Early last year, The Quiet Pond hosted a month-long readathon called Pondathon, a story-driven readathon where participants helped the Pond friends protect the forest and defeat a wicked evil. I had so much fun putting the Pondathon readathon together, and I loved how the readathon was able to inspire or rekindle a love for reading — so much, that I wanted to bring it back for a second time.
I am thrilled to announce that we will finally be hosting the sequel readathon: Pondathon II!
Today, Xiaolong and friends will be taking you on a tour across all the new and exciting things that you can expect in Pondathon II. It’s going to be a long post, so, without further ado, let’s talk to Xiaolong!
Our story-driven readathon is back!
Hi friend! How have you been? It’s been awhile since we saw each other, and I am so excited to give you a glimpse into the exciting future that awaits at the Pond.
Last time when you helped us, you all used reading-magic to help us protect the Pond. Well, now that the battle is over, the land is scarred from all the fighting and all of the forest sprites (remember them?) have lost their homes – so next year, you are going to be helping us heal the forest together.
We hope this readathon will inspire (or rekindle!) your love for reading, where you can get rewards that will unleash your creative and nature-loving side.
Pondathon II will be a gentle, fun and stress-free story-driven readathon where you will be reading to help save the forest, following the devastation during the events in Pondathon I. But, rather than just one month, Pondathon II will span from mid-January to mid-December – so the readathon will be span for all of 2022.
Read & decorate your own garden
We have so much work ahead of us, and all of us at the Pond won’t be able to do it alone! We are going to have to work together to achieve this, so all of us are going to have our own patch look after. I’ll have my own, where I’ll be planting my favourite pink and purple flowers, Gen will have his vegetable patch… Oh, yes friend, of course you get your own!
Like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, everyone participating in Pondathon II will receive their own empty garden (in a terrarium) for them to decorate.
How will you decorate your garden, you ask? It’s simple: cast reading-magic (read a book!) and in exchange you will get a plant that you can use to decorate your garden. All plants that you can earn are hand-drawn by me (CW! 🥰) and there are currently 100+ unique plant designs, with 400+ plants of different colours – and there will be more on the way, as I will draw more plants across the year that you can earn through reading.
Furthermore, at the the end of each quarter (April, June, September and December), we’ll be asking participants to submit their designs to be featured at our Pondathon Quarterly Wrap-Up. And maybe people who send in awesome garden designs can win a custom plant/decoration for your garden.
Character creation is back!
We won’t need weapons this time, friend. Isn’t that a relief? (Though, I guess magic casters and continue using their staffs and wands… anyway!) This time, we will be picking up spades and watering cans! I’ll also make sure that there’s plenty of sunscreen and hats to go around… we wouldn’t want to get sunburnt!
Like Pondathon I, participants of Pondathon II will be able to create their own animal characters! Cats, dogs, bees, turtles, and your favourite Pondathon I animal bases will be back – all redrawn and more defined. You will also get the opportunity to dress up your characters so they feel like you – glasses, hats, gloves, hijabis, and more! – and decide on your tool of choice – a watering can? a spade? a shovel?! You’ll get to completely customise the faces of your character. Are you happy to be here? Tired already? Disgruntled? You’ll get to express yourself!
Once you’ve created your character, you will get to show them off on your character card – just like Xiaolong and I’s card! (There will be Instagram-friendly character cards, too!)
As well as growing your own garden, all of your friends at the Pond will need your help! Some of us might need help in our gardens, from planting new sprouts, harvesting, to building insect houses. If you have a moment to share, maybe come by and we will give you something in return!
Like the past Pondathon, one of the Pond friends will give participants a quest! Participation of these quests are completely optional. Though, if you do complete the quest, you will be award with a quest reward item that you can use to decorate your garden. There will be four quests per quarter, with three quests that you can complete solo and one quest that will require you to work as a team with your fellow gardeners.
What kind of quest rewards can you get? You can get one-time only decorations for your garden or your character – such as garden chairs, bird baths, insect houses (just to name a few!) for your garden and new accessories for your character. 🥰
Oh, and also, we love having friends visit the Pond! So we thought: what if we invited some new friends (and maybe a few old!) to help us out?
At The Quiet Pond, we love promoting debut and sophomore authors and their books! That’s why, we will be teaming up with 12 authors (one for each month) who will be giving all participants of Pondathon II a quest to complete. The quests will be themed around the author’s book – and completing the quests will give you unique items for your garden.
I promise we’ll share more soon, but some of our friends that will be visiting us during Pondathon II:
- Alechia Dow, author of The Kindred
- Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All
- Jen Ferguson, author of The Summer of Bitter and Sweet
- Andrew Joseph White, author of Hell Followed Us
- Gina Chen, author of Violet Made of Thorns
- Aislinn Brophy, author of How to Succeed in Witchcraft
- S. Isabelle, author of The Witchery
- Priyanka Taslim, author of The Love Match
We’ve also learned from our last readathon…
Our first Pondathon readathon wasn’t perfect, and we’ve learned our lesson! In Pondathon II, you can expect the following changes:
- No more counting pages. We recognise that using pages as a measure of completion got very confusing and messy, so all items and rewards can be earned by reading and finishing a book.
Reward equity for reading shorter versus longer books. To maintain equity in reward completion, we will introduce a system where, if you read a longer book, you’ll get 2 – 3 rewards instead of 1. We’re still working on a system of how this will work, so watch this space.
- You will have more time to do quests. Because this is a year-long readathon, you will now have three weeks to complete a quest, not one!
Coming January 2022!
The Pondathon II introduction and schedule information will be released on the 3rd of January 2022, sign-ups and character creation will be open on the 5th of January 2022 (and will be open until the end of the readathon in December 2022), and the readathon will officially start of 10th of January 2022. That’s all we can share for now, though we promise that we have a few more surprises, all of which you will discover when Pondathon II starts.
For now, make sure you follow our blog and follow @thequietpond on Twitter – all readathon-related updates will be posted there. 💛
To give you all one sneak peek, here are the plants that you can earn in the first three weeks of the Pondathon:
This has been a project of my heart for 6 months now, and I am so excited for you all to participate! My hope is that you all have fun, that the readathon will make reading fun for you again, and that, if you need it to be, the readathon can be an escape or a safe place for you. 💛