My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Office of Letters and Light, Berkeley, CA, USA
I'd always wated to be a novelist but it was hard to find the time. Then I heard about Nanowrimo, a yearly competition run by the Office of Letters and Light. 50k words, 30 days. I've alwasys liked a dare, so I took part. I wrote a novel - and I realised I could do it.
And I realised that Nano, and the Office of Letters and Light, was about more than a slightly mental challenge.
It was about convincing people that they had the potential to do all of those things which they had always been convinced they could not realisitcally do. It was about hitting them over the head, repeatedly (and metaphorically) until they did just those things. It was about making people realise that they have something unique and creative to offer the world if they are willing to take the plunge. It was about supporting them while they did it. Best of all, it was about making it fun.
OLL does so many wonderful things: It sends wicked pep talks throughout both November and the year to keep you on track - the latest draft I'm hoping to send to an agent would not have happened without an email from Chris Baty. It runs a brilliant, friendly and excellently moderated set of forums for writers to share info and advice. It runs the Young Writers' Programme. If I had known about the Young Writers' Programme at 13, my first novel would not have taken so long and my life would have been better for it. It keeps people like me sane, and reminds us of the purpose. It makes life better. It's all in the name - office of letters AND light.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
the fact it changed and saved my life. It changed my perspective on my writing, made me happier, more confident and made me realise that I was capable of so much more than I had believed.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
make it bigger, with more access to its wider events outside the US as well as more for people who do not have English as a first language.