The Trent Writer’s Society concluded their National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), with an All Night Write at the Whistlestop on Thursday, November 27. National Novel Writing Month is an annual event in November that challenges writers to write 50,000 words in one month.
The event, which ran from 9pm- 9am and featuring bottomless coffee, deserts and redbull shots, saw aspiring writers feverishly writing throughout the night, editing each other’s materials and playing Cards Against Humanity for the 12-hour period, although most people said they probably wouldn’t make it through the entire night.
The group had full reign of the side room, away from the main service area, putting up a firewall between them and the deluge of drunk people coming through the Whistlestop for post-Sin City poutine.
Said Trent Writer’s Society member, Graeme Cannon (2nd year, Political Studies), “November sucks, I could do NaNoWriMo fine if it weren’t for all the school work.” It was a common complaint among the otherwise excited group as they plugged away at around 3am.
When asked how she was doing just shy of the half-way point, Cultural Studies major and one of the organizers for the Trent Writer’s Society, Sarah MacDonald (who recently published her first Young Adult Novel, The Forbidden this summer) said “Fucking tired. Tired, but I know that I can do it” as she worked her way through a sequel on her laptop.
Also in attendance was the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes municipal liaison to NaNoWriMo, 2nd year Psychology student, Robyn Hanley, who said, “I started doing NaNoWriMo in 10th grade, and after I did, I really loved it and learned a lot from the experience. Now when I have to do something difficult I remind myself that I wrote a novel in a month, and I feel like I can do anything.”
According to Hanley there were 70 people in the area officially participating in the month of writing activities.
When asked for advice, now six time participant Liz Barker suggested taping over your backspace and delete button, noting that for NaNoWriMo, the point is to ‘write and not edit’.
She also suggested a ‘big pair of headphones and writing music’, something that was universally agreed upon by the other participants (Barker, incidentally, came the closest of the group to hitting the 50,000 word mark, clocking in at just over 38,000 words.)
1st year student, Nikkole Foley, 3000 words into a fantasy novel, battled exhaustion as she pounded away at her keyboard in stark contrast to TWS organizer Kelsey Levin, who hadn’t seemed slowed down at all as she worked away at her ‘horror-based dark fantasy novel’, energetically declaring that she was “generally pretty nocturnal anyways, so I’m feeling fine right now. We’ll see how I’m doing in an hour or two though.”
The event wraps up a month of meet-ups, workshops and write-ins that the Trent Writer’s Society has been involved with. They plan to continue their activities with more events in January. The group can be found on Facebook, for those wishing to participate in future events.