My Nonprofit Reviews
Anna Scott Graham
Review for The Office of Letters and Light, Berkeley, CA, USA
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.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
write-ins organized by Multiple Liaisons in my area. I've participated on the forum threads and met some wonderful people from all over the world also as keen as myself in contributing to literature.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
be hard-pressed to do so; The Office of Letters and Light is a fantastic organization that only lacks what so many other non-profits do, more funding to manage and expand their programs.
How would you describe the help you got from this organization?
How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?
How do you feel you were treated by this organization?
How did you find this group?
My daughter learned of it from a friend and espoused its possibilities.
What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?
I finally realized my dream of being an author, a life-long but daunting ambition that was solidified by participating in The Office of Letters and Light's National Novel Writing Month.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?