FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 3, 2020 – In a year that has seen the majority of events cancelled due to a global pandemic, the committee of Muskoka Novel Marathon has been actively working to ensure their event doesn’t have to follow suit.
After much thought, careful discussions, and a fair amount of painful emotion, the MNM Organizing Committee has decided not to attempt a live Novel Marathon this year. We will continue the live event in July 2021, when Covid-19 is much less likely to be a danger.
We are erring on the side of caution, but there are multiple good reasons to do that. We have considered many different angles, including: the risk to writers who fall into the high-risk category; the risk of spreading the virus to high-risk associates of writers; the difficulty of fundraising during a pandemic-caused economic downturn; the difficulty food sponsors (mostly restaurants) and prize sponsors (all small local businesses) might have donating; the fact that Ontario has not yet begun its planned eight-week process of re-opening, which would take us into July if started now; the preparation time required for a Novel Marathon; and a few others.
Like everyone else organizing an event in which a group of people are in close proximity to each other, the MNM 2020 Committee has been learning fast and thinking hard about the coronavirus, aka Covid-19.
Because new cases in Canada, including in Ontario, are now increasing sharply, Ontario has ordered a lockdown – all non-essential businesses are closed and gatherings of more than 50 people prohibited, until March 31 (as of now). [Read more…]
Update: This position has been filled!
Dear Friend of the Muskoka Novel Marathon:
So as to inspire those to excel at raising funds for our beneficiary, YMCA Literacy Services in Muskoka, we offer prizes donated by local businesses to our writers. We are currently in need of a person to contact these donors and organize the prize gathering and awarding. This is a key role in our committee, and integral to the success of each Marathon. [Read more…]
Huddlestone notes that literacy challenges in adults are accompanied by an unfortunate stigma. “The Muskoka Novel Marathon writers are highly literate lovers of words and they get it,” she says. “They get how important literacy is: how much it drives community and economic success, how much it contributes to feelings of self-worth, and how much it adds to quality of life. Their passion has been and always will be what makes this event so successful. We also receive tremendous support from Muskoka’s business community and a raft of volunteers who help us pull this event together. To all of our writers, sponsors and volunteers—thank you for helping us change lives.”
The marathon, which took place July 12-15 in the Huntsville Civic Centre, has raised close to $83,000 since it began in 2002. These funds have enabled the Y to initiate new programs including its Computer Savvy Seniors classes, according to Nancy West, who is team leader for the Y’s Employment and Literacy Services in Huntsville. When she found out this year’s take was more than $18,000, she was, in her own words, “floored. I thought that the goal of $15,000 was very ambitious – I never thought that they would surpass it by such a definite margin!”\
Now, West says, it’s time for the Y to roll up their sleeves. “The YMCA is discussing where the money will be best spent so we can meet the literacy gaps in our local community,” she says. “So many people don’t know that literacy is even an issue in Canada – we need to get the word out that the need is there, the people are real, and that this is a safe and welcoming place to come.”
Karen Wehrstein – Co-Convenor, Muskoka Novel Marathon: 705 789-7497
Dawn Huddlestone – Co-Convenor, Muskoka Novel Marathon: 705 380-2537
Hey Marathoners! Here’s an updated list of fundraising prizes: [Read more…]
Here are some of the prizes you can win if you’re among the top fundraisers at this year’s novel marathon:
- $100 and $50 Gift Cards from The Bookcase
- $100 Gift Card and Badger Paddle from Algonquin Outfitters
- beautiful sets of 2 mugs from Lindgren Pottery.
Our goal this year is to raise $10,000 for Adult Literacy Programs in Muskoka. If we have a full slate of 32 writers, each writer would need to raise at least $312.50. We know that you’re a dedicated bunch, but to add a bit of motivation for your fundraising efforts we’ve got PRIZES for the top fundraisers! [Read more…]
These are some of the writers who have already reserved their spot. There are only 3 spaces still available (as of July 6). Register now before it’s too late!