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8th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge Invite

The Eighth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge is almost here! Stacey, Anna, Beth, Dana, Betsy and I are all sharing hosting duties this year, and are so looking forward to all the March Writing Madness that so happily takes place here at two Writing Teachers.

Back in January we asked for assistants to come on board and help with the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. You answered the call and we are grateful for  your response and willingness to help. We have a great support team that will undoubtedly make this challenge run smoothly. Allow me to introduce our team!

CONCIERGES:  There are only concierges for the Classroom Challenge this year. Two members of our community are available, via email, to answer questions that may come up when the Classroom Challenges begin. These are people who have years of experience in the SOL community, and they should be your first point of contact should you have specific questions about the March Challenge; of course, Anna, Beth and I are also available for queries.

Last names from A-M, contact Linda Baie:LindaB414[at]gmail[dot]com

Last names from N-Z, contact Margaret Simon:margaretsmn[at]gmail[dot]com

or her school email masimon[at]iberia[dot]k12[dot]la[dot]us.

  • These lovely ladies are volunteering their time, but have other obligations. They will write you back at their earliest convenience.
  • There is no need to cc- the co-authors on your e-mails. Both Linda and Margaret are very knowledgeable and can probably answer almost any question you ask them about the Challenge. If they cannot answer your question, they will contact us on your behalf and we’ll send them a response to forward to you.
  • If your link doesn’t post automatically on the first three days of the Challenge, please do not e-mail your concierge immediately. Most likely it’s being held in moderation since you’re either new to the Slice of Life Story Challenge or you included two or more unique URLs in the body of your comment. We will be moderating comments every few hours. However, if it’s been 12 hours since you posted a link to your slice of life story and it doesn’t show up in the live comments, then please e-mail your concierge.
    • Sometimes comments, including those of long-time Slicers, get thrown into our blog’s spam folder. Sometimes this happens when you post the same comment more than once. Sometimes it happens for no reason. Please know that we will check the spam folder often and will fish out your comment if it lands there.

For the individual challenge, queries should be addressed to Betsy, Dana, and Stacey:

If your last name begins with the letters A – I, please e-mail questions to Betsy, betsymhubbard [at]

If your last name begins with the letters J – R, please e-mail questions to Dana, dmurph08 [at]

If your last name begins with the letters S – Z, please e-mail questions to Stacey, stacey [at]

Tech Support: The first few days of the Challenge are always busy since people’s links are often held for moderation and/or people link to their blog, not their actual post.  Julieanne Harmatz has kindly volunteered to assist us with tech-related issues. You  may hear from Julieanne or any one of the co-authors (Stacey, Betsy, or Dana for the individual challenge OR Anna, Beth, or me  for the classroom challenge) if you have  linked incorrectly.  You can expect to receive a “reply” back to your  comment on the original post AND a comment on your own post with instructions about the proper way to link on subsequent days.

The Welcome Wagon: While we encourage everyone to reach out to newcomers to help them feel welcome, it’s hard to know who is new. This team, which is being headed by Robin Sheldon, will identify first-time participants. Using a form (which Stacey will post later this month), Robin will divide the first-time participants amongst all of the members of the Welcome Wagon. Each member of the Welcome Wagon will commit to commenting on each new participant’s writing every day (barring any unforeseen circumstances) during the Challenge. The members of the Welcome Wagon are:

Bev Baird

Ramona Behnke

Carrie Cahill

LeAnn Carpenter (Elsie)

Katy Collins

Elisabeth Ellington

Anita Ferreri

Maureen Ingram

Erin Johnson

Julie Johnson

Bonnie Kaplan

Kim Koehler

Kristi Lonheim

Jone MacCulloch

Kimberley Moran

Mindi Rench

Jennifer Sniadecki

Angela Stockman

Jessica Touhy

Melissa Vervinck

Amanda Villagomez

Adrienne Wiley

Carol Wilcox

Rissa Zimmerman

We thank everyone in advance for taking on these duties to help make the March Challenge another great success. If you are still interested in helping with our support team, please contact me via email at  elibenoli5[at}gmail{dot}com, or Betsy at bets577[at]gmail[dot]com. Thank you again to all the volunteers.

Tara Smith View All

I teach Writing Workshop, Language Arts and Social Studies to sixth graders at a middle school in suburban New Jersey. This blog is my attempt to capture all the "stuff" that goes into my teaching life - the planning, the dreaming, the reading, the preparing, the hoping and (above all) the kids.
Please note that the content of this blog is my own. It does not reflect the opinions of my employer.


  1. Looking forward to writing everyday, sharing and commenting thoughtfully on Slicers’ blogs. I did not make the “welcome wagon” list this year, but that is okay because I have plenty else to do! If you get more new Slicers than expected, I’ll help if needed.


  2. Looking forward to this challenge, everyone. It’s my 5th SOLC, but my first with a class. Lots of reading ahead! I met with my colleague Max today about our plans, organizing with the students, rewards, etc. Everyone is already blogging, and Max’s class (at least the ones who are still with him) took the challenge last year.
    Long ago I turned off my security, & have really had no problem. It does make commenting faster. Best wishes everyone-time for great writing!


  3. So exciting! I can’t believe March is almost here again!

    Just a little note: I’m a WordPress blogger, & the more “captcha” security hoops I have to jump through for a comment, the less likely my comment is to actually post. I write comments, but then the comment won’t post (yes, Blogger, I mean you!!) This is especially true if I’m on an I-device rather than computer. Maybe people who really want comments could turn some of these things off for the month?


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