Pondathon II Tutorial: How the Pondathon Readathon Works

Pondathon II: The Quiet Pond's Story-Driven Readathon

Pondathon II is a year-long gardening-themed readathon hosted by The Quiet Pond! Help us restore the forest by reading to earn plants and decorate your own garden. For more information about Pondathon, read our Readathon Information Post or check out our Pondathon II Portal.

The story:

As the Pond friends scurry to their stations, you can’t help but feel that this reminds you of the last time the Pond friends came together to help the forest – only, this time, it feels more hopeful. The thought of it makes you smile slightly.

“What do you want me to do?” you overhear Gen asking Xiaolong.

“Whatever makes you happiest, Gen!” says Xiaolong encouragingly. “You’re amazing when it comes to gardening. I should be asking you what you want me to do!” 

Gen hums in thought, though you see a slight blush in his cheeks. “I like pruning. It helps me relax knowing that I’m helping the plants become their best selves.” And with that, Gen toddles off with purpose in his steps.

You ask Xiaolong what she wants you to do. 

“Up to you, friend!” she says, giving you a thumbs-up and a smile. “All of us are doing what we do best but if you want to help, just talk to any of us and we can tell you what we are doing and how you can help.”

Friends of the Pond!

Hi friends! Thank you all so much for joining us at the Pond today. Are your characters ready to take on those gardens? Grow those flowers? Whack those weeds? If not, that’s okay – because after today’s post, you’re going to be garden-ready!

Today’s post will explain:

  • How the readathon works
  • How the writeathon works
  • How Side Quests work
  • How Companion Quests work

The Pondathon II may sound complex, but I promise that I have given a lot of thought on how to make it as easy for you as possible. Leave the hard work to the Pond friends!

How the readathon works

Signing up

How to participate and claim rewards

The idea of Pondathon II is to read books to collect plants for your garden. Pondathon II is year-long, which means that you can go at your own pace. We want to motivate readers and make sure they have fun, not stress them out.

So, let’s understand the timeline for Pondathon II.

  • Pondathon II is divided into 16 8 rounds and 4 2 quarters across the year. One round will be 3 weeks long, and each quarter contains 4 rounds.
  • Each round will have:
    • 4 – 5 rewards (i.e., plants for your garden) that you can earn during the round.
    • A new quest given by a Pond friend.
  • When a round is over:
    • New rewards will be made available and the rewards of the previous round will no longer be available (though they make an appearance later in the year).
    • The quest given by the Pond friend will end.
  • The rounds will repeat back-to-back until the readathon’s end: December 11th 2022 June 26th 2022.

Reading for Pondathon II? This is how it’ll work:

  • Read a book – the hardest part!
  • Once you have finished reading your book, go to the Pondathon Progress Tracker Form.
  • In the Google Form, select ‘I finished a book’.
  • In the Form, select the date that you finished your book. If a new round has started and new rewards are available, you will not be able to backdate and earn rewards that are no longer available.
  • One form = one book. Do not submit one form for multiple books – you will only receive one reward.

Writing for Pondathon II? This is how it’ll work:

In Pondathon II, we want to encourage writers to write the books we will be reading one day. The write-athon component of Pondathon II is more self-driven. We will not be dictating a word count goal, as we recognise that all writers are different. If you are participating in Pondathon II as a writer:

  • You decide what your accomplishments are. If you set yourself to write 50 words or 500 words a day, that’s between you and you. If it’s an achievement to you and you feel you deserve a reward, then we think you deserve one too.
  • We operate on a trust system. There is no way for us to check whether you achieved your own goals or not – at the end of the day, it is your project and your goals, and we hope that Pondathon II will support and motivate you.
  • Students, we don’t want you to neglect your school work and assignments for Pondathon II. Therefore, words written for essays/assignments/homework will count.

How rewards are received:

  • Complete the Google Form called ‘Pondathon II Progress Tracker Form’.
    • In the Google Form, you will be able to choose a reward that you want for your garden.
    • Each plant reward will have different designs and different colours. The design and colour that you receive are random.
  • Submit your progress.
  • When CW is able (she will aim to do it every day, but there may be some days during the year where she may miss a day or two), CW will receive all the submissions sent for a specific day(s). CW will then email everyone their reward to the email that they have provided.
  • Once you have received your reward, use your favourite image editing app and add it to your garden.

How Side Quests work

Side quest are just that – side quests. Participation in side quests are not compulsory, but completing side quests will enable you to receive special rewards that will make your garden look awesome.

An outline of how side quests will work:

  • At the beginning of a new ’round’, one of the Pond friends will give a ‘side quest’. Side quests will be located on The Quiet Pond blog.
  • The side quest post will outline the quest objectives.
  • Each side quest will have a ‘Bonus’ objective. Complete the ‘Bonus’ objective to earn a badge, which can then be added to your Character Card.

A note about the Google Forms:

  • The Pondathon II Progress Tracker form and the Side Quest Google Form are separate forms. Complete the side quest Google Form to complete the quest.
  • However, if you read a book for the side quest, you can also submit that book to earn a reward through the Pondathon II Progress Tracker Form.

How rewards for side quests are received are the same as above (see: How rewards are received)

How Companion Quests Work

‘Companion Quests’ are optional side quests given by some of our author friends of the Pond with books releasing in 2022. You can find the dates of the Companion Quests here.

Like Side Quests, the authors will give us a quest to complete. Completing the quest will give you an exclusive one-time-only decoration and/or accessory for the Pond.

  • Unlike ’rounds’ of Pondathon II, which are 3 weeks, Companion Quests will be 2 weeks long.
  • Complete the quest objective given by our author friends to complete the Companion Quest; quest objectives are themed around the author’s 2022 book.
  • Once the quest objective has been completed, participants will receive an exclusive one-time-only reward which can be used for your character or garden.

Other important stuff

Quarterly Wrap-Ups

  • At the end of each quarter:
    • We will be doing a ‘wrap-up’ of the last quarter, providing statistics on how everyone as a group did!
    • We will be open submissions for participants of the Pondathon to submit their garden designs! The team at the Pond will choose our favourite designs, and winners will receive their very own custom plant/decoration for their character/garden.
  • There may also be something… secret and special too. 👀

The Pondathon Portal

As you can now see on our blog sidebar, a ‘Pondathon Portal‘ is now available. This is your ‘quick links’ page and will take you to important pages, so you don’t need to look for them each time.

The Pondathon Portal will also be updated with what the current quests are, what the current rewards are, and so on. 🥰

Other, other stuff!

  • Join our Pondathon discord! Meet fellow gardeners, get inspired, get help/tips, talk about books and writing, and make new friends.
  • If posting on social media, use hashtags #Pondathon or #PondathonII so that I can see how you are going and boost your posts!
  • See something that’s missing? Or you’d like us to add, whether it be a plant, a new sparkling accessory for your Pond character, or a decoration? Or perhaps you want to give us feedback? Let us know in Wish Upon a Pond. You may not get a reply though – you are wishing to a magical body of water, after all.

7 thoughts on “Pondathon II Tutorial: How the Pondathon Readathon Works

  1. Hello there! Thanks for having this readathon again, I’m so excited for this! I do have a question about book length. In the announcement post, you said that you would take account book length to see how it translate into book rewards. I’ve got one of those books that four Jane Austen novels in one book. How would that work for rewards, would I get one reward for the whole book or more? Will you be asking for page numbers when we submit books for progress? Again, so excited for this! Hope you’re having a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! Thank you for raising this.
      I did indeed mention that book length would be taken into consideration in the announcement post, but I’ve unfortunately had to scrap the idea because I couldn’t figure out how to integrate this into the reward distribution process and without overcomplicating the process for me.

      So, in response to your specific scenario, I am okay with you splitting your one Jane Austen book because it contains four separate stories that usually standalone.

      And no, no page numbers this time round. 🙂


    • Hi! This is in the post: “When CW is able (she will aim to do it every day, but there may be some days during the year where she may miss a day or two), CW will receive all the submissions sent for a specific day(s). CW will then email everyone their reward to the email that they have provided.”


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