It’s been pretty busy here at the Wheeler Centre. At 6pm last night, 20 writers came together in the workshop space upstairs and sat down to write.

This is The Rabbit Hole, where the goal is to write 30,000 words in 22 hours. The numbers have been crunched, and it’s something like 1,300 words per hour. There are four teams, each of 20 people. There’s a Facebook group and a #rabbithole hashtag, plenty of tea, coffee, and snacks. Little incentives and lots of sharing of lollies.

These guys are dedicated, and the room sounds AMAZING. Yeah, sounds. The sound of twenty people typing in unison is a glorious thing! It’s like standing at an indoor pool, where plashing waves take over any other sounds and it sort of ebbs around you. That’s what the tapping of keys sounds like in the workshop space at the Wheeler Centre.

It’s now 4:08 on day 2, and I’m just jumping down the Rabbit Hole myself. Up until this point I’ve been hanging out on the online forum, manning the Twitter hashtag (#rabbithole), which has been plagued by a bunch of spam which has required lots of “report @… for spam” clicks. The good thing, though, is that even with the spammy stuff in the stream, we’re still dominating the #rabbithole hashtag! Reports are flooding in from Brisbane, Hobart, online and Melbourne.

I thought I’d start my jump down the Rabbit Hole with this post, to let people know how it’s going.

Scratch that, 4:21. A lot of my job so far has involved making sure we’re in supply of mugs and that the urn is full. This sounds easy, but somehow 20 people go through a LOT of coffee and tea. You’ve got to fuel 1,300 words and hour with something!

Other than the catering stuff, I’ve been playing with the online team on their Facebook page.

When we first jumped into this endeavour, I heard that Queensland Writers’ Centre (brilliant originators of this initiative) had challenged writers to chalk up 30,000 words in a weekend. “Nuh. No way!”

But it’s been done, and it’s a LOT of fun to see it being done in front of my eyes here. One of our writers just hit the 15,000 word mark (!!!) – we’re now 8 and a half hours in. That’s not even half way.

It’s also really nice to be the contact point for lots of people – I’m getting to hear about new projects that are in the pipe line, and what people plan to do with their work when it’s done.

So. This is 400-something words toward the Rabbit Hole. Sorry it’s a mostly unedited gush, I thought I’d just keep ya’ll in the loop.

See you when I surface!