But how does this multinational, marathon event work? The wonderful elves at the Office of Letters and Light put on this extravaganza (with out much extravagance) every year using their non-profit status to bring attention to an even more fantastic program - the Young Writers Program.
It is this program that caught my attention as far as fundraising goes. You see, the Office of Letters and Light started kind of as a dare - write a novel in 30 days. 50K words or more. That was in 1999 I believe. Now, 11 years later they are still throwing that dare down to anyone who will take it, but they have also moved into the realm of do more for others and created a non-profit that raises money for schools across the country to have writing programs that are not necessarily part of the curriculum.
Why do I care? Because it was just this type of class that my grandmother taught for years at Henry School in Philadelphia. Mrs. Anne Berg did her best to teach 4-6 graders that the ideas in their head, plot bunnies and all, deserved to be on a page and then told to other people. This was in the late 1970s, people. Somewhere between my grandmother's retirement in the late 70s-80s to today we have LOST the importance of thinking creatively, of creating stories and writing them down. Sure we have writing across the curriculum which essentially means that notes and papers will be completed in each class. But what happened to the story of that wealthy woman who was being driving through Atlanta by an unwanted chauffer? Or how about the story of the girl who didn't want to go home so she decided to travel through DC at night and try to ditch her security detail? Or how about the one where two members of the Brown Coats suddenly had to find a way to make a living now that the war was over?
Would any of these stories have ever seen the light without a creative writing teacher? Probably not. But creative writing classes have a tendency to create people who can think on their feet, come up with interesting ideas and just plain create! Do you think we would have the fax machine without Arthur C. Clarke's work on communications in his books such as "Childhood's End" and let's not forget the Space Odyssey series.
So, support me, my novel and NaNoWriMo through the Office of Letters and Light and those kids will be able to start creating the most exotic monsters they can think of immediately.
OK - what are you waiting for? Here's the link to Gifttools.com: NaNoWriMo Donations
Please feel free to send this to everyone you know. I would like to raise $500 (ok - little secret - I would love to raise $2500 but also want an attainable goal. If we hit $500 we'll try for 2K more.) So - all your help and love to get the word out! It is important!