Nitty Gritty Details You Need to Know


****Each Spark round runs for 10 days****

How it works
As a quick review, here’s what you’ve signed up for: To begin, you will receive an inspiration piece–from me, if you’re working alone, or from you’re partner, if you signed up together with someone.  Then, over the 10-day project period, you will create a new piece of your own using that initial work as the jumping off point.

By Wednesday, the first day of the project, 9 a.m.

IF YOU’RE WORKING WITH A PARTNER: Send your partner something to inspire them. (Usually taken from your portfolio; it does not need to be a new piece.) At the same time, you will receive something from your partner.

IF YOU SIGNED UP TO WORK ALONE: You will receive an email from me containing a link to an image or story/poem.

This is called the inspiration piece.

During the 10-day project round period

Make something new using the inspiration piece as a jumping off point. Your new piece is called the response.

IF YOU’RE WORKING WITH A PARTNER: If you finish early, please do not send your response to your partner until you know he or she is done, too. This is so you don’t interrupt their creative process.

On Friday, the final day of the project, end of day

STOP WORK on your piece. Make final adjustments and formatting changes.

IF YOU’RE WORKING WITH A PARTNER: You may now send your response piece to your partner!

At the end of the project round

You’ll have a week to post what you received and what you made on the Spark website. I will send all new participants a log-in (past participants have the same log-in as in prior rounds), as well as detailed instructions on how to upload posts later in the round. Don’t worry about it for now.

File formats
Everyone will be uploading their work to the Spark site once the project is completed. To maintain the site’s consistent look–and to make life easier for all involved–please adhere to the following guidelines.

Formatting prose: 12 pt. type (any font), single-spaced, no indents, aligned flush left. Double space between paragraphs. Do not bold or italicize the story’s title or your name, and don’t surround the title with quote marks.

Formatting poetry: 12 pt. type (any font). Use spacing and special formatting (itals, bold) as needed. If you have trouble maintaining unique formatting on the Spark  site, please get in touch with me when the time comes to upload work.

Formatting images: Save in JPG format, no larger than 1024 pixels at 72 dpi. (Files must not be too large or they will not upload or will display incorrectly.)

Music and video: If you are creating music or video, please check in with your partner to make sure they can open your files. (You should be able to upload an MP3 to the Spark site when you’re done. Others have hosted their work on other sites and hyperlinked that to the Spark site. Feel free to get in touch with me when the time comes to create your  page.)

A special note to writers
Your stories and poems–inspiration pieces and responses–must each be 1,500 words or less.

Also, as most of you know, many publications consider stories and poems that appear on the web to be published work. For this reason, please do not use anything that is currently out for submission for Spark…unless the journal knows up front that the piece will also be published on the Spark website.

Perfectionists beware! The goal of this project is not to produce a masterpiece, or even a salable work–although you might. Rather, the goal is to gain inspiration from a new source and to discover where that inspiration takes us.

A reminder
By registering for the project, you indicated your willingness to have your work displayed on the Spark website. The work, of course, belongs to you, and no one else in this project can use another person’s writing or art in any way without first getting the creator’s permission.

If you blog about the project
Please be sure to check with your partner before displaying their work on your site. If your partner gives you permission to use their work, be sure to link to their website if they have one. And, of course, share your blog on the Spark Facebook page so your fellow participants can read about your process!


Thanks, enjoy, and as always, let me know if you have any questions!