Come write in @ WCL for #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an international event where novelists from around the world pledge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Anyone can take part, and you can write anything you want (it doesn’t even have to be a novel).

To help support all of our budding NaNoWriMo writers across the city, Wellington Central Library will be available as a ‘Come Write In’ venue and have special places reserved just for you to come into to the library, get together, get writing and smash that word count!

To really help kick things off with a bang, on the first Saturday of November (Nov 4th),  come along to the Central Library for ‘Let’s Get Writing – NaNoWriMo 2017′!

This event will be hosted by your Wellington Municipal Liaisons in the Mezzanine Room of the Central Library (upstairs on the same level as Clark’s Cafe) between 1-4pm.

So come along to get a massive head-start on your novel, meet some fellow writers, get some free stickers, and make it to 50,000 words!

So what about the rest of November?

After that first write-a-thon, NaNoWriMo writers can convene on the 1st floor of the Central Library every Saturday & Sunday in November between 1-4pm, where the computer books area (at the north end of the floor) will be reserved especially for you!

To help you organize you’re writing schedule, we’ve put together the handy table below:

Date Time Central Library Location
Saturday 4 Nov 1-4pm Mezzanine Room
Sunday 5 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Saturday 11 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Sunday 12 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Saturday 18 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Sunday 19 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Saturday 25 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Sunday 26 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area

You will need to be registered at www.nanowrimo.org and have Wellington set as your Home Region to take part in NaNoWriMo. If you have any questions about the event you can post them in the Wellington Regional forum too.

Stay tuned for a special blog post with librarians’ resource recommendations, and happy writing!

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Tim’s NaNoWriMo Tips

Starting your first NaNoWriMo can be a daunting experience, but never fear! Our resident NaNoWriMo veteran Tim will give you the low-down on what to expect during your thirty day writing epic – including tips and tricks to help you through those more challenging times at the keyboard!

Did you do much planning before your first NaNoWriMo?

The planning I did on my first NaNoWriMo really made things difficult because I had a story I wanted to tell – and when it wasn’t working I just stopped. This was failed attempt #1. The trick is to remember the goal of this challenge: to hit the word count. What I learned from that experience was the planning caused me to have an additional goal which got in the way of the first. If you are able to get away with writing a complete novel you’ve had planned out in one month – good oh! But it seems like everybody I talk to who has tried the challenge learned to loosen up on the planning and allow the story to carry its own momentum.

What were your thoughts after your first day’s writing? How did this change throughout the month?

Every year I try NaNoWriMo I feel very disheartened after my first day. It’s like going for a jog for the first time in ages. It sucks! But the trick is not minding that it sucks. That’s why the whole online community is so great. There are subreddits and hashtags you can latch onto and remember you aren’t alone. In recent years, NaNoWriMo has become rather big on YouTube – so you can actually *see* you aren’t alone too! Real life face-to-face meet ups organized by communities – like the group that meets up in the Central library – are a really good way to get accountable. It wasn’t until after my second attempt at the challenge that I realized I couldn’t write this many words while alone on my laptop in my bed after a full day’s work. It was too tempting to just watch a TV show instead.

Did the intensity of NaNoWriMo help or change your writing in unexpected ways?

The intensity of NaNoWriMo forced me to shed a lot of silly stylistic rituals and habits I’d picked up from years of trying to be a ‘serious writer’. There are days when you just want to blab the words out onto your text editor and go to sleep. Or get on with your day. This is a Good Thing. Because when you stop being so self-conscious with your writing it’s always way better. I think there is a weird doubt we all have that if each sentence isn’t clever then readers will think we aren’t worth reading. But this is a fallacy. Just write.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting through those harder moments?

Gripe! Gripe to your friends and to your flatmates and to your partner and to your pet. This way, everyone can know how interesting and creative you are for attempting to write a novel in a month. I also sincerely recommend showers. Just go stand in the shower and give yourself a pep talk. Pump some beats. Yeah, you got this. You are a writer. The novel might end up a bit shabby but by gosh you are actually writing!

How did it feel to complete 50,000 words?

I don’t know. I’ve never completed 50,000 words. I think it probably feels like sending off a university assignment when you close all the tabs of research. Or maybe it feels like when your bus has all green lights in the morning and you actually get to work on time. Or perhaps like a cool lemon lime bitters with like one ice in it and you’re part of the first wave of humans exploring intergalactic space. Who knows! Some do.

What happened to the non-writing areas of your life during NaNoWriMo, and do you have any advice in regards to this?

To be honest, if you aren’t a very organized person you are going to fail NaNoWriMo. Most likely. Because unless you already have up to an hour of every day carved out for ‘creative activities’ then something will suffer. And it would be great if it was your mindless internet browsing time but let’s be honest – that usually isn’t what is sacrificed. Just remember to shower. Also, it should be noted that having the free time to do NaNoWriMo is quite a privilege. Many people in New Zealand and the rest of the world DO NOT have a spare second to do something so silly and awesome.

What happened to your NaNoWriMo writing after November?

Nothing. I always hide mine. They are so embarrassing! This is something I obviously need to work out in therapy. But if you want a good time, check out Twitter for silly first lines of NaNoWriMo novels. So when you are writing your great November Novel, just remember: that’s your bar. That’s your company. Now get out there and take a jump!

 

NaNoWriMo: Librarians’ recommendations & resources

To help out all of our budding author’s this National Novel Writing Month, we asked all of our librarians across the city for some of their best recommendations of books, online resources and more:

Paul and Zoe recommend Syndetics book coverBird by bird : some instructions on writing and life / Anne Lamott.
“If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoth Fiona and Debbie suggested  The exercise book : creative writing exercises from Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters / edited by Bill Manhire … [et al.].
“Writers of all skill levels can give their minds a work-out with this extensive book of writing prompts and exercises. Brimming with stimulating trigger ideas, the exercises help readers explore the nuts and bolts of the craft, from poetry and short fiction to scriptwriting, while helping to find inspiration everywhere.” (Syndetics summary) So obviously this one must be good!

Syndetics book coverMonty’s suggested you check out On writing / Charles Bukowski ; edited by Abel Debritto.
“Sharp and moving reflections and ruminations on the artistry and craft of writing from one of our most iconoclastic, riveting, and celebrated masters. In this collection of correspondence, letters to publishers, editors, friends, and fellow writers-the writer shares his insights on the art of creation. On Writing reveals an artist brutally frank about the drudgery of work and canny and uncompromising about the absurdities of life, and of art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Jess & Celeste, both Stephen King fans suggested Syndetics book coverOn writing : a memoir of the craft / by Stephen King
“Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, Stephen King’s critically lauded, classic bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Celeste also rated the Goodreads list ‘Best Books on Writing’ which (suprise suprise) has Stephen King’s memoir as number 1!

Max from Karori loves Pinterest! You can search for writing hints, tips, tricks or images to help inspire you, and follow the WCL boards for recent picks.

If you’re like Jess and eBooks are your thing, make sure you check out the collection of Writings on Writings that she put together for you. Just download the Libby App or visit the Overdrive webpage to get started.

Paul had a bunch of suggestions for you, take a look at:

Syndetics book coverThe writer’s journey : mythic structure for writers / Christopher Vogler.
“The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler’s ongoing work on mythology’s influence on stories, movies, and man himself. The previous two editons of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a ‘classic’ for screenwriters, writers, and novelists.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd Zen in the art of writing / Ray Bradbury.
“Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him.” — Kirkus Reviews. “Zen and the Art of Writing is purely and simply Bradbury’s love song to his craft.” — Los Angeles Times” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd The Paris review : interviews, I / with an introduction by Philip Gourevitch.
“How do great writers it? The Paris Review has elicited some of the most revelatory and revealing thoughts from the literary masters of our age. For more than half a century, the magazine has spoken with most of our leading novelists, poets, and playwrights, and the interviews themselves have come to be recognized as classic works of literature, an essential and definitive record of the writing life.” (Syndetics summary)

And Tim, a former NaNoWriMo survivor swears by writemonkey.com. It’s a minimalist text editor which goes full screen so you don’t have any distractions. He used it for all his incredible poetry and clever short stories. His other recommendation for would be to throw one’s phone down the back of the couch.

Best of luck! and make sure you check out wcl.govt.nz/nanowrimo and follow us on Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter @wcl_library for more survival tips and tricks.

Learn more about publishing your masterpiece at Central Library on Friday 9th Dec

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UPDATE: We are happy to announce that we will now be hosting this event at Central Library on FRIDAY 9th DECEMBER at 1PM. Thank you for your patience!

For all of us who are curious about the process of writing and want to know more about what comes next for writers and sometimes takes many years before we can find those labours of love on our library shelves, we have invited author and 2017 Burns Fellow Craig Cliff together with Mākaro Press publisher and author Mary McCallum to join us at the Central Library. They will be discussing how the editing and publishing process works drawing on their own experiences.

indexindexCraig Cliff, author of A Man Melting: Short stories and The Mannequin Makers will be the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University in 2017. He hopes to be as prolific as he was in 2008, when he set himself the goal of writing a million words in a year (and blogged about it at www.yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com). He only wrote 800,767 words in the end, some of which can be found in his short story collection, A Man Melting, which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His novel, The Mannequin Makers (2013), has been translated into Romanian and will come out in the U.S. next year.

index3index2Mary McCallum is an author turned publisher. She started up Mākaro Press in Wellington over three years ago and has already published 50 titles, mainly poetry and fiction, and some non-fiction including memoirs. Six titles have already been shortlisted for major awards. Mary is also the author of the award-winning, The Blue (Penguin 2007), a children’s novel Dappled Annie and the Tigrish (Gecko 2014) and a chapbook of poetry The Tenderness of Light. Mary has reviewed books on National Radio for nearly 15 years, and has worked as a bookseller, creative writing tutor, broadcast journalist and TV presenter.

index4Eastbourne: 100 years was published in 2006 and includes one of McCallum’s essays.

 

 

 

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Learn more about Publishing your Masterpiece at the Central Library, 16 November 6pm – EVENT CANCELLED

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Due to the recent earthquakes that have affected the region, this event is now cancelled.

An alternative date will be announced in the next few days. Please keep checking our website for updated information. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope you can join us in a few weeks time. Thank you for your understanding.

To celebrate the art of writing during this Novel Writing Month and to inspire those of us who are taking part in this year’s Nanowrimo challenge, but also all of us who are curious about the process of writing and want to know more about what comes next for writers and sometimes takes many years before we can find those labours of love on our library shelves, we have invited author and 2017 Burns Fellow Craig Cliff together with Mākaro Press publisher and author Mary McCallum to join us on Wednesday 16 November at 6pm at the Central Library. They will be discussing how the editing and publishing process works drawing on their own experiences.

indexindexCraig Cliff, author of A Man Melting: Short stories and The Mannequin Makers  will be the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University in 2017. He hopes to be as prolific as he was in 2008, when he set himself the goal of writing a million words in a year (and blogged about it at www.yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com). He only wrote 800,767 words in the end, some of which can be found in his short story collection, A Man Melting, which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His novel, The Mannequin Makers (2013), has been translated into Romanian and will come out in the U.S. next year.

index3index2Mary McCallum is an author turned publisher. She started up Mākaro Press in Wellington over three years ago and has already published 50 titles, mainly poetry and fiction, and some non-fiction including memoirs. Six titles have already been shortlisted for major awards. Mary is also the author of the award-winning, The Blue (Penguin 2007), a children’s novel Dappled Annie and the Tigrish (Gecko 2014) and a chapbook of poetry The Tenderness of Light. Mary has reviewed books on National Radio for nearly 15 years, and has worked as a bookseller, creative writing tutor, broadcast journalist and TV presenter.

index4Eastbourne: 100 years was published in 2006 and includes one of McCallum’s essays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Write-In! It’s NaNoWriMo 2016

Nanowrimo 2016 bannerNovember is now well established as Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month  at Wellington Libraries.

Due to popular and renewed demand from a creative and diverse community of budding and seasoned writers who are preparing for another 50,000 word novel challenge this November we are making space available again this year to foster the creative process and much needed peer support.
Those who took part the previous years, will find their familiar spaces on the ground floor and first floor of the Central Library.

For those new to this creative challenge, join a dedicated and welcoming group who will support you on the way to that 50,000 word goal!

And when you publish that book, be sure to tell us it was born here!

Saturdays 5-26 Nov, 1-4pm in the HQCBD rooms on the ground floor (under the escalators).

Note: On Saturday 26 November, extra space will be available in the Mezzanine room (Clarke’s café’s level)

Sundays 6-27 Nov, 1-4pm on the north west end of the first floor (click on map below)1ST FLOOR MAPa

 

 

Learn more about Publishing your Masterpiece – Central Library, 16 November 6pm

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To celebrate the art of writing during this Writing Month and to inspire those of us who are taking part in this year’s Nanowrimo challenge, but also all of us who are curious about the process of writing and want to know more about what comes next for writers and sometimes takes many years before we can find those labours of love on our library shelves, we have invited author and 2017 Burns Fellow Craig Cliff together with Makaro Press publisher and author Mary McCallum to join us on Wednesday 16 November at 6pm at the Central Library. They will be discussing the editing and publishing process works and what it’s like as a writer to go through that process.

indexindexCraig Cliff, author of A Man Melting: Short stories and The Mannequin Makers  will be the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University in 2017. He hopes to be as prolific as he was in 2008, when he set himself the goal of writing a million words in a year (and blogged about it at www.yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com). He only wrote 800,767 words in the end, some of which can be found in his short story collection, A Man Melting, which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His novel, The Mannequin Makers (2013), has been translated into Romanian and will come out in the U.S. next year.

index3index2Mary McCallum has worked as a freelance feature writer, book reviewer, broadcast journalist and television presenter. Her award-winning novel, The Blue, was published in 2007, reprinted twice in 2008 and translated into Hebrew in 2009. The Blue won the New Zealand Society of Authors Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction, and the Readers’ Choice Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. She has won and been nominated for key awards and bursaries, and has published fiction and poetry in literary journals. She has been a book reviewer for Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme since 2002, and for TVNZ’s Good Morning show in 2007. She has also worked as a news and current affairs journalist in New Zealand and Europe, and as the presenter for the television arts show The Edge (1994-5).

Her children’s novel, Dappled Annie and the Tigrish, illustrated by Annie Hayward, was published in 2014 by Gecko Press.

index4Eastbourne: 100 years was published in 2006 and includes one of McCallum’s essays.

 

 

 

Writing inspiration: Interview with a published Nanowrimo writer Randi Janelle

Nanowrimo is almost over and the last stretch might be a bit of a struggle. Here is a very inspiring interview with a published Nanowrimo writer Randi Janelle that should keep you going until you have hit the 50,000 word mark! And for all those who have been wondering about Nanowrimo, read on!

Randi Janelle 3a

Hello Randi, can you tell us a bit about you and what brought you to New Zealand?
I came to NZ from Australia, as a friend lives in Sydney and told me about the Working Holiday. Before that, I was unaware of the opportunity for Americans to take that sort of “gap” year. What I initially thought would be five months in Sydney, became a year there and two and a half in Wellington!

Where do you live now?
Asheville, North Carolina.

Did you take part in Nanowrimo when you were in New Zealand?
Yes, albeit briefly. Ever since I did Nanowrimo the first time in 2009, November became a mental marker to get back to the book, even if I couldn’t go the distance to complete the challenge.

Did you take part only once or did you have a go several times?
A few times. My first was in Asheville, in 2009, and I got the idea for my book series, which was meant to be a “break” from the book I had been writing ever since university. That “break” became 64,000 words for Nanowrimo, a single book into a trilogy, and six years to complete the first book! I won again in 2010 and 2011, but just. Nothing like that first spill of ideas for the original draft!

How was your experience of writing 50,000 words in 1 month? Was it difficult?
Yes and no. The first time, the momentum of the new story propelled me to write lots with ease. The subsequent Nanowrimos were more disjointed, as I was changing the story, wanting to do research, and so I left the holes be as they were for later and tried to focus on new content. It took more brain-wrangling to weave the writing into an increasingly complicated plot and number of characters than pure imagination for a first draft.
It also takes time and dedication. I never found the story itself to be difficult, at times challenging, but not difficult. The getting my butt in the chair to write for long enough to put down 50,000 words…now that’s a task!

Were you tempted to give up?
Oh, yes. Hopefully this reaches you when you’re in that last stretch. Keep going! The beauty of Nanowrimo is that the writing doesn’t have to be gold. Let it be bad, or drivel, or something you may later cut. Just get words down. I’m a firm believer that the story’s there, you just have to relax and bring yourself to the writing mechanism. Give yourself enough time to warm up as well, even if it’s a character sketch, or a journal entry to the character, scene, etc. Then it lifts the pressure of picking up the story perfectly, and I find I have more longevity after this process.

Did it help you in your writing life?
Most certainly! It helped to gag and bind the critic while in those glorious (if not, tender) drafting stages! I’m also a performance poet, and writing first draft of poems became easier, especially on tight deadlines. All it takes is the time to sit down, and trusting the creative process.

Did you meet with other Nanowrimo participants while you were writing? If not, was it a choice (i.e. you prefer to work alone) or did you not have the opportunity/time?
Yes, I had a wonderfully supportive group that first Nanowrimo in Asheville. I did meet a few people at write-ins in Sydney, but I went when I was feeling social, as by that time I had to stay truly focused to manipulate the story the way it deserved. Doing social events can be awesome when you’re starting and you need others to remind you why you’ve bitten off such a task! But I think it’s okay, too, to take time to work it by yourself in whatever peace and quiet you can muster. Everyone has a different style, and I say work with what supports you and your writing the most.

We have dedicated spaces in the Central Library these days to welcome Nanowrimo writers during the month of November. Would that have been helpful?
I believe I took advantage of this once or twice! It would’ve been 2012 perhaps? Again, it was near the beginning of the challenge and I sat down to look at a jumble of notes, and perhaps utilize the library for some good research books. I didn’t complete the challenge that year, but I added to the manuscript and used the time to ensure I didn’t give up on the book!
These spaces are immensely helpful, because there are times you cannot get a lot down at home. There are always distractions that divide your time. I liked to split my writing time between going out and/or joining write-ins and getting it done when I could at home (weekends, lunch breaks, etc).

You have just published a book.
Yes!

Is this the result of Nanowrimo?
Oh, yeah. Like I said the book was first written during Nanowrimo, and before this last year, most of my word count came from pushing myself to add to the book during Novembers. Nanowrimo is spectacular for getting those first drafts down, but it’s also good to prompt us to keep writing when busy life picks up again. November still prods me, but considering my book came out October 31, I think this November deserved a break!

What is it called? Can you tell us a bit about it? How long did it take you to write it?
It is called The Story: Deviation. I pose the question: what would you do if you were transported to a time and space where you had to learn someone’s story outside his or her stereotypes? I do this with high school kids on a bus, with elements of New Orleans Voodoo and other cultural fascinations.
It took six years to write. Considering the scope of the work, I had to spend the past ten months really dedicated to splitting the one book into three. I wrote pretty much full time and had to create new content for about half of the first book. It will be a similar process for the second book, and the third book will be all new!

What is it about?
Here is the blurb! “When Dan encounters The Anger, he supplements his day job as a high school math teacher with writing a novel. The Anger, a product of feeling enslaved to his job, recedes as the inspiration for his story emerges, but little does he know.
He’s not in control. Neither are his characters.
This rich and complex novel, populated with intriguing characters of differing nationalities and beliefs and orientations, takes the reader deep into the world of “What if?”
What if you were transported to a time and space to learn the story of a person outside his or her stereotypes?
If you had to relive a series of moments, would you continue in habitual patterns, or would you deviate from them?
Who’s is in control? Are you?”

Where can we read it? 
It will soon be available from Wellington City Libraries. Keep an eye out.

What have you learnt from being a Nanowrimo?
That I can do it! Repeatedly! I really do work well with a challenge. Writing is a long, and sometimes very lonely process. You know the excitement, scope, and depth of the story, but it takes a while and serious dedication to get that story out in book format. Having the Nanowrimo support and community is immensely helpful. And keep with it. If you feel strongly about your story, then find a writing group, continue with Nanowrimo’s challenges beyond November and keep with it. The reward is not just having the book out and being read, but the process. Enjoy the process; it’s thrilling!

In fact, I revere Nanowrimo so much, it’s mentioned in my book a few times.

How does it feel to be published?
Incredible. It’s been a dream from the time I was ten. It feels like destiny realized.
I also loved very much living in Wellington and left a few amazing communities there. They have been supportive still, even after being gone almost a year and a half. I left largely because I knew I needed to finish this book(s) and it would be easier for me to do it back in the States. So I have much gratitude to those Kiwis and Wellingtonians who understand why I chose that transition. I can’t wait to return for a book tour/visiting friends!

Thank you so much for answering these questions and all the best!
You’re very welcome. Thank you! Enjoy your surroundings of words…

Come to the library for NaNoWriMo 2015

Nanowrimo Participant 2015November has been synonymous with Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month for the past few years at Wellington Central Library.

This year, due to popular demand from a creative and diverse community of budding and seasoned writers who are preparing for another 50,000 word novel challenge this November, we are again making some space to foster the creative process and much needed peer support.
Those who took part last year, will find their familiar spaces on the ground floor and first floor of the Central Library. So come Write-In! And when you publish that book, be sure to tell us it was born here!

Saturdays 7-28 Nov, 1-4pm in an HQCBD Room on the ground floor

Sundays 8-29 Nov, 1-4pm on the north west end of the first floor (click on map below)

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LFL

It’s NANOWRIMO time again

Nanowrimo 2014 SliderNovember has become synonymous with Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month that “organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels”.

Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces are this year again opening our doors to budding or more experienced writers who are making the amazing commitment of writing 50,000 words within the month of November.
Not for the faint hearted!

This is why we decided to support this literary effort and are making space for the craft and its disciples.

In the Central Library, you will find two spaces to work with fellow writers during the whole month:

Saturdays 1-29 Nov, 1-4pm in the HQCBD Room 1 on the ground floor

Sundays 2-30 Nov, 1-4pm on the north west end of the first floor (click on map below)

map of Central Library's 1st floor

If you live far from the CBD, please contact your local library or community centre for details of what is available in your area.

LFL