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Night of Writing Dangerously

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The Night of Writing Dangerously (or NOWD) is a write-a-thon fundraiser hosted by the Office of Letters and Light during NaNoWriMo. It typically takes place on a Sunday evening in November in San Francisco.


The idea for a write-a-thon fundraiser was inspired by the New York Writers Coalition. After deciding to do a fundraiser, OLL held its first Night of Writing Dangerously on November 17, 2007. Wrimos who had donated at least $200 to NaNoWriMo, either through Firstgiving or directly through the NaNoWriMo website, were eligible to RSVP and attend the event. The Night of Writing Dangerously also included a candy buffet provided by long-time Wrimo and staff member Cybele May, dinner, a talk by Chris Baty, prizes for the top five fundraisers, raffles that attendees can enter, and of course writing.

In 2009 longtime Wrimo and Edmonton municipal liaison Sarah Mackey joined the NaNoWriMo staff to coordinate the write-a-thon. The fundraising methods also changed in several ways: participants raised money via GiftTool instead of Firstgiving, and they had to donate separately for the regular donor goodies thanks to receiving separate Night of Writing Dangerously goodies. However, they still received a halo in December. The event also received its own forum so attendees could ask questions and chat with other attending Wrimos, while non-attendees could live vicariously through those who would be there.

The 2010 Night of Writing Dangerously write-a-thon was held November 21, 2010. Participants still raised money through GiftTool.

In 2011, the number of available spaces for the Night of Writing Dangerously was raised from 200 to 250. OLL changed its fundraising system from GiftTool to StayClassy. The 2011 Night of Writing Dangerously took place on 20 November. The #nowd Twitter hashtag also trended at the top of San Francisco's trending topics during the event[1][2].

Since 2012 OLL has held a special deal on Night of Writing Dangerously tickets; guests gained admission after raising $200 before the end of July ($300 if they wanted to bring a guest). In August the price goes up to the regular $250 ($350 if they wanted to bring a guest). The 2012 Night of Writing Dangerously took place on 18 November, and the 2013 event will take place on 17 November.

Night of Writing Dangerously Now

Today the basic idea behind the Night of Writing Dangerously remains the same. Attendees must raise at least $250 USD to attend the event and $350 if they want to bring a guest. The Night of Writing Dangerously still comes with goodies, a dinner, Cybele's candy buffet, and a talk from NaNo's program director and executive director, along with raffles for prizes that attendees can enter with their fundraising tickets--one for each $50 raised, so each attendee automatically gets five, and those who bring guests can divide their tickets with their guest if they choose. While all attendees receive a halo in December for fundraising, they must donate directly to the Donation Station if they want Donation Station goodies.

There are also prizes for the top fundraisers, usually five. These fundraisers do not get raffle tickets, instead getting their grand prizes when they arrive. Past prizes have included laptops, iPod touches, and Kindles. 2011 prizes included an iPad 2 and a Kindle Fire, the latter of which had just been released. Past winners of these prizes have included Sarah Mackey (second place in 2008) and Tupelo Hassman (first place in 2008) [3].

The weekend surrounding the Night of Writing Dangerously contains several events, both official and unofficial. OLL typically holds a tea for current MLs who will be in the area that weekend, both local MLs and Night of Writing Dangerously attendees. The NaNo staff also let out of town attendees visit the Office in Berkeley the days before the event. In past years OLL staff have also held an event for out of towners on Saturday evening. Wrimos attending Night of Writing Dangerously often coordinate their own events such as the Sunday morning breakfast, and some attend write-ins with local Wrimos.

The 2011 and 2012 Night of Writing Dangerously were held in the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco.

Regional Night of Writing Dangerously spinoffs

For those who can't attend the Night of Writing Dangerously, some regions hold their own regional spinoffs. The Nashville, Tennessee region held the Evening of Scribbling Furiously in 2009 and invited the surrounding regions to the event. In 2010 Nashville held the Evening of Scribbling Recklessly, and the Sydney, Australia region hosted the Night of Manuscripting Madness event. 2011 saw Nashville's third Evening of Scribbling Recklessly and Atlanta's first Evening of Writing Wildly. Atlanta repeated its Evening of Writing Wildly event in 2012.

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