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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

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first discovered NaNoWriMo through a friend who was participating in OLL's Young Writers Program through her school in 2008. The challenge was to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. We were game!

I was pleased to find that both the NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers were run in a very organized fashion. Not only were the websites nice to look at, they provided you with easy to find information and plenty of helpful tips. I love the encouraging emails that were sent out weekly and the message board where I could coverse with other aspiring novelists.

I continued to participate in NaNoWriMo in 2009 and 2010 and intend to do it again this November. I have no complaints about OLL. Every experience with them has been great.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

NaNoWriMo is such an excellent resource. What else in this world would inspire young students to write so much and so joyfully? My students met their goals and, in most cases, exceeded them. And, while they were having fun writing, they were learning about novel structure, character, setting, plot, etc. The students in our school who were not participating were interested every day to follow the progress of our writers. I have students who are begging me to let them write - something that a teacher doesn't hear every day. I will continue to use NaNoWriMo as long as I teach.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have taken part in NaNoWriMo, one of the projects under Office of Lights, for two years now and definitely plan to take part again this year. The challenge to write 50K words in a month taught me not only that I am actually able to write that many words and that my other College/Uni assignments seem insignificant compared to this, but it also improved my typing speed and helped me make new friends through the forums and NoNoMail itself.
I adore the lengths the NaNoWriMo staff goes to motivate us to finish. The videos are great fun, and the pep talks are just awesome- the staff knows exactly what we are likely to feel like at certain parts of the month and supply us with just the right words to motivate- fun, honest and challenging.
That is the part about NaNoWriMo that I love the most: the challenge and the community. And the staff are those who make it possible. Thank you, everybody, and thank you, Office of Lights, for supporting this projects. You have made November that one month when it is easy to avoid depression. :D

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

NaNoWriMo is one of the highlights of my year. It helps young people bring out their creativity and I think that's a wonderful year. In my case, NaNoWriMo helped me to finish a novel that has been stuck in my head for a long time now. Once I'm done with the editing process, I might even get it published :) I've always wanted to be a writer and NaNoWriMo helps me do it.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My teenage sister roped me into the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) under duress. I expected to be either bored or frustrated by the process. In fact, I had a wonderful time! The O.L.L. provides a well-designed website with lots of help and information, a profile page where you can update your word count instantly (which turned out to be a highly effective motivator for me!), and even forums where you can contact other WriMos. They send out encouraging newsletters and pep talks written by successful authors throughout the process.

I was so impressed by this organization's literacy and community programs that I dipped into my very thin wallet and found some funds to contribute. That doesn't happen very often!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

NaNoWriMo is what I look forward to most when November comes around--even more than Thanksgiving! I love writing, but it can be hard for me sometimes to find time or set aside time just for writing. NaNo helps me do that, and gives me a goal and a reward if I meet that goal.
I've participated in NaNoWriMo for two years now, and it's done me a boatload of good in helping me plan my time and keep improving as a writer and as a person.
For instance, I'm a lazy person. I freely admit that. But this world unfortunately doesn't have a lot of room for laziness, so I have to make schedules and deliberately irritate myself into doing what needs to be done. November is no exception. But NaNo makes what I'm doing enjoyable, necessary planning and irritating schedules or no. Better yet, if I have pent-up frustrations, they all go into my NaNovel, releasing my stress as well as keeping me on track!
Also, there are people I'd like to keep in touch with that I don't see very often anymore. Since they participate in NaNo, too, the forums and NaNoMail are really easy ways to contact and keep in touch with them. Word Wars help boost our word counts and let us sort of hang out at the same time. They also improve my weak social skills (I'm not much of a people-person), which will help me later on in life.
Thanks a ton, NaNo!

Review from Guidestar

Cylithria Eensybeensyspider Dubois

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started my writing career as a young woman of 17. I wrote under a Pen Name for nearly 13 years. Although writing was not my career (I was officially with the military) I wrote endlessly, successfully and prolifically. In May of 1998 my sons, ages 11 & 4 1/2, were killed when a drunk driver struck the vehicle they were in. Their deaths brought about the death of my writing - be it for my career or for personal joy. I bought out my contracts for pending works in progress, ceased all ties with the writing world and tried to desperately write when no words would come. The death of my writing wasn't a conscious choice at first, but it was the end result after I lost my sons. During the next two years I not only mourned their loss, I mourned my inability to create with words.

It was the year 200 when I first returned to writing. A friend, the only one I remained in contact with; started telling me about 'this friend' a friend of hers had. Apparently this guy started some crazy group. The groups purpose; to write a novel in one months time.

I rolled my eyes. A Novel in a month wasn't impossible. My previous writing career already told me that. The idea itself was trite, and yet my friend continued speaking of it. "Yeah, I guess last year they wrote their great American Novels from his apartment!" She went on to talk as if the idea were insane, even insinuating 'real writers would never do such a thing,' and I managed to get the Groups name before our conversation ended.

I knew better, having been a writer with a deadline, that such a goal could be accomplished; but what I originally joined the group to do was find out more information on 'this guy' who started this internet group. I didn't learn much about the groups founder, I didn't even participate actively in the group, but that year, as I scoffed, mocked and later fell for the crazy idea, I began writing for the first time since my sons had died.

In 2000 I won my first National Novel Writing Month by writing the worst novel I have ever written. (No really, it was about a bug living in my kitchen during THAT NaNoWriMo!) In order to become a verified winner, we had to send out document files to 'this guy' and he opened them in a word processor, verified they were in fact more then 50,000 words and then he added a star next to our username. I was pretty happy that 'this guy' couldn't see me as i logged in and saw that star for the first time - I can promise you I saw it through blurry, tear-filled eyes and I smiled through my tears.

In 2000 'this guy' and National Novel Writing Month taught me that my writing wasn't dead yet. I have been a proud NaNoWriMo Participant and Victor for every year since 2000 and I am happy to report, I have gone back to writing professionally as well.

Because of my military service, I used a different screen name then the one I am known by now. At the time that I joined NaNoWriMo I was working undercover and as such my identity online and in real life was hidden. In the year 2001, due to the events of September 11th; my life changed from being an undercover operative to deploying all over the world. my 2001 NaNoWriMo Novel was written in pieces, on various government computers from 3 different countries. In 2002, my NaNo-Novel was written in much the same manner, but my 2003 I was home, stationed in Michigan and I volunteered to become a Municipal Liaison in the city of Flint. That was the year I physically met other Participants, or Wrimo's as we call each other.

During my first year as a Municipal Liaison, I shared the region of Flint with a fellow particpant/ML. While all the writers coming to our forums and our meetings were fantastic, my Co-Municipal Liaison took a distinct disliking to my presence. Because of this in 2003 I had the distinct pleasure of working with The Office of Letters and Light staff to rectify the problems in our region. Not only were they attentive, helpful and prompt, but the staff members I dealt with were REAL, presenting themselves with a sincerity and authenticity not often found in a Charity Office Staff - I remember being stunned that they were just like me - loving NaNoWriMo and it's wrimo's, writing their own novels, and excited about our future as a Charity.

2003 was also the year that I as a Municipal Liaison had my first Young Writer. Although it would be another 2 years before YWPNaNoWriMo would have a website and forum of it's own, already teens and young adults flocked to NaNoWriMo. One such teen, just 13 and accompanied by her father, came to my Flint Regional Write-ins. Year after year she returned, victorious and always growing. Not only did she actively participate in forums and write-ins, she enlisted other teen friends and aided me with the smaller 6-12 year olds who also began appearing with their parents - all wanting to 'write a novel in a month'. I will never forget the phone call I received from my Original Young Writer - "Eensybeensyspider, will you send me a sticker and some of the hand outs you give out at write-ins? There is no NaNoWriMo on my Campus." - My littlest writer had grown up and now was in college. Again the tears returned to my eyes, this time tears of pride, as not only my adult wrimos succeeded but my young wrimos too.

My first few years as an ML were wondrous. NaNoWriMo grew, my region grew. No longer were there 5-8 wrimos at an event (including myself) but now we were hitting double digit attendance numbers! The type and group of participants was as varying as the types of genre's in a library. I watched as these writers, who participated in free program (NaNoWriMo) gave money for our charity's. I watched as friendships forged, groups united, people moved away and newcomers arrived. There is no amount of room to describe all the amazing instances of writers I have had the honor of being with, but for the purpose of this review I do need to share one Wrimo's story.

As I stated, there were many year I was deployed during National Novel Writing Month. One particular year, I was deployed with US Marines in Northern Iraq. The story of my writing a novel in a war zone was featured on NaNoWriMo's website a few years back and can be located here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3294913 - That alone is a testament to the power of The Office of Letters & Light and National Novel Writing Month, but It was during that same NaNoWriMo that I had the distinct honor and privilege to witness the power of NaNo & OLL.

I was writing, as the article states, my novel as we worked our way through the countryside of Iraq. During the beginning of November, my unit visited a tiny village. One of the women in this village took an interest in my presence and through a translator we spoke. She had noticed my hours of writing and asked what it was about. Through the translator I explained I was writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month. For three days this Iraqi woman named Tirife asked about my writing, what this NaNoWriMo was, and why would anyone do it. Teaching her about NaNo was such a thrilling thing because she seemed interested and excited about the idea that women could write novels!

As I stated in my interview for NaNoWriMo, I did manage to win that years NaNoWriMo - barely. The fact that my novel had to travel by so many means just to be validated on time, was amazing - but 6 days after I received word that I did officially win NaNoWriMo, we returned to Tirife's village.

How can I put that moment to words? Bear with me as I try. We rolled up to the village and after cursory greetings began walking through, All of a sudden a woman, completely covered, saying the oddest words comes running towards us. Instantly we alert, it's years of habit and training, but this woman either doesn't see our pointed weapons or didn't feel threatened. Running to our translator she begins talking so fast he must grab her to force her to slow down. Once he understands her and he gives the unit the 'all clear', they walk my direction. As he explains to me that Tirife has written a novel, she is putting sheet after sheet of paper, written in Arabic into my hands.

Tirife wrote 51,204 words that November. By hand, on blank paper, on paper that had stuff printed on it, on magazine pages, on anything she could put ink on. She wrote her story as a novel. In the mountains of Iraq, in the squalor of the horrid building she lived in, with no power, no running water, in a country that had a war ongoing in it, she wrote a novel, and now she stood bouncing on her toes, her eyes barely visible, shining with pride, handing me portions of her book for me to read.

I have never been so humbled, honored, stunned, moved or inspired as I was that day in the bitter cold, sitting with her and the Translator listening to what I believe to be the very first National Novel Writing Month Novel written in Iraq by an Iraqi citizen. I still cry as I think of it.

You ask for an honest and candid review? This is one. Bringing literacy, creativity and a sense of community to people through it's programs for writing is THE FINEST charity I know of. I am active in many, many not for profit charity's; Girl Scouting, Boy Scouting, Shriner's Childrens Hospitals, Twestivals - and all of those are fine, upstanding, life changing charity's - but none - none have had the power to show the individual the exact same lesson:

We are all creative beings. We all have story's to share. Writing is a valuable method of communication. We CAN achieve anything we set our mind to.

I have been fortunate to have written with thousands of wrimos as I have traveled the globe. I have Municipal Liaisoned in 3 different cities, I have been to local write ins in over 15 different states. I have met fellow wrimos, Municipal Liaisons, Supporters of writers and Young Writers. This year in my region a 97 year old woman who went to one of our Library write-ins was writing a novel, by hand, "the old-fashioned way". All because 'this guy' - Chris Baty - was brave enough to challenge himself and others.

Hey Chris - Thank YOU!

My name is Cylithria Dubois. They call me the Eensybeensyspider. I can't put to adequate words how much this organization has changed me, my life, my fellow writers lives and in turn; the World, but it has.













Review from Guidestar

Katie L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. However, having dreams and working towards them are two different things, and as college approached I decided to focus on more realistic goals. Being the author of a complete, original novel seemed too unlikely toever happen and so I put it on the list of things to do 'someday.' But when I heard about National Novel Writing Month, I saw that thousands of people were writing their own stories while working their day jobs, taking care of their kids, going to school or doing any other number of things we call life. Now, 1 month and 50,000 words later, I am the author of 1 complete, original first draft. I could not have done it without The Office of Letters and Light.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was in middle school, I heard about National Novel Writing Month. I'd always been interested in writing, but that didn't seem like something that would fit into my schedule. However, when I reached high school and found myself in a larger student population with only one friend, I needed something to pick me up. There was no better time to try it.

Now I've won three times, each time exceeding 50,000 words in 30 days. It's given me indescribable amounts of confidence. Now in my junior year of high school, I have a large circle of friends, many of them also writers.

In short, OLL is the best thing to happen to me in years.

Review from Guidestar

Shane T.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I learned about this program in 2009. I have been writing stories to entertain myself and a few friends since I was little but had never seriously worked on anything that approached novel length. It was a test of discipline to keep writing regularly during the thirty day period. It was with great satisfaction that I finished the 50,000 word rough draft. Through doing this project I learned more about my strengths as a writer and where I needed to improve. The forums are excellent for advice and support and I found much of them inspiring with helpful advice and encouragement.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing on behalf of the Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit organization that sponsors free events that focus on creative writing. These programs include National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), held in November, and ScriptFrenzy, in April. These programs respectively encourage the writing of a 50,000 word novel and a 100-page script in a supportive, fun manner. These programs are open to people of all ages, and NaNo is international in scope.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo because my sister challenged me to it, and because a change in employment allowed me to have time for it. People, from teachers in grade school to writing friends, have long told me that I am a good writer. However, lack of time, and the sense of being blocked had kept me from writing anything more than e-mails a to-do lists.
NaNo forced me to stop being a perfectionist, and to just get the story out of my head and on to the electronic page. The encouraging e-mails from published authors, some well-known to me, others new, were full of such humor that I laughed out loud while reading them. The NaNo web site allows participants to communicate with other participants and ask for help from the writing community that the program creates. There are even some write-ins and parties associated with NaNo, which I was not able to attend but hope to in the future. I am impressed that the number of participants increases every year; I believe the 2010 count was somewhere north of 250,000.
I am pleased to say that I finished the challenge, and had such a good time doing so that I am not only planning to participate in NaNo again in 2011, but also want to attempt ScriptFrenzy in April.
I even made a donation to support the Office of Letters and Light's school writing programs. I strongly support the notion that such programs must be available. In these difficult economic times in which tax receipts are down and the costs for education are up, I believe that any free program that encourages literacy and writing are an absolute necessity. So often, creative programs are the first to be cut as school systems focus their teaching efforts on the basics that will allow students to pass the standardized exams. To have available classroom instruction and encouragement is essential to cultivating communication skills in the next generation. Those skills could be the difference between career success and career failure.
Thank you!
maharden700@yahoo.com

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo for the last six years, with widely varying degrees of success. The last two years, I have finished a novel. Two 50,000-word novels in as many years. That is an accomplishment most people would never dream of accomplishing, one I never would have attempted without the encouragement and community provided by the NaNoWriMo forums, weekly pep talks, and the never-ending enthusiasm of all the staff.

Thanks to the Office of Letters and Light, I have accomplished something that is truly worth being proud of. If I can write an entire novel, beginning to end, in 30 days while working two jobs, I can complete a bachelor's degree. I attribute my determination in finishing college and diving headfirst into all the challenges university life - and life beyond - has to offer in no small part to my participation in NaNoWriMo. All I need to do is open up that old Word file or look at those winner buttons to remind myself what I'm capable of when I put my mind to something.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had never heard of NaNoWriMo or Office of Letters and Light until Oct of 2010. A friend of mine mentioned it in passing and I had to ask what it was. She told me a little about the writing challenge and sent me the website address. When I looked at the site and saw what they were all about, I was on board. Within three weeks I had an idea for the book I was going to write and as of Nov. 1 I was off.

In doing the challenge, I found so much support from everyone who had signed up. This is support from strangers. They know nothing about me but they were sending words of encouragement and help. With more research I found that they not only support adults and their dreams of being a writer, they also support kids. They have so many different writing challenges, professional support to polish the novels, stories, plays, whatever.

This community is amazing. I wholeheartedly support it and can't wait to be able to do more.

Review from Guidestar

Victoria G.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I first found out about NaNoWriMo in 2004 and I have been participating almost every year since then.

It's difficult at times, because I'm usually in classes, but it can feel quite rewarding when I sit down and manage to write that whole novella in a month's time.

Writing was always something I dabbled in, but I never wrote very fast, but after a few years of NaNoWriMo, I have learned that I can, in fact, type 2000 words in a day given the right motivation, and sometimes I have gone far above and beyond that in the course of the month.

Because of my experience with NaNoWriMo, I have been able to more-or-less keep up with a serial novel, posted in short chapters, for over half a year now.

While I have yet to actually finish a NaNo Novel because I lose my momentum to school after finishing, I really hope to finish one someday and make it available to the internet, since I do not think I am nearly good enough to be published.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light runs National Novel Writing Month, an event designed to focus peer pressure and adrenaline to support the writing process. They provide constant feedback and support, and have organizers across the country who work hard to support budding novelists.

Review from Guidestar

Michelle D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They helped me do something that I had been wanting to do for a long time. They helped me realize that I could do it, even if I didn't really think I could. Their support has led me to help support others in acheiving their dreams, just by letting them know that I believe that they can do whatever they put their mind to.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been following the Office of Letters and Light since 2008. I've participated in the past five National Novel Writing Months and the past four Script Frenzys and I have to say that I've loved every single minute of it! The 30-day time limit is a wonderful prod to get yourself writing and honestly it's motivated me more than anything else ever has. The community is incredibly inviting and helpful. No matter what you enjoy writing - scripts, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, something else entirely - there is a place for here! There are forums, pep talks from published authors, and tons of resources for writers of any level. It's a ton of fun. They also sponser a Young Writers Program that promotes writing and storybuilding in schools and libraries. Programs like these are so essential now, especially with budgets forcing schools to cut back on creative outlets. The Office of Letters and Light is wonderful at fostering creativity and I can't thank them enough for it. I don't know where I'd be with my writing or my life without NaNo and Screnzy or the fabulous people who make it all possible. Thank you, OLL, for all you do! Whether you write professionally or you scribble for fun you should definitely give these sites a visit.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a bit doubtful about participating in NaNoWriMo when a coworker of mine first encouraged me to sign up. I've always loved reading but believed I was a terrible writer.

And now, I'm a NaNoWriMo winner. That's right. I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. Some of those words were strangely inspired, some of them came from my pen without my brain consciously considering them ahead of time, some of them were boring, and some were downright terrible (and embarrassing, *sigh*).

The experience of completing such a monumental challenge was incredible. There is absolutely no way I could have achieved such a thing without the full community of NaNoWriMos out there doing the same thing, supporting each other through the website, at local write-ins, with emails. I am so grateful to the people at the Office of Letters and Light for their intensely motivating work--you made something wonderful possible for me!

I'm addicted to NaNoWriMo now, and I can't wait to drag all my friends along with me on the journey next November!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and challenge of writing a novel in a month's time! The support I received throughout the month from everyone at NaNo WriMo was encouraging and kind. They made me feel like my achievements were more important than their own. The support and caring words just kept coming every single day and I never felt alone in the challenge. My creative writing teacher specifically geared her class around people that wanted to feel the accomplishment of completing a novel. I was so proud to get my certificate and say, "I did it!" I love my novel and am happy with what I've done. I was blown away with the time everyone took in the organization to encourage me to keep going and never give up. They are people dedicated to their love of writing. Thank you! :0)

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nanowrimo gave me the confidence to really begin a career in writing. I learned new skills that I've been able to apply to every stage of my writing. The local gatherings (called "write-ins") were, for me, the most valuable part of the process. Engaging in "word wars" helped me learn to just get those words out without worrying about the editing. Constant editing had always been my biggest obstacle to success.

I will do nano again and again!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I participated in Nanowrimo 2010, and I found the whole process to be incredibly inspiring. This is the first time I've started a book...and actually FINISHED it. And it doesn't matter that my book is not, by any means, the Great American Novel, and it doesn't matter that I have no intention of pursuing publication. Just the fact that I did it - I wrote a novel in a month! - gave me so much creative stimulation, and that's been spilling over into other areas of my life. Because I have seen the direct benefits of a little creative encouragement on myself, I was happy to donate to The Office Of Letters and Light, so that they can continue their mission, particularly their creative writing programs for school children. I plan to continue to be involved with the Office of Letters and Light both as a donor, and a participant in future years of Nanowrimo.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an incredible experience for a new writer. In just 30 days, participants strive to write a 50,000 word novel. Thanks to the Office of Letters and Light, they need not do it alone. An incredible support network connects writers across the country and the world. Daily motivational e-mails from esteemed writers, and the spirited efforts of regional group leaders, help keep the word counts up.

I can say without a doubt that participating in this experience has made me a better writer.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been doing NaNoWriMo since 2006, and each year, not only learn something new, but get help for the more technical aspects of my stories and make some great friends.

A couple years ago, the group "NaNo Quackers" was formed for people that had disabilities (mostly mental). Having Asperger's Syndrome, I promptly joined, and we stay in touch throughout the year; I even made a great friend through that group who is still one of my best friends to this day.

In NaNo 2010, I finally participated in some actual write-ins (instead of just some in Second Life) with my region, and had a blast at each one I attended.

For me, NaNo isn't just a time to actually sit down and write, but a time to socialize, which is typically something I don't do. It's improved my social skills as well as my writing skills, and has actually gotten me to finish stories that I've started (something I'm typically bad with).

It's wonderful that there's a National Novel Writing Month, and I donate to OLL every NaNo to try and at least show some of my appreciation for all the people that take their time to run NaNo.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I dove into NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) on October 30th 2008. I've competed (and won! wooooooo!) and donated to the Office of Letters and Light in 2008, 2009 and 2010. I intend to write a novel every November for the rest of my life, and donate to OLL every year as well. It is the most fun, and most important writing tool I have found to date. The notion (to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of each November) is brilliant. It is a contest with yourself that includes tens of thousands of cheerleaders the world over, urging you to keep writing-the hardest thing for writers to do. And on top of that, OLL has taken the joy of writing to the schools. Donations help run free NANOWRIMO programs in schools-encouraging our children to write! Harry Potter reawakened the joy of reading. I think the Young Writer's Program can inspire the future JK Rowlings. Keep up the stellar work.

Review from Guidestar

Molly H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a writer, focus is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome when attacking a formidable challenge, like say a book. Many times you look for tools to help you overcome this obstacle, coffee, motivation books, random strangers forces to listen to your story ideas that give you just enough encouragement to move forward. But alas, these tools don't seem to keep you focused or motivated. Then you discover NaNoWriMo, the literal sword pulled from the stone of lethargy and busy lives, that not only helps direct that focus but motivates you like a Nonprofit Yoda to the young Skywalker in all of us. It is invalueable for encouragement, insight, and ingeniuety to a young writer or an old writer. I am grateful for all it gave me last November and look forward to the journey this coming year.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a writer, I used to take too long to finish any work, let alone a novel. Now that I have achieved finishing a novel in a month, two years in a row, I have more confidence in myself.
The camaraderie and the encouragement I found in NaNoWriMo and The Office of Letters and Light , together with my friends from Writing.com, have been exemplary. I can't thank the NaNoWriMo site enough.

Joy Cagil

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I did NaNoWriMo together this year. It was my first and her second. It fun, interesting and challenging. I had always thought I wanted to try my hand at writing, my story may never get published, but I proved to myself that I could write a story and a long one at that. The website was very helpful and encouraging. The people that I met along the way were extremely nice and supportive.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took the NaNoWriMo (associated with the Office of Letters and Light) challenge last November, and from it was born a novel that is in the publishing process. I absolutely advocate this wonderful group of encouragers... and I would love to see them win!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend told me all about NaNoWriMo about five years ago and had nothing but positive things to say. This past summer another acquaintance mentioned NaNoWriMo and we ended up essentially daring each other to take up the challenge of writing a novel in a month. What followed was well beyond my expectations.

I entered in mid-October and was chomping at the bit to start. Then, shortly before November began, I received the first of several pieces of correspondence. One was from a regional leader who provided encouragement, another was from the head office. Then, as the month progressed, I received periodic pep talks that were indispensible. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, but all resonated in some fashion or another.

What was more beneficial for me though, was the personal page set up for me that graphed my progress on the novel. It provided a visual for how I was – or was not – making my way to the finish line. The statistics on my progress showed me where I was, and where I needed to be.

Finally, after I finished, the prizes were awesome. A video of congratulations from the head office was just what I needed for a good laugh. The certificate I have had framed and sits in a place serving as a reminder of my accomplishment.

NaNoWriMo is one of the best experiences I have ever had. An amzing organization heads it up and I have shared my experience with countless others.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

National Novel Writing Month changed the way I treated writing rough drafts. Because I only had to spend one month on a novel if I didn't like it, I had the chance to try things I otherwise wouldn't have taken risks on. In some cases I pushed through drafts I would have killed and ended up saving them because I kept at it. NaNoWriMo is the reason I can say I've written 7 novels, and I'm only 18.

Writing is a solitary business, and it's hard to find community, but NaNoWriMo offers that. When people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I say November.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I heard about NaNoWriMo at a writing conference - as a great way to model self discipline for daily writing habits. It delivered that and much more.

I have recommended it to my writing friends, emering and established. It is a motivating event run by a team of well-organized volunteers.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had heard of NaNoWriMo before, but never though I would be crazy enough to participate in it myself. I'm now glad that I did for the first time last year. Without NaNoWriMo who knows when I might have eventually got around to doing what I had often thought I would like to do "one day".

Reading about the history of NaNoWriMo and the other projects offered by the Office of Letters and Light shows just how far what once started out as a spontaneous, crazy idea has developed. The support they offer, especially for younger writers, is invaluable.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

NaNoWriMo is the only place my friends and I know about that offers the non-judgmental guidance in order to reach our common goal. It is well-organized and involves everyone - I feel - on a personal level. It's not a faceless organization. Everyone that works on it gets down in the grit of it with you and that is the best support aspiring novelists need!

Thank you, NaNo.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have participated in the National Novel Writing Month for the last three years, as have my daughters. I have found it to be a great experience. As someone who has written for years, it was wonderful to do it as part of a supportive community. I enjoyed the opportunity to provide information in my own fields of expertise to others who needed it for their writing. For my younger daughter, who was still in high school the first time she participated, taking on the immense task of writing 50,000 words in one month caused her to stretch her limits. She gained faith in her ability to rise to a challenge and to complete a difficult task under deadline. I have donated to OLL in the past and intend to do so in the future, as well as continuing to participate in the program.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have talked about writing my novel for years but never done it. It was always someday when I have the time. I work a 10 hour day and when I get home from work I'm tired and uninspired. This year I committed to the challenge of NANO and every night I wrote my word count. Thanks to the 30 day calendar with the word count for the day I was able to keep on track. The emails from NANO kept me entertained and inspired to keep my fingers on the keyboard and the goal in my sights. Not only did I get 50,000 words written but I proved to myself that I could attain my goal and I had fun doing it.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I LOVE!!!! OLL and NaNoWriMo! They provide such a great outlet for people to be creative and write. It allows people to talk with other writers and gives them a goal to strive for. If you have an idea, write it in November!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found this organization through a program at our library, and after checking out their website, decided to participate in the program. It was a totally amazing experience! They provided all the support and encouragement a writer needs to write a novel, even a forum for participants to communicate and support each other. There is even a program for local (physical) support through the Municipal Liaison program where volunteers provide help and encouragement in their areas. This allows aspiring writers to focus on their writing. They even have a Young Writers program, which encourages increased literacy in younger people. It is amazing to see how people who don't think they have anything to write turn around and be completely enthused about writing a novel. I've participated for 2 years now, and plan to continue participating for as long as I can. It is amazing what energy there is when a group of people get together and work on meeting their word count. Thanks for starting this and continuing to support writers and soon-to-be writers!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nanowrimo.org through the Office of Letters and Light, provided the formula and just the right amount of stimulation to get me to do something I have never finished before... a novel. I wrote like a maniac throughout the month of November 2010. Over 53,000 words of Sci-Fi creativity came to my brain. Loving every minute of the adventure and basking in the accomplishment, I have to thank the Office of Letters and Light for giving me the push and encouragement I needed. I am now editing the novel. You can be sure I'll be back for more next November. Thanks, Guys!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated in the OLL's primary program, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for six years now, and this previous year I volunteered as a Municipal Liaison in my region. I've seen people who were convinced they weren't writers, weren't creative, and would never be able to manage to write 50,000 words in a single month (the goal of NaNoWriMo) far exceed their own expectations of themselves. I've experienced that phenomenon myself, as well. I have also seen the program build strong connections and friendships between people, and bring them together not only to better themselves and the world through their writing, but their own communities and the world through shared action and group goals.

The OLL inspires people to set goals for themselves, to believe in themselves, and to compete first and foremost against themself, rather than against others. They further literacy all around the world... not just the mechanical literacy of learning how to read and write, but creative literacy - learning how to touch people and be touched by people through creative written expression. They also further the positive development of the individual as a whole, by providing them with an achievable goal, as well as the support structure to reach that goal, thus proving to the participants themselves that they are capable, and strong, and creative people.

Review from Guidestar

Francesca B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned about the Office of Letters and Light through their championing of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I participated in NaNoWriMo 3 times, and each time was a greater and more fulfilling experience. The online community they've managed to build to support aspiring fiction writers worldwide is astounding and inspiring. I felt supported and bouyed every day of NaNoWriMo because of The Office of Letters and Light's online resources and pep talks. Overall, the experience was incredibly rewarding, and I'd gladly participate in NaNoWriMo again!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Not long after graduating from college, a friend and I were talking about turning 25. He said, "I thought I would have patented an invention by now." I replied, "I haven't even written a novel yet." That was September 2009. Two months later, I was frantically writing my first National Novel Writing Month project and discovering the supportive communities built around The Office of Letters and Light's annual program. While I have been writing fiction for ten years, participating in NaNoWriMo has given me the goals, structure, and motivation to draft two novels of contemporary fiction and to expand my creative reach. Participating in NaNoWriMo has increased my confidence. The experience I have gained has convinced me to pursue creative writing alongside visual art in my graduate program, beginning this fall (2011). OLL's NaNoWriMo program has been essential in helping me rebuild my self-confidence as a creative person.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This was the first year I used the Young Writers' Program in my classroom. I couldn't believe the enthusiasm generated by the whole process. I had students who had never written much of anything setting goals for themselves and writing whole novels. I wrote along with my students and found the writer's banter that we tossed back and forth to be exhilarating. Students enjoyed the peptalks posted by published authors, they liked the materials I was able to use in the classroom including the tracking poster and finalists' buttons. Several plan to move along to the Script Writing Frenzy. Others can't wait until starting YWP again next year. I will definitely use this wonderful writing program again in the fall.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful community initiative that encourages those who have never written much before -- perhaps those who have never dared to think of themselves as a writer before -- to take up the literal pen and finally write that dreamt-of novel. A lot of people see NaNoWriMo as a fun thing to do in November, but I think it's much more than that -- it's a powerful literacy tool to empower people of all ages to reach beyond what they think they're capable of.

Good writers learn by reading; great writers learn by writing. Participate in NaNoWriMo, give it a go one November, and you will find yourself tapping into creative juices you had no idea were there. Take what you've learned from NaNoWriMo and harness these energies outside of November, and a writer you are (because a writer writes!).

Participants write fantasies, literary fiction, personal memoirs -- whether or not participants go on to edit and try to publish (and many do not), an important event has taken place simply in the act of picking up that pen, turning on that laptop, firing up that AlphaSmart. The act says 'I can do this.' It says 'My dreams are worth it.' It says 'Maybe I won't get to 50k, but I will try my hardest, and I will be proud of whatever I achieve if I've put an honest and solid effort in.'

NaNoWriMo is an important project and is especially effective at targeting teens and youth (through the Young Writers Program as well as the general NaNoWriMo challenge). It deserves and will make good use of any funding it receives.

Constructive feedback:

- After four years of ML-ing, I have found that the 50k goal, while integral to the event, is a deterrent and frustration to many participants year after year. I repeatedly tell my wrimos that any new writing in November is more than they would have written otherwise, and is an achievement to be celebrated. But too often I find people unnecessarily focused on the goal of 50,000 words rather than the simple fact that they're trying their best amidst family, work, and other demands. I find it disheartening when someone who wrote 35,000 words in November talks about themselves as though they and their efforts are a failure. I am not suggesting we do away with the 50k goal, but I think it would be worthwhile to consider ways to get across the message that 35,000 -- or 5,000 -- words is a worthy achievement, too, even if it may not qualify as a "win."

- I know that NaNoWriMo has had the plans (but not the money) to launch a year-round NaNoWriMo-type challenge for a couple of years now. I think it's very important to take this step. I find, and have found personally, that it's difficult to keep up the writing momentum after the frenzied month of November, and extra motivation throughout the year (or at least a website where we can continue to update our word count and find support from other writers in the forums) would be invaluable -- and very necessary. To keep the benefits of what I described above, the ways NaNoWriMo helps with literacy, I believe that the event must have a year-round component in order to help the new and burgeoning writers keep themselves on track. For this, NaNoWriMo needs and would make good use of any funding monies. Also, if a year-round NaNoWriMo event were to be launched, my following point is even more important.

- NaNoWriMo organizers need to seriously consider adding the genre of "autobiographical fiction" to their list of accepted genres (preferably with it's own forum). After a slow but steady increase in acceptance of "rebel" memoir and autobiography writers over the last 5 years that I have been involved with NaNo, this past year the official stand was that memoir and autobiography writers are well within the rules *as long as* they believe they are writing fiction (since that is the cardinal rule of the NaNoWriMo event: one must write fiction, and this makes sense when non-fiction is things like cookbooks and legal texts).

In my experience, a vast majority of memoir/autobiography writers (who post on the NaNo forums, at least) fictionalize their writings in some way (name changes, merging of events, writing stories vaguely based on their lives but changing anything they see fit -- hmm, that sounds like fiction to me). But as of now, these writers are still relegated to the "rebels" forum, the place for people who choose not to play by the rules (such as writers choose to start writing before the Nov. 1 challenge begins). I would suggest adding an "autobiographical fiction" (which is a fictional story loosely based on the author's life) section to the forums to make it clear that this genre is part of the "allowed" NaNoWriMo genres. The non-fiction memoir and autobiography writers will still be rebels, of course, and that's fine. But I think this would be an ideal compromise, letting these writers know that if they are willing to fictionalize their stories, or if they consider their stories fiction, then they will be playing by the rules.

(Why is this more important if NaNoWriMo were active year-round? Because it's hard enough being a "rebel" for one month of the year; feeling like you're not a legitimate participant in a full-year event would be so much harder. I feel strongly that the "fiction/non-fiction -- where does memoir fit in?" question needs to be resolved before the NaNo challenge launches year-round. I also think resolution of this question would bring in more donation dollars from participants -- participants who feel validate and supported donate more, after all.)

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first discovered The Office of Letters and Light (OLL) because of National Novel Writing Month in 2006. I was then a college student working on an English degree, so I thought I'd take on the challenge writing a novel in a month. I gave up on day 3.

But the thought of the challenge never left my mind.

In 2008, I tried it again. And you know what happened? I wrote a 50,000 novel. A novel that I am now in the process of editing, and someday will (with any luck) sell to a publisher. I can't express how glad I am that I came back. I now have one completed and two partial novels under my belt. If OLL didn't put on this amazing event, I don't think I would have ever finished.

OLL has always been helpful and funny, even when servers are crashing and the staff are trying to write a novel also. I had a merch store mix-up this year, and the staff was incredibly accommodating. They responded promptly and worked with me to solve the problem.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Free, meaningful, fun...those are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of OLL and its programs. NANOWRIMO stands out, of course, because it has the most publicity (and why not?), but OLL does so much more for those lucky visitor-recipients of all its bounty. NANO has served as a springboard for a number of follow-up personal writing projects among local writers in my area and my 2010 novel has provided a foundation for at least three or four short chapter books that I plan to write. And it wouldn't have happened without the creativity, generosity, and low-level, harmless insanity of the folks at OLL.

Review from Guidestar

Katrina H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light (OLL) is a fantastic organization! With its great team of creative and supportive people, it reaches out to writers world-wide, of all ages and backgrounds and interests.
I personally have become a better writer thanks to the support I've received as I've participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), just one of the programs offered through the OLL. My confidence has increased as I've written, urged onward by the awesome staff of OLL.
I've participated in NaNoWriMo three years now, and look forward to writing with them for years to come.
Please join me in supporting the fantastic group known as The Office of Letters and Light!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My association with the Office of Letters and Light was through the 2010 National Novel Writing Month. With their help, I completed my first novel. Granted, it's not a good work of fiction by any means, but it's completion has meant the world to me. Through the encouragement of the fine folks at the Office of Letters and Light, I realized that I have the ability to write fiction, and more importantly, I have the ability to see an enormous and difficult project through to its end.

They gave me confidence and guidance. I'd been lacking the former for years, and too shy to even ask for the latter.

Now I know better. My life is literally better. Because of the Office of Letters and Light.

Is there higher praise for a non-profit?

Review from Guidestar

Kathleen N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I used NaNoWriMo in a Japaneses University setting. It was incredible for me to see the effects of the program (with the online and printed support offered by the Office of Letters and Light). I was introduced to NaNoWriMo by a teacher in Turkey, and I am still discovering the benefits for second language learners. Thanks to this organization, my students were able to express their ideas in English and feedback across the board was that students realized they loved to write, and became more motivated to continue learning English. Thank you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light and it's event NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month)-- which happens every year in November-- are an absolute pleasure to support and participate in. I've been participating for a few years now, and have even managed to drag a few friends into the process.
I can honestly say that the NaNoWriMo program is one of the best ways I have found to motivate and expand writing horizons. From encouraging emails-- both from the OLL and published authors-- to the in-person events--such as write ins-- it's an amazing, month-long experience. Everything about the event is well organized and extremely positive.
If you are up for a month of nail biting, and stretching the boundaries of your creativity-- not to mention a huge sense of accomplishment at the end(whether you reach 50k words or not), highly recommend NaNoWriMo.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having heard about NaNoWriMo from other writers, I signed up and wrote 50,000 words of a Young Adult novel in November. This was so inspiring, that I recently completed the other 50,000 words and am in the edit process! Thank you for all of the encouragement and the "kick in the pants" to NaNoWriMo!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light is a fantastic organization. It puts on the annual NaNoWriMo (or) National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo was a fun, exhilarating experience! For the first time in my life, I did what I've always said i would: write a book. More importantly, it reminded me that i am a writer. I'm honestly living my life different now, and that's nothing but a good thing.

So profound was my experience, that I'm planning on speaking about NaNoWriMo at the annual Ohio Library Support Staff Institute (library conference).

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was surfing on the internet in school when I found a blog post where someoen talked about NaNoWriMo. This was 8 days into the contest. I decided to do it, even if I was starting late, and I was wondering how a 14 year old aspiring author with no experiance was going to pull it off, but I made it, and it gave me the confidence I needed to finish other projects I had been doing and to start others. NaNoWriMo helped me becoem a better, more prolific, mroe confident author and I think thats great.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

For me, NaNoWriMo 2010 was lifechanging. I was in an artistic rut; the worst kind: writer's block. It lasted over five years! But with NaNoWriMo, I was able to blow that writer's block right out of the water! It was so much fun typing a novel that I thought would never see the light of day. It was such a crazy idea, and the story fails in so many points...But it is written. The rough draft is there and outlined, full of brilliance and gaping plot holes. And now that I have that rough draft, I can refine that story and make it great. Without NaNoWriMo, it would just be another idea that never would have been completed. So thank you, NaNoWriMo, and thank you, OLL!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i have always wanted to write a novel, but i would always give up after writing a few pages. i needed something else that was going to push me to finish, and thats exactly what nanowrimo has done. i am 15 year old with a 50,000 word novel under by belt, and i never would have been able to even come close to finishing with nanowrimo. i seriously think this is the greatest accomplishment in my life so far. i will definitely be participating again, and i will tell other people about this so they can have this great experience as well.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I participated in Nano Wrimo for the first time this past year, and my confidence as a writer was low. So at the behest of my friend I took the challenge and ended up pinning a 62,000 word novel in a month. Through encouraging messages and write-in with supportive peers, I pushed forward and created a new piece of art while at the same time honing my skills and defined my writing style. I gained a new found respect for myself as a result and proved my worth. This program is amazing inspiration and detrimental to my growth as a writer. I fully intend on participating next year and look forward to meeting all of the gems working to keep it going.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nanowrimo was quite possibly the greatest thing I ever did. I loved it! It really helped me get to sit down and write my first novel while having a great and motivating place to go when I needed a little push. I can't wait to do Nanowrimo again and to begin publishing my novel I wrote last november!!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm so glad that Office of Letters and Light puts on NaNoWriMo, it was such a great experience for me. It helped me realize the struggles and work that goes into writing a novel and how great the final accomplishment is. As an aspiring journalist and writer, this was very important to me and i'm always telling friends about it. Thank you OLL!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nano taught me so much about myself: to believe in my ability to exceed my own expectations, to work harder, and that no matter what, even if I don't win, I will NEVER disappoint myself if I try my hardest.
This past year was my second year participating in (and winning) NaNoWriMo. Being the busy freshman in high school that I am, it yet again made me realize what I can put my mind to.
I would recommend NaNo to anyone and EVERYONE: it's an incredible opportunity to prove to yourself what you are made of!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NaNoWriMo has helped me with my writing, by showing me that it is possible to dream, and complete that dream.
The NaNoWriMo site is a great resource for anyone to learn how to finish what you start, no matter what it is.
By just by writing a few words a day anyone can write 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
This site connects people in a way that I have never seen before.
Thank you, NaNoWriMo for your dedication to literacy and helping everyone to dream.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The OLL program, NaNoWriMo, has changed my life. Every year I swear I will never do it again, yet every year come October I am filled with excited anticipation. Why? There are so many reasons that I doubt I will be able to remember them all here. First, accomplishing the goal of writing 50K words of fiction in a month inspires me for the entire year. Second, every year writing brings a different experience. Two years ago I was actually able to experience, for the first time, a character literally "taking on a life of their own." I never thought I'd be able to be "creative enough" to write 50K words. Wrong. I am amazed at my creative output. Not because I think I'm SO creative, but because if I can do it, anyone can. This annual adventure has helped me in the area of discipline when it comes to studying in my college classes. I look at life differently, in a more lighthearted way, a creative way. The gang at OLL is responsive; they always return emails, and if there are problems with any merch that has been purchased they're on top of it. The pep talks are fantastic and all those on staff are so encouraging, funny, and creative when it comes to writing. I love what the organization stands for and through their programs they are changing lives. This year, in my Public Communication Class I gave a persuasive speech about why every person should participate in NaNoWriMo because I believe in it that much! I got an "A" on that speech - because, I believe, the evidence is overwhelming in favor of the reasons why. Participate and you will learn for yourself how amazing it is. (I could write a novel about all the reasons why a person should participate).

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware of the NaNoWriMo program through one of my students who was taking on the challenge for the second time. She now has two novels written before the age of 18, and showed a keen sense of determination in following this program throughout the month.

I believe that their structure will contribute to a whole new amazing generation of writers, and engender a first hand appreciation of what it takes to write a novel.

Thanks so much for the experience.

Brenda Sheppard

Review from Guidestar

Margaret G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am, and have been for quite some time, absolutely thrilled with the Office of Letters and Light. The efforts they put into encouraging literacy, ambition, and fulfilling the secret desires of yourself - regardless of what anyone thinks! - are amazing and supremely laudable.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light brings great opportunities to people all across the world. Through their programs (NaNoWriMo, ScriptFreznzy, and the Young Novelist's Program), they're opening the door into creative writing for a multitude of people who might never have taken the chance before. With their guides and staff, they bring encouragement to new writers, cheering them and and helping them accomplish their creative endeavor.

I first found them through NaNoWriMo, a month long novel writing contest, back in 2007. I had just graduated high school and while I loved to write, I had little confidence in myself. I wasn't getting anywhere. When I found NaNoWriMo, I gave myself an ultimatum: If I enter this and I don't finish, I need to pull back and focus on what I really want to do with my life.

Over the course of the next month I wrote my novel. It was hard. Between school and writing, I didn't get to sleep until well after 2AM every morning. But the fun part about NaNoWriMo is you know you're never alone. Other people are out there struggling to write too. You can see that through the forums the OLL staff set up. And every week, there were pep-talks sent out from published authors and the program's director, Chris Baty himself. Without these two things, I might have given up in week two.

But I didn't. I won. Participating in NaNoWriMo gave me the confidence in myself I needed to keep working toward my dream. Close to four years later, I'm still writing. I've completed the creative writing program at my local college and I'm working on my fourth novel. I'll always be grateful for the Office of Letters and Light for being there to help me when I needed it.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned a number of valuable lessons from doing the NaNo novel.
1. I don't need a rigid routine to write.
2. I don't do too badly when the gun is at my head.
3. I can write 55,401 words in 25 days that will become a novel or a play.
4. It's better to have a first draft than no draft.
5. And most importantly that if I'm writing, the other issues in my life have a way of taking care of themselves.
November 2010 was a great month.

Review from Guidestar