November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and the Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center (SLCC CWC) is hosting a workshop that will help community members achieve their goal of writing a short novel by the end of the month.
“If a writer has a project, they can bring it here,” says Keaton Butler, writing assistant for the SLCC CWC. “They can sit down with a writing assistant or volunteer who’s been trained through a process, and we can read through it.”
NaNoWriMo is run by a nonprofit organization that started in 1992 in the San Francisco Bay Area. This event takes place every November and gives people the opportunity attempt to write a 50,000-word novel by Nov. 30.
No matter your experience, everyone is encouraged to bring his or her ideas to the SLCC CWC and start writing.
“We want to provide resources to help the writers create the content,” says Butler. “It’s based on a theory that a bad draft is better than no draft at all, so you might as well work hard to get a draft out.”
For those who think they can’t write well or who fear that they will make many mistakes, there are a lot of resources to help including the guidance of the facilitators throughout the process.
“We’re trained readers,” says Butler. “We have experience examining things rhetorically to try and figure out how best to structure something or to write something to suit the audience.”
The NaNoWriMo workshop is held every Saturday in November, and half the time is used for instruction and half is dedicated to writing.
Each week the workshop is focused on key elements of fiction including character creation, plot and dialogue.
“A lot of our focus is going to be about creating a writing process that is conducive to creating a large amount of content,” says Butler. “The idea is to get all those influences out of your head to help write the novel.”
At the end of the five-week period, those who have completed their manuscript can submit their works to the NaNoWriMo website. After a word count review process, those who have completed the requirements will be official winners. All winners will get an official web badge, a winner’s certificate and will be featured on the list of winners on the main website.
The program started back in 1999 with 21 participants and six winners. Last year’s event had 341,375 registered participants and turned out 38,438 winners across the country.
SLCC CWC has other workshops available and can even give community members one-on-one coaching.
“Our mission statement is to support, motivate and educate writers of all backgrounds and abilities,” says Butler. “If someone is feeling stuck, we can basically help in any way to further the writing process.”
Registration for NaNoWriMo at the SLCC CWC is $60 for anyone that wants to join, but the registration fee is waived for SLCC students by presenting their OneCard.
The SLCC CWC is located at 210 E 400 S, Ste. 8, by the main Salt Lake City Library. For more information on the Center, visit www.slcc.edu/cwc.
For more information on National Novel Writing Month, visit www.nanowrimo.com.