Showing posts with label A to Z Co-hosts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A to Z Co-hosts. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#atozchallenge -- Introducing co-host AJ Lauer

author AJ Lauer at Montserrat in Spain
Montserrat Monastery, Spain
September 2014
Hello friends! Nice to meet you!

My name is AJ Lauer. I am an author and educator living in the Front Range of Colorado, USA. This is my fifth year participating in the A-Z Challenge and my third year as a co-host. Can't believe it's been so many years already!

In general blog about whatever I want - hiking/travel, gluten-free baking, education, writing. The same goes for my A-Z themes. I've done writing prompts, 'Things That Make Me Happy', random interesting things, and last year's super-fun interactive A-Z Pick Your Plot story.

On the Challenge Team I am a scheduling master - so I help our team keep track of all the things we have going on, including posts, our own A-Z Challenge participation, and timing of other A-Z related events (Theme Reveal Day, etc). I'm also a bit of a data hound, so the participant survey you'll get at the end of the event is a care package from me - please fill it out! :)

Here are all the places you can find me. Stop by and say hello:
The blog
FacebookTwitter @ayjaylauerBuy my book! Armageddon: Pick Your Plot
Join my email list! New subscribers get a free ebook novella. Hooray!

Have a wonderful Challenge, everyone :)

And! Don't forget, our first A-Z Twitter chat is tomorrow, February 18! Join us at 9pm Eastern time (USA) at #azchat. Co-hosts will be around to answer questions and share in general excitement. See you there!

Monday, February 15, 2016

#atozchallenge -- Meet your co-host: Csenge


My name is Csenge, I am your friendly neighborhood Hungarian co-host. This is my second year co-hosting, and my 5th year in the Challenge! It has been constant fun, and I am looking forward to yet another great year.

About me: 
I am a professional storyteller and author, currently working on my PhD in Culture Studies (my area of research is storytelling in role-playing games). Most of what I do revolves around epics, mythology, folktales, fairy tales, books, and RPGs. Usually in some combination of those. I am also a game- and comic book nerd, and I watch more TV shows than I care to admit. 
To my defense: I am minoring in Pop Culture Studies.

Blogs and things:

Here I write about storytelling-related things. Past Challenge themes include Epics A to Z, Weird Princesses, and Tales about Colors. 

Exactly what it sounds like: My musings on weird and unique Hungarian things. Last year's theme was "26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary."

Book: Tales of Superhuman Powers (55 myths, legends and folktales that featured superpowers way before comic books came along - stories with notes, sources, and pop culture references) 

Oh, and I have an Old English Sheepdog. I thought that was important.
Sometimes I crochet mythical animals. 

I am looking forward to visiting with all of you in April! :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

In Memory of the Beloved Tina Downey...

Raise a glass for Tina,
the super organized co-host from our A-to-Z Team.
Known for lending a helping hand to newbie and veteran bloggers in need.

Ever the straightforward woman, unafraid to have hard conversations, she also had a knack for fine-tuning details, simplifying complex tasks and making sure we got things done.
Tina showed us what it’s like to juggle a full load as a mother, wife, friend, daughter and writer while still finding ways to stop and smell the roses, and have fun.

The witty sign-offs in her messages were like additional reminders that kept everyone in high spirits and often made us laugh.
So it's easy to see how, without her, we've come to feel very understaffed.

It’s been one year since Tina, the kindhearted Swedish woman who many of us had the honor of getting to know, was laid to rest.
Still her memory lives on through those she loved, those she helped and the examples she set for taking on challenges in stride while still putting forth our very best.

Though Tina battled chronic health conditions, she still enjoyed campfires, quoting the movies, hiking, and a glass of Chardonnay when she could.
So today, let’s give a big toast to Tina Downey, the Sunflower-loving powerhouse who taught us that if you just keep swimming, you will find something to smile about because life is good.

Tina with her husband Neal. Photo courtesy of the Downey Family via AJ Lauer.
Katrina Mai Downey passed away August 23, 2014 at Longmont United Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. She was 49 years old. She was born August 4, 1965 in Mölndal, Sweden to Leif and Bonnie (Schnebly) Bilen. Tina spent her early childhood in Sweden, moving to Silver Spring, MD in 1974 where she competed in gymnastics and cross country. The family moved to Englewood, CO in 1983. Tina graduated from Denver Christian High School in 1984, where she played clarinet in the band and met her future husband. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and a teaching certificate from Colorado State University in 1988. Her complete obituary can be viewed at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Meet the wHooligans!

Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the day of green, orange, and blarney! Since my team is the wHooligans, and hooliganism is a favorite Irish pastime, I figured today to be the perfect day to introduce ourselves!

My name is AJ Lauer. I'm an author and educator based in the Front Range of Colorado. You can find me at my site, or on Twitter @ayjaylauer. I wrote an interactive apocalyptic fiction novel called Armageddon: Pick Your Plot in a crazy two week writing spree with a friend. It's great fun. You should check it out :)

Here are my answers to some of the questions posed by our readers a couple weeks ago:

Q: What is THE Tip you would like to share with the people who would be doing the A to Z Challenge for the first time?
A: Visit, visit, visit! Our list contains so many talented people with great ideas. Go see what is out there :) 

Q: How do you manage your time during the A to Z Challenge? 
A: Very carefully! So usually I've got about 60% of my posts written before April starts, and I do the other 40% on the fly. This year my theme involves audience participation, so I'll be writing every evening. I find that visiting folks is great to do during my lunch hour at work. It's a nice way to pass an hour.

Q: After you successfully complete the 2015 A to Z, and they stick television cameras in your face and ask "So, what are you going to do now", what will you answer?
A: I just did something that is perhaps a little crazy. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, which is also occurring in April. So I will probably just grunt and grumble something about words before shoving my head under my pillow.

Q: Isn't it phenomenal?
A: I am awed by how phenomenal it is. I get out to appreciate our world whenever possible. (see the above picture!)

And now... A brief introduction for my wHooligan team!

TaMara Sloan @peedeemama
Shilpa Garg @shilpaagarg
LuAnn Braley @kentuckygal
Kripali Kulkarni @precarious_me

These ladies are fantastic. They'll be working hard all month to say hi to as many participants as possible, so go pay them a visit to say thanks in advance! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Meet Your Co-Host - J.L. Campbell

My name is Joy and I’ve been blogging since 2008. Since that time, blogging has become an important part of my online presence. The year 2011 was the first time I did the A-Z Challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This year, I'll be a co-host during the Challenge, which is a first for me.

Somehow, I’ve never been able to write all of my posts prior to the start of the Challenge, but that hasn’t prevented me from participating fully each April. If I would take the time to collate my Challenge themes over the years, I’d have several books worth reading.

So a little about me …

I live in Jamaica and have been reading novels and writing stories since childhood. My books are published under the name/s J.L. Campbell and Jayda McTyson. I was lucky enough to get three publishing contracts in a short time span. Since then, I’ve self-published a number of romantic suspense, women’s fiction, new and young adult books. Needless to say, I love writing!

Some extras about me:
J.L. Campbell, A-Z Co-host

I can't stand seeing animals or children suffer

Documentaries that cover strange subjects fascinate me *don't ask*

I never go out without lipstick

Etymology fascinates me

I never go to bed early unless I'm ill, which is rarely

I’ve always enjoyed the Challenge and look forward to participating again this year. Have you settled on a theme yet? Written up all your posts?

I’m still looking for helpers, so if you’re reliable and can help with visiting blogs, do leave me a comment and I'll come stalk contact you.

For visits and such, my website is at and my Amazon author page is here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meet your co-host: The Multicolored Lady

Hi, my name is Csenge, and I am a storyteller.
No, really, I do that for a living.

I have been blogging for 8 years now. I started my first blog when I came to the USA as an international student (I a originally from Hungary) and I needed a way to keep all my friends and family updated without writing billions of emails. I soon started a parallel blog in English, to keep my new American friends updated - and it the rest is history. Currently I have three regular blogs; two of them in English, and both participating in the A to Z Challenge because I am a chronic overachiever that way.
This is my fourth year in the challenge. Last year I was a minion on Team Damyanti, and this year I am a co-host. I am exactly this much excited about it:

On The Multicolored Diary I blog about storytelling, and my storytelling-related adventures: Gigs, conferences, festivals, new folktale collections and storytelling CDs I enjoy, things like that. For the past two years I had folktale-related themes (Weird Princesses and Tales with Colors). This year I am doing my most ambitious theme yet, but in order to find out what it is, you'll have to wait for the Theme Reveal Blogfest! (or better yet, participate!)

On MopDog, I blog about Hungarian weirdness, such as the cartoons of my childhood, strange Hungarian proverbs, and Aggressive Piglet jokes. Last year I barely made it through the alphabet, but this year I am all prepared, and even have a theme! Again, you'll find out later.

Apart from blogging and telling stories, I am also an author. My first book in English is a collection of 55 folktales that feature superpowers (pretty much anything from Invisibility to Sonic Blast). It is titled Tales of Superhuman Powers, and I wrote it as a resource for storytellers and teachers who want to get students interested in traditional stories. Also, because I love superpowers. I'm a nerd and a gamer, I should have said that up front.

Oh, and you can also follow me on Twitter, where I most tweet about storytelling, epics, books, and TV shows.

And now, for some of the questions you submitted:

Do you remember your dreams? (from Susan Scott)
Yep, I usually do. I am also pretty good at lucid dreaming (being aware that I am in a dream without waking up). Dreams are stories, and they don't always make sense, but I like them anyway :)

Which do you prefer, horses, dogs, cats, lizards? (also from Susan)
Dogs. Definitely, 100%. I'm a huge dog person. I have an English Sheepdog called Elderberry. I also love puli dogs (hence my second blog) and Irish wolfhounds.

Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr., and why? (from Barbara in Caneyhead)
RDJ. Because Iron Man.

Have you ever dressed up in some costume and ran into Walmart wearing it? (from Naila Moon)
Heck yes. I am in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) which means that when I need to shop during an event, I run in and out of all kinds of stores wearing historical garb (either 16th century Italian, or 2nd century Sarmatian, depending on the day). I love the looks I get :)

Happy A to Z everyone! I'm looking forward to visiting with you in April :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July to our American Readers!

We are so glad that the A-Z Community is a global one, with bloggers from all over the world.

However, most of the co-hosts are from the US, and today we are celebrating the independence of our nation.

We will be back with "real" posts on Monday. Meanwhile, enjoy whatever today brings you.

~Tina, for the A-Z Team

Monday, April 21, 2014

ROAR into the #atozchallenge !

 When a lion roars in the savannah, it strikes fear into the heart of all that listen to its long drawn out grunts.

But AZers have a different kind of roar. Their roars call to people, help build community, and with each comment they leave in the savannah of blogland, they make new friends, share new joys, acquire new knowledge.

How is the A to Z Challenge treating you? Are you roaring through, or do you sense a flag in energies? Have you made new friends? New followers? Earned comments and appreciation?

If you feel low, go into a room, close all the doors and windows, and roar!

Let all the air and sound and tension rush out of you, and then, when you attack the screen and the list of blogs you need to visit, you'll find renewed energy!

Here's to roaring through the A to Z Challenge!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not giving up on the #AtoZChallenge

We're in the third week of the A to Z Challenge, and some of us are, understandably, exhausted. I know I am.

But that does not mean we shall give up.

We shall march on ahead, visit more blogs, comment on new blogs, reply to comments we have received, return those comments.

Well, maybe not all of them all the time, but you get my drift.

Go forth and multiply the comments and blog-friends, and at the end of April, you shall be glad you did it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

May The Force Be With You! #atozchallenge

It's official.  Today marks Day 13 of 26 for the A-Z Challenge.  We are half-way, and I would venture to guess that if you're still reading this, then you haven't given up, and are in this thing for the duration.

KUDOS to you!  It's not easy.  There's a lot to balance, a lot of blogs to visit, and (we hope) a lot of comments to return because you've been out there spreading The Force of your amazing participation!

So here's my advice for the day.  Use The Force, Luke.  Clear your mind of all distractions.  Focus on your objective.  Let The Force guide you.

Not a Star Wars fan?  That's OK.  We can still be friends.  What I'm talking about is letting the collective energy generated by thousands of bloggers still at this give you energy, and purpose, and stamina, and drive to see it through.  Don't try to go it alone.

If you're feeling like quitting, contact a blogging buddy, a co-host, a minion (boy do we love our minions!) and reach out for help.  Some of you remember Leia's plea, "Help me Obi-Wan, you're my only hope!" Send a distress signal to a friend.

You CAN do it.  You've made it this far.  It's not J any more, but I'm also quite fond of the movie "Finding Nemo", so even though it doesn't fit alphabetically here, I will also say, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

One day at a time, one post at a time.  The Force, and this community, will be with you.

~Tina, fond of quoting movies, and ready to give you a pep talk if you need one.  See contact tab for my email.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts - M. J. Joachim

Teresa, that’s my birth name, and if my pen name hadn’t stuck so long ago, that’s what my byline would say. Thanks to my Dad for deciding I’d be strong like St. Teresa of Avila and his little flower, like St. Therese of Lisieux – my strong Irish Catholic background influenced me, but the writer in me remained open to interpretation on all fronts. Being the youngest of such a large group (8 kids) only encouraged me to be who I am, a free spirit with more than too much creativity, and way too many ideas to keep things interesting.

Thus, the birth of my blogs…if you want to get to know me, that’s probably the easiest way. They were born from a desire to write, and the easiest things to write about are things I enjoy doing every day. I try not to get too personal on my blogs, treating them more like magazines, than a diary. But this is where you’ll see my creativity at work. If you follow me closely, you’ll also catch glimpses of my personal life from time to time.

Take my book reviews, for example. I’ve always loved to read, so sharing my thoughts about what I’m reading is perfectly natural, an easy progression. I remember one time in high school, my history teacher consistently had us write current event essays. While most kids simply followed the directions, I wrote a story about the story. Mr. Rogers loved my current event papers so much, that he told me never to let anyone teach me how to write, encouraging me to use my writing as an expression of myself, even if the writing was about something else entirely.

One of the reasons I started writing book reviews on my Writing Tips blog is because I hated writing book reports in school. Those formulas the teachers made us follow were so mundane; they drove me out of my mind. When I read books, the stories come alive. I become one with the scenes and characters; they speak to me. As a reviewer, there’s an added element, because I get to share what makes these books stand out, or not, against their competition.

At first, I was a little nervous about writing negative book reviews. After reading more than my share of poorly edited books, I changed my mind. In fact, I get a little insulted as a reader, when a book is not professionally produced, before it is published. Using my writing skills to illustrate how and why these books didn’t make the cut provides valuable information for my audience. Letting my creativity flow as I write them, allows the writer in me to be true. The same holds true when I get to write positive reviews, and I have a much better time writing those. I totally get into it, when I get to praise the authors.

Call me M. J., Teresa, Mrs. D., Aunt T. or Mom – pretty much call me whatever your heart desires. In my mind, I’m just another person on the planet, striving to achieve the ultimate goal of meeting my maker in Heaven someday. There are many roads to get there, a few detours along the way and lots of people we meet on the journey. The hope is they will be better for having known us, because we’re real and the love in our hearts make us shine.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me better. It’s a true pleasure getting to know you too!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved

Photo credit:  M. J. Joachim + the two center ones received from my Mom last summer. ©2014 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts for #atozchallenge: Tina @ Life is Good

Hi, I'm Tina, the super-shy one on the team.  Ahem.  SO not true.  If you've ever read my blog, Life is Good, you know I'm pretty much an open book.  I have no on-line persona.  I'll talk about anything (and have).  I write embarrassing stories about myself.  I talk about my family, my life, my struggles, fears, hopes and dreams.  

I know some think that doing so is dangerous, that I'm opening myself up for stalking, identity theft.  Kidnapped children.   Have at it people.  You can come take my medical bills, my asthma, my messy house, my struggles with contentment.  You can come finish all the still-in-progress projects at my house.  You won't find much of material value here, and my life is eternal, so if you take my earthly one, well then, it was my time.  I have a strong faith, and though I'm a very bossy, take charge, schedule oriented "let's get this done" type of person, I have no illusions that I have control of my life.  God's in charge.  

I do like the questions, so here you go:

How far in advance do you prepare your theme and complete your A-Z before the Challenge begins? (Yvonne)

Um, I usually don't.  I try to get the first three or so set up, and if I know I'll be out of town, then I'll write the posts for those days.  There are several reasons for this.  One: I'm so stinking busy from January to April with behind the scenes stuff of a co-host, that I don't have the time.  Two: I really like the spontaneity of daily writing, the pressure, the deadline. I know that sounds crazy, but it's totally doable if you have your theme and topics for each letter picked out. So yeah, none of mine are done yet...but I picked my theme in January and have been working on matching the letters and the topics since then.

At the end of a long day…wine? beer?? Walk?? Chocolate?? Pet your pet?? Sex?? (SammyD)

SammyD and I have been getting to know each other.  It started with the info@ email and went from I will not shy away from a question with the word sex in it.  This does not make this question (AC) so feel free to keep reading.

I love wine and beer, I can't walk very far right now because of my severe asthma but it's getting better.  Can't eat chocolate because I'm hypoglycemic.  Can't have pets because of the asthma.  Sex is one of the best stress relievers I know, so at the end of the day, you'll find me with a glass of chardonnay in my hand, and a gleam in my eye ;-)

Do you believe in Sasquatch? (JoJo)

Absolutely.  I also believe we still have some aquatic dinosaurs.  My husband, The Engineer, and my dad, The Swede, and I were on a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay.  We each individually saw the head of a plesiosaurus come up and say hi, about a 100 yards away. The Engineer saw it first and asked my dad what it was.  We watched some more.  It came up again. We looked at each other in awe.  We thought maybe we'd had too much sun, but we kept watching and theorizing, and in the end, it was the only conclusion which made sense.  Then The Engineer and I watched a NOVA about dinosaurs and saw what they looked like and it was exactly what we saw.  NOVA said they're still out there.


I blog at Life is Good, and have had two short stories published.  I'm a columnist for a newsletter, and have been writing my first novel for too long. I'm also the mom of two teenage boys and the wife of a nutty-professor inventor-engineer so life is never dull, nor does it have much free time.  But life IS good.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meet Your Co-Hosts - A Word (or Two) about Nicole #atozchallenge

I am Nicole Ayers and this will be my fourth year doing the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge at The Madlab Post as well as my second year in a Co-Host position. 

In addition to hosting the Monday Movie Meme – a weekly blog event challenging you to pick films you've seen that fit various themes, I pimp out my short film "ABYSS: The Greatest Proposal Ever" in hopes of finding my place in the world. You can connect with me on Twitter, Watch videos on my YouTube channel and Follow my boards on Pinterest – but many of you all knew that already, so let’s get down to business where I tell you what you probably didn't know about me.
  • I favor action and adventure movies among most all other genres. If I’m going to the theater, something has to start exploding within the first half or somebody (preferably Bruce Willis or Matt Damon) better be jumping off of moving vehicles on the highway. Otherwise, I tend to lose interest quickly.
  • Right now, my Top 5 movies (in no particular order) are:
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The Town
Bad Boys II
Schindler’s List
A Beautiful Mind
  • My fascination with movies comes from the invention of video cameras. During childhood, I was always fascinated with recording devices -- being able to capture moments and play them back on television or a boom box stereo system. 
An uncle used to bring his huge VHS camcorder to most of my family’s’ events and I was always excited by how he could get everything on tape for us to watch later for amusement or remembrance. I later developed interest in learning how films were made.
  • If I was forced to choose between spending the rest of my life without books or without films, I would say goodbye to films. Books would be my best friend forever because they can be enjoyed as-is whereas we need so much more resources to watch films such as hardware & utilities. 
Films require high maintenance, even as a pastime. People don’t need DVD players, iTunes, electricity or data plans and other first-world luxuries to read a book. Plus, it would be silly of me to ignore how much more beneficial reading is compared to watching movies.
  • What I like best about co-hosting the A-to-Z Challenge is the chance to give back to Arlee Bird and his event that helped me step my blogging game up, saved me from existential despair and helped me build so many quality friendships.
  • My philosophy on life can be described in the following sentence:
Each day is a blessing, so make it count!
  • The weirdest thing I've researched is vesicovaginal fistulas, for a freelance writing assignment, which made me even more apprehensive about childbirth.
  • The last book I really did not enjoy was The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. I had high hopes for this book but it pissed me off by being so difficult to read that I stopped after only a few pages in.
  • If I could describe my short film “Abyss: The Greatest Proposal Ever” in one word, it would be: Propositions
  • In a classroom full of creative, sporty and geeky children, the artistic group is where I would fit in. I was a creative kid who could usually be found drawing pictures, painting and writing short stories at any given time. I also played “school” while managing a home library. While sports weren't my thing, I was pretty good at soccer but if I could turn back the hands of time, I’d repeat my cheerleading days in a heartbeat.
  • I’m still prepping a theme and am not even at the halfway mark for completing my A-Z posts in advance. Add to that my spontaneous plan to do the challenge with two blogs this year and it’s just one big ol’ pickle of madness that could very well be a recipe for disaster. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking!
  • Telling someone my darkest secret would defeat the whole purpose of it being a secret, would it not? I think so.
  • Sometimes I blog in one of the student lounges at a local University and other times I blog in the (dis)comfort of my kitchen.
That’s all for now, folks! I would like to thank my Mighty Minion Bureau Assets – Dale at Smurfin’ the Web, Andrea MusicFan at Twelve Steps to Cloud Nine, Melody-Ann Jones-Kauffman at MAJK INK, Deniz Bevan at The Girdle of Melian, Sydney Aaliyah and SA Larsen for helping me come up with material for this “About Me” post for this year’s Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. 

Also, shouts out to Yvonne, Susan Scott and Rob Tobor for obliging in Tina Downey’s (at Life is Good) request to hit us all with your best questions. Stay tuned for additional nuggets of stuff about me, which I’ll be putting up over at The Madlab Post.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our other favorite Blog Hops!

If you are like us co-hosts, you may be looking at your calendar thinking, "What am I supposed to do with the next 39 days until the April A-Z Challenge starts?" Well, it is just your lucky day because we have some suggestions! Here are some of the co-hosts' favorite ongoing blog-hops. We do hope you'll stop by and join in the fun.

A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest!
In its second year, the A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest is a "hop within a hop" - an opportunity to join with other A-Z'ers to share what your theme for the month will be (if you have one, which you totally don't have to do. We <3 pantsers too!). This year the big day is March 21st! Hope to see you there!

Insecure Writer's Support Group
This is a great group of people, sponsored by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, whose goal is to help one another, "rock the neurotic writing world." Known as IWSG, this hop happens the first Wednesday of every month. If you've ever worried if you're the only writer who feels nervous, insecure, insufficient, or just plain weird, this is the group that will tell you that you are NOT alone. And they'll tell you in funny, insightful and wonderfully supportive ways.

Blog Blitz
Hosted by the incredibly kind and talented (and previous A-Z co-host!) DL Hammons, the Blog Blitz is an opportunity to show lucky bloggers some love, in a BIG way. Periodically DL will select a member or two of the team and email everyone their website, and then we ALL show up and leave comment love on that person's most recent post, on the same day. It's a great way to meet new bloggers, and who knows? You might get selected and have your day in the sun! (Co-host AJ was selected last April and can verify - it's quite the rush!)

Here are a couple of smaller, weekly hops that we think are pretty rad:

And if you're really searching for something to do, several of the co-hosts are not only great bloggers, but also have books published!

What are your favorite blog hops? We know some of our participants are authors and artists, too - take this opportunity to share a link to your work!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Calling all #atozchallenge participants to #SocialMedia !

A to Z April Blogging challenge is all about networking, connecting with interesting bloggers and making blog friends. 

To that end we usually recommend following other blogs, commenting on their posts.

Another way to cement these relationships is to follow each other on social media.

One of the things I want to encourage this year for AZers is cross connection-- follow as many AZ bloggers as possible on the following social networks:

G+ page

Start with following Blogging from A to Z April Challenge :
Twitter id and hashtag: @AprilA2Z and #atozchallenge
G+ page: +April Hosteam 

I'll also share my details here:
My co-host blog: Amlokiblogs
My participant blog: Daily (w)rite
My Twitter: @damyantig
My G+: +D Biswas 

If you're on any of these networks, leave me the details in the comments below-- I'll follow you, and encourage others to do the same. While adding your social media details, make sure to mention the name and number of your blog in the sign up list

Use this format for your details:

My Blog Name and Number on the list
My Facebook
My Twitter
My G+

Follow each other as more AZ participants drop in their social media deets in the comments below.

Following other AZ participants on social media would create a buzzing network. And who doesn't want more followers, right?

 It would deepen a sense of community come April and the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the challenge if you haven't already, and leave us your details in the comments.

Friday, January 31, 2014

#Blogging for #atozchallenge : To Theme or Not To Theme?

You're all signed up for the A to Z Challenge. (If you aren't, go on, run and do it, I'll wait.)

One of the questions doing the rounds:  

What do I blog about? Does it all have to be about the same thing?

Short Answer: No, but it helps to have a theme.

You can just post on your blog 26 different things for 26 days of April, and you've still won the challenge. 

Some folks do it each month of the year (-- they even do 31 posts a month, don't ask me how, I do about 8. Ok, maybe 10 if I'm feeling productive).

If you're one of those daily bloggers, and have an established audience, I would still recommend an A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme. If you're not, I'll recommend a theme.


  • Because a theme sticks in the minds of people, aka, your visitors. 
  • A blog challenge is about building community-- so if folks remember you from you challenge posts, they'll be blog friends for longer. 
  • You also have to do less work in some cases, because once you thoroughly research a topic, your posts come that much easier! 
  • Niche audience: It is important to attract the core audience of your blog, because they'll remain loyal due to their interest in a particular topic-- and if you blog on that topic for the #atozchallenge , you can be sure to attract a regular band of followers.

So, if you wish you can blog without a theme. I'm only saying Blogging for A to Z challenge might be so much more effective for your blog if you have a theme!  

And if you do have a theme, you may choose to reveal it on March 21st through the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2014, hosted by Anna Tan Csenge,  Zalka, Guilie Castillo Oriard , Samantha Geary Jones and Vidya Sury.