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The Office of Letters and Light

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Media & Communications

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

Community Stories

2532 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi,

I'd really appreciate it if you would share or donate to this GoFundMe,

*COVID-19 African women Hope Foundation-Kenya*

https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-african-women-hope-foundationkenya?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=chat&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A worthy nonprofit to encourage new authors./ Books News Tip: Three enjoyable books by Wisconsin/Florida Author Katie Marie Bille, on Amazon.com. Katie brings the characters to life, in places all over the United States of America. The books give information on many real places to visit, interesting stories and relationships. The country stories book has recipes and fun facts to read about horses, building a violin, music camps in the mountains and much more to discover. The three enjoyable books are: Ten Country Stories on Farms, Lakes, Ranches & Mountains, Fifteen Love Stories Under The Florida Sun and Child Development And More... Birth To Twelve Years, a helpful book of knowledge for new parents. Katie Marie Bille, Author is also a Speech Language Therapist and has a degree in Radio Television and Film.

Client Served

Rating: 5

NanoWrimo helped my daughter gain confidence in writing, which was difficult for her due to ADD. After succeeding in NanoWrimo, she went on to get an A in her freshmen writing class in College. I also enjoy the fun of writing through NanoWrimo... I want to be a published writer some day! Thank you Office of Letters and Light for providing the NanoWrimo experience for the world.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This organization encourages me and hundreds of thousands of others all over the world to follow our dreams of writing a novel, being the writer we always felt was inside us. Writing takes commitment, courage, and inspiration. All of us dedicate a month to put the novel as a top priority. That is pretty amazing how many finish! It changes something inside of all of us. Our stories go on to effect others that read the stories. It isn't your ordinary non-profit. They are encouraging a movement and inspiring people to follow their dreams!!!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Your option in the' role category', doesn't allow one to put in more than one choice. The Office of Letters and Light is like a breath of morning sunshine. It not only is helping those that have an interest in writing, but challenging them to write better than they ever have in their life. I had this opportunity. I've always loved writing, but I was missing a piece of the puzzle, but joining a contest to make you totally focus on the writing You don't return to it for six weeks to edit. The time away breathes new life in your story and opens it up in ways you didn't know existed. It makes a difference in the story's cohesiveness.You fall in love with the idea of your story all over again. You fall in love with your characters. What a thrill to be sharing the same experience with writers locally and around the world that are trying to accomplish the same thing. To write a novel that opens us up to new friends and their experiences is a joy and a privilege. Additionally, I was so pleased with my support and the quality of my work, I wanted to be supportive so I donated money as well. I would have further been involved in their book program, but I had just given about 1000 books to a local library. I think that program is great too. Then they have the Script Writing Frenzy for April. What fun. You know all the stuff they do for the adults, is also done for the schools. To get kids involved in using their imaginations and putting things aside simply create. What a wonderful experience for them, Great authors will come out of these moments with them million dollar sales in books, and new quotes and philosphies will come about . Words that may carry on with new meanings and moments of hope to get us through the darkness and back into the light. That's what it means to be a part of this organization. I stand proud like the others, that i'm making a difference on a most general and primal need for mankind to read. Reading is power and it is knowledge and once you've began reading, you never go back to not reading. You do it for life. That is the type of enthusiasm we are trying to stir up into today's youth.

Review from Guidestar

dk0805

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1 Ginny K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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Donor

Rating: 5

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!

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Roshannah

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Leann F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Muriel M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Jennifer191

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Zarra T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered the Office of Letters and Light last year when one of my friends recommended that I give a try National Novel Writing Month. I have always loved writing and they have helped give me the motivation to actually get started writing my first full length novel. I love their Young Writers Program too and actually signed my child up to participate this year. My sister-in-law also enjoyed participating in their NaNoWriMo program this year.

Cassidy F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light servers a great purpose: to bring the joy of writing to people. It's really far more completed than that, because it's all about encouraging people to tell stories, which will release their inner artist. I've just finished my second NaNoWriMo in a row, and though this one was a little less stressful than the last, it allowed me to complete another novel--one that I will one day publish. My first novel had been submitted for publication as well, for what The Office of Letters and Light has done is push me towards my dream of being a writer. And write I have . . . Let others be served by the Office of Letters and Light, and see if they come away feeling the same as I have two years running.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light not only encourages writers like me to get on with our writing but they also help kids with their young writers program. Of all the things I do throughout the year, I can honestly say that every cent that I have given, every time that I have participated in their events, the challenges that I have won and lost, all have enriched my life. I am moving forward in my life goals because of the work of this organization. Especially in today's world where art and literacy efforts are constantly getting defunded and shortchanged, the OLL's work truly stands out.

3 Katie M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I discovered NaNoWriMo in 2007, I've won and I've lost, but losing has never lessened the experience for me. I've met amazing people, experienced the event with people of all ages, and formed lasting friendships that I couldn't do without now. Writing and NaNo have been a staple in my yearly calendar, and I like to think that it has enhanced my writing ability through unhindered practice. I have been a participant, a donor, and a volunteer, and I recommend this event to anyone with the creative lunacy to birth a novel in thirty days.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2008, and it's been a rewarding experience to say the very least. I worked as a Municipal Liaison for OLL this past year, and believe me, the amount of work they do for us is simply astounding. I can't think of a more fun, stressful, and useful event for writers, and sincerely thank OLL for all that they do.

Review from Guidestar

Maria D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

2008: I was thirteen, trying to figure out what to do in the time when I didn't have school, and by some stroke of genius and or luck, I found the website. Again. I'd found it once before, at twelve, and thought it would be really cool... but I forgot about it... and it took me another year to find the NaNoWriMo website, and by then I had decided. I was going to... try to write a novel. I joined NaNoWriMo, put in my info, and then sat back a minute. Being that I was thirteen and still at the threshold level for the Young Writers Program, I joined that too, set a word goal of 20,000 words (I'd looked at the recommendations on the site), and then angsted for weeks over what I was going to write.

Fastforward to 2012: I've just won my 5th NaNoWriMo. Through the writing, and through participating and planning so many years, I have learned things about myself that I am sure I never would have before. I've made friends-- NaNoWriMo is responsible for introducing my to my best friend (EVER). I can measure myself by the novels I've written, and it's all because of NaNoWriMo that I have this. If it wasn't for this program, my scrivenings would be in paper notebooks, forgotten (I never ilked looking at my handwritten pages). I wouldn't be as confident as I am today. I certainly wouldn't be able to write as well today (not that there isn't room for improvement).

Basically, in a large way, NaNoWriMo has shaped me into the better, stronger person I am today. I think a donation will greatly help others reach this same conclusion.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was thirteen I found National Novel Writing month. I wrote that novel, edited it for grammar and spelling, and let my parents and family read it.

When I was fourteen, I participated again, this time writing a full-length novel. After more serious editing, (including printing out the manuscript) I sent it out to friends as well.

That April I also wrote a comic script. I've never done anything harder or more interesting.

This year, nearly sixteen, I spent October planning my novel out. I spent November writing it, and since then I've been editing, planning out the sequel (which is extraordinarily important), and I think this one is going to be published.

NaNoWriMo has taught me to stick to something. It's taught me to set a goal and do whatever I can to reach it. It's helped me to speak better (after writing dialogue-filled scenes for a month, it's a lot easier to explain oneself to people). It's helped me pay more attention to people: how they talk, how they act-- gathering fodder for my novels.

ScriptFrenzy has taught me how to learn something new-- to stick to it even if it makes no sense whatsoever. (Comic scripts are not a forte of mine.)

The Office of Letters and Light has my eternal gratitude for thinking of this amazing activity and making and KEEPING it a reality.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came across NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, at the end of October 2010 quite by chance as you do. I thought then, why have I not known about this before. I thought that the whole concept of challenging yourself to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days was wonderfully crazy. The story of how it all came about was itself worthy of a novel (or maybe Nano the film!). I loved the fact that the Office of Letters and Light (such a cool name!) not only supported writers and aspiring writers to accept and succeed at the challenge, but also supported literacy projects through the Young Writers' Program. They could so easily, and I'm sure people would have still have signed up, have run it for profit, but they chose to make a difference in the world though people doing what they love. The team behind the project are incredibly motivating and dedicated. They inspire and uplift and this comes through in absolutely every detail of what they do. I have just completed my third challenge and can honestly say that my chance happening upon NaNoWriMo was the best example of serendipity for me on the web. I cannot imagine a November without them now and what is brilliant is that they are still there throughout the year gently nudging and encouraging us to be our best selves.

momof5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter introduced me to NaNoWriMo five years ago and I have participated (and won!) every year since that time. With great information and tremendous support, I am again writing --a novel every year! As I hone my craft and gain experience, I feel proud of my accomplishments and look forward to possible publication. I have been so encouraged by others who are on this same journey, many of whom are now published authors. Not only do adults participate, but this site has encouraged young writers across the globe. I involve more people every year, and am thrilled to spread the word that "Yes, you CAN write a novel!" The pep talks help us all stay on track and the challenge is profound and gets to me every year!

Sarah H.

Donor

Rating: 5

Today I completed my 3rd NaNo novel. Without NaNo, I would never have met my amazing critique group that has helped get me published. The community spirit that NaNo builds is irreplaceable, as is the work the contribute to literacy.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon NaNo in 2004 and was thrilled and excited to find a site which offered to write and also offered help to make it. In 2004 it was not as advanced as it is today but still pep-talks where send and did just show what I felt throught that month of full.time job and writing. The following years I sort of forgot about it, even though I finished my novel and feklt - great. In 2011 I remembered and looked if it was still there. And was happy to find it alive and kicking. THese days the staff manages to answer personal emails and soon and well, besides the pep-talks the videos are just inspiring, funny to look at and well, the new addition of Camp NaNo during the summer months, the always growing possibilities and - I call 'em gadgets make it so much more than just ' a board'. It's become part of my daily life, especially due to some people I met there whom I chat and write with on a daily basis, sharing our works, life and a huge mountain of virtual muffins - and bathtubs of coffee. Without the effort of the staff and all those other people behind the scenes it wouldn't have happend - and I would miss something without even knowing it could exist. So, I do hope, naNo continues to thrive and to inspire lots of people to write and meet and - enjoy their creativity. Best regards, tontaube

Review from Guidestar

Sarah M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have always been a writer, but it was not until I found National Novel Writing Month, hosted by the Office of Letters and Light, that I was finally able to push myself until I reached The End. The feeling of community and the energy that is generated during this event is incredible. The other things they do, The Young Writers and Script Frenzy, both provide this great energy as well. Just knowing that there are so many other people out there in the world, going through the same challenge as you is an incredible motivation.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I learned about NaNoWriMo from a friend a few years back, before the start of OLL, and totally enjoyed participating in this month long creative writing ride. Before NaNo, I had only ever finished one first draft and it was a painstaking process that took many months. Since NaNo I have completed 3 first drafts and am working on editing a couple of them. Since OLL came into inception, I think NaNoWriMo has only gotten better and I am grateful for the turn of chance that brought me to their website those years ago.

Review from Guidestar

Karen118

Client Served

Rating: 5

This wonderful organization sponsors National Novel Writing Month along with a couple of other events that encourage writing. It's a great way to help those of us with dreams of sharing our written word with the world.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've always wanted to write but never made it a priority. Then I stumbled upon Chris Baty's "No Plot? No Problem!" book and the NaNoWriMo site. It's a wonderful community of creative and crazy people who want to write, donate to writing and literacy programs and support each other in an otherwise isolating endeavor. I have met many wonderful, caring, civic minded people who want to share their love for reading and writing. They understand the confidence and reward of having a supportive community to cheer and encourage and help each other succeed. This has been a life-changer for me. I hope it continues to grow and change more lives every year.

Donor

Rating: 5

I always enjoyed writing, but didn't do much beyond short stories. I heard about the Office of Letters and Light and their NaNoWriMo program through a volunteer that I happened to talk to in the book store I worked in. Every year I participate in the great adventure and while I do not always succeed in their challenge I'm glad I try. Their pep talks from published authors don't just encourage you to write, but also help you believe you can succeed in writing. I now try to donate to them every year for providing such a great program to everyone. Without them I would not have written the four novels I now have for editing, nor would I believe I could one day publish them. The Office of Letters and Light is not just a great nonprofit organization, but has fostered a wonderful community on the internet for writers of all ages.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first went to their website for NaNoWriMo for a fun writing challenge, but it has turned into a spectacular event that I look forward to every year. The forums are helpful and I have made at least one friend at the event. During their NaNoWriMo event I have been able to complete two 50,000 word novels on two separate occasions, but only due to the encouragement and help they provided. My first novel has turned into a trilogy and I hope for it soon to be published. They are an excellent site and resource for writers of any age. I cannot thank them enough for helping me do something I thought I could never do.

Review from Guidestar

Jessica75

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Though I am new at volunteering I have participated in NaNo WriMo (a program run by the OLL) for six years. The program has fostered a love of writing in myself and others. Nowhere else can writing be sponsored so widely and with so much fun and enthusiasm. It is amazing the work the OLL does across the globe fostering the creative activity of writing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer in the role of municipal liaison for ten years. I am proud to be involved with this organization. What a great experience for youth and adults. This is a wonderful experience. Their support of writers everywhere (I mean everywhere) is wonderful. The look of pride and amazement on the face of the participants when they meet the challenge is rewarding. This is truly an organization worthy of any support possible. If my pockets were deeper, I would surely do more.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The programs that OLL runs (NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo and previously Script Frenzy) are so amazing. Not only do they encourage creativity and productivity, I have also made great friends in other participants, improved my writing skills, and become more confident in my abilities. As a senior in high school, that's greatly helpful. This year will be my third year participating, and I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to do it once more. I have learned so much both about writing and about people (characters must be believable, so a writer must know about people) from NaNoWriMo and the other writing projects. Thank you OLL! I'll be around for many years to come.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Writing a novel. How many people would love to do this, but think "I can't" or "I don't have time"? I know I was one of these people before I discovered NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word book during November. I wrote a book. How many people can say that? Even fewer of those people can say they wrote a novel in a mere 30 days.

I used to think I couldn't write, or write well. I thought I was just bad at writing, and I'd never be a stellar writer. Certainly not good enough to churn out an entire novel. But during November, guess what I did? I churned out that novel. While it may not be destined for the best seller list, that book brought out more skills and hidden aspects of me than I ever could have imagined. Throughout the 50k, my writing steadily improved (the last 25k is much better than the first 25k). But not only did NaNoWriMo help my writing, it also showed me myself. Through my characters, I learned about my own character, since every character in my novel is the embodiment of some part of me.

NaNoWriMo gave me experience, skills, and most of all, encouragement and confidence. I doubt I would have ever had the courage to actually go through with an idea and write a novel without NaNoWriMo and the Office of Letters and Light. This program is incredible, and I hope it continues for many more years.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This will be my fifth year participating in NaNoWriMo, one of the programs funded by The Office of Letters and Light, and my second year volunteering as a Municipal Liaison, organizing local events. I love that it encourages people of all ages to write, to just let themselves be creative and play with words and have fun. OLL not only promotes literacy, it encourages people to carve out some time for themselves, gives them permission to do something that they want to do, no matter how crazy that something sounds to the rest of the world. And completing the challenge gives such an incredible confidence boost in all areas of life that it really can be life-changing, in a way.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm a strong proponent of literacy, and Office of Letters and Light is doing things that I strongly believe in. It encouraged people of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities, and interests to write, and to read. The forums are an incredible source of support and ideas, the updates from the staff are friendly and fun, and doing NaNoWriMo itself is an incredible experience.

For years after I first heard of it, I told myself I was going to do it, and then one year about mid-October I decided that "this is the year" and dove in with both feet (or all 10 fingers). What a rush! And when November was over, I had a novel. And a feeling that I could do anything -- after all, I'd just written a novel in 30 days (while working full time and going to school part time.)

This is the only thing that I actively encourage people to get involved in -- I truly feel that it is worth the effort, and I support it in every way possible.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Before I joined the board, I was a participant. Both experiences have been life-changing. My creative forces have been rejuvenated by my connections to the Office of Letters and Light, because THAT IS WHAT THEY DO. OLL inspires, encourages, and supports creative pursuits and they do it very very well. It's been an honor to serve on the board and I look forward to continuing to serve for years to come.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I discovered The Office of Letters and Light through my participation in its script-writing event, Script Frenzy. This magical event ended a five-year drought of writing for myself versus writing for a living and I told everyone I knew about it. Less than six months later, I had moved to Oakland, California and it was while I was participating in National Novel Writing Month that I realized that OLL was also based in Oakland. Thus my formal relationship began as I morphed from donor to contractor to board member, all the while participating in the yearly events.

I have both witnessed in my life and seen in the lives of others the amazing transformative power of OLL and its events. I've seen the sheer joy of children and their parents as their words are brought to life through theater partnerships (Script Frenzy) or readings (NaNoWriMo) and watched friendships and relationships bloom between former strangers.

This is an amazing organization, not only because it helps individuals redefine what is possible for them to accomplish in a month, but because OLL wants to make sure that experience is supportive and enjoyable. I am proud to be a member of its board.

Try it. You'll like it.

Donor

Rating: 5

It's important for children to learn to write. It's important to let them be creative. And it's important to let them understand they can accomplish something if they put the time into it, are self-motivated -- it helps to teach them responsibility. The Office of Letters and Light provides a fun community that really motivates young (and old) writers. In addition to all the good experiences the writers have during NaNoWriMo, it encourages and teaches new generations of authors. Whether they are creative writers of fiction we will use to take a break and dream, whether they grow to be different kinds of authors, we're cultivating important little flowers here. In addition, it's easy to donate to the Office of Letters and Light. Straightforward monetary donations or purchases in their shop, and you get a pretty halo to boot. They send a few emails asking for donations and that's just fine, I don't feel bombarded and I can tell they put their best into every message.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've never been so motivated as when participating in Nanowrimo. You'd think it was something you could do on your own, but it's really hard when you're just working on your own. With the support of the Office of Letters and Light, so many people are able to gather that support, build motivation, and write 50,000 words.
Connecting with the community helps keep your spirit up. The motivational e-mails are a great help too, especially those written by an author I've heard of.
The variety of programs offered let anyone participate and feel like they've accomplished something (and really accomplish something!).
It's a great thing the Office of letters and Light has created here -- let give them a big hand!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a NaNoWriMo novelist since 2003 and a NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison since 2009, and I've felt that every single year has been a wonderful, fulfilling experience. The Office of Letters and Light is a fantastic organisation that works hard to run all of the programs it does and has done in the past. I'm proud to be a volunteer and donor for the OLL and hope to be one for many years to come.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For the past two years, my experiences with NaNoWriMo have all expanded and improved my writing, and taught me so much. OLL is so encouraging, I think NaNoWriMo is a great program for anyone who wants to switch up their lives or needs that extra push to start writing. And don't be discouraged- I'm shocked at each increasing wave of WriMo's joining each year.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light have, through NaNoWriMo, have helped me with 1. Writing over 50,000 words within a month, 2. Opening my imagination to the possibilities of the writing world, 3. Becoming more disciplined in my writing, 4. Developing my own style, and 5. Most importantly, (and all the above mentioned are pretty important!) getting me organize my time and mind with more concentration and effort then ever before. My time management has noticeably benefited from NaNoWriMo, and so has helped me with my writing and life even after December!

Review from Guidestar

Viridian V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

With programs geared towards adults (National Novel Writing Month) and youth (the Young Writers Program), the Office of Letters and Light seeks to encourage everyone to write the novel they were always going to write "someday." There is no feeling like the one you get when listening to a 16 year old talk about all the books they're going to write, starting with this one, this November... and they succeed more often than you'd expect. It's an amazing thing to witness and a worthwhile goal to support.

Cryndyl

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light proudly hosts NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I have participated in 2009, 2010, and am planning to take part next month, also in 2011, I volunteered to be a betabug, do beta testing for their website. I did this since I knew I wouldn't be participating that year due to pregnancy. This organization helps the world's dreamers put their ideas on to paper making them a reality. How wonderful is it to have the motivation and cheering team to make things happen? They make dreamers into doers.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in NaNoWrimo this past November, 2010 and the previous in 2009.
NaNo has helped me to come to realize writing is about getting the fingers on the keyboard and putting your heart and soul into each word.
Writing is normally a solitary pasttime and profession but with NaNo it allows us to celebrate our victories and lament our defeats as we chace the goal of writing a novel in a month. The beauty of people coming together across the globe to follow the dream and challenge of applying words to the page inspires many, including me, to keep with it. It's a wonderful thing when you don't have people at home who are willing to support your dreams to find such a large and lively group who are excited to be doing the same thing you are.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light serves two major programs. The first, and perhaps most well known, is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. In November, willing participants sign up on the website and attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. It's not a writing tactic for everyone, but for those who like it, it really does change lives. Most participants have always dreamed of writing a novel, but always said something along the lines of "Oh, I'll do it someday." NaNoWriMo ends all of that in one giant hurrah. Turn off your inner editor and fly free, writers! It's beyond difficult, and the majority of participants never finish. But it's more than just about writing a novel, it's about realizing that everyone can accomplish great things. Everyone should do a NaNo sometime in their life, because they never know what awesome things they can learn from it until they try. The second program is the Young Writers Program (YWP), which brings NaNo into the classroom for young children (generally, the 50,000 word count is lowered to fit the age group and situation). There's lots of resources for educators available. Creativity is often forgotten in today's classroom. A large number of adults see no worth in the arts and want to rid schools of it. But they forget what a little creativity can do; what sorts of amazing things it can bring within and out of the minds of children. With the YWP comes vital skills like improved writing skills and time management! Overall, there is no question: If you've ever been interested in writing a novel, get involved!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past NaNoWriMo was my first, and it completely changed me for the better. I've wanted to be a writer professionally but have never felt that I'm working in that direction. NaNoWriMo taught me how to turn that all around. I could go on, but at the same time, I've said all I need to say.

NaNoWriMo is such a necessary part of this world because it gets people to finish what they've started. It's gotten so many people who want to write a novel to do so. NaNoWriMo makes dreams come true, and that's why I spent a good ten minutes of my Sunday afternoon typing this all out.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light brings the art of literature to everyone through their 'National Novel Writing Month' event and other events throughout the year. I have been a participant in NaNoWriMo for years now and enjoy the heck out of it. It has helped me develop my writers voice and also helped my daughter learn to write. The comeraderie is awesom within this world wide writing/reading community. Join Now and give it a try this year! You wont be sorry.

Jasmine N.

Donor

Rating: 5

I found out about the Office of Letters and Light through participating in NaNoWriMo. It is the first charity I have ever donated for, actually. I so loved being a part of the program and after hearing about all the amazing work this nonprofit does I decided that I had to give back and donate! It is an amazing organization that does so much good for creativity and budding writers! Can't praise it enough!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My personal experience with the Office of Letters and Light (OLL) is through NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. This is an event where participants attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. This is a wonderful experience for a tremendous amount of people - it gives writers a strict deadline and helps them actually reach the goal of finishing a novel, something that is difficult for a lot of us. While it doesn't sound like a lot, this helps build the confidence and abilities of thousands of people, build a community and a support system for writers who might not have one offline, and brings people of all sorts into the creative process. It's truly invaluable and I'd like to thank OLL for all that they do for us writers.

Harmony G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every year i get to see the joy, excitement and confidence in the face of adults and teens in my area. Every daily goal they reach and every story they finish is a reminder of how great this program is. Too often our lives revolve around the things we have to do, the tasks that are musts. This program challenges you to take a little time to enjoy the things you want to do, give yourself a little time each day to be creative, and to make something all your own. their joy is my joy.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a Municipal Liaison in the Office of Letters and Light's annual National Novel Writing Month is an amazing experience. Every year i get to sit in libraries and coffee shops watching people from all ages and walks of life come together to achieve the same goal; writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It is a task that requires effort, creativity, and inspired insanity and every year it reminds me of how scary and wonderful it is to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and create something simply for the joy of its creation. I have seen teens consult their peers and elders alike in an effort to get through a difficult scene in their novel. I have seen writers cry as they type out the tragic breakup of a relationship, or the death of a character that they were seemingly unable to prevent. I have also see the timid fear at the beginning turn into frustration and joy as the month ends and we sit back in satisfaction, or even defeat, knowing that we have done something amazing. We have let ourselves free of the chains of fear we so often put upon ourselves to be perfect, to succeed and not fail. Instead we have put ourselves out there, risking failure at every turn. That is greatness, even in its brevity. Every November i look forward to the change i see in the people around me, and helping each new and returning writer make it to their goal or comfort and encourage them in their defeat. for me, that challenge is as greater than any novel i have produced, and just as satisfying. It is the attempt, and no the goal that is important. Something we all should remember.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Through National Novel Writing Month and Script Frenzy, I have re-connected with my long-neglected writing life. I truly believe that I would not have done so with the same dedication and passion had it not been those events put on by this organization.

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Donor

Rating: 5

The programs offered by The Office of Letters and Light has made me re-engage in the creative activities I enjoy and once again pursue my personal dream of being a paid, professional writer.

Read more

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just read a debuted self-published book "The Gentleman Chameleon" by J. B. Kelly available on amazon.com WOW What an easy read for women who are attracted to wrong partners. Great suggestion for all Women groups!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light has changed my life. Even during the months when I'm not participating in National Novel Writing Month or Script Frenzy or Camp NaNoWriMo, I'm thinking about what my next story will be. They've influenced my dreams. But I'm especially excited that they get children involved in writing their own stories! We all need books....

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light changed the way I think of myself as a writer forever. After having written three novels in three years, I not only mark the days on my calendar until the next National Novel Writing Month, but I have begun writing short stories, screenplays, and creative nonfiction during the rest of the year. My self confidence has soared, and I have placed fairly high in a couple of writing competitions. I cannot say enough about Chris Baty's selfless mission to quite literally SPREAD THE WORD (in this case the Written Word!), and am so happy he is reaching out to young people. I wish this program had been around when I was growing up....

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a Municipal Liaison for OLL, specifically for OLL's annual Nanowrimo campaign. I was able to interact with both administrators and people in my region (Kansas-Other), solve problems, make suggestions, and write a novel in six days. Without OLL's stewardship, I would never have been able to experience personal satisfaction and growth in my own adminstrative ability.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light, parent organization of the National November Writing Month and other literacy-oriented activities, has evolved from a simple sponsor of a yearly writing activity to one of the major forces in promoting literacy across the world. Not only does OLL sponsor Nanowrimo as a platform for thousands of writers; it also offers a similar program for student writers in schools across the country. This year, OLL added collection of surplus books to be given to an agency which distributes them at low cost to readers. In the three years since joining Nanowrimo, I have personally been inspired to finish one young adult novel and write six more. I view OLL as one of the most important sponsors for literacy among both adults and children and am proud to support them with my own donations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Two years running now I have participated in NaNoWriMo and it has been a most incredible experience. The office of Letters and Lights has inspired and guided me to achieve literary goals I never thought possible and I am very excited about the upcoming month of November. I believe this program and all that goes with it is one of the most beneficial non profit programs I have come across on a sociological level. I think the loss of great literature and the appreciation of storytelling in general has begun to detrimentally effect our modern society and NaNoWriMo takes a huge step towards curtailing this decline.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This was my first foray into NanoWriMo and It was incredible. I have never had so many creative juices flowing all at once. I actually wrote 50 000 words in one month!!!
I think I would have never begun really writing without NaNoWriMo and I really look forward to finishing th Novel that began that month and maybe one day getting it published.
Thanks NaNoWriMo

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I loved NaNoWriMo this year. I tried a new style of writing I had never done before. NaNoWriMo always makes me stretch myself. I didn't participate in as many of the write ins as last year, but the ones that I did go to were fun and constructive.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

This was the first year I did NaNoWriMo, although I've known about it for several years. It was a really good experience, and I liked the community interaction of the program with the local people helping out and organizing write-ins. I really enjoyed the opportunity and I'm glad that the office of Lights and Letters hosted this program.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light is an amazing venture that provides a support structure for new and experienced novelists alike. 2011 was my 2nd NaNoWriMo and was much harder than 2010. There's no way I would have made it on my own without the community encouragement and motivational messages. I marked the impact that Letters and Light had on my life as life-changing; I think everyone has a story living inside them and Letters and Light provide the perfect opportunity to bring it to life.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Last year was my first interaction with The Office of Letters and Light, doing NaNoWriMo in November. It was altogether an amazing and wonderful experience. OLL opened a door for me into the creative realm of writing that I never before managed to step through on my own.

I am already looking forward to the many years to come of writing dangerously and achieving my novel writing dreams with the inspiration and motivation so generously provided by OLL.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light is a wonderful organization that supports one of my own personal missions in life: to encourage people to write-- to write often, to enjoy themselves, to create projects, to reach goals, and to develop creativity. I've participated in National Novel Writing Month-- NaNoWriMo-- five times, and each time, I've completed a novel. I've used this project to encourage friends, students, and colleagues to challenge themselves, and have always found my own personal participation highly rewarding. Now, I can call myself a novelist-- five times over!-- and can be proud that I don't just talk about writing, I WRITE! :)

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an English and creative writing teacher, I have always been excited about writing. However, the innovative and encouraging approach presented by The Offices of Letters and Light in NaNoWriMo and all of its projects is an echo of my own beliefs, but on a much grander and more professional scale. I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time four years ago, and have participated and won [finished a complete novel in one month!] every year since. While teaching in the US, traveling abroad, and now, working as a Peace Corps Volunteer, participation on this contest has helped me as a writer and as a teacher, and I've encouraged many others to become involved, as well. The work that this organization does is exactly what is needed, and I am proud to support and advocate for them whenever possible.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization sponsors the National Novel Writing Month event. It is an awesome event to help writers set a goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Due to this event I have been able to not only write a novel, but also publish it through CreateSpace. The Office of Letters and Light also sponsors a couple of other events that I have not had the pleasure of joining at this time. These events are also great for helping writers achieve goals.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

As a person interested in writing, and one trying to get a novel published I found the challenge presented by National Novel Writing Month to be interesting. I have participated in this challenge for the last six years, and have been successful four of those years. It is very rewarding, and exciting to reach the goal of 50,000 words in one month. It is even more exciting when it became possible for me to actually receive a copy of my novel when The Office of Letters and Light teamed up with CreateSpace.

I have made some wonderful connections on-line that offer me encouragement to continue with my writing. I have even managed to publish one book, and am looking at doing so with a second thanks to this program.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an English teacher and school librarian, NaNoWriMo is one of the highlights of our school year. This last November we had over 60 students sign up to write novels through the month. The support offered by The Office of Letters and Light is just amazing, from a free wall chart and badges for our young writers to the superb site that enables students to connect as writers, and allows me as an educator to keep an eye on their progress and chivvy them along if they needed encouragement. What's stunning is the impact that this free site has on our students. Shy and retiring types come together as a group to find that they have a common goal, and one that is hugely impressive. It gives them a confidence and a presence around the school that is completely unique.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’m a school librarian and English teacher in the UK, and I run the NaNoWriMo YWP with my students, and invite sixth form to take part in NaNoWriMo proper every year. This has a huge impact on my students and their learning. This year I had 38 students sign up to take part, and though we lost several in the first couple of weeks when the enormity of their task became apparent, those who remained and worked through it underwent a marvellous transformation. From all year groups, this bunch of novelists became a tight and supportive group of friends who looked out for each other all through November and beyond, and still now meet up in the library to talk about their writing and to cement their friendships. They worked their hearts out during the month, and all of those who were dedicated to it made their word counts, including several 11 year olds who went for the full 50,000. Several of those who had joined up shy and reclusive, are now loud and enthusiastic centres of their friendship group who stunned us with their hard work.

I’m told by their teachers that their writing and confidence has improved. I see in each of them a new found respect for writing and for the novels that they read. The display board featuring their names has been a focal point in the library since day one; I can’t bear to take it down. For students who are usually forced to be so focused on academic success to undertake such a task for nothing much more than the pride and joy of doing it is something really special, and the role that the Office of Light and Letters plays in this is essential. The virtual classroom feature gave my students a focus and a safe place to leave online messages for each other when they weren’t in school. The wall chart and badges kept them going, and I’m really looking forward to our formal presentation day when they get their certificates. Some of them are still working on finishing their stories and redrafting. It’s not just a one month thing, but they’re all already talking about doing it this year too, and the writing notebooks have started to appear in their bags.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last year The Office of Letters and Light launched Camp NaNoWriMo, a July version of the November event. This came at the most perfect time. I had already participated in the November event, so successfully that I was still going with my novel by the time July rolled around again. But oh was I suffering with the lack of motivation. In November, I reached the 50K word goal in 15 days. Yes, that's exactly the half the allotted time. By July, I was desperate for someone to help me finish this behemoth of a novel. And there was Camp NaNo. I couldn't believe my luck. Naturally I signed up immediately. And yes, there were a few snags, a few technical hitches but my lord, once those got ironed out --- and pretty fast too --- my novel trundled steadily along and the feeling was incredible. NaNoWriMo tells me I am not alone when I'm slaving away at my laptop on a novel that may never see the light of day. And the people at OLL make that possible for me. There's no telling how valuable that is, how grateful I am for their existence and the fact that they listened! They actually listened when I put in my November feedback survey how much I wanted another version of NaNo during the year. They actually gave me what I wanted, what I needed. For that I will always be grateful, never mind the goodies they also send when I've attained the goal. This year I can't wait to do Camp NaNo again, never mind waiting til November. And yes, this is another novel.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't clearly remember now where I heard about NaNoWriMo because it's been seven years and more now that it's been such a stalwart part of my creative and online and real life. Perhaps it was Neil Gaiman's blog? Whatever it was, when I discovered the NaNoWriMo program and the OLL people behind it, I couldn't believe it. There was a dream come true right on my screen. Someone giving me the excuse and the opportunity and the encouragement to do something I've always secretly selfishly yearned for --- to just write and write and not beat myself up about it. To take a whole month just to write and not worry about anything else. To shut up and just do it.

I did NaNo in 2003 for the first time and it was the most exhilarating experience of my life. Until last year when I did it again and found myself surpassing even that experience. Put it this way: you're supposed to write 50 thousand words in 30 days. I wrote 50 thousand words in 15 days.

And it was precisely because I could. Because for once in the year, I wasn't hellishly alone, striving towards some never-achievable goal. No, because of NaNo and the OLL blog and the forums, I knew I was part of a community, that there were all these people working towards the same goal, who understood me perfectly and why I was doing what I was doing, who were by the mere fact of this site encouraging me to develop creatively and intellectually.

That's the ephemerel ethereal stuff. Practically, I know I wrote so much because the clever people at OLL had provided me with tools, with a progress page that tracked my wordcount and showed me in graph form exactly how much I needed to write, how far ahead or behind my daily goal I was, how close or how far from the main goal I was. See, they had thought about exactly what I needed and given it to me when I didn't even realise how huge a motivation factor that would be.

Now it's March and I haven't written anything because I don't have that daily goal to strive towards. And it kinda sucks. But equally I know that November will roll around again. And I know that the past November experience was so valuable I cannot let those words go to waste. So I'm beavering away, muttering as I do.

The NaNo servers crashed on the first two days of November and first I was shocked, then irritated, then vaguely proud that so many writers had apparently signed up. And then I felt so horrifically sorry for the poor computer people who were working ridiculously stupid hours so that I, who had paid nothing, could get the motivation I couldn't summon up myself.

Which is why, when it came time for donations, I promptly gave fifty dollars, an amount I could hardly spare since last year I earned less than twenty K. But these people had given me something invaluable and I would be utterly heartless and ungrateful if I didn't give back. If only so they could keep giving me what I needed.

And if the tools and encouragement weren't enough, then they had networked cleverly enough that I was rewarded with a way to see my novel in print form with the CreateSpace code. Talk about an impossible dream come true! And not only that, every writer's secret desire: a wordprocessing program made just for you in the form of Scrivener.

Really, I don't think you could give enough money to OLL. They do so much and they deserve so much more.

Review from Guidestar

Windee

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took part in National Novel Writing Month in 12010 and in 2011, and I look forward to participating again in 2012. I absolutely love the community in the NaNo forums, and I've met some outstanding people on the forums and face to face in the library write-ins. The Office of Letters and Light does an amazing job with this event and with many others throughout the year!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time this past November. It was an amazing experience and I really valued all the amazing staff members and volunteers I had the chance to meet. Being able to interact with others who have the same goal as I do was extremely valuable to me, and pushed me to finish my novel--finishing with around 73K words.

I loved taking part in this organization, and I look forward to taking part in NaNo again this year!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazing literary charity that gets people of all ages thinking and writing creatively.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic non-profit literary organization that pushed me to get back into writing and does more to promote literacy than any other charity I've encountered.

Review from Guidestar

Creste M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Every year The Office of Letters and Light touches thousands of lives and encourages creativity in schools and in the day to day lives of aspiring writers of all ages. I have been participating in National Novel Writing Month for six or seven years now and everyone I know who also participates walks away from the challenge inspired and empowered to continue the pursuit of their creative dreams. They truly are one of the greatest non-profit organizations of their type.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light performs a huge service to the world by promoting and encouraging writers of all ages everywhere. National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, and their Youth writing programs are just a few of the things that they do to make writing - and in extension reading - fun and dynamic activities. I have participated every year since 2006 and I have learned so much from my experiences with NaNoWriMo.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Once again my daughters wrote novels after signing up with the Office of Letters and Light and their NanoWriMo program. Both daughters, aged 14 and 9 wrote longer and more complex novels than the previous years. This year I opted to write songs instead, and though the songs turned out alright, I regret that I didn't shoot for the novel. I missed the structure of the novel writing that NanoWriMo provided, and frankly, November was once again a slightly dark month.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I learned about Office of Letters and Light through their program, NanoWriMo which my 12-year-old daughter was doing with her class. As she has discussed being a writer for a long while, I decided to write a novel myself so as to better understand the ups and down of writing a long work of fiction. There are a lot of resources on their website, and my daughter in particular found them very helpful. They also sent out letters of encouragement from various writers throughout the month, and these were great little inspiration boosters.

Though I had done a lot of academic writing, I had never written any extended fiction. It turned out to be a great experience for me. Though at times I thought my novel was lousy, I persevered, and was able to complete my goal. At times the writing was a chore, but more often it was productive work. A few times (about 6), it felt like I was taking notes on a movie - the story unfolded before my mind's eye, and I just wrote it down. I had never experienced anything like that before with writing, and found it exhilarating and very gratifying.

My daughter's experience was similar - and her novel was better! The shared experience was terrific. After dinner, we'd head off to some corner of the house, usually the loft above the stairway, and spend a few hours writing together. We'd often talk about our books as we walked to school in the morning. We'd share thoughts on devices to get our heroes into and out of tight spots, or potential plot twists to make things more interesting. Though we both got less sleep and neglected other aspects of our lives during the month, we relished the time and focus spent writing, as well as the feelings of accomplishment upon finishing.

This year, we committed to NanoWriMo again, and my youngest daughter, 8, joined us. Again, each evening after dinner we'd find some place to hang out and write, and spend a few hours together. My youngest daughter wrote a nearly 6000 word novel about the (mis)adventures of two friends, Porky and Guinevere (a porcupine and skunk). She used to complain about writing for school (when given assignments without prompts), but seemed to get over that with this project. Her story was terrific, and the language and voice she incorporated were at a much higher level than any of the writing she had yet done for school. Near the end of the month, she decided to have one of her main characters move away. She paused from her writing and said aloud, "I'm sad. I'm really sad. They're really going to miss each other!" My wife and I were struck by how involved she had become in her story, and happy to see her experience emotion while writing. It was clearly a deep experience for her. Additionally she took great pride in writing such an extended piece. My eldest daughter and I wrote novels again, and found the experience as rewarding as we did the first time.

In all, we're huge fans of NanoWriMo. This year we're hoping to bring in more involvement from our small town. I've already spoken with the directors of the Council for Arts and Humanities, as well as the folks at the local library. We're going to try to stage town wide events at local coffee houses and the library, and perhaps schedule some live readings of excerpts at the local radio station. There's also been talk about inviting some local authors to come in and conduct workshops a month or two before NanoWriMo comes again this November.

One last thing I'd like to mention is that participating in NanoWriMo taught me I was capable of more than I thought possible. I never thought I'd be able to write a novel, and now I've written two. This new sense of accomplishment helped me recalibrate what I could do with well applied focus and discipline. After NanoWriMo, I set my sights on raising the bar for my guitar playing. I'd always considered myself a "so-so" guitarist, but after having written a novel, I decided that I wanted to become much better. I've since begun studying guitar in earnest, learning vibrato (a difficult, but essential technique for expressive guitar playing), and studying blues and jazz. I've since formed 2 bands and have begun gigging. My life feels enriched, and I owe much of it to my participation in NanoWriMo (and my wife Debbie, for holding down the fort while the rest of the family spent hours writing!).

I recommend participation in NanoWriMo to all of my family and friends, and believe this is a wonderful non-profit organization.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work at a university and understand the importance of literacy and creativity for the advancement of the human race. The Office of Letters and Light (OLL) fits the bill of a Great Nonprofit absolutely. It helps make writing and creativity cool, and the wider its reach around the entire world, the better it will be for the rising generation and the future of our earth. The benefits of inspiring people to think beyond the boundaries of their lives is something that, although cannot be measured, is completely invaluable for humanity.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These guys are absolutely fantastic. They organise not just a National Novel Writing month, but it has reached through to so many different countries and across many demographics. I would never have imagined that I could have finished writing my first ever novel, but with the help of the NaNoWriMo courtesy of the Office of Letters & Light, I actually completed something half-decent. A fantastic nonprofit organisation that hugely deserves recognition - and MONEY!

Review from Guidestar

m1p2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light runs National Novel Writing Month, which I have found invaluable as a motivational tool for writing fiction. It allows me to be part of a community of people working toward a common goal. Writers are often isolated by virtue of their work and programs like this are tremendously important.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to the Office of Letters & Light, I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2010, and it was a fantastic motivating force for me to write a draft of my first novel. It was brilliant being able to see my progress, along with the progress of thousands of others worldwide. To feel part of a community making such efforts, gave me a sense of pride and amazement. It was a great learning experience and gave me huge respect for those who produce the books that keep us all reading. I was also tremendously proud of myself for reaching the target. The whole NaNoWriMo enterprise is hugely funny and impressive at the same time!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the Office of Letters and Lights and their National Novel Writing Month project. I have written novels as a part of NaNoWriMo for the past two years, and last year, I got a new group of folks involved by starting an online group to support our mutual novel writing. Everyone has a great story to tell, and NaNoWriMo and OLL help make this possible for lots of folks who wouldn't otherwise take the first step. Thank you!

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Donor

Rating: 5

I participated in the Office of Letters and Light's NaNoWriMo challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. The motivation of the program and the encouragement of the community at OLL encouraged me to write even more....and now I am almost completed with a 150,000 novel that I am very proud of. OLL and NaNoWriMo helped me take my passion for writing and channel it to complete something significant and meaningful.

I appreciate everything OLL does and look forward to participating again in the future. Thank you OLL!

Review from Guidestar

Jordan T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light make me proud of myself. I'm happy to have participated in their projects a few times now and will be participating again in the future. I get to achieve something that I never thought I'd be able to do which has given me more confidence in my everyday life.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Nanowrimo was a brilliant month for me. Even though I found it hard the emails and words of other members allowed me to keep going and I found that I was able to write more than I thought possible.
I'm a student with a lot of long essays that I felt were overwhelming before but now I know I'm capable of writing so much more than those word counts they seem small to me.
I still haven't gone back to look at what I wrote to edit it because I always seem to be busy. I wouldn't have been able to achieve what I did without the support and encouragement of this organization. I will definitely be participating this year as well!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have participated in NaNoWriMo three times and won three times. It has been a huge catalyst in getting my writing going - procrastination, other creative projects and life tend to get in the way - so I am happy to help the cause for other aspiring writers and particularly, the young kids who benefit from the OLL programs so they get off to an early start in following their creative dreams.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with them since 2003. I have donated my hard earned $ as well. I spend more time volunteering for this organization than any other. I vote with my time and my money.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization since 2005. I have participated since 2003. Because they are so wonderful, I have served as a Municipal Liaison (ML) for over four years.

Through this organization, I have changed careers. I'm now a fiction writer. I would not have had the courage or the skill to change careers if it were not for OLL.

As an ML, I see first hand how this organization helps people of all ages see past their limitations and take chances. Via OLL, I have personally helped supposedly mentally-challenged seventh and eighth graders write entire novels. These were students for whom the school system had failed. If it weren't for OLL, they would have never known that they were more than their label.

This past year has been devastating financially to many of our participants. One of our families became homeless in the month of November but through the support of other NaNoWriMo participants, they found shelter and even... beyond all odds... finished their novels. The mother said that if it weren't for NaNoWriMo and the people involved, she wouldn't have made it through.

This is really more a testament to the people who run OLL. It isn't just about writing, it is about expanding who you are and how you both see the world and the world sees you.

If it weren't for OLL, I'd still be in a job that was killing me. Instead, I wake up each day and laugh with joy like a two-year old looking forward to the day. How much is that worth?

Review from Guidestar

Rebadams7

Donor

Rating: 5

The ability to communicate is vital for leading a fulfilling life, to be educated and to educate, either just in a daily life or as a profession. This organization does a brilliant job of bringing the joy as well as the technical aspects of writing and writing well to all that come to the programs it offers. I'm proud to be a donor to the Office of Letters and Light, for they do illuminate the lives of all they touch!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

The challenge and the camaraderie of the month of November, the NatNoWriMo; was the perfect catalyst in my life. I had been floundering, unable to commit and finish a project in a while; a car accident and head injury had shaken my confidence and clouded my ability to think. This program, with the online tools and the face to face gatherings of others who also stood to the challenge, gave me focus and re charged my confidence. I would not be nearly where I am today without their help and support. Their programs give deadlines and raise outcomes for aspiring authors and students around the globe. I heartily support their mission.

Review from Guidestar