Steamboat library to offer support during National Novel Writing Month |

Steamboat library to offer support during National Novel Writing Month

Local writers
John F. Russell

If you go

What: Meet fellow National Novel Writing Month writers

When: Noon Friday

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library

What: Gripes and pep talks

When: Noon Nov. 12

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library

What: Adult weekly write-ins

When: 11 a.m. to noon Fridays through Nov. 26

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library Conference Room 201

What: Children and teens weekly write-ins with support from Youth Services Librarian Sarah Kostin

When: 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Nov. 29

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library teen project room

What: Celebrate the end of National Novel Writing Month

When: 5 p.m. Dec. 1

Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library

— The time for excuses is over. National Novel Writing Month starts Nov. 1, challenging writers across the country to attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

And for the first time, Bud Werner Memorial Library will offer support to local writers who are looking for a jovial, collaborative atmosphere and a tight deadline for their writing projects.

Jennie Lay, library adult program coordinator, said the month-long program — often called NaNoWriMo — could be the spark to start a literary fire.

“You hear people say all the time, “When I write my book …’” she said. “Maybe this can be the impetus to really put words on a page.”

The collaborative writing group will meet Friday at noon at the library for a kickoff event. After that, there will be open writing time for adults in Conference Room 201 from 11 a.m. to noon Fridays throughout November.

On Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. at the library, the group will celebrate the end of a month’s worth of hard work as seasoned writers.

Susan de Wardt, a local writer and life coach, will be participating in her fourth National Novel Writing Month and has loftier goals than years past.

This time around, she hopes to meet the 50,000-word milestone, a feat that 32,000 of 167,000 writers nationwide accomplished during 2009’s event.

“I never get it beyond 33,000 words for some reason,” she said.

But having a live, local support group around her will be an extra motivator, she said.

And whether participants hope to write the next great American novel or are content with three pages, the event is all-encompassing and all-accepting.

“It’s a real fun opportunity for writers,” de Wardt said. “I have some of my colleagues in the writers group who are very accomplished and are published. … They do (National Novel Writing Month) because it’s a great way to push beyond what you normally do; it’s a great way to jump-start the process. You know you’re in a race, and you’ve got to get the words on paper.

“And no matter what the words are, they turn into something.”

Alongside the adult program, Youth Services Librarian Sarah Kostin will run a children and teen program from 6 to 7 p.m. Mon­­days in the teen project room. Kostin, a writing enthusiast herself, said the laid-back atmosphere will encourage creative expression.

“You choose your own word count,” Kostin said. “It’s nice because there’s absolutely no grading. Everything is totally acceptable. You can be as goofy and crazy and as neurotic as possible, and you don’t have to share it if you don’t want to.”

Kostin is going to tackle the Dec. 1 deadline in her own way because she’s wanted to participate in the event for several years.

“I don’t want to write a novel necessarily,” she said. “I enjoy writing, and I don’t do enough of it.”

De Wardt said it’s not impossible to churn out a novel in a short time frame; William Faulkner wrote “As I Lay Dying” in less than six weeks.

But reach the 50,000 word milestone or not, National Novel Writing Month can be a growing experience.

“It’s my passion to just turn people on to the passion of language and creativity,” de Wardt said. “Because everyone’s got a story to tell.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User