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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'll be honest, I would write even without these guys... but OLL has made it so much more fun! I didn't realize that writing COULD be more fun, but there it is! They provide a community that I never thought I would be able to find, where I feel comfortable talking about my writing in a way I can't even with my closest friends. To take a solitary pastime like writing, and bring an almost party atmosphere to is an amazing feat, but the Office of Letters and Light crew have done it, time and again. Now that I have experienced NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy, I don't know what I would do without them.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

If it wasn't for NaNoWriMo (one of the programs of the Office of Letters and Light) , I would never have started writing again. Because of this program, I now write three times a week and am polishing up a manuscript I hope to submit to publishers during 2011. I've incorporated their YWP program into my work (I'm a teacher, who now supports students who write at school outside of my regular classes.)
Most importantly, meeting the challenge of NaNoWriMo changed how I feel about what I can do. After writing 50,000 words that first year and dancing around the living room with joy once I hit that mark, I realized that oftentimes it's my own imagination that limits what I can accomplish. Not reality. I stopped saying "No, I can't" and started saying, "Heck, why not!" In fact, this year I took up running ("Heck, why not!") and went from be able to sustain 30 seconds of running to running a 5K race after 4 months of training. I would not have had the courage to even attempt that, if it wasn't for my NaNoWriMo experience.
I think the Office of Letters and Light is a fantastic organization. They have meant so much for me personally through NaNoWriMo, and I see them affecting students each year at my work through the YWP program as well.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have wanted to write something, anything, most of my life but never went beyond a few pages. Then, one day, bored at work, I fished a newspaper out of the trash. It told about a crazy sounding thing called National Novel Writing Month that was starting in a couple of days. I thought, 'Hmmm, I just bought a laptop, it is meant to be.' Having no idea what to write about or how I was going to accomplish it, I signed up. It started out slowly, but with a deadline on the horizon, I quickly picked up the pace and before I knew what hit me, I had a completed novel. Wow! The next year I decided to give it another go, and 30 days later I had a second completed novel. This was becoming almost too easy. Well, eight years went by and I had amassed an amazing eight novels. I don't think I would have ever started or finished eight novels without Nanowrimo and will be forever grateful for the part they played in jumpstarting my writing. Have deadline, will WRITE!!! Write on!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I am 64 today, in all those years I never had the positive enforcement behind me to finish the story I wanted to tell. Now in one month time I finished one. And realised there is more in a life then just living and working. I now love to write and re-examen my life by writing about it.
This all thanks to The Office of Letters and Light for there initiative to make "Nanowrimo" an International event.
Thank you OoL. Please continue with these positive endevours..

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Office of Letters and Light is an excellent organization for authors, scriptwriters and just about anyone who wants to do a mad thing like write a novel in a month. I've participated in their NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) event three years in a row and their ScriptFrenzy event last year. Thank you to the great staff at OLL for motivating hundreds of thousands of authors to finally get that novel/screenplay/comic book/whathaveyou written!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Offices of Letters and Light is one of the most amazing organizations on the face of the planet. They run the only website I know of that supplies every writing need - a goal and deadline to get the first draft written, resources, advice from famous authors, and an incredibly strong community for support throughout the writing and revision process.

I first participated in National Novel Writing Month in 2009, excited by the idea of a writer's challenge that didn't require a submission. Reaching my 50,000 word goal was one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had. I know that without The Offices of Letters and Light, I never would have written my novel. The strong sense of community continued throughout the year, keeping me inspired to finish my novel by late December.

Since I'd had so much fun during National Novel Writing Month, I decided that I might as well try Script Frenzy in 2010. I went into it with lower expectations, but I was shocked at how much I loved it. Writing a script was an entirely new experience for me, and I enjoyed every second of it. With the encouragement once again provided by the online community, I was able to go well beyond the 100-page goal, and not only complete the required page count but also my entire plot arc by April 30.

I participated in National Novel Writing Month again in 2010, this time with an idea that had been inspired by my time on the forums - I wouldn't have even had the idea for this novel without the Offices of Letters and Light! Despite falling behind on my word count, the constant encouragement of the staff and other participants kept me going. I attended a write-in organized by my local Municipal Liaison, and enjoyed it immensely. Once again, I reached fifty thousands words on November 30.

The Offices of Letters helps hundreds of thousands of people achieve writing goals that they never would have realized otherwise. They are always striving to reach farther, improve their organization, and introducing new programs like the Night of Writing Dangerously Write-A-Thon, The Great NaNoWriMo Book Drive, and now Camp NaNoWriMo. Everything they do is truly inspiring.

Review from Guidestar

Brenda P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I was a young girl, I was always coming up with little stories. In fact, that's how I survived years of church (sorry!) and boring school lectures. Yes, I'm full of ideas, but light on execution. In my late 30's, I finally found a place that will cherish my ideas and use peer pressure to help me succeed - OLL and Nanowrimo. I've been able to write 50,000 words in a month the last two years. While I might not have written the great American novel yet (who knows?!), the experience has helped to boost my confidence, ensured that I can take on 'undoable' tasks, and made me more willing to help others in Herculean efforts.

Review from Guidestar

Sarah D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2009, I participated in OLL's National Novel Writing Month. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. They inspired me to write an entire draft of a novel in a month, which was more than I'd ever done in years. It got me motivated to take life by the horns. I grew closer to many friends who were also participating. OLL's outlook on the whole experience was really amazing. They encourage participants to write, even if what they write is the worst prose ever penned. It inspires writers to free themselves of the shackles of perfection. If we don't have to be perfect, then we are free to be creative, to try things and get it wrong a million times, because the more mistakes you make, the more you learn! This experience was life changing for me, and I'm sure it was for many others, too.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

NaNoWriMo and the Office of Letters and Light encourage people of all walks of life to pursue the art of writing. As a high tech professional with 30 years experience, writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a daunting undertaking. I could not have done it without the professionalism, encouragement and faith doled out daily by the team at OLL. Their focus on today’s youth provides an outlet for students who aren’t motivated by the education systems in the US and the world to write a book. The confidence built from attempting this challenge is remarkable. And for those disciplined enough to complete the task, the experience is priceless.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to NaNoWriMo 6 years ago and instantly fell in love with the idea of writing a novel in a month. I have participated every year since, and have been encouraging my friends to do so, too. Why? It's not just because spending November entrenched in creating a 50,000 word piece of fantastickness is crazy fun (which it is). It's also because of the NaNoWriMo community. Receiving those weekly email pep talks from famous writers is great encouragment, as is just knowing that there are thousands of other people around the globe who are attempting the same crazy feat. Through the NaNo website, local writers can connect and offer each other support, which is crutial. Writing is a lonely job, and without the Office of Letters and Light, it would be even lonelier. People who had never had the confidence to try writing a novel would still be wishing they had the gumption to try. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, they are encouraged to try. It's a great boost to self-esteem. It is one of the few organizations I truly, truly believe in and am always eager to financially and emotionally support. And even though it's only February, I can hardly wait until November!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a joy it is to meet students who are so engaged with their writing projects that they stop me in the hall to give me updates! The Office of Letters and Light is responsible for this enthusiasm by sponsoring NaNoWriMo. Their website hooks students from the start, and the materials provide an incredible amount of scaffolding for students as they write their novels.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light (OLL) hosts two events that have changed my life for the better: ScriptFrenzy and National Novel Writing Month. Both of these are free to participants however donations are cheerfully accepted. OLL also runs a Young Writers' Program. With friendly, informative staff members, a well-organized website and a fabulous organization, OLL has helped people of all ages all over the world compose their first novel or write their first script. As a volunteer Municipal Liaison for OLL for five years, I introduced my middle school creative writing group to both events and the kids took wing on flights of fancy. It was amazing to experience - and educational for all involved. There's so much good that comes from this small office in Berkeley, it's unbelievable. I heartily recommend the Office of Letters and Light and their good works.

Review from Guidestar

Sam D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light does a spectacular job of keeping their programs running and keeping the participants motivated. I have been a participant of NaNoWriMo since 2006 and a participant of ScriptFrenzy since it started in 2006. I have also been a ML for NaNo since 2008. OLL sends me e-mails all year long to let me know what is going on with the office and the programs and that makes me feel like a big part of the organization. They consistently put everything they have into running their programs, which helps to spread a love of reading and writing, something I think is very important for the world today.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first discovered NaNoWriMo, one of the Office of Letters and Light's month long programs, when I was in high school, 8 years ago. Since then, with their help, I've written three novels and made many new friends in the area. I wouldn't have even dreamed I could do something like this without the help of OLL. I now spend months looking forward to NaNoWriMo and all the excitement, fun, and new friendships that it can bring. I don't think I would make two or three new good friends each year without this program- nor would I write a novel from beginning to end.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I've participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2003. I donate to the Office of Lights and Letters every year. With their three programs, they have created an enthusiastic global community of writers of all ages and levels. Their unique approach takes the fear of perfection out of the writing process and allows participants the freedom to reach for their creative potential. In addition the OLL encourages literacy all over the world. I'm proud to be a participant and a donor.

Review from Guidestar

Jess J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a part of NaNoWriMo since 2003 and Script Frenzy since it began in 2006. I never would have gotten into screenwriting, which I take seriously and am actively pursuing, without OLL. There are dozens of people I wouldn't have met without the events that OLL created and runs every year. I'm so grateful and can't thank them enough!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Office of Lights and Letters is fantastic! Their desire to spread literacy and writing all over the world is admirable and they are honestly the best people to work for. I've loved volunteering for them and plan on continuing. Also, NaNoWriMo is an amazing event that really brings otherwise very different people together and promotes a love of writing.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

OLL has created a community of writers across the world, with pep talks, local organizers, quantitative tools, and social networking, The organization has provided motivation, emotional support, and cool posters to hundreds of thousands of published and aspiring novelists and screen writers. My daughter's school has participated in the Young Writers Program for two years, a very nice addition to the program.

Writing is ordinarily a solitary pursuit, but during Nanowrimo and Script Frenzy, we are connected, given context, and validated. In short, it is a PHENOMENON.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light is one of the most fantastic non-profits I've ever seen. Something like Nanowrimo could be a big money-maker considering its popularity, but that money goes into making the world a better - and more literate - place. I'm so proud to be associated with OLL and Nanowrimo, and I just can't say enough about what a wonderful organization it is, or how great the people are who run it.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Always wanted to write a novel but never seemed to get past the first few chapters of my story ideas until NaNoWriMo. The deadline of writing a novel in November helped me get rid of my internal editor that kept saying "your writing's trash...you can't write a whole novel etc." Their encouraging emails and website were timely and helpful and FREE. Thier bookstorenot only was filled with useful books and fun items to inspire writers to reach and celebrate the goal but was also easy to order from and timely in delivery of quality merchandise. I am now in the process of editing and polishing (The website gave hints about that, too.) my first novel--a fantasy that's come true. I can't wait for NaNoWriMo 2011!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters & Light sponsors the world-wide novel writing event the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have been participating in this event every year for the last five years. The regional volunteers have become some of my best friends. I love this non-profit because they work to bring writing to everyone -- and, specifically, they are helping to put creative writing back into schools. My one gripe is that, each year, the website servers have a difficult time handling the hordes of aspiring novelists. The OLL has a great tech support team, however, and things usually settle down after a few days.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe that everyone has a story to tell. NaNoWriMo gives people the chance to do that.

I believe NaNoWriMo is a brilliant program for getting folks actually writing. Because it is so easy in our busy lives to put things off. Even things we really want. Having a deadline and so much dedicated human support helps people reach for their dreams and I believe strongly in the idea of a dream.

I first became aware of NaNoWriMo in 2001 when my daughter found it online and challenged me to do it with her. I have no real interest in writing, but was up for a challenge. The first year I beat her to the finish.

I never expected to do it again. It was fun and interesting but not my thing. But then in October the next year I got an email from Chris Baty that inspired me to do it again. I kept telling myself I wasn't going to do it again. At least until 2007 when I volunteered to be an ML (Municipal Liaison) for Scotland.

Being an ML has been the most amazing thing for me. Last year I had about a thousand folks that looked to the areas I was watching over. Many of them outwith Scotland. I know several of them have gone on to actually publishing their books and so many of them have met or exceeded personal goals.

The most important thing to me with NaNoWriMo, is the positive attitude that 'you can do this' no matter what excuses you want to make. It is a hard challenge, but not an impossible one.

I think it is important to keep NaNoWriMo orientated towards encouraging people. That they have enough funding so that it can stay an open contest that anyone can join.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I helped organize a group of students to participate in the Young Writers Program for National Novel Writing Month. Two teachers and about five students regularly worked on novels together and on our own, and we all thought the program was fantastic. Even the students who did not reach their target word count found the experience valuable. And the students who did finish and "win" said they would never have done it without the program.
Outside of my teaching, I also participate in the adult program, and I certainly don't think I would have finished any of my projects without the support of the NaNoWriMo program.

Review from Guidestar

Samantha C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first encountered NaNoWriMo when I moved to Japan, strangely enough for a non-profit based in the US! I was working on the JET Program and living in a very isolated rural area. This was an extremely difficult time in my life, and I honestly feel like the self-confidence and can-do spirit that NaNo instills in people (as well as the online--and offline!--community and fellowship) saved me and helped me to experience more of what was around me than I would have otherwise. I constantly recommend NaNo and its philosophy to people around me, and there is no non-profit I admire more.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became aware of the OLL (and it's program NaNoWriMo) in 2006 when the local paper ran a story on National Novel Writing Month. There are programs and funding for helping kids and adults read, but this is the only organization of its kind, that I'm aware of, that focuses specifically on encouraging people to write! It took several tries, but I made my 50,000 word goal, and I would not have succeeded without the help and support of the OLL, its website, mailings and online services. My only suggestions for the future would be to continue to expand to other countries. Writers from around the world need to be encouraged to tell their stories!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I never would have finished a novella-length work if it had not been for OLL and NaNoWriMo. Knowing that thousands of people around the world are pounding away at their keyboards at the same time is highly motivational. There are many forums with varied topics. It was inspirational keeping up with others on their writing journey.

I became even more impressed with the program when they instituted the Young Writers' Program. Many teen writers participated in NaNo anyway, but they could potentially get credit for it with the curriculum guidelines OLL now has available for teachers. This is a valuable program that helps those who feel they have a story to tell have an opportunity to tell it.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been writing since I learned to read. I knew I had a novel in me, but it took National Novel Writing Month to extract it.

OLL doesn't just plop a finish line in front of writers and say "get there." They provide support, encouragement and a writing community. Local liaisons offer in-person encouragement and group write-ins. The feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line is tremendous. And there's more - OLL's Young Writers Program and Script Frenzy. OLL puts a lot of heart and soul (and humor) into helping us writers write more, which in turn helps many of us write better.

Laura B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The National Novel Writing Month process is invaluable in learning how to complete a manuscript. It teaches the most important skill that a writer can pick up: finishing. For me, this process really boosted my confidence. NaNoWriMo taught me how to manage deadlines and work writing into my daily life. I can’t say enough good things about NaNoWriMo… It really put me on the path to becoming a published author. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

At first, the concept behind NaNoWriMo, sponsored by OLL seemed both strange and ridiculous. True, many people dream of writing a novel, and few ever carry through with it, regardless of eventual publication, but do it in a month? Ridiculous!

However, the concept provides two important incentives. First, there's the focus. You MUST do it in a month, at least you think you must. In fact, if you "fail" you've still won, because you tried. You learned, you stretched yourself, and you accomplished something. More importantly, you NaNoWriMo gave you "permission" to write material that wasn't going to win a Nobel Prize. You learned you could write junk, and fix it later.

Ultimately, some participants do seek publication, and I consider myself fortunate to have been successful in that endeavor. With one novel, and one non-fiction book "out" I'm still writing, and I still join in NaNoWriMo every fall.

OLL, without requiring me to spend hundreds of dollars, provides a creative outlet that cannot be rivaled, and the shared forums and other elements help me in ways that would cost thousands through some MFA program. They also provide things, like that "permission" clause, that no MFA program ever considered.

In short, OLL through NaNoWriMo, is helping to create the next generation of writers, be they adults or school children.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Office of Letters and Light offers writers, both young and old with the chance to sit down and devote a whole month to writing their very own novel. What fun! It also encourages and supports teachers to bring their students into the fun, giving the youngest writers a taste of creating their own story. I've taken part in Nanowrimo for three years and fully intend to write again this coming November.

Review from Guidestar

Mandi L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I always dabbled in being a writer, and my stories were 'okay' - then I found NaNoWriMo. I remember my first "novel" attempt - a woman who's life is working out, but told from the eyes of her cat. Who does that? The cool thing, though, is that nobody judged me when I tried that then, nobody judged me when my next attempt was a philosophical look at life relating to looking at ducks on a lake, and now, seven years later, nobody judges me when I work on a steampunk novel or throw in a short story or a mid grades novel to my mix. I used the NaNo experience to get to a point where I was confident in my writing.

When Script Frenzy came along, I thought "hey, my dialog is weak, maybe that will help" and I signed up for that, too. Now, people talk about how good my dialog is, and I've got some interesting scripts sitting here.

In all, I think that anybody who's interested in writing should sign up. You have nothing to lose, but lots to gain. Oh, and as an added bonus? All of the people I consider really good friends are people I met here in my NaNo region!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like many others, I had always wanted to write a novel, but never really got around to it. The Office of Letters and Light's program, NaNoWriMo, was a life-changing experience, and I'm continually learning more about it every year I participate.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Office of Letters and Light gives life to NaNoWriMo: a world-wide month of creativity, madness, and a race to the end of a 50,000 word novel. Every November, the ordinary guy has a chance to do something extraordinary. That is something I look forward to every year. Sometimes the month begins and I don't even have a single thread of plot to work with, other years I've had months of thinking and planning to where the characters of my nano-novel are already good friends of mine.

The Office of Letters and Light makes it possible for thousands of people to get a much needed break from the mundane of their lives and revitalize their creative energies. NaNoWriMo is liberating, healing, and life changing. I've done it every year since 2004.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters & Light's NaNoWriMo and Script Freenzy have provided unending support and encouragement. The structure of NaNoWriMo provides just what I've needed to do the things I've always wanted to do, but been afraid to tackle on my own. Those things: writing novels and writing screenplays. Its amazing organization that provides encouragement to thousands of writers, young and old. If you've always wanted to write a novel (or a screen play), The Office of Letters and LIght is THE organization that can help you get your novel or screen play done!

Review from Guidestar

Mary A.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light consistently provides opportunities for aspiring writers, young and old, to experiment and hone their skills in a risk-free and encouraging environment. As a writing teacher, I understand the importance of playful support and challenges, as well as a safe place to try ideas and make mistakes. The Office of Letters and Light embodies these tenets through all of their writing programs, from NaNoWriMo to Script Frenzy to the Young Writers Program. It's wonderful that an organization is out there cultivating a generation of excited writers!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Each year my students look forward to NaNoWriMo. They get excited about setting higher word-count goals, discuss their characters from previous years' novels, and take pride in their work. The Office of Letters and Light makes it easy for busy educators to authentically engage students in real, imperfect, messy writing-- which is what all writing is at some point or another. I like how NaNoWriMo loosens us all up and gets us away from the rigidity of measurable assessment. It puts all of us, students and teacher, into the realm of writers working together. I feel this collaborative classroom approach works best for the 21st century student.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light's National Novel Writing Month was a life changing event for me. The first year, as a participant, I proved to myself that I could write a novel in thirty days, whereas before it had taken me years. With confidence gained, I set out my second year to not only write another novel, but to take their Young Writer's Program to my childrens' school and inspire an entire classroom of young minds. With far more courage and confidence that I'd thought in me, I offered the Young Writers Program to two classrooms and wrote yet another novel the third year. The students loved this program and many of my first year YWP students pleaded for me to follow them into middle school. How could I turn that down?

My fourth and fifth year, in addition to opening the YWP up to four classes at the elementary level and offering a program at the middle school level, boosted me into becoming a municipal liaison so that I could share my enthusiasm for writing with local adults as well.

During my time in the program I've watched students who had difficulties with writing turn into enthusiastic writers, shy adult participants have left their homes to socialize with other writers and come back year after year. I've made great friends, got the push I needed to dive into writing and have gone on to publish a couple short stories, something I would probably have never had the confidence to try for had it not been for stumbling across OLL's program five years ago.

Review from Guidestar

Kate R.

Donor

Rating: 5

In 2009, I first participated in NaNoWriMo. I had no idea what to expect. I am a donor and also a "client served" as I am a participant in NaNoWriMo events. I also volunteered in 2010 as a municipal liaison to help others in my area.

The bottom line is this: I benefited in very personal ways from my participation with NaNoWriMo and the Office of Letters and Light. From there, I became a donor and then a volunteer. The Office of Letters and Light offers inspiration, guidance, and help to those who are looking to fulfill their dreams. They do this through practical advice, mutually beneficial relationships with vendors and all with humor!

This organization answers questions, responds to community requests and each year makes improvements based on actual feedback from participants. It's amazing how efficient these improvements and changes have been over the past few years. The organization is one that puts its money right where it says it will and provides an inspiring array of services to people of all ages, including students in areas of need.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In addition to my role as volunteer, I am also a donor and client served. I've been involved with the organization's NaNoWriMo event since 2003. I've donated each year since then, and I have been volunteering since 2007. My favorite thing about this organization is its commitment--to its volunteers and to the population that it serves. The staff are tireless in their efforts to help their volunteers and the tens of thousands of aspiring writers achieve their script- or novel-writing goals. The fact that their goal is to bring literature into the world and inspire those who wouldn't normally write to write is another favorite aspect of OLL. OLL truly is dedicated, and dedicated to a very worthwhile endeavor that provides inspiration from around the globe. On a personal level, I've met some of my best friends through the NaNoWriMo event and learned perseverance, as well.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a homeschooling mother of 3 and a teacher of a high school language arts cooperative with a class of 17 teens. My daughter introduced me to NaNoWriMo 3 years ago when we both completed the November novel writing challenge. Each year my experience is better than the previous year and I hope that my writing has also improved. I hope to get something published in the future. This past year, I brought my language arts class along for the adventure. Of the 17 that began writing November 1st, thirteen completed the task and wrote their first novel of over 30,000 words. Many of these same students are still writing as their stories were not fully told. I have watched their fears dissolve and their self-confidence soar. I have not finished reading their novels, but what I have read has pleased the teacher in me. I am amazed at the character development, use of metaphor, etc. in their writing. Any program that encourages the development of young adults to communicate clearly, poignantly, and passionately has my full support. We did use the classroom helps and workbooks provided by the Office of Letters and Light and were pleased with the quality and scope of the material. My students and I are now looking forward to the next challenge - Script Frenzy in April. It will be a first for me as well as my students - many of whom plan to put their novel into a screen play format. Thank you Office of Letters and Light. You have certainly produced winners in my class! Kudos!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Because of the Office of Letters and Light, I am a published author today. I'd been a writer all my life, but even with a Masters in writing had never managed to finish a novel before National Novel Writing Month in 2006. The novel I wrote then went on to sell to HarperCollins in a three book deal, and my life has been forever changed by what the OLL helped me to realize: That I am not only a writer, but a working one. I've participated every year since then, and in two weeks, the book I wrote for NaNo in 2008 will be released to bookstore shelves. I owe this success directly to OLL, and I can't say enough about them.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have completed Office of Letters and Light's National Novel Writing Month twice. It is a free, international programme where participants write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, with internet support through their fantastic website, and on-the-ground local groups. All sorts of people of all ages and backgrounds realise their writing dreams through NaNoWriMo, and I am no exception.

After a year's revision, My second NaNovel, CUCKOO, landed me a top agent and a three book deal with the major UK publisher, Headline. I have since landed similar deals in several European countries. I am now a full-time writer.

Before NaNoWriMo, I would never have had the confidence in my ability to write a full novel. This programme really works, and the literacy and creative writing work with youth that goes on throughout the year, partly funded by donations from grateful NaNoWriMo participants like myself, is another important arm of the OLL's work. \

They are a great, supportive, approachable and empowering organisation, and their work impacts on hundreds of thousands of people both locally and globally every year.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my seventeen-year-old mentioned The Office of Letters and Light's National Novel Writing Month to me in October of 2006, I had to wonder if perhaps my children did know me better than I knew myself. With a little arm-twisting, I was a NANOWRIMO participant, and so began my adventures with noveling, 50K in a month, and the start of my writing career.

After that initial taste of scribbling, I amassed one hundred thousand words, then set about finishing the story upon my family’s return to America after a sojourn in Great Britain. After completing the novel, I sought out publication, which occurred in January of 2009, but in the meantime I had again participated in National Novel Writing Month, one of OLL’s main programs, completing several novels in the interim. What I find so enjoyable about NANO is the camaraderie of the writers, the friendly support of multiple liaisons and the incredible enthusiasm of the OLL staff, a group so devoted to the written word, be it in novel form in November or in April during Script Frenzy, OLL’s other main outlet. The interactive nature of these activities makes for great fun, meeting new people through various forums and sharing one’s output. Yet the biggest boon is simply the opportunity for expression, the drive and passion those involved in OLL possess in furthering writing prospects for all ages; one can never be too young for the spark of literature to catch!

A demanding task is fifty thousand words in a month, but not impossible; one of the biggest deterrents to writing is the idea of never completing a manuscript. In NANOWRIMO, the push is quantity over quality, eliminating that never finished novel. Once a completed story is achieved, a writer can take the next step, be it polishing that project, or preparing for the next, up to the individual what commences. But having even reached The End of one novel opens the door, and that is what NANOWRIMO, via The Office of Letters and Light, offers to aspiring novelists, the prospect to write, and complete, that first book. That OLL charges no fees for participants makes it feasible for any and all to follow their dream, the only requirement being a small kernel of plot and the willingness to open one’s mind. With so many resources available via the NANOWRIMO website, pep talks and forum threads covering a gamut of interests, The Office of Letters and Light offers a range to stir the creative juices, one that I am proud to note as the bedrock of my writing career.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light run National Novel Writing Month, a free of charge program that helps would-be writers meet the goal of writing a book during November of each year.

I've participated for six years now. Each year I learn something new about the creative process. I've participated with family members and friends, which gives us a fun pre-holiday activity to share, and I've met new people locally and online who are taking part too.

Best of all, the associated young writer's program encourages kids to take part. My 13-year-old nephew participated last year and was enthusiastic about his project--and this was a boy who'd never written anything longer than a one-page paper for school.

I really appreciate the work everyone does at OLL to keep things running smoothly every year. I hope to keep participating for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

9 timsimms

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Office of Letters and Light runs an annual program - National Novel Writing Month - that literally changed my life. Prior to participating, I only aspired at being a writer but never thought I had the time. A few years later, I've become an active volunteer for the event, have written four novels, and am working toward publishing some of my work. They truly do inspire literacy and writing fundamentals in adults and children alike.