Every word counts during ´NaNoWriMo @ Your Library'

(STILLWATER, OKLA. / Oct. 21, 2015) – The Stillwater Public Library is holding “NaNoWriMo @ Your Library” throughout November in celebration of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This national event challenges writers to sit down at their keyboards and produce an entire book length manuscript of at least 50,000 words in just 30 days. Teaming up with the local NaNoWriMo group, the library will host several events designed to support local writers in making their ideas a reality.

“Sometimes, the hardest part of writing is simply getting words on a page,” said Elise Durville, Payne County NaNoWriMo Liaison. “For anyone who's ever had an idea that they thought they might want to write about ‘someday,’ NaNoWriMo is the perfect challenge to actually get that idea started.”

Throughout the month, Durville and other local writers will hold “write-ins,” or group meetings designed to help writers build camaraderie and community. The “write-ins” provide a quiet, stress free environment in which to create and will take place in the library every Monday night from 6-8 p.m.

“Writing 50,000 words in a month is a very achievable goal,” said Durville. “Especially if certain rules are followed. The first is obviously a commitment to write as often as possible, if not every day. Coming to the weekly write-ins will help you keep your commitment. The second is to accept any word as a viable word, any sentence as a worthy sentence, and any lapses of logic in between as a note for editing in the future.”

From 6:30 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Nov. 21, the library will host a “writing lock-in” to help local NaNoWriMo participants push through their novels before the Thanksgiving holiday. Writers age 13 and up are encouraged to write for the evening, meet other writers and even get help breaking writer’s block.

“There’s a perception of the writer as solitary and cooped up alone in a room. That isn’t really an accurate picture,” says Allen Jenkins, librarian. “Most writers need some sort of community to thrive, and NaNoWriMo helps writers build those relationships.”

Jenkins, a writer himself, will help area writers during NaNoWriMo by hosting a class on strategies he used to finish his own novel in a short amount of time.

The class, “Finish Your Novel (In an absurdly short period of time)” will take place on Thursday, Nov. 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will focus on tools and tactics writers can use to help boost their word-counts and make their novels better.

Why try to finish an entire novel in such an absurdly short period of time?

“Simply to prove you can,” said Durville. “If you can prove that, then you can honestly claim to be a writer.”

NaNoWriMo participants who take the month-long challenge are invited to enter a contest sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Writers will submit one chapter of their novel to the library for review by a judging panel. 

Winners will receive a pen and journal, as well as a special prize according to the following age groups:

  • Ages 8-12: A set of “Story Cubes”
  • Ages 13-16: A Plot Problem Novel Writing Kit
  • Ages 17-19: A set of “Storymatic” writing prompts
  • Ages 20+: A copy of “2016 Writer’s Market”

Entries must be typed in a legible font of 12 pt. or above and should not exceed 25 pages in length. All submissions are due by Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. via email to askalibrarian@stillwater.org or in-person at the library Help Desk. Winners will be announced on Dec. 14.

NaNoWriMo activities are free and open to the public. Registration for the Nov. 12 class and the Nov. 21 lock-in are required, and participants under 18 must have a signed permission form completed by a parent or guardian to attend the lock-in.

Registration, permission forms and contest rules are available on the library’s website at   http://library.stillwater.org. For more information, call the Help Desk at 405-372-3633 x8106.

Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.