Thursday, September 9, 2010

For anyone who has ever wanted to write a book, for whatever reason, National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo, may be the place to start.

For readers of this blog who, like millions of others across the nation, feel a book inside, struggling to get out, the NaNoWriMo event is your chance to follow that dream.

But NaNoWriMo is not just for beginning writers. It’s a challenge that may give authors a chance to loosen up, let the chips fall, and take a risk.

During the month of November, libraries from Alaska to Florida and all over the world will be hosting the event. Our librarian, who nurtures local talent, hosts a kick-off event every year at one of the county libraries. I’ll be joining a panel of other published authors to talk about the craft of writing, after which we will hand back one-page submissions of people who requested an earlier critique. This may sound counter-intuitive, because NaNoWriMo, by its very structure, encourages seat-of-the-pants writing. Our library administrator, however, believes a bit of knowledge will only feed the writing frenzy.

Some of the previous years’ participants who took pen to paper for the first time have seen results. They went on to do revisions, and were eventually published by well-known houses.

If you’re a published author, looking to get your name into the community, your library may be the very place to start. Ask if you can organize a kick-off event, then follow through. You can display your books on a table to give the audience inspiration, and give you a bit of publicity.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

A lovely idea! I've spoken at libraries on the subject of writing and even done a writer's workshop for the public which I called "We Can All Be Writers." I'd love to do it again. Having taught creative writing both at the high school level and also at the university,
nothing gives me greater pleasure than helping others express their unique ideas in written form.

Jacqueline Seewald
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS, historical romance
new release from Five Star/Gale

Terry Odell said...

Sounds great -- I did programs back in Orlando, but the 2-library district here isn't as open to hosting authors (unless they're very well known--the one I did go hear speak was there because of her high book club following). I'll have to see if there's a way to sneak around their "we don't usually do that..."

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Joyce, for authors to work with libraries. I've known several writers who got their start with NaNoWriMo and ended up publishing. It's a great kick-off for a writing career!

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Jacqueline: I know, that's part of the fun of being a published author--sharing what others have taught us along the way. Thanks for stopping by.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Terry: Maybe drive a distance, if local library isn't open to author presentations. Our library patrons love them, but of course we try to offer something they need, as I'm sure you do too. Orlando, of course, is a whole different ball of wax. Thanks for dropping by.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Rebbie: I've not known anyone personally who harvested fruit from NaNoWriMo, but I know it's happened. If I weren't in the middle of a WIP, I'd like to try it myself, just to see what happens with free association.

Sherry Gloag said...

It's wonderful to hear that libraries in the States are open to hosting authors to talk to other like minded people. Here in the UK they are so wrapped up in health and sadtey regulations it's neither worth applying to them, nor are they (in my area at least) interesting in opening such a beuaracratic hornets'd nest of regulations just for a couple of hours chat.
Thanks for sharing.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I'm always happy to hear another idea for free promo. Thanks for sharing!