Erin is one of our fantastic Municipal Liaisons in New York City, and has been leading the NaNoWriMo charge there since 2003. We asked her to give us the Wrimo’s Guide to noveling in NYC, and boy, did she deliver.
If you find yourself wondering where to write in the Empire City, let Erin regale you with tales of the “Desperation Libation”, typing in front of the Flatiron Building like the Wrimos above, and where to get the best latte:
The New York City region rundown:
Best Local Writer Fuel — There’s a little bakery in my neighborhood in Brooklyn called Joyce Bakeshop that is the best place to get a latte and a pastry, in my honest opinion.
Best Way to Beat Writer’s Block — The Met has a suggested donation admission, so you pay what you can. You’re guaranteed to see something you’ve never seen before, no matter how many times you go.
Regional Genre of Choice — We have a lot of smart, creative fantasy writers, but we get a lot of people writing really authentic New York stories, too. Who knows the city and all its oddities and idiosyncrasies better than a New Yorker?
The Can’t Miss NYC NaNo Event
Years ago, a former co-ML started what we call the “Desperation Libation.” That’s our last chance write-in, held on November 30; the first ones were held at places that served alcohol, hence the name.
Basically, we all gather at a place with free Wi-Fi and cheer each other across the finish line with much fanfare (and often cocktails).
The Runners-Up — My personal favorite events are the write-ins we do in Brooklyn; they’re a little more intimate than the big Manhattan write-ins.
The Thank God It’s Over Party (TGIO) is not to be missed, and a couple of years ago, the New York Public Library got in on the act, too, for which we are super excited and grateful.
The Municipal Liaison
This year will be my 10th (!) as ML of NYC. I had just moved to New York a few months before my first NaNo, and wanted to meet people, so I checked out the forums. A group of 6–8 of us started meeting regularly at this crepe place in the West Village, which is tragically no longer there.
When the call went out for MLs the next year, I volunteered, and I’ve been running the show with a revolving team of co-MLs ever since. We had over 100 people show up for a write-in a couple of years ago, and participation grows every year!
A Guide to the Local Wrimos and Culture — We have a lot of great participants, of course. Example: a few years ago I found this tea shop with a great little basement room that seemed perfect for a write-in. I underestimated the number of people who would come, though, and we unfortunately had more people than chairs.
The Wrimos just rolled with it, getting comfortable on the floor. The ‘floor people’ became a Thing that November; it was sort of a badge of honor. I will say, aside from the writing, one of the best things I’ve gotten out of NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to meet some really incredible people, a number of whom have become my good friends over the years. We take our novels seriously, but we like to have fun, too.
We host enough events that there’s something for everyone, from quiet library write-ins to boisterous social meetups and lots of things in-between, depending on your mood. There are lots of opportunities to meet other writers, from the first-timers to the published professionals, and we’ve got all kinds of ages and backgrounds represented, so it’s easy to meet writing buddies, and find cheerleaders and support if you need a little boost.
The NYC Region In a Nutshell — We’re the city that never sleeps—there’s always something going on and the city provides an endless source of inspiration.