For the last six or seven years or so, I've been the Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month in the Interior of Alaska. My own novel writing efforts have rather suffered of late, and this year I want to concentrate on finishing rather than coordinating meetings and awarding prizes. Not that awarding prizes isn't fun, it is! I think the most popular prize last year were two great, huge pomegranates that I picked up at Safeway on my way to the meeting.
It's been lots of fun, actually. You aren't required to buy prizes for the writers, but it does help get folks to come to the write-ins. Fruit is a great motivator, here in the dark winter of the arctic. I think most of us go around severely fruit-deprived anyway, so something fresh like that is, well, fresh. I asked for donations toward the prizes last year out of necessity. One year I spent close to $75 on gewgaws and thingers just to spice up Nanowrimo meetings. That year the money came straight out of my pocket. I could afford it and it was fun to shop for toys for folks. But you needn't do any of that, if you have other ideas for motivation. The NaNoWriMo site is chock-a-block with ideas for fun and productivity.
I hope that someone, possibly someone reading this blog, will step up and take the reins this year. That someone needs to be organized, even-handed, and positive. He or she should take the rules for MLs seriously. You must be truly working on a novel yourself, for one thing. Here, directly from the NaNoWriMo site are the requirements for being an ML. Look it over! Note, you must have already done NaNoWriMo before. Read on. I will be more than happy to talk with anyone who wants to do this.
Here’s who we’re looking for:
- You're over 18 years old. We know our younger crew is full of boundless energy and great ideas, we just don’t want to be the reason you don’t get into college.
- You've done (and won!) NaNoWriMo before. Writing a novel in 30 days is insane; writing a novel in 30 days while trying to wrangle a posse of itinerant novelists is, well, more insane. We just prefer you know what you’re getting into with the first NaNoWriMo before you sign-on to ML for the second.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Commit to the whole 30 days. If you sign up, we need you to show up. And not just for the kick-off party. We need people who aren’t going to fade into the background as soon as the word count gets tough. Your fellow writers are depending on you.
- Coordinate meetings and events. Kick-offs, TGIO parties, weekly write-ins.
- Answer every email. Don’t know the answer?
- Be present in your regional forum. Make sure people's questions are being answered, events are announced in a timely manner, and that everyone is playing nice.
- Engage in some light fundraising. Whether you post a link in your Regional Lounge, send out an email to participants, or pass around a cup at write-ins, your fundraising efforts help keep NaNoWriMo churning out the magic.
- Reach your 50,000 words. Okay, we can’t hold you to that, but it’s much easier to be a role model to your troops when you actually accomplish the task.
- Whatever else floats your boat! Hound local press for coverage, work with local schools... you know, over-achieve!