Posted on: November 21, 2019 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Write 10,000 words this month

Paul Torres

News Writing Student

Writing 10,000 words by the end of the semester may seem like a daunting task, but Assistant Professor of Communications Sheryl Bundy assigns this goal to inspire students to create the novels they might otherwise lack the motivation to start.

Bundy claimed the inspiration comes from her being motivated by the larger college-wide event called NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, hosted at the Moraine Valley campus for the first time this year. NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that gives up-and-coming writers the goal to reach 50,000 written words from the start to the end of November.

Since its founding in 1999, NaNoWriMo has inspired writers of all genres to finish drafts or start on the books they otherwise may have never started, many of which have become successfully published novels.  “The hardest part of writing is doing it every day—even when you don’t want to,” Bundy says on the event’s website. “The support and structure of NaNoWriMo can help people really achieve their goal. And, participating can help one cultivate the habit of writing beyond the month of November.

Bundy worked with Tish Hayes, information literacy librarian, to bring NaNoWriMo to Moraine Valley. Both intend to participate this year in hopes of completing their respective genre writings. “We started planning in June,” Hayes explains. “It just takes submitting the right applications and paperwork to be recognized as a host location.”

The campus is no stranger to hosting events in preparation for NaNoWriMo. Semiars in October were: an Introduction to NaNoWriMo on Oct. 2, a story and setting research event on October 10, “Who Does What: Developing Characters and Plot”

seminar on October 16, and a “Road to 50,000: Surviving NaNoWriMo” meeting on October 23.

Moraine Valley Community College hopes to contribute to this movement by housing writers during the write-in events held on Nov. 7, 14, and the 21from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Building M. Moraine Valley housed the official kick-off party for the event in the Library on October 30.

The kick-off party from noon to 1 p.m., invited patrons to dress as their favorite book characters, as well as offered snacks and cake near the end of the event. Guests participated in a bingo game to communicate and share accounts on the NaNoWriMo site. There was also a raffle near the end of the party where members could win NaNoWriMo themed prizes like shirts and mugs.

Both Hayes and Bundy had participated before, Bundy having completed 50,000 words once before. Hayes has participated before as well, preferring to write essays and articles as opposed to fiction novels that she prefers to read.

Both organizers had gone to the kick-off party in costumes from some of their favorite fiction novels. Hayes came as a character from “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit” wearing a white button-up shirt and bowl of assorted fruits, a story about a young girl named Jeanette who was adopted and treated as an outcast in her Christian community as she finds her opinions and sexuality differ from her disapproving peers.

Bundy also came as a normal looking character from a tale that is anything but the average novel. Originally written in German, “The Metamorphosis,” is a tale of a time-traveling salesman named Gregor Samsa. Gregor is transformed into a large bug during his sleep, and his condition causes the lives of his entire family to resent him, calling him a vermin, or Ungeziefer in German.

With the current number of active participants for NaNoWriMo standing at 798,162 novelists, one can assume that more and more writers are inspired to complete their work every year. Thanks to this single event alone this year, more than twice the amount of active participants in 2017 have decided to hone their skills and complete a full draft of a novel in a single month. 

Moraine Valley will hold a wrap-up party on December 4 from Noon to 1 pm to celebrate the end of National Writing Month.

Paul Torres is a News Writing student in Professor Couch’s course.  He can be contacted at  This is his first Glacier article.

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