It’s November. Which means the air is cooler, holidays are here, and writers of all ages are rushing to create a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, is an exciting, community-driven writing exercise that challenges participants to write a novel in the month of November. As the website says, “this is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.” NaNoWriMo started in 1999 and has steadily grown. It is now a non-profit company that supports young writers programs around the county and has published its own writing guide. Last year over 400,000 people participated in NaNoWriMo. I first heard about NaNoWriMo in 2008 and have written or attempted to write novels several times since then. It’s a great writing exercise and the official website offers community forums and pep talks from published authors to give you inspiration. There is an emphasis on just getting the story out and it takes away the pressure of trying to make your story perfect. This is a great way to get your creativity out and to challenge yourself to something new. If you are in need of more inspiration before beginning NaNoWriMo, check out these books to jump start your creativity: Lost for Words by Natalie Russell Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert And these books to help make your writing better: Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner On Writing by Stephen King Lisa Clark is a library associate at the Erlanger Branch where she runs the adult writers group.
Four years ago, I was asked to start facilitating the Writers Group at the Erlanger Branch. The group had already been in existence for several years, but needed a new staff member to organize the meetings. I jumped at the opportunity and have loved being part of the group ever since. Twice a month, writers join together to share their ideas, thoughts, and writings. We talk about what we are working on, what we should do next, and how to make our ideas better. Over the years, we’ve had many different attendees, but have become a sort of support group for each other. It has even helped me become more confident in my own writing and I hope I have instilled the same feelings in my fellow writers. The group is always open to new members, but is just for adults. Each meeting is set up the same way. Three people sign up and send samples to me ahead of time. During the meeting, those three writers take turns reading their samples out loud and then the group gives them feedback and we all discuss the piece. That’s it! It’s easy, laid-back, and inviting. We have had every kind of writing shared at our group, including chapters from novels, poetry, graphic novels, blog posts, nonfiction, memoir, and more. We’ve also had all different kinds of genres from fantasy to fairy tales to historical to science fiction. Everyone is encouraging and supportive. Along with sharing ideas and discussing writing, attendees give each other advice and share tips and tricks. Each meeting is an opportunity to bounce ideas off an unbiased, welcoming group of people who all share a common passion for writing. If you’ve always wanted [...]
Last year, I started thinking about going back to school. I had been out of college for several years and I had a couple subjects I was interested in. After taking a few graduate level classes at NKU, I still didn’t have a clear idea of what my end goal would be. Plus, taking classes can be very expensive. That’s when I discovered Gale Courses, a database offered by the library. As long as you have a library card, you are able to take any of the classes offered on the site. For free! These are instructor-led classes on a myriad of subjects, mostly focusing on personal and professional development. Each class lasts for around six weeks. Two lessons are released every week (one on Wednesdays, one on Fridays). You can sign on when you want and go through the lessons at your leisure. It is user-friendly and easy. The best part is the classes are not graded, except for the final test (if you pass, you get a certificate of completion). You can really work at your own pace. There is nothing to lose if you decide a class isn’t for you or if life gets too busy. So far, I have completed two classes: one on editing and one on writing. I am currently taking a sign language class, which has been great. I’ve learned a lot through these classes and I’ve only had positive experiences. I like that each lesson is a mixture of readings, activities, quizzes, and discussion topics. It has given me the opportunity to strengthen skills I already have and to explore others that I am interested in. Some of the subjects you can take are: accounting, drawing, [...]