The Office of Letters and Light

Rating: 4.94 stars   2530 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 3354 Adeline Street Berkeley CA 94703 USA

Mission: The Office of Letters and Light organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels.
Programs: National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, the Young Writers Program

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program of NaNoWriMo made a huge difference in my teaching junior high students. We all became authors. They became leaders to their peers, younger students in our system, and even to parents, who were surprised and delighted their children wrote novels. The staff is warm, friendly, helpful, personable, and make one feel a part of the organization. The Office of Letters and Light is one of my favorite nonprofits.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Office of Letters and Light is a great nonprofit. My experience and the experiences of my students was second to none. NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program of NaNoWriMo offer resources, helplines, and encouragement for growing in literacy. The new director of YWP, Tim Kim, is awesome. He and Chris Angotti are so helpful and led my 8th graders to engage in literacy for the whole month, loving every minute of it. The Office of Letters and Light is still influencing us, as this month we are editing our novels. Next we will get a free copy because of a donation from CreateSpace.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Office of Letters and Light has exceeded my wildest expectations. The fine folks who run the office are intelligent, passionate, patient, personable, creative, and giving. I have loved being a part of a world-wide writing community for the past two years. I never in my wildest dreams would have written a novel had it not been for NaNoWriMo and the encouragement I've received from the staff at OLL--Chris, Tavia, Lindsey, Nancy, Intern Nora and so many more. They have made me feel a part of the writing community. I have 33 students, and counting, who have become novelists because of the OLL.

Denise Krebs
Orange City, Iowa

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My teaching has been transformed over the past two years, starting with NaNoWriMo. My classes are less grade dependent and are participating in more relevant and real assignments, such as novel writing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything that I would change.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Office of letters and light is a great charity that runs a few great programs for writers including NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo. These events help people from all around the world write a novel in a month. This charity has really helped me personally will writing and has me waiting till their next event because I can't wait to join in. The really nice thing about the OLL is all of their programs are free.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

The Office of letters and light is one of my favorite charities. It allows kids and adults alike to find there inner novelist and we a novel. With the traditional NaNoWriMo in November and 2 other sessions in the summer.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This organization's encouragement of writing - including thinking about, planning and discussing writing - has helped me concentrate on my writing goals. I have also seen the results of its Young Writers program in schools, helping children realize the fun and satisfaction of writing even when it requires work. I have passed on news of its NANOWRIMO annual event to many of my friends and even to people I have just met who show any interest in writing.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Office of Letters and Light not only encourages people of all ages to write but also to improve their writing and make use of their creativity. I have personally been able to watch the growth of the organization's work from my first sign-up several years ago to my daughter's participation this year. She not only worked on her own writing, but also, as a student teacher, led third and fourth graders on their adventures into writing. An organization that can excite three generations is definitely one to keep around!

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Thanks to the encouragement and enthusiasm of the Office of Letters and Light and its NaNoWriMo event, I finally wrote the first draft of a novel, my novel - the one I've been talking about for far too many years. I learned some discipline in having to meet a deadline, talked with fellow writers about our progress and frustrations, was inspired by working together in chat-room events, and realized I can write and want to write. The Office of Letters and Light provides a great service to all writers, and wannabe writers by promoting writing as a very worthwhile activity - published or not.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

getting a start in the writing career I've always wanted.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have to make something up because I can't think of any changes I would like to see.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Internet story

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

To pursue my interest in writing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The staff at OLL are all incredible at motivating and keeping us writers going throughout the year. They work tirelessly to develop the support they offer and have the highest intentions for everyone involved. The Young Writers Program benefits hugely from everyone's efforts and it feels so good to be a part of it all. I love sharing with other local writers about the benefits of signing up with Nanowrimo and seeing them blossom.
I cannot recommend highly enough!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Nanowrimo was one of those serendipitous finds that can happen when surfing the net. I cannot remember how I got there, but I do remember the date - 1st October 2010! As I made my way around the site, I recall thinking, why did I not know of its existence before? I signed up immediately and haven't looked back since. Whether you are new to writing, or wanting inspiration to practice your art, Nanowrimo fits the bill. The fact that it not only supports aspiring writers but also provides support through the Young Writers Program means that you get to give something back too. The website is extremely well thought out and enables you to feel part of the larger (international) writing community. There are forums and a great buddy system too, all geared to supporting, you the writer. I found the stats particularly motivating as they give you visual feedback on how you are going in relation to the 50,000 word challenge. I was a first time winner and committed to signing up each year from now on - can't imagine a November without it. Have also signed up for Script Frenzy in April. Can't wait!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

supporting me to write a novel from scratch. I received the motivational emails and watched the videos made by OLL staff.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot speak highly enough of this organisation and the fabulous people who run it. I honestly cannot think of any changes necessary. They are great!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have told so many people about NaNoWriMo. I love the atmosphere and support they give to writers. The groups that get together locally are always fun, and it is great to be able to dedicate time to a novel.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Some years ago someone suggested I needed to 'exercise my creative muscle' and that I should do so by trying NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The idea is, for adults, to write 50k words of a novel during November, but there is also an excellent Young Writers' Programme which stimulates and encourages youngsters to set and achieve their own writing goals. All of this is managed on voluntary donations and such fundraising as can be achieved.

The Office of Letters and Light is always supportive and helpful and finds time to answer the most trivial enquiries with courtesy and genuine friendliness, which makes a huge difference to hopeful writers who may be in any form of difficulty.

They deserve any assistance they can get, and in particular help from you!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a child and in my teens and 20s I loved to write, but when my children came along my creativity was channelled into other directions. Close on 7 years ago somebody who had known me then asked me what I was writing and when I laughed it off she suggested I needed to 'exercise my creative muscle'. In other words I needed to get back into the habit of writing and she suggested that NaNoWriMo would help me get back into the swing. Since then I have become involved and really enjoyed the experience. The people at OLL are totally supportive of everyone with whom they come in contact and are always ready, willing and able to give their help to all and sundry. I have seen people of every age from 7 to 70+ blossom as they participated, and in my region we have a range of nationalities who all get together and get along splendidly. I cannot perceive of November without NaNo!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The young writer's program brought about by NaNoWriMo is an amazing opportunity for teens and young adults interested in writing. By writing 50,000 word goals It makes the writer realize what deadlines (And coffee) are all about. My first official year with the orginization was this year. But I only just recently discovered this jewel of a writing program! It's amazing the work that Angotti and his band of merry writers are capable of!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with OLL is all through their National Novel Writing Month program, Nanowrimo.org. If it weren't for Nanowrimo I would hardly be writing now! Nano gave me a kickstart into imagination and brilliance again, and led me to another amazing website for young writers. Because of a Nano, I am going far over and up from everything I imagined. I am in love with writing!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), which is the child program of the Office of Letters and Light, helped me write a novel. This is the only way I ever would have done so. The forums were friendly and well-moderated; the staff was amazing. I have no complaints about the system. If it wasn't for the Office of Letters and Light, I would not have begun a novel, I would not have met many interesting people, and I would have missed out on a great opportunity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

National Novel Writing Month

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

include more people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It introduced me to new friends and improved my writing skills as well as made me more confident.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt empowered and confident (and a bit daring).

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

these people changed my life. I've always wanted to be a writer, but it's hard to truly call yourself if you don't finish anything. These people provide the tools, the motivation, or the boot to the behind needed to finish your lofty ideals. They have created something truly groundbreaking throuugh NanoWrimo, and yet its so simple. Through NanoWrimo, I have seen people get published, finish their goals, grow confident in their writing, become close friends with people across the world. Myself, I finally finished my first novel. It's not just a few pages of story dropped before the end of the first chapter. It's DONE. Because of them.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?