Muskoka, Ontario, July 2nd, 2019—With the days ticking down to the marathon getting fewer, preparations are underway, and that means it’s time to buckle down for a lot of the volunteers involved in making this event happen.
Convenor, Karen Wehrstein, has been writing in the marathon since 2006 and took over the role of convenor in 2009 along with Paula Boon. Wehrstein has been a volunteer solidly since 2010 as co-convenor, convenor, registrar, writer liaison, t-shirt co-ordinator and odds and ends such as signage and badges, rotating in and out of positions. When asked why she does it, this is what she had to say:
“I love contributing to literacy training—a gentleman I met at my first marathon who learned to read at the age of 96 was a big inspiration—and I also love giving writers the opportunity for a communal retreat like this, which generates so much good work—a lot of marathon projects have gone on to be published, most famously Amy Stuart’s first novel, that became a bestseller. The big fundraising successes have been a huge charge. We change lives, both for literacy students and for writers. It doesn’t get better than that!”
Another participant turned volunteer; Jennifer Turney says the reason she keeps coming back is simple, “These are my people!” said Turney. “As a writer, there is an incredible energy at the novel marathon. You’re challenged and inspired to do your best, but not necessarily in a competitive way. You’re surrounded by people who share the same passion you do, the environment is almost electric with creativity. I joined the committee because this event not only means a lot to myself, but the people in our town. The literacy programs we’re helping to sustain with our fundraising have helped so many.”
This years’ marathon is scheduled to kick off July 12th at the Active Living Centre in Huntsville. Each year, the event draws in forty seasoned and aspiring authors, and this year, due to a last- minute turn of events, there are two empty seats among the ranks. For an event that has historically filled all seats within twenty-four hours, that is no small thing, and could be an incredible opportunity for anyone who has a free weekend in July and the urge to write.
For more information and to donate visit muskokanovelmarathon.com.
Name: Lea McKee