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News Tue Oct 28 2008
National Novel Writing Month is approaching fast and writers across the country are getting ready to write 50,000-word novels in the span of November's 30 days. Sure, you've got your paper, your pens and pencils, your laptop and your Mr. Coffee ready to go, but how ready are you to write? If you're having trouble at the starting line or find yourself lagging through the middle, here are some local sources of inspiration:
NaNoWriMo's offical site has separate sites for specific regions. On ChiWriMo you can post questions and thoughts to the forums and get responses from local writers, share photos through flickr, participate in a live chat, find writing resources and keep up to date on NaNoWriMo events.
Story Studio Chicago offers Write-a-Thons where you can come and write for a full 12 hours in their studio space. The Write-a-Thons aren't free, but the $12 admission includes wireless internet access, snacks, drinks, manuscript reviews and exercise breaks so you're really getting your money's worth. This year's Write-a-Thon will be on Saturday, November 22, from 9am-9pm at 4043 N. Ravenswood, #222.
There are currently no MeetUp Groups for local NaNoWriMo participants, but who says you can't be the person to start one? Go meet some other writers to share your progress and commiserate over the inevitable writer's block.
Open Books has a series of NaNoWriMo events, starting with a kick-off brunch on November 1 and ending with a 15-hour grand finale write-fest on November 30, with several write-ins in between. All of Open Books's events are free at their River North location, 213 W. Institute Place, Suite 305.
Finally, check out NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty's book No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days and the accompanying Novel-Writing Kit. Baty, a University of Chicago graduate, started NaNoWriMo in 1999.