Holiday Goodness in a Season of Junkfood

Gifts are good, gifts are fun. Everyone likes getting something. But the real joy of the holidays comes from giving, so for 2014 we decided to make that easier while keeping the fun part.

We created WriteSomethi.ng, a communally-written holiday story benefiting 826 Boston, a local charity who help under-resourced students with writing. Because they know, and we know, that being a better writer makes you a better anything.

People from anywhere could contribute to the story, and with every keystroke they put 2¢ into the hands of 826 Boston to provide one-on-one tutoring, workshops, publishing opportunities, supplies, and more to Boston students.

A teaser video went around in November, building anticipation for the December launch.

And then the site launched, introducing the world to The Story of Greg, the Sentient All-Seeing Ornament and inviting people everywhere to contribute to his story.

People jumped right in and stretched their creative writing muscles. Greg was introduced to an elixir of elephant tears, a box of jingle-bell bees, and even a forest-dwelling luchador.

Throughout the initiative, WriteSomethi.ng kept people engaged across social media platforms with tweets and Facebook posts of #FailedStoryIdeas and #BestOfGreg.

Results

In its first month, WriteSomethi.ng was picked up by media (The Boston Globe, Boston.com) and publishers (McSweeny’s, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and attracted contributions from people all over the U.S. We raised funds to help 826 Boston stay strong through 2015, and provided a healthy dose of holiday spirit to hundreds of followers.

Next up: MAK