With November being NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the Harrisburg Branch of the Cabarrus County Library will host a workshop on Nov. 20th to help aspiring authors to create the next great American Novel. The intention of NaNoWriMo — held every November — is to encourage everyone to write.
In 1999, freelance writer, Chris Baty, started the project in the San Francisco Bay area with 21 participants. In 2013, the number of participants signed up at NaNoWriMo.org is nearly 300,000. The idea is the author will write at least 50,000 words for a novel during November. The project hopes to get people writing, no matter how bad that writing may be. The novel is not expected to be perfect as it is a rough draft. When a hopeful author finishes with their project, it is up to them to decide if they want to take it further.
Meeting the NaNoWriMo challenge and completing the goal during November is a very rewarding experience. To do that, a prospective author will find themselves working on a manuscript late at night, during breaks at work or school, or on a quiet weekday afternoon in a local coffee shop.
Richard Cooke, a library assistant at the Harrisburg Library, organized NaNoWriMo Write in 2013 after seeing growing interest in novel writing within the community during recent years. He hopes to inspire a new generation of authors about the personal accomplishment that comes along with completing a NaNoWriMo work.
“We are shooting for all ages to attend,” Cooke said. “The program was originally written up as an adult program, but I put it out the advertising for teens in hopes of getting students, teachers, and adults in general who are interested in writing a novel.
“It would be great,” he continued, “if we could get a whole group of both, that way we could have the adults inspire the teens and maybe have the teens inspire the adults.”
Cooke said he will start out the workshop with a small presentation in case there are some people there unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo. He will also highlight some success stories that have sprung from the project. After that, he will open it up for people to collaborate. Cooke will go around and talk with participants to see what they are working on and provide tips and encouragement.
The workshop on November 20th from 2:30-5 is free, and participants can bring their computer or tablet if they wish — free Wi-Fi will be available — or a notebook. Pencil and paper will also be provided to anyone who comes empty-handed.
“I’m hoping to get the writing community into the library,” Cooke said. “We’re going to try to do some more writing programs in the future, so we can bring in some more authors. This is a way to inform them that we are working on that.”
Libraries are filled with thousands of success stories. Those stories of success aren’t necessarily contained within the covers of the books on the shelves, but rather in the effort authors put into creating those works. With the encouragement and collaboration involved in this workshop, the workshop hopes to help and share with the population of Cabarrus County the sort of satisfaction and accomplishment that few people experience. That is the completion of their own novel.
In other news, I sent in the final manuscript for THE SEARCH FOR THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH to my publisher, Franklin/Kerr Press this week! Now that they have it, they are readying it for the paperback version. I hope to have pre-orders for that very, very soon.
At the end of the novel, I reveal the title of the next Lucas Caine adventure!
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