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National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

October 16, 2020

Mid-Continent Public Library has participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for several years.  Over the past three years the Library’s Story Center initiative has offered unique opportunities for the community to engage in this national month of literary abandon.  From 24-hour word sprints to weekly write-ins and celebratory wrap-up parties (complete with awards and prizes), Mid-Continent Public Library has embraced our community of writers and this month-long endeavor to complete the heroic task of 50,000 words in a matter of 30 days. Learn more about participating in NaNoWriMo with MCPL!

This year is no exception.

Despite the challenges we all currently face, Mid-Continent Public Library’s Story Center initiative will continue to provide NaNoWriMo programming this year, albeit in a virtual setting.  We are currently offering NaNoWriMo Prep Write-ins on Wednesdays October 14 and October 28 at 9:30am via Zoom, giving writers an opportunity to dedicate focused time to their upcoming NaNoWriMo project as well as meet with other writers and share ideas.  This is all in preparation of November 1 when the race to 50,000 words begins at midnight. 

And speaking of races, we will once again hold a 24-hour word sprint beginning 12:00am Sunday, November 1 and ending 12:00am Monday, November 2.  The most words written during that time period will receive a $100 Rainy Day Books gift card.*  The winner will be announced at the Wrap-up on Tuesday, December 8 (details below).  Please submit your word counts to no later than Friday, November 6 to enter.  Please put “24-hour Word Sprint” in the subject line of the email.

To help kick-off November, we will post an interview with Sarah Mackey, Director of Community Engagement at NaNoWriMo, at 12:00am Sunday, November 1 on The Story Center’s Facebook page.  This 30-minute interview is ideally created to offer inspiration during a well-earned writing break.  Grab a favorite snack and watch this video pick-me-up at any time throughout November. 

But as we know, NaNoWriMo is first and foremost about writing your novel.  The Story Center will provide virtual hour-long write-ins via Zoom at 6:30pm on the following Tuesdays in November: 11/10, 11/17, and 11/24.  This is a great opportunity to have some focused writing time with fellow NaNoWriMo-ers.

Once November ends, it’s time to celebrate your accomplishments.  This year we’re awarding the three highest word counts with Rainy Day Books gift cards.  First place receives $100, second receives $50, and third receives $25.*  The winners will be announced at the Wrap-up on Tuesday, December 8 (details below).  Please submit your final word count for the month to no later than Friday, December 4 to enter.  Please put “Final Word Count” in the subject line of the email.

Finally, as mentioned, we will host a virtual hour-long Zoom Wrap-up on Tuesday, December 8 at 6:30pm.  In addition to awards, author Marian Rakestraw will discuss how she took her NaNoWriMo project to upcoming debut novel. 

Let the race to 50,000 words begin!

Dave Burns, Story Center Publication Manager

*Employees and individuals living in their households are not eligible to win a prize but may participate in all activities.

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