Dear NaNoWriMo Writer,
As we head into the last few days of NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program, I want to reach out and say: Thank you. NaNoWriMo draws so much from the spirit of its participants. Your can-do attitude, inspiring helpfulness, and great sense of humor have made this the best NaNo ever.
As I look at our current finances, I also want to reach out and say: Eeep.
Thanks to proceeds from merchandise sales and donations from 5% of this year's Wrimos, we've raised $283,000. This is a whopping number, but it doesn't cover our 2008 expenses, and leaves nothing in the bank to launch NaNoWriMo or the YWP in 2009.
Running NaNoWriMo is a little crazy. The closest analogy I can come up with is that it's like setting out to cook and serve a meal for an unpredictably enormous number of people. We turn away no one, we charge nothing, and we try to feed everyone at exactly the same time. The service can be imperfect. Sometimes we run out of chairs. Sometimes we dump your soup on your head (and we still feel horrible about that soup).
But at the end of the day, you can count on the Office of Letters and Light to ensure that you will have a bustling, warm, and friendly place in November to come and find the encouragement you need to pull off something grand.
Building and maintaining that encouraging place for 119,000 adults and 21,000 kids and teens takes a tremendous amount of work and money. If you believe in NaNoWriMo, please donate to the Office of Letters and Light today. A $10 donation from 10% of our participants will mean we can meet our 2008 expenses, keep the sites open year-round, rent a heck of a lot more servers, and make dozens of exciting and much-needed improvements to NaNoWriMo and the Young Writers Program.
Free things are fragile things, even if they appear solid or inevitable from the outside. Please join the 10% group of SuperWrimos whose donations will help us bring NaNoWriMo and the YWP back for another year of bookish adventures in 2009.
I thank you mightily for your support, and wish you a wonderfully wordy final weekend of NaNoWriMo!
Write on! Chris Baty
Executive Director, the Office of Letters and Light
Program Director, NaNoWriMo
Author, 43,501 words and counting