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Municipal Liaison

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A Municipal Liaison (abbreviated ML) is a volunteer coordinator of a regional NaNoWriMo or Script Frenzy chapter. MLs can be identified on the NaNoWriMo or Script Frenzy forums by looking for the "Municipal Liaison" title below their usernames. They are posted at the top of their regional lounge.

Functions of the ML

Duties of an ML include moderating their regional lounge, answering any questions a Wrimo or Script Frenzy participant may have, sending regional emails and pep talks to their wrimos, and coordinating write-ins and other get-togethers such as a kickoff party and a TGIO party. Of course, they are also expected to participate in Nanowrimo during the years that they are an ML (they are, however, allowed to rebel if they choose. They are also delivered stickers from OLL to distribute to participants. Some MLs may also volunteer for additional responsibilities for their regions, such as running a website, distributing small goody bags or prizes to participants, selling items to raise funds for OLL, or even running a local version of the Night of Writing Dangerously.

MLs may also volunteer to be Moderators of individual NaNoWriMo forums. MLs come with tools on the NaNoWriMo site that make upgrading to forum moderator much easier. Occasionally an ML may also continue to moderate a forum after stepping down from the ML position, but this does not always happen. In 2011 a team of MLs around the world helped the staff run the NaNoWordSprints Twitter account with sprints around the clock.

ML Appreciation Day is celebrated on 22 November. It was celebrated on 19 November in 2010 and on 8 November in years before 2010.

The history of the ML and Community Liaison

The Municipal Liaison role was created in 2002. Since then, the number of MLs has exploded, with over 450 in 2010 and over 600 in 2011.

In 2003 Lauren Ayer joined the NaNoWriMo staff as a contact person for the MLs. Erin Allday joined Lauren in 2004 as a co-ML headmistress, staying on for several years. Her NaNoWriMo profile is still labeled as a staff account, so her current status as a staff member is unknown [1] . Lindsey Grant's hiring as community liaison in 2008 gave the NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy communities as a whole a main contact point for queries. Emily Bristow joined the NaNoWriMo staff as ML Captain of Capital Ideas in 2008, making her an additional contact point for the many NaNoWriMo MLs. Nancy Smith headed the MLs from 2009 to 2010, and was replaced by Sarah Mackey when the former left OLL to pursue a writing fellowship.

Some staff members, such as Sarah Mackey, Heather Dudley and Cylithria Dubois, are or were previously MLs.

How to become an ML

A Wrimo can become an ML if they have won NaNoWriMo before and are at least 18 years old. Aside from the age restriction, MLs come from all walks of life. Some are high school seniors or possibly even high school juniors, some are college students, some are teachers, some are professional writers, and the list goes on.

In 2011 and earlier, returning ML's applied first, and once they were all placed in a region, new ML's, those starting a new region, and those returning after a break could apply for the remaining spots. However, in both SF and NaNo 2012, the system changed, and all ML candidates, returning or otherwise, applied at the same time with the same application deadline and competed for all spots together. Wrimos can also apply to be a co-ML if they feel the need exists. Many regions, especially larger regions or more spread-out regions, have multiple MLs. Most regions have one to three MLs; larger cities (both geographically and population-wise) such as Atlanta and New York City may have four or five.

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