Satellite Write-In Guide

Satellite Write-In Guide 2020

As busy as November can be with reckless writing abandon, a lot of Boston Wrimos have found that setting up community-based NaNo events (which we like to call Satellite Write-Ins) can make the month a lot more fun and productive. We hope you will use this guide to great success.

When planning a write-in: 

1. The NaNoBoston forums: The best place to plan these satellite write-ins is at the NaNoBoston Lounge in the NaNoWriMo forums, which are the most visited part of the site, and posting information there opens your event to all the local participants.

2. Search for existing threads for your neighborhood: If you find a thread in existence, there may be events already planned that you want to join, or you can state your intention that you would like to organize something.

3. Start your own neighborhood thread: If you don’t find a thread, start one and include your chosen neighborhoods in the subject line. You don’t want your neighborhood choice so narrow that hardly anyone shows up, but you also don’t want it so large that it becomes difficult to choose an event location. 

4. The NaNoBoston Lounge is open to all-ages: Please be friendly, polite, respectful, and encouraging when starting a thread, and try to avoid the use of things like sarcasm, which can be construed as threatening or offensive, even if you mean it playfully.

5. Your home is your castle: Even with the strong sense of camaraderie among NaNo participants, most of these writers will be strangers to you, and for that reason, it is best not to host write-ins in your home. 

6. Best locations: Your local café or coffee shop, so long as they aren’t too small for your group. Any publicly accessible place where you can reserve a room, such as your public library, or the community room at your bank.

7. Schedule around official events: Your MLs put a lot of work into the official NaNoBoston write-ins and events. Please do not schedule a satellite write-in at the same time as an official NaNoBoston event. It’s okay to schedule one on the same day, as long as it’s not at the same time. 

8. Reach a consensus about the date, time, and location: a.) Choose one or two places and dates/times that work for you. b.) Work with a select few people in person at another event to do the same. Recommend those dates and locations in the forum thread and find out which works for the most people. 

Once you’ve chosen a date and location for your satellite write-in:

1. Make the following information clearly visible in the forum thread: The name and address of the location, as well as the date and time of the event. Make note if the entrance is difficult to find and include directions on how to reach your location via public transportation.

2.  Setting up your event listing: On the NaNoWriMo website on the regional page, select the Events tab and click the SUBMIT AN EVENT button to schedule your event. Once the MLs approve your event, it will appear on the regional calendar. If the event has not been approved after 24 hours, email BostonNaNo@gmail.com to notify us.

3. Call ahead: While this isn’t strictly required, it is considerate of a location’s need to turn tables during their busiest times, especially for a larger group over five, and will help ensure you have space to sit and work for a few hours. 

4. Scout out the location ahead of time: Make sure the tables are large enough and power outlets are within reach. Talk to the management to make sure they can accommodate a group of writers for a few hours.

The day of your official write-in:

1. Make sure you bring power: 1-2 extension cords and power strips will accommodate tables far away from outlets and multiple writers at one table. If you’re expecting a large group, include a surge protector. Ask other participants in your forum thread if they can bring some of these supplies as well.

2. Make it easy for folks to find you: Do you have funky laptop stickers, easily identifiable clothing, a table tent, a mylar balloon? Or will there be some other way to identify you? Mention it in the forum thread.

3. Ask folks if they are a NaNoWriMo participant: While it can be uncomfortable to approach a stranger, you might be helping someone who is too shy to ask you about NaNo, someone who hasn’t recognized you yet, or you will introduce someone to NaNo for the first time. So please, don’t be afraid to ask.

4. Support your location: If you’re writing in a restaurant or any business, please support them by buying something while you’re there. Not only does this engender goodwill in the community about our event and the people involved, it also ensures we will have places to hold NaNo events in years to come.

That should cover all the basics of setting up your satellite write-in. If you have any further questions, please post them in the dedicated thread within the NaNo Boston Lounge and one of us will get back to you soon.