It’s a daunting task but writers around the world, and across Forsyth County, will attempt to write 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.
“Our libraries support writers all year long, but November is a particularly special time for our local community of writers to come together for mutual encouragement and learning writing strategies that help them tell their stories,” says Programming Manager Tracy Walker, who is a published author herself.
Her first chapter book for young readers, The Truth About Unicorns, was published last month by Scholastic, but Walker has been a professional storyteller for more than 15 years. She holds advanced degrees in education and library science and has led workshops for writers, performers, and storytellers across the southeast.
Now, local writers aspiring to make progress on their novels can join Walker’s free workshop to practice writing exercises and motivational techniques that help keep words and ideas flowing onto the page. The workshop will be held at the Post Road Library, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2.
The following week, three more authors will visit local libraries for book talks and workshops.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, author of Georgia Place Names From Jot-em-Down to Doctortown, will speak about her fifth book and tell stories of how oddly named Georgia towns like Stonesthrow and Lord a Mercy Cove acquired their monikers at the Hampton Park Library on Monday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Admission to Kaemmerlen’s guest lecture is free and copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing.
Ginger Garrett, author of The Last Monster and several other books for teens and adults, returns to the library as the moderator for W3, the Wednesday Writer’s Workshop for writers in middle and high school.
W3 will meet at the Post Road Library on Wednesday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring any work they’d like to share and Garrett and other participants will offer encouragement, inspiration, and constructive critiques.
In addition to W3, FCPL also offers a Teen Writing Club moderated by library staff and visiting authors at the Hampton Park Library. The Club will meet on November 5 and 19.
Local horror author and artist Justin Joseph will visit the Post Road Library on Thursday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. to speak and sign copies of his book They Come From the Mountain, a collection of supernatural short stories.
Community Author Spotlight: Justin Joseph is intended for adults and admission is free. Copies of They Come From the Mountain will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
Joseph has been writing and drawing since childhood, when he first saw the card series Garbage Pail Kids. His first publication, The Hurricane Party, was a Kindle Book Review Award Nominee. His short stories, poetry, and illustrative work have been published in numerous magazines.
Joseph is also a participant in the FCPL Writing Group at the Post Road Library and the group was among the first to hear the announcement that They Come From the Mountain would be published.
“It was such a rewarding moment for the group to see one of their own bring their writing to the point of publication. We are all so excited to share in the celebration of Mr. Joseph’s work,” says Information Services Supervisor Kim Ottesen, who moderates the group.
The next FCPL Writing Group meeting will be held at the Post Road Library on Thursday, November 14 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
“All types of writing are welcome, whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, for an adult audience or for younger readers,” says Ottesen.
The Sharon Forks Library also has a writing group for adults and will meet on Wednesday, December 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Though many writers may choose to take a break in December, those who finished their 50,000-word NaNoWriMo goal on novels for young readers will want to mark their calendars for a special Forsyth Writes Together event in December.
Aspiring authors can learn the differences in techniques for writing chapter books for middle grade readers and writing for young adults from members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators at the Hampton Park Library on Saturday, December 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
A panel of working authors will explain the current market preferences for voice, vocabulary level, maturity content, authenticity, and word count that writers can use to better prepare their work for traditional or self-publishing for young audiences.
Admission to Forsyth Writes Together: Writing Middle Grade vs. Young Adult Books is free and registration is not required.
For more information on these and other programs for writers, please visit www.forsythpl.org.