Monday, February 6, 2017

Announcing: The 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! #atozchallenge

From reading your blogs and what we've seen on Facebook and Twitter, people are really looking forward to the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, and we're sure those of you who are veterans of the Challenge know that it's about this time that we make The List available for people to sign up so that everyone knows they plan on doing the challenge this year.
Those of us on the A to Z Team have been talking about preparations for this year's challenge, and one of the things we've discussed is The List. The truth is, The List is a lot of work, and we have fewer people to check the list and maintain it so that the only people who are on it are the ones actively participating. Our focus changes from the people who are actively participating to those who aren't, and that isn't fair.
We came up with a great solution to this:
  • Each day of the Challenge, we'll add a post with the letter of the day to the A to Z Challenge blog. When you've posted your entry to your blog, post a comment to the Challenge blog with a link to that day's post on your blog.
  • We'll also add a status update to our Facebook page each day with that day's letter. You may also post a link to your daily post as a comment to the latter post, either in addition to or instead of posting the link to the Challenge blog.
  • And, we encourage you to post a tweet to Twitter with a link to your blog post. Be sure you add the hashtag #atozchallenge to your tweet, so we can find you.
The advantage to this, for us, is that we don't have The List to maintain. The advantage to you is that you'll only see the people who are actually participating in the Challenge that day, so you won't waste your time going to blogs that said they would participate when they signed up in February or March, but who have changed their minds by April first, or who have had to leave the Challenge because life got in the way.
"But wait," you say, "what about the theme reveal?"
The Theme Reveal will start on March 20. We'll add a post on that day to which you can comment with the link to your theme reveal post. Again, no sign-up list, just add your links to the blog, the FB page, and use the hashtag #AtoZReveal on Twitter to share.

Important Links
Since this April has five Sundays, April 30 will be a posting day. The letter for each day is:

1 - A

3 - B
4 - C
5 - D
6 - E
7 - F
8 - G

10 - H
11 - I
12 - J
13 - K
14 - L
15 - M

17 - N
18 - O
19 - P
20 - Q
21 - R
22 - S

24 - T
25 - U
26 - V
27 - W
28 - X
29 - Y
30 - Z

The A to Z Challenge is a great opportunity for you to find new blogs and meet new bloggers, and we want to make commenting as simple as possible, so we'd like to make a couple of requests:
  1. Please disable comment moderation for the duration of the Challenge, including the theme reveal. We understand it's a way to prevent spammers from posting comments, but a commenter might see the message that their comment will be visible after approval as a sign that you don't trust them.
  2. Also, please disable word verification (CAPTCHA) for the duration of the Challenge. Some visitors might have trouble reading the characters and decide leaving a comment isn't worth the effort.
We're looking forward to this year's A to Z Challenge, and we're happy you're looking forward to it, too! We think the changes we've made will make it more fun and easier to participate in. If you have any questions or concerns, leave us a comment.


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LA Nickers said...

Hoping you'll have a simple LINKY tool, as so many blog carnivals and prompt sites offer.

Arlee Bird said...

Linda, that's our point this year in doing it the way we're doing it. Eliminate the Linky tool. We'll have to see what happens this time. Maybe next year we'll have to go back to the old way of doing things.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Vinodini said...

I've participated in three A-Z challenges consecutively except for last year coz there was lots happening on work and personal front around that time. Looking forward to participating this year!

DA Cairns said...

I laughed when I read this, but I just emailed the team last night to ask where the linky list was for this year. I 100% and without reservation, and absolutely etc etc think this is a great move. The very things you mentioned as being catalysts for this change, are those which have ticked me off lover the past four years since I joined this blogging tour-de-force. Congrats on the decision to change. I love it!

shalz75 said...

when and where does the theme reveal post goes up for us to leave our links on it?

Arlee Bird said...

Shalz, the post is up now--

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out Theme Revieal: It's About Time

Arlee Bird said...

DA, so far we're off to a great start!

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out Theme Revieal: It's About Time

The Solitary Writer said...

Hey Team,

I found out that the Link for sign up is closed. I want to participate in this. How can I do that ?

PS - I've been a regular since 2014. Please help me

Arlee Bird said...

Writer, the information is in the posts at the A to Z Blog. There is no Linky List this year. We are trying a new method of bloggers posting links daily on the A to Z Blog daily letter posts as well as via social media such as Facebook and Twitter. It's very simple actually. Maybe an extra effort from participants, but only a minor one. Read the posts and watch what others are doing. Or just put up your A to Z posts and visit other bloggers letting them know about your daily posts in your comments to them. This is all about networking and interaction with other bloggers.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out Theme Reveal: It's About Time

Unknown said...

Hi...Learnt about this challenge recently. Found very interesting. However, i have a doubt. I am one of the team members of a blog, MocktailMommies ( We are a team of 8 friends who take turn to post articles on our blog. For the "A to Z" challenge as well, we will be participating as a team. So every day the article will be from one of us. Can we participate in the contest with this notion? Await your early positive response
Anagha, Team MocktailMommies

Arlee Bird said...

This doesn't sound like a problem to me as long as your posts are in the alphabetical format. I guess theoretically you could have 26 team members posting on each letter of the alphabet.

I'd say go for it and have a good time!

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out Theme Reveal: It's About Time

Unknown said...

Thank you Arlee Bird for clearing the air and for a very quick, encouraging response.
Looking forward to a great time throughout April'17.
Anagha, Team MocktailMommies

Brett Minor said...

Both Blogger and WordPress have the option to post to Facebook and/or Twitter when a new post goes up. It is virtually no work at all. Check the boxes to do so, set it to default and you never have to look at it again. It will always post for you.

I use Hootsuite to schedule social media posts all the time. Adding a few blog posts will not be an issue. The only extra work I can think of is having to visit the A to Z Facebook post each day to add my link, but that takes less than 30 second, so I can hardly complain.

I know I will definitely appreciate not having to weed through dozens of dead links and people who had stopped participating, but were still on the list. Now, the only links included each day, will be links that have actually been written.

I love it.

ViolaFury said...

I will be here for the entire month of April this year, and continuing what I started last year, I'm going to continue writing on "Nebraska Avenue, Redux" and the things and people that go on and inhabit this area and make it so fascinating. Some of my posts were less than factual, and if that becomes the case this year, I will mention a "100% fact-free post" at the beginning of each entry. I'm not too sure how I feel about not having a list, but will be investigating the link-within-the-signature post, I see here. Thanks, Arlee and everyone involved for putting this together; I always look forward to this!

PT Dilloway said...

You honestly want people to comment on your blog every single day for 30 days with links to their blogs? That's way too much work for me. At the same time when your list has 1700 blogs it's not like anyone's going to click through all of those anyway. It seems the work for the blogger far outweighs the benefit of maybe getting a couple of readers.

Arlee Bird said...

Pat, the method is up to each individual blogger and our suggestions are optional. Blog in whatever way that makes you happy and fits within your personal schedule. That's it. I've always considered A to Z to be a personal challenge with a bit of blog show-off spirit. But we also want people to have fun.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Anonymous said...

If you're going to do it this way, is there any chance you could get a WordPress blog up and running simultaneously? I know quite few people who can't comment here using their WP accounts.

Linda Hill said...

Okay. I just tried to comment with my WordPress account, but it's not going to show up until it's approved...? In case it never does, I'll ask again here: Any chance you can set up a simultaneous WP blog to do the same job as this one? You're going to lose a lot of people who have difficulty commenting from their WP account, who don't also have Google accounts.

Arlee Bird said...

Your comments have both shown up just fine. I guess I did have to approve them to make them show up, but I'm not sure why. But since I get email notifications of such messages they show up pretty quickly. I've asked co-host John Holton to look at this to see if he has an answer.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Natalie said...

I only recently found out about this, but I'm going to jump in! :) It sounds like a lot of fun. :)

Brett Minor said...

I am of the belief that people need to at least try the new system before getting so bent out of shape about it. I like the idea of a list, even if it is defective, but I'm not gonna take my toys and go home just because it's not the way I want it to be. This is a FREE VOLUNTARY service we all take advantage of here. Why all the negativity?

That being said, I do have a question to see if anyone has any bright ideas. My wife is an anonymous blogger. She does not want people IRL to know about her blog. It allows her to write more freely. Because of this, she cannot post to Facebook or Twitter with her account because it would give away her identity. Does anyone know of a way to post anonymously without having to have someone else post for her every day?

Arlee Bird said...

Brett, posting here on this blog or at is one way. Or commenting on other blogs and leaving the link to her blog in the signature. This latter method is in my opinion the best way to attract visitors to a blog and a blogger can be more selective as to who they'd like to "invite" to visit them.

Can't help with the anonymous FB and Twitter posting. Maybe someone else has a suggestion.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Afshan Shaik said...


I am planning to participate, so daily I need to post my blog link on a new post which would be up on A to Z blog right ? Please confirm

Shirley Corder said...

Okay, so I'm late. Very late. I've done this before and loved it, but wasn't sure I could manage it this year. But I can't resist it, so I'm in.

Arlee Bird said...

Yes, this is correct.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Anuradha said...

I haven't participated in a while so just wanted to know if I can join now and where do I declare my theme / is it necessary to declare a theme?

I.L. Wolf said...

Excited for another fun A to Z! Quick note, the twitter handle above is wrong, it links to the right profile, but if someone just copies it, they won't get you. Also, not seeing the daily post, but guessing it just may not yet be posted?

Thanks for what I know will be another fun April!


Isa-Lee Wolf

A Bit 2 Read

Arlee Bird said...

No need to declare a theme and you can join in anytime. Just post links to your recent blog posts to attract traffic and visit others. Have fun!

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Megha said...

I will be writing about authors, characters from books, movies.
Life is just a bowl of cherries

Siouxsie said...

Wondering how you all are experiencing the daily blog post where we all link to our posts. Perhaps the posting will settle down to a more manageable amount, but I'm already frustrated by posts that talk about not being able to figure out how to add the widget to their blog, and people who are posting multiple posts listing their daily post.

New things always take some getting used to, and of course there will be some growing pains. Just wondering how others are experiencing this.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the ready-to-use badges. They make this challenge easy and fun.

Arlee Bird said...

I've got more links than I can visit in my day. Just reciprocating the comments I receive at my own site keeps me plenty busy. I've been also bouncing back and forth between Facebook, Twitter, and this A to Z blog site. There are plenty of options out there.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Ila Varma said...

BobbieTales said...

Linking every day was tiring and the time not clear. A list was the best to view who had a blogs. Now had to zip up and down the list, which got easier as bloggers dropped. What would be very helpful for viewing blogs -- maybe now that April2017 ended, a list of of us that did survive and got up daily posts -- Otherwise, worked.

MLQ said...

I'd be interested to know the total participants this time around. My list for last year has over 1,000.

Judy Rinehimer said...

My REFLECTION posting was more about how the Challenge got me back to blogging This was my first Challenge.

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