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NaNoWriMo 2016

It is almost time for the annual NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. It begins at midnight October 31, and runs through the last day of November.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words (and complete a novel) in 30 days.

Don’t stress out yet. The numbers divide down to 1,667 words a day, typically 60-90 minutes of writing.

Join more than 300,000 people globally, and Writers in the Grove members, by participating actively or passively. This can be a solo experience or a highly social one. You can connect online and/or connect in person through the many local activities, events, and write-ins where people gather in a social space to write and get to know each other.

Go to the NaNoWriMo site for more information, and check out last year’s “It’s NaNoWriMo Time: How To, Tips, Techniques, and Survival Advice.”

Last year, Writers in the Grove had about eight people participating, some openly, some secretly, not willing to go public because they were afraid of failure. Let’s clear something up right from the start. There is no failing with this. The goal is to write, and anything that gets you writing, and keeps you writing, is a good thing, whether or not you achieve the 50K goal. Many never reach it, but keep trying year after year.

NaNoWriMo is not just about the word count. It is about the writing.

To handle the diverse Writers in the Grove membership needs, we are once again challenging our members to do one of the following:

  1. Write a minimum of 1,667 words a day.
  2. Write for an hour minimum a day.

What You Will Learn From Participating in NaNoWriMo

Last year was the first year we had many members participating and we all learned so much, it was an amazing journey. Here are some samples:

  • I learned I could write consistently every day.
  • I learned how to write consistently daily.
  • I discovered some fears and road blocks I didn’t know I had.
  • I figured out how to work harder with less research.
  • I just wrote. Usually I spend too much time in my head and less writing, but I just wrote.
  • I learned it isn’t as hard as it sounds.
  • I learned that I had something to say, a story to tell.
  • I realized how much I allow life to get in my way. I sit down to write and the phone rings, doorbell goes off, email pings, thoughts roam – and how much I need to just say no.
  • I realized that the true art in writing is editing after you write.

NaNoWriMo is a chance to note all the things that get in your writing way. Keep a notebook and jot them down when you encounter them, and make a plan around or through them. You will always need those solutions as you charge ahead with your writing career. (more…)

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The Athlete

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Susan Schmidlin, based upon the Prompt-a-Month: Water.

With the wind rippling the surface of the lake, the breeze cooled the picnic area while the throng of on-lookers watched. They were all enjoying the competition.

A jet boat towed a gangly teenager toward the ski ramp. The long arms and legs of the teen created quite a spectacle of awkward movements and uncomfortable contortions. Holding tight to the tow rope, he barely stayed upright as he bounced along the white water wake behind the boat. The look of fierce determination on his face belied his struggle, his bent knees barely able to stand on the bumpy chop of the lake surface.

The jet boat revved up as it came toward the wooden deck of the ramp. At the apex, he let go of the tow rope and became airborne before the downward arc of gravity took over. The voluminous splash of a perfected cannonball was the accomplished goal and the crowd cheered during that hot summer afternoon at the lake.

Glimmer Train Accepting Submissions for Fall

Glimmer Train Press is accepting original short stories through the rest of the year by August 31, 2016:

  • Very Short Fiction Contest (300-3,000 words)
  • Fiction Open Contest (3,000 – 6,000+ words)
  • Family Matters (stories about families from 1,000 – 5,000+ words)
  • Standard Category (open to all – Maximum word count 12,000)

The two sisters, Susan and Linda, have been producing Glimmer Train Press since 1991 are open to just about anything fiction. They pay out our $50,000 a year to writers through their various contests and publishing fees. The copyright is retained by the author, and they will accept previously published work, as long as fewer than 75 copies have been sold.

This year, they’ve announced that they’ve expanded the number of months submissions are open to only emerging writers, allowing more new writers to get an opportunity. They’ve also increased the first place prizes in every category.

Literary short fiction works are to be original, and comply with their content guidelines with accompanying reading and submission fees. Prizes range from $300 – $3,000.

Check their submission calendar for more information and deadlines.