Update on December 9: Over a month ago, we shared this story about National Novel Writing Month. The event in the Mansfield area ended at the end of last month, and we have final numbers to share at the end of this post.

You may be noticing an extra person or two hovering over a laptop at a Mansfield area coffee shop over the next four weeks.

The reason for the activity is affectionally called “NaNoWriMo,” a shorter version of the more official “National Novel Writing Month.”

For families with a writer or two, it’s an annual exercise in endurance. The premise is simple enough – from November 1 through November 30 (and up to 11:59 PM on that fateful night), write a novel from scratch with at least 50,000 words. Begun in 1999, the event has grown to gargantuan proportions.

According to the website which serves as its central hub, in 2016:

  • 384,126 participants, including 71,229 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
  • 928 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 646 regions on six continents.
  • 1,168 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.
  • 60,951 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Mid Ohio is geared up to participate, particularly members of North Central Ohio Writers. Like other NaNoWriMo writers, each has registered their participation on the official site. As of the press time for 1812Blockhouse, some 44 area novelists were typing away, already penning some 17,364 words.

Throughout the month, North Central Ohio Writers “write-ins” are held where writers can gather to provide support and, of course, to keep writing. These began on Wednesday with a “Ready, Set, Go” marathon at the Ashland Public Library, and future write-ins will be held in places such as Panera Bread, the Main Library in downtown Mansfield, and The Mill Restaurant in Ashland. On November 18, a “Halftime Party” will take place at the Richland County Sheriff’s Office.

Best of luck to the Mansfield area’s future published novelists!

UPDATEAccording to the local site, the following numbers were obtained by writers in North Central Ohio:

  • 62 novelists particiapted
  • 1,806,180 words were written
  • Each writer averaged 29,131 words


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