November is here! That means we’ll soon start to see an increase in moustaches around campus, in keeping with “Movember,” the month-long movement to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues like prostate cancer. We will also – unfortunately – start to see our first major snowfalls of the season… But some of us won’t see the snow at all because we’ll be cooped up in our basements, busily typing away at a word document on the computer. Why? Because November is also National Novel Writing Month!
National Novel Writing Month (shortened to the abbreviation NaNoWriMo) is an annual time where people commit to sitting down and completing an entire novel in a single month. It started as a small movement in San Francisco, and by last year it boasted over 200,000 registered participants. You can register at the official website nanowrimo.org, where you can track your progress and interact with other writers.
I’ll be honest, I have yet to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Writing a novel has been an aspiration of mine since childhood. But the main barrier for me is that it also happens to coincide with the most homework-intensive month of the Fall semester… I would assume this is a common barrier for many students who don’t wish to pursue their novel-writing dream at the expense of their GPA.
But for those of you who want to pursue the lofty goal of writing an entire novel in a month, the University of Lethbridge Library has a way to help! Every Saturday this November, the U of L Library will be hosting a write-in! You get to sit with other aspiring writers and get down to business writing your novel with group support. Just come on down to the library, room L950 from 2 – 5 p.m on Saturdays this November.
If you need some more incentive to get writing, there is an awesome annual contest open to all undergraduate U of L students that offers prizes from $250 to $1,500 for winning student submissions! This contest is for short stories (maximum 6,000 words) rather than novels, but that may even be easier to write if you’re strapped for time. Winners even get a public presentation of their work. For more information, see this link: http://www.uleth.ca/finearts/departments/drama/plays-and-prose-competitions-striking-prose-play-right-prize.
I have no idea if I’ll get to do it this year. But if you make the attempt to participate in the international phenomenon of NaNoWriMo this year, I wish you the best of luck! See you in print.