“For fall break I just stayed here and wrote 10,000 words in two days,” said Chandler Ryd, a freshman from Colorado.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has come to Hillsdale. A small number of authors will spend the month writing novels with the goal of reaching at least 50,000 words. Writers meet for at least two hours a week to plug away on their ideas together. The meets provide moral support for the authors and encourage them to keep writing.
Ryd’s novel is titled “When the Tree Runs Dry.”
“It’s about a photographer in a wildfire in the mountains of Colorado,” Ryd said.
Some of the college participants have been doing the event for years.
“This is my fourth year doing NaNo; I started when I was a freshman, though I’d known about it and dabbled when I was in high school,” senior Alexander Tacoma said.
“Lambda Iota Tau is sponsoring the project,” professor of English Lorraine Eadie said.
The honorary is responsible for reserving rooms for the writers to meet in, and anyone and everyone is encouraged to join.
“Founded in 1999, the fiction-writing extravaganza encourages everyone in the world to spend November bashing out a 50,000 word novel,” one of the posters advertising the event reads.
Even given the number of words to write and the busy lives of Hillsdale students, some participants have reached the 50,000-word goal more than once.
“I’ve done that twice,” Tacoma said.
The event is meant for all levels of authors, from the enthusiast to the aspiring writer. Ryd had been working on his novel before November.
“I started it in June. I’m not really doing NaNoWriMo because I want this to be 90,000 to 100,000 words,” Ryd said.
The goal of NaNoWriMo isn’t to publish a novel, but to experience the sense of accomplishment writing something 50,000 words long brings.
“I don’t see publishing as completion,” Tacoma said.
Ryd still wants to participate in NaNoWriMo but finds difficulty in the event’s timing.
“I could see myself doing it if I had less going here at school,” Ryd said.
This year’s NaNoWriMo might help spawn a new club on campus. A group of participating authors, including Tacoma and Ryd, are planning on founding a creative writing club.
“The idea is that we want it to be a community of writers where you can do two big things, make connections with other writers and also to learn and get criticism on your own writing,” Ryd said.
The club would be the first of its kind on campus. There are events and organizations for the collaboration of on-campus writers – such as NaNoWriMo and the writing center – but no clubs officially recognized by Student Federation. The club would bring writers together from across campus, provide lectures by professors and advance aspiring writers’ careers.
“One of my personal desires for the club is to help all these shy Hillsdale students who love to write meet one another,” Tacoma said.
The group will become an officially recognized club after a meeting with Student Federation on Thursday. However, the events, meetings and activities will be shortened giving the nearing end of the semester.
“We’re really going to kick things off in style come 2015,” Tacoma said.