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Library Event (Rio Rancho)

A photo of "RR The Hub" at Enchanted Hills. Image courtesy of City of Rio Rancho website

Public libraries provide community space for NaNoWriMo participants

National Novel Writing Month – shortened to NaNoWriMo – is a global event that takes place every November. It challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a novel before the end of the month, according to the City of Rio Rancho’s website.

On Sunday, Nov. 12, the Rio Rancho Public Library hosted a write-in for NaNoWriMo at The HUB.

NaNoWriMo offers numerous virtual events to help writers reach their goals, and some local libraries provide a physical space for writers to share in the joys – and frustrations – of writing a novel, Bentley Clark said – local librarian, event host and NaNoWriMo winner aid.

“Our goal with NaNoWriMo write-ins is to create a safe and fun space for writers to find and capture their story,” Clark said. “Write-ins remind writers that they are not alone in their pursuits, that there are others struggling and succeeding, that failure is not terminal and that noteworthy fiction is published and consumed every day at the public library.”

After a brief introduction, Clark led participants in a traditional 15-minute word sprint. A word sprint is a writing session in which writers try to write as many words as possible within a given time frame. At the end of each sprint, writers were encouraged to share their word count and interact with their peers.

Break periods were spent chatting with fellow participants and enjoying the free food, beverages and writer-themed gifts provided by the library. Shari Cochrane, a participant, said the space itself made it easier to write.

“I don’t have a space that’s solely purposed for me to think through things and to write things down, so it just gives me that boundary, if you will,” Cochrane said.

NaNoWriMo can be an intimidating task no matter where a person is in their writing journey, but events like these can serve to remind writers to slow down and have fun. The environment and energy created at the event was a highlight, participant Jessica Taylor said.

“There’s definitely something to be said for the camaraderie and the energy. Lots of people (are) being creative and being around together. It’s good energy," Taylor said.

Arly Garcia is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. They can be reached at or on Twitter @DailyLobo

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