Getting Prepared for NaNoWriMo


All use of logos courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

By Courtney Clark, MLIS, M.Ed., Sangaree Branch Manager

What’s NaNoWriMo?

Do you have the next great American novel sitting in your head, waiting to be written? If so, consider joining NaNoWriMo in November. If you’re not familiar with the organization, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. You can learn how it works here or follow the step below:

  1. Sign up for NaNoWriMo before November 1 and get your profile started. You’ll earn virtual badges to help keep you motivated as you’re writing.
  2. Get Prepared. The NaNoWriMo website has lots of resources to get you ready to write your novel, including blog entries, videos by famous authors, and writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
  3. Start writing on November 1. You can update your word count on the NaNoWriMo website as often as you’d like (or not at all).
  4. When you get a case of writer’s block, use NaNoWriMo’s inspiration, your BCLS writer’s groups, or any of the BCLS resources on writing to help you get un-stuck.
  5. When you’ve finished your novel (or at least gotten 50,000 words in), upload it to NaNoWriMo’s word counter to join the winner’s circle. All winner’s circle members are entered to win prizes!

If you have any questions about NaNoWriMo or how to use their website, visit their FAQ section.

Books on Writing provided by BCLS

The library is a great resource to help get you started on writing your novel. There are many titles available through BCLS, including:

Writer’s Groups

There are several writer’s groups around the Lowcountry to assist you in the writing process and get helpful feedback from other writers. There are also several writing groups taking place at your local Berkeley County Library branch.

Other organizations also host writer’s group meetings, including the Lowcountry Creative Writing Forum and the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts Writing Groups.

New Kid’s Books by Authors of Color

Zombie Stories for Tweens

Readers are Leaders in the St. Stephen Summer Reading Program

Impacting the Community

Mark Anthony Holden, BS Degree with Honors – Biology Adjunct Faculty, Tutor at Florence Darlington Technical College & ER Scribe at McLeod Hospital in Florence, SC.

Written by: Tharin Nolte | Mobile Outreach Clerk

Mark-Anthony Holden and his mother, Lisa Holden-Smalls are familiar faces at the St. Stephen Library. Mrs. Holden-Smalls gave the library staff a flyer that states “Readers are leaders in the St. Stephen Summer Reading Program”. Mrs. Holden-Smalls credits participation in the Summer Reading Program as a key in her son’s success story. Mark-Anthony recently graduated from Francis Marion University with his Bachelors’ of Science Degree with Honors in Biology. He currently works as Adjunct Faculty, a tutor at Florence-Darlington Technical College. He is also an Emergency Room Scribe at McLeod Hospital in Florence, SC where he works in the Emergency Department of the hospital. His duties include 6 overseeing the documentation of each patient’s visit to the Emergency Department, and he acts as the physician’s personal

assistant. He is now applying to medical school, and he proudly displays every Summer Reading medal he has ever earned right next to his Bachelors’ Degree! Mark-Anthony is just one person who has been positively influenced by the library – imagine how many others are just like Mark-Anthony!

Smalls proudly displays his Summer Reading Metals on his framed college degree.

Library provides ‘toolbox’ for children with communication barriers

Library provides ‘toolbox’ for children with communication barriers

By Rickey Ciapha Dennis Jr.  

While the library is typically a quiet place, Berkeley County is making an exception. Florence Lewis-Coker, the branch coordinator at the county’s main library in Moncks Corner, invited a group of

Tamiesha Jackson, an early intervention specialist at Berkeley Citizens, looks through sensory games at the library’s Young Learner’s Toolbox. The photo was taken by Rickey Dennis, Berkeley Ind.

early intervention professionals to the library to spread the word about a new learning epicenter called the Young Learner’s Toolbox. About two years ago, the library received a grant to create a place where children with learning, language or communication barriers can obtain out-of-school, hands-on learning experience. The center features stacks of multi-sensory toys, learning kits and IPads. It also has open space for young children to play freely with the novelties. “I have been thinking of how I can make a difference in the life of a child with autism,” Lewis-Coker said.

Children with autism typically have communication challenges and struggle with social interactions. They often have delays in areas of development, such as learning to talk, Lewis-Coker said. The Learner’s Toolbox will ensure that such children are given the tools they need to develop vital skills. Local behavioral specialists said the center would be beneficial for their patients. “We’re going to get some ideas and maybe have the families to come…bring their kids here and work with some of these things,” said Becky Pettgrew, an early intervention specialist with Berkeley Citizens. “We take some [tools] into their homes. But to have the kids come to the library to work on this is a difference…they can work with other kids.”

Elizabeth Harvey with ABC Therapies said the program could voice a larger message. Typically, Harvey said, parents are leery about bringing special needs children to public places like church or the library where they are supposed to be quiet. “Those families become isolated. They don’t know where they’re welcome because the behaviors [are] very unpredictable,” Harvey said. The Learner’s Toolbox could be a place where ‘everyone is welcome’ and children can express themselves freely. “[The library] wants to meet everybody’s unique learning needs,” Harvey said. According to Lewis-Coker, Berkeley County Library System is the only county in the state with such a program and could serve as a prototype for other counties.

Brittney Reynolds with Berkeley Citizens examines playful objects at the YLT. This photo was taken by Rickey Dennis from the Berkeley Ind.

 Content from the local newspaper, Berkeley Independent.

Best Sellers In Many Formats

Experience a Best Seller in a New Format

Written by: Nanette Hamilton, Berkeley County Library System Digital Librarian

Are you dying to get your hands on the newest title to hit the Best Seller list? Or have you read a best seller 10 times now and can’t get enough of it? Why not satisfy that craving by trying out a new format? BCLS offers titles in many formats and you can discover them all FREE with your library card: Print, Large Print, CD Audio, Digital, E-Audio, Film, Play-A-Way Audio, and more…

For instance, let’s look at the latest John Grisham novel, Camino Island.

BCLS offers:

21 copies of this title in PRINT

2 copies of this title in LARGE PRINT

3 copies of this title as an AUDIO CD

PLUS You can read the EBOOK from Jasmine Digital Library or RBDigital!

Don’t forget BCLS also offers books as a vast collection of Playaways, an all-in-one-audiobook, or you can share this book with your book club with BCLS’s Book Bundles. Whether you want to read or listen to your favorite new book, BCLS has you covered!

Discover more about Camino Island:

Publisher: Doubleday Books
Pub date: 20170606
ISBN: 978038554302
  • A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars. Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though …