Community Member
“Meeting everyone on here, but also all of the love and support was amazing to see!” — All The Kissing Facebook Community Member
“I guess just finding out you all exist. That I’m not alone in writing… It makes me happy to have found my tribe :)” — All The Kissing Facebook Community Member
Co-founder Tricia McKee summed it up perfectly:
“The best thing about this whole party, in my opinion, was that it was a celebration of YOU. Our All The Kissing community. All The Kissing gets to celebrate its first anniversary (and hopefully many more to come!) because of you, the talented writers and gorgeous souls who have made this community what it is. You’ve supported each other in the Facebook group, shared Friday Kiss lines on Twitter, and even pitched your fantastic work in our inaugural Kiss Pitch event. We are here today because you turned this group into a family. A big, sexy, kissy family. (The best kind, really.) From the bottom of my kissing-loving heart, thank you.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself! So cheers to All The Kissing’s first anniversary, and congratulations to our critique package winners. Here’s to many more happy years in our future.
*Disclaimer: Members names redacted to protect their privacy.