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"NaNoWriMo" Write-Ins for Pitt-Greensburg campus

By Michele Stewardson
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Stevie Bonine loves to write and hopes to encourage other students at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg to write along with her during November's National Novel Writing Month.

“NaNoWriMo” Write-Ins will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24 at Millstein Library on the UPG campus.

Participants are encouraged to write 50,000 words of a new novel in November.

In addition, there will be contests, word sprints and the opportunity to write as many words as possible in 15-minute intervals to help with writer's block.

“Writing can be very solitary,” said Bonine, a senior studying fiction and creative writing. “At the Write-Ins, you're all writing together in an environment conducive to writing. A lot of writers don't get out of their element, and seeing other writers all around them gives them the opportunity to branch out and blossom.”

References Public Services Librarian Amanda Folk is working hand-in-hand with Bonine on the Write-Ins, and said anyone who wants to come and write is welcome, even if not working on a novel.

“Research and writing go hand-in-hand,” Folk said. “It seemed only logical that the library would be a good partner for this.”

Folk also believes Bonine's excitement is contagious.

“As an educator, it's always exciting to see a student so enthusiastic about something they believe in and then channel that enthusiasm into something for the campus,” she said.

Bonine participated in the Write-In last year and wrote 5,000 words about panthers. She was encouraged to write with “literary abandon,” which is exactly what she plans to do again this year, she said.

This year, Bonine is writing a novel about three children, one of whom goes missing. The other two set out looking for their friend and the book details what mischief they get into along the way.

“I really like playing with characters and the way people think,” said Bonine, who hopes to use her degree and her love of theater to write for television shows. “I really want to see what will happen when I stick these characters together and see what their dynamic will be.”

Susan Isola, director of marketing for UPG, hopes the Write-Ins will bring more people to campus.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania has a vibrant community of writers,” she said. “It's a great opportunity for Pitt to bring diverse people together for the sole purpose of writing, (and we're) hoping the beauty of our campus will inspire them.”

For more information on the Write-Ins at the campus on 150 Finoli Drive in Hempfield, visit

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