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How many sleeps to go? Only 10 (not that I’m counting or anything.)

Yes folks, it’s nearly time for 28 Plays Later 2020… except of course it’s going to be 29 Plays Later this year which doesn’t sound as good, means extra work and will take me until February 20th to type correctly first time…

Good your play is.

I was on the Forum the other day and noticed there’s a few newbies taking part this year, which is nice to see because it allows me to offer unsolicited advice and sound all wise and Jedi-like… ’write or write not, there is no pressure…’ and ‘good your play is… mmm!’

It’s also nice to see so many new faces because it means The Literal Challenge is getting noticed and more people are challenging themselves, which is what it’s all about. Well, and fun. Challenge and fun. And writing every day. So, challenge, fun and… I can feel this descending into a Monty Python sketch so I’ll move on.

So, what am I looking forward to about 29 Plays Later – and what would I happily avoid like the plague?

Looking forward to:

  • The Facebook Group – I’m still in contact with some of the writers I met last year through the group and found it a great place to chat about the briefs, life in general and writing plays in particular.

  • The Forum – for those of you who think Facebook is the work of the devil, there’s the Forum. Another place to get your questions answered and share your highs, lows and general thoughts about the challenge.

  • The Briefs – the ones that make me laugh, the ones that make me think, research or learn something, the ones that inspire me and take me to new and exciting places, the ones that make me go… ’WTF?’

  • Hitting Submit – that moment when you hit the button and you’re done for the day. Whether it happens at 8am or 8pm, it feels good, you feel powerful and clever and proud of yourself. It doesn’t matter if the play you submitted stinks worse than a dead skunk… you did it, and that’s always a good feeling.

  • Ticking off the days – seeing yourself reach the halfway mark, then the last week, then the last day and planning what to do with all that lovely free time you’re going to have in March.

Not looking forward to:

  • The Facebook Group – for those days when everyone else seems to have hit submit already and I haven’t had time to read the brief yet.

  • The Forum – see above.

  • The Briefs – the ones that make me go… ’WTF?’ and send my brain into the mental equivalent of walking through wet cement in wellies.

  • Hitting Submit – either because I’ve enjoyed writing the play so much that now I don’t want to get back to real life, or because I know in my heart of hearts that the play what I wrote is a big old bag of you-know-what, that deserves to be quietly buried in the garden and never spoken of again.

  • Ticking off the days – either at the beginning, when 29 days seem like forever, or the midway point when you’re really not sure you’ve got the stamina to carry on, or the end, where you can’t imagine ever wanting to stop and realise how much you’ll miss all this madness.

I can’t wait!

So, there you have it. It’s going to be fun, annoying, inspiring, draining, epic and frustrating… I can’t wait!

Whoops, I forgot – there’s one more thing I’m looking forward to… you.

I’m looking forward to ’meeting’ you all. Whether on Facebook or the Forum, I’m looking forward to saying hi and taking this journey with you.

‘I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…’ see you soon.

Ali Gallo



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