Words, words, words

By Jessica Jones


As the second to last month of the year, November represents that last push to the finish. For students, it’s book-ended by midterms and finals. At this point, I am extremely excited for Thanksgiving break, turkey and pie.

November is also National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo).

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“We believe the classics can always bring about inspiration and these two definitely count for that!” Photo by @pemlibrary on Instagram.

For thirty days, people all around the world aim to write 50,000 word novels. And, from personal experience, I can say it is as insane as it is glorious. With the halfway point rapidly approaching, it’s important to keep the momentum going. Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, said in his pep talk, “What makes a writer? Writing.” So, keep on writing and you may surprise yourself. If you haven’t started, start now! It’s never too late because, as cliché as it sounds, the journey is more important than the destination.

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Illustration by @stateofwander. Photo by @nanowrimo on Instagram.

In the spirit of creation and collaboration,  PEM has joined the NaNoWriMo community and is hosting a series of free writing events throughout the month. The last event is coming up!

Wednesday, November 30, 6 pm to midnight at 135 Essex St., in the PEM building left of the museum entrance.

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Goodies from the PEM shop for NaNoWriMo! Photo by @peabodyessex on Instagram.

Earlier in the month, the library brought a selection of classics like Pride and PrejudiceThe Scarlet Letter, or Robinson Crusoe and challenged budding authors with our first lines quiz. Be inspired by the past to go forth and do as NaNoWriMo suggests: “build new worlds – on and off the page.”

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Phillips Library’s first official Instagram post of some beauties from our Frederick Townsend Ward China Collection. Photo by @pemlibrary on Instagram.

There is still time for more words! Participate in one of the many National Novel Writing Month events still to come on the North Shore:

Head over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library (14 Union Street, South Hamilton, MA) for Saturday “Write-Ins” on November 19th and 26th, 10 am – 3:45 pm; participate in their Story Writing Contest, or join dith Maxwell, Elizabeth Atkinson and Holly Robinson as they talk about the process of working with an editor at Writers & Editors: A Love Story?

Sip and write on Sunday, November 20th and 27th, 1 -5 pm at Plum Island Coffee Roasters (54R Merrimac Street, Newburyport, MA) or join Starbucks (29 Enon St, Beverly, MA) for their write-in on Wednesday, November 30th from 6 –9:30 pm.

You can search for other events or even a drop-in write-in through the NaNoWriMo official website, here!

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Poster design by @munnjason. Photo by @nanowrimo on Instagram.

Jessica Jones is a reference and reading room volunteer at the Phillips Library. Having previously worked at as a bookstore assistant and tour guide, she is interested in collection development and reference services. With a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Smith College, she is currently working towards earning her M.L.S and M.A. in Children’s Literature at Simmons College.

Read more from Conversant, the blog of the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, here.

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