Events & Festivals

Weekly 'Write-In' events encourage local writers to reach November goal of 50,000 words toward new novel

For The Courier-Post
Posted: Nov. 9, 2019 10:00 am

HANNIBAL — The Hannibal Writers Guild is encouraging local writers to participate in NaNoWriMo — a monthlong event supported by a 501(c)3 organization for writers to create 50,000 words for a new novel — through weekly “Write-In” events throughout November to help each writer meet the challenge.

To help keep members and friends accountable during this trying challenge, The Hannibal Writers Guild is hosting weekly write-ins. A write-in is basically when a bunch of writers gather together and work on their projects. They are able to ask questions, get feedback and brainstorm ideas to keep them motivated on their projects.

About once every 30 minutes or so, everyone does writing sprints. A writing sprint is when you set a time to write — Hannibal Writers Guild president Dana Lockhart said she likes to do them in five- or seven-minute intervals — and try and write as much as possible in that given time frame. With everyone participating, it creates a feeling of urgency and competition. On average, a writer will write more words per minute during a writing sprint than with just plain free writing.

Lockhart brings candy to reward people for having the most words during each sprint. HWG write-ins are bring your own laptop/paper/pencil/whatever you need to write (though the group tries to meet in places that have free wifi). Lockhart provides candy, a timer and arrangements for the locations along with sharing some optional writing prompts to jump start ideas.

The Hannibal Writers Guild is going to meet at a different location every Saturday to keep the surroundings changing and creativity flowing. The write-ins are not all scheduled yet — if new venues are unavailable, the group will return to places they've gathered before. The up-to-date schedule is:

  • Saturday, Nov. 9: 3-5 p.m. at Java Jive

  • Saturday, Nov 16: 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Hannibal Free Public Library

  • Saturday, Nov 23: To be announced

  • Saturday, Nov 30: To be announced

More information about future write-in locations is available by visiting the Hannibal Writers Guild's Facebook page at

The Hannibal Writers Guild also has meetings set up for different topics in the new year, with venues to be determined:

  • Saturday, Dec. 14: Working with Illustrators and Children's Books with Jennifer Stolzer and Jessica Mathews

  • Saturday, Jan. 11: Heart of Darkness: Exploring and Creating the Layered Villain with David Alan Luca

  • Saturday, Feb. 8: Love and Lust with Leigh Savage

More information about NaNoWriMo is available by visiting


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