100 Word Challenge is popular with many bloggers.
Perhaps you’ve taken part before and you’re interested in the background of the project?
To find out more about 100 Word Challenge, we have interviewed the founder and organizer, Julia Skinner.
Julia is a retired head teacher from England. She still has her feet firmly planted in education and is inspiring teachers and students worldwide.
1) How did 100 Word Challenge come about?
I had set up a new blog The Head’s Office and was looking for a way to get more visitors. I did a similar writing challenge as an adult with an American blogger and thought it would be good to develop it for children. I had hoped that I’d get say, 30 posts each week, but it is now nearer 600!
2) How does the challenge work?
I set a weekly prompt on 100wc.net. That can be a few individual words, part of a sentence, or a picture.
Students respond to the prompt by producing a creative piece of writing as near to 100 words as possible. I don’t count them (!) but the challenge is to keep as near to the wordage as possible.
These pieces are published on a blog then linked to 100wc.net. Once there, my team of volunteers from across the world visit posts and leave a supportive comment.
3) How can classes get involved?
Firstly, you need a simple blog. (Tip: check out our quick start guide to setting up your free blog).
100WC is free to enter and is aimed at students under 16 years old.
Teachers sign up by clicking JOIN on 100wc.net. That puts you on the mailing list for the weekly newsletter.
Once you have published a post on your blog, just link the URL of your post onto the form on 100wc.net.
You’ll find the step-by-step instructions along with screenshots on the 100 Word Challenge site.
4) What benefits have you seen participants get out of 100 Word Challenge?
As writers, we want someone to read our work. Team 100 provide that extended audience beyond the classroom. For many students, getting a comment from across the world is really motivating. They want to write and be better each time.
Members of Team 100 send me nominations for our weekly showcase. This is a special page on 100wc.net and if your post is chosen you get a certificate and special badge for your blog.
Classes can also join a hub. That is 3 classes from across the world linked together to support each other with comments. Some of these connections have extended into other areas of the curriculum and Skype sessions.
5) Can you describe the difference between 100 Word Challenge and 5 Sentence Challenge?
5 Sentence Challenge is for emerging writers. That can be young writers who are just starting out, or older students who are learning English.
5 Sentence Challenge is run in the same way by publishing on a blog then linking to fivesc.net but because it is likely to need more discussion, this challenge is every two weeks.
Teachers join in the same way as 100WC but go to fivesc.net
6) If you don’t currently have a class, are there any other ways to get involved?
Individual students can take part. All you need is a simple blog.
For adults wanting to get involved the best way to do it is to join Team 100. You will be given a minimum of 5 posts to comment on each week. You can find details on the Team 100 page of the 100 Word Challenge site.
Over to you
As we offer a big thanks to Julia for helping us learn more about 100 Word Challenge, we also invite you to ask further question in the comments and we’re sure Julia would be happy to get back to you.
Alternatively, if you’re a participant of 100 Word Challenge we’d love you to comment with your experiences so others can learn more about the benefits of getting involved.