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2009 Mini-Challenges – A Novel Challenge Yahoo Group


January 1 – December 31, 2009

UPDATE: January 3, 2009: I have now added a Mr. Linky to this post. Please use this to sign up for the challenge. If you have a blog, please provide a link to your post about the challenge. If you do not have a blog, simply type in your name and leave the http:// address blank. For those of you who have already signed up by leaving a comment, I’ve added you to the Mr. Linky already!


Once again I am hosting a year of mini-challenges through my Yahoo Group: A Novel Challenge. I would love for you to join the group, but you do not have to be a member of A Novel Challenge Yahoo Group in order to participate. Here are the rules:

  • Complete all 12 mini-challenges between January 1st and December 31st, 2009.
  • Challenges can be completed in any order.
  • Overlaps are allowed.
  • IF you are a member of the Yahoo group, you do not need a blog to participate. IF you are NOT a member of the Yahoo group, you will need a blog.
  • Sign up by either joining the Novel Challenge Yahoo group OR leave me a comment on this post.
  • Have fun! Challenge yourself to do something literary every month of the year!

Here are the 12 challenges:

  1. Read a collection of short stories and either blog about it, OR tell the group about what you read.
  2. Read a play. Blog about it, OR tell the group about your experience.
  3. Read a nonfiction book; write a review on your blog or post it to the group.
  4. Read 2 essays from the same collection; write a review on your blog or tell the group about what you read.
  5. Go to a book event; blog about it or tell the group about it.
  6. Borrow a library book, read it and review it on your blog (or tell the group about it).
  7. Read a book by a new to you author. Do a little research on the author…do they have a blog? How many books have they written? Have they won any prizes? Where do they live? etc… Blog about the book you read and the author OR tell the group about them.
  8. Make a donation. You can either donate to an organization that supports reading OR make a physical donation of a book (or books) to ANYONE. Blog about it or tell the group what you did.
  9. Promote literacy. This is wide open – use your imagination. You could give a child a book, or read a book to someone who cannot read, or volunteer at an event which promotes literacy, or donate to your local library, or write something on your blog with a link to a group which promotes literacy, or anything in between.  The only rule with this one is that you must PROMOTE literacy in some way…
  10. Participate in a buddy read or Group discussion. This can be a face to face group, an on-line group or a one on one discussion with a friend who read the same book. Either way, blog about your experience or share with the group. Did the discussion give you greater appreciation or insight into what you read?
  11. Read a book outside your comfort level or from a genre you don’t normally read. Blog about it, or tell the group about it.
  12. Read a classic (defined as anything published before 1970). Tell us why it fits the category of being a classic. Write a review or tell the group about the book.


  1. Book Psmith Book Psmith
    December 30, 2008    

    Hi Wendy. I joined the novel challenge yahoo group a few days ago and saw the previous mini-challenges. I definitely want to participate in 2009. I didn’t know that caribousmom was Wendy was Novel Challenge blog. Thanks for all that you do.

  2. December 30, 2008    

    I’m so in for this. It sounds like fun. Here’s my post about my 2009 challenges:

  3. Lindy Lindy
    December 30, 2008    

    This sounds like fun, but the essay sounds hard to find. Anyone know any? Lindy

  4. Book Psmith Book Psmith
    December 30, 2008    

    Lindy – I went to my local library and found several collections. One popular one is The Best American Essays series. If you love to read about reading, Anne Fadiman has an excellent collection of essays called Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. If you love dogs, Anna Quindlin’s Good Dog, Stay is a single essay in book form which includes several photographs of dogs. A bit on the longish side for an essay but very good.


  5. December 30, 2008    
  6. Jenny Jenny
    December 30, 2008    

    OOO a bit more of a challenge!! I’ll see what I can do. Thanks.

  7. December 30, 2008    

    I’m so glad you’re bringing this challenge back for a second year! I love this! Thanks for making my day, Wendy!

  8. December 31, 2008    

    Hi Wendy! I’m going to try it this year. The link to my blog is http://lisalit.blogspot.com/2008/12/2009-mini-challenge.html

    Thanks for doing this!

  9. December 31, 2008    

    Book PSmith: Thank you! Glad you joined the group…you are not the only one who didn’t initially connect me to this blog and the group/Novel Challenge blog 🙂 Also thanks for giving Lindy some ideas 🙂

    Jessica: Your link seems to be broken 🙁 Glad you are joining the challenge!

    Lindy: There are lots of great essay collections out there…Perhaps I’ll do a post later with some links for you.

    Lynda: Welcome aboard! Glad to have you!

    Jenny: Good luck!

    Vasilly: You are very welcome…that was easy!

    Lisa: Thanks for joining the challenge 🙂

  10. December 31, 2008    

    Okay…this is the last challenge I am going to sign up for. I love this because includes things I was already intending to do in 2009. I’ll update with a link to my blog once I get everything set up.

  11. December 31, 2008    

    Count me in 🙂

  12. December 31, 2008    

    Sounds like fun! This challenge seems like it will be a lot of fun to participate in.

  13. January 1, 2009    

    Count me in. I’m not a member of the Yahoo group, but I’ll post my reviews and progress to my blog. Thanks for hosting and Happy New Year!

  14. January 1, 2009    

    I would like to do this again!

  15. Kim Kim
    January 1, 2009    

    Hi Wendy–this looks like a lot of fun. I just completed the application to join your yahoo group and will just wait to hear from you. I appreciate all you do in this little community of book lovers and have found so many fun challenges this past year because of your Novel Challenges blog. Thanks and Happy New wishes to you!
    (page after page)

  16. January 2, 2009    

    Sounds great. Please include me.

  17. January 3, 2009    

    Apparently, I said I’m in at the group’s page, but not here, so there you go: I’m in! 🙂
    My post is here: http://cozymurders.blogspot.com/2009/01/2009-mini-challenge-for-novel-challenge.html

  18. January 3, 2009    

    Ok, this is the LAST challenge I’m signing up for (once you start it’s hard to stop, lol). Sounds like so much fun!!

  19. January 3, 2009    

    Hello Wendy. Here is a link to my first finished mini-challenge. At this post there is a link to the review I wrote for the book. I am also going to leave a note at the yahoo group. Is this how we are supposed to do it? If there is another way, please let me know. Thanks.


  20. January 3, 2009    

    Thank you all for signing up. I’ve created a Mr. Linky and added you all – if you have a blog, I tried to link to your post about the challenge. If you do not have a blog, your name is there with no link. If I’ve missed you, please feel free to add your name to Mr. Linky.

    Book PSmith: Congratulations on finishing the first of the challenges! You can either leave a link here as you have done; or, because you are a member of the Yahoo group…you can simply email the group with your updates. It is up to you!

  21. January 3, 2009    

    This sounds very very interesting and doable. I am new to book challenges but this one sounds fascinating. I like the ideas you have come up with. I will create a post about it now and will come back and relink in Mr. Linky — sorry about that!

  22. January 3, 2009    

    I just linked again (sorry if I messed you up) with the post that contains my updates on this challenge. I think it will help me expand my horizons in a fun way!

  23. January 4, 2009    

    Jenners: I hope it will be fun for you! Don’t worry about the double link…I deleted the one that didn’t link to your challenge post 🙂

  24. January 4, 2009    

    This is my first book challenge and I look forward to it.


  25. January 4, 2009    

    I found this through my friend Mary. I read ALL THE TIME, but it is always good to branch out and try new things. My husband is deploying in a few weeks, and I will need lots of distractions while he is gone. I think this will be a wonderful project to focus on. Thanks!

  26. January 5, 2009    

    I just signed up – my first challenge! Thanks, Wendy.

  27. January 5, 2009    

    I found this through my friend Bethany. I think this would be a wonderful challenge to join in on.

  28. January 6, 2009    

    This one was irresistable and it is my first ever challenge. Thankyou for organising it, it sounds good fun and very manageable.

  29. January 6, 2009    

    Mary: I’m flattered you chose my challenge for your first ever! I will warn you, though, once you start doing challenges, you will quickly become addicted!

    Bethany: Thanks for joining. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you to be separated from your spouse…I hope this project helps you meet new bloggers too!

    Woo hoo, Joann – another challenge “virgin” … I love it!

    Welcome Christina and Leah (who is yet ANOTHER newcomer to challenges!)

  30. January 11, 2009    

    This sounds like such an interesting challenge! Here is my link to my challenge post.

  31. January 15, 2009    

    Hello, Thanks for having this unique challenge.

    I made a donation for the January event.


  32. January 27, 2009    

    This is the first book challenge I have participated in and I’m excited.
    Since the start of the year I have been volunterring with my local community college’s literacy program.

  33. January 29, 2009    

    Welcome to the challenge, Sherri! I am happy to hear about your literacy volunteering – a very worthy thing to do!

  34. January 29, 2009    

    Count me in. I saw this too late last year. Thanks for hosting it again.

  35. February 22, 2009    

    I hope I’m not too late to join in the fun. I just heard about it. I’ll post about the challenge to my site soon.

  36. February 22, 2009    

    No, it is not too late! Glad to have you aboard, Petunia!

  37. March 27, 2009    

    Definitely going to try this one this year

  38. March 28, 2009    

    Welcome aboard, Lisa!

  39. April 3, 2009    

    Hi, Wendy, I stumbled in by chance and got to know you and your interesting bunch. I’ve already told a friend about your website. Thanks! I only have a humble little space where I try out whatever on my mind on easy days. Your mini challenge looks fun and I can’t wait to start! 🙂

  40. April 4, 2009    

    Mary: Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comment! Humble little spaces are good 🙂 Glad to have you join the challenge!

  41. MarthaE MarthaE
    August 12, 2009    

    Sorry I didn’t see this earlier in the year! If you do it again next year maybe I can start early!

  42. August 15, 2009    

    Martha: It is a little late to join this one, isn’t it? *laughs* This is the second year I’ve hosted this…I may do it again in 2010…we’ll see!

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