How to Host a Write In

WHAT IS A WRITE-IN?

A write-in occurs whenever novelists gather at a coffee house, library, hot dog stand, all night diner, or similar venue, for the purpose of working on their novels. In between bouts of furious typing (or scribbling), we commiserate over wordcount and brainstorm ideas. The point is to get you out of the house, away from distractions, and writing. Caffeine, interesting strangers you can put in your story, and socializing with fellow wrimos is a bonus.

Regularly scheduled write-ins will be occurring at coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants throughout the region.  To see a schedule of the write-ins and other NaNoWriMo events in the area go to our calendar.   If none of these write-ins in your area and at your convenience, we encourage you to schedule your own.

HOW TO HOST A WRITE-IN

  • Pick a public place to write in. Public libraries, coffee houses, or bookstores are all good choices.  Choose a location and time that is convenient for you.
    • If others can attend, that’s great.  If not, you’ll have dedicated writing time at a convenient location.
    • You may have access to an unusual write-in location such as the Morgan Library (formerly part of Caltech’s library system – I’m sure we had nothing to do with that ‘formerly’) or the entirety of Disneyland (aka ‘The Happiest Write In on Earth’).
  • If you know that a large number of people plan to attend the write-in you are hosting, as a courtesy, try to give the management at your venue a heads-up and if needed, make a reservation. You may want to approach the management anyway; they might have advice on the best times to schedule events and they might even be open to helping publicize it.
  • Some of the local libraries are part of Come Write In and may want someone to help host. Feel free to approach the MLs if you have an interest in helping out, or just want to know who the CWI contact is
  • Commit the time to be writing in said public place for at least two hours.
  • Post the location and time window in the L.A.Regional forum (nanowrimo.org/regions/usa-california-los-angeles, preferably the current ‘Write Ins Guide’ Thread) as far in advance as possible. Don’t forget to give some information about how to recognize you, say by wearing a red carnation or a chic NaNoWriMo t-shirt or placing a stuffed lemur on your table.
    • If you have planned your write-in at least a few days in advance and posted it to the Write Ins Guide, it will be added to the regional calendar with as much of the information you provided included.
    • Be sure to add the street address for chains, since there are probably six of them on any street.
  • Show up at least five or ten minutes early with your laptop or pad/pen and stake out a table or a few chairs.
  • Flag down anyone looking a little lost and writerly and say hello. If they are wrimos invite them to join you. If they are not, tell them about NaNoWriMo so they might consider joining in next year.
  • Bring a power strip to write-ins so several wrimos can plug into a single outlet.
  • You might have participants quickly introduce themselves and mention where they are in word count and in their novel’s progress.
  • Consider adding writing games to the write-in:
    • Word War – Bring a timer and maybe a list of generic writing prompts. Set the timer for 10-15 minutes, read the prompt out loud, and have everyone write as much as they can until the timer runs out.
      • Word Wars can also be done without a prompt. Even if a prompt is given, it is very optional.
    • Box O’ Doom – A word count challenge tool.  Place a bunch of word counts in a box (on slips of paper, google doc, rocks, or whatever).  To start a challenge, draw from the box, but whatever you draw, you have to do.  There is no bargaining with the box of doom.
    • Huzzah balls – These are crumpled up newspaper balls with a trailing strip of ribbon or paper. People set a goal for themselves in the write-in: a word count to achieve, a difficult scene to write, a character to kill, etc. When they achieve that goal in the write-in, even during a word war, they exclaim “Huzzah!” and toss the huzzah ball into the center of the table. Everyone applauds the accomplishment.
      • Check with your venue’s noise rules before using huzzah balls.img_7155.jpg
    • Consider having little prizes for the winners of the contests. Homemade crafts and small trinkets are always a hit.
    • Some wrimos are more interested in socializing than writing. Declare a Word war to spontaneously end the chatter.
    • Consider having everyone take turns reading a short paragraph from their work in progress. It can be VERY interesting to see what people are writing. However, this should be entirely voluntary and it should be OK if someone chooses not to read.
    • Stick around and write until your time window is up (some participants show up late; it is sad to go to a write-in and not find the host who committed to be there), then go home.

    Sometimes a half a dozen people will show up, sometimes no one shows up. Either way, you can make a dent in your wordcount! It’s EASY and anyone can do it!

    SUGGESTIONS FOR PEOPLE ATTENDING WRITE-INS

    • If possible, RSVP to the host by posting in the forums to the write-in announcement or via PM. That way the host will have some idea of how many chairs to save and who to watch for. This is not required, but it is helpful.
    • Remember that this is NOT a formal, organized party. You don’t need to sit with the host. Some venues are small and crowded and wrimos may end up scattered throughout the room.
    • If you can’t find the host, don’t stress, just settle in and write anyway. Look for stuffed lemurs or kiwis. NaNoWriMo Stickers on laptops are also common, as are t-shirts from previous years.
    • If the write-in is in a coffee shop or restaurant, please spend some money. The proprietors are not getting any kickback from NaNoWriMo, so please support their establishment. A drink for 2 hours is fine. Maybe a appetizer if you are there longer.
    • If the write-in venue allows outside food, feel free to bring a snack or snacks to share.
    • Remember to write! It’s exciting to meet other people who share your passion for writing, and it can be tempting to chat for the entire session. However the point of the gathering is to write, so please be respectful of people who are trying to focus on their novels.
    • If you find that available write-ins are not convenient for you, for whatever reason, consider hosting your own!

I drafted this a few months ago, I think I borrowed a lot of this from Naperwrimo, but I think you might notice a few regional adjustments I made. -Xander

2015 Midnight Blast Off!

Boo picMidnight Blast Offs!

Just like ghosts November 1st is sneaking up on us! But we are going to be ready for Nov. 1 because we’ll be having our Midnight Blast Off and getting our fingers and brains all limbered up for 12:01 midnight! So come join us Halloween Night!

[Pasadena] Du-par’s @ Pasadena

Location: 214 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
Date: 10/31~11/1
Time: 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Details/Info: Your MLs Jennie (AthenaKTT) and Xander (ArtofCheatery)  will be hosting this gala with swag bags for those who missed out on them at the kick-off. Dupar’s is open 24-hours so feel free to stay later!

  • Free parking in the big lot behind the restaurant, off Mentor.
  • Only two outlets, so come charged, but I’ll have power strips for a few people and we can trade around chargers.
  • Wifi is available.
  • Good drinks, soup, pancakes, hot cocoa, coffee, and PIE!
  • Tell the waiter a separate check when you order.
  • Midnight WORD WAR!
  • Ask for the “Writing Room”.
  • NaNo Los Angeles Fortune cookies and Plot Bunnies return!
  • NaNoWriMo Bingo!
  • Raffle Prizes, lots of fun, and more!
  • Come in costume if you like. Your MLs may be in costume!

RSVP by replying at the Midnight Blast Off Thread. (RSVP not required by appreciated to help with planning.)

 

[Online] Virtual Kick-Off – California :: Elsewhere

Date: 10/31~11/1
Time: 9:00pm – Midnight (PST) (Or earlier if anyone wants to sign into the chat early.)
Location: Online ChatNaNo 
Details: For those who do not want to venture outside on NaNoWriMo Eve, Elsewhere ML Skybluefusion is hosting a Virtual Kick-Off.  For information go to: http://nanowrimo.org/forums/usa-california-elsewhere/threads/258842

First Ever Night of Writing Glamorously!

2014 NOWG

Click image to download flyer pdf.

Have you ever wanted to attend Night of Writing Dangerously up in San Francisco?

Have you ever wished Night of Writing Dangerously wasn’t so expensive or so far away?

Have you ever wanted to attend an awesome write-a-thon event with awesome food, prizes, and other WriMos?

If you have answered yes to any or ALL of these questions, then NaNo Los Angeles has the perfect event for you!

For only $35 you can attend our FIRST EVER NIGHT OF WRITING GLAMOROUSLY!!

Date: November 16, 2014 (Sunday)
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Location:

West Hollywood Auditorium
647 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Details: Just north of the new West Hollywood Library and parking structure on the corner of Melrose and San Vicente. Parking is validated for up to 2 hours and then $1 for each 20 minutes with a maximum of $6 for Sunday. Plenty of power but no wi-fi available.

We will hold word wars, word springs, and other fun activities geared to get tons of words onto the page in the most fun matter we possibly can! And if you haven’t guessed, our NaNo Los Angeles Theme is STEAMPUNK! Costumes are not required, but encouraged.

Still can’t decide if you should go?! Check out our awesome Buffet Menu and Raffle Prize lists!

Buffet Menu
  • BBQ Beef
  • Grilled Chicken Breast w/BBQ Sauce
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Sauteed Vegetables
  • Mushroom Pasta
  • Hearty Garden Salad
  • Rolls w/Butter
  • Assorted Cookies & Bars
  • And soft drinks
Prizes
  • Activision Games Bundle
  • Awesome NaNo Inspired Poster
  • No Plot No Problem – Revised edition
  • Bag of writer books from The Lost Bookstore
  • Steampunk Tarot Deck
  • $25 gift card to California Pizza Kitchen
  • $25 gift card to Coffee Connection
  • NaNo Los Angeles Raffle Bag

Why Attend?

Still not convinced?! You should attend because NaNo Los Angeles is a Glamorous Region with equally awesome WriMos! We want to have our own shindig where LA WriMos can dine and write together in style… Steampunk style.

Also this event is a fundraiser and all proceeds go to NaNo Los Angeles events and to NaNoWriMo.

So show your support to NaNo Los Angeles and NaNoWriMo by coming to NOWG, have an awesome dinner, and have chances to win awesome prizes from our sponsors as you write your way to the 50K finish line!

What are you waiting for?! Come join us for a glamorous night of writing and dining! There is limited seating so don’t wait too long to RSVP!

RSVP today @ our Meet-up page

Last day to RSVP is November 8th  extended to November 10th, so don’t delay!

Note: The $35.00 per person is required to RSVP.