San Francisco Public Library Wants to Help You Write the Next Great American Novel

For Immediate Release: October 22, 2019

Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4282 / michelle.jeffers@sfpl.org

San Francisco Public Library Wants to Help You Write the Next Great American Novel

National Novel Writing Month Celebrates its 20th Anniverary of Inspiring Aspiring Writers

San Francisco, CA– November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. In celebration of the program’s 20-year anniversary, San Francisco Public Library brings together acclaimed authors and an array of public workshops to inspire creative writers of all ages to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

“National Novel Writing Month is the perfect excuse to turn that idea you’ve been carrying around in your head into your masterpiece,” says City Librarian Michael Lambert. “This year’s NaNoWriMo program is exceptional and offers so many entry points to the writing process that are both fun and encouraging. San Francisco Public Library is here to hold your hand and to help you become the great writer you’ve always known you could be!”

In its two decades, NaNoWriMo has created a worldwide community of writers, affectionately known as “Wrimos”. Hosted at several branch libraries, Come Write In events will provide patrons with the space, writing resources, free wifi, computers and laptops, if needed, to start writing and to connect with the greater Wrimo community.

We kick off the month a few days early with an exciting talk featuring bestselling author Alexander Chee. Chee, whose 2016 book, The Queen of the Night was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, will be at the Main Library on Oct. 27 talking about his new memoir, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.

Need inspiration? Acclaimed authors will offer pro tips on all aspects of the writing process in a series of free author talks. On Nov. 3, editor Kim Bancroft, the author of The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher will discuss the writing and revision process followed by The Art of the Literary Portrait with author Constance Hale. Hale assists writers in drawing out important themes with interactive exercises and writing prompts.

For those facing the dreaded writer’s block, author Maury Zeff’s talk, Plot Along with Maury, on Nov.13, will help participants turn plots into stories with well-crafted, satisfying endings. Also on Nov. 13, the Library brings together an all-star NaNoWriMo author panel, including bestselling romance writer Jasmine Guillory, award-winning translator and author Carolina de Robertis and author of Fast-Draft Your Memoir Rachael Herron.

Youth programing includes Kids Write Now!, a month-long writing contest hosted at the Richmond Branch. See full program details below. 

Come Write In

Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1 p.m., Bernal Heights Branch (Teens, Adults)

Nov. 5, 12, 19, 27, 7 p.m., Parkside

Nov. 7, 14, 21, 6 p.m., Main Library, Stong Room

Nov. 7, 14, 21, 1 p.m., Mission Bay Branch

Nov. 21, 6 p.m., Ortega Branch

Nov. 23, 1 p.m., Ocean View Branch at Blue House Café

Author Talks

Alexander CheeThe author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel talks about his writing process, queer activism during the AIDS crisis in San Francisco and thoughts on growing up mixed race in America.
Oct. 27, 4 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Kim Bancroft author of The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher
Nov. 3, 2 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

The Art of the Literary Portrait with Constance Hale – Nov. 3, 4 p.m., Main Library, Learning Studio

NaNoWriMo Author Panel featuring Jasmine Guillory, Carolina de Robertis and Rachael Herron – Nov. 13, 6 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room

Plot Along with Maury Zeff – Nov. 13, 12 p.m., Main Library, Learning Studio

Kids Write Now!– Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 4 p.m., Richmond Branch. Take Part in this month-long writing contest. The more you write, the more you win. Attend a winners’ reception. Reserve at the Children’s Reference Desk. For ages 10–14.

About San Francisco Public Library:

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.

To learn more, please visit sfpl.org and follow on Twitter @SFPublicLibrary and on Instagram @sfpubliclibrary.