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On your mark. Get Set. Write! The Wonder of Novel Marathons by Jacqui Morrison

Muskoka Novel Marathon 2014 held at the Active Living Centre (Canada Summit Centre) in Huntsville, Ontario. Photo by Lori Twining
Muskoka Novel Marathon 2014 held at the Active Living Centre (Canada Summit Centre) in Huntsville, Ontario. Photo by Lori Twining
The marathoners at work at the Active Living Centre. Photo Credit: Lori Twining
The marathoners at work at the Active Living Centre. Photo Credit: Lori Twining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participation in writing marathons is one of my favourite ways to grow as an author. What is a novel marathon? It’s a 3-day, 72-hour, non-stop event where writers, of all stages and ages, come to write a first-draft novella over a long-weekend.

I’ve attended the Muskoka Novel Marathon at least six times and I intend to join the Toronto Novel Marathon this summer. Both of these Ontario based marathons are connected to worthy charities. Writers accept pledges and are encouraged to fund-raise up to $500 per author. Cumulatively in Muskoka, $105,000 has been raised for adult literacy programs. The Toronto Novel Marathon, affectionately dubbed ToNoMa, raises funds for the Renascent House – a residential treatment program for people with addictions.

Thursday night pre-marathon dinner at The Cottage with Authors at the 2014 Muskoka Writing Marathon. Photo by Cheryl Cooper.
Thursday night pre-marathon dinner at The Cottage with Authors at the 2014 Muskoka Writing Marathon. Photo by Cheryl Cooper.

Imagine meeting fellow writers, who become fast friends by the end of the weekend. I’ve had some of my most inspiring conversations while being surrounded by fellow writers. We eat wonderful meals together and share stories on the craft of writing. Everyone is encouraging of one-another.

Jacqui Morrison gets silly with a book worm at the 2011 Muskoka Novel Marathon. Photo credit N/A
Jacqui Morrison gets silly with a book worm at the 2011 Muskoka Novel Marathon. Photo credit N/A

Sleep deprivation can bring out silliness and since my already out-going personality blossoms at novel marathons, I was nicknamed Giggles. When I became a grandmother my nickname morphed into Grandma Giggles and the moniker stuck. I’ve also gotten involved in childishness, like a chair race at midnight of the third night and silly games with horns. However, what happens at a novel marathon stays at the marathon, so I can’t share too much without fear of retribution.

12 short stories by writers from Muskoka, Montreal, Mexico, from the Muskoka Novel Marathon.
12 short stories by writers from Muskoka, Montreal, Mexico, from the Muskoka Novel Marathon.

On April 1st, 2010, I received an email from my friend Martin Avery to tell me that he and Jenny Cressman were putting together a book called The Best Stories from the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2000 – 2010 to commemorate the first 10 years of this fundraising event for literacy. Martin is known for his humour so I asked him to stop sending me April Fools jokes. After he convinced me that his email was not a prank I began to get excited about being one of only twelve authors chosen. In the anthology, I included a polished version of a short story I wrote at one of the marathons.

Friendships are forged over the weekend and most keep in touch via social media. Writing is often a lonely existence, so having the privilege of being part of a worthwhile event lifts my spirits and compels me to write and edit when I’d otherwise be procrastinating.

Veteran novel marathoners have become my support system throughout the year. We’ll occasionally meet at other events where writers congregate. I’m welcomed with a great big hug, followed by another inspiring conversation about their writing and mine.

Jacqui Morrison is the author of the suspense thrillers Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. You can purchase both books at Lachesis Publishing.

You can also get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

4 thoughts on “On your mark. Get Set. Write! The Wonder of Novel Marathons by Jacqui Morrison”

  1. Oh, how I love Grandma Giggles… her laughter is infectious!

    I, too, share her enthusiasm for novel writing marathons and I’m considering joining Grandma Giggles at the Toronto Novel Marathon event this summer, just because she is going… well, that, and I love to fundraise for great causes.

    I look forward to reading “The Best Stories from the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2000 – 2010”. It sounds intriguing. Great article, Jacqui! Happy writing. See you soon.

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