Edmonton! The capital of Alberta, Canada, and home to one of the coolest, proudest, Wrimo-iest regions around. It’d have to be, wouldn’t it, since Sarah Mackey, NaNoWriMo’s Community Liaison hails from here, as does former intern and current ML Paige.
The Edmowrimos took some time to show you just how a literary ninja kicks some serious noveling tail. (And check out how LA, NYC, Atlanta, the Philippines, and London take on the writing madness, too!)
The Edmonton region rundown:
Best Local Writer Fuel — When you’re up typing away into the wee hours, sometimes you hit that 2:00 a.m. point where you’re starving but too involved in your novel to cook. Handily, if you’re near the Whyte Avenue area, Steel Wheels is there to save you.
It’s kind of like the Room of Requirement, really—you stumble across it just when you need it. Three dollars gets you two giant slices of delicious pizza, and the graffiti-covered wooden booths are great for overhearing bits of dialogue to slip into your novel.
Best Way to Beat Writer’s Block — The best teahouse in Edmonton is Steeps. The atmosphere is perfect for letting yourself sink into the words: low lighting, gorgeous art on the walls, mismatched tea cups that you to choose from, and old wooden tables. If you can brave the winter to go out, it’s a surefire fix for lack of inspiration.
If you don’t want to risk frostbite, though, there’s always the chatroom, a shining beacon of wordy gloriousness. Without fail, every night during the on-season, there will be between four and forty Wrimos hanging out online, running word-wars. Our chatroom is the home-away-from-home for Edmowrimos who have moved away, too. Once an Edmowrimo, always an Edmowrimo.
Regional Genre of Choice — We have a lot of fantasy authors in Edmonton. Notably, we also once had a Wrimo who was explaining his novel and suddenly realized he was writing Pac-Man fanfic.
The Can’t Miss Edmonton NaNo Event
We’re planning a new event this year that we’re really excited about: (K)Night of the Living Spec. We’ve been invited to hold events during the Pure Speculation Festival, Edmonton’s annual celebration of science-fiction, literature, and media. We’ll be running a ten-hour write-in, re-animating previously killed-off characters, and running a word-war tournament (and more!) amongst panels, gaming, costumes, merchandise, vendors, and artwork.
The Runners-Up — ”Our overnighter! I find little else to be as magical as the strange phrases and unexpected plot twists that arise at 4:30 in the morning, sitting up with a bunch of equally sleep-deprived, coffee-buzzed Wrimos.” — Paige
“Pub Write. There is nothing like descending upon a poor hapless pub with an army of laptops, drinking until you fall on people (true story), and dancing when you need a break.” — Crystal
The Municipal Liaisons
Karen (7th year ML, 10th year Wrimo): I was recruited to NaNoWriMo in 2003 by Sarah Mackey, and failed miserably for my first two years. I won on my third try and Sarah asked me to co-ML shortly after the end of November that year. I co-MLed with Sarah for four years, until she moved into the role of Community Liaison for the OLL. This is my seventh year as an ML, and I’m still loving it!
Crystal (2nd year ML, 11th year Wrimo): My brother had stumbled across NaNo too late to participate in 2001, and when the 2002 season rolled around, we both enthusiastically signed up. Neither of us finished that year, but I’ve been an avid devotee ever since, and I’ve finished every since save one.
Paige (1st year ML, 8th year Wrimo): To be completely honest, I can’t actually remember how I first heard about NaNoWriMo. Ran across it on the internet somewhere, most likely.
A Guide to the Local Wrimos and Culture — The Edmowrimo Literary Ninjas are a stealthy clan of pen-wielding warriors, sneaking up behind our stories’ backs and dispatching them onto paper with the utmost swiftness.
The general populace has nothing to fear from us literary warriors, our scripting weaponry is wielded only within the realm of the fictional. Above all, we are a fellowship of writers campaigning together under the banner of creative recklessness.
What makes us really stand out is our yearly themes, which are incorporated into every aspect of the experience.
One year we had a Harry Potter/Punctuation theme; we sorted our Wrimos into four houses: Exclamador!, Questeryn?, (Parentheclaw), and Ellipsipuff…. to compete against each other for the House Cup based on event attendance, donations, average words, and number of winners. We had a crest and a fake Latin motto: Novelis Quantitus Maximus, Qualitus Minima.
At TGIO we awarded NEWTs (Noble Event Wrimo Triumphs) for contributions to the Wrimo community and OWLs (Outstanding Writer Levels) for writing achievements, as well as graduation certificates and patches embroidered with the crest to all winners. It was a magical year!
The upcoming year will be medieval-themed if that wasn’t clear from the first couple paragraphs. We also came up with the “NaNoPass”, a motivational punch card that includes goals for the month in speed of writing, volume of writing, event attendance, and community involvement.
The Region In a Nutshell — Never underestimate a literary ninja. Alternately, Home of the Edmowrimo Literary Ninjas: If it ain’t blizzarding, it ain’t Kick-Off.
Check out the region in November!
Got a fantastic region? Tell us about it! Have you ever been to a NaNoWriMo write-in?