National Novel Writing Month comes to UCCS for students to enjoy

27 November 2018

Quinita Thomas

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Not only is November the month for celebrating Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Black Friday, it is also the month for creative writers to write and share their novels. November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as “NaNoWriMo.” Though participants may enjoy abbreviating the title, keeping their writing brief may be the last thing they do.

The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write 50,000 words by Nov 30. Participants begin writing on Nov 1 and will have completed their novels by Nov 30. It is an approach to creative writing that focuses on structuring a rough draft of the story before working out the fine details between the lines.

Cody Reed, who is a sophomore studying English literature says, “This month forces people to write a lot, quantity over quality. The following months are dedicated to editing your novel. It’s a fun way to get it all down.”

According to Kendall Johnson, a junior pursuing English with an emphasis in rhetoric and writing, this is the first time the UCCS Writing Center has done an event like this. It is open to everyone from all majors, and the participants meet in the Writing Center, Columbine 316, on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Creative writing as a profession doesn’t just deal with having a good idea. “Our Monday meetings are the special ones,” Johnson says. “We have local authors come in for an hour and talk about how to get books published.” So, on top of getting the story on paper, an important step in the end is getting it in print.

“There’s not a lot of creative writing events on campus,” says Reed. “We’ve had people approach us to freely write to their heart’s content. A few people even come to write academic papers.” Johnson supports this, adding, “It’s the chance to keep writing. When we get busy, we usually just push things off to the side. This allows people to get whatever they need done and out the way.”

Both Reed and Johnson feel that this event is a great way for freshman students to meet new people. They also say that this will help freshmen not be so afraid of word count, and approach writing more confidently. “It’s okay if you can’t write fifty thousand words, as long as you reach your goal,” Reed says.

Johnson says, “Students who also participate will also get an award for writing for all thirty days.”

Reed and Johnson both say that they now have a better understanding of the Writing Center and its purpose. “A year ago I’d come in to only work on academic stuff, not creative stuff,” says Johnson. “This year, we are trying to push that you can come in and write about anything.” Clearly, the Writing Center offers more than just advice on writing academic papers.

Think writing your 5,000 word literary analysis is rough? UCCS students are ready to prove their skills by going far beyond what we see in the classroom. Stay tuned through the end of the month to see just what our daring peers can come up with in 50,000 words.