Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Holy Cow! News, News and a Contest!

If you've sensed any delirium around Writer Unboxed lately, there's good reason for it. Not only have we been busy lining up some seriously kick-heinie interviews for you (see impregnated sidebar at right) we've been making plans for a cutover to a new site at WordPress. Inkygirl Debbie Ohi is designing our new masthead, so we have every confidence it's going to be spectacular. We'll be doing away with our two-unboxed-girls-breaking-into-the-biz look for a reason; first, we're inviting someone with a Y chromosome into our ranks, and second, we're inviting someone who's already broken into the biz to join us as well. We'll be officially welcoming our new friends within the next few weeks, but we're seriously jazzed to have them as part of WU and couldn't wait to at least hint that they'll be a part of the scene soon.

Kath and I have also been brewing up a contest idea for many months, and we think now is the perfect time to unveil it. To win this particular contest, you'll need to write a short blurb about what makes you an unboxed (wildly creative) writer and then send it to us at

Wanna know what you're playing for?

That's right, a brand new AlphaSmart 3000, a tool every writer should have. Kath and I each have an AS 3000 and we adore ours so much that we want to force everyone else to our way of thinking...err, I mean spread the love. Not only does this little puppy have a huge memory, it runs on batteries, allows files to be easily downloaded into the word processing program of your choice and promotes unboxed thinking by making you move forward (you can only see four lines of text at a time in the small screen). Bonus: you can pack it into a briefcase and take it anywhere; type while in the passenger seat on trips; use it at the beach (because miraculously you can see the mini-screen in the sun); and maybe even save a tree or two by using it for note taking at meetings, while brainstorming, etc...

No hemming and hawing about this now; everyone should at least try. You're unboxed, right? Working toward being unboxed? You know what it means, for chili's sake, or you wouldn't be here. If you're new to the site, then by all means search around a bit, figure it out and then craft your blip. Send it to us at What have you got to lose?

Kath and I will choose the best (most wildly creative) unboxed entry as the winner by the close of the contest--September 30th--and we'll FedEx you your new AS3000 shortly thereafter along with an assortment of Alphie goodies:

• 3 AA batteries
• AlphaWord and Calculator SmartApplets
• USB cable
• User's Guide

Extra bonus: Therese will throw in some really good chocolate.

Want to know more about the AS 3000? Click here for more detailed info. Have questions? Ask away. But here's one question I want to answer up front:

Can I post about this on our lists and blogs and websites?

Please do! We want everyone to know about what we're doing here and to join our readerly ranks as we make the jump to our new home, with our new writer friends. So thanks in advance for passing the word. Added incentive: If we get an email saying, "Hey, ERIC told us about this opportunity," then ERIC gets a chance to enter again.

Yeah, it really is as good as it sounds, so what are you waiting for? Write on - creatively!


Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

Wow! I can't wait to see the new look and all the other changes you're about to make.

And what a very, very COOL contest!

You guys rock. ;-)

10:54 AM  
Blogger redchurch said...

Eric gets to enter the contest again?

I like the sound of that. :)

And congrats on WordPress. Wasn't sure if you guys would look into that or not. Very curious to see what comes of that!

10:57 AM  
Blogger redchurch said...

I just thought I should add, as well, that if you guys have any WordPress questions I might be able to help. It takes a little time to figure out how everything works. Just let me know.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Bolton said...

Thanks Melissa! And lemme tell ya, the Alphie really is the writer's friend. I can't imagine what I've done without it before now.

And Eric, we have a secret weapon in our WordPress conversion....all will be revealed soon. But I'm sure we're going to need help as we're trying to get used to the new format. But we already love the new look and flexibility of WP.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Brenda Oig said...

A new look, cool. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with all the changes.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Therese Walsh said...

It is exciting, isn't it?

Eric, if you have any tips for transferring archived posts to WP, we'd love to hear them!

I don't know, but I think it must fate that I just today received an announcment of a big Godiva sale. Now the big question: dark or milk?

1:07 PM  
Blogger redchurch said...

In your WP admin, as you may have already found, there is an Import tab with conversion of posts from popular services like Blogger.

2:55 PM  
Blogger redchurch said...

And if you start using the nifty WordPress categories feature, there is a plugin Post Control (now called Draft Control I guess) which allows you to mass edit the authors or category of the post.

I also use the WP-ContactForm plugin so that I don't expose my email address to more spam by listing it in plain view on the site.

And last but not least, the Get Recent Comments which allows me to gracefully display comments in the sidebar. This was something that was a poor javascript hack in Blogger. Yay for WP plugins!

You may find yourselves from time to time, wondering "How do I do this?" - Not everything in WP is self-explanatory, but if you need anything just ask.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Therese Walsh said...

Great tips here, Eric, and we're going to be checking them out! Thanks for passing on wisdom!

10:08 PM  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

vNow how cool is this! Melissa Marsh told me about it!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

I'll do anything for chocolate!

6:27 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

I want it! I need it. I can see myself lying down on the couch right now writing poems on it, popping chocolates into my mouth... (although those are a big no-no for me)
Love the site changes :)

8:04 PM  

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