“Because we filled up within a week last year, we decided this year that we should give everyone interested the exact date and time of registration opening, and announce it a couple of weeks in advance,” says Karen Wehrstein, who shares duties as convenor with fellow writer Dawn Huddlestone.
“That was 7 p.m., March 18. We had 20 people signed up within 20 minutes, 32 by the end of the night and then by 7 the next morning more people were signing up. We were full at 10:45. I thought last year’s response was awesome... this is amazing.”
The Muskoka Novel Marathon raises much-needed funds for adult literacy programs in Huntsville. Last year the total blew away all expectations, exceeding a $10,000 goal by half again to raise $15,000. This year’s goal is to match that amount. The event takes place July 12-15 at Club 55 in the Huntsville Civic Centre. This will be its 12th year. So far it has raised more than $65,000.
The writers come from across Ontario and beyond to participate and fundraise for adult literacy, plus vie for an inside shot at publishing. “It’s truly remarkable to have a group of people who are passionate about literacy raising funds to support a community outside of their own,” says co-convenor Dawn Huddlestone. “The enthusiasm they’ve shown in the registration process alone makes me confident that we’ll exceed our $15,000 goal this year.”
“The funds raised are becoming more and more valuable in extending the services that we provide,” says Nancy West, Team Leader, YMCA Employment and Literacy Services in Huntsville, who signed up to participate herself as a first-timer. “This is a great bunch of people, and I am continually humbled by your selfless giving to community literacy. This is something special, that is all I can say. Something very special.”