Attention Jewish children’s novel writers!
In honor of Jewish Book Month, The Whole Megillah is hosting its third annual Write Your Own Megillah event. Think of it as the Jewish equivalent of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). From October 26 through November 26, 2013, you’ll have the opportunity to write the novel you’ve always wanted to write.
What: Complete 36,000 words of a YA novel. Or, if your interests and talents lean more toward middle grade, complete 18,000 words. All words must be new — they can’t come from a previously published work or something you crafted before October 26.
Why: The only way to write a novel is to get your tuchas in chair. Be accountable to write a certain amount of words per day. Don’t fret over commas or spelling. Just write. Compile. Create. Leave the editing for later.
How: If you are interested in participating, please sign up by commenting to this post and sending your email address to barbarakrasner(at)att(dot)net. I will then send you a registration form.
During Jewish Book Month, post your word count each day in the comment section. Include a paragraph or two if you want.
Throughout the event, count on supportive messages from me, and others connected with the Jewish children’s book world. We all want you to succeed.
Prizes: Yes, there are prizes! The first 18,000-word middle grade novel manuscript and the first 36,000-word YA novel manuscript submitted to me (I will verify word count) will receive a three-chapter critique by…me! President and Publisher of Jewish-themed literary fiction and nonfiction, middle grade through adult, at The Whole Megillah LLC.
Hope to hear from you!
Children grow up. Where is the interest in Jewish adult novels? After all, the Megillah stars Mordecai and Esther.
This is the third annual event for children’s writers. I’ll have to structure one for adult novels, but it won’t be this year. Thanks for the idea, though!
Reblogged this on Rebecca Klempner and commented:
It’s here, children’s authors: Your yearly chance to participate in The Whole Megillah’s Write Your Own Megillah Event. Are you ready to take the leap?
Thanks for the reblogging, Rebecca, and spreading the word. I’m hoping we have more participants than ever!
I’m excited to participate in this wonderful adventure again. The MG novel I wrote last year is done and polished, and has been submitted to several editors. Fingers are crossed!!
But, now it’s definitely time to start thinking about the next book in the series. Ideas have been tossing around in my head, but again, the thought of writing so many words (even though I did it last year) strikes fear in my heart. But, Barbara and the Whole Megillah community made it easy last year, so I’m willing to dive in and tackle it again.
Count me in.
Thanks, Marcia. I’m glad it worked out for you. I’ll send you the registration form. Who else will participate?
I have been considering writing a Jewish children’s book but am not sure whether a middle school or YA novel is the right fit or even if I will be able to complete the manuscript within the timeframe. Despite my apprehensions, I am interested in the Megillah event. I look forward to receiving the registration form.
Hi, Sandy. I just sent you the registration form. See how far the process takes you. Whatever you write, it’s more than what you had! Marcia, maybe you’d like to chime in here and say a few words about how the event was for you last year?
I had hoped to start writing but have been temporarily sidelined by an arm injury that makes typing an unpleasant experience. Hopefully a round of anti-inflammatory medicine, ice, and rest will eliminate the pain and tingling.
Sorry to hear about your arm, Sandy! I hope those ideas are still percolating. I had so much fun last year writing my MG mystery. It’s circulating among a few editors right now. How cool is that!
Maybe you can use the microphone on your computer to speak your words in for now? Just a thought.
Great idea, Marcia!
I’m so sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you feel better and are back in action soon.
I love this idea! The narrator of my Ezra Melamed Mystery Series, Miss Rebecca Lyon, proudly refers to each of her mystery tales as a “megillah,” so I’m glad to see the tradition is continuing. I can’t enter the Write Your Own Megillah contest, since my historical mystery series is for adults (although the first book, The Disappearing Dowry, was selected as a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens), but hatzlacha to all who do and thanks for hosting the contest!
Today starts Write Your Own Megillah. Who’s created some new prose today/tonight? The night’s still young.
Well, I’ve started. I’m not writing much tonight–maybe 200 words or so. Starting is always difficult, but I did it! My first inclination was to set this novel in the United States. But I think, as the plot develops, Israel will be the better setting. My only problem now is that I have to add extensive research about the cities in a country I haven’t been to in forty years. Oy veh!
Back to chapter one!
But you’ve started, and that’s great! As Robert Frost says, no surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. Or something like that.
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I’m still plugging away. Didn’t get to write much today.
My characters will be taking the bus to get to different locations. Did you know that, thanks to MapQuest, I can find the bus routes between cities in Israel? I love the Internet! Sometimes the research slows down the actual writing–but it’s still time in the chair toward the final product.
Hope to write more tomorrow–I’m at just under 1000 words. Chapter 1 is done. I’m on chapter 2 now.
Is anyone else writing their Own Megillah?
Thanks, Marcia. That’s good progress! Yes, there are others participating. I’d like to hear how they’re doing, too.
I’m on chapter five at just under 2000 words. So far, so good.
Absolutely – great progress!
I’m still hanging in here. I’m not much further. Lots of interfering research–maybe I’ll try leaving blanks and fill in the exact details later? This year is slower than last year–more complex plot, I think.
I suppose it’s always a challenge. But you’re doing it!
Hang in there,
Did anyone finish the challenge?
I’m sorry to say, I didn’t finish this year. I was off to a great start, then procrastinated, then decided I was procrastinating because there was something fundamentally wrong with my story. I stepped back for a few more days, then decided I didn’t like the plot. I’ve worked out a whole new plot, which, unfortunately changed almost everything, requiring me to start over. Good news, I can keep most of those first 4000 words, as they were very character-driven. I am pleased that this month prompted some great characters for my now-even-newer novel.
So, thanks, Barbara. I did get some very valuable writing out of the challenge!
See you here next year!