Final Report – 2013

During the month of November the libraries of four Local Government Areas joined forces to present a project named “Write along the Highway”

Background

In November 2012 the City of Armadale Libraries hosted a programme called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) where aspiring writers are challenged to produce 50,000 words of a novel during the month. The library organised write-ins each weekend – writers coming together to write and encourage one another. This initiative proved very popular, with writers from all over the southern regions of Perth attending Armadale’s sessions.

Buoyed by the great response in 2012, the City of Armadale libraries decided to talk to a small number of libraries in the area with an eye to growing the programme as there seemed to be plenty of potential authors out there. After discussions with other LGAs we ended up with 4 libraries happy to join in the experiment of hosting NaNoWriMo as a group.
Participating Local Government Areas were:

Within a relatively short period of time – starting in June – a small group of people met regularly and decided to promote the joint effort with a reference to the highways that connect our communities: “Write along the Highway”.

Information Sessions

In early October 2013, information evenings were held in the various participating libraries where interested people were able to find out what this project was all about and ask questions of both organisers and NaNoWriMo veterans. These sessions were very well attended and turned a number of interested people into active participants in the novel writing month.
Total attendance at information sessions: 65

Write-Ins

The organising group put together a series of “Write-Ins” in their libraries during November with at least one library open for write-ins every day of the week except for Fridays. The ‘roster’ for the month was as follows:

  • Monday: Gosnells
  • Tuesday: Serpentine-Jarrahdale
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Victoria Park
  • Saturday & Sunday: Armadale & Gosnells

The total number of people attending write-ins during the month of November: 182

Events

Both before and during November, the participating libraries organised events for participants of the novel writing month, as well as events for the wider community. The aim was to provide inspiration for writers by meeting with, and listening to the experiences and advice of professional novelists. Session content ranged from the theatrical presentation of book fragments to book launches; from discussions of how to write narrative to writing sessions for children.
The choice of offerings was as wide as the range of novels being written and nearly all events were well attended as well as much appreciated by the audiences. It should be noted that all these events were organised by individual libraries but promoted by all!
Total number of events held under the “Write along the Highway” banner: 23
Total number of attendees at these events: 539

Write Night!

As mentioned previously, events were organised by individual participating libraries. However, there was one joint event held on Friday 22 November where participating writers were invited to come together and celebrate a special “Write Night“.

From 7 to 11pm 27 writers attended the Lyal Richardson Hall at Gosnells where they were welcomed by live music performed by Tony M. The evening started with a writing industry panel (Ian Nicholls – editor, Elizabeth Bezant – writing coach, Cate Rocchi – publisher , David Buck – author – and Barbara Gurney – author) discussed “Where to from here with your writing” in front of an interested as well as “happy to ask questions” audience.

The remainder of the night was filled with keenly fought writing competitions and games which kept all participants both wide awake and productive. Food, coffee, tea and juice were available all night long and this service – provided by participating councils – was much appreciated!
Number of people attending “Write Night”: 27

Conclusion

For a first-time effort the project has delivered what it intended to do: promote National Novel Writing Month through the involvement of a group of libraries; promote the project by organising a large number of events to keep the participating writers inspired and the general library public aware of the project thru a wide variety of writing related events.

A ‘post mortem’ meeting of the organising committee was held on December 5th where events of the year as well as the actual ‘writing month’ were critically assessed in order to come to an even better outcome in 2014.

Organising Committee:

Jan Pedroli (City of Armadale)
Rebecca Laffar-Smith (NaNoWriMo representative)
Andrew Kelly (Town of Victoria Park)
Lisa Keys (Shire of Serpentine – Jarrahdale)
Louisa Loder (Shire of Serpentine – Jarrahdale)
Lizanne Fernandez (City of Gosnells)

10 December 2013

Write Night 2013 – Friday Nov. 22nd – 7pm to 11pm

Join us for our big event this year. Write Night on Friday 22 November from 7-11pm at Lyle Richardson Hall at the Agonis Centre, in Gosnells. We will feature a panel of literary professionals, word wars, interactive storytelling and some fantastic prizes for participants. It is a writing event not to be missed!

This is a joint event between the Town of Victoria Park, City of Gosnells,  City of Armadale and the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahadale.

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information and bookings please call 9391 6000 (Gosnells Knowledge Centre) or book online. We need a good turn out for this event so please spread to word and book as early as possible. The success of these events and the support from the councils for future NaNo events depends on our numbers so please get involved and show your support.
 

WriteNightFlyer_single

Kick Off Party 2013 – Friday November 1st – 5.00pm til Late

So, although it’s going to be fairly haphazard and impromptu I’m looking forward to meeting those who can join us for the Kick Off Party this Friday. I’ve been doing what I can to get things as organised as possible, but hey, there is something super awesome about spontaneity too, right? And since I seem to be leaning toward pantsing this November it makes sense to pants the Kick Off Party to some degree. But, since we do need some solid details nailed down, here they are:

Where: The park on the corner of Harvey Street and Albany Highway, Victoria Park
When: Friday, November 1st 2013 – 5.00pm til Late

The park is opposite Dome, Victoria Park. And at some point during the night we may move indoors there, or at other nearby eateries. I’ve contacted Dome to find out if they can offer us any discounts and to find out their quietest hours so we will hopefully have room available. This might be vital at some point during the night because I don’t know about you but I’ll want to plug in and recharge my laptop (I’ll bring a power board with me so we all can).

I’ll be there from 5pm until late. It would be great if you can join us for the whole night, but if you can only spare an hour you’re welcome to drop by to join us as long as you’re able. I’ll keep my mobile phone on me so feel free to call or text 0423 037 054 if you need an update on our exact location at any point during the night.

What to Bring
You might want to bring your laptop, tablet, and/or pen and paper. Kick Off is a great time to get NaNo off to a powerful start. There will be word wars and word sprints so don’t leave home without your writing utensils. You might want to bring a rug or folding chair to sit on while we are in the park. We are due absolutely stunning Perth weather so it should be a clear night but something to throw over your shoulders to ward off chill in the evening could still be a good idea. I’ve also been notified that there are mosquito warnings in effect so it may be worth bringing insect repellent and citronella candles, we wouldn’t want to be snacked upon while partying. Human snacks and drinks on the other hand are very welcome, and there are plenty of places available to purchase food and drink as needed if you’d rather bring your wallet

Donations on the night.
In fact, bring your wallet because Kick Off is also a great chance to donate to NaNo. I’ll have some cool things available on the night and a tip jar will make the rounds. 50% of donations go directly to the National Novel Writing Month non-profit charity and the other 50% goes toward making our local Write Along The Highway and OzNoWriMo Young Writers Program events all the more awesome. I have some goodies to give away and I’d love to get your feedback on what you’d like to see at future events.

I hope to see you there. Please drop me a message (email: rebecca@oznowrimo.org – phone or sms: 0423 037 054 – NaNoMail: http://nanowrimo.org/en/messages/new?to=laffarsmith ) to let me know you plan to come (so I can get an estimate of numbers). Feel free to bring a friend (or two) in a last ditch effort to convince them to join the NaNoWriMo frenzy this year (we can sign them up on the night). I’m excited! I hope you are too. I look forward to seeing you.

Happy NaNo!

Please Donate 2013

Thanks to the wonderful efforts of a hard working “Write Along the Highway” team, we’ll be putting on a fantastic “Write Night” in November. This event is projected to cost approximately $1,500 for the venue, catering, give-aways, and special guests. We need your generous donations to fund the event and help make Write Along the Highway’s “Write Night” spectacular. There will be many promotional opportunities available for sponsors who are invited to include their information and logo with the gift bags given away on the night. Recognition will also be given on the WriteAlongTheHighway.org website in thanks for your generous support.

For the “Write Night” and a few of our other events we also welcome donations in-kind such as mementos and discount vouchers for gift bags, door and game prizes, TGIO awards, food and drink, and anything else you might be able to contribute to show your support. If you would like to make a donation please contact Rebecca Laffar-Smith.

Also, please remember that National Novel Writing Month is a non-profit organisation committed to the promotion of literacy around the world. NaNoWriMo.org depends on donations from participants to continue each year. You can donate cash in our kitty at any of the ML attended events or contact Rebecca, our ML, directly. Or you can jump straight to the nanowrimo.org website and donate to earn your halo or supporter gifts and purchase goodies at the merchendise store.

November Write Ins 2013

Since the topic of Write Ins has come up already I’ll post up the dates/times of the regularly scheduled library write ins.

  • Saturday 1-4pm:
    Armadale Library* and Gosnells Knowledge Centre
  • Sunday 1-4pm:
    Armadale Library* and Gosnells Knowledge Centre
  • Monday 2-8pm:
    Gosnells Knowledge Centre*, Thornlie Library, and Kenwick Library
  • Monday 6-7pm:
    Willagee Library
  • Tuesday 1-7pm:
    Mundijong Public Library*
  • Wednesday 2-8pm:
    Victoria Park Library*
  • Thursday 2-8pm:
    Victoria Park Library
  • Thursday 6-7pm:
    Willagee Library*
  • Friday:
    No Regular Write Ins Scheduled (keep Friday free for some of the big events Kick Off, 24 hour, and Write Night are all on Fridays.)

* I aim to be at these write ins unless it conflicts with an author talk.

To see a full calender of events check out the blog. | http://www.writealongthehighway.org. You can also download a PDF calendar of the events hosted by the Write Along the Highway committee.

Let me know if you want to arrange and host a regular write in elsewhere outside of these times. I’ll add it to the calendar.