Nanowrimo Spotlight: And Into the Fire Swamp

Good morning! It’s November, Nanowrimo has started around the world, and my word count is 1292 from an early morning Twitter word sprint. I probably won’t try to write and run @Nanowordsprints at the same time, but it was fun today.

My spotlight volunteer today is Hannah, who goes as writurgurl on the Nano site. Hannah, what’s your Nanowrimo experience been like up to now?

This is my second year participating in NaNoWriMo. Last year I was away at a university that I later switched out of to come back home so that I could dedicate more time toward writing, and part of that experience came from the success of getting to know both myself and my writing through NaNoWriMo. Last year I really enjoyed hanging out with the gang and having writing sprints together at Hasselton’s cafe… the apple cider and nanimo bars there still hold that ol’ nano nostalgia!


So far this year I have begun two pen-pal relationships with two lovely young women, and have also signed up for the CD swap, the postcard swap, and the care package swap. I have written my first pen-pal letters and have also prepared my care package for that swap partner, which will be mailed to them during the first week of NaNoWriMo. So far I have met with one wrimo from my area. We met at a bakery and cafe called Fardella’s and had a planning session. I’ve also been re-reading my favourite books about writing, which are “Writing Down the Bones” and “Chapter after Chapter.”

Mywriturgurl3 preferred writing tool so far this year has been the program Writer’s Cafe, which allows the user to outline their novel, write in a daily journal, create a bulletin board of inspiring post-it notes and images, access writing prompts and tips, and so much more! I also frequently use my sketchbook and journal. I have been building my survival kit this past week, which includes: index cards, hot chocolate packs, a box of chocolates, sketchbook, journal, envelopes and paper for pen-pal correspondences, bookmarks, black gel pens, encouragement cards for when things get harder, finger-less gloves, warm socks, my NaNo binder, my Staples “easy” button to press whenever I’ve reached my day’s word count goal, a kitchen timer for timed writing sessions, my snow globe from NYC, my statue of the Baron (my little guardian) and stickers for putting on my NaNo calendar each day when I reach my word count goal.

What are you writing about this year?
This year I am writing an adventure story that takes place in two seperate storyline: The heart of the story is in the first storyline, set in a steampunk/fantasy universe. It centres around an airship pirate who is trying to escape her past in a dark, aristocratic society. The goal is to create a classic adventure fantasy that centres around an LGBTQ romance.


What is your favorite book – you have to pick just one!
My favourite book is The Princess Bride.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
My advice is to just lay out all of your favourite stories, ask yourself what you like about them and what you would change, and then pick and choose through those ideas to create your most favourite story, to the best of your ability in this moment.

Sneaky Ninja question! Out of your favourite fictional characters,
who’d make the best sneaky ninja?

Westley already is pretty much a pirate ninja, so obviously he would make the best sneaky ninja!


I’ve been published in a few anthologies, worked as a journalist and as a staff writer for a magazine called Absynthe, and published my first poetry collection this fall with Meraki Press. The book has received recognition from The Youth Diversion Program and has launched a campaign to spread awareness and acceptance of young adults suffering in silence. I’m a student advocate for The Youth Diversion program, especially the program’s MEND approach, and has given keynote speeches regarding the importance of conflict resolution at numerous local and regional school board conferences.


My mentors have included Lawrence Hill and Joanne Page, and my short story The Unborn Twice Stolen was long listed by The Poetry Institute of Canada in 2012 and received an award for excellence. I’ve also contributed regularly as a journalist for several publications, including Kingston This Week, Absynthe Magazine, and Trent Magazine.


In 2013 I founded The Youth Anthology Project, a community initiative to unite youth artists and writers with their community. YAP has donated more than $1000 in proceeds to community initiatives to enrich the lives of children, including the Clothes for Kids campaign and the not-for-profit Kingston School of Art.


When she is not writing or studying for school, Hannah enjoys attending local readings and spoken word events.

Thanks for dropping by, Hannah!

2 Responses to Nanowrimo Spotlight: And Into the Fire Swamp

  1. hellsworth01 says:

    Reblogged this on Marketing Tips for Authors and commented:
    Good morning everyone! Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, and what better way to celebrate than reading about other author’s experiences? This morning The Kelworth Files posted their NaNoWriMo Spotlight on me, so I decided to re-blog the interview here as well. Have a great first day of writing!


  2. Hannah is definitely a Type A – organized to the hilt!


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