Five Things That Make Scrivathon Awesome

by A.Y. Chao
published in Community

On 12 November 2016, in the middle of National Novel Writing Month, is the first ever Scrivathon—a charity write-athon inspired by events like the London and Boston Marathons which pair physical stamina with charity fundraising.

Scrivathon is tailored specifically for writers, so instead of running for 26 miles, we will write for 24 hours. That’s right. 24 hours. It doesn’t matter when you start, so long as you start some time on the 12 November, and count 24 hours from there. So get that coffee pot going, cause we’re going to need it!

Anyone can join. All it takes is your imagination, something to write with, and time. And like the London and Boston marathons, participants and observers can help fundraise for our chosen charity—Syria Relief—either by donating, entering our raffle draws, or encouraging friends and family to pledge donations for word count and/or writing hours.

A little bit about our chosen charity: we held a poll for charities to support, and the overwhelming choice was Syria Relief, a UK registered charity that provides humanitarian aid to those affected by the Syrian crisis. While the majority of international aid only reaches the borders of Syria, Syria Relief is unique in that it works in the heart of Syria, often in besieged areas like Aleppo. Every dollar raised supports Syria Relief in their provision of medical aid, emergency surgery, education, water & sanitation, food, orphan support, blankets, shelter, and heaters where the need is most urgent. For more information on Syria Relief and their amazing work, click here.

Here are five things that make Scrivathon an awesome and not-to-be-missed event.

1) Push Your Limits

With 50,000 words to write for Nanowrimo, join Scrivathon and get a major chunk of those words onto paper. 1666 words a day for Nano? Pfft. You’ll get many thousands of words during Scrivathon. You’ve got 24 hours to bang em out. Get rid of your distractions. Set your Pomodoro timer. And write. Be sure to take regular breaks, have your brain snacks to hand, and your beverage of choice. You’ll be blown away by what you can achieve when you set your mind to it (and keep your bum in that chair!)

2) Feed Your Story

This is the time to bury your inner critic. Really. Find a cozy sound-proof nook, shove your critic in there with provisions for 24 hours, and lock the door. Then deadbolt it. Freeze the key in a block of ice and walk away. Allow your story to run feral and say whatever it wants without fear of censure. Let the words flow and see what untrodden paths your characters take. Enjoy the twists and turns of your story’s roller coaster ride.

3) Donate For A Chance To Win

Thanks to our generous sponsors, Scrivathon has a whole list of amazing raffle prizes. Do you need an editor to help polish your manuscript? Or professional eyes on your query or first pages? We have everything from book coaches to freelance editors to a literary agent offering valuable expertise to hone your work. Do you need writing software? We have Scrivener and Save the Cat! downloads up for grabs. Books? All it takes for a chance to win is a simple donation to Syria Relief.  There is no minimum. Even $5 would be greatly appreciated. You choose how much to donate for each raffle entry. You can donate as many times as you want. Anyone can enter the raffle draws—whether you word sprint with Scrivathon or not. Don’t miss out. Follow the links and instructions here to enter:

4) Gather Your Tribe

Find your tribe! Keep in touch via Twitter, or Facebook. Join the Scrivathon tribe on Twitter with #Scrivathon16, and on Facebook Share your ideas, your stories, your snacks. Put on a virtual pot of coffee and host a virtual Scrivathon party. Your story, your Scrivathon, your way.

5) Help People in Urgent Need

Syria is bleeding. Its citizens are dying. We all hear their cry for help.

–Stephen O’Brien, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

We are blessed with the security to write in comfort. To create worlds of escape, where we can immerse ourselves and forget our day to day troubles. But not everyone is so lucky. The Syrian conflict is well into its fifth year. It is the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, a continuing cause of suffering for millions. While we cannot end the war, we do have the power to help alleviate the suffering.  Join Scrivathon. Write for your muse. Donate for those in need. Together we can make a difference.

Writers can participate in many ways. For those excited about the challenge of staying up for 24 hours and word-sprinting like they have mini Usain Bolts for fingers, here’s what to do:

  • Join the Scrivathon Facebook group:.
  • Create your fundraising page with Easy step by step instructions here
  • Fundraise by getting family and friends to sponsor you. There is no minimum donation required, every penny helps. Get creative. Suggest they sponsor by the word, by the hour, or an easy fixed amount.
  • Find & encourage fellow Scrivathoners on twitter using #Scrivathon16 and in the #Scrivathon16 Facebook group 
  • Thunder the Scrivathon event by joining our online flashmob here:

file-26-08-2016-09-11-29A.Y. Chao is a recovering lawyer and expat Canuck who lives in London England. When not organising Scrivathon, she writes urban fantasy, edits, and teaches. Her first novel Soul Affinity won the 2016 RWA Indiana Golden Opportunity contest. You can find her on Twitter @ay_chao, on Facebook or her website .

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