Important Dates for Nano 2021

WOW! Our ML @kildeer and the Wrino supporting committee have planned a fabulous month this year, all geared toward fun and productivity.

Besides live Write Ins planned 6 days a week, all at different times to assure something works for all schedules, there are FOUR special events in addition that you should note. It’s on the NANO forums and event lists for our region, but here they are again for easy reference:


KICK OFF PARTY: October 30, 6-9 PM

This is where this year’s theme is revealed and we all meet, talk about our projects – including that you have no idea – and get energized for what’s ahead. Even if you don’t attend live write ins, it’s nice to see faces of who are behind names, and know who you will be doing this with – after all, one of those people might just inspire you or jump in to encourage you,or talk you off the ledge. And there are giveaways! Details at NANO home page >Community> Home Region>North Shore Nano Forums> Kickoff Party.

This is a welcoming group that is all encouragement and acceptance of anything. It’s awesome. Imagine there being no need to worry if you’re shy, stuck, think your writing is a pipe dream or you feel like crap. Instead, just think about how you can blossom and flourish in that environment!

FIRST DAY FRENZY: Monday, November 1 from 10:00 – 8:00 p.m.

It’s the Opening Day Write-In! All are invited to a Manic Monday of of National Novel Writing hosted by the Hamilton Wenham Library and our @slauderdale!  Click here for more information Join any time or for the entire time!

THE FAMOUS ALL-NIGHT WRITE: Saturday, November 13, 6 pm- 6 am

This is a very special event. It’s done in 4 blocks with 4 different hosts to get us through an all night pajama party with fun markers along the way- like Midnight Madness where at the stroke of midnight all can read (or just enjoy listening to) a few pages of what each person is working on. It’s a blast. Another is the sunrise walk outside. This used to be at a lake near Lynne and Paul’s house but last year different people got on the zoom and walked outside to wherever they could go. It’s worth it to share this pretty amazing thing with everyone. Come to any or all parts of it. I’m hosting 6-10 pm, and WILL be in Pajamas. Find details on our NANO home page >Community> Home Region> North Shore NaNo Forums

THE TIGO PARTY: Saturday, December 4, 6-9 PM

Woot! This stands for Thank God It’s Over and we celebrate any and all words together with food, libations and festivities.

Live Zoom Write Ins

This year, we’ve scheduled live Zoom Write Ins for every singe day of the week. There’s something for everyone’s schedule – We have one hosted by Satin (@satinr) Monday from 7am-9am if you want to get words in before work, or once the kids are off or fed. Night Owls can start at 9:30-11:30 pm hosted by Sarah (@disquiet) and BOTH Saturday and Sunday are Marathons from 10 am to 4 pm – so you can catch up if you haven’t written all week, or choose your time to pop in and out as it suits you. And Friday midday @Kildeer just added 10am- 1pm hosted by Swampscott Library.

For now, here’s the skinny:

Mondays 7-9 AM

Tuesdays 7-9 pm

Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 pm

Thursdays 7-9 pm

Friday 10am -1 pm

Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm

Sundays 10 am to 4 pm


Find the list of write ins by going on the NaNo Site, clicking on your home region and once there, clicking the little tab that says events on the middle column on that page. You can click the “Count Me In!” button or just show up. That helps to give the hosts and idea of how many are coming. NANO home page >Community> Home Region>Events.

It’s set to be a seriously GREAT month! Leave any questions in the comments.

Look forward to meeting and writing with you!

by Rochelle Joseph

The Beauty of the Live Write In

It has been decided: This is going to be the most awesome NANO ever. Are you in?

Last year, all the write ins were taken online, but that did not stop either our usual fun or getting down to serious work — all the while cheering each other on. NANO decreed we’d do all our parties and meetings on line again in 2021. That should not be a bummer. We’ve all gotten used to a little online visiting – whether using Face Time or Skype with family, Google Hangouts with friends or Zooming for work.

WriNoShores is meeting via Zoom this year, as it seems easiest and most universal for all.

And why not aspire for this to be the best ever? The silver lining to the pandemic was that during lock downs many contemplated who and what’s really important, and looked at what we spent our time on, and how.

Did you? Was writing on your list? It was front and center on mine. Turns out what I’d regret in life if I hadn’t done it was to not have finished editing my Nano project from 2016-18! And to complete several compilations of shorts and essays I had begun.


If getting words on the page is important to you, National Novel Writing Month is a super-special opportunity for the sole purpose of focusing on your dreams, your priority, supported and encouraged by the collective energy of like-minded peeps around the globe, who are doing the same. And of course your home group – all of us here at WriNoShores.

There’s no perfect way to do NaNo, but TO do it. Some may find they do this just fine alone. After all, writing is a largely solitary pursuit, right? I’ve spent my fair share alone scribbling away at hidden desks in a library nook, or holed up in my room. But what I learned when I started doing NaNo about 12 years ago is that attending the Live Write-Ins super charged my productivity. All I had to do was show up. And now that I am not driving to write-ins, I save that round trip time to write, and can do more on days when adding driving and parking time would make it impossible to fit one into my day. Online write-ins are so much more convenient and time effective.

On days I am dragging or feeling uninspired, a write in makes me show up. Often if I tell myself, just sign on for 15 minutes and you can hop off if you’re not feeling it. I end up staying for the entire time —and have words to show for it! Yessss! But even if I sign on late and hop off early, I still end feeling accomplished. I showed up.

Then, as others begin to accumulate words, it’s catching. I’m not a competitive person, but when others are getting more and more words racked up, it inspired me to do push for more words too. And there’s nothing but encouragement. People cheer on 200 words as well as hitting a 5000 word milestone.

And that is a two way street. Did you ever think your presence at a write in actually is an act of inspiration and support to your compatriots? Others do better because you are there! Another reason to give it a try, and see if it works for you.

We all have imaginations -here’s a good place to use them. Look at the Write Ins like meeting at a big library table (or coffee shop, or someone’s living room). After an initial hello from the host, we get down to business, and for the most part remain quiet – writing, or trying to. People can join in or hop off at any time. You’re still writing in your own space in quiet, but feeling the presence of others, or seeing their heads bent, engaged in the same thing, can make a motivational difference that pays out in usable words.

Some meetings do a few word sprints -20 minute segments to help. And that’s what this month is really all about. Getting words on the page that were not there before, giving way to your unique voice, all of which can be edited after November.

If you’re new to Write Ins, try more than one. If you haven’t been in a while, why not try again? Each has a different vibe – a mix of people and the host leading it. We have one every day this year. Check out the calendar of events on the NaNo site, on our regional page (sign in to see this link). Hope to see you there!

By Rochelle Joseph

The Elements of Story

NaNo 2021 begins in 10 days. Right about now, story structure might be on your mind. Lynne Favreau, who co-founded Writers of the North Shore (that’s us) with Sarah Leahy, has written a really wonderful wealth of blog posts here that you’re invited to pursue any time of year – especially if you’re staring at a blank screen in need of direction, encouragement, or a shoulder to cry on. Or if you need someone to virtually hand you a mug of tea and lovingly say, “Now now, get your ass in the chair – You can DO this!”

Lynne has done all of those things and her blog posts were just one of the ways! They likely cover a topic on your mind right now, and each provides extra resources to check out.

Thought it might be timely to pull the below from that cache.


(an excerpt from Lynne’s blog post So You Think You Want to Write a Novel)

Where do ideas come from? Everywhere, and anywhere. They appear while you are reading other things, writing a grocery list, driving to the dentist.

Get in to the habit of jotting down the things you observe everyday. The way someone walks, the color of a flower, a scene taking place before you. The people in line at the grocery store. Extrapolate information from the little quirks, mannerism, word choices, that you see and hear. Turn them into character sketches. I insist…you must have the means of capturing your thoughts at all times.

Record a message on your phone, or have a small notebook in your purse or pocket. I have them everywhere.  I’m serious about this being a must. You will forget that crucial and inspiring plot point the second it leaves your consciousness…except for knowing that you had it. That will drive you crazy. Write it down.

There are different elements of story you can start with.

1. Primary Event

2. Story Arc: Beginning, Middle and End

3. Intriguing Situation that Immediately Suggests Cast of Characters in Conflict

4. Character

5. Genre: Type of Story You Want to Write (found in detail HERE)

It doesn’t matter what comes first, so long as it inspires you to ask, “And then what happens?”

I’ve written fully fleshed out characters inspired by photographs of homeless people, from random observations (a woman running with her dog that was carrying a dirt old shoe prompted a profile of a killer who happens to see them and knows the shoe is a clue to where he buried the body. What is he going to do about that?) Ideas are everywhere. You just have to keep asking the question: AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?

And there you have it! Try one of those ideas (in her blog post about genre) and apply it to one of the other five elements of story she listed above.

Are you forming a story idea, and is it all mapped out or just going to wing it on November 1?

Do you have a way to jot things down wherever you are (Lynne insists!)?

Have you asked: And then what happened? for anything you’re working on? If so, did it help you get to the next place?

Please, tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear!

By Lynne Favreau and Rochelle Joseph

EVENT: Newburyport Literary Festival 2015

An amazing local event the Newburyport Literary Festival 2015 kicks-off Friday, April 24th with opening ceremony conversation between Michael Blanding, bestselling author of The Map Thief, and Boston-based investigative journalist Dyke Hendrickson, followed by dinner with the authors. While the dinner cost 50.00, the event is free. Crazy I know, but what an accomplishment by the festival organizers!

Saturday, April 25th begins with an informal breakfast and conversation with poets at 8:30 am, and closes at 7 pm, this year honoring Jean Doyle, teacher, historian, and author. What comes between those two is no less than 50 scheduled events.

The plethora of writers across genre, and forms is quite astounding. See the full schedule here. I don’t know how I’m going to chose from the many talented, interesting and compelling authors.

If you’ve never been to this event, here’s what happens. First marvel at the schedule. Choose your favorites though have back up choices as some events fill quickly and occasionally there has been a cancellation. Set out for the venue which is, for most people, an easy stroll around the town. They are held in bookstores, the arts center, many churches, the library, and The Firehouse Center. It is busy but pleasantly so. Even a rainy day doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd. Go sit, listen, ask questions, engage with your seat mates. Talk to everybody and anybody they are all there for the same reason you are-their love of literature, reading, writing and authors.

One of my favorite events and always impressive is Annual Youth Poetry Slam happening at 2:30 at the Greek Orthodox Church. If you’re looking for me, you can catch-up with me there.

I hope everyone can attend, you needn’t be there for the whole day. There’s no check-ins, or tickets (except the dinner) no pressure, it’s just an enjoyable day spent immersed in the writer’s world.

Afterwards: Did you love it? Please consider a donation to support this exceptionally well run and captivating event.

Wednesday Woo: Supporting Writers

Setting goals during our Sunday PICR meeting has become a ritual, as has the results–not many of us actually meet them. I fear we, okay I, don’t take them very seriously or in the least not seriously enough. I don’t think we are being unrealistic in our expectations but rather we don’t value our writing as much as we should.

This week George suggested we give him a shout out to make sure he’s on target to reach his writing goals. I like that, it’s proactive. So here you go–get it done George! Times a-wasting.

This conversation got me thinking to November when we ask our loved ones to give us some extra consideration and slack while we try to pound out 50 thousand words in 30 days. And while that is a time-consuming endeavor whose pace we can’t keep up with every month, why do we not afford ourselves the time and focus to write on a more daily basis the other eleven months of the year?

I think we can ask more of ourselves and of our support system, and we should do so in order to protect the very precious writer in us that needs nurturing because no one else is going to do it for us.

What specifically keeps you from writing? I, for one, get distracted by the world-wide web and all its glorious information which I justify reading as “research”. Yeah, I’m sure that video of the baby seal playing with the surfers is going to come up in my opus on marriage. That, and I’m a television junkie. Obviously, I need to unplug, but as many of you know I have Dysgraphia and can’t write with out my laptop. I guess one option is to shut off my wifi connection and not allow myself to wander the byways of Procrasti-nation.

There’s my goal. Shut off the wifi every time I sit down to write.

As for other ways you can be and ask for support, see if you can utilize any of these.

Maybe you harbor anxiety about your writing? I know I hold back and don’t finish projects to avoid dealing with the next step. This one is more about creativity and nurturing yourself. Eric Maisel is a creativity coach, one of many hats he wears.

Wednesday Woo: Writing Communities

One of the many reasons our WriNoShores have continued to get together is the sense of community it gives us. Writing can be a rather lonely endeavor, even when we have the support of friends and family. No one else quite gets the struggle, the joy, and the sorrow of pursuing writing, whether as a hobby or profession.

The thing about these communities is that no one single group fulfills all of your social, emotional or intellectual needs. This necessitates membership is varying types of collectives, be they specific to genre, region, gender, or temperament. They can be serious or lighthearted, concentrated on the craft of writing or the business of publishing. You may outgrow some or redevelop ones you’ve joined years ago, maybe discover new groups that challenge you.

Finding the ones you need that will fulfill where you are in the process can be overwhelming. Here is the beginning of what will be an ongoing resource of communities.


North Shore Writers Group is based in Salem, Massachusetts, but we welcome all writers living on the North Shore — and beyond, if you don’t mind driving! NSWG nurtures writers at all levels by providing supportive feedback and information to help our members grow as writers. Our members are published, multi-published, and not-yet-published, and work in fiction and non-fiction.

The New England Outdoor Writers Association is a group of New England-based professional outdoor communicators dedicated to promoting and supporting conservation, natural resources and our outdoor heritage. Membership benefits include a quarterly newsletter, membership directory, conferences and events, writing and photo competitions and craft improvement opportunities.

The mission of the Cape Cod Writers Center is to assist published and aspiring writers of all genres, abilities and ages to develop their writing skills and learn the business of editing, publishing and publicizing; to publicize authors and their works; to provide opportunities for writers to congregate for inspiration, education, and networking; and to introduce readers to authors and their work.

All writers need insightful readers, inspiration, support, and honest feedback. That’s what GrubStreet provides, in a supportive and thriving community. We offer over six hundred classes and events a year for writers of all genres and ambitions—from first-time poets or fledgling memoirists to MFA graduates and published novelists.

The New Hampshire Writers’ Project (NHWP) supports the development of individual writers and encourages an audience for literature in our state. We are a nonprofit literary arts organization funded by its members as well as organizations and businesses who believe in supporting our region’s writers and literary heritage.

A collaborative open to writers, writing group facilitators, readers, editors, booksellers, publishers and other organizations serving writers, Straw Dog Writers Guild is a vibrant network of resources for the writing community (in the four counties of Western Massachusetts – Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire).

AWA is an international community of writing workshop leaders committed to the belief that a writer is someone who writes and that every writer has a unique voice. AWA trains writers to become workshop leaders so that they affirm that commitment in every AWA workshop, with novice writers who have been led to believe they have no voice and with experienced writers who want to hone their craft.

The Writers’ Room of Boston is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the creation of new literature by providing a secure, affordable work space and an engaged community to emerging and established writers in downtown Boston.  The Room provides 10 private carrels, each of which is furnished with a desk, chair, lamp, power strip, and bookcase.

Members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators who live in New England can use this blog to find open critique groups.




Welcome to the WriNoShores Home

Hello, Sara here, *taps microphone* is this thing on?


As you can see I have started up a blog. For someone terrified of such things (I have had my personal blog for a year and haven’t written a thing on it yet) this is a huge undertaking for me so please bear with me as I figure this thing out.

This blog is intended for all of those who have participated in and belong to the North Shore Region of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month). Specifically our After-NaNo Writing and Support Group.

I’m going to explain exactly what this blog is for, but first, a little history:

Two years ago, fellow NaNo participant Lynne held me down and tortured me casually suggested that I become the Region’s Municipal Liaison, as our former ML (and wonderful person in general, Liz) abandoned us for the West Coast moved back home with her new baby.

After freaking out applying for and getting the position, I researched other regions to see how I could make ours better than everyone else’s great.

Then, after much brainstorming, Lynne and I decided we needed a proper name and mascot for our regional group. We came up with the name WriNoShores (Writers of the North Shore) and our mascot, a handsome Rhino named George (named by fellow participant Caroline, after her cat).

Two years later and much procrastination from me I have started up a year-round writing group as requested.

It’s AWESOME (and full of great supportive people) and if you haven’t already you should come check us out.

The WriNoShores meet twice a month, every first and third Sunday at Plum Island Coffee Roasters (PICR) in Newburyport from 1-5pm.

And here is where I finally get to the point tell you what this blog is for:

Ahem… stuff?

Stuff like…

  • keeping in touch, the comments are open so feel free (just don’t be a dick, this is a supportive environment only)
  • posting writing related stuff and whatnot
  • posting stories that you’ve written* or a novel excerpt that you want to share (I only ask that it is, say, about chapter length or less and edited)
  • posting writing questions you may have
  • finding information on upcoming events
  • I will add more stuff as I think of it…

How does it work you ask?


You can view and comment to your leisure, however if you wish to post on the site you will have to request authorship which keeps out the rabble.

You can email me at or the contact page in the menu and I’ll send you an invitation. You will need a wordpress account. If you don’t have one, sign up for a wordpress account, it’s free and easy.

Some other info:

Please feel free to contact me with ANY questions. I’m here to help.

I will update this post as needed and I will totally let y’all know if I do.

Um, I think that’s it… oh, right, the starry thing:

*Just a FYI: this is not a private site, so anyone can view it. Full stories posted to a public blog are considered published (you do keep all copyrights and your name will show as author). So, basically, if you are looking to submit the piece for publication somewhere, post an excerpt only.*


Thank you for visiting!

*drops microphone*

*runs away*