Remembering the Marathon
MNM – it’s like coming home
A friend of mine introduced me to the Muskoka Novel Marathon and I have never regretted finally taking the leap and joining in the fun.
From the acknowledgements in _Springfield Place_
Time to sit down and write the draft arrived in the form of the Muskoka Novel Marathon. Each summer in Huntsville, Ontario, the Muskoka Literacy Council, now YMCA Literacy Services, holds their annual Novel Marathon to raise funds for community literacy programs. In 2007, I first penned Springfield Place. Positive feedback from the panel who read the fruits of our labours provided encouragement to continue with the book.
A fun environment to laugh, learn, and work. The perfect mix of fun and competition, camaderie and rivalry.
As a first time participant in 2008, I found the MNM experience unleashed a passionate craziness I had forgotten I possessed.
contagious energy and enthusiasm
I loved the Novel Marathon experience in 2008! It was a dream come true – I was velcroed to my chair, surrounded by the contagious energy and enthusiasm of so many wonderful and talented people. The words just flowed. If you have always dreamed of writing, but never felt you could spare the time, give yourself this gift and help the Muskoka Literacy Council at the same time. You will love this experience and you will truly become addicted to the Muskoka Novel Marathon!!!
Writing is a solitary act, but it was great to be in a room with so many writers, especially when they were engrossed in their work. It was like watching writers in their natural habitat.
Honestly, one of the best writer’s marathons I’ve attended. The fellowship was fantastic and it’s very much like a family here! Kudos to the organizers!
Best Writing Experiences
Writers have told me the Muskoka Novel Marathon is one of the best writing experiences in their lives and one of the best life experiences, too.
I did it!
Best memory: Writing my first novel! I did it.
an enjoyable and worthwhile experience
MNM 2008 was my first writing marathon. I went in not knowing whether I would be able to produce at a volume that would create a novel and whether that writing would be even vaguely readable. The result: it was an exhausting experience in which I learned that I can indeed produce decent literature in volume and under a tight time constraint: I completed a novelette with enough meat that it will eventually become a complete novel. I also got to meet and talk with fellow writers (during breaks and meals) about sticking points in our writing and about other things in the wider world. It was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience I will happily repeat.
The Help I Needed
I have enjoyed this experience so much. It helped me break through a block that I’ve had for so long. The supportive humorous loving space gave me the help I needed. Thank you.
supportive community of writers
I was nervous coming into my first marathon, but was quickly made welcome by the supportive community of writers I met at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. Besides being able to sit and write an entire novel from beginning to end in just two or three days, I left with a great sense of camaraderie and belonging. Every writer MUST experience the luxury of spending an entire weekend marathon writing! There is nothing else in my writing life that compares to it.
They made me laugh, cry, ponder, belch, wretch, angry, afraid, crazy, love and lose control of my bodily functions – and that was just the authors! Wait till they read you their stories!
Favourite parts of the writing year.
The MNM is one of my favourite parts of the writing year. Productivity, inspiration, and camaraderie—it doesn’t get any better than this. (Also, sleep-deprived writers = funny.)
From the acknowledgements in _The Wolf’s Mouth_, winner of the Latin American Casa de Teatro Prize
The first draft of this manuscript was written in Spanish, during the three-day frenzy of the Muskoka Novel Marathon in Huntsville, the summer I arrived to live in Toronto …. I wish to thank the Muskoka Literacy Council for organizing this absolutely crazy and memorable yearly event, which provides a much needed venue for writers like me — who have impossibly busy lives — to escape reality and drive into non-stop writing.
Come out and write!
Come out and write! It doesn’t have to be good; it doesn’t have to be winning; it might not even get finished; but, just come out and write with us. If you want to be a writer or if you are a writer, come out and practice with us. There’s a manuscript waiting for you to type it at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. Challenge yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to do: write a novel (in a weekend!). Come to the annual meeting of the weird, the wicked, the wonderful, the sweet, the solemn, the sober, the silly, the sleep-deprived, the stumbling, staring, stuck, un-stuck keyboard punchers at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. A place for you has been reserved.
Being around writers writing is what I needed.
Best memory: Kevin yelling down the hall at the writers, “COULD YOU BE QUIET? THERE ARE PEOPLE TRYING TO PROCRASTINATE HERE!”
I entered the 2008 MNM at the last minute and with no idea what to expect. What I found was a fun event with a supportive group of writers and volunteers. I’m glad I attended and am looking forward to MNM 2009!
This has been a perfect opportunity to experience novel writing. A kick-ass intro to this art form. Great organizers and the group is supportive and FUN!
Open to possibilities
This was my second MNM. I thought I knew what I was in for. This year’s experience taught me to be more open to possibilities and that—at times—a story has a mind of its own!
Best fun in a chair
Best fun I’ve had in a chair except that one time when I was 19 with Jerry.
Awesome event! I will be back next year for sure!
The Muskoka Novel Marathon is rounding onto it's 20th year! Can you believe it? Here are some highlights from years gone by.
(this section is under heavy construction, thank you for your patience)