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Troy Public Library is set to be ‘write’ on track in November

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published October 28, 2015

Photo by Jakub Krechowicz/Shutterstock

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Have you always wanted to start or finish writing a book?

In celebration of National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo in writer-speak — when the challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days — the Troy library will offer incentive prizes, inspiration and know-how from local writers to help teens and adults who are undertaking the challenge.

Cherie Edmonds, adult services librarian, said the library has expanded the program, which is now in its third year.

The first year, Edmonds said, six people met the 50,000 word goal. Last year 69 people registered, and 10 people wrote 50,000 words to “finish.”

“For every 10,000 words those registered write they may come into the library for prizes,” Edmonds said.

Those prizes will be pens, pads of paper, chocolate, and coupons for tea and coffee.

For every 10,000-word prize claimed, writers will get a chance to win one of the two grand-prize gift baskets filled with $130 in prizes.

Edmonds said one gift basket has a working writer’s theme, and the other has a writer’s recovery and relaxation theme.

The Friends of the Troy Public Library have funded the prizes and speakers.

An opening party will kick things off 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 3, and a closing party will wrap things up 7-8:30 p.m. Dec. 1.

Edmonds said the programs are structured so that the presenters will speak for the first hour, and writers are encouraged to stay at the library and write for the second hour.

Royal Oak writer Grace Wen will be the first speaker in the series 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 5. Her work has appeared in pulp fiction magazines and “Gastronomica” magazine. Her talk is titled “Writing Hacks to Get You Through Week 2 and Beyond.”

“For many writers, week two of NaNoWriMo is when the writing starts to get difficult,” Wen said via email. “The initial burst of enthusiasm wanes, the project is no longer shiny and new, and getting words down feels more like a slog. My talk will cover some tactics writers can try to push past the week two doldrums. I want to give people some tools they can experiment with to get the spark going again.”

Wen has participated in NaNoWriMo seven times.

“I think it’s a fantastic event to help writers let loose and have fun on the page, regardless of previous writing experience,” she said. “Although I won’t be officially participating this year (I’m editing a big project right now and want to focus on that), I will attend as many of Troy library’s NaNo events as I can. I love the support they throw behind NaNo. Last year, their prizes for hitting word count milestones were key to helping me finish. Who doesn’t love to win prizes?”

She said that while there’s plenty of writing advice out there, “each writer has to figure out what works best for herself or himself. For me, NaNo was a great way to figure out what processes worked for me and what didn’t. ... Even if you don’t hit 50,000 words, you’ll have more words than what you started with.”

Gerald Rice, who has published several short stories in anthologies and magazines, will talk about self-publishing 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

Elizabeth Heiter and Robbie Terman will give an introduction to publishing, publishing options, and when and how to submit work 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 19. During their program, patrons from the Kokomo-Howard County Library in Indiana will be joining the group via Skype through the Troy library’s partnership with the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services.

Heiter writes romantic suspense, and Terman writes contemporary romance. They will also explain how to write a query letter to pitch a book and how to create a synopsis, or outline.

“There are many different publishing options out there today, and we want participants to leave feeling they know the pros and cons of each,” Terman said via email. “Once they know who they want to submit to, there is also the ‘how.’

“The most important advice I can give writers is to never give up,” Terman  said. “Don’t let a rejection stop you from submitting. It doesn’t matter how many times you hear ‘no.’ All you need is one ‘yes!’”

To register for chances to win prizes in the NaNoWriMo program, visit troypl.org/NaNoWri Mo, call (248) 524-3542 or email asref@troymi.gov.

Call (248) 524-3542 or visit www.troypl.org/calendar to preregister for the events.

The Troy library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.

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