One of the best parts of NaNoWriMo in Vancouver is the awesome community that has grown up over the years. To continue growing the writing community, we host events throughout the year, especially during NaNoWriMo. There are several events that you may hear about through the year:
- Pre-Nano Meet and Greet
- Sunday Socials
- Transit Write-In
- Thank God It’s Over Party (TGIO)
And finally, make sure you check out this year’s Event Calendar.
Pre-Nano Meet and Greet
Sometime halfway through October, we organize a get-together for eager participants to meet with other folks who have already decided to take the plunge. We’ll descend on a coffee shop in Downtown Vancouver near the SkyTrain, and hang out. The Municipal Liasons and Hosts will be on hand for meeting and question-asking, as will other veteran and new Wrimos! Check the event calendar for specific dates each year.
Before NaNoWriMo begins, we have a party to celebrate the oncoming madness! Usually held on the weekend before November begins, the Kickoff is a very social gathering where participants mingle, make new friends, meet writing buddies, and have a great time.
We also host a couple fun games to help raise money to cover the cost of holding events throughout November in Vancouver, and any extra cash at the end of the month is sent down to NaNoWriMo HQ to help perpetuate the novel writing awesomeness. Everyone who comes is given a nametag to wear at all other Nano events, which includes a checklist of some events and writing milestones as well as a bar to fill in your word count progress. You can hand in your nametag at the last event of the NaNoWriMo season, theTGIO for a door prize.
During November, we host social gatherings in a coffee shop very near to transit. These gatherings have more of a focus on chatting, socializing, and otherwise griping about how poorly/well our writing is progressing.
Bring your writing tools if you like, but be warned: these ones will not foster a pro-writing environment. That is, people will be talking, laughing, moving around, and maybe even yelling. Well, maybe not so much yelling.
These are our bread and butter during the novel-writing season. Organizers will usually stake out a time and a place and host a small gathering, usually around 5 people outside of November, and everyone present will write. Not much talking happens, except during the occasional wrist-massaging, bathroom, or coffee-fetching breaks.
Most of the time, the write-ins will be held in a spot with access to power, so anyone with unreliable laptop batteries can plug in and plug away at their novels. Usually, there will also be some sort of coffee-selling establishment nearby for picking up snacks.
A tradition that started in Edmonton, the transit write-in is the only write-in during November with no fixed location. Because the transit write-in is on wheels. We usually gather at the Waterfront SkyTrain station, just off of Cordova st. near Granville in Downtown Vancouver, drag our laptops, and comandeer a SkyTrain car. We will pull out our writing gear while the train rumbles along one of the three lines, watch the scenery go by, and bust out the words.
Note that the Transit Write-in does take place inside a TransLink Fare Paid Zone, which means that all participants are required to have a valid fare for the duration of the trip. If you aren’t a regular transit user, we recommend purchasing a DayPass for this trip since we will be crossing all three zone boundaries and a regular fare is only good for 90 minutes – we will be going for about 180. Anyone caught without a fare by us will be shunned mercilessly. Anyone caught without a fare by the Transit Police will be fined and asked to leave the train. Please make sure your fare is valid before tagging along.
Thank God It’s Over (TGIO)
This is the last event of the NaNoWriMo adventure. In Vancouver, we usually have two TGIO parties: one on December 1st and one on the first weekend of December. If the first is a Saturday or Sunday, we will only run one.
The TGIO is a chance to unwind from the stress of cranking out 50,000 words, and have that last meeting with all the people you met during November. This is usually a low-key gathering, where people just relax and chat.