November is fast approaching and you know what that means… It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo. What is NaNoWriMo, you ask? NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, started in 1999 to challenge writers to write 50,000 words in a month. (A daunting challenge, but overall exciting!) NaNoWriMo is now a nonprofit organization that not only pursues this challenge, but provides educational programs, writing advice, and serves as a social network for authors, librarians, and scholars. writing buddies.
In the spirit of this challenge, York Public Library will be hosting writing workshops in the Community Hall on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. during the month of November. We encourage people to register for the event (at yorkpubliclibrary.org/calendar) in order to receive updates and notifications, but drop-ins are welcome.
We’ll start the workshop with some writing prompts to help get the writing juices flowing. After that, people can form groups to review their work, ask for advice, and connect – or just use the time to write. Of course, writers of all genres are welcome. Poetry, plays, non-fiction or any other written creation can be the subject of workshops during these meetings. Our goal is to provide a space and community for like-minded people to come together and explore their creativity.
While this is in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, there is no need to feel like you have to track the word count to reach 50,000 words. I myself have been participating in NaNoWriMo for a few years now and haven’t reached 50,000 words yet. I hope this year will change! I have just started the planning stage of this year’s story by preparing a plan. Outlines are a writer’s best friend and if you want to join the challenge, I recommend you do one before November 1st.
Like all events at York Public Library, masks are mandatory for these writing workshops. We look forward to seeing you on November 2, ready to write.
It wouldn’t be a lifespan column without some book recommendations. Here are some writing books to help you on your writing journey.
“On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King; “How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them” by Sol Stein; “Read like a writer: a guide for those who love books and for those who want to write them” by Francine Prose; “Murder Your Darlings: And Other Sweet Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser” by Roy Peter Clark; and “Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel” by Elizabeth George.
Another opportunity for aspiring writers: York Public Library will host author and Maine native Gregory Brown on Tuesday, November 9 at 6:30 p.m., for a virtual talk on his book “The Lowering Days.” The Boston Globe describes the book as a “graceful and compassionate first novel…a flashlight into the heart of a small Maine community perched on the precipice of the Penobscot River, its future and its past.” We look forward to hearing more about Brown’s writing process and story, and hope you’ll join us.
Register for Brown’s speech and our November in-person writing workshops at yorkpubliclibrary.org/calendar.
Marlow Stefanik is a library assistant at York Public Library.