NaNoWriMo virtual event jump starts writers


A group who attended last year’s kick-off of National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month kicks off on Thursday, October 29, at 7 p.m., and the Stevenson community is invited to join in the fun. The virtual event’s goal is to jump start writers in this national endeavor. Hosted by 47 House (Stevenson’s integrated marketing communication club) and the Stevenson Library, and facilitated by professor and author Stephanie Verni, the event marks its fourth year in existence on campus.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, brings together people who share a love for writing, prompting them to attempt to take a stab at completing a novel of 50,000 words during the month of November. Participants range from novice writers to published authors. Students who wish to begin writing a novel are encouraged to attend and learn some tips for starting the process.

The goal of the first year of NaNoWriMo was to spread awareness and get students thinking about writing. With the help of the Library, prompts were given to engage student writing with the hope of the university becoming a hub of National Novel Writing Month. Now, years later, NaNoWriMo continues to grow, and gives new writers the courage to get started.

The national endeavor for NaNoWriMo, which can be found online, calls their community of writers “wrimos.” This national challenge ignites those with writing skills to sign up for this challenge. As well, those who participate in NaNoWriMo share their daily word counts and talk about their struggles and triumphs on social media.

Even those who are not interested in writing a novel can participate. People wishing to write a memoir, a collection of poetry, a family history, or a travelogue are encouraged to attend. Additionally, National Novel Writing Month has produced some wonderful works of fiction, including “Water for Elephants,” “Fangirl,” and “The Night Circus.”

Participants who attended last year’s kick-off of National Novel Writing Month.

Professor Stephanie Verni, who has written four books and a collection of short stories and poetry, has participated in NaNoWriMo and will serve as the event’s facilitator. Having set a goal to start her novel, “Little Milestones” during November 2018, Verni set a goal to complete it prior to NaNoWriMo 2019. She met that challenge and talked about it at last year’s kick-off. Additionally, Abby Higgs, who teaches journalism, completed 18,000 words when she participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge. Even though both Verni and Higgs did not finish their novels during the month, being able to get a jump start on a project can be helpful, and can set writers on a course of completion.  

Writers who are feeling inspired should plan to attend the event. See the link in the graphic above to join!