Visitors who ventured into the Bexley Public Library's auditorium on Nov. 2 found a group of writers hunched over their laptops, typing away with intense concentration.
They were brought together for a "write-in" that coincided with the start of National Novel Writing Month.
The annual event, commonly known by the abbreviation "NaNoWriMo," challenges participants to start putting ideas together on Nov. 1 and write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 30. Since its inception in 1999, more than 250,000 people from all walks of life have participated nationwide, writing an estimated 2.8 billion words, according to the website Nanowrimo.org.
This year marked the first time that the Bexley Public Library hosted a "write-in" to encourage participation in NaNoWriMo, said Cindy Lindsay, a library employee who organized the event.
Lindsay said she thought it made perfect sense for the library to sponsor an event that promotes creativity and an appreciation of the written word.
"I thought it was good to promote writers, especially in the library environment," she said.
To get the word out about the write-in, the library posted notices on its website and the city of Bexley's calendar of events.
A representative from a group of Columbus writers that participates in NaNoWriMo each month also distributed information to its members "so the writers would know where to come," Lindsay said.
The library's inaugural NaNoWriMo write-in drew about six people, a small yet enthusiastic group that included Walden University student Melody Harmon.
Rather than use the write-in to work on a novel, Harmon decided to expand a paper she recently wrote for an English composition class about why children are growing up too fast.
"It was just two pages and there's a lot (more) that needed to be said, so I'm taking the opportunity to" write a more in-depth essay, Harmon said.
Harmon said she used to do a lot of creative writing before "life got busy," and the library write-in offered a welcome return to one of her favorite pastimes.
"This is going to show me that I can actually write again," she said, "give me the confidence to do it so next year I can actually write a story."